Time to Pay Attention — In the Last 48 Hours, Humanity Just Moved to the Brink of World War

world-war-3By Claire Bernish

Months of disquieting and needless escalation between the United States and Russia over Syria and the Asia-Pacific theater has quickened feverishly to near outright hostility over the past 48 hours, and — considering semantics from both ends suggestive of antebellum blame-casting — it’s past time to pay attention.

Indeed, though a few analysts still dismissively liken the tensions to so much blustery rhetoric, a growing number contend obstinate U.S. posturing about Russian aggression hasn’t been taken so lightly by President Vladimir Putin and his rapidly amassing allies.

Additionally, it now seems the U.S. has backed its incessant finger-pointing with the subtle language necessary to undertake what could best, if ironically, be termed a ‘defensive first strike.’

While full-scale nuclear war might indeed be an outside possibility at this early date, the specter of full military engagement is quickly materializing on several fronts. To understand how we arrived so near this precipice, a series of events and statements over the previous month should be considered contextually with those of the last two days.

After officially accusing the Russian government on Friday of attempting to influence the presidential election by hacking into and leaking documents from the Democratic National Committee servers — which, despite fast efforts to save face, undoubtedly tarnished the reputations of party members and nominee Hillary Clinton — President Obama offered an alarming statement Tuesday giving that accusation sharp teeth.

“There are a range of responses that are available to the president and he will consider a response that is proportional,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest, quoted by Reuters, told media aboard Air Force One. “It is certainly possible that the president can choose response options that we never announce.”

Speculation on an unnamed option largely centered around some form of cyber response, given the original accusation of hacking — however, it must be noted, two years ago the Obama administration deemed hacking an act of cyberterrorism and an utmost security priority — ‘terrorism’ being of critical relevance given the ongoing war against it.

Notably, U.S. officials have previously asserted cyber attacks, in some cases, could elicit a military response.

Without unassailable proof the Russian government hacked the DNC, any putative ‘response’ by the U.S. — proportional or not, cyber-oriented or not — would inherently be an aggressive first strike. Given the dispute over definitive evidence tracing the hack to Russia, any follow-through could conceivably be considered an act of war and/or terrorism.

As such, an actual response of any nature has been posited unlikely — however, in consideration of last week’s belligerent remarks by U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, downplaying the potential for a response could be foolhardy.

“The strategic resolve of our nation, the United States, is being challenged and our alliances tested in ways that we haven’t faced in many, many decades,” Milley told attendees of an annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army.

“I want to be clear to those who wish to do us harm … the United States military — despite all of our challenges, despite our [operational] tempo, despite everything we have been doing — we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that.”

Milley went on to note Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran have “revised their own doctrines” and “are rapidly modernizing their military today to avoid our strengths in hopes of defeating us at some point in the future.”

Quoting an unnamed senior Russian official, Milley advised “Russia can now fight a conventional war in Europe and win.”

Whether or not Russian military would wind up fighting in Europe could be an entirely moot issue, as NATO has been amassing thousands of troops in Eastern Europe under the premise of protecting nervous nations from possible invasion. That assemblage of troops has been cited by Russia as posing an aggressive nuclear threat  — which officials from the U.S. and its allies have laughed off as absurd.

“Across the Atlantic, we’re refreshing NATO’s nuclear playbook — to better integrate conventional and nuclear deterrence, to ensure we plan and train like we’d fight, and to deter Russia from thinking it can benefit from nuclear use in a conflict with NATO,” U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter stated September 29.

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Russian Foreign Ministry officials responded by reiterating the perception of American aggression, as quoted by the Washington Post, “Carter’s statement means that if Russia comes under attack from U.S. allies, the Americans will be ready to back it and threaten to use their nuclear weapons against us. We would like to think that Washington understands the meaning of such statements and their possible consequences for international security and stability.”

On Tuesday, a startlingly broad ‘recommendation’ published in Znak, Russian state officials and government workers were advised to immediately pull family members from study abroad programs — or any other endeavors — in Europe to return to the motherland. Translated by Zero Hedge and cited by Znak, political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky — albeit noting the controversy of the recommendation — said, in part, “this is all part of a package of measures to prepare the elites for some ‘big war’ even if it is rather conditional …”

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Also on Tuesday, Putin abruptly canceled a planned trip to Paris over the unraveling situation in Syria.

Russia also issued two altogether unambiguous admonitions last Thursday, stating continued U.S. endeavors in Syria could lead to all-out war.

“I would like to caution Washington’s colleagues to carefully consider the possible consequences of such plans,” said Russian Major General Igor Konashenkov in a statement, adding, “I remind U.S. strategists that air cover for the Russian military bases in Tartus and Hmeymim includes S-400 and S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, the range of which may come as a surprise to any unidentified flying objects.”

Observers rightly focused on the latter portion of the previous statement as a warning to the United States that Russia would not hesitate to strike first, ask no questions later — since it would be justified in defending ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in a sovereign nation by request.

