Towards a global nuclear war

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos 

A stormy chain of events in recent days, with the latest being Biden’s decision to allow the use of US weapons for strikes inside Russia, has come to confirm our worst fears. The human species is, as Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University said recently in an interview, closer to nuclear annihilation than at any other time in history. 

The attempted genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza has, for the first time since the Vietnam War, provoked a very important global protest movement, with the participation of many Jews in the diaspora. Very important because in Palestine, it is not only the fate of the Palestinians that is being decided. The fate of human civilization, our fate, is at stake. Accepting what is happening in Palestine, a small fraction of which we see on our televisions, would indicate a regression to a jungle-like situation in human relations, a law of the strong, with no mercy for individuals, peoples, nations and states. 

In Palestine the stakes are the salvation of human civilization, in Ukraine, they are the very survival of the human species. Unfortunately, developments here lack the immediacy of Israeli crimes, which left no room for the pro-Israeli propaganda that has once again flooded the media of the increasingly totalitarian world in which we live. While the vast majority of Western and world public opinion has grasped the importance of what is happening in Palestine, it has not grasped that NATO’s adventurist policy is rapidly leading us towards a European and global nuclear catastrophe and has not mobilized as it should have done in the face of the greatest threat to its very survival that humanity has ever encountered in its entire history. Many believe there is a war between Ukraine and Russia, when in fact we are witnessing a NATO war against Russia, with all the inherent dangers of such a confrontation. 

We still consider it fundamentally inconceivable to reach nuclear war, and by considering it inconceivable we are making it possible and even probable. 

We have repeatedly written our view on how the West itself has provoked the current war in Ukraine and is waging it using the Zelensky regime in Kyiv as its tool. But even if you completely disagree with this analysis, even if you agree with the Western arguments in favor of Ukraine’s right to defend itself and against Russia, I think you will agree that to (supposedly) defend Ukraine, to bring it into NATO and to fight “evil Russia”, it is not reasonable to blow up the planet (including Ukrainians themselves)! 

This is precisely where the policy of the collective West leads us, fueled by the extremist War Party within it, which now seems to have completely overturned any objections expressed in the process by President Biden and German Chancellor Scholz, who are no longer in charge of the situation and are unknowingly steering humanity towards its ruin. 

The attempted assassination of the Slovak Prime Minister Fico, Robert Fico’s failed assassination raises specter of Western plotting – The Grayzone, has shown that no differentiation by anyone exercising governmental power in a state of the collective West will any longer be tolerated. The real power on the planet, big finance capital, has apparently decided that it will tolerate nothing less than victory in the war against Russia. Catching the drift, Trump repeated to his financial backers his earlier statement that he would bomb Moscow and Beijing in the event of an invasion of Ukraine or Taiwan

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The great nuclear provocation 

Ukraine, i.e. NATO, hit two Russian early warning radars, whose role is to prevent Russia of an incoming nuclear attack. The attack on the radars has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine itself and objectively, regardless of intentions, it facilitates a possible nuclear attack on Russia and a possible first, surprise strike, i.e. it can reasonably be considered and does indeed constitute the first step in the preparation of a nuclear attack against Moscow. It dramatically increases uncertainty and therefore increases the likelihood of a European or global nuclear war. 

The whole philosophy of arms control for decades has been to assure both adversaries that they will not be attacked by surprise. Because if you are facing the possibility of a surprise attack, you have an incentive to strike first before your opponent can cripple your nuclear capabilities. 

This principle was placed by the Americans themselves at the center of the arms control philosophy, despite the initial objections of the Soviets, who were eventually convinced, and it was reflected in the 1972 ABM Treaty. The logic is that if both sides know that they will receive a devastating retaliatory blow, they will not go for a surprise first strike. 

At best, which is not good at all, the attack on the radars is a case of great adventurism and frivolity with which the Americans and their allies are violating, in their desperation and incoherence, the most basic principles of nuclear stability, which were accepted in the past by both the US and the USSR and allowed the maintenance of peace between the nuclear powers despite the Cold War, i.e. the survival of humanity. 

