Alexei Navalny
© REUTERS/Ringo Chiu
The claims about Russian space-based nuclear weapons unraveled to become a joke. Fortunately, the death of Western-sponsored dissident Alexei Navalny then occurred to enable Western media to go into a frenzy of anti-Russia headlines.

First up was the scaremongering story about Russia allegedly developing a space-based nuclear weapon. Initially, it was dramatically trailed as posing a serious national security threat to the United States. Despite the sensational reporting, the story quickly became a laughingstock. Even some U.S. lawmakers dismissed it as "bullshit" and a blatant attempt by the Biden White House and intelligence agencies to push Congress into passing a new mega military aid bill for Ukraine worth $61 billion.

We'll get to the Navalny story in a moment. But let's just first parse the orchestration of the alleged Russian space nukes.

The drama began on Wednesday when Mike Turner, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (a dodgy source if ever there was one), made public appeals to President Joe Biden to declassify intelligence on "a serious threat to national security". Turner is a Republican member of the House of Representatives but he is a close ally of the Democrat White House in terms of keenly supporting military aid to Ukraine. The latest bill passed the upper chamber of the U.S. Senate the day before, February 13, but it is unlikely to be approved by the House where many Republican lawmakers are staunchly opposed to it.

Accompanying the "concerns" of the intel committee chairman Turner, media outlets then vented anonymous US intelligence sources "revealing" that the national security threat was from Russian nuclear weapons allegedly under development for destroying American communication satellites in space. The White House then "confirmed" the intel the next day, February 15. It was a flagrant put-up job. But the Biden administration sought to tamp down any public panic by saying that the threat was not imminent and the alleged Russian satellite-killing weapon had not been deployed in orbit, nor would there be any danger to Earth. (So, what was all the fuss about?)

Ironically, derisive comments from incredulous U.S. lawmakers were also echoed by the Kremlin. The latter's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov made a similar assessment that the Biden administration was playing tricks to push through the military funding package for Ukraine.

That bill has been delayed since the end of last year. The Biden administration has been cajoling Congress for months to vote it through. After the Senate finally passed the bill this week, President Biden put pressure on the House, saying that "history is watching you". The bill has been exalted as having existential importance in defeating "Russian aggression" in Ukraine. The U.S. media have claimed (preposterously) that if the military aid is not supplied then Ukraine's defeat could result in American troops being deployed to prevent Russian rampaging across Europe.

The American public, as with the European public, has become increasingly skeptical about the relentless funneling of taxpayer funds and weapons to Ukraine. Many citizens in the West - a majority, according to polls - have become critical of fueling a bloody war for the dubious cause of "defending democracy" in a regime dominated by NeoNazis. At a time of deep social and economic hardship in the U.S. and Europe, the Western public is rightly disdainful of hundreds of billions of dollars and euros being wasted on death and destruction and also being siphoned off by a corrupt cabal in Kiev.

The $61 billion in military aid to Ukraine is just the latest tranche that Washington is seeking to throw at the black hole of its proxy war against Russia - a war that is really all about defeating Russia as a geopolitical obstacle to U.S. hegemony. Another driver is the massive profits that taxpayers are subsidizing the military-industrial complex at the rotten heart of Western capitalism.

There's a huge lot at stake with the failure of the US/NATO proxy war in Ukraine. The Kiev regime is facing a collapse in the face of a superior Russian military.

That's why the passing of the latest bill by Congress has taken on such an imperative importance - for the warmongers.

To get this bill into law, the U.S. deep state rulers and the pliant Biden White House along with the media-intelligence establishment sought to demonize Russia with a desperate story about alleged nuclear weapons for outer space. Oh, those dastardly Ruskies!

But as noted above the space nukes scar-story turned into farce. It was too obvious that the public was being manipulated, or gaslighted as one US lawmaker put it. When a psyops fails, the blowback is dangerous for the authors because of the damaging revelation and contempt it engenders. The Biden administration was open to ridicule.

There are several telltale signs that the story was total hogwash from the outset. Bruce Gagnon, U.S.-based coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, said the claims are absurd. In an email exchange with the Strategic Culture Foundation for this editorial, Gagnon said Russia has already developed formidable non-nuclear kinetic weapons to destroy satellites if it wanted to. He also remarked that the United States possesses anti-satellite weapons (ASATs).

In other words, there is no need for Russia to develop a risky nuclear weapon to knock out satellites. The nuclear details flagged up in US media this week are a gratuitous embellishment designed to alarm the public and to demonize Russia as an evil rogue state.

Russia is a co-signatory to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty as are the United States, China, and over 120 other nations.

Bruce Gagnon commented: "I believe the Russians have a long history of generally honoring treaties while the U.S. does not. And remember that Russia and China every year for at least the last 20-30 years go to the UN and introduce a new treaty called Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) to ban all weapons that fall outside of the 1967 treaty. The U.S. always refuses, saying there is no need for a new treaty."

Apart from the paramount issue of getting additional funding for the proxy war in Ukraine, another timing issue is the aftermath of the blockbuster interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin by American journalist Tucker Carlson. Since the interview was aired last Thursday, February 8, it has broken all records for public audiences around the world. It has garnered over 300 million views, and counting.

The one-on-one interview was seen as a breakthrough world exclusive, an informative platform for Putin to comprehensively give Russia's point of view on the whole Ukraine conflict, and more. The Russian leader was seen by American and European audiences as reasonable, intelligent, articulate, and convincing. The Western propaganda caricature of Putin was dispelled and for a rare moment, the Western public was persuasively informed of the bigger causes of the conflict in Ukraine. That is, how the U.S.-led NATO axis had instigated the war by fomenting an anti-Russian regime dominated by NeoNazis. The impact of the interview dealt a devastating blow to the Western narrative of "Russian aggression" and "evil Putin".

Plausibly, the U.S. warmongering establishment was incensed by this exposé.

Hence, to wrest back control of the narrative and corral the Western public, the space-based nukes scare-story was unleashed. Unfortunately, that psyop attempt failed to gain traction and indeed was fast descending into a farce.

Next up, luckily, came the news of Navalny's death. Western media immediately blared headlines and comments that he had been killed by the "Putin regime".

Navalny was serving 19 years in prison on multiple corruption convictions. He died Friday apparently from a blood clot. The 47-year-old was a broken and forgotten figure facing a futile existence, having been used and abandoned by Western intelligence handlers as a cut-out dissident figure. His future looked bleak. Who knows at this stage what caused his death? He was last seen by his lawyer during a prison meeting this week two days before his passing. Did his lawyer pass something to Navalny? Was the washed-up Western asset offered a deal for his family's benefit if he agreed to one last, ultimate psyop on behalf of Western handlers? Taking his own life? His death in prison has certainly provided the Western media with a bonanza opportunity to change the narrative and precipitate an avalanche of Russophobia, just as required.

As for the far-fetched Russian space nukes and the death of Navalny, the criminologist's question of Who Gains? and the factor of timing are often reliable indicators.