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Chomsky writes: "In January 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced its famous Doomsday Clock to three minutes before midnight, a threat level that had not been reached for 30 years. Since then, there has been good reason to consider moving the hands even closer to doomsday."

Noam Chomsky. (photo: Graeme Robertson)
Noam Chomsky. (photo: Graeme Robertson)


The Doomsday Clock, Nuclear Weapons, Climate Change, and the Prospects for Survival

By Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch

14 June 16

 


He hadn’t been in office three months when he went to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, and delivered remarks on the world’s nuclear dilemma. They proved to be of a sort that might normally have come from an antinuclear activist or someone in the then just-budding climate change movement, not the president of the United States. While calling for the use of new forms of energy, Barack Obama spoke with rare presidential eloquence of the dangers of a planet in which nuclear weapons were spreading and of how that spread, if unchecked, would make their use “inevitable.” He called for a “world without nuclear weapons” and said bluntly, “As a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.” He even promised to take “concrete steps” to begin to build just such a world without such weapons.

Seven years later, the record of America’s first and possibly only abolitionist president is in. The U.S. nuclear arsenal -- at 4,571 warheads (far below the almost 19,000 in existence in 1991 when the Soviet Union imploded) -- remains large enough to destroy several Earth-sized planets. According to the Federation of American Scientists, the latest Pentagon figures on that arsenal indicate that “the Obama administration has reduced the U.S. stockpile less than any other post-Cold War administration, and that the number of warheads dismantled in 2015 was [the] lowest since President Obama took office.” To put that in perspective, Obama has done significantly less than George W. Bush when it comes to drawing down the existing American arsenal.

At the same time, our abolitionist president is now presiding over the so-called modernization of that same arsenal, a massive three-decade project now estimated to cost at least a trillion dollars -- before, of course, the usual cost overruns set in. In the process, new weapons systems will be produced, the first “smart” nukes created (think: “precision” weapons with far more minimal “yields,” which means first-use battlefield nukes), and god knows what else.

He does have one antinuclear success, his agreement with Iran ensuring that country will not produce such a weapon. Still, such a dismal record from a president seemingly determined to set the U.S. on the abolitionist path tells us something about the nuclear dilemma and the grip the national security state has on his thinking (and assumedly that of any future president).

It’s no small horror that, on this planet of ours, humanity continues to foster two apocalyptic forces, each of which -- one in a relative instant and the other over many decades -- could cripple or destroy human life as we know it. That should be sobering indeed for all of us. It’s the subject that Noam Chomsky takes up in this essay from his remarkable new book, Who Rules the World?

-Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch


The Doomsday Clock
Nuclear Weapons, Climate Change, and the Prospects for Survival

[This essay is excerpted from Noam Chomsky’s new book, Who Rules the World? (Metropolitan Books).]

n January 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced its famous Doomsday Clock to three minutes before midnight, a threat level that had not been reached for 30 years. The Bulletin’s statement explaining this advance toward catastrophe invoked the two major threats to survival: nuclear weapons and “unchecked climate change.” The call condemned world leaders, who “have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe,” endangering “every person on Earth [by] failing to perform their most important duty -- ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.”

Since then, there has been good reason to consider moving the hands even closer to doomsday.

As 2015 ended, world leaders met in Paris to address the severe problem of “unchecked climate change.” Hardly a day passes without new evidence of how severe the crisis is. To pick almost at random, shortly before the opening of the Paris conference, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab released a study that both surprised and alarmed scientists who have been studying Arctic ice. The study showed that a huge Greenland glacier, Zachariae Isstrom, “broke loose from a glaciologically stable position in 2012 and entered a phase of accelerated retreat,” an unexpected and ominous development. The glacier “holds enough water to raise global sea level by more than 18 inches (46 centimeters) if it were to melt completely. And now it’s on a crash diet, losing 5 billion tons of mass every year. All that ice is crumbling into the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Yet there was little expectation that world leaders in Paris would “act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.” And even if by some miracle they had, it would have been of limited value, for reasons that should be deeply disturbing.

