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Nuclear land mines along the German border

Because the Kremlin has just revealed that it was ready to put its nuclear arsenal on high alert one year ago if the crisis around Crimea escalated, it makes sense to be reminded that nuclear weapons may be used and they are somewhat harmful.

As children, our generation was trained to be hysterically afraid of the nuclear war. Such a war would have to be blamed on the evil imperialists, the official story went, but of course, our camp of peace had to prepare an appropriate response, too. The global nuclear war was almost as popular a cataclysmic scenario as the "global warming" was in recent years.

I must say that even many of the anti-communist teachers we were happy to have were very afraid of the huge nuclear arsenals. One of the popular myths was that there were enough nuclear bombs in the world to break the globe into two comparably large bodies. At the basic school, I wasn't able to construct a clear order-of-magnitude calculation showing that it was nonsense – I clearly became able to construct similar arguments (and/or I only became familiar with the numbers needed as input) only many years later.

Would such nuclear confrontations lead to the end of the world? I think that the truth is somewhere in between. The cataclysmic prophesies were exaggerated but the damages would be far worse than those we know from the worst conventional wars. There is actually a lot of extra space between the Second World War and destruction of life on Earth!

In 2011, we were reminded about some war plans of the Warsaw Pact from years 1960-1964. Stalin was an evil man but the plans for a nuclear war between the two blocs became much more dramatic after his death and I think that they peaked sometime in the 1960s.

As the map above indicates, the Czechoslovak People's Army had a bold goal to conquer something like 1/3 of the West German territory in the first 8 days, and continue into France. The Czech army historians tell us that it was a rather ludicrous plan because even if we managed to break the West German defense – and a quadruple excess of power was probably needed for that and we didn't have it – it would become almost impossible to supply material to the troops through the destroyed German territory and the Czechoslovak army would probably cease to exist rather soon.

Also, it was expected that the large cities would be nuked. So there were plans to comprehensively evacuate something like 10 largest cities in Czechoslovakia – without this evacuation, the loss of the Czechoslovak population was estimated to be 10% within a day or two.

At the same moment, we should never be sure about the outcome. The Czechoslovak People's Army was supposed be supported by the Eighth Guards Army of the USSR which was among the victors of the Battle of Stalingrad as well as the Donbass strategic offensive operation (in 1943, not in 2014).

Yesterday, revealed some more interesting details – some of which could have made our victory more likely.

In 1964, the overall Warsaw Pact's strategy of the war was changed. They planned 41 nuclear blasts crippling the NATO facilities in West Germany and only after this significant reduction of strength, the Czechoslovak army was scheduled to invade and conquer its 1/3 of the West German territory. It's ambitious and optimistic – but one can't quite exclude that it could work.

On the other hand, all the clever defenses on the NATO side were largely ignored by this socialist war planning. These acts could completely change what the war looks like. The main new "NATO ace" we were told in the yesterday's article were the nuclear land mines that NATO was supposed to plant all over the West German territory on the border with East Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Look at this map. The legend explains that the shading indicates the number of groups of nuclear land mine basements per 100 squared kilometers. Each group contained about 3-6 basements.

The nuclear blasts performed by these nuclear land mines would create craters of diameter 100-400 meters and new mountains with slopes around 45 degrees which would greatly complicate the supplies for the Czechoslovak troops deeply in the German territory, and the arrival of other troops and weaponry. These blasts wouldn't end life in Germany. However, their impact would still be horrifying.

Many nice places in the Šumava Mountains (the Bohemian+Bavarian Forest) would be contaminated. There were lots of small towns and villages around the land mines. It would probably be impossible to evacuate them in time, so tens of thousands of German folks would be sacrificed.

The Czechoslovakia army "knew something" about these nuclear land mines and soldiers were actually trained to deactivate them and do similar things, using "training dummy nuclear land mines" (see the main components of those, another pic, diagram, one more). See an actual photograph from such a training during which a nuclear blast occurred.

This is what the wells for conventional Czechoslovak land mines look like. The assumption is that the German nuclear counterparts were similar; see also an approximate diagram. Here is a map of their supposed approximate locations. A special map shows the situation near Grafenau-Freyung. The nuclear land mines near Freyung were particularly close to highly populated areas.

The Czechoslovak army believed there were four such places near Bischofsreut, Bavaria. It wouldn't be pleasant for the troops from České Žleby to fight there.

The results would be dirty and mostly unpredictable

While one shouldn't believe in religiously fatal fairy-tales about the end of the life on Earth, such a conflict would be extremely dirty and its results would be largely unpredictable. Despite all the differences, both sides in the Cold War had sufficiently strong survival instincts to avoid the confrontation.

It seems that these days, too many people – both in the U.S. and Russia (and perhaps in other NATO countries) – are not afraid of such a conflict at all. I am terrified by their lack of fear. I think that if they are able to place their silly and childish anti-Russian or anti-Putin sentiments above the intent to avoid a nuclear confrontation that was planned 50 years ago, is still being planned, but can never be planned "reliably", they are close cousins of the suicide attackers in Al-Qaeda and similar organizations.

Such people shouldn't be top politicians or generals. They should be stored in psychiatric asylums because these threats are real and horrific.

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reader etudiant said...

You are very much on target with your concerns.
We have created a fantasy world where global warming is a mortal threat while the obvious drift to wider wars in Europe is largely minimized or ignored.
In the 1950s, the military leaders of NATO appreciated the risks more soberly, because most of them had first hand experience of the disasters of war. That visceral understanding is no longer common, too many see war as another form of video game.

reader cynholt said...

A bit of background here. Way back in the early 90's when the Soviet Union had collapsed, there was an agreement between Russia and the West, that if Russia let go of East Germany, then Russia would not be surrounded by NATO. But, that's precisely what didn't happen. Just imagine how we would feel if the Russians set up camp in Mexico. Secondly, we are now backing a government in the Ukraine that overthrew a duly elected one -- not very democratic I would think!

reader BobSykes said...

The amount of warmongering going on in the US is deeply disturbing. Especially so because the agitators include many senior people in the US government and prominent retired persons and journalists. People like Merkel are vilified as appeasers and collaborators, and Putin is described as another Hitler.

E.g., Retired US Major General Robert Scales on the Lou Dobbs Show (Fox News):

“In the Ukraine, the only way that the United States can have any effect in this region and turn the tide is to start killing Russians … killing so many Russians that even Putin’s media can’t hide the fact that Russians are returning to the motherland in body bags.”

That from a Major General. We are much closer to war in Europe than anyone imagines.

reader Rami Niemi said...

reader cynholt said...

The problem is that the warmongering war criminals that make the alleged policy and spend the money don't give a damn. War is the most profitable business on the planet and the deaths of men, women and children, the destruction of cities and the overthrow of entire nations is of no account as long as the profits keep rolling in.

The idea of peace scares the hell out of them. No profit there.

reader Cogniscentum said...

I live in the US and the Ukraine occupies very little of the public mind at the moment. Most people are resigned to Putin's land grab. I am not sure where you are getting your propaganda, but let me assure you, those guys have to work full time to whip up the kind of war hysteria you are feeling now.

The lesson here should be that playing with borders is a dangerous and unpredictable game. One on which Putin has embarked.

reader Cogniscentum said...

It is a simple matter to paint any aggressive move as a response to some past grievance.

Just be careful what you wish for.

reader Luboš Motl said...

