By Scott Kirwin
Since when did America’s “mommy party” the Democrats suddenly get freaked out by Russia? As our own Bookworm summarized in her must-read piece, “This whole “scary Russia and Trump” position is a set-up. Until Trump appeared on the scene, the Democrat party was all over Putin and Russia. Hillary started it with her “reset.” Obama finished it when he laughed at Romney when the latter spoke of the threat from Russia; when he assured Putin his reelection would give him more flexibility; when he did nothing after Putin invaded Ukraine; and when he handed Syria over to Russia.” Now this year the Democrats have suddenly started channeling their own inner Joe McCarthy seeing a red under every bed, or more specifically a Russian behind every story critical of Obama and his anointed successor Hillary Clinton. Plus the CIA – the same organization that really, really believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction cross their collective hearts and hope to die – claims the Russians engaged in propaganda efforts to sway the American people to oppose Hillary Clinton. And framing Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange, the liberal heroes of yesteryear for exposing American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, as 21st Century Rosenbergs for helping the Russians is just plain laughable. They’ve both said the DNC emails didn’t come from Russian intelligence and I see no reason for them to lie.
I guess the US government doesn’t like competition on that front with our State Department sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to an Israeli group that used the money to attempt to oust Benjamin Netanyahu as discovered by a Congressional investigation. The US regularly interferes in elections in countries all over the world but I suppose we think it’s okay if we are “supporting democracy.” I think it’s counterproductive since all it does is paint “our guy” in an election as a puppet, something that usually doesn’t go down well with the locals. Putin might find the same thing out with Trump in a few months.
But let’s imagine for the sake of argument that Russia did meddle in our election. They aren’t being accused of hacking the election and throwing it to Trump. No they are being accused of planting true stories unfavorable to Hillary Clinton. Well gee, thankfully someone was since the entire printed, TV and online American media industry was pretty much volunteering for her campaign.
But so what? So… what? So let’s for a moment agree the CIA is right. What should we do about it?
A UN resolution? Russia has a veto. More sanctions on Putin? Yeah, our sanctions regime really worked on Saddam and the Iranians. Putin doesn’t seem to be hurting in the least. The entire US Senate flipping Putin the bird?
The leaves only one option: war.
Definitive proof that Russia meddled in our 2016 election is an acceptable casus belli for any democracy. We would be forced to declare war and engage Russian forces who aren’t geographically isolated and poorly trained as ISIS forces are, and who possess thousands of nuclear warheads and the means of delivering them to their targets. War with Russia would occur at sea, throughout Europe and Asia. It would also likely mean conventional missile attacks on American cities even if Russia withheld using their nukes in fear of retaliatory strikes. US nuclear policy has relied on that fear known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) to keep the peace with Russia, but an article in Business Insider suggests that Russia has moved beyond MAD and is preparing for nuclear war with the United States, a war it plans to win. “Further, Russia designed its nuclear weapons arsenal as absolute doomsday devices that rain up to 10 high-yield nuclear warheads down on targets at Mach 23 in a salvo that the US can’t possibly hope to intercept… Moscow is now taking steps to ensure that 100% of its population would be sheltered from such an attack.”
War with Russia would likely precipitate World War 3. It would mean casualties within the domestic US in amounts never seen before, and which haven’t been imagined since the darkest days of the Cold War with the Soviets. A 2001 paper published by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Projected US Casualties and Destruction of US Medical Services from Attacks by Russian Nuclear Forces, authors Helfand et al projected over 60 million casualties after an attack by Russia. “From the combined effects of blast, burns, and radiation, the attack by 2,000 warheads would cause 52 ± 2 million deaths and 9 ± 1 million injuries, even though it was primarily directed at military targets in sparsely populated areas.” That’s 60 million Americans and doesn’t count the Europeans or Russians who would likely be killed by our retaliatory strikes.
That’s roughly 20% of our population killed or injured. Even if America survived it would never be the same.
I personally do not believe that Russia is our natural enemy the way Islamic fundamentalists are. In fact I believe the opposite, that we have more in common with Russia in the world than we have differences. But the current Russian regime sees the world in zero sum terms and believes that anything that is good for the US must be bad for Russia. Until that thinking changes we must counter Russia wherever its actions threaten our allies or our interests and encourage it when it chooses to work with us.
The Democrats are playing with fire in their current emotional state. By kowtowing to Russia for the past 7 years and refusing to stand up to Putin when the stakes were relatively low, they have rewarded Putin’s reckless behavior and backed the US into a corner whereby our only option is World War 3. It underlines why “the mommy party” should leave serious matters like foreign policy to “the daddy party” and stick to things it is good at: like fretting about who uses which bathroom.