The Complete History of Nasser, the Icon of Arabism [English Subtitles]

A must see to understand why Syria and its LION are WANTED

 

Long Sought US Regime Change in Venezuela

Long Sought US Regime Change in Venezuela

SEE ALSO Six Dead, 30 Public Institutions Attacked in Barinas as Violent Protests Continue

Venezuela Violence: Alleged Chavista Set on Fire as Death Toll Hits 55

Trump: ‘We Will do Whatever is Necessary’ to ‘Fix’ Venezuela

Maternity Hospital Attacked in Venezuela, Death Toll Rises to 53

Full story »

Stephen Lendman

Venezuela’s sovereign independence, Bolivarian fairness, and world’s largest oil reserves make it a prime US target for regime change – wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing democratic governance.

In mid-February, before taking office as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson said “(i)f confirmed, I would urge close cooperation with our friends in the hemisphere, particularly Venezuela’s neighbors Brazil and Colombia, as well as multilateral bodies such as the OAS, to seek a negotiated transition to democratic rule in Venezuela” – code language for lawless regime change.

He ignored raging US political and economic war, bashing President Nicolas Maduro, calling current made-in-the-USA conditions “largely a product of its incompetent and dysfunctional government, first under Hugo Chavez, and now under his designated successor…”

He outrageously urged imposition of tougher sanctions for what he called human rights abuses and “anti-democratic practices.”

In early May, National Security Advisor HR McMaster met with opposition National Assembly president Julio Borges, agreeing on restoring stability as quickly as possible – by regime change they failed to explain.

According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, they discussed “the need for the government to adhere to the Venezuelan Constitution, release political prisoners, respect the National Assembly, and hold free and democratic elections” – code language for Washington’s regime change intention.

Despite government calls for dialogue and negotiations to resolve things, manipulated violent protests continue – at least 52 deaths since early April, hundreds more injured, many arrested.

Telesur explained only six victims were killed by police, another six by security forces, others during looting, at barricades, by criminals, a bystander and “other cases.”

Deaths occurred in three of Venezuela’s 23 states along with the Caracas Capital District. Most parts of the country are violence-free. Internal and foreign dark forces manipulated what’s ongoing, destabilizing the country, wanting Maduro ousted.

Opposition elements called for “shak(ing) up the country.” On Thursday, Maduro announced a major deal with Russia. In exchange for monthly wheat imports, Moscow will establish five new industrial vehicle manufacturing companies.

“We are ready. All trade agreements have already been signed, and very soon Russia will supply Venezuela with 60,000 tons of wheat per month on a stable basis starting from this year,” Maduro explained.

A Kremlin statement said Putin “wished the Venezuelan government success in their efforts to return the situation in the country to normal, and stressed the importance of resolving the current problems by acting within the law and in accordance with Venezuela’s legislation.”

Both leaders discussed “current matters regarding the strategic partnership between the two countries and implementation of mutually advantageous projects in various areas.”

Russia is a valued Venezuelan ally, another reason for imperial economic war and weeks of street violence.

Before leaving for Saudi Arabia on Friday, Trump issued a veiled threat, saying “we will do whatever is necessary, and we’ll work together to do whatever is necessary – to” fix Venezuela.

Claiming he means “on a humanitarian level” belies longstanding US regime change plans, previous coup attempts foiled, more intervention to replace Maduro with US-controlled puppet rule virtually certain.

Calling what’s happening “a disgrace to humanity” ignores dirty US hands all over stoked violence and years of economic war.

Maduro, like Hugo Chavez before him, accused Washington numerous times of destabilizing Venezuela.

In response to new illegal US sanctions, outrageously imposed on eight Supreme Court justices, Maduro responded saying “(e)nough meddling…Go home Donald Trump. Get out of Venezuela. Get your dirty hands out of here.” US viciousness “surpassed all limits.”

