How Britain stole $45 trillion from India

By Jason Hickel
Source

3a4683d7f99349baa4791de15b662965_18.jpgLord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, and his wife, Lady Edwina Mountbatten, ride in the state carriage towards the Viceregal lodge in New Delhi, on March 22, 1947 [File: AP]

There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonisation of India – as horrible as it may have been – was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to Britain. So the fact that the empire was sustained for so long – the story goes – was a gesture of Britain’s benevolence.

New research by the renowned economist Utsa Patnaik – just published by Columbia University Press – deals a crushing blow to this narrative. Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938.

It’s a staggering sum. For perspective, $45 trillion is 17 times more than the total annual gross domestic product of the United Kingdom today.

How did this come about?

It happened through the trade system. Prior to the colonial period, Britain bought goods like textiles and rice from Indian producers and paid for them in the normal way – mostly with silver – as they did with any other country. But something changed in 1765, shortly after the East India Company took control of the subcontinent and established a monopoly over Indian trade.

Here’s how it worked. The East India Company began collecting taxes in India, and then cleverly used a portion of those revenues (about a third) to fund the purchase of Indian goods for British use. In other words, instead of paying for Indian goods out of their own pocket, British traders acquired them for free, “buying” from peasants and weavers using money that had just been taken from them.

It was a scam – theft on a grand scale. Yet most Indians were unaware of what was going on because the agent who collected the taxes was not the same as the one who showed up to buy their goods. Had it been the same person, they surely would have smelled a rat.

Some of the stolen goods were consumed in Britain, and the rest were re-exported elsewhere. The re-export system allowed Britain to finance a flow of imports from Europe, including strategic materials like iron, tar and timber, which were essential to Britain’s industrialisation. Indeed, the Industrial Revolution depended in large part on this systematic theft from India.

On top of this, the British were able to sell the stolen goods to other countries for much more than they “bought” them for in the first place, pocketing not only 100 percent of the original value of the goods but also the markup.

After the British Raj took over in 1858, colonisers added a special new twist to the tax-and-buy system. As the East India Company’s monopoly broke down, Indian producers were allowed to export their goods directly to other countries. But Britain made sure that the payments for those goods nonetheless ended up in London.

How did this work? Basically, anyone who wanted to buy goods from India would do so using special Council Bills – a unique paper currency issued only by the British Crown. And the only way to get those bills was to buy them from London with gold or silver. So traders would pay London in gold to get the bills, and then use the bills to pay Indian producers. When Indians cashed the bills in at the local colonial office, they were “paid” in rupees out of tax revenues – money that had just been collected from them. So, once again, they were not in fact paid at all; they were defrauded.

Meanwhile, London ended up with all of the gold and silver that should have gone directly to the Indians in exchange for their exports.

This corrupt system meant that even while India was running an impressive trade surplus with the rest of the world – a surplus that lasted for three decades in the early 20th century – it showed up as a deficit in the national accounts because the real income from India’s exports was appropriated in its entirety by Britain.

Some point to this fictional “deficit” as evidence that India was a liability to Britain. But exactly the opposite is true. Britain intercepted enormous quantities of income that rightly belonged to Indian producers. India was the goose that laid the golden egg. Meanwhile, the “deficit” meant that India had no option but to borrow from Britain to finance its imports. So the entire Indian population was forced into completely unnecessary debt to their colonial overlords, further cementing British control.

Britain used the windfall from this fraudulent system to fuel the engines of imperial violence – funding the invasion of China in the 1840s and the suppression of the Indian Rebellion in 1857. And this was on top of what the Crown took directly from Indian taxpayers to pay for its wars. As Patnaik points out, “the cost of all Britain’s wars of conquest outside Indian borders were charged always wholly or mainly to Indian revenues.”

And that’s not all. Britain used this flow of tribute from India to finance the expansion of capitalism in Europe and regions of European settlement, like Canada and Australia. So not only the industrialisation of Britain but also the industrialisation of much of the Western world was facilitated by extraction from the colonies.

Patnaik identifies four distinct economic periods in colonial India from 1765 to 1938, calculates the extraction for each, and then compounds at a modest rate of interest (about 5 percent, which is lower than the market rate) from the middle of each period to the present. Adding it all up, she finds that the total drain amounts to $44.6 trillion. This figure is conservative, she says, and does not include the debts that Britain imposed on India during the Raj.

These are eye-watering sums. But the true costs of this drain cannot be calculated. If India had been able to invest its own tax revenues and foreign exchange earnings in development – as Japan did – there’s no telling how history might have turned out differently. India could very well have become an economic powerhouse. Centuries of poverty and suffering could have been prevented.

All of this is a sobering antidote to the rosy narrative promoted by certain powerful voices in Britain. The conservative historian Niall Ferguson has claimed that British rule helped “develop” India. While he was prime minister, David Cameron asserted that British rule was a net help to India.

This narrative has found considerable traction in the popular imagination: according to a 2014 YouGov poll, 50 percent of people in Britain believe that colonialism was beneficial to the colonies.

Yet during the entire 200-year history of British rule in India, there was almost no increase in per capita income. In fact, during the last half of the 19th century – the heyday of British intervention – income in India collapsed by half. The average life expectancy of Indians dropped by a fifth from 1870 to 1920. Tens of millions died needlessly of policy-induced famine.

Britain didn’t develop India. Quite the contrary – as Patnaik’s work makes clear – India developed Britain.

What does this require of Britain today? An apology? Absolutely. Reparations? Perhaps – although there is not enough money in all of Britain to cover the sums that Patnaik identifies. In the meantime, we can start by setting the story straight. We need to recognise that Britain retained control of India not out of benevolence but for the sake of plunder and that Britain’s industrial rise didn’t emerge sui generis from the steam engine and strong institutions, as our schoolbooks would have it, but depended on violent theft from other lands and other peoples.

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25 Years Ago an Agreement on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine Was Signed

25 Years Ago an Agreement on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine Was Signed

January 16, 2019

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with 
https://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko:-25-years-ago-an-agreement-on-the-elimination-of-nuclear-weapons-in-ukraine-was-signed/
source: 
https://ukraina.ru/history/20190114/1022320495.html

On January 14th 1994 in Moscow the presidents of Ukraine, Russia, and the US signed the tripartite declaration for the liquidation of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Under the treaty 176 intercontinental missiles and 1500 nuclear warheads on the territory of Ukraine had to be liquidated.

One might ask what has Donbass got to do with this?

When today Ukrainian radicals say that if Ukraine had preserved the world’s third biggest nuclear arsenal nobody could stop Kiev strangling an anti-fascist uprising not only in Donbass but also in Crimea, this is the absolute truth. People generally don’t joke about such things. Despite the fact that it’s unlikely that Kiev could’ve created a fully-fledged system of controlling, servicing, and using in combat all the missiles it inherited, even the existence of this arsenal made Ukraine almost invulnerable in relation to any external pressure. Taking into account the fact that Ukraine, in principle, could bring a considerable part of its available weaponry (except intercontinental missiles) to combat readiness (today, 23 years after the last warhead left the territory of “independent” Ukraine, it is possible to talk about it openly), nobody would start to clash with a monkey armed with a nuclear “grenade”.

Ukraine relinquished nuclear weapons only because its leaders attached too much value to diplomatic tinsel under the name “recognition of independence”. It is exactly what we regularly hear from patriotically dilettanti, crying out: “Why hasn’t Russia recognised Donbass yet?”

I can understand people who suffer from the fact that units of the 1st Guards tank army still haven’t come to the Dnieper, Vistula, Oder, Rhine, and, finally, the Atlantic. The desire to capture everything, to kill all enemies, and to throw internal opposition into jail – cleaning snow in Siberia – is the natural reaction of small children and infantile adults concerning the complicated and unclear to them world that surrounds them. But I am surprised by the ritual surrounding abstract recognition [of the DPR/LPR – ed] by the people who don’t understand its significance.

Here is a simple example: Russia did not recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This did not prevent it from dispersing the Georgian army in one week when Saakashvili tried to restore the control of Tbilisi over these territories via armed force. Russia does not recognise Transnistria, but everyone perfectly knows that in a similar situation the reaction of Moscow will be the same. Russia never presented territorial claims to Ukraine, recognising its territorial integrity, but one month hadn’t even passed after the coup in Kiev and Crimea reunited with its Motherland. On the other hand, Japan does not recognise the Southern Kuril Ridge as Russian, but does this strongly help it? Up to the 70’s the US did not recognise the People’s Republic of China, considering the Taiwanese Kuomintang as the legitimate authority of China. And what?

Returning to Crimea. Not many people in the world recognised Crimea’s transition to the structure of Russia. But, besides the Kiev provokers, nobody tries to challenge the right of the Russian border guards to control the territorial waters of the peninsula.

