This is Guns and Butter.
Andrei Raevsky, The Saker: I think it’s a person who is an Israel Firster, very, very strong Zionist ideological bent, definitely puts Israel above the United States for sure. Secondly, I would say people who truly believe in violence and force as a way to solve every conflict, people who have no use for diplomacy – internally or externally, for that matter. A messianic ideology, they are right, they are the best and they get to choose to make the calls. They don’t need to consult or treat anybody with anything but contempt or bribery. So it’s a very shallow kind of ideology, much less sophisticated than anything previously in the United States. The folks in charge were much more refined, much more complex, multi-layered. Neocons are very primitive in what they do and how they operate. They’re also very predictable.
Bonnie Faulkner: I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Andrei Raevsky, who blogs as “The Saker.” Today’s show: “Looking into 2018.” The Saker is an expert in military analysis, intelligence issues, Russian geopolitics and traditional Christian orthodoxy. He was born in a military family of white Russian refugees in western Europe where he lived most of his life. After completing two college degrees in the United States, he returned to Europe where he worked as a military analyst until he lost his career due to his vocal opposition to the Western-sponsored wars in Chechnya, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. He returned to the United States and has been blogging since 2007 as “The Saker,” and his analytical essays are now widely distributed on the Internet. He is the author of The Essential Saker: From the Trenches of the Emerging Multipolar World and his newest, The Essential Saker II. Today we discuss the geopolitical outlook for 2018 and examine the possibilities for war or no war.
Bonnie Faulkner: Andrei Raevsky, welcome back to Guns and Butter.
The Saker: Thanks much for having me, Bonnie. It’s always a pleasure.
Bonnie Faulkner: In your recent essay, “2018: War or No War,” you take a detailed look at America’s role in global geopolitics and come up with a very disturbing picture. You write that “It is plainly obvious that the neocons are now back in total control of the White House, Congress and the US corporate media.” What is the evidence that the neocons are now running things?
The Saker: I think the strongest piece of evidence is the recent move by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is a typical kind of thing neocons would do. It’s purely ideological and it is basically a “Screw you” to the entire planet, “We do whatever the bleep we want and we don’t care.” And it’s also very characteristic of their lack of intelligence, because if you look at the consequences of that move, they are dramatic.
One of the biggest, most effective tools Israel had in the Middle East was to have the United States impersonating a neutral mediator. Everybody was honest knew that was a joke, that the U.S. was acting on behalf of Israel, but that fig leaf of neutrality was crucial to push forward Israeli agenda.
Now this is gone. The United States has basically removed itself from the role of a mediator, which is a disaster, I think, for Israel, actually, and very good for the rest of the region. So I personally welcome that move. I give it a standing ovation. But from the point of view of the neocons, United States and Israel it’s an absolutely disaster. Yet they did it, and I think this is just the latest in a long series of clumsy attempts by Trump to appease the neocons because he realizes, correctly, that they form the core that opposed his presidency, that they were the number-one enemy. He tried to appease them and all he did is sell out to them completely, and now he’s basically just taking orders straight out of Israel.
It’s debatable if that’s a good or bad thing. I actually think that’s actually a pretty good thing for the rest of the world. But it also is worrisome in one way because we see that the people in charge of decision-making are pure ideologues who don’t concern themselves with minor issues such as facts or logic or consequences. Basically, they’re in a purely ideological position which tells the entire planet, “Screw you. We do whatever we want. We’re above you and we’ll just bully everybody around.” The fact that they have really embarrassing resolutions in the United Nations where the entire planet votes against them, including U.S. allies, votes against that and just minor islands like Kiribati or whatever will vote for it, is horrible. They don’t think there are consequences to that.
So we’re not dealing with a rational actor, and that’s the scary part. The good news is that they’re incompetent. The bad news is that their incompetence could actually lead to very dangerous situations.
Bonnie Faulkner: You have written that a disaster has been triggered by the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, that the U.S. is not acting in defense of its own national security interests and that this is really frightening, which you’ve been discussing. How, in your opinion, will the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital adversely affect US national security interests?
The Saker: First and foremost, of course, the little fig leaf of neutrality now is gone. There were people who were saying that all along but they were dismissed as extremists, anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists etc. Now that you see a superpower like the United States doing something that is self-evidently counterproductive you can only come to the conclusion that really the U.S., in political terms, is the colony of Israel, and that is just very, very damaging internationally.
You have to put that in a broader context. For instance, I don’t think Obama deserved his international prestige one bit but, for instance in Europe, it was extremely politically incorrect to say anything against Obama while Obama was in power because Obama was, by definition and regardless of argument, such a wonderful man. This is not the case with Trump. Hating the U.S. president has become something politically correct in Europe. All my European contacts tell me and report that. So the U.S. is now fair game for vehement criticism, and doing that kind of thing just provides more ammunition to those who criticize the United States.
So what it ends up doing, really, is isolating the United States. And in the Middle East specifically all of the U.S. foreign policy now completely rests on two countries: Israel and Saudi Arabia. This is a disaster because those two countries are locked in a tepid to cold war with Iran. That’s a war they can’t win and they can’t win for a very simple reason: They have many advantages but one thing they don’t have is boots on the ground that they can actually use.
Now, we saw that very clearly in Syria, where the United States is basically frustrated by its inability to actually put boots on the ground. I’m not talking about a small contingent of special forces or maintaining a base in Kurdistan; I’m talking about actually participating in true combat. The Iranians can do it, the Syrians can do it, the Russians won’t do it but they could do it but the Israelis and the Saudis can’t. And these are the two allies of the United States, allies that are hated by the entire region and at the same time cannot win a war that they have embarked upon against Iran. It’s a terrible choice of allies. So for all practical purposes the Middle East is lost for the United States and that recognition just seals the process, which began before that.
Bonnie Faulkner: You write about the reality of the situation in Syria being the exact opposite of what the US claims it to be, and that everyone knows it but no matter; the U.S. government in its rhetoric simply describes a situation that doesn’t exist. Can you talk about what is really happening in the war in Syria, and how that contrasts with what the U.S. says is going on?
The Saker: Yes, of course. The simplest points, which I don’t think anybody who would base his or her opinion on facts and logic would disagree with, is that a) al Qaeda is a US creation; b) what we see in Syria – you can call them Daesh, al Qaeda, ISIS, Al Nusra, IS, it doesn’t matter; it’s the same thing. I like to call them sometimes Takfiris, sometimes Daesh, sometimes the Islamic Crazies. Whatever we want to call them, this is a US creation, first of all. Secondly, these people were pushed then and supported, and still are as we speak right now, get military support from the United States and advisors and intelligence supports. They are supported to the hilt. The United States says the opposite, that they are in a war against Daesh, which is an absolute lie and everybody knows that.
Secondly, it is absolutely, undeniably clear who won the civil war in Syria. It’s actually sometimes incorrectly stated that Russia did. I don’t think that’s true. I think Russia and Iran and the Syrians and Hezbollah did. You have to include all four elements, and I would put a special emphasis on Hezbollah and Iran who did a lot of the hardest fighting on the ground. Not the United States. Not at all. They’re now saying that Russia took the credit that the United States rightly deserves. This is ridiculous, and I think everybody knows that, again.
Coming back to your previous point, when you repeat a lie and you know that nobody believes you and you still go on repeating this, you’re a pure ideological product, again. You basically don’t care about facts on the ground or even facts in the head of the people that you’re speaking to. It’s, again, I think, a tremendous sign of weakness. It’s something that the United States would never have done in the past. To call water dry and black white is a new development, which, again, I would say is a very clear sign of neocon influence.
Bonnie Faulkner: What about alleged attacks on the Russian aerospace forces airbase in Khmeimin, Syria? You have written about this. What is the significance?
The Saker: Well, that’s a worrisome development that is very significant. We’re actually dealing with two separate instances. There was one overnight that happened in the last 24 hours. This time they used drones to attack the base.