In a “middle” case scenario, the Americans are attempting, by threatening Russia with a general nuclear war, to prevent it from using tactical nuclear weapons or, alternatively, they want to provoke them into using them first and to take themselves the enormous political responsibility for the first use of such weapons after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Bu doing this the Russians would liberate the West and its extremist warriors from any political or moral limitation in using themselves nuclear arms. 

We are abandoning any notion of “strategic stability” and we are heading to the space of “Madman Strategies” (chicken games). This is a path that, by trapping both sides in a situation where neither can retreat, makes conflict inevitable. 

And of course, there is a worst case scenario, and it’s impossible for the Russian military, and anyone in their position, not to think about it. That the Americans, unwilling to accept anything beyond a complete victory in Ukraine, are ready to launch a nuclear war. 

What would Washington think if some drones or missiles hit US early warning radar? What would London and Paris think in a similar situation? 

The targets set by NATO and why they lead to nuclear war 

But let’s leave our own analyses of what the West is doing for the moment and see what it tells us. 

Last Monday, a few days after the radar attacks, the Atlantic Alliance took the view at its Sofia summit that “Russia can and must suffer a strategic defeat in Ukraine” and that there must be a “clearly formulated strategy to provide Ukraine with everything it needs, as quickly as it can and for as long as it needs to win”. 

Russia’s “strategic defeat” means the expulsion of Russian forces from the Crimean and Donbass regions, inhabited by an overwhelming majority of ethnic Russians, measures to disarm Russia, the overthrow of the Putin regime, the trial and conviction of the Russian President along the lines of Saddam Hussein, and the imposition of a regime far more subservient to Washington and the “collective West” than that which existed under Boris Yeltsin. 

But such aspirations are almost impossible to achieve without the massive use of nuclear weapons. They are hardly likely to be achieved by conventional means, as the experience of the conflict in Ukraine has shown so far. But even if this unlikely scenario were to materialize, it is even more unlikely that Russia, faced with defeat by conventional weapons, would surrender without using all the means at its disposal. 

If powerful centers in the West want to provoke a nuclear war, or are willing to tolerate the risk of such a war, as shown by their actions, not deeds, as a last resort to defeat Russia, then they may seek to force Moscow to make first use of tactical nuclear weapons, so that it will bear the huge political cost, “absolving” them of any restrictions. 

Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski, who is often used to say what others don’t want to say, recently said that the Americans warned the Russians that if they use even one tactical nuclear weapon, even without casualties, they will destroy all Russian positions in Ukraine by every available conventional means. Of course, one must be a complete fool to believe that such things can happen without leading to a world war and that such a war is possible without the use of nuclear weapons. Either Sikorsky is a complete fool, or he cannot publicly say that we will go to global nuclear war if it is impossible to defeat Russia otherwise.

 Note that it is wishful thinking to hope that a nuclear conflict will be controlled, confined to one category of weapons and one geographical area. If the fear of nuclear war and the destruction of humanity is not enough to stop the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is unlikely that anything will stop further escalation once the first major moral and political barrier is breached. 

Some may say that this is all bluff and neither side will get to where it threatens to go. The bad thing about this view is that the only way to know if it is correct is to roll the dice on the existence of the human species. Bluffs, after all, have their own dynamics. Once they are formulated, they also bind those who make them. 

For all the above reasons, the most important task today is to develop a strong global anti-war, anti-nuclear movement of peoples and states to expose and oppose NATO’s escalation plans, calling for a halt to the deployment of new weapons and negotiations for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The existence of such a movement will help to make nuclear deterrence work again. And as far as Moscow’s availability for negotiations is concerned, the signs are rather encouraging (

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In another article we will examine how we are gradually transiting from the “nuclear stability”, professed by Joe Biden until recently, to the logic of a regime change in Russia which is ultimately impossible without a nuclear war.

May 31, 2024

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