In international law there is the concept of “an authority that actually controls the territory”. Irrespective of whether or not this authority is recognised by someone, or whether or not it was formed as a result of a coup, separation, or the voluntary division of the former state (as an option of merging two or several former ones), what’s important is not the fact of its international recognition, but the fact of its ability to support military-political control over a certain territory. If you have such an ability, then people will interact, trade, and even conclude quite official agreements with you. But if you formally own something but are not capable of controlling this ownership, then people will only sympathise with you whilst reaching agreements with those who control the territory.

In fact, this is what the Minsk process is based on. For several years Russia, France, and Germany have tried to explain to Kiev that it must speak and agree with the real authorities in Donbass. If it will reach an agreement on maintaining unity, then nobody will interfere, and if it won’t be able to reach an agreement, then it will be obliged to reach an agreement about a civilised divorce. But Ukrainian politicians, like 25 years ago, drag its heels concerning the question of formal recognition and demand that Donbass is returned to them under the Christmas tree either by Ded Moroz [Russia – ed], Santa Claus [America – ed], or Père Noël [France – ed].

But they could’ve learnt at least something from the story with nuclear disarmament.

Ukraine likes to remember the Budapest memorandum in connection with Crimea and Donbass. On Russian talk shows it as a rule is presented as a piece of paper without meaning (like saying: the memorandum is not a treaty and doesn’t oblige anyone to do anything). This isn’t true. A memorandum is a publicly given word of honour to follow certain rules. In some sense it is even more than a treaty. The latter, as a rule, is concluded over a certain period of time. But even termless contracts can be denounced (or just stop working) if the situation changes. But a memorandum indeed is not a binding document, it is not ratified, thus it cannot be denounced, but violating it is also not comme il faut [as it should be – ed]. This is like publicly promising a girl that you’ll marry her, and then, also publicly, bragging that you deceived her.

But notice that, unlike Kiev, the US and Great Britain, which together with Russia signed the Budapest memorandum, and also France and China, which gave Ukraine similar guarantees in special separate declarations, do not see any violations of the mentioned document. The answer to the question “Why?” is in the mentioned Tripartite declaration, the 25th anniversary of which we celebrated on January 14th. The following provisions were a part of the Budapest memorandum in an unchanged form. Ukrainian diplomacy likes to refer to them, but in practice they haven’t been violated:

“- reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

– refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in selfdefense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

– reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

– reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a nonnuclear weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;

– reaffirm, in the case of the Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state”.

It is not difficult to notice that exactly the same obligations that were given to other states that joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as non-nuclear states also apply to Ukraine. Help to Ukraine (including via immediate actions of the UNSC) is promised only if Kiev becomes a victim of aggression or the threat of aggression with the use of nuclear weapons. I.e., in the event of non- nuclear aggression, nobody owes Ukraine anything. It was promised to Ukraine to not use economic coercion against it. But even now, despite all the unfriendly steps made by Kiev, Russia did not tear up any treaty or any agreement on the initiative. Economic ties were torn up only where Ukraine tore them up.

Concerning territorial integrity, guarantees are given only within the framework of the CSCE final act. At the same time, peacefully changing the borders is allowed (who will say that Crimea was conquered? And, by the way, it is precisely for this reason that Turchynov demanded war in March 2014 – back then it was possible to try to record a violation of the Budapest memorandum). Moreover, even the obligation not to use armed force against Ukraine has no absolute character, the vague formulation “except in selfdefense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations” was used. Let’s note that the UN did not record a violation of the Charter by Russia (only the UN Security Council has the competence to do this).

So formally the Memorandum hasn’t been violated.

Let’s be frank, it is indeed formulated in such a way that it is impossible to violate it whatever may happen. And Ukraine knew this. Pay attention: the Tripartite declaration is dated January 14th 1994 (it was signed by Kravchuk), and the Budapest memorandum was signed on December 5th (practically one year later) by Kuchma. During all this time Ukrainian diplomacy tried to squeeze out the best conditions from the guarantor states. But it didn’t squeeze them out, and couldn’t have.

A critical mistake was made by Kiev on May 23rd 1992. On this day Russia, the US, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed the Lisbon protocol on the basis of which, Kiev, Minsk, and Astana joined the NPT as non-nuclear countries. Kazakhstan and Belarus also did not apply for nuclear status. For them, the signing of this document was natural. However Ukraine tried to keep its nuclear arsenal. But Kiev decided that it would be possible to bargain later, and that the most important thing at the time was international recognition. And Ukraine was frankly blackmailed with the refusal to recognise it as a nuclear state.

Kiev did not understand that a country with the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal would be recognised anyway. Even if it doesn’t happen immediately, it will be possible to wait for however long is necessary – agreements will be made with it all the same and its opinion will be taken into account in international affairs. Kravchuk was afraid that the people [of Ukraine – ed] won’t treat the “sovereign” government seriously if it isn’t internationally recognised. His Minister of Foreign Affairs (Zlenko) hurried to report on recognition by “the whole world” (to start with – by “all the civilised world”) and open embassies everywhere where it was possible. And he signed the Lisbon protocol in which Ukraine unambiguously took upon itself the obligation to relinquish nuclear weapons. All the rest is two years of floundering in an attempt to get out of the already undertaken obligations or to at least squeeze out at least some dividends from this.

In fact, the issue of Kiev’s relinquishment of its nuclear status was decided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (not the Rada, not the government, and not the president). Of course, Zlenko had the correspondingly issued powers, but it is his signature that is underneath the protocol, and, most importantly, it is he and his department who developed recommendations for decision-making bodies. Ukraine at the time had no other experienced foreign affairs specialists.

The fact of recognition and having their own diplomatic missions played the same role for the Ukrainian authorities that pieces of glass, beads, and broken guns played for African savages in the 15th-16th centuries, or blankets and whisky for Indians a couple of centuries later. It was a fetish for which it is possible to give everything. And they indeed gave. And thank God. It is difficult to imagine what would’ve happened to the world if Ukraine had kept its nuclear weapons. In any case, Kiev would’ve for sure launched a war against Russia in the 90’s.

Since the clever learn from the mistakes of fools, it is worth remembering the story of Ukrainian nuclear disarmament and not to make a fetish out of the recognition of someone’s independence and sovereignty. This is a little more than a mere formality that sometimes others try to flog expensively. The fact of recognition does not give anything other than the right to officially maintain diplomatic mission in the countries that recognised you. But, for example, Taiwan, after most of the world recognised the People’s Republic of China and severed diplomatic relations with Kuomintang, simply renamed its embassies into trade missions. Nothing else changed and won’t exchange until Taipei is able to keep the island under control. But as soon as the unity of China will be restored, even those ten countries that still recognise not the People’s Republic of China, but the Republic of China (Taiwan), will absolutely quietly accept the new reality.

What’s important is the actual state of affairs, and not the theoretical one. Imagine that Zlenko didn’t sign the Lisbon protocol, Kravchuk didn’t sign the Tripartite declaration, Kuchma didn’t sign the Budapest memorandum, and Ukraine would’ve kept its nuclear arsenal. Do you think that it would’ve remained unrecognised for long? Right. And now let them kick themselves.

War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

January 13, 2019

War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

by Phillyguy for The Saker Blog

Summary

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading economic and military power. Since that time US hegemony has been predicated on: 1) unrivaled military strength, 2) control of world’s energy reserves and 3) primacy of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. All of the pillars supporting US global dominance are now being threatened by continuing US economic decline coupled with ongoing economic development of China and other Asian countries, who are increasingly using currencies other than the US dollar, for international trade. US economic decline is fueling global instability and increasing the possibility of conflicts erupting between global powers. Thus the threat of nuclear war hangs over the world.

How did we get here?

The US emerged from WWII, with its manufacturing base intact and was the world’s dominant economic power. This began to change in the mid-1970s, as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a consequence of increasing competition from rebuilt economies in Europe- primarily Germany (Marshall Plan), Japan and Korea (US wars in Korea and Vietnam) and later China (1). To deal with these structural economic problems confronting US capitalism, the directors of economic policy in the government and large corporations faced a decision that would play a major role in shaping global geopolitics for the next 5 decades. They could make large investments in the domestic economy, developing state of the art manufacturing facilities and equipment that would enable US corporations to effectively compete with those in newly emerging economies, or abandon manufacturing and change the structure of the US economy. As we now know, policy makers chose the latter route. This policy was based on economic attacks on poor people and labor, financial deregulation, increased spending on the military and war and rampant financial speculation.