The attack was initially reported by one Russian source. It was exaggerated, but basically what it tells us is that the Russian base there – and there will be provocations to try to either kill as many Russians as possible or make them pay or trigger maybe an exaggerated response on their part. I think it shows that the United States has a strategy of harassing the Russians in a very provocative way. I actually wrote in my analysis of the upcoming year that I think there’s a pretty good chance that the United States will end up shooting down a Russian aircraft. The reason for that is they will conclude that Russia probably will protest, might defend itself if attacked, but I don’t think the Russians want to start an open-ended war with the United States. I think that kind of caution will be interpreted by the United States as a sign of weakness.
Right now, overnight, they have attacked the same Syrian airbase with drones. The Russians managed to defeat that attack by shooting some of them down, actually taking control of others, forcing them to land. And actually, they’re taking them apart and showing interesting parts about these drones – and some of them crashed on landing when they either crashed or the Russians tried to force them to land.
But we’re seeing clearly that the airbase and the port in Tartus are going to become targets and I think this is mostly worrisome in the short- to mid-term. There are ways the Russians can protect themselves. They have already changed the policy about how the base is protected. There are basically three circles around that base: a short, like a kilometer distance; another one that goes up to five kilometers; and a long one. This case rockets can be stopped by the Russians but mortar attacks coming from the second zone. It was not possible to stop them and they did hit a number of Russian personnel, not as many as claimed but it was a semi-successful attack. So this is worrisome and shows that the U.S. policy in Syria will be to provoke Russia.
Bonnie Faulkner: You write that “The reality of the war in Syria is that the Russians sent a very small force, and that this force did not so much defeat Daesh as it changed the fundamental character of the political context of the war.” What do you mean by that?
The Saker: The Russian forces did play an important role in defeating Daesh. They provided crucial bombing and close air support, so I don’t want to minimize that. However, it is true that the force was tiny – I mean, ridiculously tiny. We’re talking about 35 combat aircrafts at max, which is really small. So, first of all, it tells you how good the personnel is, how advanced the technologies they’re using are – I mean, it’s superb. They achieved a sortie ratio and an effectiveness which the United States and NATO allies can only dream about. So in no way do I want to minimize the importance of what they did.
But the key thing was that Russia basically signaled to the world that “we are not abandoning our ally. This is not the Russia of Yeltsin, which was going to sell out anybody. We will stand by and we will extend that political influence over Syria and over the Syrian government,” which I think sent a crucial message to everybody around: The Russians mean business. And that’s what I mean that the dynamic of the war fundamentally changed, because the United States could not – I mean, Hillary actually planned to extend a no-fly zone over the Russian forces in Syria. Thank God Trump was elected and that didn’t happen, because I think we were looking at real war in that case.
I think the fact that the Russians have basically put a no-fly zone over Syria – unless the U.S. is willing to truly enter a pretty major suppression of enemy air defenses kind of operation, the Syrian skies are controlled by Russia right now. So they raised the bar much higher, because dealing with a Syrian air force would have been extremely easy for the United States; it would have been a no-brainer. And there’s nothing that Iran could have done if CENTCOM had decided to take the Syrian skies under its control.
Now they’re dealing with a very challenging environment for them, not only because, as I said, there are very few Russian aircrafts present in the skies, and of those only a minority are air-supremacy aircraft, but Russia now has very powerful electronic warfare and air defenses in Syria. This is the main deterrent to a U.S. attempt to impose a no-fly zone is the Russian air defenses there, and that is a true game changer. So I think once the combination of those two things happened, a political message, very effective support for Syrian forces by Russia but also again by Iran and Hezbollah, and the creation of an integrated air defense between Russian equipment and Syrian-controlled equipment creates a completely new dynamic, which basically says that the war is lost for the U.S. and al Qaeda.
Bonnie Faulkner: You write that the neocons are now treating our entire planet to a never-ending barrage of threats. What are some examples of these threats?
The Saker: I think the DPRK is the scariest of all, all this talk about Rocket Man and how Trump wanted to send a formidable armada – the aircraft battle groups that he wanted to send, reneging on the deal with Iran and sort of implicit we’re going to reaccelerate. I heard Nikki Haley openly referring to “the fight” we have with Iran. That’s a threat. The threats on Russia, by basically blaming Russia for everything that they don’t like, hacking, whatever. We know the rhetoric is going to go up so what’s next? Russia will be accused of supporting terrorism. There’s threats made at Russia very clearly. The attitude in the Ukraine just looking towards the Donbass. Sending weapons doesn’t make much of a military difference; it makes a big political difference. The rhetoric from Venezuela, even Cuba, although recently the FBI finally decided to admit that there was no sonic attack on the U.S. embassy in Havana. The really worrying – that’s not even threats – we know what the plan is for Afghanistan.
And that’s another one which I think is amazing. What’s amazing is that basically that surge is nothing new; that’s been tried in the past many times and it’s failed. And the second part is to basically sanction Pakistan. I mean, it’s again one of those examples where you wonder what the average IQ is of the people who advise the president, because if you try to solve a conflict in Afghanistan, how do you do that without having a single neighboring country supporting you? It just blows my mind that the one country that the US still could be on speaking terms with was Pakistan, and what does Trump do? He promulgates a policy on Pakistan which resulted in the Pakistani foreign minister just simply saying, overtly in The Wall Street Journal, “We don’t have an alliance with the US anymore; that’s not how allies behave.”
So okay, Trump lost Pakistan now. Good luck in Afghanistan, really. I mean, this is all the same stuff. It’s100% reliance on force – and I would insist on that, dumb force, ineffective force, force that cannot work and can only result in backlash.
Bonnie Faulkner: What is your assessment of President Trump’s recent verbal attack on Pakistan and the freezing of most military aid to that country? I doubt that Trump came up with this by himself. What is your sense of who is behind this broadside on Pakistan?
The Saker: The very same neocons. I don’t think there’s anybody around him left. He’s surrounded by wall-to-wall neocons or basically – their ideology’s very simple. Israel first, violence everywhere, and no diplomacy. That’s how I would sum it up. In their opinion, diplomacy is basically issuing threats and sanctions. That’s the sole function of foreign affairs. That’s it.
In the case of Pakistan, again, I don’t think there’s anybody in this entire country who believes that this will work, not a single area specialist. I don’t believe anybody in the U.S. military believes that sending more forces to Afghanistan, giving them more leeway, and then sanctioning Pakistan is going to in any way, shape or form allow the U.S. to walk out of Afghanistan or to get any victory, however you define victory. It is absolute, pure, unadulterated stupidity. Really, it’s amazing.
Bonnie Faulkner: Well, then, what about Afghanistan? It looks like the U.S. will be there forever, and this has primarily to do with the drug trade, don’t you think?
The Saker: I don’t know that the United States will be there forever, because it is a huge drain on the United States. The United States cannot afford this. And even if the current regime in Washington is indifferent to U.S. casualties, never mind local casualties, there is a cost in dollars and cents that even printing dollars out of thin air eventually has a hard time covering. So there’s a real cost here. There’s a very real political cost. So I would not say that I don’t think the United States will never get. I think there will come a point where getting out will be so self-evidently demanded and obviously needed that I think it will happen.
The second thing is that any solution for Afghanistan has to include three countries who have to agree on that, and that’s Russia, Pakistan and Iran. Short of those three countries agreeing to any solution, there will be no solution. Therefore, since the U.S. is not on speaking terms with either one of the three, never mind all three, what I predict is basically more of the same only worse until the United States truly pulls out under duress in the worst possible circumstances, at which point the three countries that I mentioned – again, Iran, Pakistan and Russia – will have to do what Russia is trying to do with Syria, gather a regional conference from which the United States will obviously be excluded – China will probably be included, by the way – and they will try to come up with a workable solution that will basically stop conflict in that region. I think that’s where we’re headed.
Will it happen short-term? It really happens on how badly Trump – well, I shouldn’t say Trump, his administration, because I don’t think he has much of a say – will mismanage everything. They are truly going really rapidly at screwing up everything, so I don’t know. It could happen in the not-too-distant future. All I see happening in the United States and the international relations is one disaster after another. That’s all that they can achieve with that combination of violence, threats and lack of intelligence.
Bonnie Faulkner: What about the drugs coming out of Afghanistan? That’s important to the U.S., isn’t it, and the banking sector? What do you think?
