Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 8, 2015

A reply to cult leader David North on an American “first strike” on Russia

Filed under: conspiracism,cults,nuclear power and weapons — louisproyect @ 5:36 pm

Screen shot 2015-06-08 at 1.33.33 PM

David North

UPDATE: Comments have been closed on this article because I simply cannot waste my time replying to people who are not worth replying to. I regard the Socialist Equality Party as detritus left over from the period when sect and cult formations operated in much more fertile soil. Today they are completely irrelevant. I only commented on the WSWS’s laughable article because the website is influential to an extent on people who are not mentally ill. Those who are part of David North’s fan base had their moment to make their case here and they ruined it by evading my repeated demands that they explain the obvious contradiction between Robert Scher’s written statement and the comments he made–at least how they interpreted them–during the Congressional questioning seen on Youtube. That’s all folks. Don’t go away angry. Just go away.

* * * *

I don’t want to spend too much time replying to David North, the cult leader of a tiny group called the Socialist Equality Party that is one of the fragments left over from the breakup of sexual predator Gerry Healy’s International Committee of the Fourth International but it is worth pointing out once again why you read WSWS.org at your own risk, like smoking cigarettes or having unprotected sex. If the CP was syphilis in Trotsky’s eyes, this tiny group is not much more than a case of the crabs.

North thinks he has the goods on me because I referred my readers to Robert Scher’s opening statement to Congress. Scher, you will recall, was the source of a quote in AP reporter Robert Burns’s article that the WSWS interpreted as a possible first-strike nuclear attack on Russia after the fashion of Jack D. Ripper in Stanley Kubrick’s “Doctor Strangelove”. Burns told his readers that Scher said “we could go about and actually attack that missile where it is in Russia.” Taking Burns at his word, WSWS.org posted an article titled “U.S. Officials Consider Nuclear Strike Against Russia”.

North claims that the words do appear but not in the written statement Scher presented to Congress and only in the verbal response to questions posed by members of the committee:

The plain truth is that Robert Scher did make the statement attributed to him by the AP correspondent. However, the critical phrase (“we could go about and actually attack that missile where it is in Russia.”) does not appear in the written statement prepared by Scher in advance of the hearing. His opening statement, as is usually the case in congressional hearings, was not actually read by Scher. It was formally accepted and included in the record.

The real work of the subcommittee consisted of a 50-minute hearing at which Scher and several other witnesses answered questions put to them by congressmen. It was during the question and answer period that the statement relating to the Obama administration’s nuclear policy toward Russia was made.

The full video of the hearing is available on the YouTube channel of the House Armed Services Committee. Whether from laziness, dishonesty, or—most likely—a combination of the two, Proyect did not bother to consult the video record of the hearing.

In fact not much more than an hour after my article was posted, an old friend and professional archivist referred me to the Youtube clip in which Scher replies to the Congressmen. I listened to it and concluded that it reinforced my case. North admits that the word “attack” is not audible in the recording but is convinced that this is the only conclusion that makes sense. Sad, really.

Who knows if North read the written statement that I referred my readers to but it is clear that there is no difference between it and the answer he gave, as is obvious from North’s words, even if he did not understand their import: “He reviews three categories of military action (beginning at 17:50) that the US is considering if this does not happen.”

Undoubtedly the “three categories” are a reference to Scher’s Triad strategy outlined in his written statement that I alluded to in my article. As I pointed out, the Triad is not about a first strike but simply a restatement of long-standing Pentagon policy in line with “deterrence”, more accurately described as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). This is a policy deeply inimical to world peace but not a throwback to American threats brandished during the Korean War about nuking China, etc. when the USSR was not in a position to provide a nuclear umbrella for itself and its allies.

As it turns out, the word “attack” that North insists was either inaudible or clipped was supposed to be in the second leg of the Triad. Below is the text of Scher’s written statement. If you believe that any of this is a first-strike manifesto, then there’s not much I can say to persuade you otherwise—least of all the people in David North’s cult who maintain that Joseph Hansen, Leon Trotsky’s bodyguard, collaborated with the Kremlin to have Trotsky assassinated. They are beyond help and would probably only benefit from a stiff dose of Thorazine.