When the agreement was approved in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who hosted the talks, announced that it is “legally binding.” That may be the hope, but there are more than a few obstacles that are worthy of careful attention.

In all of the extensive media coverage of the Paris conference, perhaps the most important sentences were these, buried near the end of a long New York Times analysis: “Traditionally, negotiators have sought to forge a legally binding treaty that needed ratification by the governments of the participating countries to have force. There is no way to get that in this case, because of the United States. A treaty would be dead on arrival on Capitol Hill without the required two-thirds majority vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. So the voluntary plans are taking the place of mandatory, top-down targets.” And voluntary plans are a guarantee of failure.

“Because of the United States.” More precisely, because of the Republican Party, which by now is becoming a real danger to decent human survival.

The conclusions are underscored in another Times piece on the Paris agreement. At the end of a long story lauding the achievement, the article notes that the system created at the conference “depends heavily on the views of the future world leaders who will carry out those policies. In the United States, every Republican candidate running for president in 2016 has publicly questioned or denied the science of climate change, and has voiced opposition to Mr. Obama’s climate change policies. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, who has led the charge against Mr. Obama’s climate change agenda, said, ‘Before his international partners pop the champagne, they should remember that this is an unattainable deal based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, and that Congress has already voted to reject.’”

Both parties have moved to the right during the neoliberal period of the past generation. Mainstream Democrats are now pretty much what used to be called “moderate Republicans.” Meanwhile, the Republican Party has largely drifted off the spectrum, becoming what respected conservative political analyst Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein call a “radical insurgency” that has virtually abandoned normal parliamentary politics. With the rightward drift, the Republican Party’s dedication to wealth and privilege has become so extreme that its actual policies could not attract voters, so it has had to seek a new popular base, mobilized on other grounds: evangelical Christians who await the Second Coming, nativists who fear that “they” are taking our country away from us, unreconstructed racists, people with real grievances who gravely mistake their causes, and others like them who are easy prey to demagogues and can readily become a radical insurgency.

In recent years, the Republican establishment had managed to suppress the voices of the base that it has mobilized. But no longer. By the end of 2015 the establishment was expressing considerable dismay and desperation over its inability to do so, as the Republican base and its choices fell out of control.

Republican elected officials and contenders for the next presidential election expressed open contempt for the Paris deliberations, refusing to even attend the proceedings. The three candidates who led in the polls at the time -- Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson -- adopted the stand of the largely evangelical base: humans have no impact on global warming, if it is happening at all.

The other candidates reject government action to deal with the matter. Immediately after Obama spoke in Paris, pledging that the United States would be in the vanguard seeking global action, the Republican-dominated Congress voted to scuttle his recent Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut carbon emissions. As the press reported, this was “a provocative message to more than 100 [world] leaders that the American president does not have the full support of his government on climate policy” -- a bit of an understatement. Meanwhile Lamar Smith, Republican head of the House’s Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, carried forward his jihad against government scientists who dare to report the facts.

The message is clear. American citizens face an enormous responsibility right at home.

A companion story in the New York Times reports that “two-thirds of Americans support the United States joining a binding international agreement to curb growth of greenhouse gas emissions.” And by a five-to-three margin, Americans regard the climate as more important than the economy. But it doesn’t matter. Public opinion is dismissed. That fact, once again, sends a strong message to Americans. It is their task to cure the dysfunctional political system, in which popular opinion is a marginal factor. The disparity between public opinion and policy, in this case, has significant implications for the fate of the world.

We should, of course, have no illusions about a past “golden age.” Nevertheless, the developments just reviewed constitute significant changes. The undermining of functioning democracy is one of the contributions of the neoliberal assault on the world’s population in the past generation. And this is not happening just in the U.S.; in Europe the impact may be even worse.