In November 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president and during his administration, began a frontal assault on organized labor by firing members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) who went on strike over grievances concerning working conditions in 1981. Reagan also instituted tax cuts for the wealthy, which have continued under succeeding administrations (2). In 1993, Bill Clinton entered office and proceeded to attack poor people by cutting public assistance to poor families- signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and pledging to “end welfare as we know it” (3), facilitated job outsourcing (passage of NAFTA) and deregulated finance by signing the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) aka Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which also repealed the Glass–Steagall act, a component of the depression era 1933 Banking Act (4). In 2001, George (“W”) Bush became president and immediately signed legislation cutting taxes for the wealthy, including major cuts to inheritance taxes. Following the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC, President GW Bush sent US troops to Afghanistan, to ostensibly find Osama bin, head of al-Qaida and alleged leader and organizer of the 911 attacks. In his 2002 State of the Union address, the President gave his now famous “axis of evil” speech, which included North Korea (DPRK), Iran and Iraq (5). This list was later expanded to include Cuba, Libya, Syria and Venezuela (6). In 2003, President Bush invaded Iraq and deposed their leader, Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein.

2008 Financial Crash

The policies instituted above combined to create the 2008 financial collapse, the largest financial disaster since the Great Depression. In an attempt to contain the economic damage resulting from this financial implosion, the US FED bailed out Wall St banks and to prevent further falls in the Stock market, has provided Wall St with a nearly unlimited supply of ultra-cheap funds (circa $4 trillion) for share buybacks and MA deals in what has been referred to as an “orgy” of corporate debt. Despite multiple tax cuts for the wealthy and financial largess of the US FED, and other Central banks including Bank of Japan (BOJ) and European Central Bank (ECB), global capitalism is confronted with slack demand, high levels of excess capacity and skyrocketing debt. In addition, economies in the US and EU are challenged with high employment and anemic job growth.

The economic policies shaped over the last four decades have been continued under Obama and Trump and have played a decisive role in directing US foreign policies since the mid-1970s. The relatively rapid economic decline since 2000 directly threatens US global hegemony and in response the Pentagon has engaged in an increasingly reckless, bellicose and astronomically expensive foreign policy (7, 8). Indeed, the US is currently involved in wars stretching from the Levant, to Caspian Basin, South-west Asia, Persian Gulf, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, to Eastern Europe and Russian border. The staggering economic costs of these wars can be seen with conflicts in Afghanistan (longest running war in US history) and Iraq being estimated to have cost US taxpayers $ 6 trillion (9).

Focus on China

The emergence of China as a potential competitor to US hegemony was recognized by the Obama administration and in response, reoriented US foreign policy with his “Asia Pivot” in 2012 (10). Harvard Professor Graham Allison has warned that the US and China are in “Thucydides Trap” using Athenian historian Thucydides analysis of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), where “it was the rise of Athens, and the fear that this inspired in Sparta, that made war inevitable”

(11). Tensions with China have been heightened by the Trump administration’s protectionist trade policies, tariffs on Chinese exports to the US and out right thuggish behavior, an example being the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, Canada (12, 13). The anti-China campaign is being ratcheting up further with vague accusations of “China’s attempts to obtain trade secrets and intellectual property through a state-coordinated cyberespionage campaign….. a brazen effort by the Chinese to obtain Western technology and other proprietary information”, featured in a prominent piece in the “paper or record” (NYT) by David Sanger (14). Sanger is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (www.cfr.org) which plays a major role in influencing US foreign policy.

Not surprisingly, most of the “analysis” of US-China relations presented by establishment academics such as Graham Allison or corporate media pundits like David Sanger present an accurate picture of economic relationships between the US and China. Unfortunately, consistently lacking is a critical and comprehensive examination of how and why this happened- i.e., decades of deliberate US government and corporate policies which facilitated China’s economic rise and accelerated US economic decline (see above). This is not surprising as intuitions like the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Council on Foreign Relations, Rand Corporation and related “think tanks” along with corporate media are all committed to supporting policies which promote corporate interests and maximize corporate profits.

Thus, campaigns against China and Russia share broad support among the directors of US foreign policy. Collectively, these polices have exacerbated international relations, greatly increasing the threat of a direct military confrontation between the Global powers and potential use of nuclear weapons, as President Trump laid out in his recent National Security Strategy (NSS) speech (15). In his traditional Christmas message Pope Francis stated “The winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline”. Indeed, The Pope specifically mentioned the decision by US President Trump to recognize Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as Israel’s capital and his bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea, setting up potential new global flashpoints (16). By closely aligning themselves with US policies which increasingly threatens China and Russia with military attack, US “allies”- members of NATO, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, will likely be targeted by Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons in the event of hostilities.

While there has been extensive analysis of US foreign policy and ongoing US wars, there has been surprisingly little inquiry of the consequences of a nuclear attack on the US. Such a discussion is made all the more urgent by the expansion of US/NATO into Eastern Europe and close to the Russian border, the US/NATO supported coup in Ukraine in 2014 (17), conflicts in the Middle East and Trump’s bellicose rhetoric towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, China and Russia, US withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord, JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) and most recently, exiting the INF treaty with Russia.

Vulnerability to War

The job of military strategists, like that of prosecuting and defense attorneys in a legal case is to assess the strength and weakness of their opponent(s) and design strategies taking into account these features (18). In the case of the US, the strengths are pretty obvious. The US possesses formidable military power, albeit being gradually confronted by Russia and China, and the dollar is still the dominant currency in the international monetary system, although its strength is being eroded by growing US debt and competition from the Euro and Chinese renminbi, which was recently added to IMF’s basket of reserve currencies. The primacy of the dollar is also seeing competition from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (19).

The structural features of US society make it extremely susceptible to nuclear war. Some of these attributes include: population density, energy dependence, reliance on information technology and social instability.

1. Population Density A dozen regions comprise the major economic centers which drive the US economy (20). Approximately 2/3 of the US population lives on littoral areas of the country- 38% on the East Coast (Atlantic Ocean), 16% on West Coast (Pacific Ocean) and 12% on the Gulf Coast (21).

2) Energy US society is highly energy dependent. The US has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 18% of the world’s energy. Approximately 65% of electricity is generated from fossil fuel (oil, natural gas and coal) while 20% is obtained from nuclear power (22, 23). Nuclear power plants rely on electrically powered pumps to circulate water around the reactor cores to keep them from overheating. When these pumps cease functioning, the reactor cores overheat and literally undergo a “meltdown” releasing highly radioactive uranium fuel assemblies into the environment, which occurred during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in Ukraine (24) and the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan (25).

3) Transportation and Agriculture. Our transportation “system” relies on energy inefficient automobiles and planes as the primary means of local and distant travel. US agriculture is extremely energy-dependent, requiring 10 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food (26). Further, the average food commodity transits 1500 miles from production point to consumption site- e.g., California strawberries in PA (usually transported on diesel fueled trucks; 27).

4. Information Technology – The functioning of our society- industries and businesses which provide jobs and keep our economy running, healthcare, educational system and the government all rely on information flow to function (28). This system encompasses local computers, the internet and fiber optic cables serving as data pipelines, computer server farms and “cloud” storage facilities, all of which consume lots of electricity (29).

5. Social Instability Our society is extremely polarized- exemplified by the election of Donald Trump in November, 2016. Following Trump’s election, there has been a rise in racist, neo-Nazi groups as we saw in Charlottesville, VA (30).

Likely Targets

In the case of a major conflict, key targets in the US will include military installations, major cities and energy infrastructure, the last two being “soft” targets, easily hit and difficult to defend. Attacks on energy related facilities will include electrical generating stations, oil and natural gas production sites and refineries, storage facilities, pipelines and loading docks. Also targeted will be fiber optic cables and computer server farms and storage facilities. When this happens, the US economy and society will completely cease normal functioning. Electrical generation will stop and the pumps required for distribution of potable water and operation of sewage treatment plants stop working, resulting in the rapid development of Cholera epidemics, as observed in Yemen (31, 32). Rapidly dwindling supplies of gasoline and diesel fuel mean that transportation is greatly restricted, businesses, hospitals and education facilities, heavily reliant on electricity and information technology completely stop functioning. Energy intensive agricultural production rapidly declines resulting in food shortages and starvation. Lack of electricity causes the electric pumps circulating water around reactor cores of the 98 nuclear power plants currently operating in the country (23) to stop, resulting in core meltdowns, producing Fukushima and Chernobyl- like nuclear disasters across the US. These economic and social disruptions will likely lead to vast social panic and unrest across the country, resulting in violent confrontations such as occurred in Charlottesville, VA, 2017.

There is no way an energy intensive, technologically advanced society like the US can adapt to conditions following a major war. This will likely lead to complete destruction of the US as a country and may well lead to extinction of the human species. With the exception of a handful of journalists such as Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Steve Lendman, Geopolitical analyst, Helen Caldicott, Australian physician and anti-nuclear activist, and discussion of a “nuclear winter” following a nuclear war (33), there has been little discussion about the direct impact of a major war on US society by mainstream media outlets.