This page is just so incredibly, offensively stupid. With Russia and/or Putin (or any other leader who is not just an ass-licking zero leading his country to collapse), the year will always be 1938 for these people. Any rational discussion or negotiation with these anti-Putin fanatics will always be impossible.

In 1938, the Sudetenland Germans enjoyed all the political and cultural rights and had the best conditions among all German minorities in any country of the world.

In 2015, the large Russophone minority of Ukraine is treated as a bunch of criminals whose political representatives are not even allowed, they are being murdered by thousands.

In 1938, Hitler demanded a territory of Sudetenland that belonged to Bohemia, i.e. was a part of a kingdom with the capital in Prague, for nearly 1,000 years without any interruption.

In 2015, the Kremlin only accepted the reunification with Crimea that only belonged to Ukraine since a prankish decision by a drunk Soviet dictator but that otherwise belonged to Russia throughout the history.

In 1938, France and less directly Britain had clear military alliances with Czechoslovakia that were supposed to protect Czechoslovakia exactly against these allies.

In 2015, Ukraine has no alliance with the U.S. or the U.K. or France or any other Western country - logically so because it's belonged to the Russian military alliance or sphere of interests up to the 2014 coup that questioned that.

Nevertheless, in 1938, it was normal for politicians to defend peace with a monster. Now, in 2015, it has become normal for many to defend the war against the totally mainstream conventional deGaulle-like conservative politician Putin.

Some people have lost their mind completely.

reader Liam said...

Also the maintenance of existing/continuing Cold War nuclear weapons systems seems to be in a state of some disrepair now that it's no longer considered a priority in quite the same way.

The concerns here might be somewhat cherry-picked/exaggerated for comic effect, but nonetheless it's rather concerning..

reader Cogniscentum said...

I don't pretend to know what is going on in Ukraine. I don't even believe it is possible for anybody to know everything that is going on there. I do know that it is best to leave countries to work out their own problems, regardless of any sympathies one might feel toward "ethnic minorities" there.

It is also as easy as adding 16 + 12 to whip up a war fever based on perceived slights and grievances. Shall we go back to the Ukrainian genocide? Oh NOES! That cannot be discussed!

Blood soaked Europe would do well to get over this obsession with ethnicity.

reader Luboš Motl said...

It was no "land grab" - at least, the negative connotations hiding behind these words are totally indefensible. If one ignored a prankish decision of a Soviet dictator half a century ago, Crimea has always belonged to Russia. It was a unification with their homeland. An overwhelming majority of the people identified themselves as Russians.

At any rate, there was a referendum with a clear result. This made the separation from the troubled Ukraine as morally unavoidable as the separation of various republics from USSR or countries from Yugoslavia or even the separation of Slovakia from Czechoslovakia which was wanted in one way or another by most Slovaks.

reader Cogniscentum said...

John Oliver is a clever man who has figured out a way to make big bucks pandering to the ignorant prejudices of his viewers.

reader Cogniscentum said...

Whatever the history, and whatever the motives. Messing with borders is a dangerous and unpredictable game. As the fact that the Russians went on nuclear alert shows.

reader Luboš Motl said...

A cool video, Liam! ;-)

reader cynholt said...

What has happened to our lame-duck, Nobel prize-winning "peace" president, whom the American people elected not once, but twice! He either has come to believe the incredible nonsense that he is spewing about Russian aggression, or he doesn't have the spine to stand up to the warmongers. If he wants to secure a favorable legacy, all he has to do to stop this foolish march to War Armageddon by refusing to further subsidize the neo-fascists in Ukraine, condemn their aggression, and meet with Putin forthwith. I'll bet our puppet Euro allies would be relieved. But changing the warmongering juggernaut, with the lame-stream media on board, would be like turning around the Titanic before it hits the iceberg. Why are no dissenting voices allowed in our corporate-owned media? Is the free press gone except for the Internet?

This problem is mostly due to having a single sourcing for news and information. In war, particularly, it is important to get as many and varied sources as possible and triangulate to get more significant probability of the facts. "Truth" is next to impossible because there are so many hidden agendas and interests at play. A good axiom always is to "follow the money" or ask "cui bono?" (who benefits?). Most people are far too lazy and just accept whatever they are spoon-fed, with political policy following on the numbers.

reader Cogniscentum said...

I don't pretend to know, but is it true or not true that the Nazis rescued the Ukrainians from an incredibly cruel Soviet reign of terror? I guess the Ukrainians became considerably more pro Russian after the genocide changed the demographics in Russia's favor.

You pretend that all of the wrongs are on one side. You are being infected with war hysteria.

I saw this happen in the US with Iraq. The other side was so evil, look what Iraq is doing to the Shia and the Kurds! Chemical weapon strikes, fuel air bombs on Kurdish cities. Probably all true, but did it justify the Iraq war? I am sure you would say no. As do I now. So learn from somebody who has been through war fever not to give in to it.

reader Cogniscentum said...

And yet here you are cheering Putin on in his adventures.

reader Cogniscentum said...

By your logic France has a right to attack the US, since 1/3 of the US only belongs to us due to a stupid decision by Napolean to sell it to the US.

Maybe Putin has a right to invade Alaska because of the boneheaded decision by Russia to sell it to the US?

reader Luboš Motl said...

You have posted 8 comments in this single thread (majority of the whole discussion!) in half an hour and all of them are incredibly obnoxious. This was just way too much and you were banned. Good bye.

reader cynholt said...

A lot of Democrats and pundits were "anti-war" when it came to Iraq. Now that the war making has been expanded throughout Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for the past 7 years and the Cold War is alarmingly accelerated, their silence on the US/NATO military hegemony is deafening.

During the Iraq War, the Democratic headquarters throughout the country were very active in organizing the protests. The only difference between now and then is the party at the helm. It's amazing what Democrats let Democrats get away with.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Russia didn't attack in Crimea.

It has peacefully merged with the peninsula primarily because everyone wanted it and it was really important for the people of the peninsula because a coup was taking place in their capital that was threatening to extend to Crimea and threaten the basic interests of the dominant Russophone population, too.

This is really the primary reason why it was a *must* for Crimea to reunify with Russia. History is secondary. I am only talking about it because those who say that Crimea should belong to Ukraine talk about the history themselves, and my conclusion is that the idea that Crimea should belong to Ukraine can't be defended by the history, either.

A referendum in Alaska would hardly conclude that Sarah Palin et al. want to belong to Russia. So the "current opinions" wouldn't be pro-Russia in that case, unlike the case of Crimea. It would also be another reason why it would be harder for Russia to annex Alaska.

Those are the differences that matter. You are overlooking every single one of them and instead of those, you built on prejudices, myths, and illogical dysfunctions of your brain that make no sense whatsoever.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Crimea was ambiguous before because of the subtle balance among the vastly different forces in Ukraine but this balance disappeared by early 2014 and Crimea no longer wanted to be a part of Ukraine. It wanted to be a part of Russia, it became a part of Russia again, and it is now when it matters and you should leave countries - such as Russia in this case - to work out their own problems.

reader Liam said...

Well, kinda hard for me to say, as I've watched waaay more of Oliver's stuff than Colbert or Stewart. I'm British so I guess I'm biased.. :-)

I'd say he's less US-centric in that he focuses more on international news topics, cares a bit less about Republican bashing or going easy on the current US administration re: stupid foreign policies, and seems to have more "middle-of-the-road" instincts. I'd guess it's largely a matter of degree though and nothing too fundamental.