The Saker: I’m aware of that. I hear a lot of discussion about that, but I’m not sure that the neocons care about it that much. I’m sure there are interest groups in the United States who have a vested interest in that. I’m under no illusion about the level of corruption in the U.S. military and particularly intelligence, because a basic trick is that anything that’s classified is also out of public scrutiny. So it’s well known that intelligence services have a tendency of going rogue and corrupt just because it’s so easy for them.
So I think these interest groups are there, but the neocons are kind of single-issue people. I don’t think they see that as a . . . Maybe if some of them have personal vested interest, yes, but I have no reasons to believe at this point – maybe I’m missing something, and I probably do – that the Trump administration and key people around him have an interest in the drug trade. It might be so. If it is so, I’m not aware of it.
Bonnie Faulkner: Now, you’ve talked about the neocons being in control. What about the suggestion that the military is running the U.S.? We have James Mattis as Defense secretary, John Kelly as Homeland Security secretary and H.R. McMaster as national security advisor. What do you think about that?
The Saker: Actually, I don’t think it’s an argument that says that the military is in control because, first of all, I tend to see – at least in my mind, when I talk about the military I talk about people with the rank of colonel and below and a few generals. But generals are political appointees, and amongst the core of generals that the United States presidency can choose from, these are all very much political generals. They, in my mind, represent more a political and corporate interest than truly military interest.
Even if Mattis has this reputation of being this fighting man, I don’t think he is at all, and we’ve seen that already under Obama – and it actually began under Bush. The military is purged from true military men and replaced by – yeah, they’re generals. I’m not arguing against that, but do they really represent the interests of the U.S. armed forces? I don’t think so. I’m absolutely convinced . . . I studied in the United States in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, and some of the people, a lot of those that I studied with, became U.S. servicemen, high-ranking officers etc. I know that generation of people. They’re not stupid. Some of them are very well educated.
You get a sense that American generals are stupid by listening to the political appointees that we have now, but they don’t represent truly the American officer corps or even most American generals. I don’t think anybody in CENTCOM seriously – officially they’ll say whatever they’re required to, but nobody thinks that this new plan for Afghanistan is going to bring anything but disaster. So considering how unmilitary that thinking is, I would have to conclude that the true military doesn’t have much of a say at all in what’s happening right now.
If I may add, that worries me very much because during the Cold War, and I think in the ‘90s, the U.S. military, in crucial moments they were the ones who showed restraint and responsible behavior. I specifically think of the war that Georgia attacked the Russian peacekeepers in Georgia. They did act responsibly – I mean, there are several instances where the U.S. military could cool it off. There were people like Admiral Fallon who said there’s not going to be any war against Iran on his watch. So I always thought of the U.S. military as being tough guys, patriots, yes, but not reckless ideological idiots – pardon my French. What we see now makes no sense to me. I can’t conceive of that being the real product of U.S. military.
Bonnie Faulkner: I see. We’ve had quite a discussion about the neocons being in control. How would you define a neocon, just to make it quite clear to listeners?
The Saker: Well, as I said, I think it’s a person who is an Israel Firster, very, very strong Zionist ideological bent, definitely puts Israel above the United States for sure. Secondly, I would say people who truly believe in violence and force as a way to solve every conflict. The opposite of that: they’re people who have no use for diplomacy, internally or externally, for that matter. A messianic ideology: they are right, they are the best and they get to choose to make the calls. They don’t need to consult or treat anybody with anything but contempt or bribery.
So it’s a very shallow kind of ideology, much less sophisticated than anything previously in the United States. There was always imperialism in the United States and colonialism, but the folks in charge were much more refined, much more complex, multi-layered. Neocons are very primitive in what they do and how they operate. They’re also very predictable.
Bonnie Faulkner: And, of course, there are a lot of neocons. Maybe could you maybe mention the names of a few of them?
The Saker: I think at this point in time, all of them around Trump. I wouldn’t even go into a list. I think they’re either active neocons or people who support the neocon line. For instance, Tillerson would not be one of them and yet, clearly, he’s singing the same tune as they do. So at this point in time, I really think that looking at personalities that’s really too late. You can judge the relevance of a person by the difference he or she makes. Tillerson couldn’t even handle Nikki Haley. Nikki Haley is not intelligent enough to even be called a neocon but does she totally parrot their line? Absolutely. So it’s I think everybody. I don’t see a single exception.
Bonnie Faulkner: Yes, and of course, Nikki Haley is our ambassador to the UN.
The Saker: Yes.
Bonnie Faulkner: Now, does she report to Tillerson or to Trump?
The Saker: I’m not sure she reports to either one of them, to be honest. Formally, to both, certainly to Tillerson. But we also saw the same degradation of Tillerson from what he was as a person before he got the appointment, his initial tenure, and then it just went downhill. It’s just like Trump. What he’s doing now is the opposite of what he promised during his election campaign. His last moment of I think glory was I think his inauguration speech, which I thought was amazing, and then after that it just went downhill. The neocons got rid of the two dangerous guys for them, which was Flynn and Bannon. They made Trump surrender these men, particularly Flynn, very rapidly and after that, once he caved in there was no stopping.
So now we have this endless appeasement. I think all of U.S. policy will just be an endless appeasement of neocons starting a couple months ago already. At this point, individuals don’t even make a difference any more. There’s nobody with a personality, a backbone or a brain left anywhere in the U.S. decision-making.
Bonnie Faulkner: How were General Flynn and Bannon a threat to the neocons?
The Saker: First and foremost because they did not at all share their ideology. Mind you, neither of them are particularly heroes of mine. I can’t say I have … I think Flynn would have actually been a good national security advisor. He had his own problems and blind spots. I’m not necessarily endorsing his nonsense about Iran and China, by the way, but he was right on Russia and I think he was right on Syria, at least generally, as compared to the others. And Bannon comes from a very different kind of ideology, which we all know about, sort of old-right and alt-right and this is the ideology that is totally different from what the neocons have. So they knew they had an insider that was dangerous to them, Flynn, and they knew that they had this ideological influence over Trump that they needed to remove, and they removed both and now their victory’s total.
Bonnie Faulkner: I wanted to follow up on a remark you made earlier in the discussion. You said that the United States has now admitted that there was no sonic attack on the embassy in Cuba? Is that what you said?
The Saker: Yes. I saw a report yesterday. I could look it up from the computer but yes, I believe that the FBI recently said that there was no sonic attack. I saw that yesterday. I didn’t read it very deeply because I never believed there was one. So don’t take it 100% to the bank but I believe that’s what I saw yesterday, that the FBI reports that there was no sonic attack in Cuba. Correct.
Bonnie Faulkner: Well, that’s very weird. Then why do you think that was put out, just to demonize the Cubans or something?
The Saker: Yes, because the way the neocons . . . Actually yes, I see it: “FBI Doubts Sonic Attack” on ABC News, so yes, and TheWeek.com also reports that, “No Sign of Sonic Attack.” The neocons try to create conflict everywhere. That’s their sole tool in their toolkit. So Cuba is a problem, Venezuela is a problem and the list of countries can go on and on and on. The way they operate is very simple: Create chaos, subvert the country, tension, tension, tension, tension, threat, threat, threat, violence, violence, violence. That’s all they do. They’re very, very unsophisticated people and their actions are all the same. There’s no difference.
Bonnie Faulkner: You refer to the new national security strategy of the United States, released in December of 2017 by the Trump administration, as the US being in “full paranoid mode with enemies everywhere.” I thought that a lot of it read like a projection onto other nations of what the U.S. itself was doing. Did you have that impression as well?
The Saker: Yes, of course. Absolutely. For instance, all this talk about Russians interfering in U.S. elections is really just the list of accusations of what the United States has been doing in Russia for years – and elsewhere too, but particularly Russia – for years. And everybody knows that and that’s exactly it. It’s a projection.
But also, there’s more to it than just a projection. For every action there is a reaction, and it is true that by antagonizing the entire planet simultaneously the United States sends two signals: first of all, a signal of weakness because a strong power does not act that way, it does not have any need for that. For instance, strong power always makes its threats never publicly. That’s a basic rule: Don’t do public threats; you always do them privately.
