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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Russia Threatens To Deploy Ballistic Missiles In Retaliation For US Nuclear Escalation

On Tuesday we noted - with some alarm - that the US is set to deliver 20 new nuclear bombs to Germany, each of which has four times the destructive power of the one that was dropped on Hiroshima. 

For his part, Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said the move blurs the line between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons,” while one member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats warned that the “new attack options against Russia” constitute “a conscious provocation of [Germany’s] Russian neighbors.” 

Of course, as we’ve documented extensively of late, NATO has never really been shy when it comes to “conscious provocations” of the Russians and that goes double in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and subsequent support for the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine. 

Still, war games are one thing, but nuclear escalations are entirely another and if ever there were a time when nuclear sabre rattling could prove especially dangerous it’s now, as the US and Russia are one “accident” away from open war in Syria.

Russia’s foreign ministry immediately condemned the delivery of the bombs to Germany, as spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (who's known for amusingly accurate depictions of US foreign policy) warned that the move represents an “infringement of Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.” 

Well sure enough, The Kremlin is now hitting back. Here’s Reuters:

Russia may deploy Iskander ballistic missiles to its enclave of Kaliningrad if the United States upgrades its nuclear weapons in Germany, the Interfax news agency cited a military source as saying on Wednesday.

"A final decision well be taken after detailed analysis of the potential threat," the agency cited the source as saying.

What's an Iskander, you ask? Well, here's a helpful description from The Moscow Times:

The Iskander missile system is one of the most deadly weapons in the Russian arsenal. First fielded in the 1990s, the Iskander is a high-precision tactical ballistic missile system optimized for use at close ranges — under 500 kilometers.

Iskander missiles are capable of being loaded with nuclear warheads.


And here's an Iskander in action courtesy of RT:

We suppose this means the Pentagon may need to speed up its efforts to modernize US plans for a battle in the Baltics.

We'll close with the following from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov discussing the possible US shipment to Germany:

“This is yet another step and, unfortunately a very serious step toward antagonizing the tenseness on the European continent. Unfortunately, if these plans come to light, with taking into consideration [Germany’s] Bundestag’s decision and so forth, one could say that they are steadfastly heading to establishing this. Of course, this may lead to a strategic imbalance in Europe and, therefore, naturally this will make Russia take according steps and countermeasures to establish parity because, naturally, this is not a step toward boosting stability, increasing trust, or providing security in Europe." 

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Australian Government Prepares to Punish Parents who Don’t Vaccinate Children

The Australian government is set to pass a law that would withhold child care and other benefits from parentswho opt out of vaccinating their children.

Under the “No Jab, No Pay Bill” introduced to Parliament, the “conscientious objector” category would be removed, making parents ineligible for full government benefits for not immunizing their children. Youngsters would only be exempt due to medical reasons.

If the law is passed, families could lose up to 15,000 Australian dollars ($11,000) per child per year in tax and child care benefits starting January 1, 2016, if their children are not inoculated. [1]

There has been a rise in unvaccinated children under age 7 in Australia, due to parental concern over the potential side effects of vaccines, and worse. Over the past decade, the number of children under 7 who aren’t vaccinated has increased from 24,000 to 39,000. There are reasons for it, too. Encephalopathy, febrile seizuresanaphylaxis and hardening of the brain are two devastating conditions associated with measles immunization. And there are many reported adverse vaccine effects reported (and many more unreported) to the CDC and FDA – known as VAERS.

No matter; Australian legislators are adamant that moms and dads “jab” their kids, despite their well-founded fears.

“The choice made by some families not to vaccinate their children is not supported by public policy or medical research, nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of family payments,” Social Services Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament.

One South Wales woman is rebelling against the proposed law by opening a childcare center that will welcome unvaccinated youngsters with open arms. Juanita “Wanda” Halden calls the government’s actions “human rights violations.” [3]

Halden took to Facebook to explain her decision to open the Northern Rivers, New South Wales child care facility:

“I am a woman who answers to the creator — not corporation, Therefore I am the highest authority when it comes to making the decisions concerned with my body or that of my property ‘my child’. I also value my ability to discern, research and understand the risks associated with my choices. Do not try to sway me; or my rights. You will fail.”

The law is likely to be passed without any amendments.

Do you think parents should have the right to choose?

Additional Sources:

[1] CBS News

[2] The New American

[3] International Business Times Australia