The US dilemma in the Iranian nuclear file المأزق الأميركي في الملف النووي الإيراني

The US dilemma in the Iranian nuclear file

أكتوبر 20, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The US President Donald Trump has chosen his weakest points and the strongest points of the Iranian force in order to fight with Iran; he made the Iranian nuclear file an issue that is full of the files of disagreements with Iran regarding its missile program, the security of Israel, and the regional role of Iran, towards the future of Hezbollah and its resistance, he was about to show the US weakness in the international arena. The agreement on the Iranian nuclear file is an international convention that does not accommodate the US approach of the disputing bilateral files with Iran. the officials of Trump’s administration declared about their sticking to the agreement and the seeking to modify it as they said, they are aware that the modification according to their terms is impossible, because their demands collide with a dispute on the description with at least two main partners namely Russia and China, and Iran for sure whether concerning the missile program of Iran, the regional role of Iran, or the role of Hezbollah. If this modification is impossible then the fate of the US movement will be the failure.

The second problem of America is European regarding the bad choice. Europe which participated Washington in its reservations on the missile program of Iran and its concern for Israel’s security, and its anticipation for disciplining Hezbollah, but it does not want to affect the nuclear agreement, because this agreement is its way for the positive partnership with Iran economically and politically in achieving the stability in Syria and Iraq in particular, in order to prevent the growth of terrorism and its rootedness on one hand. It became stable that there will be no security in Europe without extinguishing the wars in Syria and Iraq, furthermore no extinguishing of these wars without Iran and even without Hezbollah. On the other hand, it resorts to Iran to maintain stability and to return the lifecycle as the prevention of the flow of the immigrants and the displaced people to Europe. The Demographic stability of Europe has become the way to preserve the unity of its entities, after the destabilization resulted from the displacement has led to the exit of Britain from the European Union. The displacement leads to dual opposing growth of the racism of the Nazi –right and the incubating environment of extremism among the displaced and immigrants, without stopping the displacement, the communities of Europe will be threatened of disintegration and the unity of its entities will be threatened, just for that it puts aside its reservations and tries to protect the agreement with Iran, it sees it as a way for getting out of recession, after Washington has monopolized the Gulf’s money to resolve its crises, so what are left are Iran , Syria, and Iraq.

The third problem of America regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran is Asian in terms of the future of the engagement with North Korea from two opposite perspectives, if the content of the message headed to Iran was that there is no usefulness in the positioning under the ceiling of the international law which the major countries that claim to guard it, refuse to apply it on themselves and thus do not commit to, and that the path of North Korea is beneficial through rebellion and threat. Although Iran which possesses in geography, capabilities, and population what is not possessed by North Korea and thus it can rebel and threaten, it accepted to stick to the peaceful nuclear file and to present the necessary guarantees for that. But the superpowers of the world showed it that the conventions are valueless, and sticking to the law does not benefit, while the military nuclear deterrence of North Korea protects it. In contrast, America tells North Korea that the example of the Iranian commitment calls to avoid falling into the trap of accepting understandings that lead to non- possession of nuclear weapons, because the commitment does not ensure the dealing according to law and conventions, since the force is the only way understood by Washington, therefore the result of the US movement is encouraging those who advocate possessing the nuclear weapons among the Iranians and weakening those who advocate going to understandings, as well as complicating the dialogue and negotiation with North Korea, This makes Japan and North Korea avoid including their votes to the advocates of the US position, and makes Seoul and Tokyo aware that the nuclear agreement with Iran is the only example to persuade Pyongyang to abandon the nuclear weapons, provided to be an attractive and  encouraging example.