The second thing is that also by fighting everybody it sort of forces everybody to resist and at the same time makes it easier because if your list of targets – I have seven countries on my list of primary U.S. targets. If the U.S. truly focused all its forces on one target only, carefully chosen, eh, maybe the chances would be better. And mind you, my list of seven countries does not even include China, and that could happen again because there was a lot of anti-China rhetoric coming out of Trump, so it could even go to eight. It actually, I think, encourages people to resist.
Think, if you were in Venezuela and you realize that, well, everybody else is having it, the U.S. is spread all over the place, they basically cannot concentrate truly all their means and energies on only you so maybe there’s an opportunity here. And I think there is.
Bonnie Faulkner: Well, then, that sounds pretty stupid from the point of view of the United States to have this huge enemies list.
The Saker: Yes, it is stupid. I absolutely agree. I’m shocked to say that. I always feel a little funny calling an entire administration of well-paid people, many of them have diplomas in academics, calling them stupid, but when I look at the output, when I look, for instance, at the policy toward Afghanistan, I don’t see any other words. So Trump might sound like an idiot but people around him don’t sound like that, yet they do stupid things. So collectively, yes. It’s not a normal term used in international relations but yeah, we speak of stupid. I think that actually fully applies.
Bonnie Faulkner: In your essay, “The End of the Wars on the Cheap for the United States,” how do you define war on the cheap and the use of U.S. Special Forces, which began in Afghanistan? What are you referring to?
The Saker: I was referring to . . . Right after the Cold War special ops became very popular and they were used very successfully in Afghanistan. Basically, they were used as forward air controllers. So you basically don’t need to put boots on the ground. You bring in the Air Force. You put your special ops inside any insurgent units and you use them to coordinate air strikes, so you rely on fire power provided by helicopter or aircraft.
Which is kind of paradoxical, because this is basically what the Russians have been doing in Syria, really. That’s how the Russians got away with using so little hardware, because it’s fairly cheap. I mean, the entire Russian operation in Syria, as far as I know, is still within normal budget of the Ministry of Defense, so they use the budget from training and deployment, etc. They didn’t even have to increase their military spending for this operation. So it is objectively cheap in terms of dollars and it’s objectively cheap in terms of your own soldiers dying.
But what happens, there are a number of prerequisites which are very important. You need to be able to rely on boots on the ground. In the case of Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance provided crucially that shield for the U.S. special forces. The U.S. did not just send a brigade in. They were sending small units, protected and surrounded by local people. That is what the United States does not have in Syria.
It also relies, I think, to a large degree on the enemy feeling that it’s hopeless to resist, but that doesn’t work anymore at all. The United States has been – that worked to some degree with Iraq’s first war, for sure, the second already maybe initially, but now, when I hear, for instance, rumors of the Israelis or the U.S. actually moving in force into Syria, I think the rank-and-file Hezbollah and Iranian soldiers that are on the ground, they’re just dreaming of it. They dream to get finally their hands on some GIs because they’ve been denied that for many years. So I think there’s no fear left, and that’s where this entire strategy of war on the cheap collapses.
Bonnie Faulkner: Then how is it that America’s wars on the cheap may be coming to an end? You’re saying because, what, the people aren’t afraid enough anymore?
The Saker: Yeah. They haven’t yielded a single victory. That’s really what’s happening. The United States is losing military power – the U.S. is not a credible military threat anymore. Even though it still has ten or whatever aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons, but they can issue threats and people go, yeah, and they accept that, and just defeat after defeat after defeat. We’re coming back to the realization to actually have boots on the ground is the only way to win a war – at least in most wars; there are a few exceptions.
The case with the DPRK: How do you explain that the North Koreans are not afraid, clearly are not impressed, by Trump’s threats? The fact that they launched a missile on the 4th of July is just so provocative, so they’re actually provoking him. It tells you that in the opinion – and I think correct analysis – of the North Korean generals, there is no credible threat coming from the United States, and I think they know that. So the wars on the cheap are finished.
Bonnie Faulkner: You have written that “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the big unknown here.” Your essay draws a very frightening picture of the consequences of a U.S. attack on the DPRK. In your essay, “Debunking the Flag-Waving Myths About an Attack on North Korea,” you write that “One of the most overlooked potential consequences of a war with the DPRK is that its missiles are probably capable of striking the greater Tokyo area and adjacent Japanese industrial areas.” How catastrophic would this be?
The Saker: Well, let me tell you, after I wrote that article I got an email from an intelligence officer – I will say it like this, stationed in Asia. I won’t go any further but I will say that he’s from a friendly country to the United States – who told me that I even underestimated the threat.
First of all, I don’t believe that North Korea has warheads. I think they have nuclear devices, but I don’t think that they can deliver them and I don’t think they have real ICBMs yet. But putting aside this entire discussion about Guam and Hawaii, my concern was that they could definitely hit, with conventional missiles or even nuclear missiles, hit, as I say, the greater Tokyo area and central Japan. And that would have major economic consequences because the entire economies of the Far East are very highly integrated, and if you disrupt that everything stops.
I got a letter from this intelligence analyst who said that I underestimated the threat just by having economic chaos in South Korea, because, he said, the ports in South Korea are crucial. A lot of what is produced in China is actually manufactured in Korea, then assembled in China, so war in the Korean Peninsula would also stop a lot of the manufacturing in China. It would dramatically effect shipping through the entire region and even air movement because crucial airports are also located in South Korea, which I had overlooked. And yes, of course, in Japan.
So we’re looking at a paralysis of basically Far East Asia economically, which would be devastating economically worldwide. And this is not something that’s usually discussed.
Bonnie Faulkner: You write that the Chinese have said that they will not allow chaos and war on the Peninsula. A quote from China in your essay: “If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States, then China should stay neutral. But if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s government, China will stop them.” It sounds very dangerous to me and, of course, the Korean War of the early 1950s was a war of aggression waged by the United States against Korea. The North Koreans have not forgotten that.
The Saker: Yes, indeed, they have not forgotten that. And I would also say that the quality of the U.S. servicemen then was way higher than what it is today and yet it was a really tough, hard war. I get a lot of emails. After this particular article I got a lot of emails from Korean vets who were telling me their personal experience fighting there. This is a terrible place to fight. And what the Chinese can do is basically inject people, like they did in the first Korean War, because it’s not going to be a high-tech war. North Korea will lose control of the air space almost instantaneously, most of the North Korean navy will disappear almost instantaneously. Everything that you think of high-tech, the North Koreans cannot compete with the U.S. whatsoever.
But the terrain is such that they can force the adversary to go World War Two again, or Korean War, which was essentially the same thing. And the Chinese can definitely do that, and they cannot allow the U.S. to take over North Korea because they know they’re next. They’re also cornered. Just like Russia cannot allow the U.S. to take over the Donbass, the Chinese cannot allow – I’m not making a comparison between the regimes; I’m just saying neither country can afford to have a hostile power right there. And I think the Chinese have very good options to actually support the North Koreans, even if they’re reluctant to do so. I don’t think the Chinese are happy with the kind of regime that is in place in North Korea. I know for a fact the Russians are miserable about it; they don’t think of the DPRK as a trusted ally. But the reality is that there’s bad and then there’s worse, and allowing the United States to either nuke the place massively or invade it or do some other things, which the U.S. is threatening, is not something that either country can allow.
Bonnie Faulkner: In “2018: War or No War?” you make an assessment of the likelihood or unlikelihood of war with a list of countries that are in the crosshairs of the neocons. Let’s look at the nuclear deal with Iran. How likely do think this treaty will be abrogated?
The Saker: Again, I know there’s opposition to that abrogation. It would be illegal and unilateral, but considering the folks in power in the White House I think it will be abrogated. I’m sorry to say I think – I’m no fan of Barack Obama – I truly am not – but the one thing he did right was that treaty, and that’s the one thing that Trump is actually going to successfully overturn. I think the chances are good that the treaty will be abrogated, yes. Will that result in war after that? No, not dramatically. I don’t think the U.S. or Israel or the Saudis have the stomach to start a full-scale war against Iran.