What’s ongoing looks like prelude for another coup attempt. The fate of Venezuelan sovereignty, its model democracy, and Bolivarian fairness are at stake

Palestinians Hold General Strike ahead of Trump’s Visit

May 22, 2017

hunger strike hungry until freedom

Palestinians are holding a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza strip in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails ahead of President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Hundreds of protesters blocked roads in cities and towns of the West Bank to observe a “Day of Rage” as the hunger strike entered its 36th day Monday. A Palestinian advocacy group says several of the hundreds of hunger striking prisoners were hospitalized. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities continue to prevent access to the hunger strikers and keep them isolated from other prisoners.

Stores and government offices closed down, public transportation ground to a halt and main thoroughfares in Palestinian cities were empty of people and cars.

The Palestinian prisoners’ affairs committee called for a “day of rage” on Tuesday, when Trump visits Bethlehem, for “the voice of the prisoners to be heard by the president.”

Palestinian factions also released a statement, calling for “unity and assimilation with our brave prisoners,” as they threw their weight behind Monday’s general strike.

They slammed Washington’s support for the Israeli occupation and called on the Palestinian public to join the action in a bid to reject a possible resumption of talks with Israel under the US sponsorship.

Source: Websites

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How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators, Autocrats, and Military Regimes

How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators, Autocrats, and Military Regimes

By David Vine

Information Clearing House” –  Much outrage has been expressed in recent weeks over President Donald Trump’s invitation for a White House visit to Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, whose “war on drugs” has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. Criticism of Trump was especially intense given his similarly warm public support for other authoritarian rulers like Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (who visited the Oval Office to much praise only weeks earlier), Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who got a congratulatory phone call from President Trump on his recent referendum victory, granting him increasingly unchecked powers), and Thailand’s Prayuth Chan-ocha (who also received a White House invitation).

But here’s the strange thing: the critics generally ignored the far more substantial and long-standing bipartisan support U.S. presidents have offered these and dozens of other repressive regimes over the decades. After all, such autocratic countries share one striking thing in common. They are among at least 45 less-than-democratic nations and territories that today host scores of U.S. military bases, from ones the size of not-so-small American towns to tiny outposts. Together, these bases are homes to tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

“This pattern of daily support for dictatorship and repression around the world should be a national scandal in a country supposedly committed to democracy.”

To ensure basing access from Central America to Africa, Asia to the Middle East, U.S. officials have repeatedly collaborated with fiercely anti-democratic regimes and militaries implicated in torture, murder, the suppression of democratic rights, the systematic oppression of women and minorities, and numerous other human rights abuses. Forget the recent White House invitations and Trump’s public compliments. For nearly three quarters of a century, the United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in maintaining bases and troops in such repressive states. From Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Republican and Democratic administrations alike have, since World War II, regularly shown a preference for maintaining bases in undemocratic and often despotic states, including Spain under Generalissimo Francisco Franco, South Korea under Park Chung-hee, Bahrain under King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, and Djibouti under four-term President Ismail Omar Guelleh, to name just four.

Many of the 45 present-day undemocratic U.S. base hosts qualify as fully “authoritarian regimes,” according to the Economist Democracy Index. In such cases, American installations and the troops stationed on them are effectively helping block the spread of democracy in countries like Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

This pattern of daily support for dictatorship and repression around the world should be a national scandal in a country supposedly committed to democracy. It should trouble Americans ranging from religious conservatives and libertarians to leftists — anyone, in fact, who believes in the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. After all, one of the long-articulated justifications for maintaining military bases abroad has been that the U.S. military’s presence protects and spreads democracy.

Far from bringing democracy to these lands, however, such bases tend to provide legitimacy for and prop up undemocratic regimes of all sorts, while often interfering with genuine efforts to encourage political and democratic reform. The silencing of the critics of human rights abuses in base hosts like Bahrain, which has violently cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators since 2011, has left the United States complicit in these states’ crimes.

