Special Report: Is It Time To Prepare For War?

This report was initially released to PeakProsperity.com's paid subscribers earlier this week. Given the significance of the subject matter and the number of request from our enrolled members to share it more widely, we're making it available to all readers here.

For our paying subscribers, who have already read this, please see the new Part 2 companion to this report: How To Prepare For War.

From my perspective, the made-for-public Western news copy regarding Ukraine and Russia is childishly slanted and one-sided. The level of so-called aggression by Russia cannot even remotely be compared to the United States' naked aggression against Iraq – a country that had not attacked the US, threatened the US, or had any WMD program (which even if it did, would still have not constituted a legitimate reason for invasion by another nation under existing international law.)

So there’s a heavy dose of “Do as we say, not as we do” when it comes to US pronouncements of ‘unacceptable aggression’ on the part of Russia. Predictably, Russia is less than pleased -- as in the way they would be if routinely lectured in the press by Captain Hazelwood on the importance of boating safety.

Despite Western claims, it is highly unlikely Russia has yet moved heavy equipment and troop concentrations across the Ukraine border  -- because if they had, you’d for sure  have seen pictures.  Endless pictures of those troops and equipment on TV, morning, noon and night.  You haven’t seen any pictures, so none likely exist, which means no Russian army troops or military armaments are yet in Ukraine.

But that has not stopped the US and NATO from accusing Russia of exactly those transgressions in nearly every single announcement and press release.

The latest hawkish salvo by General Breedlove was so over-the-top that Germany expressed public alarm:

Breedlove's Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine

Mar 6, 2015

It was quiet in eastern Ukraine last Wednesday. Indeed, it was another quiet day in an extended stretch of relative calm. The battles between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian separatists had largely stopped and heavy weaponry was being withdrawn. The Minsk cease-fire wasn't holding perfectly, but it was holding.

On that same day, General Philip Breedlove, the top NATO commander in Europe, stepped before the press in Washington. Putin, the 59-year-old said, had once again "upped the ante" in eastern Ukraine -- with "well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery" having been sent to the Donbass.

"What is clear," Breedlove said, "is that right now, it is not getting better. It is getting worse every day."

German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn't understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn't the first time. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, did not share the view of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

The pattern has become a familiar one. For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks. Over and over again, Breedlove's numbers have been significantly higher than those in the possession of America's NATO allies in Europe. As such, he is playing directly into the hands of the hardliners in the US Congress and in NATO.

The German government is alarmed. Are the Americans trying to thwart European efforts at mediation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel? Sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove's comments as "dangerous propaganda." Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even found it necessary recently to bring up Breedlove's comments with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

(Source)

Think about how truly and utterly bizarre this all is.  It is literally not possible to hide “well over a thousand” combat vehicles from air and satellite surveillance, and everybody who knows anything at all knows this.  How can Breedlove make such outlandish claims and expect anybody to think he’s anything other than daft?

What are reasonable intelligence analysts and diplomats in Germany, or anywhere for that matter, to make of any of this? 

One uncomfortable pattern that fits is that the US has gotten used to lying overtly to get its way.  All reasonable analysts who read the UNSCOM report on Iraq’s defunct WMD program back in 2002 (as I did) knew that Iraq did not have any such program as claimed by Colin Powell, Rumsfeld, Perle, Feith and the rest of the unbalanced individuals who rushed the world to a war of choice.  The spin doctors of today will say that “bad intelligence” was to blame, but that too is a lie.

There was no bad intelligence, only bad people who made up false ‘intelligence’ and then foisted it upon the world. And it’s happening again.

To my mind, there’s no other way to interpret Breedlove’s comments; they are just too far outside of the bounds of what is a possible misinterpretation of data.  Again, ‘more than a thousand’ pieces of heavy armor cannot be hidden from satellites, especially not in the open, flat country that is eastern Ukraine. 

From a bit further in the Der Spiegel article we have this:

The experts contradicted Breedlove's view in almost every respect. There weren't 40,000 soldiers on the border, they believed, rather there were much less than 30,000 and perhaps even fewer than 20,000. Furthermore, most of the military equipment had not been brought to the border for a possible invasion, but had already been there prior to the beginning of the conflict. Furthermore, there was no evidence of logistical preparation for an invasion, such as a field headquarters.

Breedlove, though, repeatedly made inexact, contradictory or even flat-out inaccurate statements. On Nov. 18, 2014, he told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that there were "regular Russian army units in eastern Ukraine." One day later, he told the website of the German newsmagazine Stern that they weren't fighting units, but "mostly trainers and advisors."

He initially said there were "between 250 and 300" of them, and then "between 300 and 500." For a time, NATO was even saying there were 1,000 of them.

A short word for the phrase “flat out inaccurate statements” is lie.  We might as well get used to calling things by their correct terms, it makes things easier to follow and understand.