Bonnie Faulkner: What about the U.S. backing the Nazis in Kiev in an attack against the Donbass? I guess this is ongoing, right?
The Saker: It is ongoing and, as I mentioned, to my great concern I think the United States will continue and increase that backing because no matter what happens, the United States does not pay much of a big price. I mean, for instance, we just mentioned Iran. If that policy fails there will be very serious consequences for both Israel and the United States. The U.S. doesn’t have much to lose if you look at the Donbass, the eastern Ukraine, because let’s say the Nazi regime starts another war. If it is successful, well, great; the Russians will be defeated, the Donbass will be under Kiev control and the Americans will say, “Well, we did it,” so that’s a good outcome from their point of view. Again, it’s just their point of view.
Say that Novorussians win, which is what I think would most likely happen. That would be the worst outcome from the point of view of the neocons and obviously the best from the point of view of Russians and everybody else who is sane. Well, the neocons will then explain that outcome by blaming Russia as they did the last two times around. They’ll do the same, say, “Okay. Well, clearly the Russians have invaded the Ukraine again because just look at the destruction of the Ukraine army. It could not be the Novorussians; therefore, it’s the Russians that are to blame.” That is the least desirable outcome from the neocon point of view – not mine, again. I insist to clarify that. But it’s the one that’s acceptable to them.
Option three, which is actually their dream, is to force Russia to overtly intervene. That was the worst possible outcome, I think, from my point of view, that Novorussians are not capable of defending the local militia and the attack is successful, at which point Russia will have no other option but to intervene – which is a dream-come-true for the neocons because then the full-scale Cold War against Russia, NATO suddenly found a mission that it’s credible defending, the Western civilization gains the revanchist Russian hordes, etc. Keep in mind that the Donbass itself has no value whatsoever for the United States – neither does the entire Ukraine, by the way, at this point. The only part of the Ukraine that was of interest to the United States is the Crimea, and that’s not going to happen anymore, so for them the sole value of Ukraine is to harass Russia, to keep sanctions on Russia. It’s a platform for anti-Russian operations; that’s what it is. And they will continue that, unfortunately. I don’t see any hope for a rational approach to it.
Bonnie Faulkner: You’ve noted that “What will not stop is the full-spectrum demonization of Russia. Thus, the relationship between the two countries will further deteriorate.” You mentioned the possibility of the U.S. disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT network for financial communications or the seizure of Russian assets. How likely, in your view?
The Saker: I think that I should say that I’m not confident to make a projection on that. I’m not by training an economist. I published an article by one economist on my blog, which I highly recommend, which discusses that issue. Whether it’s technically doable, whether Russia already has – well, Russia does have an alternative that’s being developed. To what degree that alternative is viable, to what degree China can help, I’d rather not make a prediction or even qualify the consequences of either move.
Putin has repeatedly warned the Russian business community. He has urged them to bring their money back to Russia saying, “You know what? It already started once in Cypress and it can happen again. Bring your money back before it’s seized.” So I think something of that kind is being prepared, yes. Which one will they go for? The Russians have made kind of threats that there would be very serious consequences if they are disconnected from SWIFT. I don’t know whether this is actually posturing or not. It’s unclear to me what Russia can do in either circumstance. I know the Russians will never start a war over something economic, that’s for sure, or even for minor attacks. They are, for very good reasons, extremely war averse and that would be truly only as a last resort in self-defense.
What are the other options? I don’t know. Putin is a very intelligent man and he has a superb set of advisors who so far have done a very good job. They might come up with a response that I am totally unaware of, so this to me is a big question mark. All I will say is that it seems to me in the logic of the current rhetoric that I hear from the White House that there should be more tension and sanctions and harassment against Russia coming this year, yes.
Bonnie Faulkner: You’ve written that “one of the most formidable weapons in the Anglo-Zionist arsenal was not the nuclear bomb or the aircraft carrier but a propaganda machine that for decades successfully convinced millions of people around the globe that the US was invincible.” Is this no longer the case?
The Saker: Yeah. I think that nobody believes that anymore. I think this has fully, truly changed over the past decade at least, maybe more. The purpose of any use of any military force is to achieve a political objective. I don’t see any political objective that the United States military has accomplished on behalf of the United States. It’s just not happening.
Bonnie Faulkner: In our essay, “When Sanity Fails: The Mindset of the Ideological Drone,” you write about “the glorification of ignorance that is the hallmark of the imperial mindset.” How do ignorance and empire go hand-in-hand?
The Saker: Oh, in so many ways. I think it’s crucial for empire. Empires really are based on an ideology, and it’s a social one, not even a political one. You have to have this belief that others either need or want you to rule over them, and ignorance is what makes that possible because as soon as you become aware of the immoral nature of the empire, of the human value of those that you oppress, murder, kill, exploit and otherwise terrorize, you’re becoming subversive, you’re becoming disloyal to the empire. You start thinking in moral categories.
Whereas ignorance is what makes it all possible. Either people don’t know what’s happening or if they do, they’re propagandized and socially brainwashed into not thinking correctly about it – like Orwell’s double-thinking is exactly that. You know that you’re hated worldwide; at the same time you think that the U.S. has a mission to lead the world. There’s a complete paradox between those two concepts simultaneously and yet a lot of people in the United States, those who still buy the official propaganda – and that’s changed now; I think that’s not the majority. But in the past, yeah, a lot of Americans I think really believed.
And why did they believe that? Because it was not only taught to them by a propaganda ministry but it was taught to them at home, at school and particularly in movies. The single most important – I don’t know if I should say training tool, I would say education tool or training tool, is the TV, which people watch for several hours a day. That has its own reality. People who watch TV live in a different world, which has very little resemblance to the real world out there. And within that aspect of reality all these things make sense to them.
So that’s why that ignorance, that lack of awareness, is crucial. That’s why the system doesn’t foster travel abroad, doesn’t foster the study of foreign languages. When Americans travel abroad they tend to travel in groups and to stick to English-language groups. And then you have the other kind, which is the Americans you can see all over the planet which have gotten –what is it called in English? – it’s called the turned-natives. They learn the language, they learn the culture, they completely adapt to and they understand exactly what’s happening, but these people are all lost to the empire. From the imperial point of view, they become subversive, become just used to all the propaganda.
Bonnie Faulkner: With regard to the neocons treating our entire planet to a never-ending barrage of threats, you say that “this situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam’s crosshairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint.” You write that “Iran, Russia and China, particularly, are acting with the utmost restraint.” You quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as having said, “It’s difficult to talk to people who confuse Austria and Australia.” Just how dangerous is the world situation presently?
The Saker: It is extremely dangerous, and the outcome will depend on how sophisticated and careful the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians will be. Because the people who confuse Austria and Australia have nuclear weapons, and to go into quick-fix solutions, to respond tit-for-tat – Let me give you a perfect example. Say that the United States shoots down a Russian aircraft over Syria. Before Putin gives the authorization – now, he gave the authorization for self-defense. That authority is already vested in the local commanders. But you could make the argument that maybe a retaliatory strike would be correct and appropriate.
Now, we saw that situation when the Turks shot down a Russian bomber. There was talk of how the Russians could use cruise missiles to hit the airbase from which the Turkish aircraft took out from. Russians didn’t do that, and I think it was correct not only because eventually Putin turned the situation in Turkey pretty much 180 degrees around, but because every time you say, “Let’s make a retaliatory strike,” you have to think, “What’s the risk of international nuclear war?”
And I think because Trump and the people around him are so, again, stupid and immoral and reckless and ignorant that they don’t think of these categories is not an excuse from the Russian or the Chinese or the Iranian leaders to act likewise. They have to exercise the utmost restraint. This is like using a bomb in a building. You don’t get to just blow it up because you’re irritated with it.
So yes, my only hope is for these people to do the right thing. I have absolutely no hope left whatsoever in the sanity of U.S. decision makers. None.
Bonnie Faulkner: Any last words, Saker?
The Saker: I’m tempted to say, “God help us all,” because, I’m sorry, the situation is really bleak. I have to say that it is bleak. My big hope is a), of course, God have mercy, 2) let’s hope that those in power in the White House are so busy fighting each other, the U.S. elite are so involved in an internal conflict that they won’t have the resources or the energy to allocate to external conflicts, and that that means the time for everybody else to prepare and continue to gradually, region by region chip away at the empire. What the world needs is a gradual elimination of that empire, not any form of collapse. Collapse is bad.