Concluding Remarks

The US is very vulnerable to any nuclear attack, and from my perspective, it is doubtful that US society will survive such an event. Unfortunately, it appears that the only approach the US is following to address its structural economic decline is an increasingly bellicose and belligerent foreign policy. Indeed, in September, 2017, President Trump gave a speech in front of the UN, referring to DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, as “Rocket Man” and stating he would “totally destroy North Korea”.

Not to be outdone, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said at a recent UNSC meeting “if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed”. Russia and China share a border with North Korea and thus will be directly affected by any war on the Korean Peninsula, potentially leading to a nuclear war, as recently pointed out by William Polk (34, 35). Rather than toning down their bellicose rhetoric, the Trump administration, along with members of Congress have continued issuing threats against China and Russia. Speaking to the UN General Assembly in September, 2018, President Trump and his top advisors delivered “fiery” speeches against Iran (36).

Final Points

1. The US is the only county in the world to have used nuclear weapons, which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan at the end of World War II (37). Following the “success” of these attacks, the Pentagon had detailed plans to use over 200 atomic bombs to strike 66 “strategic” targets in the Soviet Union (38) and since that time, plans to attack Russia have been continuously upgraded (39, 40).

2. The ruling elite in the US are well aware of continuing (accelerating?) US economic decline and looming strategic debacles confronting the Pentagon in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria (7-9). At the same time Russia, China and Iran are incorporating increasingly sophisticated military hardware into their armed forces (for an excellent analysis see 41, 42). The US response has been an increasingly reckless, bellicose and astronomically expensive foreign policy.

3. Once nuclear weapons are used, the chances of a rapid escalation are very high.

4. The use of mini-nukes has been pushed by US military planners as representing “less risk” to the civilian population. Indeed, the US is currently undertaking a $1.3 Trillion upgrade of existing nuclear weapons, which began under the Obama Administration (43). Trump has announced the US will leave the INF treaty unless Russia discontinues certain missile programs (44).

5. In the event of a nuclear war, the devastation will be rapid and very widespread and there is no preparation for such an event. US infrastructure will be completely destroyed, which will likely tear our society apart.

I was a “baby boomer” and grew up when the US and Soviet Union were testing atomic bombs. I recall my Mom, a member of “Women for Peace”, putting a bumper sticker on our family car that read “Our Only Shelter is Peace”. This is still true today.

Notes

1. The “Decline” of U.S. Economy: A Historical Comparison. By Chen Dezhao, China Institute for International Studies; Link: http://www.ciis.org.cn/english/2011-11/18/content_4635120.htm

2. Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’. By Paul B. Farrell Market Watch Aug 10, 2010; Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reagan-insider-gop-destroyed-us-economy-2010-08-10

3. The End of Welfare as We Know It- America’s once-robust safety net is no more. By Alana Semuels The Atlantic, Apr 1, 2016; Link: www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-end-of-welfare-as-we-know-it/476322/

4. Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall) June 16, 1933. Federal Reserve History; Link: http://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/glass_steagall_act

5. Text of President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address. Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2002; Link: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/onpolitics/transcripts/sou012902.htm

6. Global Warfare: “We’re Going to Take out 7 Countries in 5 Years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..” Video Interview with General Wesley Clark By General Wesley Clark and Amy Goodman Global Research, May 14, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166

7. Losing by “Winning”: America’s Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria By Anthony H. Cordesman Aug 13, 2018; Link: www.csis.org/analysis/losing-winning-americas-wars-afghanistan-iraq-and-syria

8. The Costs of War: counted in TRILLIONS. Dec 13, 2017 by Phillyguy for the Saker blog; Link: thesaker.is/the-costs-of-war/

9. United States Budgetary Costs of the Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2019: $5.9 Trillion Spent and Obligated by Neta C. Crawford Nov 14, 2018; Link:

watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2018/Crawford_Costs%20of%20War%20Estimates%20Through%20FY2019%20.pdf

10. The president’s Asia legacy is not worst in recent history. But it’s not the best either. By Michael J. Green Sept 3, 2016; Link: foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/03/the-legacy-of-obamas-pivot-to-asia/

11. The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? By Graham Allison, The Atlantic, Sept. 24, 2015; Link: http://www.belfercenter.org/publication/thucydides-trap-are-us-and-china-headed-war

12. Trump could make Obama’s pivot to Asia a reality By Josh Rogin Washington Post January 8, 2017; Link:

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-could-make-obamas-pivot-to-asia-a-reality/2017/01/08/a2f8313a-d441-11e6-945a-76f69a399dd5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4a446c392185

13. Washington using legal cover to conceal economic banditry by Finian Cunningham RT Dec 12, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/op-ed/446285-china-us-economy-huawei/

14. U.S. Accuses Chinese Nationals of Infiltrating Corporate and Government Technology By David E. Sanger and Katie Benner Dec. 20, 2018; Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/us/politics/us-and-other-nations-to-announce-china-crackdown.html

15. Trump’s National Security Strategy: The return of “great power” military conflict By Bill Van Auken 20 Dec 2017; Link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/20/pers-d20.html.

16. Pope laments ‘winds of war’ blowing around the world in Christmas message. Chicago Tribune. Dec 25, 2017; Link: www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-pope-francis-christmas-message-20171225-story.html

17. It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war By Seumas Milne. The Guardian Apr 30, 2014; Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict

18. Striking a Strategic Balance – Putin’s Preventive Response By Rostislav Ishchenko [Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard] Oct 22, 2018; Link: http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-striking-a-strategic-balance-putins-preventive-response/

19. 21st century reserve currencies – (how long) will the dollar-euro dominance prevail? Kevin Koerner and Franziska Winkler Deutsche Bank Nov 15, 2017; Link: http://www.dbresearch.com/servlet/reweb2.ReWEB?rwnode=RPS_EN-PROD$HIDDEN_GLOBAL_SEARCH&rwsite=RPS_EN-PROD&rwobj=ReDisplay.Start.class&document=PROD0000000000455549.

20. The Dozen Regional Powerhouses Driving the U.S. Economy by Richard Florida

Mar 12, 2014; Link: http://www.citylab.com/life/2014/03/dozen-regional-powerhouses-driving-us-economy/8575/

21. People- Geographic Distribution of US Population; Link: http://www.theusaonline.com/people/geographic-distribution.htm

22. What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? Link: www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

23. Nuclear Power in the USA (Updated Oct, 2018); Link: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/usa-nuclear-power.aspx

24. Backgrounder on Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident; Link: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html

25. Fukushima Daiichi Accident; Link: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident.aspx

26. How to Feed the World By Michael Pollan. Newsweek, May 19, 2008; Link: michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/how-to-feed-the-world/

27. How Far Does Your Food Travel to Get to Your Plate? Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA); Link: cuesa.org/learn/how-far-does-your-food-travel-get-your-plate

28. More Dependence on Internet Leads to More Cyberattacks Worldwide by Elizabeth Lee. VOA, Aug 26, 2017; Link: http://www.voanews.com/a/dependence-on-internet-leads-to-more-cyberattacks/4001728.html

29. The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy. Our computers and smartphones might seem clean, but the digital economy uses a tenth of the world’s electricity — and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment. By Bryan Walsh. Time, Aug. 14, 2013; Link: science.time.com/2013/08/14/power-drain-the-digital-cloud-is-using-more-energy-than-you-think/

30. Charlottesville rally violence: How we got here. By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Aug. 14, 2017; Link: www.cnn.com/2017/08/14/us/charlottesville-rally-timeline-tick-tock/index.html

31. Yemen is currently facing the largest documented cholera epidemic in modern times. A new report warns it could get worse. By Alanna Shaikh, MPH UN dispatch May 08, 2018; Link: http://www.undispatch.com/yemen-is-currently-facing-the-largest-documented-cholera-epidemic-in-modern-times-a-new-report-warns-it-could-get-worse/

32. Cholera epidemic in Yemen, 2016–18: an analysis of surveillance data. By Anton Camacho, et al. The Lancet Global Health Lancet Glob Health 2018; 6: e680–690; Link: www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2214-109X%2818%2930230-4

33. The Risk of Nuclear Winter by Seth Baum May 29, 2015; Link: fas.org/pir-pubs/risk-nuclear-winter/

34. America on the Brink of Nuclear War: Background to the North Korean Crisis By William R. Polk Sep 6, 2017;

Link: www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/06/mayday-korea-america-on-the-brink-of-nuclear-war

35. America on the Brink of Nuclear War: What Should We Do? By William R. Polk Sep 7, 2017; Link: www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/07/america-on-the-brink-of-nuclear-war-what-should-we-do).

