by Mike Whitney | Unz
“There is serious concern that the West is trying to concoct a false flag that can be used to rally a reluctant public to go to war with Russia…The current scheme reportedly involves detonating a dirty nuke in territory ostensibly under the control of Russia. The Ukrainian military is suffering catastrophic casualties and… will have great difficulty sustaining any offensive. The United States and its NATO allies realize this and are searching for a pretext to send NATO forces to the rescue. It appears that the West is considering using the threat of defeating a nuclear attack as the justification for sending its own forces into the Ukrainian maelstrom.” Larry C. Johnson, former CIA analyst and A Son of the New American Revolution
Due to a rapidly-emerging crisis in the $24 trillion US Treasury market, the Biden White House and their foreign policy advisors may have approved a plan for detonating a nuclear device in Ukraine. And while we have no evidence yet that such a plan exists, the devastating impact of a full-blown financial meltdown goes a long way to explaining why US powerbrokers might engage in such risky and potentially catastrophic behavior. In any event, the extraordinary claim that the Ukrainian government intends to use a “dirty bomb” or “low-yield” nuclear weapon first appeared in Russian news outlets on Sunday night. Here’s an excerpt from an article at Tass News Agency:
The Kiev regime plans to explode a low-yield nuclear device in order to blame Russia for using weapons of mass destruction in the Ukrainian theater of combat operations, the chief of the Russian army’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, said on Monday.
“The Defense Ministry has evidence that the Kiev regime is planning a provocation involving the detonation of a so-called dirty bomb or a low-yield nuclear device. The purpose of the provocation is to accuse Russia of using weapons of mass destruction in the Ukrainian theater of operations, thus launching a major anti-Russian campaign around the world aimed at undermining trust towards Moscow,” he said.
Kirillov…recalled that on October 22, in an interview with Canadian television channels Zelensky urged the world to deal strikes at the Kremlin if Russia hit the “decision-making center” on Bankovaya Street, where the office of the Ukrainian president is located.
Earlier, on October 23, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu held telephone conversations with his counterparts in Britain, France, Turkey and the United States to bring to their attention Moscow’s concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine involving a “dirty bomb”.”
“The Defense Ministry has evidence that the Kiev regime is planning a provocation involving the detonation of a so-called dirty bomb or a low-yield nuclear device,” Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov said.” (“Kiev plans to explode low-yield nuclear device, blame Moscow — Russian Defense Ministry”, Tass)
Let’s take a minute and summarize what Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov said. He said that Russian intelligence has collected “evidence” that Ukraine has acquired sufficient material to create a nuclear weapon. He is also saying that Kiev plans to detonate the device to further vilify Russia in order to garner more support for the war on Russia. It’s worth noting that a provocation involving WMD could easily be used as a justification for the deployment of NATO troops on the ground in Ukraine. In my opinion, this dramatic escalation—that could drag all of Europe into a civilization-ending conflagration—fits seamlessly with the neocon dream of widening the conflict in order to reduce Europe to rubble, thus, preserving Washington’s exalted role as the undisputed leader of the “Rules-based Order”. US foreign policy elites undoubtedly realize that the Chinese economy is on-track to overtake the US within the decade. The US no longer has the manufacturing or infrastructure wherewithal to compete with China head-to-head. Instead, Washington has decided that the only way to preserve its loosening grip on global power is to reduce the rest of the world to its abysmal post-WW2 condition. Here’s more from Tass:
“On Sunday, the US Department of State released a statement by the foreign ministries of Britain, the United States and France, saying that these countries did not consider Russian warnings about the possibility of Kiev using a so-called dirty bomb reasonable enough.” (Tass)
“Not reasonable enough?” The State Department thinks Russia’s claims were “not reasonable enough??”
That’s simply not the response that any normal official would make. The response a normal person would make is, “Show me the proof”. Right? But the State Dept didn’t do that, instead, they denied the credibility of the allegation altogether. Why? Here’s more:
Moscow will raise the issue of Kiev’s preparation of a dirty bomb provocation in international forums, including the UN, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday at a news conference…
“We have also taken the necessary steps to raise this issue in international structures, first of all in the UN in New York, and today our representatives will do this hoping for an informed and professional discussion of the problems that we will touch upon,” he said, answering a question from TASS.