Bonnie Faulkner: Thank you, again, for a great analysis.
The Saker: Thank you so much for having me. It’s always a pleasure and always an honor. I’m a big admirer of yours, as you know.
Bonnie Faulkner: I’ve been speaking with the Saker. Today’s show has been “Looking into 2018.” The Saker is an expert in military analysis, intelligence issues, Russian geopolitics and traditional Christian orthodoxy. He was born in a military family of white Russian refugees in western Europe where he lived most of his life. After completing two college degrees in the United States, he returned to Europe where he worked as a military analyst until he lost his career due to his vocal opposition to the Western-sponsored wars in Chechnya, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. He returned to the United States and has been blogging since 2007 as “The Saker,” and his essays have attracted a large audience. He is the author of The Essential Saker: From the Trenches of the Emerging Multipolar World and his latest, The Essential Saker II. Visit thesaker.is. “Is” stands for Iceland.
Guns and Butter is produced by Bonnie Faulkner, Yarrow Mahko and Tony Rango. Visit us at GunsandButter.org to listen to past programs, comment on shows or join our email list to receive our newsletter that includes recent shows and updates. Email us at [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter at #gandbradio.
off topic, and I admit I haven’t read the article posted here yet. I will in a sec. But do you all know this clown who claims to be an international food critic and expert . , well listen to what this jackass says about ‘ Putin’s Russia’. Lies upon lies, and besides, shouldn’t he stick to food programs instead of kissing up to his superiors (whom are most likely of the Hebrew persuasion) for a paycheck. Sickening. I’d like to kick him in the teeth.
Funny, I saw his show (when I visited someone with a TV) about his visit to the Ukraine. He loved everything there.
This was quite a few years before Maidan.
He is quite an asshole.
Bourdain is a junkie chef who knows how to say the right thing in order to be popular; he has no knowledge, but is aware of what the correct pose and attitude is for his hard-drinking American audience.
Ever since being subjected to his ‘Libya’ show, I’ve looked @ him as c.i.a. A couple of non-sequitur comments about Qadaffi showed he was reading from someone else’s script. He probably doesn’t cost the network much, as he’s produced by other means.
Yep, they spoke a lot about homosexuals, and Bourdain was drunk most of the time. Disgusting.
I’m convinced that life under US tyranny is great when one maintains relative wealth. It’s a bad deal to be without that. Simply, it keeps those with wealth in compliance.
If life was easy without credit, no one would need banks, or their wars.
Fun read. Thanks.
Not really. What happened to Saudi’s princelings? Military power and administrative power can overturn any law or sets of rules.
Alternatively you could have tribes, clansmen, gangs to be armed sufficiently enough that they could exercise their own self management unhindered.
They maybe backed the wrong horse, and it may cost them some of their relative wealth, but its not like they’re suddenly going to be without any. They got locked up in the Ritz ffs. Sounds horrific.
Thank you for the transcript. I don’t manage to take the time to listen to or watch much material, so print is very useful.
It’s an amazing interview. I loved reading this. I especially appreciated the take on the neocon control of the US and how it has essentially destroyed the current functional IQ of her institutions.
One hopes this intelligence can rise again when the neocons are gone – which surely will happen eventually, perhaps when the US is used up and the Zionists throw her away, perhaps when the US rises up and throws the Zionists away, who can say?
Hey thanks to the person who wrote up the transcript.
It is so helpful to get The Saker’s insight that the Neo-cons are so fundamentally destructive of their own long term interests, through their stupidity, ignorance and one dimensional M.O. It feels to me like Satan emerging from behind his mask, without which he has no real hold on humanity. However it is not just the Neo-cons. this is also happening with the English Tories and their whole capitalist establishment relationship with the EU and Brexit. I recommend the website Naked Capitalism for an expose of the insane stupidity of the Anglo branch of the Anglo-zionists in relation to the EU. Talk about terminal suicide! I love it!
Wow, where do I start.
Steve Bannon is a committed die -hard Zionist. He proclaimed in his book ‘ Wake up America’, that after his visit to Israel, he has become a ‘dedicated’ Zionist.
Look, its not just Trump, his administration, his sold-out Generals, etc, that are the problem. Its the whole system in the U.S. that is terminally infected by this ideological supremacist Talmudism-Zionism. If you want to be anybody, or get anywhere, you have to tow the company line.
These people are not necessarily morons or unintelligent, but rather evil, narcissistic blunderers, and rather calculating and serious. Saker, I know your a man of faith, and you believe in God Almighty. Well, everything these Talmudist ‘Neocons’ ( I despise the word because I believe its a red-herring) is to prepare humanity and Earth for the coming and rule of the Prince of Darkness himself. So they are , or at least their elders are, being led, educated and helped in this regard.
Its over for the U.S. and large sections of the West/White world in this regard. You tow the line or keep your mouth shut, or your destroyed in various ways.
Look what we have now, it not just the U.S. government that’s propagating perpetual chaos, conflict, and sowing discord among nations and peoples of the world. Its the members of the Press, Academia, writers, screenwriters, folks of the financial sectors, educators, comedians, the folks who brought, and continue to degrade humanity through their tasteless pornography, movie directors, owners and controllers of global social media giant(Facebook), YouTube ( which indecently is starting to censor criticism of all things Jewish/Zionist/Israeli), pathetic actors and actresses ( ever wonder why most of the actors allegedly accused of sexual harassment are of the Hebrew / Talmudic persuasion), Universities all over the U.S. banning pro-Palestinian groups and organizations, Congress working up, and soon to come out with Anti-Hate Speech Legislation, i.e., criticize Jews, Israel etc and you are arrested and who knows where you end up, probably one of those enormous FEMA camps dotting the country. Its Like 1939 Germany, when the book burning began, are so we are told. Are Box-Cars coming to a town near you in the future.
The infestation is unique, in that the parasite is consuming the host at an alarming rate, towards what end, I don’t know. There is no , I repeat ,NO resistance to speak of in the U.S. to the diabolical agenda taking place. None. There was the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, which started out great, but as surely as the sun sets in the west, along came the Jews, pretending to be ‘leadership’ of the movement and they essentially drove it into the ground and dissolved it. A masterful work indeed. Since the sixties, with Abbie Hoffman, these nefarious folks have been, and are always ready to deal with discontent by the weary American masses.
Ok, so enough of that. The U.S., which like the Saker stated, is essentially a subservient vassal of Israel, and how a once great country like the U.S. became so is the stuff of meticulous planning, organization by no less than a cult/tribe that trace their roots to the old ancient Kingdom of Khazaria, which was located in southern steppes of Russia, all the way to the Ukraine/Crimea thru to parts of northern India at its hey day. They were at war with their neighbors constantly , just an outright barbaric people who practiced Phallus worship and ritual murder, then one day they adapted the most nefarious of volumns known as the Babylonian Talmud, and the rest is history. The Islamic Caliphate of Baghdad twice sent armies to deal with this menace. Finally a united grand army of the Muslim Golden Mongol Horde and Slavic Russ Orthodox defeated them and swept them away, where they wondered off to Eastern Europe , Western Europe and then eventually the U.S., where we can see their work and deeds and ways have not changed, for all things Islamic and/or Slavic Orthodox. Maybe they see a return to Russia, while also a reason they have such hatred for both peoples. One can see what they have done to Russia in the 20th Century, and now to the proud Arabs and Muslims in general.
That’s why they degrade Islam and Russia at every chance they get on their asinine T.V shows and movies, articles , you name it.
Problem is, time is not on the Talmudists side. The world is changing and humanity is ever so ready to evolve(I am a creationist, not a evolutionist, btw) into a new level for humanity, and they want to maintain the status quo until their ideological prophesy comes to be. Humanity is ready to move away from conflict and discord, but they simply are doing their grandest to stop that and keep things in turmoil. The threat from the East, China/Russia/Iran/and majority of the Islamic world(that’s 3.5 out of 6 people on earth) want a new, more peaceful system, a new paradigm of win-win for all. China is moving along nicely in this aspect with the building of the greatest man-made endeavor ever, the One-Road,One -Belt initiative, that will connect the world and give humanity a brighter future. They see this as a threat.