Trump has not succeeded in attracting advocates but Israel and Saudi Arabia, if the US-Saudi- Israeli alliance was enough to form a balance of power against Iran, despite the big differences between the nuclear agreement and others, it would be enough to resolve the situation of Syria, and it would be another agreement than the one we know.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

المأزق الأميركي في الملف النووي الإيراني

أكتوبر 16, 2017

ناصر قنديل

-اختار الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب أضعف حلقات قوته وأقوى حلقات القوة الإيرانية ساحة للنزال بينه وبين إيران، فجعل الملف النووي الإيراني وعاء يتسع لملفات الخلاف مع إيران حول برنامجها الصاروخي وأمن «إسرائيل» ودور إيران الإقليمي، وصولاً لمستقبل حزب الله ومقاومته. كان الدعسة الناقصة التي ستتكفّل بتظهير الضعف الأميركي على الساحة الدولية. فالاتفاق على الملف النووي الإيراني معاهدة دولية لا تتسع لاستيعاب المقاربة الأميركية للملفات الخلافية الثنائية مع إيران، وبعدما صرّح مسؤولو إدارة ترامب بالتمسك بالاتفاق والسعي لتعديله كما قالوا، يدركون أن التعديل بشروطهم مستحيل، لأن مطالبهم تصطدم بخلاف على التوصيف مع شريكين أساسيين على الأقل، هما روسيا والصين وإيران حكماً، سواء حول البرنامج الصاروخي لإيران أو حول دور إيران الإقليمي أو حول دور حزب الله، وإذا كان هذا التعديل مستحيلاً، ولا تعديل سواه، فيصير مصير الحركة الأميركية هو الفشل.

مشكلة أميركا الثانية في الاختيار السيئ، أوروبية. فأوروبا التي قد تشارك واشنطن بتحفظاتها على البرنامج الصاروخي لإيران وقلقها على أمن «إسرائيل»، وتطلعها لتقليم أظافر حزب الله، لا تريد المساس بالاتفاق النووي ولا تعريضه للاهتزاز، لأنه طريقها للتشارك الإيجابي مع إيران اقتصادياً وسياسياً في تحقيق الاستقرار في سورية والعراق خصوصاً، منعاً لنمو الإرهاب وتجذره من جهة. وقد صار ثابتاً أنه لا أمن لأوروبا من دون إطفاء الحروب في سورية والعراق، ولا إطفاء لهذه الحروب من دون إيران، بل ومن دون حزب الله. ومن جهة ثانية الاستعانة بإيران لحفظ الاستقرار وإعادة دورة الحياة كطريق لمنع تدفق المهاجرين والنازحين نحو أوروبا. وقد صار استقرار أوروبا الديمغرافي طريق الحفاظ على وحدة كياناتها، بعدما تكفل الاهتزاز الناجم عن النزوح بخروج بريطانيا من الاتحاد الأوروبي، ويتكفّل مسلسل النزوح بنمو متقابل مزدوج، لعنصرية اليمين النازي، والبيئة الحاضنة للتطرف بين النازحين والمهاجرين، ومن دون وقف النزوح تجد أوروبا التهديد لتفتت مجتمعاتها، وتهديد وحدة كياناتها. ولهذا تضع جانباً تحفظاتها، وتتجه لحماية الاتفاق مع إيران، لا بل تراه طريقاً للخروج من الكساد، وقد احتكرت واشنطن مال الخليج لحل أزماتها، وما بقي لأوروبا إلا إيران وسورية والعراق.