During the Cold War, bases in undemocratic countries were often justified as the unfortunate but necessary consequence of confronting the “communist menace” of the Soviet Union. But here’s the curious thing: in the quarter century since the Cold War ended with that empire’s implosion, few of those bases have closed. Today, while a White House visit from an autocrat may generate indignation, the presence of such installations in countries run by repressive or military rulers receives little notice at all.

Befriending Dictators

The 45 nations and territories with little or no democratic rule represent more than half of the roughly 80 countries now hosting U.S. bases (who often lack the power to ask their “guests” to leave).  They are part of a historically unprecedented global network of military installations the United States has built or occupied since World War II.

Today, while there are no foreign bases in the United States, there are around 800 U.S. bases in foreign countries. That number was recently even higher, but it still almost certainly represents a record for any nation or empire in history. More than 70 years after World War II and 64 years after the Korean War, there are, according to the Pentagon, 181 U.S. “base sites” in Germany, 122 in Japan, and 83 in South Korea. Hundreds more dot the planet from Aruba to Australia, Belgium to Bulgaria, Colombia to Qatar. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, civilians, and family members occupy these installations. By my conservative estimate, to maintain such a level of bases and troops abroad, U.S. taxpayers spend at least $150 billion annually — more than the budget of any government agency except the Pentagon itself.

For decades, leaders in Washington have insisted that bases abroad spread our values and democracy — and that may have been true to some extent in occupied Germany, Japan, and Italy after World War II. However, as base expert Catherine Lutz suggests, the subsequent historical record shows that “gaining and maintaining access for U.S. bases has often involved close collaboration with despotic governments.”

The bases in the countries whose leaders President Trump has recently lauded illustrate the broader pattern. The United States has maintained military facilities in the Philippines almost continuously since seizing that archipelago from Spain in 1898. It only granted the colony independence in 1946, conditioned on the local government’s agreement that the U.S. would retain access to more than a dozen installations there.

After independence, a succession of U.S. administrations supported two decades of Ferdinand Marcos’s autocratic rule, ensuring the continued use of Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base, two of the largest U.S. bases abroad. After the Filipino people finally ousted Marcos in 1986 and then made the U.S. military leave in 1991, the Pentagon quietly returned in 1996. With the help of a “visiting forces agreement” and a growing stream of military exercises and training programs, it began to set up surreptitious, small-scale bases once more. A desire to solidify this renewed base presence, while also checking Chinese influence, undoubtedly drove Trump’s recent White House invitation to Duterte. It came despite the Filipino president’s record of joking about rape, swearing he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts just as “Hitler massacred [six] million Jews,” and bragging, “I don’t care about human rights.”

 

In Turkey, President Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic rule is only the latest episode in a pattern of military coups and undemocratic regimes interrupting periods of democracy. U.S. bases have, however, been a constant presence in the country since 1943. They repeatedly caused controversy and sparked protest — first throughout the 1960s and 1970s, before the Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, and more recently after U.S. forces began using them to launch attacks in Syria.

Although Egypt has a relatively small U.S. base presence, its military has enjoyed deep and lucrative ties with the U.S. military since the signing of the Camp David Accords with Israel in 1979. After a 2013 military coup ousted a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood government, the Obama administration took months to withhold some forms of military and economic aid, despite more than 1,300 killings by security forces and the arrest of more than 3,500 members of the Brotherhood. According to Human Rights Watch, “Little was said about ongoing abuses,” which have continued to this day.

In Thailand, the U.S. has maintained deep connections with the Thai military, which has carried out 12 coups since 1932. Both countries have been able to deny that they have a basing relationship of any sort, thanks to a rental agreement between a private contractor and U.S. forces at Thailand’s Utapao Naval Air Base. “Because of [contractor] Delta Golf Global,” writes journalist Robert Kaplan, “the U.S. military was here, but it was not here. After all, the Thais did no business with the U.S. Air Force. They dealt only with a private contractor.”