36. President Trump’s Efforts to Isolate Iran at the U.N. Backfired By W.J. Hennigan Sep 26, 2018 Time; Link: http://time.com/5407295/donald-trump-iran-united-nations/

37. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Gratuitous Mass Murder, Nuclear War, “A Lunatic Act” By Stephen Lendman Global Research, Aug 09, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/hiroshima-and-nagasaki-gratuitous-mass-murder-nuclear-war-a-lunatic-act-2/5467504

38. “Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II When America and the Soviet Union Were Allies. By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, Oct 27, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/wipe-the-ussr-off-the-map-204-atomic-bombs-against-major-cities-us-nuclear-attack-against-soviet-union-planned-prior-to-end-of-world-war-ii/5616601

39. The U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog Dec 11, 2018; Link: thesaker.is/the-u-s-governments-plan-is-to-conquer-russia-by-a-surprise-invasion/

40. The US is Planning a Major War with Russia and China. By James ONeill, Global Research, Dec 24, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-is-planning-a-major-war-with-russia-and-china-reports/5663819

41. Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning Byby Andrei Martyanov, 2018 (Book); Link: www.amazon.com/Losing-Military-Supremacy-American-Strategic/dp/0998694754

42. Solari Report- quarterly interview with The Saker Nov 21, 2018; Links: thesaker.is/solari-report-quarterly-interview-with-the-saker-2; www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDsL2Fm2Ddc

43. U.S. Nuclear Modernization Programs. Arms Control Association Aug 13, 2018; Link: http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USNuclearModernization

44. US demands Russia ‘end or modify’ missile it doesn’t like to save INF treaty RT. Dec 7, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/usa/445791-usa-demands-russia-scraps-missile-inf/

العراق ساحة المواجهة المقبلة ونصر الشام يرسم معادلات العالم الجديد

يناير 14, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

تتقدّم موسكو بخطوات ثابتة ودقيقة متعكزة على محور المقاومة بهدف الارتكاز على سواحل المتوسط والاستحمام في مياهه الدافئة في تحوّل استراتيجي مهمّ كانت ترنو إليه منذ قرون.

لا شك في أنّ قرار روسيا بالتدخل العسكري المباشر، في الدفاع عن الدولة الوطنية السورية والمحافظة على وحدة البلاد وسيادتها، لم يكن يهدف لا إلى حماية الرئيس الأسد لأجل ذاته، ولا طمعاً في خيرات سورية وثرواتها الطبيعية مهما كانت مغرية.

إذ إنّ روسيا العظمى، التي تبلغ مساحتها سبعة عشر مليون كيلو متر مربع، ليست بحاجة الى خيرات أحد، وهي التي تملك احتياطيات هائلة من كلّ المواد الخام اللازمة لها ولغيرها، ولا هي تقيم علاقاتها مع الدول على أساس مواقفها من هذا الرئيس أو ذاك.

فلقد اتخذ قرار التدخل انطلاقاً من هدفين استراتيجيين هما:

أولاً: التصدي لسياسة سيطرة القطب الواحد على العالم، التي تمارسها الولايات المتحدة، والتي أدّت الى نشر الفوضى والقتل والدمار في أنحاء العالم كله وليس في بلد واحد منه، الى جانب تجاهل الولايات المتحدة لنصوص القانون الدولي، التي تمنع أي دولة في العالم من التدخل في شؤون الدول الاخرى الا اذا طلبت منها الدولة المعنية ذلك التدخل، وهو ما حصل في الحالة السورية بين الدولة الوطنية السورية وكلّ من روسيا وإيران.

ثانياً: الدفاع عن أسوار موسكو والأمن القومي الروسي انطلاقاً من حماية المصالح الاستراتيجية للاتحاد الروسي على صعيد العالم كله، ومن ثم للدول التي تتعاون أو تتحالف معها، كالصين وإيران وسورية وغيرها من الدول العربية وغير العربية في العالم، وذلك من خلال تعزيز التمركز العسكري، وبالتالي الدبلوماسي والسياسي، الروسي في منطقتنا العربية والاسلامية بشكل عام وعلى سواحل شرق المتوسط بشكل خاص. أيّ تعزيز تمركزها العسكري في سورية كقاعدة ارتكاز استراتيجية، لعمل الاسطول الروسي في الخاصرة الجنوبية لحلف شمال الأطلسي، أي في البحر المتوسط، والذي يشكل مسرح عمليات للسفن الحربية التابعة لدول حلف الأطلسي، ومن بينها سفن الاسطول السادس الأميركي الذي تتمّ قيادته، الى جانب الوحدات البحرية لدول الحلف الأخرى، من القاعدة البحرية الأميركية في مدينة نابولي الإيطالية.

وبالنظر الى السياسات العدوانية للولايات المتحدة الأميركية، تجاه روسيا وحلفائها في الصين وإيران بشكل خاص، إضافة الى سورية طبعاً، فإن واشنطن تواصل العمل على ما يلي:

أولاً: استكمال الحشد العسكري، ذي الطبيعة الاستراتيجية، على حدود الصين الغربية وفِي بحار الصين والمحيط الهادئ، الى جانب مواصلة واشنطن حشد العديد والعتاد على حدود روسيا الغربية، بهدف تطويقها وتهديدها استراتيجياً. علماً أنّ هذه الحدود الغربية لروسيا تمتدّ من استونيا، شمال شرق بحر البلطيق وبالقرب من مدينة لينينغراد الروسية، عبر دول لاتفيا ولتوانيا وبولندا وسلوفاكيا ورومانيا وبلغاريا، وجميعها أعضاء في حلف شمال الأطلسي، الى تركيا التي تشارك بلغاريا ورومانيا وأوكرانيا وجورجيا في شواطئ البحر الأسود. وهي دول معادية لروسيا، حتى لو كان بعضها ليس عضواً في الأطلسي كجورجيا وأوكرانيا.

ثانياً: تنفيذ مشاريع سكك حديدية، تمتدّ من حيفا في فلسطين المحتلة وحتى عُمان، وذلك في إطار الاستعدادات الأميركية لاحتمال قيام إيران بإغلاق مضيق هرمز وقيام الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية بإغلاق مضيق باب المندب، ما يعني وقف الملاحة عبر قناة السويس، الأمر الذي يجعل البحث عن بديل لهذه الممرات البحرية أمراً ذا أهمية استراتيجية عالية. وهو ما دفع الولايات المتحدة للتفكير بمشروع السكك الحديدية، وطرحه للتداول عبر الشريك الإسرائيلي هنا تظهر أهمية المخلب الصهيوني الذي رمي أخيراً على سلطنة عُمان !

وفِي ضوء كلّ هذه التطورات المتسارعة، على الصعيدين «الإقليمي» والدولي، وعلى الرغم من تحسّن العلاقات الروسية التركية، والنمو المتسارع لعلاقاتهما الاقتصادية والتجارية، وحتى الأمنية والعسكرية، في حدود تنحصر في معالجة مشاكل إقليمية، تتعلق بالوضع السوري على وجه الخصوص، وفِي ضوء ان تركيا هي الدولة ذات السيادة على مضائق البوسفور والدردنيل، التي تربط البحر الأسود بالبحر الابيض المتوسط، وذلك بموجب اتفاقية مونتري Montreux بلده في سويسرا الموقعة بتاريخ 20/7/1936 بين الدول المعنية وهي تركيا واليونان ويوغوسلافيا والاتحاد السوفياتي ورومانيا وبلغاريا وإيطاليا وفرنسا وبريطانيا واليابان، نقول إنه وفِي ضوء إعطاء السيادة الكاملة على هذه المضائق لتركيا، ورغم وجود نظام محدد يحكم حركة الملاحة، بما فيها السفن العسكرية، في هذه المضائق، فلا بد لروسيا أن تفكر دائماً في بديل لإمداد أسطولها العامل في البحر المتوسط والذي يتم حالياً من قواعدها في البحر الأسود عبر المضائق المشار إليها اعلاه. كما أن عليها أن تتخذ الإجراءات اللازمة لضمان تدفق الإمدادات لقواتها الجوفضائية العاملة في سورية أيضاً، بخاصة أن تفاصيل تنظيم حركة السفن التجارية والحربية، للدول المشاطئة وغير المشاطئة للبحر الأسود، وعلى ارضية سيادة تركيا الكاملة على تلك المضائق، فإنّ تركيا تتمتع بهامش كبير جداً في التحكم بحركة وحرية العبور في فترات الحرب.

وعلى الرغم من استبعاد حصول أية حروب بين تركيا وروسيا في المدى المنظور، وعلى الرغم من العلاقات الأخرى المتنامية، إلا أنّ تأمين طريق إمداد بديل، للقوات الروسية في المتوسط وسورية، يبقى أمراً استراتيجياً هاماً جداً وذلك في ضوء أن يقوم طرف ثالث، في حالة وقوع نزاع دولي مسلح، بإغلاق تلك المضائق او تقييد حرية الملاحة فيهما وخاصة السفن الروسية.

