Media: He's still a Kremlin stooge tho.
While the mainstream media rallies for Trump’s impeachment, typically in relation to his alleged ties to the Kremlin, the notion that the US president could be preparing for war with Russia continues to be buried and ignored.
On January 17, 2019, Buzzfeed News dropped a “bombshell” report that alleged Donald Trump had personally directed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. This story, if true (it is apparently untrue according to the only person who has been tasked with verifying these claims, but never mind that), clearly demonstrates further what a Russian asset Donald Trump has turned out to be.
If these recent developments can be believed (again, they most likely cannot), then US President Trump has committed a “clear case of obstruction of justice, a felony.” You see, the first article of impeachment for Richard Nixon, as explained by anti-Trump Representative Ted Lieu, was “obstruction of justice.” According to Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, if the story turned out to be accurate, “President Trump must resign or be impeached.”
You can see this threat of impeachment right across the media spectrum. The prospect itself has been relentlessly deployed for some time now, and always in respect of some sort of alleged connection to Russia.
Just so we are clear, this particular Russiagate story has already been heavily disputed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, with a spokesperson describing Buzzfeed’s claims as “not accurate.” If anyone should be able to confirm the Buzzfeed story, one would have to think it would be none other than Mueller himself. The sad part is that both the New York Times and the Washington Post – possibly the most prominent anti-Trump outlets, depending on the issue in question – have also cast doubt on the story, having been unable to independently confirm the claims made in Buzzfeed’s article.
I don’t know about you, but it seems as though this is the kind of nonsense that is designed to distract us from more serious issues for which we should be genuinely criticizing the US president, not unverified allegations which, if we are being honest, amount to no less than a “conspiracy theory.”
For example, just this past Thursday, Trump revealed his revised US missile defense strategy, identifying Russia, China, North Korea and Iran (what I like to call, the “usual suspects”) as threats to the United States.
“We have some very bad players out there,” the US president exclaimed from a Pentagon podium during his unveiling. “We’re a good player, but we can be far worse than anybody, if need be.”
The plan itself calls for the developing of space-based sensors to detect incoming enemy missiles, and exploring space-based weapons to shoot down missiles in order to protect the American homeland. The proposal is somewhat of a “throwback” to former president Ronald Reagan’s so-called “Star Wars” initiative (I am not making this up).
The desire to develop these technologies is a clear stab at both Russia and China, who have been making strong advances in hypersonictechnology, as well as cruise missiles. China, for its part, has the US rattled with its plans to become a “space power in all respects,” a plan which is seen as enhancing China’s military capabilities.
So, despite all the claims that Trump is a “Russian stooge,” the reality is that he seems to be actively preparing for a direct military confrontation with Russia and China, which would surely be the most explosive conflict the world has ever seen. Even Reuters acknowledged that just by openly acknowledging the US ambition to counter Russia and China’s technological advances in the Missile Defense Review, he has already begun to alarm those nations. In the past, missile defense reviews would typically talk about lesser powers such as Iran and North Korea, but this time around, the document is quite clear about intentions towards Russia and China.
One could still argue that in fact, despite the document (which you would have to assume Trump has not read or sighted at all), the president’s rigorously crafted speech was an attack on Iran and not Russia or China. But if that was the case, you would still have to bear in mind that Iran does not have nuclear capability nor intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). On the face of it, Iran poses little threat to the US in terms of military prowess, particularly its ability to strike the US mainland (without receiving severe repercussions). If that is the case, why on Earth would the US president need a space force to shoot missiles out of the sky?
As you see, despite grandiose rhetoric that the US military keeps its homeland “safe, strong and proud,” it actually transpires that currently, the US has 44 ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska (and reportedly, California), and Pentagon officials have long suspected that these defenses are too few to actually counter a substantial strike on the American mainland by either of these powers. In fact, the former Missile Defense Agency director Trey Obering once said that the odds of this defense system’s success is literally as good as a coin toss. From the 18 tests carried out, the Pentagon has admitted that eight of them failed. Not too long ago, the Pentagon’s testing department concluded that it had only “limited capability” to defend American soil from an ICBM attack (this rating was later upgraded, rather trivially). The system itself essentially relies on the enemy firing only small number of missiles. According to Global Security Program senior scientist, Laura Grego, an enemy could make their attack more effective by confusing the US military with bits of metal, or a balloon that looks like the warhead. They could even “pepper” the sky with decoys, allowing for the genuine missile to slip through America’s missile defenses unharmed.
So far, the US has spent over $300 billion on anti-missile research, according to Stephen I Schwartz, who has studied the costs of military projects extensively. You would have to think that $300 billion on a missile defense system that might, at best, knock half of the enemy missiles out of the sky, is money well spent.
The most disturbing aspect of the report appears to be the notion that if deterrence and diplomacy fail with a hostile power, the US will target a rival’s missiles even before they are launched. I cannot help but notice that almost all of the military documents that have been released in recent years appear to give the US the ability to strike first in almost every scenario, including a nuclear one.
The weapons capabilities that Russia and China are developing are already of much concern to the Pentagon, knowing full well it would probably not be in a position to prevent a hypersonic attack. Instead, the Pentagon relies on its nuclear arms supply as a deterrent strategy, to discourage enemies from launching that initial attack (as they would be pummeled into oblivion in turn).
“Our strategy is grounded in one overriding objective: to detect and destroy every type of missile attack against any American target, whether before or after launch,” the US president announced from his platform. “When it comes to defending America, we will not take any chances. We will only take action. There is no substitute for American military might.”
At the end of the day, Trump’s unveiling of his new missile defense strategy could be mere muscle-flexing. John Plumb, previously the principal director for nuclear and missile-defense policy at the Pentagon, remarked that he didn’t “see anything in here [the Missile Defense Review] that fundamentally alters any balance of power” before noting that there’s “not enough money to throw at it to do all of these things.”
The document itself does not deal with the issue of funding, further raising concerns about how all of this would be put into practice. Furthermore, Joe Cirincione, the president of the Ploughshares Fund, told reporters by telephone that he thought Trump’s proposal to be “impossible,” stating that the technology doesn’t exist now and won’t “for decades to come.”
That being said, if there is one thing we have learnt from having Trump as president, it’s that the issue of how ideas will come about or where funding will come from do not get in the way of Trump’s vision of achieving his ambitious plans. If he wants a Muslim ban, he will sign a piece of paper and have airports backed up with chaos right across the country. If he wants that wall, he will shut down the government and order hamburgers for five weeks and counting.
If he wants a space war with Russia and China, well I guess we may have to start preparing for just that, even though we are supposed to believe that he is a bought-and-paid-for Russian asset, hellbent on upending US democracy and submitting the American people to a hostile enemy in the process.