Each leg of the Triad contributes unique characteristics to the overall force. Strategic submarines (SSBNs) provide maximal survivability. Current U.S. nuclear posture preserves survivability by maintaining a continuous SSBN at-sea presence.

Land-based ICBMs provide the most rapid response capability, while maximizing Presidential decision making time and preventing accidental launch. Current U.S. nuclear posture preserves that responsiveness and reinforces crisis stability by maintaining most ICBMs on alert. The ICBM force complicates the planning of any adversary contemplating a disarming counterforce strike by vastly increasing the required scale of such an attack. For regional adversaries with smaller nuclear arsenals, the challenge of even targeting our ICBM force is insurmountable.

Nuclear-capable aircraft that can be forward-deployed provide the United States with flexibility and visibility that supports strategic deterrence, extended deterrence of potential adversaries, and assurance of U.S. allies and partners. The air leg represents the full Triad when used by the President to help signal resolve. In this capacity, these aircraft provide the President options for controlling and limiting escalation throughout all stages of a potential conflict.

The combined effect of all three legs is to force any adversary seeking to negate our deterrent to invest in multiple expensive capabilities, including large-scale hard-target kill capability, advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) technology, and extensive, multi-layered air defense.

The scale and complexity of this task protect the long-term survivability and credibility of our deterrent. Sustaining a full Triad also enables the policy objective of maintaining the ability to hedge effectively against failure of any single warhead or platform, and against shifts in the strategic and geopolitical environments.


  1. The “Nuclear Triad” has nothing to do with what Robert Scher is talking about in the hearing. The “Nuclear Triad” you mention and whose purpose you quote simply refers to the trio of nuclear weapon platforms – ICBM, Submarine, and Air – that make a first-strike against the United States impractical for most adversaries.

    However, the three categories of military activity described by Scher are first: active defense, i.e., Patriot/Iron Dome-style shooting down of in-flight nuclear missiles; the second, glitched comment, refers to striking missiles prior to launch – i.e., first strike of nuclear missiles while still in-silo (or in-sub/in-aircraft, one expects, given that Russia has a similar “Nuclear Triad”); and the third category involves targeting high-value, non-nuclear targets in Russia. Whether that refers to military installations, as the WSWS surmises, or political or industrial targets, is not made clear in his testimony, and the way he describes it suggests that the military itself has either not made a final determination or is holding that card close to its chest.

    Many things come in threes, and conflating the two trios described here as “undoubtedly” being the same reflects quite poorly on Proyect’s interpretive capacity.

    Comment by david — June 8, 2015 @ 6:28 pm

  2. You seem to have some sort of intellectual deficit. The supposedly incriminating comments from Scher are a reply to a Congressman’s question of what the USA will do about Russia’s violation of a nuclear arms treaty. He discusses the Triad strategy in his written statement EXACTLY beneath a reference to that violation. In other words, the written and the oral record jibe with each other even if that makes the nutty conspiracists of the WSWS universe uncomfortable.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 8, 2015 @ 6:40 pm

  3. The US currently has no need for a nuclear first strike since they have overwhelming superiority to Russia in every aspect of geo political warfare. It is Russia that is more likely to brandish the threat simply because they are very weak and may be backed into a corner. Not unlike Japan at Pearl Harbor. This doesn’t make the US good, of course not, ‘Washington’ is the greatest threat to peace in the world with its desire to maintain global hegemony.