The Black Swan We Can Never See

Let us turn to the other (and traditional) concern of the atomic scientists who adjust the Doomsday Clock: nuclear weapons. The current threat of nuclear war amply justifies their January 2015 decision to advance the clock two minutes toward midnight. What has happened since reveals the growing threat even more clearly, a matter that elicits insufficient concern, in my opinion.

The last time the Doomsday Clock reached three minutes before midnight was in 1983, at the time of the Able Archer exercises of the Reagan administration; these exercises simulated attacks on the Soviet Union to test their defense systems. Recently released Russian archives reveal that the Russians were deeply concerned by the operations and were preparing to respond, which would have meant, simply: The End.

We have learned more about these rash and reckless exercises, and about how close the world was to disaster, from U.S. military and intelligence analyst Melvin Goodman, who was CIA division chief and senior analyst at the Office of Soviet Affairs at the time. “In addition to the Able Archer mobilization exercise that alarmed the Kremlin,” Goodman writes, “the Reagan administration authorized unusually aggressive military exercises near the Soviet border that, in some cases, violated Soviet territorial sovereignty. The Pentagon’s risky measures included sending U.S. strategic bombers over the North Pole to test Soviet radar, and naval exercises in wartime approaches to the USSR where U.S. warships had previously not entered. Additional secret operations simulated surprise naval attacks on Soviet targets.”

We now know that the world was saved from likely nuclear destruction in those frightening days by the decision of a Russian officer, Stanislav Petrov, not to transmit to higher authorities the report of automated detection systems that the USSR was under missile attack. Accordingly, Petrov takes his place alongside Russian submarine commander Vasili Arkhipov, who, at a dangerous moment of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, refused to authorize the launching of nuclear torpedoes when the subs were under attack by U.S. destroyers enforcing a quarantine.

Other recently revealed examples enrich the already frightening record. Nuclear security expert Bruce Blair reports that “the closest the U.S. came to an inadvertent strategic launch decision by the President happened in 1979, when a NORAD early warning training tape depicting a full-scale Soviet strategic strike inadvertently coursed through the actual early warning network. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was called twice in the night and told the U.S. was under attack, and he was just picking up the phone to persuade President Carter that a full-scale response needed to be authorized right away, when a third call told him it was a false alarm.”

This newly revealed example brings to mind a critical incident of 1995, when the trajectory of a U.S.-Norwegian rocket carrying scientific equipment resembled the path of a nuclear missile. This elicited Russian concerns that quickly reached President Boris Yeltsin, who had to decide whether to launch a nuclear strike.

Blair adds other examples from his own experience. In one case, at the time of the 1967 Middle East war, “a carrier nuclear-aircraft crew was sent an actual attack order instead of an exercise/training nuclear order.” A few years later, in the early 1970s, the Strategic Air Command in Omaha “retransmitted an exercise... launch order as an actual real-world launch order.” In both cases code checks had failed; human intervention prevented the launch. “But you get the drift here,” Blair adds. “It just wasn’t that rare for these kinds of snafus to occur.”

Blair made these comments in reaction to a report by airman John Bordne that has only recently been cleared by the U.S. Air Force. Bordne was serving on the U.S. military base in Okinawa in October 1962, at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and a moment of serious tensions in Asia as well. The U.S. nuclear alert system had been raised to DEFCON 2, one level below DEFCON 1, when nuclear missiles can be launched immediately. At the peak of the crisis, on October 28th, a missile crew received authorization to launch its nuclear missiles, in error. They decided not to, averting likely nuclear war and joining Petrov and Arkhipov in the pantheon of men who decided to disobey protocol and thereby saved the world.

As Blair observed, such incidents are not uncommon. One recent expert study found dozens of false alarms every year during the period reviewed, 1977 to 1983; the study concluded that the range is 43 to 255 per year. The author of the study, Seth Baum, summarizes with appropriate words: “Nuclear war is the black swan we can never see, except in that brief moment when it is killing us. We delay eliminating the risk at our own peril. Now is the time to address the threat, because now we are still alive.”