He still more or less tows the mainstream "Western Media" line with regard to some topics like Ukraine and Global Warming etc, so I often find myself in disagreement with his editorial take on things.

reader John said...

Having done a lot of study on nuclear capability between the US and USSR one thing becomes very clear. Up till the late 1960's the USSR capability to hit the US mainland hard was extremely limited compared to the damage the US could do in reverse. Something on the order of 3000-5000 Mt delivered by the US compared to about 500 Mt hitting the US.
So the USSR was forced to target Europe. Stalin held Europe hostage in a sense. While not publicly saying so the US felt that 50-80% of the USSR would be hit while 30-50% of Europe and only about 10-15% of the US. But we can all take comfort in the knowledge that the Earth could lose 90% of it's population today and still have more people alive than during some years of the Middle Ages.

reader Rehbock said...

I was in 6th grade. Our civil defense for and fear of nuclear war was high. From duck and cover drills and public stocked fallout shelters and civilian and military emergency planning all was ready for a nuclear attack.
What I remember most is that in March 64 when the magnitude 9 Alaska earthquake struck and exceeded my experiences, I suddenly thought the Russians had attacked. It was only a brief moment but one clear still today.
Authorities and volunteers handled the following emergency amazingly well. I am happy that what we prepared for never came but the preparation came in handy.

reader BobSykes said...

I agree that Ukraine is a non-issue to the vast majority of Americans. But that does not change the fact that there is a strong war party among the elites with virtually no push back from the peace party, if there is one.

As to the sources, try Fox News, CNN, NBC, et al. And listen to McCain, Kerry, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Breedlove and NATO Gen. Sec. Stoltenberg

reader Shannon said...

We need to attack the US on their grounds. They want it. It would be good for their economy. This could be the message they have been trying to send to the world: Hit us ! Hit US! They'll have years to re-build their country and start on new healthier economic and financial grounds (not environmental but they don't really mind since they think they live in the matrix/Hollywood and that they are safe... the eedjeets)

reader paul said...

NATO and Poutine seems to want to flex their muscles... Here in Canada, our prime minister is mostly focusing on our claim to the North and these exercises are not well seen...

reader Michael said...

Are you saying you actually want a full-blown world war? That it will be a good thing if it happened? What?!

reader Shannon said...

Not for us in Europe, Michael. For the unitedstatians ! After all it is the US problem, not ours.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Liam! When you say it now, I can retroactively reevaluate his speech and realize that I can figure out that he is British.

But I've never actively realized it before! ;-)

reader Shannon said...

No way! You didn't recognised his British accent ? :-)

reader Luboš Motl said...

Do you think that the earthquake was handled well thanks to the nuclear drills?

I, for one, would have preferred if we had never been tortured by those civil-defense drills as kids. It's a nonzero part of the scary things about my childhood.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I am afraid that the U.S. would be both willing and able to make sure that the conflict wouldn't affect just the U.S. itself - that the U.S. is at most as war-affected as others.

So even if I agreed with you that it's right to wish war to the Americans on their souls, which I don't, it would still be harmful for Europe, too.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I *can* recognize it (in his case - maybe there are many cases in which I can't do that even if I try) but nothing has ever forced me to actively run this recognition algorithm and notice he was not American.

reader Liam said...

Ha ha! Hard for me to imagine because it's so instinctively obvious to me as a native, but now I can imagine that as his accent is not so strong or regionalised it's non-trivial to tell the difference! :-)

reader Gene Day said...

Do you, Shannon, understand that a single American submarine can precisely place 200 or so thermonuclear warheads in any pattern whatsoever throughout any part or all of Europe? Attacking either the US or Russia would be suicide.

By the way, our economy is doing very well and the US is stronger than it has ever been. Also, let’s be friends!

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Liam, LOL, if you want to see the kind of English that is instinctively obvious to *me*, see how these countrymates of mine were trying to say "you can see more of me at"

If you want a recognizably non-standard (German-Dutch-Czech) dialect of English, see this hilarious interview with a Czech skier

I still don't know whether he was serious but he could have been - this kind of attitude to the Germanic languages is rather normal here.

Our culture has been made much more self-sufficient which is linked to the very low penetration of foreign languages to our territory - which continues. Everything that is important is dubbed and translated etc. etc.

reader Gene Day said...

If such a war were to start, Shannon, there would soon be no more France. Pfft.
I do agree with Lubos that the absence of fear in the US is scary, indeed.

reader papertiger0 said...

The wiki describes our defenses of West Germany as being focused on Fulda Gap. The thinking being it's a better traverse for Russian tanks.
Lubos first map showing the general location of atomic landmines bares this out, with the heavily shaded area being concentrated along the East German border area.
Whether this is because NATO didn't keep adequate forces to cover the whole "iron curtain" (true), or that the leadership didn't feature a Czech army being gungho to march across Germany on the say so of crazy Ivan, can't tell.
(So you're telling me that paranoid Russian puppets in charge of the Czech satellite government trusted Czech citizens of fighting age with hundreds of thousands of rifles, ammo, provisions, to wage a war on Germany and France, without the fear that those weapons would be turned on them?)

All personal and political motivations aside, if a Czech Army could be persuaded to march through the sparse nuclear minefield seeking to make Europe entire into a Soviet Europe, that plan probably would have worked for a while.

We were counting on the better angels of your nature.

reader papertiger0 said...

And I must say for being the studious viewer of history with regard to the Russian, you didn't pay too much attention to the lesson of World Wars 1 and 2 with regard to America.

Both times we entered reluctantly after third parties dragged us in kicking and screaming.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear papertiger, thanks for reminding me about that. I learned about the "Fulda Gap" in the morning - and I think that the map of the density of the nuclear land mines shows where the Fulda Gap was (high density of the land mines there).

My understanding was that the NATO defense focused there because it was believed that it was the most natural path for the Soviet bloc to perform a Blitzkrieg invasion of West Germany.

But it wasn't the only place that needed to be defended - both Northern and Southern parts of West Germany were at stake, and someone - us - was supposed to occupy the Southern portions.

It's really hard to predict what would happen in the case of the big war. I do believe that the Czechoslovak army was more potent than the East German one, for example, and we were and still are a very important producer of weapons of many kinds (really not just Semtex LOL). And because the forces were focusing on the Fulda Gap, the Czechoslovak advance could have been more substantial than anything on the intra-German border.

Yes, I am telling you that the Czechoslovak army would fight almost as "faithfully" on the communist side as the Soviet one. The differences existed - with ours being more mavericks who privately knew a lot about how the socialist life sucks relatively to the West (these differences became clear to us in 1988 when we visited Sverdlovsk, our twin city, to teach them speak Czech) - but the dominant attitude that you could officially see was almost as pro-communist as in the USSR and the organization of power that stemmed from the Communist Party did work. The economy was "OK" relatively to what was demanded (ignoring occasional shortages of toilet paper and things funny for the people in the West) etc.

I don't believe that in the case of the sharp conflict between the two blocs sometime up to the mid 1980s, most Czechoslovaks would suddenly begin to fight on the side of the West. I am convinced that these ideas are complete myths - spread by the propaganda that we were really occupied and our communism had nothing to do with us.