من هنا، وفي ضوء التحركات العسكرية الأميركية المريبة، في العراق بشكل عام وفِي محافظة الأنبار بشكل خاص، ومواصلة البنتاغون محاولات إقامة قواعد ونقاط قيادة وسيطرة أميركية في المنطقة الممتدة من التنف السورية وحتى مدينة القائم العراقية، بهدف قطع التواصل الجغرافي البري بين موسكو ودمشق، أي قطع طريق الإمداد الروسي البديل هذا والمبيَّن اعلاه، فإن روسيا ومعها إيران وسورية وقوى المقاومه في العراق ولبنان لا يمكن لها أن تتخلى عن هذا التواصل البري وجاهزيتها لأن تمنع الجيش الأميركي من السيطرة على تلك المناطق حتى لو بالقوة العسكرية، وهي التي لن تتوانى عن الانتقال الى استخدام ذلك لهزيمة المحتل الأميركي وإجباره على الانسحاب منها. أي من شرق سورية وغرب العراق وذلك لإفشال مخططاته في ربط محافظات العراق الشمالية والتي يطلق عليها البعض «إقليم كردستان العراق»، مع «إسرائيل»، عبر الاْردن الذي يعجّ بالقواعد العسكرية الأميركية والأوروبية والمنفتح، تنسيقاً وتعاوناً مباشراً، على الكيان الصهيوني.

وخير دليل على ذلك ما يتمّ تسريبه عبر الدوائر الاستخبارية ووسائل الإعلام الاسرائيلية عن زيارة عدة وفود عراقية لفلسطين المحتلة في الآونة الأخيرة. بالاضافة الى القرار الذي أصدره وزير المالية الإسرائيلي، كحلون، يوم أمس ألغى فيه كون العراق دولة معادية وسمح بالتالي بسفر الإسرائيليين الى العراق وإقامة علاقات تجارية في هذا البلد!

وهو الأمر الذي سبق أن عمل على تحقيقه المدعو خالد سلام / أو محمد رشيد / الكردي الأصل، والذي كان عميلاً «إسرائيلياً» اعتقلته الجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين في بيروت سنة 1977، بهذه التهمة وسجنته في بئر في بلدة الدامور جنوب بيروت لمدة ثلاثة أشهر، ثم أفرج عنه في ظروف غامضة. الى أن أصبح يطلق على هذا الشخص لقب المستشار الاقتصادي للرئيس الفلسطيني ياسر عرفات حتى نهاية سنة 2003 عندما انقلب عليه، بناء على أوامر مشغّليه، وانتقل الى العمل في أربيل وقام بإنشاء العديد من الشركات بالتعاون مع مسعود برازاني وابنه وبتوجيه مباشر من الموساد «الإسرائيلي»!

وبالعودة إلى الأهمية الاستراتيجية لحماية التواصل البري الاستراتيجي بين موسكو ودمشق، فإننا نذكّر بقيام دول الحلفاء باحتلال إيران، خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، لتأمين الإمدادات الحيوية لجيوش الاتحاد السوفياتي، عبر بحر قزوين ونهر الفولجا الروسي. تلك الجيوش التي كانت تقاتل ما مجموعه 67 من الجيوش الألمانية كاملة وعلى جبهة تمتدّ من ستالينغراد في الجنوب حتى لينينغراد في الشمال على بحر البلطيق .

وعلى أهمية هذا التواصل البري، من الناحية الاستراتيجية عسكرياً، إلا أن أهميته الاقتصادية والسياسية لا تقل في حجمها عن تلك العسكرية إطلاقاً.

اذ انّ هذا التواصل، وبالنظر الى تحسن العلاقات الاقتصاديه التركية الروسية ونظراً الى الإمكانيات الهائلة، من موارد طبيعية وثروة مالية وتكنولوجيا متقدمة وعدد سكان كبير، يصل الى حوالي 400 مليون مواطن، لكلّ من روسيا وتركيا وإيران، الى جانب إمكانيات العراق الكبيرة والسوق السوري الواعد، والذي سيسجّل أعلى نسبة نمو في العالم لسنة 2019، حسب تقديرات الجهات الدولية المختصة، نقول إنه بالنظر الى هذه الوقائع فإن توجهات روسيا وقوى حلف المقاومة، مضافةً اليها الصين ومشروعها المعروف بمشروع الحزام والطريق، ستشكل منعطفاً استراتيجياً غاية في الأهمية لتعزيز الثقل الاقتصادي وبالتالي السياسي لهذه المجموعة في العالم، ما سيؤدي الى تغير جذري في موازين القوى الدولية وفِي تراجع دور سياسة الهيمنة الأميركية والسيطرة الاحادية الجانب، المستندة الى قانون الغاب وليس الى القانون الدولي…!

أخيراً على أميركا وأذنابها واتباعها الذين خاضوا في دماء شعوبنا لسنوات طوال أن يعرفوا بأن الاندماج الاقتصادي، وليس الحروب والدماء، هو الطريق الذي تبحث عنه قوى حلف المقاومة والصديقة روسيا وهو الطريق الوحيد القادر على ضمان الاستقرار والنمو الاقتصادي في منطقتنا والعالم، وهو الكفيل بأن يقودنا الى مزيد من التطور والتقدّم.

فيما التمترس وراء أوهام، أو حتى أهداف لا تتحقق إلا بالوسائل العسكرية وبالعدوان، كما هو موقف تركيا بالمقابل لا سيما نوع تعاطيها مع القضية السورية بوجه عام ومع مسألة الأكراد بوجه خاص، لن يقود إلا الى مزيد من التوتر والتصعيد والدمار…!

نقولها ونحن في خواتيم القضاء على أحلامهم الإمبراطورية والجهنمية بأن الحل لكل القضايا المتعلقة بالخلافات على الحدود او حقوق الأمم والشعوب وتقرير المصير لا يكمن إلا في احترام سيادة الدول وإقامة تعاون مشترك على هذه القاعدة.

وأخيراً وليس لا آخرا لا خلاص ولا أمن ولا استقرار ولا نجاح لكل ما تقدم من مشاريع الا بتفكيك القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية المزروعة على ارض فلسطين والمسماة «إسرائيل» وترحيل كل عديدها ومعداتها مع سائر قواعد الطغيان والعدوان الأميركي الأخرى لأنها اصل البلاء وبذرة الشر المطلق.

قيامتنا تقترب بزوال هذه الغدد السرطانية.

وشرط نجاح كل مشاريع السلم والتعاون لدينا رهن بذلك.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

Remember: The American withdrawal by the end of 2018 تذكروا: الانسحاب الأميركي نهاية 2018

 

Remember: The American withdrawal by the end of 2018

يناير 15, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The issue is not related to specific dates, as the end of a year and the start of another, but as we said repeatedly it is related to the linkage between the war on Syria and the fate of the American forces in Afghanistan, which their stay was extended from the end of 2016 to the end of 2018, after the battles of Aleppo and the victories achieved by the axis of the resistance and Russia and within a bet accepted by the Russian and the Syrian Presidents, that would end with the exit of Iran and Hezbollah, and imposed by the Israeli strikes and the US sanctions. The linking between them was the deal of the century that would end the Palestinian cause with a Palestinian acceptance of selling Jerusalem and pave the way for the announced alliance between the Gulf and Israel against Iran. But after the bet fell, the decision becomes between two options either a new extension of a new bet or the withdrawal.

But why to link the withdrawal with the American presence in Afghanistan? Because this presence is no longer useful militarily and unable to lead to political solutions. The Russian-Chinese- Iranian- Pakistani shelter has become the regional environment for Afghanistan. Therefore, the American presence has become no more than to prevent the ground connection across Afghanistan between China and Russia on one hand, and between them and Iran, and between Iraq and Syria and the Mediterranean on the other hand. The withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria is interconnected, because the withdrawal paves the way for the Chinese-Russian connection with the Mediterranean across Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, after Iraq has been turned into a station of supervision, control, and negotiation on the limits of the Chinese-Russian presence on the Mediterranean Sea and the limits of the Iranian movement towards Syria and Lebanon. This is just be used to justify the negotiation on the major compromises, so that the American presence in Iraq does not turn into a target that leads to undesirable confrontation again.

America announces the start of the withdrawal, it grants the others one hundred days to be ready for the gradual withdrawal of their forces. This grants us the logical interpretation of the fall of the American vetoes which the Turkish President wanted to inspire us that he caused their fall through the announcement of his intention to enter the eastern of the Euphrates region, while he is seeing what is allowed in front of the American presence. The Arab presidential visits to Damascus and the search to restore its taken seat from the Arab League and the invitation of its president to attend the Arab Summit in Tunisia have their interpretation in an American equation to the allies in Turkey, the Arab countries, and Israel. We know the new secret of Netanyahu on the borders, the shield of the north and the tunnels’ photos; they are attempts made by the first enemy “America” the owner of the decision of the war on Syria and through it on Iran and Russia to cope with the new situation imposed by the victory of Syria and its allies,.