    Comment by purple — June 8, 2015 @ 7:18 pm

  4. I cannot fathom why you are clinging to this line of defense, which is demonstrably false and so demonstrated by simply listening to Scher’s testimony. You are quoting a response to a different question. Are you somewhere without speakers? Do you want me to transcribe it Scher’s remarks? I looked through his prepared statements, and his actual prepared response to the specific question being asked here is as follows:

    As you are aware, we have
    already taken a number of military steps to strengthen security in NATO and reassure our allies.
    The DoD continues to develop and refine potential military responses to Russia’s violation of the
    INF Treaty. Because the Administration continues to formulate a comprehensive diplomatic,
    economic and military response to Russia’s violation I cannot be more specific regarding those
    military responses at this time. I can say, however, that our patience with Russian intransigence
    regarding its violation of the INF Treaty is not unlimited. As an Administration, we are
    committed to ensuring Russia does not achieve a significant military advantage from its

    The statement that he “cannot be more specific” effectively explains the video glitch at the moment he, going off-script, uses the word “attack” to describe a potential US response. The commitment to disallow Russia from achieving “significant military advantage” from what the US claims are violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and Scher’s response to the question, absolutely suggest that the US is considering striking (what US intelligence considers) stockpiles or deployment locations of Russian intermediate-range nuclear missiles. It does not specifically suggest that the US is considering attacking Russian nukes with its own nuclear weapons, though obviously the prospect of the US military launching an attack on Russian nuclear weapons sites augurs poorly for the prospect of global nuclear peace.

    Comment by david — June 8, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

  5. I have just transcribed his comments quickly, forgive any typos:

    Scher: We hope that we can show and demonstrate to them that there was a reason that why the predecessor government, the Soviet Union, went into this treaty in the first place. That it was in their safe- that it was in their security and benefited their security to do so. Simultaneously, with trying to convince them of that, we are looking at what actions we can take to assure that any violation of the INF treaty does not provide significant military advantage to the Russians. As people have testified previously to this subcommittee and elsewhere, we look at that in sort of three categories of military activities. One is active defense: what we can do to defend places in Europe, locations that are um, that the INF treaty violating missile could reach. Another one is taking a look at how we could go about and actually *attack* that missile, where it is, in Russia. And then, subsequently, a third part is understanding that it is not simply attacking that capability, but that we can look at what things we can hold at risk within Russia itself. We are still looking at all of those possibilities, narrowing down what we think would be the most effective, and working very closely with our allies to determine how to best deter this aggression from Russia, deter and bring Russia back in.

    I am eager to see how you link that statement to the notion of the nuclear triad (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_triad ) or whether your ego allows you to capitulate on this obvious point.

    Comment by david — June 8, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

  6. I have read both North’s article and this reply by Proyect. North wrote that it was unclear whether Proyect’s slanders against the WSWS article were based on laziness, dishonesty, or both at once. This reply settles the matter. It is both at once.

    By Proyect’s own admission, he did not even bother to look up the video of the hearing before issuing his foul-mouthed attack on the WSWS. Once the WSWS and a friend provided him with the video, Proyect claims, he finally got around to watching it.

    Yet he dishonestly does not cite its contents. If watched the video, Proyect knows that the entire sentence he claimed was fabricated by the AP reporter, minus the glitched-out word “attack,” does in fact occur. Yet he hides this from the readers of this blog. He says only that the word “attack” does not appear.

    This false trick is the only defense Proyect can muster for his now-discredited claim that Burns fabricated the phrase cited by the WSWS.

    He then uses another trick: claiming that Scher’s “triad” of strike strategies for war with Russia is just the “strategic triad” of launch vehicles for US nuclear weapons (submarines, bombers, & ground-based launchers). This is absurd. Strike plans are not the same thing as physical weapon systems. It’s apples and oranges, and even Proyect knows that.

    This false comparison appears to be designed only to allow him to add in a long, irrelevant quote at the end of his post, to put on airs and try to salvage the tattered remains of his reputation.

    Comment by Kovacs — June 8, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

  7. This is remarkable. You have a written document that does not say a single word about a first strike. That document forms the basis for the questioning of Robert Scher. You believe that in the questioning he advances a completely different response to Russian violations of a nuclear arms treaty that can not be found in an official document? Instead of parsing the answer he gave during the Q&A, maybe you can tell us where in the document there is even the slightest hint of a first strike to take out Russian nuclear weapons, something that would start World War Three and the end of civilization. I understand that there is a kind of hysterical quality to WSWS reporting but this really beggars the imagination.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 8, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

  8. Did you not read the transcript? “Another one is taking a look at how we could go about and actually *attack* that missile, where it is, in Russia.” ‘That missile’ refers to any nuclear missile that he claims violates the TNF treaty. He dances around the issue in the submitted remarks. It’s all right there. What do you not understand?