But this is bullšit. Communism in Czechoslovakia was primarily the work of the Czechoslovak communists and millions of other people who endorsed them to one extent or another. It wasn't something forced upon us by force. It won in Czechoslovakia in "almost analogous" ways as it did in Russia,just three decades later.

reader Liam said...

Ha ha wow - the skier guy oh my god! He sounds really German to my ears, (a result of the dialect I guess), almost like a comedy villain from a cheesy English WWII film...

"Jah, ist gutt downhill - mein werrry werrry gutt ski and gutt wetter... mein tactic to schussen allein ten kilometers..." lol :D :D

John Oliver's British accent is similar to mine, it's quite a mild one, (south of England, university educated etc) that we would even refer to in the UK as "trans-atlantic". I think it's reasonable that a non-native speaker would not immediately pick up on it.

I'd expect someone from the north of France to be able to tell the difference though, due to proximity!

Somehow I thought that the Czech girls were doing really well...

Or maybe I was just distracted :-P

reader Luboš Motl said...

If you talked to me, I must say that I completely agree with that. In the First and Second World Wars, America tried to keep itself away from the world conflicts for a very long time, unless it was attacked or almost attacked.

It was perhaps too detached.

But that doesn't imply that the same criticism will be relevant in the Third World War if any. All signs point to the opposite - that America contains the forces that are more enthusiastic about the war compared to all the other important economies of the world.

reader Michael said...

I don't wish for more war. We probably agree that the foreign policy of the US is guilty of horrible crimes, and the ultimate disaster would be if it did lead to a world war. That is the escalation we should fear, its not a solution.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Liam, agree, it's like a comedy. He may speak German well.

I wanted to explain to you that some of the words really *were* German but I see that you know that - in fact,you know that better than I do.

Many viewers were asking what the word "shewssion" was and I couldn't understand it, either. You cracked it - it must have been Schussen, like shooting in German, right? But now I actually think that he is a cross-country skier who has never shot into anything and "schussen" means "going downhill", we have a similar German-like word in Czech, and I don't know whether the word actually exists in German or English.

By the way, our biathlon folks did extremely well in Finland in recent days, placing Czechia among the top 4-5 countries in the world. It has never been our strong discipline.

reader Liam said...

Yes, I thought maybe he was using it as a kind of slang for sprinting/a relative burst of speed/going downhill etc something similar to the way we use "shooting along" in English for going quickly, though it was a bit of a wild guess.

Glad to hear you guys are getting on well in Finland - I've always found winter sports strangely watchable relative to other kinds, though I can't quite put my finger on why...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Yes, I think it is exactly what "schussovat" means in Czech. It is not an officially recognized word in the Czech language but if I were a good Alpine skier, I would surely tell you more accurately what it means, but I think that you are right.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Just an addition, a link to the middle of the song "Čecháček a totáček" (Czechaczech and totaczeck: Czechacheck is a popular self-derogatory word that Czechs use for other, low-key, petty little Czechs; totaczeck is a small, kid-like version of totáč [totach] which is how the "totalitarian regime" is known concisely and affectionately):

At this point, one can see a typical drill at a basic school. One kid nearly suffocates in the mask - a typical thing that wouldn't make the commies worry too much although I don't claim that it was too frequent.

The song is a criticism of those Czechs who say that the life was better during communism - a pretty nicely done, I think.

reader papertiger0 said...

Just today I started to look at the Ukraine situation with regard to possible strategic reasons for Vladimir Putin to drop out of the public eye.
My thinking was Putin disappearing could be a fein to give Russians and Ukrainians something else to discuss while Russian heavy weapons were pulled back.
Just a thought.
But the thing that draws me out of my shell, the Ukraine leader has complained of the seize fire being violated 1,100 times. That's a lot of shooting.
But only a few people injured. Less than a handful of people. No one dead.

That's odd. Like the people on the ground don't want to do this anymore.
If it were Christmas time one of those unofficial truces (see 1914 Verdun) might break out, on top of the official truce ;)

reader Liam said...

Wow, the term is unknown even to the mighty Google - we're getting into some seriously obscure slang terms here.. :-)

reader papertiger0 said...

a straight downhill run on skis.
make a straight downhill run on skis.

I think it's a Norwiegan term adopted easily and completely by Americans.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Liam: Wow, I would swear that as a kid, we were using the Czech word rather often, and now I can find 4 pages on the whole internet that contain "šůsovat":

reader Luboš Motl said...

It's possible - but you (and most people in the West) may also be overanalyzing a non-event.

reader Liam said...

Doh - I was searching without the diacritics for the bastardised "anglo-saxon" version of course.

Still, only 4 pages, that's quite impressive!

reader Luboš Motl said...

Strange, papertiger, this page

claims that "shush" is a more polite version of "shut up"

reader papertiger0 said...

Did I type shush?
I'm sorry.
The proper spelling is schuss or in the active tense schushing.

Shush is something grandma said during her program.
Lawrence Welk and the like.

reader papertiger0 said...

The whole Putin hasn't come out of the house for such and such time wasn't an American preoccupation.

It's the Ukrainians who were pumping that.

Recall the Shrodinger's Putin clock. It was accompanied by cartoons and video ditties, variations of a theme called


These were authored by Ukrainians. Wishful thinking on their part I suppose.

But some were funny.

I liked this song. (don't understand a word of it though.)

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear papertiger,

Ukrainians are excited about being against the Russians, including those on their territory, and Putin is the most powerful Russian in the world, so they love to invent conspiracy theories.

They are a not quite civilized Eastern European nation, a bunch of Borats, or how I should describe it who are moreover obsessed with Putin these days. Americans are expected to be the adults in the room who should moreover be impartial because they don't have (or shouldn't have) any fucking thing to do with the Ukrainian civil war because none of the groups in Ukraine are "Americans", so the excuse that some people in Ukraine nurture similar conspiracy theories is a lame excuse, indeed.

The comment that "Putin hasn't come out of the house" is nonsensical by itself. There is no evidence that Putin was closed in any particular "the house" in those 10 days. His job is such that he is no way obliged to show himself to the public every day.


reader papertiger0 said...

I'm trying to feature how that would go. Maybe via Cuba?
In Florida it's a "Stand Your Ground" state, as opposed to a "Castle" state, meaning in Florida if someone threatens your wellbeing on the street you have the right to shoot them, as opposed to retreating to your own property before shooting (ie "your home is your castle") like most other states.

That's legally. Florida isn't safe for Floridians to push their weight around, much less for some European invader.

Lotta guns.

reader Liam said...

So in German it would be schussen then (shooting), I think it's the same root term showing up with different variations (don't know anything about Norwegian other than that's it's germanic so it sounds plausible).

reader Shannon said...

We don't need weapons to kill USians, Papertiger. Just keep eating your food.

reader papertiger0 said...

I'm sensing this is the end of that discussion.


Among my American mates on the subject this was the last word;

ugh, i’m more uncomfortable with the idea of a coup against Putin then with Putin staying in charge.

seeRpea (b6bbec) — 3/15/2015 @ 6:59 pm

Sound like responsible adults? Maybe a little?

reader papertiger0 said...

Bothering about what we eat is Mrs. Obama's job.

reader Shannon said...

Do you still eat your cheese in tube ? Like toothpaste ? Ugh! That is lethal. :-D

reader Liam said...

Even better, try spray cheese in a can! Me I prefer a nice ripe Camembert..

reader Shannon said...

