Can Nuclear War Be Avoided?

Op-Ed Contributor

Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts

Two factors are driving the world to nuclear war. One is the constant stream of insults, false accusations and broken agreements that the West has been dumping on Russia year after year. The other is Russia’s response, or, perhaps more correctly, the lack thereof.

Articles documenting Washington’s betrayals and provocations of Russia are available online and on my website. There is no point in repeating them here.

I have pointed out that the Russian government’s factual, diplomatic, and legal responses actually produce more provocations and insults. See, for example, Stephen Lendman agrees ( and so does Peter Koenig (

Russia has two alternatives to the self-defeating response the government has chosen. One, recommended by Peter Koenig and myself, is to turn her back on the West, cleanse herself of all Western embassies, businesses, media, and NGOs, and cease relying on Western communication systems and bank clearing mechanisms. The West has nothing Russia needs. The West is exhausted and corrupt. The future lies in the East of which Russia is a part. Russia should focus on the partnership with China and relationships in the East and simply stop responding to blatantly false accusations and provocative insults.

Russia can be part of the West only if Russia surrenders to Washington’s hegemony. One would have thought that by now the Russian government would have figured out that Washington is determined to marginalize and isolate Russia, discredit Russia’s government, dislodge Putin and install a puppet like May, Macron, and Merkel, and failing these efforts to push Russia to the point that her only alternatives are to surrender or go to war.

Did it ever occur to the diplomat Lavrov and low-key Putin that the President of Russia would be called a murderer by a British foreign secretary on the basis of a fabrication created by the British government?

Are Lavrov and Putin finally getting the message that it is self-defeating to appeal to facts and law when the West has no respect for either and regards recourse to facts and law as signs of weakness and fear?

What is Russia going to do when Lavrov or Putin travel abroad on some diplomatic or state mission and one or the other or both are seized and charged with war crimes or some other fabricated offense? It can’t happen, you say? Yes it can happen. Preparation for such an event is one of the reasons that Washington crafts the portrait of Russia’s President as “the new Hitler.” Pre-emptive arrest and execution are US policy.

For years Washington has been kidnapping Russians in other countries outside US legal jurisdiction (Israel is the only other country to get away with imposing the extra-territoriality of its illegal edicts). Roman Seleznev, son of a member of the Russian Duma, was kidnapped in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean by the US and put on trial in the US for hacking credit cards. Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot was kidnaped by Washington in Liberia and charged with cocaine smuggling, a principle activity of the CIA. Evgeny Buryakov was sentenced for gathering economic intelligence, a routine activity of economists and diplomats. Victor Bout was seized by Washington in Thailand and sentenced for selling weapons to rebels, an “offense” the US has committed throughout the world and is committing today on a large scale in the Middle East. Considering the high frame-up rate of US “justice,” we have no way of knowing if these trials are anything more than show trials to teach Russia the lesson that Russian citizens are safe nowhere.

Russia’s other alternative to the self-defeating one the government has chosen is to hit back hard. Lendman suggests that when US or Israeli attacks on Syria kill Russians, Russia should destroy the bases from which the attacks originated and simply quit worrying about whether the necessary retaliation kills Americans and Israelis. Why are Americans and Israelis more important than Russians and Syrians? Does the Russian government believe the propaganda about Americans being “exceptional and indispensable” and the Israelis being “God’s chosen people?”

Perhaps a better way of showing force would be for Russia to call a meeting of the UN Security Council at which Russia could make a presentation along these lines:

Confront the US and its vassals with the long list of the treaties and agreements broken and ignored by the US and now by the UK.

Confront the US and its vassals with the long list of hostile and unsupported accusations against Russia and the West’s refusal to resolve the issues on a factual, evidential basis.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that neither Russia nor the US and its allies believe one word of the accusations which are intended to serve Washington’s hegemony by marginalizing and isolating Russia.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that similar demonizations of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad led to military invasions of their countries. Ask if the US and its vassals are preparing their populations for a military attack on Russia.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that the tension between the nuclear superpowers is far higher than during the Cold War of the 20th century and that the lies and mendacity of the US government have completely destroyed Russian trust in Washington.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that during the Cold War there were numerous false warnings of incoming enemy ICBMs, but that as the two governments were working to reduce tensions, neither side believed the warnings, whereas today the situation is far different. In view of the extraordinary hostility displayed toward Russia by the US and its vassals, Russia cannot take a chance that a warning is false. As the US and its vassals are targeted by Russian nuclear forces, the West has the world on a course of destruction. Is this what Washington and its vassals want? Is the choice Washington’s hegemony or death? Ask Washington’s vassals why they support this insane choice.

For so long Americans have laughed at the cartoon picture of the bearded man holding his sign, “The End Is Near,” that Americans probably cannot intelligently respond to a warning no matter who gives it.

Similarly, Western policymakers are so demented and the presstitute media so corrupt that the response to a Russian approach to the UN as outlined above would be used as proof of the West’s anti-Russian propaganda. The headlines would read: “Russia Threatens the World With Nuclear War.”

Therefore, it seems that the only alternative is for Russia to turn her back—but not her eyes—on the West and to find her future in the East.

All indications are that Russia is unwilling to do this. For the Russian government, being a part of the West is more important than life itself.

Coal Authority Public Board Meeting – 23 March 2018

The next Coal Authority Board meeting will take place on Friday 23 March 2018

Coal Authority

Coal Authority

Our next public board meeting will take place at the Coal Authority offices at 200 Lichfield Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 4RG, starting at 09.45 on Friday 23 March 2018.

