USA: Naked aggression and new global wars
(Washington, DC) — Under President Trump, a lot of the talk about diplomacy is taking place by informal methods. Business—the bloody business of war—is still profitable if the terms can be privately negotiated favorably for the big transnational corporations (TNCs). As usual most Americans are oblivious about the new buildups taking place in Iran, Venezuela, and China. Social conformity demands unquestioning support for the pro-defense establishment, and to be otherwise is now viewed, particularly inside the Beltway, as manifestly unpatriotic.
Prior to the bombings on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, we had a more free and easy society. People openly engaged in political debates and bantering over politics in cafes, get-togethers, union halls, churches, social clubs, schools, and farmers markets. After the War on Terror commenced and a stream of new laws passed, the debates quelled. Loudmouths were fired, debaters on the other side of the fence harassed, and truth-tellers sidelined, until today, what we have is a new Silent Generation.
In 2016, the new Silent Generation outnumbers the Boomer generation for the first time according to news sources, but their voting apathy was alarming. Salon writes that millennials resent the privileges the Boomers hold over their lives as helicopter parents, as card-carrying unionists from the pre-NAFTA era, or as free-and-easy hippies become the ultimate conformists. Having been educated in the art of cynicism, millennials to Gen Z are the ultimate escapists, burrowing for hours in fantasy books, sci-fi movies, or playing avatar.
Under Make America Great Again, there is no need to honor existing arms agreements or international law since what is good for the United States, must be good for the rest of the globe. Never mind that historians are beginning to reconsider the sanity of American Exceptionalism or how the policy primarily benefits TNCs. War is at hand and that is evident from the buildups taking place—even if Americans aren’t paying any attention.
Venezuelan Coup and Embargo
According to WSWS Latin American editor Bill Van Auken, the US military command is growing stronger against Venezuela by the day, and the noose is tightening around President Nicolas Maduro’s neck. A de-facto oil embargo is being reinforced by USSOUTHCOM. Proposals include sending in at least one aircraft carrier battle group, and already economic sanctions have resulted in $6 billion dollars worth of loss. Right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaido is Venezuela’s “Interim President” backed and financed by the US. Together with fugitive leader Leopoldo Lopez they launched the “Operation Freedom” mobilization, marches, and a failed coup. US warfare on the economic sector include seizing control of Venezuela’s largest public banks, possible cyber attacks on Venezuela’s hydro-electric system, and calls to block food aid. Recently, according to Venezuelanalysis, Guaido even requested US military cooperation to help him oust Maduro. While anywhere else, this act is legally treasonous, the extent to which the US is committed in regime change is evident in how the establishment media vilifies Maduro. FAIR asserts that the corporate media is waging a propaganda war. In fact, according to the late-author William Blum in Killing Hope, one-sided propaganda psyche-ops are part of the textbook of dirty tricks conducted by CIA operatives in Latin America. Subversive tactics are employed to change public sentiment and take place behind front-cover intelligence units, enabling the infiltration of newspapers, payoffs to influential and not-so-influential government workers, and provocateurs for false flag events. Today direct threats are issued by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed by NSA John Bolton, both Trump appointees. Normalizing US provocations, such as the USCG James operating in Venezuelan waters, undermine hoped-for political dialogue. From embassy shutdowns to waging harsh economic warfare and causing widespread suffering, political destabilization or even civil war is intended. Guaido’s vow to re-privatize nationalized companies and uphold corporate land-grabs bolsters the TNCs’s desire to reign supremely over the people.
War buildup in Iran
The US is seeking to wage war against Iran on a variety of pretexts including the fact that the regime has limited democratic freedom, it is historically predominantly Shiite Muslim, it is too independent in its nuclear energy programme, and has shown too much support for Syria. In reality, investigative journalists document that military planners have long had Iran in its crosshairs, the better to secure access to Gulf oil fields. According to Center for Global Research, Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT) war simulations and different scenarios were analyzed as early as in May 2003 (“First Iraq, then Iran”). Typical of US regime change planning, pretexts are enactments to legitimize the military road map. After Trump withdrew from the JCPOA (May 2018) and reinstated economic sanctions, relations became soured. Since then accusations and verbal threats and tension have escalated. What few channels of diplomacy that existed are severed, and non-essential diplomatic personnel are leaving Iraq and Bahrain. Presently international penalties are imposed for any buyers of Iranian oil with an effective oil embargo and freezing of Iranian bank assets.