Lol! Me too but the USians, they don't understand. It will be their loss.

reader papertiger0 said...

How do I say it so you'll understand?

How about no.

reader Shannon said...

You don't seem to be scared yourself, Gene ;-)

reader Shannon said...

My mum used to tell me "if you keep saying no you will never get married" ;-)

reader papertiger0 said...

Are we rattling sabers and nobody told me? I'm under the impression that Obama was drawing red lines and then erasing them as quickly as they were crossed.

Even negotiating a nuclear arsenal for Iran.
Maybe if we curled up into a fetal position and started sucking our thumb as a country, you could relax and return to blissful sleep?

reader Shannon said...

But it is still worth it ;-). The US are our friends, they want to have a taste of war at home. They are sick of these virtual wars. They want it real. We should help them.

reader papertiger0 said...

Well this is awfully sudden.
Shouldn't we date a few times first then return to the topic?

reader Shannon said...

Haha! No. ;-)

reader papertiger0 said...

What did Mom say about that word, Shannon?

reader davideisenstadt said...

if your people had bought their own battles we wouldn't have sent hundreds of thousands of our children to die for your freedom.
Fields of our boys buried in your ingrate country's soil...defiled by your presence. You should be careful just what you wish for guys might get some more death from us.

reader Shannon said...

Well, my grandmother used to say "never talk to strangers". What do we do now? :-)

reader Shannon said...

Hey! Here is our Jack-in-the-box. Peace, Shalom alaikum.

reader papertiger0 said...

Shannon, your other boyfriend, davideisenstadt, is here.

I gotta go. Catch you later.

reader lukelea said...

I've noticed similar warmongering among the commenters at The Financial Times. Not sure they are all Americans.

reader QsaTheory said...

Anything is possible

reader NumCracker said...

"Attacking either the US or Russia would be suicide.": I agree, except in case the attack comes from inside, right ?

reader Phelps said...

It's funny to me what our minds can be trained to recognize -- 20 years ago, I could not only tell you when someone was from Texas, I could tell you within about 2 counties (~20km) where they grew up. Now, people move and travel so much, the accents aren't as local, but I can likely get you to the region (~200km).

In any event, I've always loved to hear how people who are not native to English still manage to get the whole point across. It's like Henry Rollins called it with Boris from Czech Republic -- it's bebop.

And yes, I agree that "On two concert, i'm shootive collective photo but small, fat,Bald headed technologist be insane," could be the greatest English sentence ever written.

reader Rehbock said...

I considered those drills rather useless even then. There was also a constant attitude that we must be afraid - be very afraid - of all things Soviet. The civil defense demand also meant trained volunteers, stockpiled supplies, emergency equipment and other resources were more fully available and probably better deployed. Of course mine were the observations of a child whose first reaction was to believe we had been attacked. I doubt anyone has ever quantified this.

reader PlatoHagel said...

There is a reason why your vision is limited.

Because you are venturing in and out of the place with which you can see further but have not gone into the abstraction with full partnership of the relationship with the physics.

Consciousness of the center recognizes the outer boundary with which inflation seeks to be understood. The intentionality and the motivation expressed as if in the physics is a dynamical process that can be looped according the layer at which you settle with according to the scales at which this parallelism is associated.

In the psychology of this recognition is a term which is called liminocentric, does not mean a Galilean view of position of earth as the center according to how we see this solar system, but how as individual, as we go deeper inside, the outside world is reflected.

reader papertiger0 said...

Dedicated to Shannon's grand-mère
Don't talk to strangers.

reader papertiger0 said...

Wait a minute. Whom is this mysterious other who is supposed to attack America?

You mean Russia? I can't see it. They have a hard enough time pulling the beard on the Ukraine. As the good General Scales says - when not being mischaracterized by Pravda -
Putin has committed a quarter of Russia's military to the Ukrainian engagement. Breaking the bank and they're just a train ride away.
Getting into a real war, with somebody who will actually fight back, that's beyond Putin's capability. It would be a disaster for him his country and all it's people.

Never going to happen. You all sleep tight.

reader PlatoHagel said...

I trust we now recognize the apparition of your physics in relation to the abstractions.

reader LM said...

I liked his voice and the ideas were soothing....and I fell asleep

reader Robert said...

I happened to come across this very short video called "Quantum Physics and Consciousness", featuring Michio Kaku. Kaku talks about Schrodinger's Cat and utters the nonsense that "The cat is neither dead nor alive, but the sum of the two states". I expected better from a professional theoretical physicist and popularizer of science.

reader Robert said...

Dilation, your experience is similar to mine. In my youth I also dabbled a lot in spiritual stuff. I even got sucked in by T Lobsang Rampa. These days, I get my dose of spirituality from working through physics and mathematics textbooks. This really annoys my wife, who is a yoga devotee.

reader QsaTheory said...

Happy! in Persian culture when somebody endures a misfortune but people ask him, how is it that you look fine. He will reply by saying I am shameless. Meaning I am just pretending of being fine.

reader davideisenstadt said...

your country is both too cowardly and too smart to try that...isnt enough that you guys effed up quebec?
lost the french indian war?

reader PlatoHagel said...

Galileo defended heliocentrism.....

reader mesocyclone said...

The US Army had troops that were trained to operate behind Soviet lines. These troops had backpack carried tactical nuclear weapons, to be used for nuclear sabotage. A friend of mine was in one of those units, and spoke fluent German, learned for that purpose. The nukes themselves were called SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition).

reader mesocyclone said...

The US most certainly does not want a war with Russia. Even the loudest hawks have zero interest in such a war.

Unfortunately, some don't understand that Russia might start a war if pushed too far. As a hawkish American, I am very worried that our Administration will push too hard.

Putin is also acting in a very dangerous way. We had many decades where leaders did not make nuclear threats. That ended with Putin, who routinely rattles his nuclear weapons. Many of us who lived through the entire cold war fear that we are now in a very dangerous time, as dangerous as any time during that cold war (a cold war where millions died in military action, by the way). On one side, we have Putin who may have no scruples about using a nuclear weapon if he thinks he will win. On the other, we have an administration which keeps demonstrating weakness in foreign affairs, at the same time as provoking Russia, which could cause Putin to attack thinking we would not respond. The cold war prevented nuclear war because both sides made clear by their actions and their words that retaliation for a nuclear attack would be certain.

reader Tony said...

I don't get it. Are you speaking in riddles, are you German? What's up with your grammar?

Anyway, I concluded that I'll die like a dog (no offense to dogs, on the contrary) or like a cockroach (I don't like them too much, but I'm okay with them outside my house) and turn to dirt, to dust. And that's it!

Nobody in the whole human history escaped that destiny (yes, they pretend and lie some did but nobody ever heard from any of them so it is clearly all a load of bullshit) so nobody really knows more than I do when it comes to transcendence.

Thus I decided to enjoy in humanity's real accomplishments in understanding the world around us, as helped by physics and mathematics.

I feel proud that I live among people who found out and started understanding microwave background radiation, for example.

The fact that we are able to understand something about the Universe around us makes me happy to be genetically, racially and ethnically a part of that bunch of schmucks.

That's about it. I wasn't just sliding in the mud, looking for another ball of slime to fuck. I saw wonderful images from Hubble.

reader Umbral Moonshine said...

Please do a post on the Umbral Moonshine conjecture and its potential importance for string theory.

reader Tom Trevor said...