-مشكلة أميركا الثالثة في فتح ملف الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، آسيوية، لجهة مستقبل التجاذب مع كوريا الشمالية، من زاويتين متقابلتين. فإذا كانت الرسالة الموجهة لإيران مضمونها أن لا جدوى من التموضع تحت سقف القانون الدولي، الذي لا تلتزمه الدول العظمى أصلاً التي تدّعي حراسته وترفض تطبيقه على أنفسها. والرسالة لإيران هنا هي أن طريق كوريا الشمالية هو المجدي بالتمرّد والتهديد، وإيران إن تمردت وهددت تملك في الجغرافيا والمقدرات والسكان ما لا تملكه كوريا الشمالية، ورغم ذلك ارتضت طريق التمسك بملف نووي سلمي وقدّم ما يلزم من ضمانات لذلك، وتأتي الدولة العظمى الأولى في العالم وتقول لها المعاهدات لا قيمة لها، والالتزام بالقانون لا يقدّم ولا يؤخّر، بينما الردع النووي العسكري لكوريا الشمالية يحميها، وبالمقابل تقول اللغة الأميركية لكوريا الشمالية أن مثال الالتزام الإيراني يدعو لتجنب الوقوع في فخ القبول بالتفاهمات المؤدية لعدم امتلاك السلاح النووي، لأن الالتزام لا يضمن تعاملاً بمقاييس القانون، والمعاهدات. فالقوة وحدها هي التي تفهمها واشنطن، وبالتالي، نتيجة الحركة الأميركية تشجيع دعاة امتلاك السلاح النووي بين الإيرانيين، وإضعاف دعاة الذهاب للتفاهمات، وكذلك تعقيد الحوار والتفاوض مع كوريا الشمالية. وهذا ما جعل اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية تتجنّبان ضم صوتيهما لمؤيدي الموقف الأميركي، وسيول وطوكيو تدركان أن الاتفاق النووي مع إيران هو النموذج الوحيد الذي يمكن عبره إقناع بيونغ يانغ بالتخلّي عن السلاح النووي، شرط أن يكون مثالاً مغرياً ومشجّعاً.

-لم ينجح ترامب بجذب مؤيدين إلا «إسرائيل» والسعودية. ولو كان التحالف الأميركي السعودي «الإسرائيلي» كافياً لتشكيل ميزان قوة بوجه إيران، لكان، رغم الفوارق الكبيرة بين حال الاتفاق النووي وسواه، كافياً لحسم سورية، وعندها لكان اتفاق غير الاتفاق الذي نعرفه.

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Sixty Mimutes: Nasser Kandil on the Emerging Multipolar World and the 5 Seas Region

 

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The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system

Written by Nasser Kandil,

سبتمبر 20, 2017

Any reader cannot comment on this title and why we concern about the Sea of China, knowing that what we have is enough to concern about. The major country which leads the wars against us is the United States, and it is normal to care about confronting it with at least three things, its opponents, their suitability to be taken as allies, its plans, and its priorities in order to know the effectiveness of our confrontations and victories in the field in producing stable political equations, and how to change the world system and its new balances by all the surrounding variables. In the three points we will see China in front of us, it is the first opponent of the American hegemony, an active partner in any new or old world system, and today it is the priority of America, so how to pay attention that the politics in its different aspects is an outcome of economy which China is preceding to occupy the first global world ranking, as a consumer of the energy which forms one of the most important resources of our region,  as a producer of the goods which our countries form a vital market for them, and as an inspiring to enter the old world in which our geography locates.

The Sea of China forms the confused geographical area which seems the first appropriate region for the solutions instead of our region which is full of disputes and the conflicts. On its shores a high tense confrontation is taking place in which the American wants to have control on it and wants to prevent China from making it a regional lake, which its balances will be determined by equations of the forces which surround it. The Americans locate on the shores of this sea from the South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, they bet on hindering the Chinese project which based originally on the concept of the regional lake which is directed by the partners that share the same geography, through internationalizing the Sea of China and its crises. This requires igniting the crises between the neighborhoods and raising the tension towards justifying the military internationalization of these crises. Burma’s problem which bothers China does not stem from the fact that it is the concerned country of persecuting the Muslims there, but because China is aware that the American provocation of the issue stems from the attempt of internationalizing in order to deploy foreign troops on the borders of China, under the framework of Chinese-American conflict between the regions and the internationalization as the Korean cause, and as the Chinese industrial islands in the Sea of China. So the deployment of the US missile systems which threaten the Chinese security as the modern Thad system becomes a justification that has a cover made by the countries which the Americans try to put it under the threat of China and its allies in order to seek for the US protection, exactly as how America does in the Gulf by spreading panic from Iran.