Elsewhere, the record is similar. In monarchical Bahrain, which has had a U.S. military presence since 1949 and now hosts the Navy’s 5th Fleet, the Obama administration offered only the most tepid criticism of the government despite an ongoing, often violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. According to Human Rights Watch and others (including an independent commission of inquiry appointed by the Bahraini king, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa), the government has been responsible for widespread abuses including the arbitrary arrest of protesters, ill treatment during detention, torture-related deaths, and growing restrictions on freedoms of speech, association, and assembly. The Trump administration has already signaled its desire to protect the military-to-military ties of the two countries by approving a sale of F-16 fighters to Bahrain without demanding improvements in its human rights record.

And that’s typical of what base expert Chalmers Johnson once called the American “baseworld.” Research by political scientist Kent Calder confirms what’s come to be known as the “dictatorship hypothesis”: “The United States tends to support dictators [and other undemocratic regimes] in nations where it enjoys basing facilities.” Another large-scale study similarly shows that autocratic states have been “consistently attractive” as base sites. “Due to the unpredictability of elections,” it added bluntly, democratic states prove “less attractive in terms [of] sustainability and duration.”

Even within what are technically U.S. borders, democratic rule has regularly proved “less attractive” than preserving colonialism into the twenty-first century. The presence of scores of bases in Puerto Rico and the Pacific island of Guam has been a major motivation for keeping these and other U.S. “territories” — American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — in varying degrees of colonial subordination. Conveniently for military leaders, they have neither full independence nor the full democratic rights that would come with incorporation into the U.S. as states, including voting representation in Congress and the presidential vote.  Installations in at least five of Europe’s remaining colonies have proven equally attractive, as has the base that U.S. troops have forcibly occupied in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since shortly after the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Backing Dictators

Authoritarian rulers tend to be well aware of the desire of U.S. officials to maintain the status quo when it comes to bases. As a result, they often capitalize on a base presence to extract benefits or help ensure their own political survival.

The Philippines’ Marcos, former South Korean dictator Syngman Rhee, and more recently Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh have been typical in the way they used bases to extract economic assistance from Washington, which they then lavished on political allies to shore up their power. Others have relied on such bases to bolster their international prestige and legitimacy or to justify violence against domestic political opponents. After the 1980 Kwangju massacre in which the South Korean government killed hundreds, if not thousands, of pro-democracy demonstrators, strongman General Chun Doo-hwan explicitly cited the presence of U.S. bases and troops to suggest that his actions enjoyed Washington’s support. Whether or not that was true is still a matter of historical debate. What’s clear, however, is that American leaders have regularly muted their criticism of repressive regimes lest they imperil bases in these countries. In addition, such a presence tends to strengthen military, rather than civilian, institutions in countries because of the military-to-military ties, arms sales, and training missions that generally accompany basing agreements.

Meanwhile, opponents of repressive regimes often use the bases as a tool to rally nationalist sentiment, anger, and protest against both ruling elites and the United States. That, in turn, tends to fuel fears in Washington that a transition to democracy might lead to base eviction, often leading to a doubling down on support for undemocratic rulers. The result can be an escalating cycle of opposition and U.S.-backed repression.

Blowback

While some defend the presence of bases in undemocratic countries as necessary to deter “bad actors” and support “U.S. interests” (primarily corporate ones), backing dictators and autocrats frequently leads to harm not just for the citizens of host nations but for U.S. citizens as well. The base build-up in the Middle East has proven the most prominent example of this. Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian Revolution, which both unfolded in 1979, the Pentagon has built up scores of bases across the Middle East at a cost of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. According to former West Point professor Bradley Bowman, such bases and the troops that go with them have been a “major catalyst for anti-Americanism and radicalization.” Research has similarly revealed a correlation between the bases and al-Qaeda recruitment.

Most catastrophically, outposts in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have helped generate and fuel the radical militancy that has spread throughout the Greater Middle East and led to terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States. The presence of such bases and troops in Muslim holy lands was, after all, a major recruiting tool for al-Qaeda and part of Osama bin Laden’s professed motivation for the 9/11 attacks.