That is almost as distracting from my thoughts of nuclear war as the darn ads for women's underwear that broke up this post. At least this time the post didn't have any math equations, so I didn't need to pay as strict attention, like I did in a previous post. Now if you'll excuse me, for some reason I feel the need to go to But not before I say that I am more worried about Iran getting a nuke than war with Russia, because I think Iran doing irrational things is much more likely.

reader davideisenstadt said...

yet after WW2. germany lost significant parts of its country to poland,
India portend off pakistan, borders caving all the time, and will continue to change.

reader Tony said...

Well, that's not such a big hit to take for absence of wars, enslavement, etc.

The real problem is that, like in the case of "You shall not kill" they make it all relative.

So I don't see moral subjectivism as much of a problem as a moral relativism.

reader bandarherbal said...

sae pisan ulasanna ieu teh cara menghancurkan kista

reader Michael said...

Its pretty easy to fix is it not? You don't want to be attacked, so it is wrong to attack someone (being the initiator, defense is of course perfectly fine) . If someone *wants* you to rape them, its by definition no longer rape, if they don't want it, then it is, and its wrong. There is no problem here.

reader Tony said...

Heh, heh, nobody like British to tell the British (and even more Irish) across the pond how dumb they are.

reader Tony said...

Right, there is a consideration of reciprocity that I failed to mention.

If you want to be raped by A that doesn't mean it is ok to rape B.

reader Tony said...

Nor A.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Plato, please, avoid the obscene ***** **** term next time.

reader Shannon said...

Papertiger, have you seen how the whole of South America is giving the finger at you guys ?
It's only a beginning. You the US only think of war in terms of blood, deat, horrors and destruction... w, in the rest of the world, think of war by preparing the peace.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Hi, done:

Just one general sentence about your comment. Maybe the primary "importance" is going in the opposite direction: string theory is *important* and *powerful* and *useful* to completely understand all the moonshines.

The opposite relationship is a bit more uncertain. The compactifications of string theory that are relevant are surely simple and special but they may look like some esoteric freak solutions to the theory. From some perspective, they must be "the most ****something****" (the most profound?) compactifications of string/M-theory, but string theory doesn't really define the "profoundness" in any way. Any solution is as good as any other.

So these vacua and their moonshines may be very important for the way how we organize our knowledge of string/M-theory but I am not 100% sure whether their real importance goes "beyond" shedding light on the monstrous moonshines - all the surprising relationships in pure mathematics.

For example, I don't really believe that realistic vacua of string/M-theory are particularly close to these moonshine-clarifying solutions. We may gain something if we imagine that the realistic vacua are obtained from the "most profound" moonshine vacua through a (symmetry-breaking of a sort) process. But I am not sure about that, either.

It's always risky to assume that some advance will crack all the deep mysteries of the Universe. It may very well be true that string theory is so powerful that it reduces all the moonshines - with all the divine feelings that people have had - into down-to-Earth transparent technicalities while the true mysteries of string theory are actually much deeper than the moonshine-like observations.

reader cynholt said...

The Nobel Prize Winner has bombed 7 Muslim countries, destabilized Ukraine, attempted a coup in Venezuela, lied about sarin use in Syria to almost start a war, assassinated US citizens without a trial, regularly drones women and children and wedding parties and yet is the most admired man in the world in a Gallup poll in 2014. I would cry at humanity's stupidity, cruelty and corruption, but I prefer to laugh. If you love your lying war criminals, you'll love getting a lot more war.

reader cynholt said...

And we've got those crazy Cheez-heads in Wisconsin, or is it Whiz-consin ;~)

reader RAF III said...


reader Shannon said...

Yuk. It looks like a yellow diarrhea. And the way his "friend" is putting the cheese, on the sly. Rather symbolic of what is going on in the USian's food industry. Lethal.

reader Shannon said...

Indeed, there are many other ways of making war ;-)...

reader papertiger0 said...

Unions and governmental bodies are only real when they start taking other people's money.

Scratch under the surface of UNASUR and you find under the heading of TAX

The member states are not however obligated to extend to investors in the other nations signatory to the Colonia Protocol the benefits of any treatment, preference or privilege resulting from international accords relating fully or partially to tax matters.

Which means that the individual states of South America have given up pretending they can defend borders against drug traffickers, kidnappers and theives.
Threw their hands up.
"Don't shoot us Norte del Valle," "We surrender FARC," "Have it your way ANC".

It gets embarassing after a while so they develop a club house. There they can swap stories of whose police force is more on the take, least effective, and the like, amongst friends who won't judge.

reader Shannon said...

So why do you care so much about South America ? Are you a consumer ? Grow your own cannabis. It is legal now in North California, isn't it?

reader Shannon said...

Dear Gene, your government has been lying to you about your weapons. This is an astronomical bluff they have been playing on you guys. Russia knows that. Your grounds are not protected at all. They might show you pictures but that is all fake.. like your economy, your financial system and your food.

reader scooby said...

The part about the Air Force nuke officer drunk in Russia reminds me of General Ripper in Dr. Strangelove (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) ;).

reader cynholt said...

Food fads and exercise fads are nothing new, but yet MOOchelle is claiming credit for them. She needs to put her ego on a diet, not just her lard ass.

reader cynholt said...

If the US would mind it's own business and stop sticking it's nose where it doesn't belong, this world would be a much more peaceful place. Shame on the US and shame on the EU: preaching 'democracy' yet supporting a government that came to power through a putsch -- planned/encouraged/financed by the US. Will 'FU Nuland' be distributing bags filled with goodies after WW3 brakes out? The US needs to experience a war on it's own territory, to realize first hand what the horrors of war are all about. America's stupidity is dangerous.

reader cynholt said...

I've gone through some essays written by Putin critics and detractors alike lately, and other than the fact that he and Medvedev play musical chairs and too much power with one man is not necessarily a good thing, he is, in my view, exactly the right man at a crucial moment in history for the world as a whole to oppose the sinister warmongers and corporate oligarchs of the West. What he becomes later is mere conjecture, but right now, I support him and his endeavors to protect his nation against blatant aggression.

reader Smoking Frog said...

Go to hell, Shannon.

reader Smoking Frog said...

I once saw a man who, by listening to your speech, could tell where you were from, within 50 miles, if you were from anywhere east of the Mississippi. In some cases he could get much closer than 50 miles, e.g., 2-3 miles.

reader PlatoHagel said...

So how did you figure this all out? It come to you in a flash or did it evolve over time? Ya, what actually changed?

reader PlatoHagel said...

Sorry, I thought you had gotten past that P**** **** dualism:)

That it doesn't matter anymore because you still practice what you believe to be true.

What do you think of Veneziano in terms of something before the big bang.

reader Shannon said...

Your master's voice, Smoking Frog ?

reader Shannon said...

Oh yeah these weapons already in Frankfurt airport :

reader Gene Day said...

Look, Shannon, I know many, very smart individuals who helped develop, those weapons systems and I have personally made significant contributions to our electronic warfare capabilities. The American nuclear submarine force is totally real. Doubting it is exactly the same as doubting that Americans have walked on the moon. You simply don’t know what you are talking about.
It is true that our land is, ultimately, unprotected, as is every location on the planet but that is the nature of modern nuclear weapons systems. They cannot be stopped.
Regarding our economy, our financial system and our food, please come and see for yourself.

reader Gene Day said...