China is the partner of the Arabs, the Muslims, and the other nations of the region in confronting the projects of the American hegemony, and the rising power in the world economically. In Asia which constitutes two-thirds of population and distance, China constitutes one third of its population, while Russia constitutes one third of its area. As the understanding with Russia has led to an equation that started changing the world, the completion of the birth of new world system is waiting for the future of the balances in the Sea of China to become clear. What should be concerned regarding the issues of the freedom and independence in our country is not to take one of the two extreme positions towards the issue of the Muslims of Burma whether through ignoring the issue, denying its existence and considering it mere US fabrication or ISIS movement as what was repeated by some people thinking that they serve China by repeating what is being spread on its media, or through participating in arousing the issue, because America can invest it in order to internationalize its security and to be positioned under this pretext on the borders of China. Iran seems the first concerned to have a dialogue with China and to reach to an understanding for a regional solution sponsored by the neighboring countries of Burma as China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand  that ensures its security and the security of the Muslims in it , and stops the malicious game of America under its pretext.

North Korea’s missiles remain the indispensable deterrence till the Americans recognize the choice of negotiation for a political solution and till Japan and South Korea understand that the solution must be regional or there is no solution.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

ناصر قنديل

سبتمبر 16, 2017

– لا يستطيع عاقل أن يعلق على العنوان وما علاقتنا ببحر الصين، فما عندنا كافٍ ليشغل اهتمامنا وأكثر، فالدولة العظمى التي تقود الحروب علينا هي أميركا، والطبيعي أن نهتمّ لمواجهتنا معها بثلاثة أشياء على الأقلّ، خصومها ومدى صلاحيتهم كحلفاء لنا، وخططها ونسبة الأولويات فيها لإدراك مدى فعالية مواجهتنا وانتصاراتنا في الميدان في إنتاج معادلات سياسية مستقرة، وكيفية تغيّر النظام العالمي وتوازناته الجديدة بفعل كلّ المتغيّرات المحيطة به. وفي الثلاثة سنجد الصين أمامنا، فهي خصم أول للهيمنة الأميركية وشريك فاعل في أيّ نظام عالمي قديم وجديد، وهي اليوم أولوية أميركا، فكيف إنْ كان لعقلنا أن ينتبه أنّ السياسة في كثير من وجوهها مولود للاقتصاد، الذي تتقدّم الصين لاحتلال مرتبة عالمية أولى فيه، كمستهلك للطاقة التي تشكل أحد أهمّ موارد منطقتنا، وكمنتج للسلع التي تشكل بلادنا سوقاً حيوية لها، وكطامح لدخول العالم القديم الذي تتوضّع جغرافيتنا في قلبه؟

– يشكل بحر الصين المنطقة الجغرافية المضطربة التي تبدو المرشح الأول للحلول مكان منطقتنا في تصدّر الأحداث والنزاعات، فعلى شواطئه تدور مواجهة عالية التوتر، يريد الأميركي عبرها الإمساك بمفاتيحه، ومنع الصين من جعله بحيرة إقليمية، تقرّر توازناتها معادلات القوى المتشاطئة عليه، والأميركيون موجودون على ضفاف هذا البحر من كوريا الجنوبية واليابان، وأندونيسيا والفيلبين، وفيتنام، ويراهنون على عرقلة المشروع الصيني القائم أصلاً على مفهوم البحيرة الإقليمية التي يديرها الشركاء الطبيعيون جغرافياً، بتدويل بحر الصين وأزماته. وهذا يستدعي تصعيد الأزمات بين الجيران ورفع منسوب التوتر وصولاً لتبرير التدويل العسكري لهذه الأزمات. ومشكلة بورما التي تزعج الصين، ليس لأنها هي الطرف المعني باضطهاد المسلمين هناك، بل لأنها تدرك أنّ الإثارة الأميركية للقضية نابعة من مسعى للتدويل وزرع قوات أجنبية على حدود الصين، تندرج في إطار الصراع الصيني الأميركي بين الأقلمة والتدويل، ومثلها القضية الكورية، ومثلهما الجزر الصناعية الصينية في بحر الصين، ليصير نشر المنظومات الصاروخية الأميركية التي تهدّد الأمن الصيني، كمنظومة ثاد الحديثة، مبرّراً ويملك غطاء تصنعه مخاوف وهواجس دول يشتغل الأميركيون على جعلها تحت تهديد الصين وحلفائها، لتطلب الحماية الأميركية، تماماً كما هو حال التعامل الأميركي في الخليج بقوة إنتاج الذعر من إيران.