With the Trump administration seeking to entrench its renewed base presence in the Philippines and the president commending Duterte and similarly authoritarian leaders in Bahrain and Egypt, Turkey and Thailand, human rights violations are likely to escalate, fueling unknown brutality and baseworld blowback for years to come.

David Vine, a TomDispatch regular, is associate professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. His latest book is Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World

17 أيار… ذكريات لا تُنسى

مايو 18, 2017

17 أيار… ذكريات لا تُنسى

ناصر قنديل

– لم يكن خافياً على الجيل الذي انطلق في خيار المقاومة منذ بدء الاجتياح الإسرائيلي للبنان حجم المعركة السياسية المرافقة للعمل العسكري المقاوم الذي عليه الاستعداد لخوضه. وكان المقاومون عسكرياً وسياسياً قلة مسلحة بالحق والإرادة وروح الاستشهاد، وكانت انتصارات المقاومة العسكرية المحققة في وقت قياسي في الأشهر الأولى للاحتلال مصدر نهوض سياسي وشعبي للخيار المقاوم، بمثل ما كانت العنصرية المرافقة للنظام الذي رعاه الاحتلال للسيطرة على لبنان تتكفل بضخ المزيد من الغضب السياسي التقليدي في ساحة المواجهة، من الجبل إلى بيروت والشمال، بينما الاحتلال يحزم حقائبه ويرحل من العاصمة ويستعدّ لفعل الشيء نفسه تباعاً في الجبل وصيدا وصولاً إلى بعض الليطاني خلال سنوات قليلة.

– على ضفة الاحتلال كانت الإنجازات الأولى كفيلة بإعلان تحقيق الانتصار، فخلال شهور نجح في فرض مناخ سياسي وأمني محلي وإقليمي ودولي أنتج رئيسين متتاليين يحملان الاستعداد ويملكان التغطية لمنحه شرعية المكاسب التي أرادها، وكانت الرعاية الأميركية المجسّدة سياسياً باتفاقية أبرمها مبعوثه فيليب حبيب أفضت للانسحاب العسكري الفلسطيني والسوري من بيروت، وبحضور عسكري مباشر مثلته القوات المتعددة الجنسيات وفي طليعتها قوات المارينز قرب مطار بيروت وعلى مدخل العاصمة في خلدة، قد نجحت بضم لبنان إلى لائحة الدول التابعة لواشنطن سياسياً وعسكرياً بصورة رسمية وأشرفت على إعادة بناء وهيكلة الجيش اللبناني ومخابراته وفقاً لعقيدة قتالية جديدة.

– كان اتفاق السابع عشر من أيار هو الوثيقة الاستراتيجية التي تشكل التعبير عن التحولات التي أراد الاميركيون و»الإسرائيليون» لها أن تحدث. وقد وفّروا لها دعماً عربياً تجسّد في قمة الرباط، بمبادرة من ولي العهد السعودي آنذاك فهد بن عبد العزيز، رغم المعارضة الشرسة للرئيس السوري الراحل حافظ الأسد، الذي أعلن في القمة دعم سورية للمقاومة اللبنانية ضد الاحتلال والتي تشكلت من مواقع متعددة توزعت بين الأحزاب الوطنية والقومية وحركة أمل والمجموعات الإسلامية التي تشكل منها حزب الله لاحقاً، ورعاية جبهة الخلاص الوطني التي ضمّت الرئيسين سليمان فرنجية ورشيد كرامي والنائب وليد جنبلاط، بالتنسيق المستمر مع الرئيس نبيه بري، الذي عقد له لواء قيادة المعركة السياسية والمقاومة العسكرية معاً.