The reason I bring all this up is because the bellicosity of a small band of war hawks in the US seem to be driving policy for the entire nation.  Back in 2002, it was a very small group operating out of the Office of Special Plans from a small corner of the pentagon under the direction of Donald Rumsfeld to generate the false intelligence used to ‘justify’ a truly unnecessary and ill-advised war.

This time it seems to be Vitoria Nuland, General Breedlove, and the usual assemblage of war hawks in the Senate and Congress. 

But the risk cannot be denied.  2002 taught us all that the momentum of war can be initiated by obvious lies and a few dedicated people.  That same risk is afoot today.

Will it come to pass?  For the people of Ukraine it already has.  For the people of Syria and Iraq, it already has. 

The question is, will this spill over into a wider conflict that involves Europe and the US against Russia and whoever sides with Russia (*cough*cough* I’m looking at you, China).

As I predicted in the fall of 2014, things would continue to escalate before they deescalate.  The moves are coming fast and furious now.  The US has moved heavy armor into the region, right on Russia’s border:

US sends heavy armour to Baltic states to 'deter' Russia

Mar 9, 2015

Riga (AFP) - The United States on Monday delivered more than 100 pieces of military equipment to vulnerable NATO-allied Baltic states in a move designed to provide them with the ability to deter potential Russian threats.

The deliveries are intended to "demonstrate resolve to President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia that collectively we can come together," US Major General John R. O'Connor told AFP as he oversaw the delivery of the equipment in the port of Riga.

The delivery included Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Scout Humvees as well as support equipment and O'Connor said the armour would stay "for as long as required to deter Russian aggression".

The three former Soviet-ruled Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all NATO and European Union members since 2004, have very little military hardware of their own.

(Source)

Because the Western press seems unable to understand these things from a neutral perspective, let’s imagine how the US might react if Russia were to move heavy armor into Mexico to help “deter US aggression.”

I think we all know the answer to that: the US would immediately react in a very threatened manner. 

It needs to be pointed out that this is precisely the reason that NATO expansion was undertaken so aggressively back in the 1995–2005 period. The potential for military action became much greater than if the foreign affairs of individual countries were managed independently by their own governments.  Now, because of the NATO treaty, Europe and the US are obligated to military action if ever and whenever a perceived threat arises against any NATO member.

Of course, the chances of starting a conflict are immeasurably better if you taunt and parade yourself as close as possible to your intended adversary:

U.S. military vehicles paraded 300 yards from the Russian border

Feb 24, 2015

MOSCOW — U.S. military combat vehicles paraded Wednesday through an Estonian city that juts into Russia, a symbolic act that highlighted the stakes for both sides amid the worst tensions between the West and Russia since the Cold War.

The armored personnel carriers and other U.S. Army vehicles that rolled through the streets of Narva, a border city separated by a narrow frontier from Russia, were a dramatic reminder of the new military confrontation in Eastern Europe.

The soldiers from the U.S. Army’s Second Cavalry Regiment were taking part in a military parade to mark Estonia’s Independence Day. 

(Source)

It's obvious that there are factions within the US military establishment that are not just preparing for war with Russia, but actively provoking tensions. 

Which makes today’s news out of the EU all the more concerning because it shows a degree of coordination that now spans the Atlantic, and has jumped outside of the usual NATO military alliance and into the civilian bureaucracy of the EU:

Juncker calls for EU army, says would deter Russia

Mar 9, 2015

(Reuters) - The European Union needs its own army to face up to Russia and other threats as well as restore the bloc's foreign policy standing around the world, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a German newspaper on Sunday.

Arguing that NATO was not enough because not all members of the transatlantic defense alliance are in the EU, Juncker said a common EU army would also send important signals to the world.

"A joint EU army would show the world that there would never again be a war between EU countries," Juncker told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "Such an army would also help us to form common foreign and security policies and allow Europe to take on responsibility in the world."

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen welcomed Juncker's proposal: "Our future as Europeans will at some point be with a European army," she told German radio.

(Source)

It's telling that Juncker trotted out his proposal and immediately a German defense minister was at the ready to lend support.  This means it's a serious proposal, and has already been circulated and vetted.

While we might disagree as to whether a common military would prevent future wars between EU countries, the thing about armies is that once you have one, there’s a tendency to want to use it.

They are very expensive to just have lying about. In times past, no country would think of keeping one assembled after a war because they have a bad habit of needing something to do, and if nothing is available externally, they have been known to turn their power inwards (see: Egyptian military coup. Also: US military industrial complex).

And how has Russia reacted to all this?  In an escalate-y, predicable sort of way:

Russian legislator: EU’s common army, if created, to play provocative role

MOSCOW, 9 March. /TASS/. The European Union’s common armed forces, if they are ever created, may play a provocative role, first deputy chairman of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, Frants Klintsevich, told the media on Sunday.