These reports, like those in Eric Schlosser’s book Command and Control, keep mostly to U.S. systems. The Russian ones are doubtless much more error-prone. That is not to mention the extreme danger posed by the systems of others, notably Pakistan.

“A War Is No Longer Unthinkable”

Sometimes the threat has not been accident, but adventurism, as in the case of Able Archer. The most extreme case was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the threat of disaster was all too real. The way it was handled is shocking; so is the manner in which it is commonly interpreted.

With this grim record in mind, it is useful to look at strategic debates and planning. One chilling case is the Clinton-era 1995 STRATCOM study “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence.” The study calls for retaining the right of first strike, even against nonnuclear states. It explains that nuclear weapons are constantly used, in the sense that they “cast a shadow over any crisis or conflict.” It also urges a “national persona” of irrationality and vindictiveness to intimidate the world.

Current doctrine is explored in the lead article in the journal International Security, one of the most authoritative in the domain of strategic doctrine. The authors explain that the United States is committed to “strategic primacy” -- that is, insulation from retaliatory strike. This is the logic behind Obama’s “new triad” (strengthening submarine and land-based missiles and the bomber force), along with missile defense to counter a retaliatory strike. The concern raised by the authors is that the U.S. demand for strategic primacy might induce China to react by abandoning its “no first use” policy and by expanding its limited deterrent. The authors think that they will not, but the prospect remains uncertain. Clearly the doctrine enhances the dangers in a tense and conflicted region.

The same is true of NATO expansion to the east in violation of verbal promises made to Mikhail Gorbachev when the USSR was collapsing and he agreed to allow a unified Germany to become part of NATO -- quite a remarkable concession when one thinks about the history of the century. Expansion to East Germany took place at once. In the following years, NATO expanded to Russia’s borders; there are now substantial threats even to incorporate Ukraine, in Russia’s geostrategic heartland. One can imagine how the United States would react if the Warsaw Pact were still alive, most of Latin America had joined, and now Mexico and Canada were applying for membership.

Aside from that, Russia understands as well as China (and U.S. strategists, for that matter) that the U.S. missile defense systems near Russia’s borders are, in effect, a first-strike weapon, aimed to establish strategic primacy -- immunity from retaliation. Perhaps their mission is utterly unfeasible, as some specialists argue. But the targets can never be confident of that. And Russia’s militant reactions are quite naturally interpreted by NATO as a threat to the West.

One prominent British Ukraine scholar poses what he calls a “fateful geographical paradox”: that NATO “exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”

The threats are very real right now. Fortunately, the shooting down of a Russian plane by a Turkish F-16 in November 2015 did not lead to an international incident, but it might have, particularly given the circumstances. The plane was on a bombing mission in Syria. It passed for a mere 17 seconds through a fringe of Turkish territory that protrudes into Syria, and evidently was heading for Syria, where it crashed. Shooting it down appears to have been a needlessly reckless and provocative act, and an act with consequences.

In reaction, Russia announced that its bombers will henceforth be accompanied by jet fighters and that it is deploying sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems in Syria. Russia also ordered its missile cruiser Moskva, with its long-range air defense system, to move closer to shore, so that it may be “ready to destroy any aerial target posing a potential danger to our aircraft,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced. All of this sets the stage for confrontations that could be lethal.

Tensions are also constant at NATO-Russian borders, including military maneuvers on both sides. Shortly after the Doomsday Clock was moved ominously close to midnight, the national press reported that “U.S. military combat vehicles paraded Wednesday through an Estonian city that juts into Russia, a symbolic act that highlighted the stakes for both sides amid the worst tensions between the West and Russia since the Cold War.” Shortly before, a Russian warplane came within seconds of colliding with a Danish civilian airliner. Both sides are practicing rapid mobilization and redeployment of forces to the Russia-NATO border, and “both believe a war is no longer unthinkable.”