– الصين شريك العرب والمسلمين وسائر شعوب المنطقة في مواجهة مشاريع الهمينة الأميركية، وقائدة العالم الصاعدة اقتصادياً، وفي آسيا التي تشكل ثلثي العالم سكاناً ومساحة تشكل الصين ثلث سكانها، وتشكل روسيا ثلث مساحتها، ومثلما أنتج التفاهم مع روسيا معادلة بدأت تغيّر العالم، فإنّ اكتمال ولادة نظام عالمي جديد ينتظر تبلور مستقبل التوازنات في بحر الصين، وما يجب أن يهتمّ به المعنيون بقضايا الحرية والاستقلال في بلادنا، هو أن لا يتخذوا أحد الموقفين المتطرفين من قضية مسلمي بورما، فيصبّون الماء في الطاحونة الأميركية، إما بتجاهل القضية وإنكار وجودها، واعتبارها مجرد فبركة أميركية، أو حركة داعشية، كما يتحدّث البعض ظناً منهم أنهم يخدمون الصين بتكرار ما تقوله وسائل إعلامها، أو بالمشاركة في إثارة صاخبة للقضية ينجح الأميركي بتوظيفها لتدويل أمنها والتموضع بذريعتها على حدود الصين، إن إيران تبدو المعني الأول بحوار مع الصين يخرج بتفاهم على الدعوة لحلّ إقليمي ترعاه دول الجوار لبورما، وهي الصين والهند وبنغلادش وتايلاند، يضمن أمنها ومن ضمنه أمن المسلمين فيها، ويقطع الطريق على اللعبة الأميركية الخبيثة بذريعتها.

– تبقى صواريخ كوريا الشمالية رادع لا غنى عنه، حتى يستسلم الأميركيون لخيار التفاوض لحلّ سياسي، ويفهم اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية أنّ الحلّ يكون إقليمياً أو لا يكون.

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Washington is Leading the U.S. and its Vassal States to Total Destruction

By Paul Craig Roberts

“The problem is that the world has listened to Americans for far too bloody long.”  — Dr. Julian Osborne, from the 2000 film version of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, On the Beach

May 06, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – A reader asked why neoconservatives push toward nuclear war when there can be no winners. If all die, what is the point?

The answer is that the neoconservatives believe that the US can win at minimum and perhaps zero damage.

Their insane plan is as follows: Washington will ring Russia and China with anti-ballistic missile bases in order to provide a shield against a retaliatory strike from Russia and China. Moreover, these US anti-ABM bases also can deploy nuclear attack missiles unknown to Russia and China, thus reducing the warning time to five minutes, leaving Washington’s victims little or no time in which to make a decision.

The neoconservatives think that Washington’s first strike will so badly damage the Russian and Chinese retaliatory capabilities that both governments will surrender rather than launch a response. The Russian and Chinese leaderships would conclude that their diminished forces leave little chance that many of their ICBMs will be able to get past Washington’s ABM shield, leaving the US largely intact. A feeble retaliation by Russia and China would simply invite a second wave US nuclear attack that would obliterate Russian and Chinese cities, killing millions and leaving both countries in ruins.

