With all the current talk and bluster concerning North Korea, nuclear weapons and possible war, the arrival of a massive drill/exercise in the US has excited the interest of a number of conspiracy theorists.

From April 18th right through to May 5th, a ‘major nuclear detonation drill’ has been widely reported, taking place in the New York/New Jersey area and apparently involving a number of federal, state and local organisations. Called ‘Operation Gotham Shield’, the exercise is said to involve 4 nuclear devices and is presented as a preparation/simulation of a nuclear incident.

The multi agency exercise involves FEMA, Homeland Security and various law enforcement and military agencies. Response units for chemical and biological weapons and WMDs are being tested in this exercise. The U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, FBI, FEMA, NORTHCOM and others are specified as being involved in the operations.

Spokespeople for the simulation operation have said the exercises have nothing to do with current events, but were planned long in advance. However, given the current tensions between the US and North Korea (with all the accompanying talk of potential nuclear strikes), a suspicious mind would be prompted to wonder if the exercise might not be coincidental.

The exercise could be a preparation/drill for an expected or feared event – such as a North Korean retaliatory strike in the aftermath of a US assault.

An equally suspicious mind might also wonder if a false-flag event involving WMDs or a nuclear attack might be a possibility too.

Several (mostly right-wing) conspiracy theorists had already suggested the drill scenario might ‘go live’ in a sleight-of-hand switch that could echo various false-flag terrorist attacks, most famously 9/11 (in which a drill/simulation of plane hijackings was famously going on at the same time as the ‘real’ hijacking/attack happened – the latter replaced the former in what had to have been a meticulously planned operation).

It is also worth remembering previous ‘predictions’ from US officials and media outlets that ‘ISIS’ or some other terrorist operatives could detonate a nuclear device in a major American city.

I have wondered for some time whether conspirators in the US need another huge terror event on the scale of 9/11, as opposed to the various small-scaled false-flags: if so, the already-prophesied ‘ISIS nuclear attack’ would fit that bill, especially as the notion has already been put into people’s minds. In reality, of course, this is all an ongoing psy-op and ‘ISIS’ (whichever definition of ‘ISIS’ we’re using today) is unlikely to have anything like the capabilities or resources for carrying out such an attack in the United States.

Just as the PNAC/Neo-Cons behind the Bush administration had written about needing their “new Pearl Harbour” (which 9/11 became), one wonders if there’s a document somewhere that talks about needing a “new 9/11”.

One therefore has to wonder if the exercises carried out in Operation Gotham Shield might, on a later date, be repeated in a staged ‘real life’ nuclear/WMD attack from a foreign or hostile force (‘ISIS’, North Korea or some other) – but which, in reality, would simply be another simulated operation serving ulterior motives.

In all likelihood, Operation Gotham Shield 2017 is probably just what it is claimed to be: a preparedness drill for a major nuclear or WMD event in a major urban center.

But why now? And who or where is the real-world threat perceived to be coming from?

We should probably remember that Kim Jong-un’s regime isn’t the only possible source of a WMD attack. As unlikely as it may seem, Russia and China could also be a possibility. And it should probably also be considered, again, that the drill/exercise might have the hypothetical scenario be a *retaliatory* attack by one of those foreign powers in the aftermath of a US *first strike*.

Paul Craig Roberts has hinted for some time at ‘changes in US war doctrine that indicate that Washington is preparing a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia and China…’. He wrote in a post a few days ago, ‘It is extremely dangerous to all of mankind for Washington to convince two nuclear powers that Washington is preparing a preemptive nuclear strike against them. It is impossible to imagine a more reckless and irresponsible act.’

It was also reported recently that representatives of the Russian Armed Forces had stated the US is creating a military infrastructure near Russia’s borders for the application of a sudden nuclear strike.

At some other time or in some other circumstances, we might rely on cooler heads prevailing.