Prospects for Survival

If that is so, both sides are beyond insanity, since a war might well destroy everything. It has been recognized for decades that a first strike by a major power might destroy the attacker, even without retaliation, simply from the effects of nuclear winter.

But that is today’s world. And not just today’s -- that is what we have been living with for 70 years. The reasoning throughout is remarkable. As we have seen, security for the population is typically not a leading concern of policymakers. That has been true from the earliest days of the nuclear age, when in the centers of policy formation there were no efforts -- apparently not even expressed thoughts -- to eliminate the one serious potential threat to the United States, as might have been possible. And so matters continue to the present, in ways just briefly sampled.

That is the world we have been living in, and live in today. Nuclear weapons pose a constant danger of instant destruction, but at least we know in principle how to alleviate the threat, even to eliminate it, an obligation undertaken (and disregarded) by the nuclear powers that have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The threat of global warming is not instantaneous, though it is dire in the longer term and might escalate suddenly. That we have the capacity to deal with it is not entirely clear, but there can be no doubt that the longer the delay, the more extreme the calamity.

Prospects for decent long-term survival are not high unless there is a significant change of course. A large share of the responsibility is in our hands -- the opportunities as well.

Noam Chomsky is institute professor emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A TomDispatch regular, among his recent books are Hegemony or Survival and Failed States. This essay is from his new book, Who Rules the World? (Metropolitan Books, the American Empire Project). His website is www.chomsky.info.


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+18 # PaulK 2016-06-14 08:57
Good news: the engineering required for affordable solar building heat in winter, for solar thermal electricity at night and for daylighting well-insulated greenhouses and other buildings too isn't that hard. We can displace most of our own fossil fuel energy use fairly quickly.

Bad news: The engineering required to do this is simply not getting done. There is basically zero money anywhere for this work. Nor is there a social entrepreneurshi p or a charity interested in such a thing. So, humanity is a Darwin Award finalist.

Yes, we should be monitoring whether the work is getting done, or whether we're being sold another bill of goods. It's sort of like the U.S. military demanding trillions of dollars so that they can lose yet another war. It's also sort of like perpetually rigging the U.S. elections, at the point of a gun if need be (Bobby Kennedy's head wound) but usually felony vote fraud will accomplish the same goal. Anyways, in this case we die.
 
 
+18 # danireland46 2016-06-14 10:04
Chomsky remembers Obama's words in Prague, in the second month of his presidency, that he was dedicated to scaling down the nuclear threat: "He even promised to take “concrete steps” to begin to build just such a world without such weapons."Now, seven years later, Chomsky notes: "the Obama administration has reduced the U.S. stockpile less than any other post-Cold War administration. "LIES and HYPOCRISY" the legacy of our community organizer.
 
 
-9 # rocback 2016-06-14 11:28
It had been reduced from over 30,000 in the 60's to less than 5000 today. Every president since the 60's has reduced it less each time because there is less to reduce. So to simply say Obama has reduced it less than any other president is misleading.
 
 
-40 # brycenuc 2016-06-14 10:04
Noam Chomsky has, unfortunately, fallen for the fallacy that humankind, through its production of carbon dioxide is dooming the earth. The truth is that all life on earth depends on the compounds of carbon, including and especially, carbon dioxide. Any examination of history quickly dispels th notion that carbon dioxide controls world temperature.
 
 
-37 # jdd 2016-06-14 11:02
You are, of course, correct. The sun is the crucial determinent of climate changes on earth, which are a fact of human and pre-human history. Unfortunately, the American people have been brainwashed by the "global warming is a fact," propaganda, to the point where it's almost impossible to challenge.
 
