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This transcript appears in the June 3, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Col. Richard Black (ret.)

The Unfolding Phantasmagoria Foreshadows Nuclear War

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Schiller Institute
Col. Richard H. Black (ret.)

This is an edited transcript of remarks made by Col. Richard Black (ret.) to the May 26 Schiller Institute Conference, “U.S. and Military Experts Warn: The Insanity of Politicians Threatens Thermonuclear War.” Col. Black is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Marines, the former head of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, and a former Virginia State Senator.

Thank you very much, for your introduction, Dennis. First, I love my country. I fought in Vietnam. I risked my life hundreds of times; I bled for it. I flew 269 helicopter missions in combat, ground fire hit the helicopter four times. I volunteered to be a forward air controller with the First Marine Regiment, and fought in 70 bloody combat patrols. I was wounded, my radiomen were killed fighting to rescue a surrounded outpost. I served 32 years in the military; first as a Marine pilot, but then as an Army JAG officer. I retired as chief of the Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, where I testified before Congress, advised the Senate Armed Services Committee on matters of national importance, and prepared Executive Orders for the President’s signature.

Before the ‘Special Military Operation’ in Ukraine

That said, I am adamantly opposed to our war in Ukraine, a war which has spun dangerously out of control. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO began advancing aggressively eastward, finally reaching Ukraine. In 2014, Ukraine needed financial help, and Russia and the European Union made competing financial proposals. Ukraine chose Russia’s aid package, which triggered an immediate response. The Central Intelligence Agency and British MI6 organized a violent revolutionary coup that overthrew Ukraine’s legitimately elected President, Viktor Yanukovych. Despite the fact that Russian is the first language of almost a third of Ukrainians, the revolutionary junta quickly deleted the constitutional provision that designated Russian as one of Ukraine’s two official languages. This course made it difficult for Russian speakers to transact business or to conduct their daily affairs.

Crimea and Donbass were Russian-speaking areas that refused to recognize the hostile revolutionary junta as the legitimate government of Ukraine. For some 500 years, Crimea had been part of Russia; only an historic anomaly had placed it inside Ukraine’s borders. Crimean citizens declared their independence, and then welcomed Russian troops who entered quietly. Afterwards, Ukrainian soldiers left peacefully, and Russia annexed Crimea after its citizens voted overwhelmingly to resume their relationship with the mother country. The two Donbass republics declared independence, and in response, the revolutionary government of Ukraine made war on them. Over 14,000 people have died in that war, and this was prior to the actions of Russia in Ukraine.

After the 2014 coup, the U.S. and NATO flooded Ukraine with weapons and advisors, helping them to prepare for a war against Russia. NATO began troop build-ups across Eastern Europe; Marines were stationed in Norway. We started discussing nuclear weapons in Poland. Germany’s newly-elected government renewed its commitment to station nuclear bombs on German soil. As tensions mounted, Russia made repeated calls for peace, but the trap had been set by NATO. By late 2021, Ukraine had amassed many thousands of troops for an attack against Donbass, which lies right on the Russian border. President Putin was desperately trying to avoid war. In December 2021, he advanced specific written proposals to NATO, but NATO was hell-bent on war and dismissed his proposals. So, with hopes of peace dashed, and faced with an imminent invasion of Donbass, President Putin ordered a special military operation in Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops were battle-hardened, and after eight years of fighting against the Donbass. Russia at the same time had a peacetime army with little ground experience. It’s true that their air crews were highly experienced after fighting in Syria, but their ground troops played a small role in that war, and few Russian soldiers had fought in the tiny war in Georgia or while supporting the Donbass. Moreover, the delay occasioned by Russia’s desperate peace overtures meant that the ground was thawing, making armored attacks very difficult. Compounding those disadvantages, Russian troops attacked using very strict rules of engagement that were designed to minimize civilian casualties and avoid property damage, hoping that Ukrainians would put up little resistance and the operation would be very brief.

Russia Revises its Strategy in Ukraine

That proved to be quite an error, and the Russians were surprised to find themselves fighting a very determined enemy. Adapting to the reality, Russia revised its strategy to confront Ukraine’s stiff resistance with much greater force. They refocused their efforts on capturing the seacoast, and eliminating Ukraine’s threat to the Donbass. The revised strategy has succeeded; Russia has just captured the key port city of Mariupol, capturing its 2,500 remaining defenders. Ukraine’s forces near the Donbass are trapped, enduring withering artillery fire that is destroying thousands of their finest troops. Those troops cannot be easily replaced.