"In the nuclear age extra armies do not provide any additional security. But they surely can play a provocative role," Klintsevich said, adding it was regrettable that such ideas had already met with some support.

"One should presume that a European army is seen as an addendum to NATO. And in this kind of situation Western politicians are not shy to accuse Russia of some aggressiveness," Klintsevich said.

(Source)

Russia went right for the nuclear trump card, noting that conventional forces do not really have a clearly defined role when nukes are on the table.  That is, Russia has said (again!) very clearly that they have nukes, might use them, and do not appreciate being constantly threatened.  And yet here we are. 

I mean, it was barely a week ago that a Russian military chief said this:

Russia says ready to reciprocate nuclear strike

Mar 1, 2015

A Russian military chief says the country's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) are ready to defend the country against any possible “lightning-speed” nuclear strike.

If we have to accomplish a task of repelling a ‘lightning-speed’ nuclear strike, this objective will be attained within a prescribed period,” Andrei Burbin, the SMF Central Command’s chief, was quoted by Russian media as saying on Saturday.

He voiced the SMF preparedness to deliver a retaliatory nuclear strike “unhesitatingly” if Russia comes under any assault.

Referring to the geographic position of Russia’s missile units, the major general said it will protect them from demolition by “any global strike,” adding that 98 percent of the SMF systems would be new in 2020.

The comments come against the backdrop of a recent boost in NATO’s military presence near Russia’s borders. In 2014, NATO forces held some 200 military exercises with the Western military block’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg promising that such maneuvers would continue.

(Source)

You’d think that with the stakes being so high that there would be obvious diplomatic efforts underway to try and defuse the situation and prevent any accidents from happening. But instead, we see the West consistently accusing Russia of aggressiveness while holding hundreds of military exercises and positioning its NATO equipment closer and closer to Russia’s borders.

Meanwhile Russia is busy saying to the world, Hey look: we still have a bunch of working nukes over here and we think you should keep that in mind.

Conclusion

I fear that I will have to issue an ALERT at some point over this entire matter. Again, an ALERT happens when I come into possession of information that causes me to personally take new or different actions.

I am seriously entertaining preparing for war, and as I’ve written before, the nature of this next war could involve everything from trade battles, to cyber attacks, to financial system assaults,  a downing of the US electrical grid, to an actual shooting war  -- perhaps one that escalates to a nuclear exchange.

When things are this obviously crazy, anything is possible.

It is my contention that the next shooting war will change the geopolitical landscape permanently and irrevocably for the US and the US dollar’s reserve currency status. Much of the weight carried by the US is because of its dominant military.  But a military is only as powerful as its ability to project force; and that requires that you either walk to the conflict via a land bridge or you ship your heavy equipment over the seas.

Light skirmishes can be accomplished via air, but nothing too serious because it’s just not possible to fly in everything you need.  Tanks are heavy.  So is food and fuel.  Ammunition too.  Moving a hundred thousand troops requires ships. Of which, clearly, the USA has many.

But ships are no longer useful in the modern world, as France rather embarrassingly proved to the US recently:

US supercarrier ‘sunk’ by French submarine in wargames

Mar 6, 2015

The French Ministry of Defence has revealed one of its attack submarines pulled of an astounding upset during recent war-games in the North Atlantic.

The Aviationist blog spotted an article on the French defence force’s website — quickly withdrawn — which told how one of their submarines, the “Saphir” tackled the might of the United States’ navy off the coast of Florida.

At the core of the surface force was the enormous aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its powerful strike wing of 90 combat aircraft and helicopters.

Clustered protectively about it was several advanced cruisers and destroyers, and its own guardian submarine.

In one element of the war games, the Saphir was tasked with the role of being the “bad guy”.

Its mission: To seek, locate and exterminate the US naval force.

The exact details of how it achieved this embarrassing outcome is not known.

Somehow, the French submarine must have been able to slip between the defensive sensor patchwork of patrol aircraft, helicopters, warships and submarines to line up a shot on the $13 billion monstrosity.

There she lurked as a fictitious political crisis evolved in the world above.

On the final day of the exercise, the order finally came.

Sink the Theodore Roosevelt.

This 30-year-old Saphir proceeded to do. Along with most of the escorting warships.

(Source)

Yes, a single 39-year old submarine managed to sneak into the protective ring of an entire aircraft carrier group and go through a mock firing of its entire complement of torpedoes against the entire set of targets.

Oops.

Besides the embarrassment for the US crews involved, this proves an important point: ships are no match for submarines. And there are a lot of submarines out there on both sides. Offensive anti-ship technology in the form of advanced submarine torpedoes, as well as missiles fired from land or aircraft, have advanced by enormous leaps and bounds since WWII.

The US has never faced an adversary with such technology in open warfare. But Russia and China (and even Iran) are stocked to the gills with such weapons.