We are wisely pursuing the only possible way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, which is undesirable but not really very threatening, not even to Israel.

reader Liam said...

Awesome movie - love Peter Sellers - espcially the part when he's playing the US president on the phone to a drunk irate Russian premier at the end of the line...

"No Dimitry, I'm sorry... No, no Dimitry, how can you say that you're more sorry than I am... Yes, I'm sorry too Dimitry... No, I'm just as sorry as you are Dimitry!" :D :D

As the world counts down to Nuclear Apocalypse, brilliant!

reader papertiger0 said...

Why? You brought it up.
It's sort of interesting to learn what gets Mr. Obama's dander up. Hijacking of commercial airplane by Venesulan state actors.
As good a thing as any.
At least you can point to the reason.

I notice in your link there's a great bunch of Venesulan Martinez, other countries not so much.

reader papertiger0 said...

Did the Ayatolla call Obama a nigger? At 3:32 . Then again at 3:50

reader papertiger0 said...

The obligatory 'death to America' chant led by Amadinnerjacket.
I trust what they say.

reader papertiger0 said...

The French have their own nuclear deterent. If they want to put the boo into Russia and get snitty about the Crimea. Have at it.

Frankishly speaking, I am worried at their absinthe of fear.

And Shannon's disengagement. ;)

reader mesocyclone said...

And what "sinister warmongers and corporate oligarchs" are you talking about?

Putin seems to be the only person on the modern stage who matches that description. He took part of Georgia by force, captured Crimea by the use of force, and has sent Russian forces and material into the Ukraine.

The West has done none of this, refusing even to provide lethal aid to the Ukraine.

reader QsaTheory said...

This video has a fairly accurate translation, I can understand Farsi fairly well, but cannot speak it like they do. There was nothing like what you describe in it.

It was mostly about Americas friendly words but not deeds. And his Fatherly advice to America to stop its arrogance so that people of the world would stop hating them, because that would be good for American people and their government.

reader QsaTheory said...

This is a standard chat coming from the days when The US installed its Puppet regime the shah by a CIA coup,

Now it is used in response to the threat of "all options on the table", how friendly is that statement.

reader QsaTheory said...

Iran has never had a problem with the world countries, its a good partner with the majority of the world countries, that is how it was able to withstand all the pressure from America.
They regularly referred to Europeans as our friends before the Arm twisting of Europe to impose sanctions.

I think what Iran wants is like what Cynthia has said many times, it does not want to be subordinate to any power dictating their will on it, like many of the shameless third world countries. However, it has no problem dealing and wheeling like in a bazaar.

reader papertiger0 said...

Much friendlier than they deserve.

reader LM said...

You've got to be joking. If Putin is an 'oligarch' or in bed with them, how comes they are all supporting the other side right now? They are traitors that stole Russia's wealth while that country was on its knees. There might not be a nuclear risk, but if there isn't, that's ENTIRELY due to Putin's self control. The US is behaving dangerously and leaving it to Russia to be self controlled. And this is all contrived anyway. The real reason is because Russia wouldn't play ball in Syria. The price for that is the destruction of Syria. People in your list of 'allies' saw fit to destroy a whole people and nation over that.

reader LM said...

You speak sense and with a tone that used to be typical of Americans. The only point of order is that the Cold War isn't something that could repeat in the current situation. That was a struggle between whole world views, that kicked off at a time, it wasn't clear which of the two, USA or USSR, was the stronger. America thought it was Russia well into the 70's.
Right now it's much more dangerous, because America knows Russia is vastly weaker. And this is driving recklessness. But Russia still has much of the same internal infrastructure of communism in terms of the power bases and the ordering of things. And Russia still has nuclear weapons. And do you know what? Russia is still the country with the geography and scale most likely to afford significant survival of a nuclear war. It's just stupid what is going on.

reader mesocyclone said...

We seem to be operating from different sets of facts.

Rather than argue with yours, I would like clarification. Hence consider below as a respectful attempt to elicit an more details and not a direct argument.

What is the west doing that is "behaving dangerously?" I see Russia constantly probing our airspace with nuclear bombers. I hear Putin constantly talking about his nuclear weapons, not the west. I see Putin sending in lethal aid *and* soldiers to the Ukraine, while the US is not sending any lethal aid(yet). As Russia has been building up its military in Europe, the west has been shrinking ours. Clarification?

Why do you think Russia "wouldn't play ball in Syria?" Russia *saved* Obama from humiliation in Syria, so it seems very unlikely to me that Obama is acting aggressively towards Russia because of Syria.

What whole people and nation was destroyed by which allies? Syria?

Syria has certainly been torn apart, so I guess you are referring to that, but I cannot be sure. Syria is not "a people" - it is an artificial construct of a country of very different peoples (ethnic and religious) thrown together by the West after World War I and ruled by the leader of one small sect (Arab Alawites), so it is hardly surprising that it is in rebellion. It is also an ally of Iran, so it is hardly surprising that antagonists of Iran favor the rebels. Is that what you are referring to, or am I missing something?

As you can see, I am puzzled about the apparent view that the west is the aggressor and Russia the defender, even as I understand that this view is held by most Russians and apparently by you.

reader papertiger0 said...

Say aren't you the same asshole who was claiming that Mohommad invented democracy?

Yeah, that was you.


Don't talk at me dude.
You have too much in common with those Iranian assholes for me to take anything you say seriously.


reader QsaTheory said...

urban dictionary

asshole. someone being arrogant, rude, obnoxious, or just a total dickhead

it seems to apply to you and not me.

reader papertiger0 said...

You're right.

I should elaborate.

pretentious, self aggrandizing, phony baloney, lying, asshole-

and the horse you rode in on Jihad johnny.

Rude of me not to include your whole title. You earned it after all.

reader Oleg said...

Factually incorrect. The Russian conflict with Georgia was a result of a full scale attack by (NATO-ambitioned) Georgia against autonomous South Osetia (see wiki).

If you need an example of a real warmonger, let me quote *cynholt* below whose statement is factually correct:

"The Nobel Prize Winner has bombed 7 Muslim countries, destabilized Ukraine, attempted a coup in Venezuela, lied about sarin use in Syria to almost start a war, assassinated US citizens without a trial, regularly drones women and children and wedding parties".

Putin never talks about attacking other countries unlike Americans (see e.g. "start killing Russians" On the contrary, he prevented the US from attacking yet another country (Syria), to give just one example.

If you are worried about Russian military exercises, take a look at those performed by NATO close to the Russian border :

(the last one is 300 m from the Russian border)

And I haven't even started on Ukraine...

reader mesocyclone said...

That the Georgians attacked *their own territory* is hardly an excuse for Russia to not only go in, but to keep it for almost a decade, with no signs of letting it loose. No, the Georgian attack was a mere pretext.

Moving on... There is zero evidence that Obama (or the US) attempted a coup in Venezuela. Get serious.It is also irrelevant to the charge that the US is being aggressive towards Russia.

Sarin use in Syria was very well documented by independent third parties. Again, also irrelevant.

The US citizens were members of Al Qaeda, on foreign soil, waging war against the US. Obama was within his legal rights to target them, as set out by the AUMF against Al Qaeda. Again, also irrelevant.

As for Putin, he doesn't talk about invading countries, he just invades them, unless you believe the little green men in the Crimea were from Mars.

It is not Russian military exercises that are the issue. Both sides have a very long history of military exercises, which are announced publicly so as to defuse tensions.