The fall of the vetoes one by one was striking, the veto on a Yemeni settlement that preserves a pivotal status of Ansar Allah as a resistance, the veto on the ministerial and presidential visits to Damascus, the veto on forming a government that comforts the resistance in Lebanon and Iraq. These vetoes are falling as the domino stones as the fall the source of these vetoes. The command of the Central Forces in the  American armies are no longer here, the General McGurk quitted his job, exactly as when we hear the line is not in service. Is not it the situation of Washington’s allies?

What will the leaders of the Kurdish groups do, those whom we have long asked to bet on their Syrian patriotism, not on external irreplaceable developments. What will the Turks who bet on the mutual benefit between them and the Americans do, and what the Israelis who thought that they have convinced Washington with a permanent partnership in fate regarding the future of Syria will do, and what the Arabs who linked their hostility to Syria, Iran, and the forces of the resistance will do due to the illusions of American military intentions?

Only those in Syria, Russia, Iran, and the resistance forces know what they will do, thee image is clear, there is no revenge, no prizes, but no forgiveness. The forgiveness depends on the announced review and the practical retreat.

Those who argue with us that there will be no withdrawal, they will argue with us today that withdrawal is a conspiracy, so do not listen to them, they misjudge, they talk about the interest of Syria and the resistance, but due to their mission they try to affect the morale and to distort every victory.

Translate by Lina Shehadeh,

 

تذكروا: الانسحاب الأميركي نهاية 2018

ديسمبر 20, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– ليست القضية في تواريخ مفصلية كنهاية عام وبداية عام آخر، بل في ما سبق وقلناه مراراً عن الربط بين مستقبل الحرب على سورية، ومصير القوات الأميركية في أفغانستان، التي مدّد بقاؤها من نهاية عام 2016 إلى نهاية عام 2018 إفساحاً في المجال للبقاء في سورية، رهاناً على ما بعد معارك حلب والانتصارات التي حملتها لمحور المقاومة وروسيا، على تسوية تنتهي بخروج إيران وحزب الله يرتضيها كل من الرئيسين الروسي والسوري، وتستخدم لفرضها الضربات الإسرائيلية والعقوبات الأميركية، وعقدة الوصل بينهما صفقة القرن التي تنهي القضية الفلسطينية بتوقيع فلسطيني على بيع القدس، وتفتتح عهد التحالف المعلن بين الخليج و«إسرائيل» بوجه إيران. أما وقد سقط الرهان، فالقرار بين إثنين، تمديد جديد لرهان جديد أو انسحاب. فالاستحقاق يدق باب القرار.

– لماذا الربط مع الوجود الأميركي في أفغانستان؟ لأن هذا الوجود بات عديم الفائدة عسكرياً وعاجزاً عن توليد حلول سياسية، والحضن الروسي الصيني الإيراني الباكستاني بات هو البيئة الإقليمية لأفغانستان، ولم يعد للبقاء الأميركي هناك سوى حجز الجغرافيا منعاً للتواصل البري عبر أفغانستان بين الصين وروسيا من جهة، وبينهما عبر أفغانستان مع إيران براً، وعبرها مع العراق فسورية فالبحر المتوسط. والانسحاب من أفغانستان وسورية مترابط، لأنه إفراج جغرافي عن فرص التواصل الروسي الصيني مع البحر المتوسط عبر جسر برّي يمتد من افغانستان فإيران فالعراق فسورية، بعدما يتم تحويل العراق إلى مصفاة رقابة وتحكم وتفاوض في حدود الحضور الروسي الصيني على المتوسط، وحدود الحركة الإيرانية نحو سورية ولبنان، مصفاة نظرية لن تستعمل إلا لتبرير التفاوض على التسويات الكبرى، كي لا يتحوّل الوجود الأميركي في العراق هدفاً يستدرج المواجهة غير المرغوبة مرة أخرى.

– ها هو الأميركي يعلن بدء الانسحاب، ويمنح مئة يوم للآخرين لترتيب الأمور يتمّ خلالها السحب التدريجي للقوات، فيمنحنا التفسير المنطقي لتساقط الفيتوات الأميركية، التي أراد الرئيس التركي إيهامنا أنه يقوم هو بإسقاطها بالإعلان عن نيته دخول منطقة شرق الفرات، بينما هو يجسّ نبض المسموح وحدود الوراثة المتاحة أمامه للوجود الأميركي. وها هي الزيارات الرئاسية العربية المتدفقة على دمشق وما يليها من تسارع البحث في إعادة مقعدها المسلوب من الجامعة العربية ودعوة رئيسها لحضور القمة العربية في تونس، تجد تفسيرها هي الأخرى، بمعادلة أميركية للحلفاء في تركيا والبلاد العربية وأولاً «إسرائيل»، رتبوا أموركم خلال مئة يوم فنحن راحلون، وها نحن نعرف سراً جديداً لبهلوانيات بنيامين نتنياهو على الحدود ودرع الشمال وصور الأنفاق، كلها محاولات تأقلم مع الجديد المتمثل بإعلان نصر سورية وحلفائها، بتوقيع العدو رقم واحد، وهو أميركا صاحبة قرار الحرب على سورية، وعبرها على إيران وروسيا.

– تساقط الفيتوات واحداً تلو الآخر كان لافتاً، من فيتو على تسوية يمنية تكرس مكانة محورية لأنصار الله كقوة مقاومة، إلى فيتو على الزيارات الوزارية والرئاسية إلى دمشق، إلى فيتو على تشكيل حكومة تريح قوى المقاومة في لبنان والعراق، حجارة دومينو تتهاوى مع سقوط مصدر الفيتوات، قيادة القوات الوسطى في الجيوش الأميركية ليست على السمع بعد الآن، والجنرال ماكفورك يترك مهامه، تدبّروا أموركم، تماماً كالمجيب الآلي، الخط غير موضوع في الخدمة، راجع الاستعلامات، أليس هذا هو حال حلفاء واشنطن الآن؟

– ماذا سيفعل قادة الجماعات الكردية الذين طالما خاطبناهم بالدعوة للرهان على وطنيتهم السورية، وليس على مستجدّ خارجي قابل للزوال وحاضر للمتاجرة؟ وماذا سيفعل الأتراك الذين راهنوا على الإفادة المتبادلة بينهم وبين الأميركيين من التذرع بعضاً ببعض؟ وماذا سيفعل الإسرائيليون الذين ظنوا انهم أقنعوا واشنطن بصورة نهائية بشراكة في المصير في مستقبل سورية؟ وماذا سيفعل العرب الذين ربطوا عداءهم لسورية وإيران وقوى المقاومة بوهم نيات حربية أميركية؟

– وحدهم في سورية وروسيا وإيران وقوى المقاومة يعرفون ما سيفعلون، فالصورة واضحة، لا انتقام، لكن لا نسيان، لا جوائز ترضية لأحد، والتسامح مشروط بالمراجعة المعلنة، والتراجع العملي.

– الذين كانوا يجادلوننا بأن لا انسحاب أميركي، سيجادلون اليوم بالقول إن الانسحاب مؤامرة، فلا تصغوا إليهم، فهم في كل مرة يسيئون التقدير ويجلسون بيننا للتحدث بلغة المصلحة عن سورية والمقاومة، ولكن بسبب طبيعة مهمتهم أو ضعف بصيرتهم، تراهم ينصرفون لتدمير المعنويات وتنغيص كل نصر.

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The Infowar On Xinjiang Failed, Now They’re Targeting Pakistan & PM Imran Khan

By Andrew Korybko
Source

The Western Mainstream Media’s infowar about the true state of the anti-terrorist situation in Xinjiang failed after a group of diplomats and journalists were unprecedentedly allowed to visit some of the education and job-training facilities in the strategically located province, after which the weaponized narrative was tweaked to become one of “China buying off Pakistan’s silence”, which dishonestly portrays the Muslim Great Power’s pious leader as a religious hypocrite and dangerously risks provoking terrorist attacks against him and his government.   

2018 was predominantly characterized by four main stories for Pakistan – the rise of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s latest Prime Minister; the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) anti-blasphemy protests and subsequently seditious calls for acts of terrorism against the state; the Hybrid War on CPEC that peaked near the end of the year with the Karachi & Chabahar attacks and the first-mentioned mastermind’s assassination in Afghanistan; and the creeping awareness of the Western Mainstream Media’s infowar narrative about China’s alleged treatment of the Uighur in Xinjiang. It’s therefore not surprising that all four of them are still relevant at the beginning of 2019, but there are worrying signs that hostile perception managers are attempting to weave them together as part of a renewed destabilization campaign against Pakistan.