The Russian top diplomat stressed that the Russian side had specific information about Ukrainian scientific institutions that possessed technologies capable of creating a dirty bomb. “We have information, which we have double-checked through the appropriate channels, that this is not a groundless suspicion, that there are serious reasons to believe that such things could be planned. Sergey Shoigu [Russian Defense Minister] has agreed with some of his interlocutors to hold additional consultations on this topic at a professional level,” Lavrov said.” (Tass)
Okay, so Russia intends to raise the issue at the United Nations (immediately) where we can expect that some of the proof will be publicly disclosed.
Also, the Russian Defense chief Shoigu has notified the US, the UK, France and Turkey. They’ve all been informed and brought up-to-date. It is very likely that Shoigu shared some of the evidence with these officials in order to convince them that the allegations are credible.
So, the question arises: Would the Russians really go through all this trouble if they had nothing? Would they really contact all the heads of state and media and the United Nations just to pull the wool over their eyes? Or do they actually have hard evidence (“specific information”) of a plot to detonate a nuclear device?
Any rational person would wait to see the evidence and judge accordingly. But not the US or its pathetic EU-lapdogs. Here is their response according to the official state mouthpiece, the NY Times:
The top diplomats in France, Britain and the United States, three of Ukraine’s strongest allies, issued a rare joint statement that rejected Russia’s allegation that Kyiv is preparing to use a so-called dirty bomb on its own territory, calling it a pretext Moscow has concocted for escalating the war.
In the statement, the three governments confirmed that their defense ministers had each spoken with the Russian defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, and rejected “Russia’s transparently false allegations” about a dirty bomb.
“The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation,” the statement said.
A so-called dirty bomb uses traditional explosives to spray radioactive material. Russia has not publicly offered evidence to back up the accusations and Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has called the statements “lies.”
In a separate statement, the British defense secretary, Ben Wallace, said Mr. Shoigu had accused Ukraine’s allies, including Britain, of planning “to escalate the conflict in Ukraine.” Mr. Wallace refuted those claims, the statement said, and “cautioned that such allegations should not be used as pretext for greater escalation.” (“Top allies warn Russia against using ‘dirty bomb’ accusations to escalate the war” New York Times)
So, the foreign ministers of France, Britain and the United States all rejected “Russia’s transparently false allegations” about Ukraine’s alleged access to a dirty bomb.
But on what basis do they “reject” those allegations? Do they have any facts to back up their claims or is it all just speculation?
It seems to me, that in order to dismiss Russia’s allegations out-of-hand, the US must explain why they think the claims are false. Instead, the Biden team merely blusters that Russia is planning a military escalation. This reaction is deeply suspicious. Why? Because the United States invaded Iraq and killed a million Iraqis based on the false claim that Saddam had WMD. Well, if WMD was a good enough excuse to kill a million Iraqis, than it should be good enough to withhold judgement until the evidence is produced. Right?
Unless there’s some reason why the US doesn’t want to see the evidence. Is that it? Is the US hiding something?
We don’t know, but the overall reaction of the allies only feeds our suspicions. Here’s a clip from the official Russian Ministry of Defense briefing:
The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has information about Kiev regime’s planning to commit a provocation by exploding the so-called ‘dirty bomb’ or low-power nuclear warhead. The provocation is aimed at accusing Russia of using mass destruction weapon at the Ukrainian theatre of operations that would launch a powerful anti-Russian campaign in order to undermine the confidence in Moscow…..
According to the available information, two organizations of Ukraine have been directly ordered to create the so-called ‘dirty bomb’. The works are at their concluding stage.
Moreover, we have information about contacts between the Office of the President of Ukraine and representatives of the United Kingdom regarding the possible reception of technologies to create nuclear weapons. With this purpose, Ukraine has got relevant production and scientific capacities.
There are enterprises of nuclear industry in Ukraine that possess stockpiles of radioactive substances that can be used for creating the ‘dirty bomb’…
The Kiev regime plans to camouflage the explosion of this kind of ordnance under an extraordinary effect of Russian low-power nuclear warhead that contains highly enriched uranium in its charge. The presence of radioactive isotopes in the air will be recorded by the sensors of the International Monitoring System installed in Europe with further accusation of the Russian Federation of using tactical nuclear weapons…. Detonation of a radiological explosive device will inevitably lead to radiological contamination covering up to several thousands of square metres.
To summarize, Ukraine has got a motive to use the ‘dirty bomb’, as well as scientific, technical and production capacities to create it.