– كان لي شرف الحضور في ساحات المواجهة المتعددة والمختلفة والتواصل والتنسيق والتعاون مع كافة القيادات والقوى المعنية بهذه الأوجه المختلفة للمواجهة، وطنييها وإسلامييها، سياسييها ومقاوميها، وكانت في الأول من أيار مناسبة الاحتفال بذكرى تأسيس الحزب الشيوعي اللبناني في فندق الكارلتون لتداول سياسي ونيابي حول كيفية خوض المعركة السياسية، بين رأيين، أحدهما يدعو لمقاطعة الجلسة النيابية المقررة لمنح الحكومة التفويض الدستوري بتوقيع الاتفاق الذي يشكل النسخة اللبنانية من كامب ديفيد، وتظهير المقاطعة كتعبير وازن عن الرفض ورأي مقابل يتمسك برفض النواب الوطنيين للاتفاقية بصوت مرتفع مهما قل عددهم أو تعرّضوا للأخطار، والأمانة التاريخية تقتضي القول إنه في تلك الليلة كان النائب زاهر الخطيب وحيداً قد حسم الذهاب حتى النهاية في رفض الاتفاقية من تحت قبة البرلمان معلناً باسم المقاومة وشهدائها رفض الاتفاقية. وقد إنضم إليه النائب نجاح واكيم قبيل الجلسة، وبقيا وحدهما يمثلان هذا الصوت، بينما صوت المجلس النيابي على التفويض مع غياب عدد من النواب وامتناع بعض آخر.

– في الشارع كانت حالة غليان من كثير من ممارسات الحكم ومخابراته، والاعتقالات قد طالت الآلاف، وفي الجبل جمر تحت الرماد، أما في الضاحية وبيروت فذعر ينشره زوار الفجر كما أسماهم لاحقاً المفتي الشهيد حسن خالد في خطبة العيد من ذلك العام. وقد شق الصمت خروج مجموعة من العلماء الشباب الذين شكّلوا تجمّع العلماء المسلمين يحملون الراية يومها وأعلنوا الدعوة للاعتصام، فجرّدت عليهم حملة عسكرية في مكان الاعتصام في مسجد الإمام الرضا في بئر العبد، حيث سقط الشهيد محمد بديع نجدة، فكانت طليعة الانتفاضة التي تفجرت لاحقاً في الضاحية وحررتها في ذكرى تغييب الإمام موسى الصدر نهاية آب، وتكرّرت في بيروت في السادس من شباط من العام التالي.

– شكل إسقاط اتفاق السابع عشر من أيار الشعار الأبرز للنضال السياسي لتلك المرحلة، بينما شكل استنزاف الاحتلال بعمليات نوعية الشعار الأهم للنضال العسكري. وشكلت روح المواجهة الشعبية آلية تتنامى كل يوم، وقد كان لكل منها رموزها، ومثلما كان الشهداء الحاج عماد مغنية ومصطفى بدر الدين ومحمد سعد، ومن الأحياء الذين يواصلون مسيرتهم النائب أسعد حردان، عناوين البعد العسكري للمواجهة، شكل الشهداء داوود داوود ومحمود فقيه والشيخ راغب حرب وخليل جرادي والراحل عبد المحسن الحسيني أبو ظافر عناوين المواجهة الشعبية في عمق الجنوب، بينما كان في صيدا الراحل الكبير نزيه البزري والشهيد القيادي والمقاوم مصطفى سعد والشيخان الجليلان أحمد الزين وماهر حمود، فيما تصدّر الساحة النيابية النائبان زاهر الخطيب ونجاح واكيم، وكان كل الصف العسكري والسياسي المقاوم عينه على مواقف الرئيس بري وساعة توقيته للمواجهة الحاسمة، حيث سيُكتب له إعلان إسقاط الاتفاق، من ضمن تسوية جنيف ولوزان للحوار الوطني بعد انتفاضة السادس من شباط التي قادها عام 1984، بينما توجب توجيه تحية خاصة لروح الراحل الكبير السيد محمد حسين فضل الله الذي رعى وبارك شباب المقاومة والتحركات السياسية والشعبية، كما وجبت التحية لروح المبادرة والمواجهة التي حمل مشعلها بكفاءة وشجاعة تجمّع العلماء المسلمين وعلى رأسه الشيخ حسان عبدالله ورفاقه، الذين سجلوا في تاريخنا التحرك الأبرز في الشارع لرفض هذا الاتفاق، بالنيابة عن الشعب اللبناني، الذي حمل الرفض باسمه إلى داخل المجلس النيابي النائبان الخطيب وواكيم.