The Hybrid War on CPEC received an unexpected setback after one of the so-called “Balochistan Liberation Army’s” (BLA) top terrorists was assassinated in Afghanistan right before the New Year, which occurred just a few weeks before China’s unpreceded diplomatic and journalistic opening in Xinjiang when it recently allowed members of both professional communities to visit some of its education and job-training facilities that it constructed there as part of its anti-terrorist operations in the strategically located province. Beijing even announced that UN officials are welcome to travel to the region as well, provided of course that they follow the proper procedures and don’t interfere in the country’s domestic affairs. These two developments are the reason why the weaponized narratives that were unleashed against both countries are now being tweaked.

Recognizing that the BLA terrorists were dealt a mighty blow by the recent assassination of one of their leaders and the growing popularity of Dr. Jumma Marri Khan’s Overseas Pakistani Baloch Unity (OPBU) that peacefully reintegrates wayward overseas Baloch into Pakistani society, and realizing that the world is becoming aware of the fact that the scandalous stories about China’s treatment of the Uighur in Xinjiang are fake news, the forces that are hostile to both multipolar Great Powers are scrambling to adapt their infowar techniques to these changed conditions. It’s with this situational context in mind that one should approach the latest claims coming from the popular American-based financial and business news site Business Insider, which just published a very inaccurate portrayal of Pakistani-Chinese relations.

In an article titled “Pakistan abruptly stopped calling out China’s mass oppression of Muslims. Critics say Beijing bought its silence”, one of the outlet’s news reporters attempted to make the case that China paid Pakistan off so that it wouldn’t use its influence in the larger international Muslim community (“Ummah”) to rally its co-confessionals against Beijing’s alleged mistreatment of the Uighur. The author drew attention to a widely publicized fake news report that the country’s Federal Minister for Religious Affairs supposedly brought this topic up in a critical way when meeting with the Chinese Ambassador last September. Bothofficials later denied the media’s reports about their talks, but the damage was already done because few people who heard the fake news were made aware of their response.

The writer then tried to make it seem like PM Khan was sidestepping the Uighur issue after reminding her audience about Chinese support for Pakistan’s economy, with her innuendo being that “Beijing bought its silence”. She then quotes two people to press home this point, the second of whom is Peter Irwin, who’s described as a “project manager” at the so-called “World Uyghur Congress” (WUC). Unbeknownst to her audience and conspicuously left out of her report, that man functions as a spokesman for an organization that many in China and beyond believe to be the political wing of the so-called “Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement” (ETIM) which was designated as a terrorist group by the UN in 2002. This makes it very disturbing that his words were included by the author in the article’s title.

After declaring that China was “buying the silence of Pakistan”, Irwin goes on to say that “he knows he simply needs to keep his mouth shut”, concluding that “someone like Khan has a very good idea of the balance of power in their relationship with China.” This dangerously insinuates that PM Khan and his government are being paid to stay silent about the plight of Muslims, which would make them religious hypocrites if it was true and accordingly paint them as targets of Takfiri terrorists (i.e. those who target alleged “infidels”/”apostates”). Dolkun Isa, the WUC leader who China regards as a terroristrecently slammed Muslim countries for not supporting him, so it might be that Irwin was tasked by his boss to weaponize this narrative against Pakistan and PM Khan personally.

This is exceptionally dangerous in the Pakistani context because leaders of the TLP opposition party were arrested late last year on charges of sedition and terrorism after they called on their supporters to commits acts of violence against state officials on the purported basis that they were violating fundamentalist Islamic tenets following the Supreme Court’s acquittal of a Christian woman who was previously convicted of blasphemy during a high-profile case. Some of the group’s most religiously extremist sympathizers inside of Pakistan and abroad might interpret Irwin’s hypocrite/infidel/apostate insinuation that he just spread on the globally famous Business Insider information outlet about the pious Prime Minister as a “call to action”, just like Isa might have planned to happen all along as punishment for Pakistan’s refusal to support his narrative.

The WUC-ETIM’s intention seems to be to rekindle the Hybrid War on CPEC by expanding it beyond its now-contained Baloch “nationalist”-driven acts of terrorism to become an “Ummah”-wide militant jihad against the Pakistani state for its position towards China’s alleged treatment of the Uighurs, which is increasingly being revealed to have been the proper one all along after Beijing’s recent diplomatic and journalistic opening in the province debunked the last year’s worth of fake news about this emotive issue. It’s precisely because it turned out that Pakistan was right all along, and its refusal to fall for this infowar narrative doomed the plans to organize an “Ummah”-wide militant jihad against China, that it’s now being targeted through this desperate Hybrid War scenario.

No one should automatically assume that Business Insider is knowingly acting as an instrument of Hybrid War against Pakistan, and it might just be a coincidence that its news reporter decided to obtain exclusive comments on this topic from an individual representing an organization that Beijing regards as a political front for a UN-designated terrorist group (which she didn’t inform her audience of), but the outlet’s irresponsibly inaccurate portrayal of the country’s relations with China nevertheless advances the aforementioned scenario regardless of its original intent. A globally renowned US-based information platform is openly being used by what many consider to be a terrorist-connected organization to spread its dangerously false innuendo that PM Khan is a hypocrite/infidel/apostate who was paid off by China to remain silent about the supposed plight of fellow Muslims, and that’s extremely alarming.

Fall of Empires: London, Washington & Paris on brink of collapse

George Galloway
George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.
Fall of Empires: London, Washington & Paris on brink of collapse (by George Galloway)
Despite the thrashing around of the NATO disinformation apparat, the imperial heartland has entered 2019 in a state of complete chaos.

Washington, London, and Paris – the three capitals of the Empire – are today effectively ungoverned, shutdown, tottering on the brink of collapse or under siege by their own people.

Their self-chosen Nemeses – Moscow and Beijing – meanwhile toast the New Year in a state of considerable optimism and self-confidence. These are the facts, this is the news.

We should start at the top of the Empire. The United States government has closed down amid stasis and a barrage of inter-governmental howitzers.

The defense secretary, ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, has resigned as have other uniformed subalterns angry at the president’s re-found determination to withdraw from costly and losing foreign wars. The actual “mad dog” – John Bolton – openly defies President Trump over Syria, Mueller closes in, and the new Democratic majority in the House gears up to “impeach the mother***er.”

Nobody knows if President Trump will be around for much longer, and the merest glance at the views of his putative successor – Vice President Mike Pence – recalls the famous picture of President Nixon with his vice president, Spiro Agnew, standing behind him. The satirical speech bubble had Nixon pointing over his shoulder and saying “nobody is going to shoot me with this guy next in line.”

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May is a dead woman walking; Britain’s exit from the European Union is still a matter of total uncertainty, yet a mere 80 days away. Violence outside the Parliament has begun to erupt, no faction can command a majority, an election cannot be held because its most likely result would be the election of veteran anti-imperialist Jeremy Corbyn whom the ‘deep state’ would sooner see under arrest (alongside this writer, according to the coup-apparatus Integrity Initiative).

A no-deal Brexit will see the south of England grind to a halt given the lack of preparation for it, as trucks headed to and from the continent turn Kent, the ‘Garden of England’, into a car-park.

A Brexit in name only – otherwise known as Theresa May’s deal – cannot pass in the House of Commons next week given Labour’s opposition together with at least 50 of the government’s own MPs and the 10 members of the coalition partners, the DUP.

A third option, a new referendum, runs the risk of the same scenario being played out (but almost entirely unreported here) on the streets of Paris and other French cities. Defying the result of the first referendum, cheating 17.4 million people of that which they voted for, risks social peace in England. Millions of Brexit voters are among those in Britain with nothing left to lose.

In France, the Elysee has become Macron’s Bastille and it is not at all inconceivable that it will be stormed.

Last weekend his own spokesman had to be smuggled out of a back-door after a truck hijacked by protestors smashed through the door of his government building. The very conditions Macron strove so very hard to bring about in Damascus and that France DID help bring about in Kiev are now rocking the very foundations of the French Republic.

No amount of turning the ‘Nelson’s Eye’ (when famously England’s Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar was told that the French Navy were advancing on him, he put his telescope to the black patch covering his missing eye and said “I see no ships” – will alter the fact that for eight weeks and counting, hundreds of thousands of French people of all political stripes have been – increasingly violently – on the streets of cities throughout the country demanding that their president resign. And that Macron showering Euros down the Champs Elysees in concessions – in absolute defiance of the EU’s fiscal rules – has merely encouraged ‘les autres’ to keep on demonstrating.

This week, the EU (and NATO) government of Italy joined the side of the ‘Gilets-Jaunes’, with Italy’s Salvini personally denouncing the French president as being “against his own people.”

This Saturday, a mammoth demonstration will take place in London,leveling the same raft of anti-austerity demands on the British government as the Yellow Vests are making of Macron. The center cannot hold.

The old order is dying; the new one cannot be born. If we are not careful we will soon be alive in the time of monsters.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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