    Comment by david — June 8, 2015 @ 8:14 pm

  9. And obviously even more terrifying is his “third category” of targets not directly related to Russia’s nuclear launch capability that he thinks are fair game as part of a response to TNF violations.

    Comment by david — June 8, 2015 @ 8:16 pm

  10. Since you are insistent that it must be directly alluded to in the “official document,” the line:

    As an Administration, we are
    committed to ensuring Russia does not achieve a significant military advantage from its

    which is in the submitted remarks, is recited immediately before his expounding upon that statement, which includes comments regarding a potential (presumably non-nuclear) “first-strike” on Russian nuclear weapons which violate the TNF treaty.

    Comment by david — June 8, 2015 @ 8:21 pm

  11. David, you are repeating yourself. If you believe that we are in danger of World War Three because of an article in the World Socialist Website whose conclusions are shared by nobody except the similarly inclined (Global Research et al), there’s not much I can say to convince you otherwise. My analysis is based on Marxism. There was a serious threat of nuclear war when the USSR existed, and even more so before they developed a nuclear capability. Before the nastiness over Ukraine developed, American and British oil companies were partnering with Gazprom over exploration and drilling. There are Ferrari dealerships in Moscow and Russian oligarchs own apartments in New York that cost $20 million. Under such conditions, a war that will destroy the possibility of the American and Russian bourgeoisie to enjoy the fruits of their exploitation is virtually prohibited. Such a war might take place in the future but only under conditions that threaten the existence of an economic system based on private property.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 8, 2015 @ 8:23 pm

  12. This false trick is the only defense Proyect can muster for his now-discredited claim that Burns fabricated the phrase cited by the WSWS.

    There is no trick. My analysis is based on the official report that Scher gave to Congress. There is not a single word about a nuclear strike to “take out” Russian missiles. When he is questioned by the Congressmen, he advances a strategy that is 180 degrees opposite to the document he submitted? And based on the word “attack” that is inaudible and that nobody outside the Global Research/WSWS/Paul Craig Roberts/Mike Whitney universe can take seriously? Well, believe what you want. You are resistant to facts and logic apparently.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 8, 2015 @ 8:38 pm

  13. Yes, I repeated myself because you have repeatedly demonstrated yourself unable to understand what was said. That you think the fact that Russian Oligarchs own Manhattan real estate (largely purchased outright, not even financed, which could potentially leave american banks on the hook,) and that a tiny Italian subsidiary of a former defense contractor (Chrysler) whose parent still likely retains some ownership interest in General Dynamics (a current major defense contractor) following the sale of Chrysler defense to GD as an explanation for why the US wouldn’t dare launch an attack on Russia belies your incapacity to honestly assess the factors at play. No, my belief is not based on the WSWS, but I do appreciate their pointing out to me those underlying facts upon which I base my assessment that the risk is far higher than you are allowing. Ownership of Ukrainian gas transit rights has obviously spiraled into something far more than you would have anticipated, correct?

    Comment by david — June 8, 2015 @ 9:23 pm

  14. Mr Proyect seems increasingly desperate.

    He claims he has (finally) seen the video of the House subcommittee hearing. It contains the sentence Mr Proyect claimed that Burns had fabricated and that he attacked the WSWS for citing. Proyect knows that the sentence in question was in fact spoken at the hearing. I have seen the video, Proyect has seen the video, it is publicly available and anyone with an Internet connection who wants to make up their mind on this issue can click on the link and watch it. It shows that the Associated Press and the WSWS were right, and that Mr Proyect was wrong.