By provoking Russia, the US risks exposing the fact that it cannot really project power all across the globe anymore because it cannot possibly ship things to and fro with impunity.  Once that calculus changes, everything changes -- with King Dollar right at the top of the list.

Whether that comes to pass, I am finding the risk of a major conflict between NATO/EU and Russia to be high and seemingly growing higher with every passing week.  Such are the times in which we live.

It leaves me asking if it’s time to begin preparing for war, which means being ready for the worst.

I truly wish that this were not how things were unfolding, but seeing General Breedlove and Victoria Nuland get away unchallenged with their blatant falsehoods is giving me a serious case of déjà vu.

We’ve been here before. And we know that the war hawks seem to get their way, for reasons that remain murky at best. Only this time they have a real, legitimate and dangerous foe in their sights.

In Part 2: How To Prepare For War, we investigate the risks associated with the most likely forms of conflict should things escalate from here: trade war, energy war, financial war, cyberwar, grid-down sabotage, shooting war and nuclear war.

While any of these developments will be grim at best, there are a surprising number of steps you can take today that will reduce your vulnerability to each off these. And in most cases, the investment of material and time will have persisting value even if (hopefully) the current global tensions de-escalate.

But as we often say, the time to prepare for crisis is in advance. Given the risks, why wouldn't you start taking at least a few precautions now?

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

~ Chris Martenson

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/special-report-is-it-time-to-prepare-for-war/

Thanks for making this available,Chris.I've been thinking the same thing myself for about 6 months.My take on this is they want the resources in Russia and have since the break-up of the Soviet Union.Putin put a stop to the attempted rape of his country facilitated by Yeltsin and the perpetrators didn't like it.Also,I get the feeling that there's a school of thought in the US military that they were robbed of a showdown with the Russians in the cold war and they want to conclude the 'unfinished business',jebus help us!!!
 

You're welcome Harry and I think that one of the facets to this fiasco is that Russia stepped in and defused the Bomb-Syria-Now activities of the US war party back when the whole false-flag Sarin gas incident went down a while back.

The US trotted John Kerry out, declared Assad responsible before the evidence was even in, and was busy organizing a NATO retaliation campaign that even got so far as having the UK fly a squadron of jet fighters to Cyprus in anticipation when all of a sudden(!) Putin stepped in and found a peaceful solution that involved Assad giving up all his chemical weapons.

A short while later tests on the Sarin gas used in the attack proved conclusively that it did not come from Assad's stockpiles (this from the UK's own labs, no less) and so you would think that the US and Europe would be thankful that Putin prevented them from making a grave error in their rush to judgment.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  That Putin stepped in and defused a situation that nobody in the west wanted to be defused just really pissed them off all the more.  There were a lot of heart's bent on bombing Syria and they were crushed.

As I've tried to make clear, the war party in the US has a lot of momentum and they usually get what they want.  This is not a new phenomenon by any means.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but isn't it the height of irony, or something more vile, that US Senators and Congressmen insist that what the American people want (and deserve!) is complete safety from even the most random and occasional terrorist act when this is their collective legacy?

Ye reap what ye sow, and all that.

Or…isn't it just a little bit unacceptable for the school-yard bully to demand 100% safety from all acts of retribution from his own actions?  Seems rather weak to me…

Instead, if you want to punch a bunch of noses then you have to accept you live in a world where noses get punched.  War or peace.  Pick one.

More personally I know that what we give in life we tend to get.  It's not possible in my own life to live with anger and rage in my heart against other people and have peace and comfort in my life.  As within, so without.

I agree wholeheartedly that the grid down scenario will be the one that affects all of us. 
A number of years ago our city suffered a bad frozen rain storm which brought down a lot of power lines either directly or by falling trees and limbs.  Thousands of citizens were without power for a few days.  My house was down for 14 days. 

Back then we had no generator, but many of my friends who did had them stolen.  One thief even broke into a garage in the middle of the night, got out a lawnmower and left it running so the silence from the stolen generator which powered the furnace would not be a giveaway to the theft.  For us, coolers on the deck kept our food cold enough and we consumed a lot of frozen food cooked on our gas stove.  Gas water heater and two rooms with gas blue flame space heaters kept us warm.  It wasn't something I look forward to again but we survived. I was amazed at the amount of candle wax on the floors afterwards!

The biggest impact was in the commercial district.  For the first few days our local groceries were without power. They could not sell anything but canned goods, flour, sugar and bread items since the coolers were down. Even then the employees would escort you into a dark store one on one with flashlights to make your purchase which had to be cash. Others waited at the door until an employee was free. Records were kept by pencil and paper.   Also,  very few service stations were pumping for the first few days.  We survived as a city, but if the commercial districts had been down longer than 2-3 days or if the outages had truly been city wide, conditions would have deteriorated quickly.   Oh, and the local zoo was the first to get power restored since the big cats' ultimate containment is electric fencing.