However, the second warning — after the U.S. bombing of Assad’s troops in mid-September flared contention — constitutes, in actuality, the greater portent.

Konashenkov, as Underground Reporter noted, “made clear Russia has a number of servicemen and aid workers in several communities in Aleppo, and that ‘any strikes on territories controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat’ to Russian citizens.”

Dropping all pretenses, he added, “I am warning anyone, that after the U.S.-led coalition jets bombed positions of the Syrian government forces on September 17 in Deir ez-Zor, we will take all necessary measures to prevent other American ‘mistakes’ against the Russian military or other military facilities in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

China, which had originally intimated support for Russia over the U.S. quest to oust Assad, has fomented its alliance in recent days. According to one analyst, there “is no question that there is correlation, coherence and coordination between Russia and China on the Syrian issue.”

Russia has similarly indicated it would back China over the intricate territorial dispute in the South and East China Seas, particularly in defense against meddling by the United States and its ally South Korea — who will shortly deploy the U.S.’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) amid contention from both rival nations, as well as its citizenry.

Although THAAD ostensibly could only be deployed in a defensive capacity, China and Russia criticize its proximity to the Chinese border as an act of direct aggression. On Tuesday the two nations announced plans to hold their second joint anti-missiles drill in 2017. According to a nationalist outlet cited by Reuters, Chinese Major Gen. Cai Jun stated,

The United States’ blind development of anti-missile systems that exceed demand and its search for absolute unilateral military superiority inevitably damage global strategic equilibrium and gravely harm major powers’ strategic trust.

* * *

One article could not do justice to the multi-fronted, labyrinthine conflict as it now stands, but with the current situation described by some as more dangerous than even the Cuban Missile Crisis — which nearly drew the U.S. into the first nuclear war — it would perhaps be advisable to focus on swiftly-unfolding international news rather than exhaustively debating lesser-evilism.

As former Soviet Union leader and Nobel Prize-winner Mikhail Gorbachev cautioned Monday,

I think the world has reached a dangerous point.

Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


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18 Comments on "Time to Pay Attention — In the Last 48 Hours, Humanity Just Moved to the Brink of World War"

  1. Thanks to Obama/Hillary foreign policy.

  2. If war against the bankster military hegemon was looming then why did Obama transfer control over internet protocols to ICANN, Hillary back the transfer of classified military tech to Russia’s Skolkovo along with other cutting edge tech from Silicon Valley, and the banksters OK the addition of the yuan to the IMF SDR = the gestating proto-global currency??

    “Russia can now fight a conventional war in Europe and win.” Absolutely nuts and absurd brinkmanship rhetoric given Russian billionaire oligarchs have their wealth and family members ensconced in the west, living in the lap of luxury. Not only that, but Russia and the rest of the world are in no financial shape to wage war. Russia has nearly spent all of its wealth fund and in a year or so is expected to have to dip into pensions and other national social funds to meet its budget.

    • Au contraire, war has a way of rehydrating dry national treasuries, at least while the war is being fought, ……….afterwards?

      • Afterwards – true, big caveat. Yes, I understand and you have a point…except the new economic system being created by the “usual suspects” is not capitalism, it’s resource based with all the resources under the deep capture of multinational corporations and international bodies such as the UN…. I realize you don’t agree with using an “internationalist” lens. Although, in my experience the more information I have sourced and verified the clearer this paradigm becomes and I ALWAYS use a “falsifiable” approach to data gathering as it is part of my professional training – i.e. I deliberately look for solid information that will counter my theses. BTW, there are some economists who say the notion that “wars” bring economies out of recessions or depressions are lopsided, mistaken, or misconceptions. It’s always a shell game, anyway.

  3. Oh, with the lying crooked media we’re stuck with these days it’s much more important to…create tall tales about and try to discredit Trump as much as possible as opposed to telling the citizenry about something as…unimportant as the criminal warmongering neocons trying to start a war with Russia over Syria. Here’s something else the ethically challenged lying mainstream media has blown. Trump by a landslide in November…

    • Over a US election? Are you serious? I don’t think they’re playing, I think the elites really want a world war.

  4. Sorry I’m fed up with the negative – let’s stop it!

    • You’ll have to kill the elites to do that. World war III will help them to fulfill multiple agendas and solidify power. If people were smart, they’d take out the elites… would have done so already. Being stuck in a world war will drain everyone’s resources, kill many, many people, and mean everyone left will be weaker and less able to fight the elites. Martial law will also be in place all over the damn world! Perhaps we’ve waited to long on this, but it seems most didn’t seem to think of going after the elites directly. This is going to be a mess if it does come to a world war…

  5. Lying trash – no solution !!

  6. Busdriver Bill | October 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Reply

    An 82 year old pundit ponders:

