Light Summer Reading: Jail Breaks and Nuclear War

by lizard

It’s hard to pay attention to foreign policy with summer heat and a royal baby getting birthed, but there are two jail breaks that may be important to note.

The first jail break happened earlier this week in Iraq, freeing hundreds of prisoners:

The Justice Ministry reported Tuesday that 260 prisoners had escaped from Abu Ghraib. Other officials put the number at 500 on Monday but said about 150 were recaptured as police and troops fanned out to set up roadblocks on highways leading to Jordan and Syria.

The escapes of Al Qaeda operatives is expected to intensify fears among Iraqis that their government has shown itself to be incapable of protecting them since U.S. forces withdrew two years ago, the Gulf News agency said in a report about Al Qaeda’s ascendancy in Iraq and neighboring, civil-war-torn Syria.

The second jail break happened in Benghazi, Libya, in just the past 24 hours, and is reported to include over 1,000 prisoners:

About 1,200 inmates have escaped from a jail in the restive Libyan city of Benghazi.

A security official told the AP news agency that most of the escapees were facing serious charges.

Another report said a riot had taken place inside the al-Kwafiya prison.

The jailbreak comes a day after the assassination of a prominent political activist triggered protests in the city, although it is not clear whether the two are connected.

So I guess things aren’t going all that well in two countries where the US used its military power to impose regime change. Who could have foreseen that?

Speaking of foreseeing things, Paul Craig Roberts thinks he’s foreseeing a US plan for a preemptive nuclear strike on China.

For some light reading, click continue…


During the Cold War nuclear weapons had a defensive purpose. The purpose was to prevent nuclear war by the US and USSR each having sufficient retaliatory power to ensure “mutually assured destruction.” MAD, as it was known, meant that nuclear weapons had no offensive advantage for either side.

The Soviet collapse and China’s focus on its economy instead of its military have resulted in Washington’s advantage in nuclear weaponry that, according to two US Dr. Strangeglove characters, Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, gives Washington first-strike capability. Lieber and Press write that the “precipitous decline of Russia’s arsenal, and the glacial pace of modernization of China’s nuclear forces,” have created a situation in which neither Russia nor China could retaliate to Washington’s first strike.

The Pentagon’s “AirSea Battle” and Lieber and Press’ article in Foreign Affairs have informed China and Russia that Washington is contemplating pre-emptive nuclear attack on both countries. To ensure Russia’s inability to retaliate, Washington is placing anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s borders in violation of the US-USSR agreement.

Because the American press is a corrupt government propaganda ministry, the American people have no idea that neoconized Washington is planning nuclear war. Americans are no more aware of this than they are of former President Jimmy Carter’s recent statement, reported only in Germany, that the United States no longer has a functioning democracy.

The possibility that the United States would initiate nuclear war was given reality eleven years ago when President George W. Bush, at the urging of Dick Cheney and the neocons that dominated his regime, signed off on the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review.

This neocon document, signed off on by America’s most moronic president, resulted in consternation and condemnation from the rest of the world and launched a new arms race. Russian President Putin immediately announced that Russia would spend all necessary sums to maintain Russia’s retaliatory nuclear capability. The Chinese displayed their prowess by knocking a satellite out of space with a missile. The mayor of Hiroshima, recipient city of a vast American war crime, stated: “The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the central international agreement guiding the elimination of nuclear weapons, is on the verge of collapse. The chief cause is US nuclear policy that, by openly declaring the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear first strike and calling for resumed research into mini-nukes and other so-called ‘useable nuclear weapons,’ appears to worship nuclear weapons as God.”

(full article at link)

US foreign policy often appears insane. But is it? Maybe there’s a deeper rationale we don’t know about.

  1. mike

    LMAO, and you lefties think Glenn Beck is a paranoid kook, Beck isn’t in this guys league.

    • lizard19

      you are right, mike, they are in different leagues because Glenn Beck didn’t get his doctorate in economics from the University of Virginia, nor was Beck an assistant secretary of the treasury under president Ronald Reagan.

      and when it comes to being paranoid, if I had said a few months ago that nearly every American has had personal data swept and stored by the NSA and its corporate contractors, you probably would have dismissed that as the ravings of a paranoid kook.

      and you would have been wrong.