The troop buildup in the Middle East is sufficient for conducting a new war. According to the Voice of America, because of ongoing operations, CENTCOM has many bases spread out all over the Middle East including in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar. Other partners include Crete, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Bulgaria, Italy, and Germany. At any one time, between sixty and eighty thousand troops are available on “dozens of bases, warships, and airfields encircling Iran.” However just to up the ante, President Trump (whose military orders meet no opposition from Congress) ordered the deployment of an additional 1500 troops, while the Pentagon has prepared plans to send an additional 120,000 military personnel to the region. While both heads of state deny that wartime mobilization is taking place, clearly the facts on the ground indicate otherwise, as Iran no longer feels bound to honor a one-sided JCPOA while enduring sanctions. Its resentment of related actions including Youtube.com removing PressTV channel is indicated in statements such as declaring the US a hostile state, and threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
“Alert: U.S. prepares for possible showdown with Iran” (Youtupe Mania)
The scale of the buildup at Iran’s doorstep is ominous and rehearsed. There are US Special Forces and Academi (formerly Blackwater) mercenaries in Syria or in transit. The massive USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group along with four B52 bombers are in transit to the Gulf. The amphibious transport dock USS Arlington carrying Marine helicopters, amphibious vehicles, and conventional landing craft, along with a number of marines, are prepared for offense in case Iran engages in “hostile action.” That can mean anything from patrolling its maritime zone, to attempts to interdict foreign vessels, or performing defensive maneuvers. The USS Abraham Lincoln travels with an armada that includes one cruiser and four destroyers. Hundreds of American strikers are on the way, whether by carrier or from airbases, and that also includes air missile defense systems.
An unknown number of bombs, specialists, support personnel, reconnaissance aircraft, or submarines must be included in the billet. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif’s statement that the US decision to deploy additional troops to the Middle East is ‘extremely dangerous’ and threatens international peace and security is anything but an overstatement.
Trade-war against China, North Korea
As AGN previously reported, China and North Korea’s economies are historically interlinked and sanctions against North Korea have had secondary undesirable or unhealthy consequences on its neighbors. The current sanctions against North Korea are extreme presumably because the DPRK is communist, it has a nuclear programme, but also because it is an impediment in the construct of a military noose around China (PRC). The hope in regime change is arguably to drive a control wedge between Far Eastern China-Korean trade and diplomacy.
As noted by award-winning film-maker John Pilger in the “Coming War Against China” the U.S. has established a number of military bases in the Far East forming a “ring of fire” through which it can launch sorties or test nuclear bombs. Last year anti-war groups based in Japan, South Korea, and the United States converged in South Korea to protest US installation of THAAD systems. Every year a number of large scale joint field and naval exercises are held, and a number of allies are invited. Deliberate fomentations are also taking place in the South China Sea region, tempting nations to militarize and modernize their weaponry for security along formerly pleasant peaceful intraoceanic journeys rife with spectacular sealife.
President Trump (whose private interests as a real estate mogul also include name-brand clothing made in China) has begun a tariff war, ostensibly reacting to concerns that China is overtaking the US in the 5G market. The West is villainizing Huawei including making arrests with accusations of intellectual property theft, and increasing tariffs on $500 billion of imported Chinese goods. The hike in tariffs from 10 to 25 percent sparked a response by China to raise tariffs on $60 billion in imported American goods.
According to Bloomberg, US trade protectionism will harm what had been mutually beneficial:
[S]ince China is still catching up with the rest of the world, a slowdown there means going from 6.5 percent annual growth to 6 or 5.5 percent, while a slowdown in the more mature U.S. economy means a significant hit or even a halt to growth.
People’s Daily in an op-ed emphasizes the importance of win-win cooperation between the top two economies, and that the US still has time to upgrade her “domestic enterprises and enhance their competitiveness.” Retired ambassador Chas Freeman agrees that inducing a new era of Sinophobia under MAGA is ultimately counterproductive for the world’s collective interests and well-being.
“First Iraq, then Iran”: Prof. Chossudovsky, GlobalResearchTV (GRTV)