Jerusalem, well, according to the Talmud and its inherents, the exact spot where the third most revered holy site to Islam/Muslims (the Dome of the Rock Mosque) 1.65 billion people according to them sits on the spot where they , the Talmudists/Jews seek to build the New Temple, after which their ‘Messiah’ will come down to earth and ‘rule with an Iron Rod’. I kid you not. So, they, the bad guys have been doing excavating under the Dome of the Rock Mosque allegedly looking for Dead Sea Scrolls or some other fabricated non-sense, so once they have Jersualem, they will destruct the Mosque and say it just fell apart on its own, and go about building their Temple. I don’t want to even begin to say who this ‘Messiah’ is, but if your Christian or Muslim, be very worried, because he is no other than the Anti-Christ / Dajjal (in Arabic). Why else calls for this madness.
Like Christians, we Muslims believe in the second coming of the Christ, Jesus, son of holy Mary, who along with the righteous will fight the Anti-Christ/Dajjal and defeat the forces of evil, which is essentially what these people and their Dark Prince are. The Quran even tells us that the world will be covered in ‘Dukhan’, a misty smoke that will engulf everything so that no birds will fly, and most humanity will perish, some say this is Nuclear fallout from the catastrophic war that will ensue. Then Jesus will rule Earth, peace and harmony till the coming of the sound of the Trumpet, by (I forgot the Angels name) indicating all creation will die and the Day of Resurrection will be upon us.
For those that don’t believe in religion, Iran is safe, Russia is safe, the Donbass is safe, North Korea is safe. There will be no war on either one. If the Ukrainians decide to get silly again and attack the Donbass, the Russian MoD will simply send back the Chechens, Mr. Khadyrovs men, who are ferocious, skilled fighters that trained and twice shattered the Ukrainian Army. Even with more weapons and logistics, the Ukrainians are attacking, and when your on the attack, you need three men to every defender, in that style of combat. Plus the Donbass aren’t just sitting around twiddling their fingers. It would be a rout , unless the U.S. decides to use its air force and bring in missile systems, but that aint happening. The story of Orthodox and Muslims fighting side by side in the Donbass has always made me so proud. Really.
Iran. Unless the U.S. attacks Iran with saturation nuclear bombardment, in essence wiping out 40-50 million Iranians (because those pesky Iranians have perhaps the largest ballistic missile arsenal on earth, scattered all over the country) would end up destroying the destroyer. What do you think the first thing the Iranians will do say, if Israel/U.S./Saudi struck Iran, and struck hard. The Iranians will not strategically bombard Israeli metropolitan cities with their huge arsenal of Ballistic Missiles, no…that would give the ‘eternal whiners’ something to cry about in front of the whole world. Yes, we know how they are. Instead, Iran has but to simply respond by missile bombardment of all, All Oil and Natural Gas facilities within a 2000 km radius. Missile bombardment saturation style, where no countermeasures can cope. All Oil and Gas ports, pipelines, shipyards/docks, fields, refining facilities, just everything, heck, even gas stations. You know what that would entail. On top of that closing down the Straight of Hormuz, would in essence immediately take off the market 50% of the world Oil and Gas supply. In a few hours, the effective end of the ‘Petro-Dollar’. The Gulf Monarchies would crumble, and the U.S. economy would be in an irreversible death spiral. If you thought that American cities were filling up with tent cities blocks because of poverty, that would be nothing in comparison. With no oil from Venezuela, the U.S is toast, done. Believe me , if they could get away with attacking Iran, they would have done so years ago. But they cant. China can avert an oil and gas crises because they smartly built/are building the worlds largest pipeline system with Russia, so they are immune in my belief.
Same for North Korea. An attack on them and Japan is done for, 30-40 thousand U.S. troops are done for, and the North would overrun the South. Again, the death of the dollar.
All this bluster we see today from the U.S. is a shell-game. Instead of trying to find its way/part in the coming global order, they want to scream at everybody and carry a big stick, well, that’s not going to work anymore. They have/had a chance, but chose the hrd road.
Oh, one more thing. The ‘famous’ ‘Surge’ we all heard about in Iraq 2 was not a surge of troops and armor that won the day, but a surge of freshly printed U.S. dollars flown in in big planes and distributed to the Sunni Tribes and Al-Sadr’s people to stope fighting them and give them a chance to get out with some kind of face. General Patreaus was a money-bags man, that’s it.
The coming ‘Surge’ in Afghanistan means that the U..S., has struck a big deal with the Taliban already and is in the works , being implemented. All this advertising of a surge is for domestic and international consumption. Its a pay-off so they can get the hell out of there. Afghanistan, even Alexander the Great wanted no part of them. No one does, they are true warriors, like the noble people of Syrai, and the Houthis of Yemen.
Cheers to you all.
“… and the Houthis of Yemen.” — yes, indeed. From the small fragments of videos I’ve seen those guys are tenacious natural and fearless warriors. Fat waddling diabetic Saudi’s have little chance in a fair fight.
Btw, if any current worldly individual aligned with the predicted ‘Dajjal’ then it would have to be Mr ‘Shakedown’ himself, imo — aka, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (MBS). Mine you, he’s not without some stiff competition.
Giving manpads to anyone is a bad idea. But of course the US specializes in doing the wrong thing, always.
A nice piece Bored Muslim. I appreciate both your boredom and your passionate caring. I am a progressive Christian and as such am pleased to read from you a Muslim interpretation of apocalypse. Is it not true that in apocalypse the great ugliness is before our eyes (as you well note) but the great beauty is shining ever brighter behind our eyes? As I see it apocalypse is a divine struggle for humanity between the collective ego-mind (the light of Lucifer) and humanity’s divine spirit. This being the case the great evil can be seen to be emerging in the social formations that most powerfully embody raw unsituated mind energy. That being what Saker calls the Anglo-Zionists. It fits nicely does it not? However we have a saying that in the end Satan does the work of Christ. The devil is duped! By so exposing his raw evil he compels the faithful to move closer into the embrace of the divine creator. As you say “cheers to all.” Your Thoughts?
Steve Bannon is a Zionist? And Breitbart?
I hope that Delingpole was paid zillions to write this:-
There is nothing irrational about what we are witnessing.
The Zionist Empire of Chaos has a Strategy of Tension..
Their policy is pure rationalism — unhinged from innate spiritual understanding — then followed to a logical conclusion.
Let’s call it the Messianic Redemption Complex.
The only possible solution depends upon applying faith.
If you have faith, unplug yourself and your ego from the Zionist teet, starting in small baby steps, working up to bigger and better things every day for the rest of your life.
Why not? What have you to lose?
Unplug yourself from the Zionist media and the understandings they proffer.
Unplug yourself from their poisonous medicine and food.
Why not grow a garden and try living 6 months without spending a dime? No life project could be more helpful for the improvement of your being and the well being of all.
As soon as you stop buying what the Zionists are selling the system will immediately ground to a halt.
USA “selling” this at the moment
Russia has an underwater nuclear drone capable of carrying a 100-megaton warhead, leaked Pentagon report says
A draft of Pentagon’s annual Nuclear Posture Review has been leaked
Leaked document confirms that Russia has a submarine called ‘Status-6’
Was reportedly tested in 2016 and capable of carrying 100-megaton warhead
By Sara Malm For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 11:14, 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:06, 15 January 2018
Russia possesses a drone submarine capable of carrying the world’s largest nuclear warheads, a leaked Pentagon report claims.
The existence of the underwater nuclear carrier has been rumoured in the past, but the leaked draft of Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review confirmed this.
The Pentagon report warns of Russia’s determination to continue to boost its nuclear weapons reserve while the U.S. had been scaling down.
It’s real: The existence of the underwater nuclear carrier, pictured in an artist’s impression, has been rumoured in the past, but the leaked draft of the Pentagon report confirmed its existence
The drone submarine is able to carry 100-megaton warheads, the largest such weapons available, according to Newsweek.