Since our situation was localized, outside vendors were able to send in big generators to fill the gap and lots of power line workers came from surrounding states.  If it were a more generalized outage lasting a longer time----not good…

Suggestions from this experience:

Quiet generation is essential (hybrid cars make good quiet generators)  Solar generation good.  Battery backup is very good.  Pre industrial lighting–candles, lanterns etc  very good.  Non electric heat sources essential. (It was interesting to note from the Ukraine experiences that pipeline gas was mostly very dependable)  Full fuel tanks good.    Books, board games, non electric instruments very nice.

I think we should do a practice run by shutting off the house power main for 24 hours.  Whether to inform the wife ahead of time is the big question :-).

Why has Putin gone dark with personal appearances over the last week?  Flu season or prepping an underground bunker somewhere?

You make a compelling case that things are definitely heating up towards a potential war involving Russia and China but what about the Middle East? That region has long been a complicated mess but yet things seem to be escalating there to all time highs with Israel being the linchpin of the whole region. How does that scenario play out from here?
And what about South America? SA has never been much of a factor in worldwide conflicts before but things are getting desperate down there. Any chance they could want to join the fray? Which sides would they choose? 

Things are also getting desperate in Japan. Japan has shown in the past what they are capable of. Just because they've been forbidden from building too large of an army doesn't mean they couldn't gear up for one very quickly. They do have a tremendous manufacturing engine already in place with all of their factories.

I remind you that WWI escalated to the point of conflict for many reasons but one of the keys was the fact that Germany was late to the party on the great land grabs of the 19th century and wanted in. Those land grabs weren't so much about holding land as they were about raiding their resources. Right now oil is the key resource of the world and the Middle East, Russia, and South America are the key rich spots for those.

I've been concerned since 2008, every time there's been a world wide depression, there's been a world war (only twice, but still…). The only way the government can hide the fact that the US is bankrupt is to go to war, that way the sheep get patriotic and forget what our leaders have brought about with their monetary policies. I contacted my Representative and Congressmen about our stupid stance on the Ukraine, only one answered and it was calling for Russia's head. I don't have much hope for a non-violent solution. Thanks for making this available, since I retired we just don't have the money for more.

I am not a war hawk but do like accuracy. When I saw the infographic comparing Iran and the US, I immediately wondered if the Iran-Iraq war was only defensive on the part of Iran. And I wondered about the efforts of Iran's 'agent' Hezbollah. Here is a discussion that seemed to have a better historical memory.

In that discussion you link, they list out all of the times and places that Iran has been suspected to have engaged in an assassination attempt, or has supported ideologically aligned groups like Hamas.

By that standard, we'd have to expand the US side of the ledger too…by quite a lot.

How would we account for this statistic, for example?

During the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2014, US Special Operations forces (SOF) deployed to 133 countries—roughly 70 percent of the nations on the planet—according to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bockholt, a public affairs officer with US Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

This capped a three-year span in which the country’s most elite forces were active in more than 150 different countries around the world, conducting missions ranging from kill/capture night raids to training exercises. And this year could be a record-breaker.

Just 66 days into fiscal 2015 America’s most elite troops had already set foot in 105 nations, approximately 80% of 2014’s total.

(Source

So it would seem that any list that wanted to expand to assassination/kill/capture would have to blow out both sides by big amounts, but certainly the US's side by a much larger amount.  After all, 80% of the nations on the earth is a big, big number.

Next the list you provided wanted to included Iran's support and arming of various groups.  Now, I could dig up the data, but I don't think I really need to; the US is by far the largest provider of military support and arms to countries and groups all over the planet, again by a massive factor over the nearest competition, Iran especially included.

So let's make this simple…how many counties has Iran invaded or bombed as compared to the US?

If you are interested in the situation in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, this may be of interest and helpful.

My wife’s cousin, Malcolm Jones, is a former professor dealing with Slavic / Russian languages and literature at the Nottingham University.
Yesterday he sent me an email providing the following information:<o:p></o:p>

... some time ago we corresponded briefly about the situation in Ukraine.   I thought you might like to know of a recent well-informed and balanced account of an extremely complex situation.   I have met the author several times and I have every reason (both professional and personal) to have confidence in his analysis. I hope that it will be widely read by policy-makers and opinion-shapers in the US and Europe.   The book is by Richard Sakwa: Frontline Ukraine, crisis in the borderlands, I. B. Tauris, London, 2015.

I undertook a search on the internet and found 2 articles on The Guardian, one by Sakwa himself. As Malcolm wrote, it is a very complex situation, and Sakwa offers insight that is very enlightening. I was already aware of the problem created by NATO’s continued expansion right up to the Russian border which is in contravention to the agreement reached in 1989 when the USSR dissolved. However, the numerous other insights that he presents are essential for us to understand the reality of the situation that exists in the Ukraine conflict; western media sources present only the usual bias that it’s Putin and Russia causing the instability etc. It is much larger and more complex than that.