 
+21 # southernwood 2016-06-14 12:07
Yeah, yeah, the sun, of course! It's been there and the earth's been here, what's your point? The difference is how much of the sun's heat enters and stays within the earth's atmosphere, and how much dissipates out into space. We're holding more now.

And it's not propaganda when it's extremely robust scientific findings.

But, hey, most of us aren't in a good position to parse the scientific particulars, so it's great that we can use common sense. (At least, those of us who have common sense.)

The scientists who have been warning about warming for 3-4 decades accurately predicted the things we've already seen - rising temps, bigger storms, highly anomalous weather patterns, longer and more devastating droughts, rising seas, etc. But they did get one thing wrong in a big way, and that's the time frame this would play out in.

About nine years ago, it was a big deal when climate scientists predicted that the Arctic would be ice free by the end of this century. They were wrong, in a sense. The Arctic will be ice free by the end of this decade, quite possibly this summer.

When will you cut the crap and look around? The is important, not some dumb ass game.
 
 
+12 # Dust 2016-06-14 13:30
Really??

So every single climatologist on the planet is ignorant of solar influence on climate? Maybe you should let them know.

Make sure you also let them know that things can have only ONE driver and cause. If solar input influences climate, there is clearly, absolutely no way that anything else can also influence it.

Lastly, make sure you inform all those climatologists that, concurrent to the Single Driver Fact, the CO2 feedback loops initially driven by Milankovitch cycles can't be replicated through human production of CO2.
 
 
+16 # Glen 2016-06-14 11:23
Nobody is discussing "normal" levels of CO2. The cause of worry is extremely excessive amounts, along with other gases that would have been considered normal at one time. There is also the ozone layer that is diminishing rapidly and receives little attention.

The planet has never had such a huge population or as much industry. That must all be taken into consideration.
 
 
+14 # Ken Halt 2016-06-14 11:27
bry: Please post a link to your peer-reviewed article showing the scientific basis for your statement, until then I'm going with the 97% of climate scientists whose studies show ACD to be a reality.
 
 
+12 # southernwood 2016-06-14 11:47
Yes, of course life needs CO2. If anyone were suggesting otherwise your post would be relevant. The problem is too much CO2 in the atmosphere. This is "historically" shown to be associated with much warmer temperatures globally and melting of ice. The last time "historically" that CO2 levels were where ours now are was millions of years ago. The climate was much hotter, and sea levels were about 65-80' higher than they are now. This could explain why the huge ice reserves at the poles are melting at an accelerating rate, and global temps rising rapidly.

Your smug assertions mean you are either a troll, or visited some climate change denying site and think you know enough to have an informed opinion.
 
 
+10 # Dust 2016-06-14 13:24
AS all life also depends on water, I want you to drink 50 gallons of water at once.

Any examination of climate data shows you to be incapable of logical reasoning.
 
 
+27 # jdd 2016-06-14 10:27
The idea that Russia, or China, is even partly responsible for that fact that we are on the edge of nuclear war is absurd. It was less than year ago the President Putin offered an anti-terrorist alliance to which he compared the wartime alliance to defeat Hitler, The response from the Obama administration has been not only to reject that offer, opting instead for "regime change," but rather"Operatio n Anaconda," a deployment of 50,000 NATO troops on Russia's border, the largest since the Nazis invasion. against an imaginary Russian invasion. Add to that the above cited $1 trillion upgrade of nuclear weapons, the outfitting of the B6-12 nuclear bomb as a "tactical nuclear missile," the refusal to discuss the deployment of ABMs in Romania, to address the non- existent Iranian nuclear missile threat, and the deployment of Aegis class cruisers into the Black Sea. Every move taken by Putin has been defensive, from Ukraine, to Syria, to its own weapons upgrade has been in response to the desperation of the US to maintain (the illusion of a "uni-polar world."
 
 
+9 # Glen 2016-06-14 11:28
Thank you jdd. This needs to be said more often.
 
 
-19 # rocback 2016-06-14 11:29
Nothing "imaginary" about Crimea.
 
