Chatter about a nuclear exchange with Russia is heating up as frantic conversations take place between the most senior defense officials at the Pentagon and the Kremlin. The latter is ramping up new rhetoric to compensate for Russia’s inability to win a regional war it illegally instigated and believed would be a slam-dunk but is now in retreat and facing defeat.
It seems that desperate despot Vladimir Putin is intent on dropping a dirty radioactive bomb on Kherson, the second largest city in Ukraine, once the Russians complete their evacuation of Russian collaborators and Kherson is retaken by Ukrainian troops — and then blaming their dirty deed on the Ukrainians to “justify” a Russian “response” based on having been “provoked.”
“This is classic Russian ‘vranyo’ — a lie that I know you don’t believe, and I don’t believe it either. We both know that. But this is my story and I’m sticking to it,” said Michael Clarke, a professor of war studies at King’s College London.
Which means the Russians aren’t playing chess but have instead devolved to their own version of transparent Tiddlywinks along with Mr. Putin dispatching ill-clothed conscripts from prisons and mental hospitals to the frontline with rusty weapons and little food — essentially sending them into a meat grinder (perhaps a Hitlerian tactic to rid his country of violent criminals and the mentally ill) with a plan to “snuff out” deserters who are opening complaining they don’t have their basic needs met to survive. Little wonder so many Russian men of conscription age have fled Russia to neighboring countries and Mr. Putin is reduced to recruiting from prisons and psych wards.
If a dirty bomb is detonated by the Russians and radiation blows into a neighboring NATO-member country, say, Poland, Article 5 would instantly be invoked and activated, meaning the automatic commencement of war between all NATO countries and Russia, resulting in World War III and with it, the potential use of nuclear warheads that might ultimately include an all-out exchange of intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles as each side fears a preemptive strike by the other.
WHAT THAT WOULD MEAN FOR YOU
Vandenberg Space Force Base, eleven miles north of Lompoc, is a Russian nuclear target, and so is Los Angeles due to its high density population. (Russian targeting is tightly focused on military bases, large civilian populations and critical infrastructure, a doctrine based on inflicting as much damage as possible and rendering it difficult for the opposing country to survive.)
If Mad Vlad explodes a nuclear “Tsar Bomba” (100 million tons of TNT) as an airburst over Vandenberg, almost everyone in Santa Barbara will die from thermal burns or radiation sickness.
It is for you to monitor news media and read the signs carefully and if/when you realize a nuclear attack is a real possibility (our Defense Department sources working around the clock in Washington, D.C., already believe so), pack up your car (the gasoline tank should always be half full) and get the heck out of Dodge.
Don’t wait for the government to instruct you. If you do, it’ll already be too late because all they will advise you is fill your bathtub with water, seal your home with wet towels and hope for the best. (Spoiler alert: A bathtub full of water, covering door and window cracks with wet towels and hoping for the best won’t cut it.)
WHEN TO GO
If any nuclear warhead is detonated anywhere in or around Ukraine, well, that’s the right time to skedaddle because from that point onward rapid escalation becomes feasible and the situation can spiral out of control in the fog of war to include the possibility of an accidental launch or a belief by one side that the other side has launched or is about to launch an all-out nuclear strike.
If that happens, you have about 30 minutes to prepare or flee.
Trust us, you do not want to be caught in a gridlocked exodus on Highway 101 where road rage will be the least of your problems.
Go when the going is good, ahead of the mad panic — and stay calm.
WHERE TO GO
There are seven options based on Russian targeting:
1. Northern Nevada: Not much there except Route 50, “The Loneliest Road in America,” and the small city of Ely with its 24/7 Denny’s.
2. Eastern Oregon: East of Bend there is nothing but lunar landscape, best suited for hard-core and well-practiced survivalists.
3. Central Idaho: Bingo. Ironically, a small city called Moscow (maybe the safest place of all, given its name and location).
4. Southern Wyoming: Bingo. (Take your cowboy hat, and don’t admit you’re from California.)
5. West Texas: Marfa with its “mystery lights” is a pretty cool artists enclave so if you paint or sculpt that’s your spot. There is a Prada shop outside of Marfa so it works for Montecitans too. Wait, strike that, the Prada shop is just an art “installation.”
6. Northern California: The Mount Shasta area. If you can get to know a few Lemurians, they may allow you access to their golden city a mile beneath this sacred mountain. But if not, skip across the border into southern Oregon, specifically, Ashland with its plentiful supply of lithia spring water, ideal for remaining calm in less than ideal circumstances.