The board continues to conduct its business in public, as part of its ongoing commitment to giving stakeholders greater access to information on the activities undertaken by the Coal Authority.

View the board meeting agenda for 23 March 2018

Exceptional items of a commercially confidential nature will continue to be dealt with by the board in closed session.

Muhiba Ahmed Wins The British High Commission’s GREAT Debate Competition

The British High Commission’s third annual GREAT Debate competition final was held in Islamabad

British High Commissioner Thomas Drew

British High Commissioner Thomas Drew

The event was attended by members of the media and civil society, Chevening alumni and senior officials from the British High Commission and British Council. The audience witnessed a high intensity competition between fourteen of the top debaters from across universities in Pakistan who spoke for and against topics on peace, prosperity, democracy and technology.

The judging panel consisted of British Council Pakistan Country Director Rosemary Hilhorst, British High Commission’s Director of Corporate Services Giles Whitaker, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan H.E Jean-Francois Cautain and Consultant for the UNDP Ermeena Malik. The Chief Guest at the event was the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew.

After a competitive round of fixtures Muhiba Ahmed from Lahore and Umer Waqas Ahmed from Gujrat were judged to be the winner and runner-up of the GREAT Debate competition.

The British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said:

This year the UK is celebrating the next generation of Pakistani leaders, influencers and opinion makers. The forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the UK in April also has a strong youth focus in its priorities.

I am delighted that with the annual GREAT Debate we are able to give this next generation a platform to showcase their debating skills, hone their talent and get the opportunity to meet debaters from different universities and cities.

This marks the third edition of the GREAT Debate and I am pleased that we have been able to include over 150 debaters. The art of debating is in good health and will continue to grow further in universities and colleges across Pakistan.

I congratulate all the finalists. I am sure you will all play a vital part in the future success of Pakistan.

The GREAT Debate competition held in 2017-18 was the third annual edition of the competition that gives students from across Pakistan a platform to participate in debates, interact with other students from different universities and hone their skills in research, analytical thinking and public speaking.

The fourteen final participants of the GREAT Debate will be given one year British Council digital library memberships. The winner and runner-up of the overall competition will receive a scholarship reward to contribute towards their tuition fees.

More Information

The GREAT Debate is a debating competition for university students. There were seven semi-finals – in seven different cities (Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Gujarat, Faisalabad and Mirpur) involving students from over 50 leading universities across Pakistan – and the winner and runner-up of each semi-final competed in the final in Islamabad.

Humane Trapping Standards: Consultation Starts

A consultation on implementation of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards in the UK has started and views are now being sought

Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

The Government has today (19 March) launched a public consultation on the introduction of new and improved international humane trapping standards.

Views are being sought on the implementation proposals for the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards and to gather information on the supply, use and marking of traps to better inform impact assessment.

These measures will ensure gamekeepers, country estates and pest control companies are trapping certain species of animals in a humane fashion. Depending on the responses to the consultation, Government wants to implement the new standards on 1 January 2019.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

We are committed to supporting a strong rural economy and upholding countryside traditions and we want to do this in a way that respects wildlife and the environment.

I would therefore encourage people with an interest in this area to contribute their views.

Today’s consultation is asking for views from the gamekeeping sector, trap retailers, manufacturers and importers, pest control companies, country estates/farms, and importers of products derived from trapped animals.

People can respond using the Citizen Space survey.

The Government will respond to the consultation shortly after the six-week consultation ends.

Coastguard Winchman Battered By 6ft Waves During Dramatic Rescue

Dramatic footage showing the incredible moment a coastguard winchman was battered by 6ft waves as he rescued two young men off Hartland Point Sunday afternoon



The HM coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at St Athan was alerted to the incident just after 3pm today after a 999 call was made to HM coastguard reporting two young men clinging to rocks off Hartland Point. With 6ft waves crashing over the men they were at immediate risk of being washed out to sea. Racing to the scene, the HM coastguard helicopter was kept fully briefed by the Hartland Point coastguard rescue team who were unable to reach the pair due to the rough seas but were watching closely from the shore in case the worst should happen.

The rough seas also made it impossible for a lifeboat to reach the scene so their only hope was the coastguard helicopter. Once on scene it took the precision and skill of the helicopter crew which saw the two men rescued in under two minutes.

HM Coastguard helicopter chief pilot Olly Padbury said: “This was a challenging rescue where we only had seconds to spare. As we manoeuvred our winchman towards the two casualties on the rock, he was hit a by a large unsighted wave. Recovering quickly he was able to place the strop over the first casualty and he was winched onboard. Once he was safely inside we dropped the winch down again and we were able to pull the winchman and the second casualty up in seconds. This dramatic footage clearly shows what can happen when people are cut off by the tide but also the sterling job our winchman did in a few minutes. This rescue is about teamwork and we would like to say a big thank you to Hartland Point coastguard rescue team for their spot on briefing – which saw these two young men rescued successfully.”

Both men were airlifted to safety and despite their ordeal required no medical attention.

Speaking after the incident Duncan Ley, duty controller for HM coastguard said: “This incident could so easily have turned into a really tragic one. If you see someone in difficulty at sea or along the coast please immediately call 999 and ask for the coastguard. If you are going out for a walk along the shore make sure that you check the tide times – you will often see this information at the entry to beaches or check it online – and ensure that you are back in plenty of time. Thankfully, this was a rescue that ended really well thanks to the coastguard helicopter crew and Hartland Point Coastguard rescue team.”

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