 
+9 # jdd 2016-06-14 12:07
I'm glad you brought that up, as your knee jerk reaction is totally predictable. Since when is the peaceful transition of sovereign government, overwhelmingly approved of in a free election monitored by 62 countries, in which not a single soldier crossed an international boundary considered an "invasion?" The brilliant move by President Putin to offer a return to Russia by electoral means prevented what might have been a very dangerous situation in which the Kiev regime, which came to power through a Nazi-led coup (which I assume you approve of) overthrowing an elected government with US and EU backing, might well have attempted to oust the Russian naval base by force, leading to an unthinkable international crisis.
 
 
-6 # rocback 2016-06-14 21:57
and you BELIEVE the election wasn't fixed?

Do you realize that the votes totalled 126% of registered voters in more than one city.

The referendum was rigged in favor of annexation by Russia and severely distorted the opinions of people in Crimea, to the point that the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly not to recognize its results. Moreover, Russian government agencies revealed fraudulent nature of the Crimean referendum results.
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2016-06-14 15:24
Nothing "imaginary" about Odessa, where hundreds of peaceful petition-gather ers were brutally beaten or burned to death by Vickie Nuland's "peaceful pro-democracy protesters" (better known as neo-nazi fascists).

Nothing "imaginary" about 96% of Crimeans voting to rejoin Russia to avoid that sort of brutal slaughter.
 
 
-7 # rocback 2016-06-14 22:01
did you see the ballot in Crimea?

* Ballot paper offers no choice for staying with status quo

* Both options lead to Crimea passing under Russian control
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2016-06-15 00:41
I'm thrilled to see that you support real neo-nazi fascists. Now your defense of HRC makes perfect sense.
 
 
+3 # dsepeczi 2016-06-15 13:15
Quoting rocback:
did you see the ballot in Crimea?

* Ballot paper offers no choice for staying with status quo

* Both options lead to Crimea passing under Russian control


rocback, rocback, rocback ... silly wabbit, don't you know tricks are for kids ? That Gallup poll you referenced was funded by the International Republican Institute, chaired by John McCain. http://www.ibtimes.com/gallup-poll-shows-crimeans-had-very-different-ideas-about-russia-last-year-1561821

But that was an old poll anyway How did Crimeans feel a year later, you ask ? Since you love polls, Forbes comments in this article about the results of many of them, including a newer Gallup poll that wasn't funded by McCain's organization, as well as a GsK poll from Germany. It seems to tell a much different story than the crap you're trying to peddle here. The numbers are broken down in several ways so please do read the article but, to summarize, 93% are still in favor of Russia's annexation. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/2/#6229bf722a9d
 
 
-6 # rocback 2016-06-14 22:06
Gallop poll showed only 41% favored Russia inclusion. I got a bridge to sell you if you believe that vote.

https://www.quora.com/Was-the-Crimean-referendum-rigged
 
 
+4 # dbrize 2016-06-15 08:53
Since you enjoy a good game of "whack-a-poll" let's include the Pew Research poll that indicated less than 30% of Americans believed we should intervene in the Ukraine.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/17893-polls-americans-repeatedly-say-no-to-us-intervention-in-ukraine

Of course what the citizens desire is held in little regard by our masters in the Imperial City, including your favorite candidate and her friends, at the offices of Nuland, Kagan, Rice and Co.
 
