“US officials dismissed President Vladimir Putin’s boast of resurgent Russian military might as ‘cheesy’ and made clear that US defense and military capabilities remain ‘second to none.'”
So reported CNN yesterday in its assessment of Putin’s state of the nation speech.
A different view was taken by Paul Craig Roberts, who writes that the speech “revealed the existence of new Russian nuclear weapons that make it indisputably clear that Russia has vast nuclear superiority over the United States and its pathetic NATO vassal states.”
So we have US officials calling the Russian leader’s claims bogus and “cheesy” while Roberts takes them at face value. Obviously they can’t both be right, so who to believe?
Some would question how Russia could possibly produce weapons systems more advanced than the US when it spends a mere fraction of what the US does on defense–but such people are not factoring in what I would refer to as the “corruption factor.”
Included in the cost of each Aegis anti-missile platform produced by the US are the vast sums of money spent on political kickbacks and campaign contributions, as well as CEO salaries that are 250 times the average worker’s pay. The Russians, motivated by patriotism and a strong desire to protect their country from US attack, are not burdened with such expenses.
Russia spends approximately $69.3 billion a year on defense spending, compared to $585 billion spent by the US (figures by Wikipedia ). Or in other words–assuming the figures are more less accurate–Russia spends just 11.8% of what the US does. But if you eliminate the cost of buying off public officials, the astronomical CEO salaries, as well as other expenses encountered by US defense contractors–such as advertising and public relations, private jets, cost overruns, parties in plush hotels, etc.–then it is entirely feasible that Russian manufacturers have produced weapons systems capable of out-performing those built by their drunken and corrupt US counterparts and designed by their counterparts’ drunken and corrupt scientists.
Getting back to CNN, a second report, published today, asserts that one of the graphic animations that accompanied Putin’s speech actually depicts a missile attack upon the state of Florida, and the report quotes the State Department’s Heather Nauert to that effect.
“It was certainly unfortunate to have watched the video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States,” Nauert is quoted as saying. “That’s certainly something that we did not enjoy watching. We don’t regard that as the behavior of a responsible international player.”
Here is the graphic from the speech they are now claiming represents an attack on Florida. The land mass doesn’t really look much like Florida, but I guess if you use your imagination you could construe it as such:
Roberts notes that in his speech Putin “declared that Russia has no territorial ambitions, no hegemonic ambitions, and no intention to attack any other country”–which is true. He did say this. And he actually emphasized the point quite strongly. But of course this will carry no weight whatsoever with the propagandists pounding the drums for war.
There is no capability of independent thinking in official Washington. Unless I miss my guess, not a single one of our politicians will be able to reason his or her way out of the parasitic-controlled group think that exists inside the beltway.