Countdown to catastrophe: It’s a nightmare scenario. But as the war of words between Russia and the U.S. cranks up, historian DOMINIC SANDBROOK imagines the very worst

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
By Paul Martin

10 April 2017

The date is Wednesday, April 12 and in Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is all business.

After days of mounting tension following the first American air strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria — in response to the suspected poison gas attack on the town of Khan Sheikhun, which killed 87 civilians — America’s top diplomat has arrived to clear the air.

Earlier in the week he met British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his G7 counterparts in Italy to discuss fresh sanctions if Russia persisted in its support of Assad’s brutal regime.

Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil who has famously close Russian contacts, is seen as the ideal man to calm growing antagonism between Moscow and Washington.

But even as he is shaking hands with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, events are spiralling towards disaster.
Within days, relations between Russia and the U.S. have plunged to their worst depths since the Cuban Missile Crisis 55 years earlier.

Then, the world had stood briefly on the brink of Armageddon. At the last moment, the leaders of the two great superpowers stepped back from the edge. But in April 2017, the outcome is chillingly different.


Emboldened by Russia’s bellicose rhetoric after the first U.S. air strike in early April, Bashir al-Assad has no intention of scaling down his onslaught against dwindling resistance from the Free Syrian Army and Islamist rebels to claim victory in the six-year civil war.

On April 12 there is another chemical attack, this time targeting the rebel-held city of Idlib in north-western Syria, near the Turkish border. Once again, the West is horrified by claims it is Assad’s forces that have used sarin gas, with scores of women and children among the estimated 1,200 casualties, although independent confirmation is hard to come by.

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2 Responses to “Countdown to catastrophe: It’s a nightmare scenario. But as the war of words between Russia and the U.S. cranks up, historian DOMINIC SANDBROOK imagines the very worst”

  1. Robert Edward Lee

    This is all a big distraction from chem trailing. If they keep chem trailing at the same rate … we don’t have even 9 years to live !!!!!! There’s nothing we can do to stop them, but a NATION COULD !

    Say for example … we re-booted the south by creating an enlarged 15 state version of The Confederate States Of America, wherefrom, we put a stop to ALL the evils we see have crept in to our country over it’s history.

    Just ONE of those evils, ( but the biggest one, ) the new nation could stop are “chem trails.” All chem trail pilots would be arrested immediately and chem trailing plans anywhere in the world could be SHOT DOWN by The Confederate Navy and Air Force ?!! ALL weather modification apparatus could be BLOWN UP by The Confederate Navy and Air Force ?!!

    Donate to : and

  2. james

    So were did pizza gate go?
    Or the talk of the debt ceiling?
    Or even how the Republicans are all as worthless as the democrats?
    Maybe the face the contractors are biding on the wall?
    Health care coming collapse
    So much now lost to the rumers of war that’s needed to reset the money situation on a global basis
    Nothing to see here, move along move along.


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