Russia is sending nuclear capable aircraft into the defense zones of many countries of the west. The aircraft arrive without notice, and with their transponders (necessary for collision avoidance) turned off.

That is aggressive. It is the sort of thing that both sides did during the cold war, but which both sides stopped after that, and which the west does not do now.

So... what is the west doing that is aggressive *towards Russia?*

reader Tony said...

The same thing as with one of my past employers - he was promising a raise but never delivered. There was always a good explanation why he can't this time but next time is for sure. After a while I got tired of promises and left.

reader PlatoHagel said...

Well I think most definitely it is an attitude that is born out of a position you adopted for sure.

Here;s the point.....every thing that is discussed in TM is functional without ever having to talking about using of this method.

The underlying sources in recognition of the philosophy is all there and it is academic in it's settings. So they used that to demonstrate the logic of their approach, and ultimate realization to say its all string or its all consciousness as a demonstration of this Unified Field.

There is a ole and ancient philosophy tied to this by correlation which is of Vedic and correlated to a leader of such thought.

Throw the leader aside and the religious association to money making schemes as to set each of us within a intonation, and we go on our way to delving into the relationship of the deeper thinking mind. This capability already exists within our range of thinking if we but learn to relax, sit by a stream or water fall, and you do not have to divest yourself of the reason with which you look at the world.

So the realization that everything is sound, is a conversion process that takes place in the mind as to describing what we have already described in the physics as measure so we turn our language over to see collisions processes as described ths way.

There is nothing wrong with seeing this way as long as you stay with the theoretic and physics of high energy approach.

So resonance in the brain matter, is as an affective state of consciousness, is a measure of frequency of the brain. Such a measure along side of showing what state your mind is in through different examinations is equally as valid as to the aproach of the method of TM, while recognizing the underlying philosophy of approach.

reader PlatoHagel said...

Geim was talking about Graphene.

reader cynholt said...

Wow, Lubos, that would be like me trying to speak Czech, minus all the erotic overtures, of course.;~)

reader Oleg said...

It is interesting to learn about your feelings, but I still prefer facts.

South Osetia was never part of Georgia after the breakup of the Soviet Union
(in fact, they declared independence from Georgia already within the Soviet Union in 1990). Check with the wiki.

It is well established by now that sarin was used in Syria, but overwhelmingly likely it was used by the rebels. See for instance, “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack of August 21st, 2013”
by MIT Professor and global security expert Theodore Postol and former UN weapons inspector Richard Lloyd. I quote “It’s clear and unambiguous this munition could not have come from Syrian government-controlled areas as the White House claimed.”

As to Venezuela, the US strategy for years has been aimed at “penetrating Chavez’ political base,” “dividing Chavismo,” “protecting vital US business” and “isolating Chavez internationally”, see wikileaks
It is pretty clear where they were going with it.

Russia would tolerate all of the above, but the US involvement in ousting an elected president in Ukraine was too much (I’m not attaching here the famous Nuland-Pyatt conversation, etc.). This was the last drop since that clearly threatened Russia’s security. Add to that a hyper-agressive stance of NATO on everything they dislike starting with the bombing of Serbia in the heart of Europe. Now they are flexing their muscles on the border with Russia. Just imagine Russia doing that in Tijuana.

reader Harald said...

Hi Lubos, According to Spiegel, russia has now threatened to use nukes against Denmark: I think anyone who makes such threads should be visited by a psychiatrist. But russia did another thing: They walked out of the Nunn Luger act this was an agreement by which the US paid the russians to secure their nuclear materials. By withdrawing from the Nunn Luger treaty, Russia is deliberately becoming a NATO target. The US certainly will not tolerate a state with unsecured weapons of mass destruction for a long time. Other states that had many unsecured bio and chemical weapons were Iraq and Lybia, for example

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Harald, I know, it was a #1 story on some Czech news servers for a while.

I am not sure it is a matter for psychiatrists. Russia simply feels threatened by these defense systems – it would neutralize much of Russia's military power, its deterrence power etc.

You know, I was a big fan of the U.S. missile defense radar on the Czech territory - really 30 miles from my home. We have visited the place many times etc.

But yes, I also *believed* that it was meant to be a real defense against some "clearly hostile" powers, like Muslim terrorists who get nukes, or something like that.

I did believe the words that the missile defense wasn't against Russia - and it seems to me that I was naive. If it were sufficiently clear that the missile defense is meant to be a tool to reduce or neutralize Russia's deterrence power, I would totally disagree with the missile defense system to be based on the Czech territory.

You know, with such a step, it is totally obvious that the country - Czechia or Denmark, in these two situations - is becoming a full-fledged enemy of Russia. It seems obvious to me that Russia would nuke military targets in such a country in the case of a conflict. I think that it is you who should visit a psychiatrist if you have any doubts about it.

Russia feels safe enough exactly/mostly because it has these nukes and it may erase dozens or hundreds of foreign cities off the map if some other country threatens Russia's existential interests. The ability to destroy is a part of the fundamental security guarantees for Russia - whether you like it or not. That's how the world works.

Ukraine is a marginal case. Russia doesn't want NATO troops on the Ukrainian territory but it's possible that it wouldn't be behind the "nuclear red line": Russia wouldn't start a nuclear war because of NATO armies in Ukraine.

On the other hand, it is very obvious that there exists "a" nuclear red line - some threat or attack against Russia that would make Russia press the buttons. An invasion to St Petersburg would surely do so. It's common sense, isn't it?

reader Harald said...

I thought long that the US missile defense was against russia. But it isn't. Syria is building nuclear weapons : and iran is selling missiles to them The thing is: Last year in june, the US ambassador has given russia some "important documents". After that, acticles appeared in the NY times about Iraq's bio and chemical weapons and an article about syrias nukes appeared in der spiegel. Putin then stated that some of russias satellites that warn against missile tests had to be reactivated . NATO proposed long ago to interconnect its missile systems with Russia. But it was Russia which refused this offer. And now Russia has its updated defense doctrine: This document now explicitly allows cooperation with foreign countries to set up a global antiballistic missile system That is, the russians basically have accepted NATO's offer. And given these changes, the recent threat against Denmark is completely nuts and irresponsible. Since it just makes clear to everyone, that one can not trust the russian government. Here is, for example, what they said last june: "However, given the current state of relations, Russia will not seek to develop a new agenda for cooperation with the U.S. until after the dust settles on the current crisis — 12-18 months. Until then, Russian leaders will simply try to manage the situation to limit the damage to the relationship." that was last june where the foreign ministry said that. so 9 months have passed. Lets see what we have in another 9 months and then one can see whether they can be trusted....

reader Oleg said...

Although M. Vanin could have chosen a less direct way to convey the message, what he said contains nothing new. Anti-missile systems are some of the first targets in a nuclear conflict. Since Denmark belongs to a hostile (NATO) block, the above conclusion is obvious. That the shield is intended to defend NATO from Iran is a bit of a joke (see Putin's reaction to this statement
Anyway, after the most trusted US network showed the "start killing Russians" tirade ( ), I think it's good to be reminded what's at stake.

As to various arms treaties, the US has a long history of unilaterally withdrawing from them starting with the famous ABM treaty in 2001 (that had kept the arms race in check since 1972). And if Russia does not want the US to control strategically important materials on its own territory, so be it. And the US will take it alright.