    Yet instead of admitting that he is wrong, Mr Proyect has more tricks. He says his analysis is based on the written report Scher submitted to the House subcommittee before the hearing. Mr Proyect can claim that he can’t find the text from the video in the written report, and then add some more pointless speculation about how Scher’s testimony might or might not differ from his report. This is all beside the point: we don’t have to speculate about Scher’s testimony to the House subcommittee, just watch it on YouTube to see what Scher said.

    I don’t know how long Mr Proyect will try to keep up this little fiction that his attack on the WSWS was respectable scholarship, Marxist, part of building a “fucking mass movement” etc, etc. Frankly, it is a pretty pathetic spectacle. US policy against Russia is obviously very, very scary, and a so-called “Unrepentant Marxist” is covering up for it.

    Comment by Kovacs — June 8, 2015 @ 9:30 pm

  15. There are multiple reasons why the U.S. would go to war with Russia. The first is over Russian advancements in the Ukraine. The U.S. has spent a substantial amount of money, and supported a substantial number of fascists and neo-Nazis, in order to influence Ukraine’s ties to the West, including its future involvement with NATO. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support of Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian provinces certainly puts a wrench into those plans. So obviously the war could erupt over the Ukraine.

    Syria is perhaps another area. The U.S. is now considering ground forces in Syria as opposed to just air strikes. We know that the ultimate goal of the U.S. is to oust Assad, even if it means allying with the fanatical ISIS to do so. We also know Russia is allied with Assad (probably because he is an impediment to U.S. advancements in the Middle East which rival Russia’s own). This, too, is a potential flashpoint. Does the U.S. want war with Russia over Syria? No. Will it countenance it if need be in pursuit of its own geo-strategic interests? Yes, in a heartbeat.

    Next, there is the issue of Russian domination over gas supplies which many in Europe are reliant on. This is a huge handicap for the U.S. as it prevents its European allies from opposing Russian interests too strongly, lest they get cut off (something Russia has already threatened, particularly with Ukraine).

    Another issue, perhaps the most ominous one, is Russia’s friendly relations with China. As we know from Obama’s pivot to Asia and the recent scary encounters between the U.S. and Chinese armed forces over Chinese land reclamation (thanks to an embedded CNN), there are sparks in the South China Sea that could ignite into a wider war. The U.S. has already enlisted the services of Australia, the Philippines, and is courting India and Sri Lanka, and not too many days ago, signed a military deal with Vietnam, all aimed at challenging China’s attempt to claim the precious resources of the South China Sea, which the U.S. has designs on. As it stands, the U.S. has fully militarized the area, including bases on land in Australia and aircraft carriers and regular air force flights, all designed to test China’s responses. With Russia being allied with China, it would certainly come to its defense if war broke out.

    The WSWS has done excellent analysis on putting these developments in perspective. I think that is the essential point that must be gained from the WSWS’ reporting in the aggregate, regardless of whether this particular article was mistaken (I happen to side with the WSWS over Proyect, but even if I didn’t, the WSWS’s reporting on U.S. nuclear policy since the beginning of the year and perhaps earlier has been spot on and paints a darkening pictures of relations among the world’s largest economies, which ultimately relate back to the crisis of American capitalism which is currently ongoing since the crash of September 2008).



    Comment by Adam Cortright — June 8, 2015 @ 9:37 pm

  16. The statements by Scher were prompted by congressional questioning regarding a). the US Military’s current budget and capability and b). the alleged violation by Russia of the INF and the most appropriate response by the US. To be confronted with the chilling implications of such statements and dismiss them out of hand testifies to an astounding level of political bankruptcy. Would you prefer to deny any nuclear threat until the President goes on TV and promises that bombing will begin in five minutes, and without joking about it this time? You also assert that the immense wealth captured by world capitalism at the expense of the rest of the population stands as an insurmountable bulwark to preparations for war. If that were the case, then, our political tasks rightly would consist of the continued funneling of billions into the coffers of the top 0.1 and 0.01% of the population as a form of “protection” money. In fact, this is immense polarization of wealth is not an indication of capitalist strength but precisely the opposite. The US government has already decimated entire societies in the Middle East and has shown its willingness already to drop atom bombs on innocent populations. Why would they refuse to do that now, when they are even more politically and ethically bankrupt than the were in 1945? And one final point, your assertion that you can’t hear the word “attack” in the video record is meaningless as he repeats the word within the very next sentence. And one piece of personal advice for you. Presuming that you are in retirement, I think you’d probably enjoy these golden yearsmore by not being a shill for the US state department. Just a thought.