But we’re in the President Trump era now; in which provocations and a glorying in military firepower seems to be the order of the day. Trump himself, it is clear, has no clear handle on or policy on nuclear weapons, having made all kinds of contradictory statements, ranging from a stated unwillingness to ever engage in a first-strike policy all the way to asking “if we have nukes, why can’t we use them?”

But it isn’t really about Trump himself, who appears to be a non-entity in terms of thought-process and policy – and is more about the Pentagon, his senior military figures and whatever influence the Neo-Cons are exerting over his administration.

John Pilger’s 2016 film, The Coming War on China, was highly suggestive of the incoming Trump administration taking the US into a war with China that could potentially go nuclear. Pilger interviewed Pentagon war planners, members of China’s emerging political class and those resisting the presence of US military bases in South Korea for the film.

In a recent article for the Sydney Morning Herald, Pilger writes, ‘The United States is at a critical moment. When Donald Trump launched his missile attack on Syria – following his bombing of a mosque and a school – he was having dinner in Florida with the President of China, Xi Jinping.’

The scene Pilger creates is reminiscent of a Mafia boss sitting to dinner with a rival boss. He continues, ‘Trump’s attack on Syria had little to do with chemical weapons. It was, above all, to show his detractors and doubters in Washington’s war-making institutions – the Pentagon, the CIA, the Congress – how tough he was and prepared to risk a war with Russia. He had spilled blood in Syria, a Russian protectorate; he was surely now on the team. The attack was also meant to say directly to President Xi, his dinner guest: this is how we deal with those who challenge the top dog.’

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Of course, what most of us are doing is merely speculating – we don’t have any inside knowledge of what the motivation is for this drill. And so we guess, albeit based on some past precedents.

At any rate, something like Operation Gotham Shield only adds to anxieties and concerns over such matters.

I have also been concerned lately with the increased talk by political figures in the UK (including Michael Fallon) about nuclear strikes, including ‘first strike’ options, as well as by the fact that President Trump’s military decided to drop the biggest non-nuclear bomb (MOAB) since World War II on a cave complex in Afghanistan instead of using a more conventional weapon – as if they were very much trying to send out a broader signal.

I have been wondering for a while whether there are a whole bunch of unhinged figures – serious war hawks, Neo Cons, weapons manufacturers and military industrialists – who frothed at the mouth at the prospect of a temperamental, inexperienced and slightly unstable US President arriving on the scene; someone who would enable them to be freed from longstanding moral, ethical and strategic constraints and to simply go nuts.

Prior to the inauguration, I jokingly referred to a coterie of Gotham City villains gaining unprecedented power over the leader of the free world and even used an image of Batman villains to illustrate the point (President Trump then bizarrely quoted the Batman villain, Bane, in his inauguration speech): I’m sure the naming of this drill/operation as ‘Gotham Shield’ is just a funny coincidence, but one does wonder why it has been given that name.

More importantly, one also wonders how on earth we’ve ended up in an era and climate where nuclear weapons (and ‘first strikes’) are now increasingly being talked about as military options rather than as the mere deterrents they were meant to be.

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Comments
  1. sand49 says:

    Reblogged this on sand49.

    Like

  2. ray032 says:

    This is what Ash Carter, Former US Secretary of Defence, wrote in Foreign Policy Magazine in 1998, three years before 9/11

    Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger
    By Ashton B. Carter, John Deutch, and Philip Zelikow
    IMAGINING THE TRANSFORMING EVENT………………….

    A successful attack with weapons of mass destruction could certainly take thousands, or tens of thousands, of lives. If the device that exploded in 1993 under the World Trade Center had been nuclear, or had effectively dispersed a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either further terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks. Belatedly, Americans would judge their leaders negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/1998-11-01/catastrophic-terrorism-tackling-new-danger

    All of that happened later in the Timeline

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just so long as there is a strong and stable government we should be fine!

    (That’s black humour for what is a deadly serious issue – apologies) The Batman motif is indeed striking by the way – and conjures to mind, by way of word association, Col. Bat Guano. Word association plus a disturbing but hard-to-shake intuition that TPTB have indeed gone batshit crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

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