Ukraine expects ‘dirty-bomb’ provocation to intimidate the population, increase the flow of refugees, and accuse the Russian Federation of nuclear terrorism.
The Ministry of Defence has arranged for countering possible provocations of Ukraine: the means and forces are alerted to operate amid radioactive contamination.” (“Briefing on radiation security threats by the chief of nuclear, biological and chemical protection troops Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov”, Telegraph)
What would prompt the neocon-controlled White House to collaborate on a plan to detonate a nuclear device in Ukraine?
We think it would have to be a real emergency, something that rises to the level of an existential crisis. We think that crisis is already rearing its ugly head in the financial markets but the media is trying to conceal the magnitude and gravity of the situation. You can be sure, however, that powerbrokers in Washington are well-aware of the erratic ructions the financial markets which are emerging signs of a devastating financial meltdown. It’s abundantly clear, that 14 years of rate-suppression, cheap money and exotic debt-instruments have put the financial system into an irreversible downward death-spiral which has been patched over by regular trillion-dollar infusions of digital currency created out-of-thin-air by the Central Bank. But the recent turbulence in the UK sovereign debt markets indicate that the day of reckoning is not far off. All of the earlier manipulations that supposedly saved the system from repricing assets according to their true value, were deliberately short-circuited to save the TBTF banks and their voracious owners. Now the combined weigh from those mistakes has come crashing down on the $24 trillion US Treasury market pushing the world’s most reliable “risk free” asset to the very edge of the cliff. If liquidity dries up in the sovereign bond market, the dollar will plummet, banks will fail, and the system will suffer a massive heart attack. Regrettably, all the signs indicate that this outcome is already unfolding. This is from Nick Beams at the World Socialist Web Site:
Over the past month, the eyes of the financial world have been focused on the turmoil in the UK. But there is growing recognition that a potentially bigger crisis is building up in the US. It centers on the $24 trillion US Treasury market, where government bonds are bought and sold daily and which forms the basis of the global financial system.
There are warnings that the conditions that led it to freeze in March 2020, when for several days there were virtually no buyers for US bonds, supposedly the safest financial asset in the world, are returning. This is reflected in the tightening of liquidity. Liquidity refers to the ease with which deals can be made.
An article by Financial Times columnist Gillian Tett, published at the end of last week, noted that while surface conditions in the market for US Treasury bonds appeared calm, in contrast to the turmoil in the UK, beneath this “surface veneer, some nasty currents are swirling in the Treasuries world.”
An index of Treasury market liquidity compiled by JPMorgan has deteriorated to levels not seen since the March 2020 crisis.
The extent of the problems was highlighted in an article published earlier this month by the executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion, Robert Burgess, in which he pointed to “what is rapidly becoming a potential crisis in the world’s most important market—US Treasuries.”
“The word ‘crisis’ is not hyperbole,” he wrote. “Liquidity is quickly evaporating. Volatility is soaring. Once unthinkable, even demand at the government’s debt auctions is becoming a concern.”…
One of the main factors at work in the worsening liquidity situation is interest rate hikes by the Fed. Another is so-called quantitative tightening (QT) in which, rather than buying up government debt, the Fed is now running down its holdings to the tune of $95 billion a month. Whereas the Fed’s bond buying program under quantitative easing (QE) increased liquidity, QT is decreasing it….
The Bank of America has warned that strains in the Treasury market could be “one of the greatest threats to global financial stability today,” potentially worse than the housing market bubble of 2004-2007 which sparked the 2008 crisis…. “The risk of a financial crisis has grown as central banks have sharply raised interest rates.”…(“Trouble brewing in $24 trillion US Treasury market”, World Socialist Web Site)
The Fed’s higher interest rates help to curb inflation, but they also dampen growth, curtail credit expansion and trigger a daisy-chain of defaults when over stretched businesses and financial institutions find it impossible to service their debts and slip into bankruptcy. Central Bank tightening is the proximate cause of financial crises the likes which is presently descending on the country like the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
These cataclysmic events in the financial markets portend a fundamental change in the global order, a change in which the dollar –which is the cornerstone upon which US hegemony rests– would no longer serve as the world’s reserve currency. Would the Biden administration approve a plan to detonate a nuclear device in Ukraine in order to preserve the primacy of the almighty dollar and the continuing global dominance of the United States?
We think we can answer that question, but we’ll wait for the evidence.