    Comment by dav — June 8, 2015 @ 9:43 pm

  17. WSWS is great at sock puppetry and brigading those who offend them. Keep up the good fight!

    Comment by Ret — June 8, 2015 @ 10:12 pm

  18. What the vulgarian Proyect cannot do and will not do, so typical of the ex-left, is to make an analysis of the times in which we live. Why is it so far-fetched that American imperialism’s military-intelligence apparatus is now discussing the possibility of nuclear strikes against its enemies? Given everything we have seen in the last fifteen years, all of the irrationality and recklessness that have emanated form Washington at the cost of the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, to say — and to arm with evidence — that the US is preparing for world war against nuclear-armed rivals is nothing more than a sober assessment, and an absolutely obligatory one for Marxists.

    The WSWS has done an essential service to the international working class by locating the relentless American war drive in the protected decline of economic hegemony of the US, the vast chasm of social inequality, and white-hot social tensions at home. Proyect’s staggeringly irresponsible pronouncements lack not only an honest use of the facts, but a coherent historical perspective. His behavior is not serious. It does not speak of concern for the fate of millions of people who are exposed to very real war threats, much less any sense of intellectual self-respect. He will be as little remembered as any of the thousands of petty-bourgeois mutton-heads who foresaw nothing in July 1914.

    Comment by Sandy — June 9, 2015 @ 12:30 am

  19. This is the point that Scher is asked the relevant question:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2DRWzmNVQg&feature=youtu.be&t=16m58s
    This is the point at which he starts his answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2DRWzmNVQg&feature=youtu.be&t=17m50s

    As you can see the three methods that he describes has absolutely nothing to do with the classic nuclear triad (Land, sea and air based nuclear weapon systems) that was the mainstay of Mutually assured Destruction (MAD) during the cold war.
    Mr Poyect is trying to connect two utterly disconnected things in an effort to confuse and cover up. The fact of the matter is that US defense official Scher makes an official statement in response to a question from a Republican senator, which essentially is about preemptive strike on Russian missile assets as well as other sites within Russia. In calling out this incident the WSWS is entirely vindicated.
    Your supposed ‘rebuttal’ of their article amounted to pathetic ad hominem attacks and plain lying.

    Comment by Mark Abraham — June 9, 2015 @ 1:36 am

  20. You? Basing your analysis on Marxism? When have you ever done that? You support US imperialism in Syria and Ukraine, you defend Syriza who are as much dedicated to austerity as PASOK and ND and joined a coalition with right-wing racists. You are a stooge, betraying a proud tradition of revolutionaries who fought for the emancipation of the working class. Just as arrogantly you call yourself a Marxist you denounce the SEP and WSWS even though you have shown a complete lack of knowledge about it. They are not cultists, they do not have shrines to Comrade North, the WSWS is the largest socialist news site, far above your petty blog. They engage in “building the fucking mass movement” in, for example, the oil refinery strikes earlier in the year.

    Comment by Chris — June 9, 2015 @ 1:50 am

  21. US policy against Russia is obviously very, very scary

    So this means that you think a first strike against Russian missiles is in the offing, something that would lead to hundreds if not thousands of H-Bombs being shot in either direction. All on the basis of a poorly recorded Q&A with Scher that is a total contradiction of the written statement that he gave to Congress? You people have yet to explain that contradiction. I am still waiting. Maybe when the Messiah comes…

    Comment by louisproyect — June 9, 2015 @ 2:19 am

  22. Chris, thank you for finally stop repeating the poorly recorded Scher Q&A. As a psychiatrist might say to a patient, I think we are finally making some progress.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 9, 2015 @ 2:21 am