In short, the American warmongers are betting that the Russian and Chinese leaderships would submit rather than risk total destruction.

There is no question that neoconservatives are sufficiently evil to launch a preemptive nuclear attack, but possibly the plan aims to put Russia and China into a situation in which their leaders conclude that the deck is stacked against them and, therefore, they must accept Washington’s hegemony.

To feel secure in its hegemony, Washington would have to order Russia and China to disarm.

This plan is full of risks. Miscalculations are a feature of war. It is reckless and irresponsible to risk the life of the planet for nothing more than Washington’s hegemony.

The neoconservative plan puts Europe, the UK, Japan, S. Korea, and Australia at high risk were Russia and China to retaliate. Washington’s ABM shield cannot protect Europe from Russia’s nuclear cruise missiles or from the Russian Air Force, so Europe would cease to exist. China’s response would hit Japan, S. Korea, and Australia.

The Russian hope and that of all sane people is that Washington’s vassals will understand that it is they that are at risk, a risk from which they have nothing to gain and everything to lose, repudiate their vassalage to Washington and remove the US bases. It must be clear to European politicians that they are being dragged into conflict with Russia. This week the NATO commander told the US Congress that he needed funding for a larger military presence in Europe in order to counter “a resurgent Russia.” https://www.rt.com/news/387063-nato-counter-resurgent-russia/

Let us examine what is meant by “a resurgent Russia.” It means a Russia that is strong and confident enough to defend its interests and those of its allies. In other words, Russia was able to block Obama’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran and to enable the Syrian armed forces to defeat the ISIS force sent by Obama and Hillary to overthrow Assad.

Russia is “resurgent” because Russia is able to block US unilateral actions against some other countries.

This capability flies in the face of the neoconservative Wolfowitz doctrine, which says that the principal goal of US foreign policy is to prevent the rise of any country that can serve as a check on Washington’s unilateral action.

While the neocons were absorbed in their “cakewalk” wars that have now lasted 16 years, Russia and China emerged as checks on the unilateralism that Washington had enjoyed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. What Washington is trying to do is to recapture its ability to act worldwide without any constraint from any other country. This requires Russia and China to stand down.

Are Russia and China going to stand down? It is possible, but I would not bet the life of the planet on it. Both governments have a moral conscience that is totally missing in Washington. Neither government is intimidated by the Western propaganda. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said yesterday that we hear endless hysterical charges against Russia, but the charges are always vacant of any evidence.https://sputniknews.com/politics/201705041053274379-lavrov-russia-us-relations/

Conceivably, Russia and China could sacrifice their sovereignty for the sake of life on earth. But this same moral conscience will propel them to oppose the evil that is Washington in order not to succumb to evil themselves. Therefore, I think that the evil that rules in Washington is leading the United States and its vassal states to total destruction.

Having convinced the Russian and Chinese leaderships that Washington intends to nuke their countries in a surprise attack (see, for example, http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/04/us-forces-preparing-sudden-nuclear.html ), the question is how do Russia and China respond? Do they sit there and await an attack, or do they preempt Washington’s attack with an attack of their own?

What would you do? Would you preserve your life by submitting to evil, or would you destroy the evil?

Writing truthfully results in my name being put on lists (financed by who?) as a “Russian dupe/agent.” Actually, I am an agent of all people who disapprove of Washington’s willingness to use nuclear war in order to establish Washington’s hegemony over the world, but let us understand what it means to be a “Russian agent.”

It means to respect international law, which Washington does not. It means to respect life, which Washington does not. It means to respect the national interests of other countries, which Washington does not. It means to respond to provocations with diplomacy and requests for cooperation, which Washington does not. But Russia does. Clearly, a “Russian agent” is a moral person who wants to preserve life and the national identity and dignity of other peoples.