      • JC

        I guess if people are disbelievers in science, they won’t care about any of the experience or credentials of someone like Roberts — most of whose career was spent in conservative endeavors. If a piece like Roberts’ doesn’t mix with an individual’s world view, then they relegate the information to that of a “paranoid kook.”

        I just happen to think that those, like Roberts, who engage in studying and writing about political economy — the merged fields of politics, law and economics — have a better ability to understand world and national events, right or left, converted or not.

        Thanks for the link to Roberts. I’ll have to read more of his stuff!

      • mike

        Not disagreeing about the NSA snooping. Certainly troubling though I don’t yet see where my security is in danger.

        As far as your flashing his credentials vis a vis Beck I find it somewhat hilarious. A Reagan dude is the first type of fellow you’d go off on in most cases, despite the origin of his degree.

        You fancy yourself as an iconoclast. Whatever blows your hair back dude. No worries, it’s your blog…getting anyone outside of your small circle of in the know slackers in Missoula to take you seriously is hilarious. Carry on, my wayward son.

        • lizard19

          I don’t yet see where my security is in danger.

          the US has destroyed nations, creating chaotic breeding grounds for extremists and jihadists. the US supports extremists, including al-qaeda affiliated groups in Syria. domestically, the constitution is being shredded.

          and you don’t see where your security is in danger? maybe you should get your head out of the sand, mike, and pay attention to what’s happening.

  2. NamelessRange

    Roberts also said on the Alex Jones Show, that U.S. involvement in South Ossentia in 2008 was setting the stage for nuclear war with Russia.

    That was a failed prediction. On a recommendation from my dad, I read his 2000 book, The Tyranny Of Good Intentions. The dude still has Reagan on the brain, and right or not, gives an inordinate amount of discussion to nuclear war.

    • NamelessRange

      And I should say, the book was excellent.

    • lizard19

      Roberts, as a source, despite his pedigree, makes me uncomfortable precisely because he would choose to engage Alex Jones.

      that said, I don’t see how Roberts, as you are paraphrasing him, was wrong. the Georgian/Russian skirmish over South Ossetia is just one event on a continuum of increasing tension between the US and Russia. Syria is another. these little proxy wars represent larger ambitions.

      as for nuclear war, read a little background on what Bush did:


      These changes in U.S. nuclear weapons policy were announced in three official documents that were released by the administration in 2002. The first of these documents is the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that was issued by the U.S. Department of Defense in January 2002. It is a classified document that is mandated by law and produced periodically, the last one having been that of the Clinton administration in 1994. The latest version was leaked in March 2002 by the Los Angeles Times. According to the NPR, “A combination of offensive and defensive, and nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities is essential to meet the deterrence requirements of the 21st century.” It is a wide-ranging analysis of the requirements for deterrence in the 21st century. It states that it does not provide operational guidance on nuclear targeting or planning. Rather, it states that the Department of Defense continues to plan for a broad range of contingencies and unforeseen threats to the U.S. and its allies in order to deter such attacks in the first place. It does, however, refer to the “Possible use of nuclear weapons in an Arab-Israeli conflict, in a war between China and Taiwan, or in an attack from North Korea on the South.” It also refers to the use of nuclear weapons against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack, in retaliation for attacks by nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, or “in the event of surprising military developments.” It also states that the administration is fashioning a more diverse set of options for deterring the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

      • NamelessRange

        I would still consider it a failed prediction.

        Increasing tension, therefore, future nuclear war, is not a sound or valid argument.

        For the last 60 years hundreds if not thousands of individuals, many with the diplomatic chops of Roberts, have predicted imminent nuclear war in situations where the evidence for such an event favoring that prediction was much greater than is today’s evidence. The background evidence does not favor predictions of nuclear war.

        Sure. If we say certain conflicts exist on a continuum leading to nuclear war at *some point* in the future we very well may be right. But that’s not much of a prediction, and is too vague to be useful. In that interview with Alex Jones, Roberts was implying imminent nuclear war within a timespan that has already come and gone.

  3. Big Johansson

    But worry bout an economic collapse when we have climate change threatening our most valuable species.

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