Here are the two Guardian links so that you can read the articles.

Frontline Ukraine: 'How Europe failed to slay the demons of war'

In an extract from his new book, historian Richard Sakwa argues that the current conflict has its roots in the exclusion of Russia from genuine partnerships since the end of the cold war

Richard Sakwa

Tuesday 10 March 2015 21.14 AEDT

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/10/ukraine-russia-richard-sakwa-extract

Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands by Richard Sakwa

Review by Jonathon Steele – an unrivalled account

At last, a balanced assessment of the Ukrainian conflict – the problems go far beyond Vladimir Putin

Jonathan Steele

Thursday 19 February 2015 21.29 AEDT

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/19/frontline-ukraine-crisis-in-borderlands-richard-sakwa-review-account

 Ross Flint

As I have said before I am beyond considering…I am willing to accept western influence within Ukraine as part of the cause for the revolution in the first place, but I feel that some degree of balance is needed within the recent discussions here.
Nobody has 100% access to all of the relevant information, but I think Chris does a good job in trying to bring us information which is critical, and info the western press fails to highlight.  For example, the nationalists influence within the politics of Ukraine is alarming, and a little digging reveals some pretty awful players within the current Ukrainian political landscape.  Thank you, Chris, for bringing some of this to light and helping us get a more educated view on the topic.  I agree with you, that if Russia has some ultra nationalists on their border, and they are in bed to a certain degree with western business interest, that info is important to consider.

I'd like to add the following events/stories which also shed a degree of light on Russia's (Putin's) less than innocent involvement in the current situation.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/07/russia-parades-detained-estonian-police-officer

and…

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/10/sweeden-hunting-for-possible-russian-submarine-off-stockholm-coast-108289.html

also…

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/25/russia.uk.intercepts/index.html

Finally, and this does not paint a particularly positive view of Putin's rise to power…

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/putins-way/

I am perfectly willing to entertain the idea the west is poking its nose into a situation where it should not, but tensions have risen because of circumstances, actions, and events on both sides.

I think the main story to watch here is an economic disintegration on some level, where the current tensions force one side to just go ahead and blame the other.  One event leads to another, a military situation unfolds, and the people of both sides are drawn into a conflict nobody really wants.

Peace,

Jason

 

Chris asked me:

So let's make this simple...how many counties has Iran invaded or bombed as compared to the US?
And the answer is: a number so small it is a hardly even a blip on the graph.

I hope you realize I am not trying to pick a fight. I respect both you and the PeakProsperity community too much for that.

So let me restate my comment in a more careful manner.

I agree with Chris' point that the US has intervened militarily in way too many ways and in way too many countries. I generally agree with the assertion that this behavior helps point to the conclusion that the US is acting the same way in the present Ukrainian conflict. However, it is my personal opinion that by using the chosen infographic to illustrate US military involvement, Chris has represented to me that Iran is innocent of ever using its military ("bombs") in a foreign country. I feel this is untrue. So while I agree with the larger point, I disagree with the method used to express it.

Hopefully we can all agree that preparing for what is unfolding in front of us is more important than debating my personal reaction to the chosen illustration.

…that oil will be supported at the margins by Obama. Got to have a viable oil industry for War don't we? Does this put a floor in? Does this stir the "Speculators". Oh the web we weave to deceive. A last thought: How in hell is an agreement with Iran going to play out with a War against Russia? I have my thoughts and the whole policy is plane stupid. Bomb their nuclear project to the ground and warn the world War is in effect should they attempt to supply Iran with the bomb, including Russia. Worst case, a couple detonations should chill everyone out. I hate too that we talk about such things so see how silly it is when we do? I fear self fulfilling prophesies more than realty.

Aloha! I am sure that back in 1775 when our Founding Fathers were fighting for our independence from Britain that they never conceived that the new nation of America would be an Empire just like the one they were fighting against back some 240 years ago. Still the USA is the new British Empire and the sun never sets on our military either.
Debating about the US Empire having more military adventures than Iran would be like debating Britain had more military adventures than the 13 State US Colony in 1775. Empires will be empires and it seems no matter how advanced our technology is millions must die using antiquated gunpowder that the Chinese invented before Marco Polo days. When will we get to test out the most profitable Apple product ever invented, the IGun? We've all been waiting for over 1,000 years now …

Lets go back to the 19th century and there is no end to Britain's military dominance. It wasn't that long ago that the UK turned Hong Kong back over to China. In fact most of todays battles in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world can be traced back to some British Lord drawing lines on a map indiscriminately to his Queen's liking. Never mind asking the huddled conquered masses what they want.