– نستذكر هذا الذي حدث في بلدنا الصغير وهو مفتت في حرب أهلية ورازح تحت الاحتلال، بينما تستعد دول عربية كبرى لا تعيش ما عشناه وتنعم بكل أسباب الوفرة والراحة، لتوقع علناً 17 أيار عربياً يمنح «إسرائيلط ما عجزت عن فرضه على لبناننا الصغير والضعيف.

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Two crazy people, Donald Trump and Theresa May – Partners in Planning Armageddon?

Donald Trump and Theresa May – Partners in Planning Armageddon?

By Felicity Arbuthnot

“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our thinking. Thus, we are drifting toward catastrophe beyond conception. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” (Albert Einstein, 1879-1955.) 

The cynic might wonder if, when UK Prime Minister Theresa May spent so much time clutching Donald Trump’s hand on her January visit to the White House, she contracted a virulent strain of Trumpitis, an apparently incurable and uncontainable desire to erase swathes of fellow human beings from the planet, if not all life on earth. 

Trump, various Generals with incomprehensible psychedelic bits of cloth adorning their clothing and varying spokespeople, terrifyingly, will not “rule out” a nuclear strike on North Korea (population just 25.16 million v US population 321.4 million, incidentally) which could ignite a nuclear war. 

Five times draft evader Donald Trump seemingly lacks even a miniscule concept of the apocalypse even “conventional” weapons unleash. When he launched – arguably illegally – forty nine Cruise missiles which rained down on Syria (Thursday 6th April) whilst having dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he remembered he was eating “a beautiful piece of chocolate cake”, but forgot the country he was attacking, muddling Syria with Iraq, so lightly was the unthinkable undertaken. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross was quoted as calling the strike “after dinner entertainment.” 

If Trump read and was thoughtful (the first apparently absent from his activities and the second seemingly fatally flawed) he might have reflected on North Korea’s genuine fears. Near erased from the earth by the US (1950-1953) constantly threatened over subsequent decades, Trump might have recalled the words of Joseph Rotblat, co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize with the Pugwash Conferences, for:

“their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international affairs and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms.” 

Rotblat observed that: 

“If the militarily most powerful and least threatened states need nuclear weapons for their security, how can one deny such security to countries that are truly insecure? The present nuclear policy is a recipe for proliferation. It is a policy for disaster.” 

Another aspect of Theresa May’s Trump-like affliction is her equal lack of reflection. Determined apparently that she can play the world annihilation game with Trump led her Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, to announce that she would fire the UK’s nuclear weapons as a “first strike”, if necessary. (1) 

“In the most extreme circumstances, we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike”, he told the BBC’s Radio 4. 

Image result for Senator Frants Klintsevich

The reaction of Russian Senator Frants Klintsevich, Deputy Chairman of the Upper House of the Russian Parliament’s Defence and Security Committee, was to call Fallon’s comments “disgusting”, saying they deserved a ”tough response.” He gave it in no uncertain terms pointing out that: “Britain, not having the biggest territory”, would “literally be erased from the face of the earth”, were it to launch a preemptive strike. He asked pointedly:

“Against whom is Great Britain going to preemptively use nuclear weapons?” 

