Does WW3 begin on a Crimea beach?

26 Jun

Well it happened, more or less. Recall my opening words to a June 3 post, sardonically entitled The military genius of The Economist:

This constant escalation can lead to serious consequences. If these serious consequences occur in Europe, how will the US behave, bearing in mind our parity in the field of strategic weapons? Hard to say. Do they want global conflict?
Vladimir Putin

Apologies for inviting you, for the second time in three days, to put yourself in the shoes of those whose children are buried by rubble, courtesy of Washington. But how do you suppose the Kremlin will react – will be forced to react – if a Crimean school, which is to say a Russian one, is hit by a stray ATACMS when these can only be deployed with hands-on NATO knowhow?

In the event it wasn’t a school but a Crimean seafront. And no-one was buried; just lacerated by shrapnel. But two sets of Russian parents will never again hug their child, thanks to the cluster bomblets rained down on sand and sea when an ATACMS strike turned one lazy Sunday at the beach into a scene from Alfred Hitchcock.

Three possibilities:

  1. The Lockheed-Martin ATACMS was aimed at a Russian military base north of Sevastapol, but went astray.
  2. As previous, but downed by Russian defence systems.
  3. The missile was deliberately targeted at the beach.

Pending further information, none of the three can be ruled out. That favoured in the West will be the second. The first might further dent – on top of its costly weaponry underperforming in Ukraine – US death sector sales at arms fairs.

(Plus, explanation 2 slyly shifts the blame. Humans are more psychological than logical animals, especially when brainwashed by the most extensive and interlocking propaganda matrix of all time.)

And the third possibility? Biden’s insistence that Ukraine is free to use US-supplied weaponry as it sees fit sweeps aside, with breath-taking defiance of reality, the truth that ATACMS cannot be deployed without the direct involvement of US personnel. In one of several parallels between Kiev’s situation and Tel Aviv’s, Zelensky’s regime, illegitimate since May 20, has every interest in widening the conflict to see the direct involvement of NATO combatants.

Washington less so. Its game plan, laid out in the now infamous 2019 Rand Report, Extending Russia, was always to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian. This does not, however, rule out more of the same cold calculation; that Russia might be goaded – by strategic high command or by rogue elements – into abandoning its years of long-game forbearance both before and since February 24, 2022.

Whatever. The bottom line is that Russian civilians, including children, have been killed by a US supplied missile and The Kremlin will be under immense pressure to strike back. Meanwhile the wholly predictable US response has been to appeal, in the main implicitly, to the self-evident lie – exposed many times on this site, most recently in The Guardian Media Group warmongers – that Russia launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine in February 2022, and the auxiliary lie that Crimea, gifted to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 and having voted overwhelmingly to reunite with Russia in March 2014, is under “Russian occupation”.

Here’s US State Department spokesman, Matt Miller. Is it me, or do his facial contortions – I swear his nose lengthens visibly – betray his own discomfort?

Turning from war crime apologetics to analysis, of the commentaries I’ve now seen, two stand out. The first features two of the calmest and best informed voices out there. Brian Berletic and Alexander Mercouris site the deaths in the wider context of the Ukraine War, and wider one still of a US-led empire whose criminal rulers are, for reasons set out many times here, desperate.

Short it ain’t, but for informed analysis you’ll be hard pressed to find better.

My second choice predates by a month the Crimea atrocity. It features twice decorated former US Colonel Daniel Davis 1 in dialogue with a man I haven’t cited in years, though at the height of the dirty war on Syria his name came up often. Of Theodor Postol, professor emeritus at MITT and before that on the Pentagon payroll, Wiki says that he:

… publicly criticized the US government analysis of the 2013 Ghouta chemical attack in Syria, also analysis by US and other western governments of the 2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, and accused the OPCW of “deception” over the Douma chemical attack. Earlier, he criticised US government statements about the reported success rates of Patriot missiles during the first Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Storm.

In two posts this month – Russia has escalatory dominance and Russia’s escalatory options – I’ve opined that “missing rungs” on the US escalatory ladder, in tandem with mounting panic inside America’s ruling class, make this the most dangerous period in history.


Bear this in mind as Ted Postol sets out with excruciating clarity what a “limited nuclear attack”, of the kind Western narrative managers are preparing us to accept as a regrettable possibility “given Putin’s aggression”, would look like.


Speaking of criminal empires, I’ll post separately but shortly on Julian Assange’s release.

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  1. Daniel Davis can be added to a list of gamekeepers turned poacher that includes Jacques Baud, Karen Kwiotkowski, Douglas McGregor, Lawrence Wilkerson and Larry Johnson. All were colonels. On the one hand that’s a rank senior enough to instil the habit of critically appraising strategy and policy. On the other, colonels are less bound up than generals or admirals with ruling elites and their agendas. When those agendas strike them as myopic or criminal there are fewer constraints on their preparedness to speak out as conscience dictates.

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