The draft of the report, first published by the Huffington Post, contains a graphic illustrating new nuclear delivery vehicles developed in the US, Russia, North Korea and China respectively since 2010.
Among Russia’s five new sea-based nuclear delivery vehicles is ‘Status-6 AUV’, meaning that it is a drone submarine or and ‘autonomous underwater vehicle’.
The Status-6 drone, code-named Kanyon by the Pentagon, has been rumoured to be in existence since 2016.
The submarine is reported to have a range of up to 6,200 miles with top speeds of 56 knots, and an ability to carry nuclear warheads within range of the US.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5270337/Russia-underwater-drone-carry-nuclear-bombs.html#ixzz54GvD58k1
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
USS Michigan (SSGN 727) can carry 154 nuclear capable Tomahawk cruise missiles and your worried about 1 bomb?
I am worried about usa making excuses to use theirs first………….
here, more outrageous bluster from Trump and his circle of misfits ; check this example out, wow ;
to what end will this all go. What a shame the U.S. has become to the international community. Really. It once not long ago was a beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom to the world. Look what it is now. —
Not really… In my view, the neocon imperialist aggression has just become bolder than it was during the Cold War era – it is as if we have returned to the colonial era, to the earlier period when distant, foreign lands were taken by force. Neoliberalism is the ideology of neocolonialism.
During the Cold War era, there was a certain stability – and there was some hope, yes… The imperialists were kept under control. Now, the imperialist alliance does not fear reaction from the rest of the world. It reigns absolute, while the rest of the world is distressed because our hope is at risk. This is why Russia’s interventions in Syria and Ukraine were important moments of our time: they have inserted a solid foundation to our hope for a better future.
The rich have an indestructible sense of class. The same can be said about the rich nations, as their assets have been grown upon the exploitation of other nations. Thus, we are observing a class war on a world scale, where the rich imperialist nations, allied, play to dominate us all. This war will decide human – and certainly the planet’s – destiny. Let’s not mystify this reality. It is time to start saying it loud and clear, as we need to prepare for difficult times ahead. By making class distinction between nations a thing of the past, we may win. Russia and China are doing exactly this.
apparently here’s what the American people think of Trump and his administrations all-out vicious madness, racism, and threats of war, even nuclear war ; disturbing to the max ;
If it isn’t improper these days I would just like to express my gratitude to Bonnie and ‘Andrei’ and tell
them that I love them both. I may be senile since I’ll be 89 themiddle of next month but I am truly
grateful that there are people of their kind in the world today.
I think the Empire’s decline and (eventual) fall will prove to have little or nothing to do with “stupidity”, and everything to do with internal conflicts within the US’ power elite structures. These are ideologically oriented and permeate all layers of every governmental, security and academic institution instrumental in running the Empire.
For every initiative or policy any internal faction may wish to implement, there are at least 2 factions that oppose and, moreover, act to subvert it in favour of theirs. “American policy” has traditionally been the sum vector of all these sub-vectors exerting their influence on the final policy. The difference today is that the various factions sense the looming discontinuity and, convinced of the rightness of their particular cause are acting overtly regardless of any any “final policy”.
This is a recipe for disaster. It is also a recipe for subtle manipulation, especially as one particular faction has risen above all others in prominence if not in effectiveness, and moreover in occupying key nodes in America’s Imperial power structures. These are the Neocons, and they are often opportunistically allied with various openly Militaristic and Imperialist factions who have no particular connection to Zionism or Israel and who hold that America’s greatness is joined at the hip to America’s Imperial success.
How does an Empire collapse gently? The Roman example took 200+ years. Do we have 200 years? I doubt it. The USSR is another example. Does the US have the social coherence to remain a powerful nation when it gets its wits back? I doubt that also.
As a thought exercise, if one assumes Trump is a Populist, or American Patriot, who came to power with the intent of collapsing the Empire gently, how would one have advised him to sideline the Neocons, and their occasional sidekicks, and regain control of the US? A frontal assault is surely doomed to failure. There is no room, much less support in the Imperial structure for an “America Firster”, while the typically populist strategy of calling on his support base risks societal breakdown and would thus just as surely destroy any “America First” agenda and could even devolve into a civil war.
I would submit that Trump’s present course is as good as it gets. Playing the internal conflicts and keeping his base in the loop is the best way. By placing 3 ex-Generals in his Administration, he’s weakened the links between the Militarists & Imperialists and the Neocons. Meanwhile, he’s given the Neocons and their most egregious agendas free rein as the surest way to expose them first to ridicule and eventually to political insignificance. A Nikki Haley has done, and continues to do more to make the Neocon agenda unviable than 100 Ron Pauls. Similarly, Trump’s uniquely public failed strike of the Shayrat base and his Administration’s bombastic rhetoric directed at DPRK exposed the Militarists’ favorite, the USM, for the paper tiger it actually is. The breeze died markedly in both the Neocons’ and Militarists’ sails over the last year. They’re huffing & puffing for all they’re worth, but that breeze continues to wane. There’s more coming in this vein.
There are domestic examples as well. Getting the swamp dwellers to investigate each other exposes, first their incestuous relations which will cause them to turn on each other to save their own skins, and will in the end expose them all. The swamp will drain itself. It’s already started. Mueller will do more damage to the swamp dwellers (and himself) than any Trump-appointed Special Prosecutor could have.
So, is Trump stupid? Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action. We’re into the nth stupid but good thing happening.
Paraphrasing The Bard: “Though this be stupidity, yet there is method in it”.
And this ‘democratic’ alternative is certifiably insane:
“Within hours of young trans woman whistleblower Chelsea Manning announcing her run for Senate against Benjamin Cardin, a 74-year-old white, straight man, establishment Democrats wasted no time in mocking and denouncing her bid, even embarrassing themselves by proclaiming it a Kremlin-engineered plot.” (ZH)
Trump may well be bad news; but he’s not mad news (relatively speaking).
It would be interesting to speculate what Trump’s generals feelings are towards non-mil intel agencies renegade ops.
“I have absolutely no hope left whatsoever in the sanity of U.S. decision makers. None.” That is a black and white picture of where we are. We have only insanity to deal with. Heaven help us. Thanks, Mr. Saker.
Its Daniel 8 where the action is.
Trump is being tarted up to be the fierce king.
When I was in int’l business I used to make note of how long it took hostilities to cease when Loyds activated the Force Mejeur clause. When the U.S. intervened in the 1984 Tanker War in the Persian Gulf, it took Loyds 24 hours to declare the whole Gulf a war zone & they cut the insurance and all insured oil vessels immediately complied and sailed for the nearest port. The U.S. reached a non hostility agreement with Iran in 2 hours. That one has the record. When I received the insurance memo, they had negotiated corridors for oil vessels wherein vessels would be insured : ‘the war could go on!’ I’ll bet an academic study of this ‘effect’ (LOL) could ID exactly WHO in the insurance industry actually controls ‘everything.’ After 40 years of this, I ROFL when I hear politicians that seem to think that ‘they’ actually have power. THIS is the ‘world order’ that’s changing.
According to D Orlov, Boston is about to receive LNG from Russia. Ultimate hippocracy while US sends gas to europe.
Who is insuring the shipment?
This reinforces your conclusion.
Something wicked this way comes….
Trump To Embrace Nuclear First Strike
Everything Saker says (neocon, israel-firsters, zionists), it makes sense only on the following precepts:
That these forces are to destroy the current US and any other superior forces than that of israel, so that they can rule the world (the Gentiles) from the throne of David. But these forces are not the forces of Prophet David, however, represent the force of Satan!
That’s why. according to Saker, “…. It’s purely ideological and it is basically a “Screw you” to the entire planet, “We do whatever the bleep we want and we don’t care.” And it’s also very characteristic of their lack of intelligence, ….”
They are driven by the ideology of putting the Gentiles at their places!
I’d like to throw in a possible black swan. What if North and South Korea were to follow through with their present overtures and press for reunification? How would the US explain to the world that they have to go to war to prevent this obviously peaceful process? Would they have to finally admit the truth about the reasons for the original Korean war, and that everything they have propagandized since WW2 has been one big lie?