7. Maine: Forget it. It’s too far from Santa Barbara, and all routes are hazardous due to nationwide military bases and (especially in the Rust Belt) high-density populations. But if you make it there, the Canadian border is close. That said, if Canada is your goal, no need to drive east, head straight north to Shasta then Ashland, drink some Lithia water then drive across northern Nevada and take a Louie at Idaho, go straight up the middle of the Gem State (have a strong libation Moscow) until you get across the border and don’t stop until you reach Banff.
WHAT TO TAKE
— Bottled water. (Lots of it. We recommend Alkaline88.)
— Potassium iodide pills to protect from radiation sickness.
— Tinned, canned and boxed non-perishable food.
— A healthy supply of whatever prescriptive medications you need. (And don’t forget your recreational drugs, even the illegal ones like magic mushrooms, poetically linked to a mushroom cloud. Law enforcement, which no longer enforces much of anything, will revert to the Wild West er
— First aid kit (to include painkillers and antacids).
— Shortwave radio. (The southern hemisphere should still be broadcasting, will be nice to hear from someone, anyone.)
— Flashlights and extra batteries. (Don’t count on electrical power.)
— Matches and gas-fueled lighters.
— A safety can of gasoline.
— Portable tools (such as Leatherman and Swiss Army Knife) but take the whole tool kit if you have one.
— Blankets, warm coats and well-constructed walking boots along with thick socks. (Could be a long cold winter without heat.)
— Important documents (passports, deeds, etc.).
— All the cash you can muster for when Amex will no longer do nicely. (Don’t expect to find working ATM machines.)
— Even better, all the gold and silver coinage you can muster. (At some point, folks are going to realize paper money is just, well, paper with fancy ink backed by nothing.)
— Whatever firearms you possess plus ammunition. If you have none, buy a baseball bat, pepper spray and/or stun gun, add knives, swords and machetes.
— And of course take your pets—and food for them. (And, no, they are not food for you; don’t even think about it. It is your duty to protect every living thing over which you have control.)
We do not wish to sound alarmist but please remember that when putrid Putin lined Russia’s Ukrainian borders with troops and heavy weaponry much earlier this year the Ukrainians were completely taken by surprise when they got invaded. They never thought it would happen, and their denial of the obvious caught them off guard.
We are all very complacent here in sunny southern Cal. No one seems willing to comprehend just how dangerous this situation has become. Just as the Ukrainians were unwilling to accept all the signs that were there for them to see, you might be taken by surprise.
It has been said that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. In this instance, a pound of cure is not possible. All you’ve got is the ability to prevent being in the wrong place at the wrong time if/when a very bad event takes place.
Leave early. Think of it as a vacation. And if nothing happens — excellent! You’ve had a little break and, more important, a dry run and a little practice for the next time this occurs. (War with China? It’s coming…).
We apologize for frightening anyone and truly hope Mad Vlad is just huffing, puffing and bluffing about his threat to use nuclear weapons for “defending” his illegal annexation of regions within Ukraine’s borders.
Maybe he will blink and nothing will happen. Let’s hope for that.
But Mr. Putin is boxed in like a cornered rat and pretty soon he’ll have nothing to lose by resorting to the only weapons he has left to him after expending his arsenal of missiles and Iranian suicide drones: chemical and nuclear. Add his deep resentment and hatred in his psychopathic brain for those — the U.S.A. and the U.K. — he holds responsible for the disintegration of his beloved Soviet Union and the fact that he may be dying from cancer and doesn’t see the point of the perpetuation of a world in which his narcissistic self will not be present.
Because remember, you’re dealing with a psychopath as well as a narcissist.
Referring to a nuclear strike rehearsed under Putin’s supervision earlier this week encompassing missiles, planes and submarines, Col. Igor Korotchenko, editor of Russia’s National Defense magazine, spoke to the media about, specifically, wiping Britain and the United States off the map. “It is very important,” he said, “we have shown our main enemies what awaits them,” adding, “This is not nuclear blackmail, this is what we would really do” (sink the U.K. into the ocean and turn the U.S.A. in a “naval strait” named after Joseph Stalin).
Two things to hope for if Mr. Putin takes the plunge and pushes the nuclear button in the “Cheget” briefcase that accompanies him everywhere (and most especially in his bunker, where he currently resides, deep beneath the Urals.
One, his commanders refuse to oblige and depose him instead. Two, the condition of his nukes and delivery systems are as decrepit as the tanks he sent into Ukraine and blow up in his face.
In any case, always have a contingency plan, in this case an exit ramp. And always utilize your plan ahead of the masses because if/when everyone leaves at once, no one’s going nowhere.
But whatever you do, don’t listen to what the fools in government say or you’ll be dead before you even know what hit you.
Robert Eringer is a longtime Montecito author with vast experience in investigative journalism. He welcomes questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.