    Were a WW3 to break out, only one power group might benefit. Should missiles start flying back and forth, the populations of Russia and the US would be most effected, and who might that benefit, you may ask? Well, International Zionism, that’s who, as they have an agenda of world domination, first through economic control, and then – much later, after a reduction in world population – by dictatorship and slavery through a “New World Order.” The only real obstructions to this NWO move are Russia and the remaining sane, conservative, sovereign minority in the US. The folks in “power” in the US have been mulling over various ways to disenfranchise (castrate) these folks, but always face the problem of the 100,000,000+ gun owners. A nuclear false flag, followed by Martial Law is, I’m reasonably certain, one possibility. WW3 would seem like “over-kill” to coin a phrase. Perhaps a false flag pandemic, with mandatory vaccination, and some sort of martial control might also be in the works. I see probings in some of these directions. Needless to say – stock up on Hoppe’s, ammo, and good cleaning rags, as it disappears quickly.

  7. More than just Syria, Crimea, etc… US became crazy after Putin, China and the BRICS when they try to move away from the Dollar…

  8. Putin would have no problem launching preemptive nukes with zero warning.

  9. Obama might well want to leave office with the U.S. a smoking ruin.

  10. y3shuA imMANu3l | October 15, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Reply

    “Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve…Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then, you will achieve your destiny.”

  11. y3shuA imMANu3l | October 17, 2016 at 2:01 am | Reply

    “The latent Power underlying the whole system is LOVE, hence in His Love we exist, and we can only conclude that our home is in His Heart, since Love is an emanation of the heart— not of the mind. It precludes all doubt that man, seeking admission into the Heart of God, must retire to the inner chamber of his own heart and, after entering into the innermost sanctuary, where none can enter but himself— in the utter Stillness he may make obedience to God and feel the warm response from the Great Heart of His Being and perchance hear the Voice of the Father of his being, which would sound very small and still in the quietness of his sanctuary.”
    〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰
    “Each soul is held in the Heart of the God continually and never forgotten for a moment of time. Through the heart man may become attuned with the Great Source of his being and thus receive an inflow of strength and power and love, which inflow harmonizes and transmutes, not only his mind and body above all other influences, but his affairs as well. In so doing man becomes immune to all other influences. The more he harmonizes and tunes in with God, the more powerful he becomes and the more immune to so-called evil influences.”
    〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰
    “It is only through the heart the contact may be made. That is apparent, for in the mind there is not the warm consciousness of life which one finds in the heart. There is but one Way and one Portal, though man may attempt to reach It through devious ways and diverse portals. Only in the innermost sanctuary of his own heart, may this heavenly state of Bliss be attained. Be not misled by the many processes of the mind with its many fascinating devices; at-one-ment with God cannot be so attained. Such fascinating dreams turn to ashes and the disciple finds himself drawn backward on the Path instead of upward. The Path of Attainment is one-pointed, requiring constant attention upon the one Source of all Good, with no deviation. The mind must be trained and governed very much like an unruly animal.”
    〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰
    “Be ye conscious of your at-one-ment with God, the Author of your being. Keep your minds and hearts fixed upon that one Source of Good and may no other reflection find room in that sanctuary which is most sacred to you. When ye pray let your minds and hearts rest upon the ONE. Pray not for the things of this world, but that ye may become harmonized and transmuted into glorious beings, as is God.”
    〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰
    “Not only is it your privilege to transmute yourself, but in recognizing only the positive good in all forms ye assist God in the Great Transformation of all life, from the lowest to the highest, into the true form of perfection. Ye have considerable work to do, not only with your own selves, but also in the great vineyard of God, pressing the wine from the grapes…”

  12. Dr. Mike Reeder | October 18, 2016 at 6:54 am | Reply

    The unethical MSM is actually trying to pull the U.S. into a confrontation with Russia AND China by saying whatever kind of things are necessary do that. We have Mr. Obama, (and most of the left) denigrating our military by dismissing it’s generals, allowing queers to serve in it’s ranks doing everything it can to besmirch it’s integrity and fighting ability. We have 98% of our Air Force on an island in Syria’s territory, we don’t even have enough pilots to fly these planes, we have Mr. Biden shooing his mouth off about our own cyber attack of Russia and moving out national readiness to DEFCON 3. That’s all in the NEWS! What more warning does an enemy need to take us out? We’re supporting ISIS in Syria and even letting them come onto American soil through a non-vetting process.This is absurd! Syria means nothing to us! Let’s get ISIS outta there and join with the Russians or whom ever to do so! Folks we are rapidly becoming the evil empire that Ronald Regan warned us about! Let us STOP this stupidity NOW! There will always be places to pick a fight but our military is in no position to do it at this point. And, for gods, sake, let’s not tell the enemy what we’re gonna do! Let us build up and modernize our military to the point where we can take on ALL comers and have a change of actually winning. If we’re going to do something, don’t announce it to the world first! Let us do it, not apologize and move on with nation building. Neither Hil-liar-ly nor Obama are the people to do that. Mr. Trump is! So, let’s get this election over, MR. Trump in the oval office and these other pretenders outta the picture!

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