Unlike Russia, the U.S. and NATO were fully prepared for war. Russia was overwhelmed by a global media propaganda blitz that generated intense hatred towards Russians. The West is now in the grips of war hysteria. So intense is the hatred, that Russian amputees, those with cerebral palsy, the blind, and men in wheelchairs are banned from competing in the Winter Paralympic Games. The U.S. President talks of parents naming their children after Javelin anti-tank missiles. Since 2014, we’ve poured billions into arming Ukrainian soldiers to kill Russians. Now, we’ve issued a gargantuan $40 billion check, ensuring a dramatic escalation of this totally unnecessary war.

Some politicians have even begun preparing Americans for a suicidal nuclear war. Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker said we may consider sending U.S. troops into Ukraine, and that he would not rule out launching a nuclear surprise attack—a first strike, in nuclear parlance. In other words, we should consider launching a Pearl Harbor-style surprise attack; one that would rain down nuclear bombs on the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, killing millions of innocent men, women, and children.

The Biden administration had become insanely reckless. The U.S. Dept. of Defense orchestrated the sinking of the Russian cruiser Moskva; flagship of the Black Sea fleet. NATO almost certainly controlled and fired those missiles, and this, of course, is an act of war. Have we gone mad? The U.S. admitted complicity in the ship’s sinking, and also conspiring to assassinate a dozen Russian generals. What would we do if Russia took reprisals? They could easily sink an American aircraft carrier with hypersonic missiles for which there is no effective defense. What if they began assassinating American generals one by one? President Biden was reportedly livid over leaks disclosing U.S. complicity in the sinking and in the assassination of Russian generals. But perhaps he should be less concerned about the leaks, and more concerned about the reckless acts themselves. Even the New York Times has become uneasy; reporting nervously that war is becoming more dangerous for America.

A ‘1914 Moment’

This is our 1914 moment; that fateful year when the assassination of the Archduke of Austro-Hungary triggered a tangle of military alliances, plunging the world into a war that killed 20 million and set the stage for World War II, which killed another 50 million. Just two assassinations caused that. We have already assassinated a dozen generals, and sunk the flagship of the Russian fleet.

On May 13, 2022, Steny Hoyer, the Democrat House Majority Leader, said that we are now at war with Russia. During her visit to Kyiv in May, Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to wage war “until victory is won.” Retired General Breedlove, the former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, and a close Biden military confidant, proposed landing U.S. forces and advancing two-thirds of the way through Ukraine to the Dnieper River. The UK has begun considering naval action to break Russia’s naval blockade in the Black Sea. This is an act which risks retaliation for the sinking of Russia’s flagship.

Now, President Biden says U.S. troops won’t fight the Russians in Ukraine, because this would lead to World War III, but at the same time, he signed a $40 billion Lend-Lease package reminiscent of the same one Franklin Roosevelt signed as he coaxed a reluctant nation into entering World War II. But there’s a great difference between Franklin Roosevelt’s world and Biden’s world today, for Russia and the United States are the world’s great nuclear superpowers. At any moment, each has 1400 nuclear warheads standing at the ready for launch. Even if we did launch a massive surprise attack on Russia, we could never destroy her large fleet of nuclear submarines. Many of her hypersonic missiles would launch early, and many other bombs and missiles would survive the initial attacks.

Russia would then retaliate, turning New York City and Washington, D.C. into radioactive glass. Few would survive in major metropolitan centers—Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles. Yes, we would destroy Russia, and we would destroy China, too. But neither Europe or Asia would be spared; Japan would suffer a nuclear holocaust that would make Hiroshima and Nagasaki seem like brush fires. London would disappear from the Earth. Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and Rome would perish. And for what? To enrich the sons of corrupt politicians who line their pockets with insider deals? For the glory of some demonic new world order?

Henry Kissinger has called for peace negotiations within two months, before the war creates upheavals that cannot be overcome. He cautions us not to get swept up in the mood of the moment. Ambassador [Gérard] Araud, former French Ambassador to the U.S. and UN, warns, “Right now, we’re sleep-walking to nobody knows where.” But we know exactly where this leads. The unfolding phantasmagoria foreshadows nuclear war and a great apocalypse. Thank you.

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