  23. What a pathetic spectacle. Post after post from WSWS supporters that refuses to explain why Scher would say one thing in a written statement and something totally different in a Q&A in response to the same question: what is the USA going to do about Russian violations of an arms treaty? The fact that none of you can even make a feeble attempt to resolve this contradiction demonstrates how intoxicated you are on the propaganda of a bizarre little cult that has never lifted a finger against capitalist oppression in the USA. Not a single strike, a single mass protest, a single blow against the bosses in the 20 years or so the SEP-tic group has been around. It is basically a sideshow, a freak show to be more accurate, that only exists because David Green is a cockroach capitalist who can afford to pay the staff that blindly follows his diktat. What sorry scum you are.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 9, 2015 @ 2:28 am

  24. From a thread at http://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/39338o/wsws_gets_mad_at_blog_when_called_out_about/:

    [–]AnonSocialistMarxist-Leninist-Trotskyist: CWI[S] 3 points 11 hours ago*

    Ah, another SEP sock puppet. Didn’t take long for you to come out of the wood work. Two years of non-activity and this blog post brings you back from the preverbal grave.

    The original article uses the a patently false title, then went on to defend the politically salacious title by saying that the DoD official made the comment, which wasn’t audible, and not even in the context it was claimed. The original article is “US officials consider nuclear strikes against Russia”, a title that only Alex Jones would think is appropriate for boilerplate assessments of this report. The very fact of the matter is that there is literally nothing said here that hasn’t been US DOD rhetoric for the past 50 years, and no no way points to active discussion of an impending American first strike. And this is just addressing the ludicrous title itself.

    Going on to the article in question’s content many Chicken Little-esque gems can be found such as: “The options go so far as one implied—but not stated explicitly—that would improve the ability of US nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory.” In other words, the US is actively preparing nuclear war against Russia.

    How can anyone capable of basic reading take this as ‘actively preparing nuclear war against Russia’? This is literally the same saber-rattling that has been going on between the US and Russia since 1947, and while no one here should support it, it’s not news, and it’s not an active preparation for a nuclear war.

    Or how about this nugget:

    US officials threatening Russia cannot know how the Kremlin will react to such threats. With Moscow concerned about the danger of a sudden NATO strike, Russia is ever more likely to respond to perceived signs of NATO military action by launching its missiles, fearing that otherwise the missiles will be destroyed on the ground. The danger of miscalculations and miscommunications leading to all-out war is immensely heightened.

    The authors acts as though these types of exercises have stopped in anyway, shape or form. Breaking news, this has literally been going on non-stop in and around the USSR/Russia since the 1950s, without a single break. Even during the ‘War On Terror’ the US TRADOC didn’t shift from fighting Russia to fighting in the Middle East until the late 2000s. It also ignores the fact Russia, like the US, depends on land based nuclear deterrence. Both the US and Russia have had each others static ground based nuclear forces target for as long as there have been ICBMs. That’s exactly why the USSR and USA invested billions into cruise, mobile and submarine based nuclear weapons. Russia isn’t going to start a nuclear war over what they have literally known to be true for 50 years.

    These type of sensationalist reporting does nothing but further undermine the political line of the SEP and would be bad enough on its own. But then someone dared to question the reporting of the WSWS and what happened? Well, just like what happened to /u/G0VERNMENT when she decided to point out he rape apologia of the WSWS, a hit piece was soon to follow. Making assertions that somehow the author of the blog was upset by the reporting by the WSWS. Using such cutting barbs as saying that the author should have his potty mouth washed out with soup. The article, as MO of the WSWS, further sensationalizes a real problem, thus making it seem like all socialists are edgy liberal Infowarriors, by misconstruing ideas such as active defense into active plans for an American first strike on Russian nuclear missile sites. So just like with their defense of rapists and bigots, the WSWS in their defense of their sensationalist, even politically salacious, articles have done nothing but further go off the deep end.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 9, 2015 @ 12:35 pm

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