 
+2 # dsepeczi 2016-06-15 13:17
Quoting rocback:
Gallop poll showed only 41% favored Russia inclusion. I got a bridge to sell you if you believe that vote.

https://www.quora.com/Was-the-Crimean-referendum-rigged


I should have posted the rebuttal to your lies here so I'll just repeat it here instead.

rocback, rocback, rocback ... silly wabbit, don't you know tricks are for kids ? That Gallup poll you referenced was funded by the International Republican Institute, chaired by John McCain. http://www.ibtimes.com/gallup-poll-shows-crimeans-had-very-different-ideas-about-russia-last-year-1561821

But that was an old poll anyway How did Crimeans feel a year later, you ask ? Since you love polls, Forbes comments in this article about the results of many of them, including a newer Gallup poll that wasn't funded by McCain's organization, as well as a GsK poll from Germany. It seems to tell a much different story than the crap you're trying to peddle here. The numbers are broken down in several ways so please do read the article but, to summarize, 93% are still in favor of Russia's annexation. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/2/#6229bf722a9d
 
 
+4 # Ralph 2016-06-14 19:31
Frightening. The neoliberal/neoc ons are putting the planet on a death march.
 
 
+11 # Promoting Peace 2016-06-14 11:40
Is it massive fear, incited by the likes of Drumpf and similar fear mongurers, or the massive capatalistic profit that makes our war machine continue to expand at such an alarming rate?

And, of course, the lack of true compassion for other human beings, and our worshiping money over people's health and happiness are major contributing factors as well!!!
 
 
+11 # jdd 2016-06-14 12:11
Don't look now, but the bigger warmonger is actually carrying the Democratic torch. Yes, that one, who once compared Putin (who lost family in the Nazi invasion) to Hitler and in her "foreign policy speech," identified Russia and China as enemies. Still the"Goldwater Girl" her daddy raised.
 
 
+3 # newell 2016-06-14 13:22
The best time to plant a tree was in 1870. The second best time is today. The best time to have a one billion human population was in 1870 (when it was one billion). The second best time is today. Maybe we will all be green and poor people around the world will not want the wasteful lifestyle we now have. How is that working? Financial incentives can reduce the number of consumers from 7.4 billion to one--why is 7.4 better? Other benefits would be to lessen mass extinctions, deforestation and resource use, including clean air and water. Yes it will take some time, but just in case the world doesn't give up its coal and oil addiction--it seems like we don't have much choice. We need less of us and those, to be green.
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2016-06-14 18:17
How do you plan to reduce 8 billion to 1 billion TODAY. That scale of death is beyond what any murderous dictator in history has achieved.
 
 
+2 # newell 2016-06-15 08:37
Did you actually read my comment? "financial incentives", "Yes it will take some time" and "the second best time is today"? Please give us your solution.
 
 
+6 # Ralph 2016-06-14 19:28
Poor Chomsky doesn't realize that Clinton is as belligerent as Reagan. The clock should be adjusted to one minute to midnight given the presumptive candidates in the Dem and Repub parties. Things are looking exceedingly grim for the nation and the planet. Two insane candidates drunk on money and power now have the fate of the planet in their hands. This is not going to end well.
 
 
+4 # elkingo 2016-06-14 21:33
Great! The asshole Repug Congress is out to do us in via climate change denial, while the assholes in uniforms (all countries) keep playing "nuclear chicken" - with no thought of common survival. The sense of power/money is such that the Powers don't care about a world in which to conduct their dark and crazy designs. How do we let these lowest grade assholes - the world over - rule us?

But on presumption that the world doesn't end tonight, I think I'll go watch some television. That at least can be relied on for its mind numbing effect.
 
 
+3 # newell 2016-06-16 07:34
When ecosystems get seriously out of balance, things go seriously wrong: disease, violence, starvation. Humans are not gods, we follow the same laws of nature that all animals face. Too many of us have resulted in climate change. Thinking humans will suddenly be green is pie in the sky--(although we are a very superstitious species). Yes the rich countries need to use less resources--but will we?--we are what we are. If there are too many deer in a given area, you need to reduce the population. Our environmental problems due to our out-of-balance population is whack-a-mole. If we do lessen the impact of climate change, other even unforeseen problems will arise. But at present mass extinctions, deforestation, and depletion of resources including clean air and water are reason enough to lower our numbers by low birth incentives. A very crowded and stressed world only moves the doomsday clock forward.
 

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