In context, there is no proof whatsoever that North Korea has an integrated nuclear weapons programme (ie the weapons with the system to fire them.) It certainly has a nuclear bluster programme developed out of fear resulting from near seven decades of threats, with a vast US arsenal just across it’s border with nearing 30,000 US military personnel, twelve US bases, one provocatively named “Red Cloud” – and since 2006 further isolation in the form of sanctions. Now of course, there are also Donald Trump’s threats and declared “armada” of war ships, bristling with more nation erasing armaments. 

Senator Klintsevich added witheringly that if Britain intended to use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state:

“then probably English people desperately want to share the laurels of the USA who threw nuclear bombs at defenceless Hiroshima and Nagasaki” (in 1945.)

“But those times have gone for good, as has the era of the greatness of the British Empire.” (2) 

However, undeterred by Russia’s warning, in a speech at London’s Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) the following day, Fallon again confirmed:

“ … we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike.” 

The authoritative political on line publication The Canary, asked in what circumstances impending Armageddon would be triggered, he replied:

“They are better not specified or described, which would only give comfort to our enemies and make the deterrent less credible.”

The Canary’s article (3) is in stark contrast to the casual talk in Washington and London of unleashing the unthinkable, it is headed:

 “The Conservative government just signed the UK’s death warrant. Quite literally.” 

It opens: 

“It’s already clear that part of the Conservative government’s general election strategy is to peg itself as ‘militarily tough’. And to prove that, Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon has made an astonishing claim. One that essentially signs the UK’s death warrant. 

“The UK will, he asserts, not hesitate to fire nuclear weapons in a first strike. That means the Tories won’t wait until the UK is under attack in some way to start a global nuclear war. It will just start firing at will. This is a complete break from the UK’s historical stance. And it’s one that, considering the UK’s size, could conclude with the country lying at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. 

“The UK’s nuclear arsenal (Trident) is up for renewal, which will potentially cost taxpayers over £200bn. Its renewal is in violation of the UK’s commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). But a number of politicians and their backers profit from Trident’s existence. So, unsurprisingly, it’s quite popular in parliament. (Emphasis added.) 

“The largely US-owned Trident system puts two hundred and fifteen nuclear warheads at the UK’s disposal, according to the Arms Control Association (ACA).” 

Image result for uk nuclear weaponThe Canary article also throws up the further unthinkable and leads to wondering if the threats to North Korea are either a red herring or a proposed practice run in this new, legally unconstrained, morally and reason-free political zone: 

“… in terms of defence, there has been one country firmly at the forefront of UK ministers’ minds over the last few years: Russia. It was the hot topic at a Commons Defence Committee meeting in December 2016. A session where Fallon asserted we’d be ready for war with Russia by 2018/19. In 2015, meanwhile, the country received a listing as a top-tier threat in the UK’s National Security Strategy (NSS). And, of course, NATO has stationed troops (including ones from the UK) directly on Russia’s borders.” 

However, Mrs. May-hem and Defence Secretary Fallon have apparently forgotten that:

“Russia … has seven thousand nuclear warheads (with) four thousand five hundred either deployed or stockpiled … around thirty three times more warheads than the UK has.” 

Further, for example, Russia’s Satan 2: “can allegedly carry up to a dozen warheads and level an area the size of the UK in one hit.” The UK’s population (2015) is 65.14 million. (Emphasis added.) 

Prime Minister May’s endlessly repeated mantra “Brexit means Brexit” (ie., Britain leaving the European Union) takes on a whole new meaning: she is prepared to trigger the UK departing the planet.

This week she announced that her government is to install psychiatric care workers in schools across the country. It would seem they are more urgently needed in the Cabinet, the Defence and Foreign Office Ministries and most essentially in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Notes

1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-nuclear-weapons-first-strike-michael-fallon-general-election-jeremy-corbyn-trident-a7698621.html

2. http://www.forces.net/news/britain-would-be-erased-earth-if-it-dropped-nuke-warns-russian-mp

3. https://www.thecanary.co/2017/04/27/conservative-government-just-signed-uks-death-warrant-quite-literally-image/

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