Oh look … here's one the Taiping Rebellion where upwards of some 30 million Chinese died with the help of British guns and bullets. That was about the same time as our own Civil War only no kids in a US school today have ever heard of the Taiping Rebellion because only the US Empire matters. Back then that Chinese Civil War killed 2% of the global population to equate it on todays population terms that would be over 140 million dead today.

Here is a link to a list of most all the 19th century death tolls that the British Empire had a hand in either directly or indirectly.

Humans killing humans is infinite. Then go back to the Roman Empire! Empires will be Empires!

So here's the thing. The US Foreign Policy never really has differed since the British Empire. It seems the strategy goes … "If you cannot take the land by force then arm the side you want to win and then you can control the ruling junta." The US bankers have a slightly different strategy … "Arm both sides!"

We can all agree that there would be about 90% less major global warfare if there were no weapons to fight them. The Chinese and Russians supply weapons to North Vietnam to kill US soldiers and then we supply weapons to Bin Laden to kill Russians in Afghanistan. Now we are doing it again in the Ukraine only it seems we shouldn't have killed Bin Laden, but instead hired him to run the Ukraine Army. HA!! I find it humorous how a rich angry Muslim guy who holes up in caves can defeat the Russian Army while a rich black golfer from Harvard can't even keep a US Ambassador alive and then has to lie about it to fain some sort of patriotic virtue. We've killed off our best military anti-Ruskie strategist! Patton would have made Bin Laden a General and ran those Commies all the way back to Moscow! Hillary-Hillary-Hillary … what have you done? Whitewater wasn't enough, huh???

The meat of all warfare is and always has been about "M-O-N-E-Y"! You cannot manufacture the needed weapons of war without it. Nobody manufactures more weapons of war than the US government and I might add makes a tidy profit from it as well. Over the past five months the US Treasury has logged in nearly $13BIL from Military Sales. The US government marketing arm for US defense vendors like Lockheed and General Dynamics and United Tech is the DSCA-Defense Security Cooperation Agency. This US government agency helps our defense contractors market and sell their wares to the "right" dictators and oppressors. US taxpayers spent around $4BIL so far this fiscal year to run bombs and bullets to foreigners for our weapons industry. Then the US Treasury has spent another $130BIL on those same Defense Vendors to stock up our own military. Empires will be Empires!

We now have the technological means for every US voter to directly vote on whether we want to go to war and whether we want to fund these defense contractors at the current levels. It seems our elected representatives once they get to Washington DC are incapable of actually representing us. Maybe it is time we took those matters of "life and death" out of their hands for good. After all it won't be their kids in the front lines against the Russian kids.

From 1911 … nothing changes. No matter if you call it Democracy or Communism or ISIS the pyramid is the same and the "money" rules. Empires will be Empires!

 

Something is going down… two different info. channels that I have access to are sounding very dire news of a possible coup or coup attempt in Russia.  Let's hope that this is not true as we don't need the world to be any less stable that it already is. 

I agree with you Jim.  Even if he is fine, the circumstances of the moment are at least something to watch.  He has not been seen for nine days?  State media reading the script of his having already met with the President Kyrgyzstan, which is a meeting which will take place on Monday, and then retracting it?  Just weird. At this point I have heard two possible theories…one involving the birth of his child, which just might be the case…the other theory has to do with his health. He did cancel is visit to Kazahkstan on March 10th.
Something to watch, anyway…

 

Note: this is not off-topic:
We should bear in mind that NIST's final report on the collapse of WTC 7 states on page 45 that the collapse was at free-fall acceleration for 8 stories (approximately 100 feet). That is physically impossible if fire - the official line - were the sole cause of the collapse. (No plane hit WTC 7.) Not only that, it came straight down and fell into its own footprint. see: http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=861610 just like a controlled demolition. Ask yourself how on earth 330 feet of roof parapet managed to collapse in unison due to a few small, isolated office fires.

Not only that, the onset of collapse was sudden, which is impossible with a collapse due solely to fire because steel work-hardens, see: http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200703/Sudden_collapse_initiation_impossible.pdf

9/11 is a topic that ruffles feathers and I apologise if this proves to be the case for any readers on this site. However, before having a go at me, I suggest that people browse the many articles published in the peer-reviewed Journal of 9/11 Studies, see: http://www.journalof911studies.com/.

In the meantime the rest of us should consider that if, as the above evidence strongly suggests, 9/11 was an inside job, then there are some very unpleasant people in positions of influence at a very high level in a nuclear armed country at a time when the possibility of nuclear warfare is a real and present danger. I suggest that it takes a particularly nasty type of person to set in motion the demolition of buildings whose evacuation is far from complete, or for that matter, carry out the atrocities performed as part of operation Gladio. They likely have the same nationality. Those same people might just get pleasure from launching a nuclear attack. Especially so if they believed it winnable in a meaningful way and also have access to well stocked nuclear bunkers, of course.

One way of spiking their guns and warning the public of their influence, or indeed their existence, is to publicly call for a fresh investigation into 9/11 and state the reasons why. This time one with the power of subpoena and fully independent from outside influence. We need a fresh one anyway seeing as Kean and Hamilton, the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, state in their book on the commission: Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, that "they believe they were set up to fail." As if that were not reason enough, the report itself does not mention WTC 7 and only discusses the collapses of the twin towers up to the point of initiation of collapse. It is only half a job, carefully avoiding the awkward issues. It fails to discuss any of the following areas of concern, such as the WTC 1's collapse apparently breaking Newton's Third Law of Motion; the sudden onset of collapse (of all three WTC buildings collapses) despite the metalurgical properties of structural steel; the presence of nano-thermite (a high speed incendiary material) throughout the WTC dust (from offices!); the very wide debris field; the high velocity (70 mph) of multi-ton structural members exiting horizontally supposedly under the influence of gravity; the extremely high temperatures (viz the molten iron/steel) achieved contrary to known temperature limits of office fires being about 500 C below the melting point of steel, etc. etc.

All that said, for me the scariest part of the above report is this: "A Russian military chief says the country's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) are ready to defend the country against any possible “lightning-speed” nuclear strike." (lightning-speed a.k.a. af pre-emptive first-strike.) I have stated before in this column that nuclear war today is winnable by whichever side launches a pre-emptive first-strike. It looks as though the Russians are warning us that if the West launches such a strike, or chillingly one is detected by mistake, they will launch their full response (a policy of 'launch on warning') before the precision of the modern nuclear missiles enables them to destroy all the hardened bunkers containing their launch infra-structure. We live in a time where any false alarm could have extremely dire consequences.

That would be one hell of an unintended consequence of a misread radar return from a flock of migrating geese, say. Oh, and don't think for one minute that nuclear subs are undetectable, the above aging French submarine, the Saphir, not withstanding, Trident missile subs are massive and detectable from surface bow waves, phased array passive sonar and probably magnetic and/or gravitational anomaly readings.,

I can only imagine that China must be looking on with glee. They would be de facto world leaders of any who managed to survive. Those of us in the West and in Russia who do survive will be busy defending whatever meager food they have 'prepped.' To pretend that business as usual can continue is pure folly. Mind you, it is not all bad. Nuclear Winter will put an end to any argument about climate change (and an end to many survivors of the nuclear exchange while it is at it!)

http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/.premium-1.647001?utm_source=dlvr.it&amp;utm_medium=twitter

Israel’s former ambassador to Russia: 'There are signs of a coup'

Zvi Magen believes army factions or wealthy businessmen could be behind President Vladimir Putin's disappearance.

By Taly Krupkin | Mar. 15, 2015 | 4:29 PM
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin was last seen in public on March 5, and in Russia there are increased fears he is the victim of an attempted coup by security organizations and the Russian army.

Israel’s former ambassador to Russia, Zvi Magen, told Haaretz he believes “there are many signs of a coup. The movement of the army around the Kremlin indicates that there is a change in government, or that an attempt at a change in government is being carried out.”

Magen believes those responsible for the potential coup are “branches or factions in the army who are working together or against one another, or wealthy businessmen, many of whom worked in these organizations. They could only be people who are free to walk around the corridors of the Kremlin.”

He says possible reasons include the ongoing sanctions imposed by the West on those close to the Kremlin, sanctions “that harm them personally. I don’t believe there’s a controversy there surrounding policy. They’re protecting their own interests.”

 

Nothing on the main stream press yet…one quick blurb about his "health" but at this point, that story is days old.  Nothing yet.  Interesting.

Janda had his geopol/Russia expert on during the last segment of his radio show, just finished.  Dave Janda is triangulating on two important facts - as with the best of the awake, he is a dot connector;

1)    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-12/wests-plan-drop-russia-swift-hilariously-backfires

2)   No response from Putin… in fact, no Putin since March 5.

So, Putin should have been all over his "win" over the West in forcing them to do a 180 deg. turn on the question of SWIFT, i.e. the West went from threatening to cut off Russia's banking system to giving them a seat at the table.  Was there a quid pro quo?  Were factions friendly to the West behind some kind of power grab?  Did the anglo bankers appease this faction with a release of sanctions of a sort?     

The other factor that Janda's guest brought to light was that there was a growing rift between Putin and other factions, including FSB (aka KGB) regarding the Chechin mafia, run by Kadyrov, who was apparently behind the cold blooded killing of Nemtsov recently in Moscow.  This, as well as his (Kadyrov's) support for the Islamist cause, may have been a step to far for factions that viewed Kadyrov as being protected by Putin.  Here is an article that sounds many of these same points;

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2995335/Vladimir-Putin-neutralised-stealthy-coup-rumours-health-continue-flourish.html
Lots of smoke here.  Huge black swan potential.  Will be interesting to see what the metals futures markets do tonight.