It is Washington that wants to snuff out human morality and become the master of the planet. As I have previously written, Washington without any question is Sauron. The only important question is whether there is sufficient good left in the world to resist and overcome Washington’s evil.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

See also

500K People Sign Petition Barring Trump’s Nuclear Weapons Use: According to the bill, the President will be prohibited from using the Armed Forces to conduct a “first-use nuclear strike” until a congressional declaration of war expressly authorized such a strike.

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Interview: North Korea teaches that ‘a small, blocked country may resist’ US domination

Source

A Brazilian who has recently been in Pyongyang points out that the DPRK poses no threat to the world, only fighting for its sovereignty in the face of the American “urges for domination”

Eduardo Vasco, Pravda.Ru

In recent weeks tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a frightening level, where analysts and news reports havepredicted nuclear war at any moment.

Meanwhile, after the military parade on April 15, as part of the celebrations for the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the country, North Korea tested new intercontinental missiles, even under threat of a US attack. The test, instead of leading to American intervention, has prompted President Donald Trump to withdraw from his warmonger speech against Pyongyang.

North Koreans, however, remain on the alert in the same way they have been for more than 60 years, since the US has been keeping troops stationed in South Korea and Japan since the end of World War II.

Gabriel Gonçalves Martinez was on April 15 in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea. He was invited by the North Korean government, representing the Communist Reconstruction Union (URC) and the Center for Juche Idea Studies – Brazil.

What did you think of the commemorations of the 105th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth on April 15?

The celebrations were impressive. On the 15th we had the opportunity to watch the military parade held in Pyongyang. At the time, we were able to see with our own eyes the power of the Korean People’s Army. After the military parade, in the streets it was possible to see the people in a festive mood. In all corners of the city there were cultural and artistic groups performing presentations, young pioneers singing. In short, a situation totally different from what was being presented by the media in the West.

What is the mood between the authorities and the North Korean people in the midst of this renewed escalation of tension with the United States?

The North Koreans harbor no illusions about US imperialism. They know that much of Trump’s aggressive rhetoric is also linked to his attempt to gain some legitimacy among the sectors that really govern the United States, namely the industrial-military complex. Anyway, the official policy of the DPRK is to develop what they call “prosperous socialist power” and the possession of nuclear weapons is not something that is open for negotiation. The possession of nuclear weapons by the DPRK is already a fact, whether or not the United States likes it.

Do North Koreans hate the US and are they really aggressive and dangerous, as the media say?

North Koreans hate American imperialism. They had a traumatizing experience during the 50’s that was the Korean War. They suffered in their own skin the destruction promoted by the United States, so they have every reason in the world to be angry with the United States. Now, this does not mean that this hatred of US imperialism translates into an automatic hatred of the American people. The media in the capitalist countries demonize the DPRK, but it is clear that the country poses no threat to the world. They pose a threat to the imperialists and their longing for domination, for they teach that even a small, blocked country can resist.

From what you saw in the military parade, has the DPRK the ability to face the US should there be a war? It seems that Donald Trump has stepped back and toned down the threats …

Yes, they have full capacity to face the US. The United States needs to take into consideration that the DPRK is not Libya or Iraq. It is a country that has nuclear arsenal and a powerful army. A war with the DPRK would not be so simple.

What is the importance of Kim Il Sung, the 105th anniversary celebration, for North Korean history?

Kim Il Sung was the main figure in the Korean people’s liberation struggle against Japanese imperialism and the main organizer of the communist movement in Korea. As a young man he founded several important communist organizations, such as the Union to Defeat Imperialism, the Communist Youth Union, the Anti-Imperialist Youth Union; In the aftermath of the anti-Japanese war, he founded the Communist Party of North Korea, which later gave rise to the Korean Labor Party. He was also the main founder of the Korean People’s Army, which is the Army of the Labor Party. Kim Il Sung was at the forefront of the socialist construction process in the DPRK until the end of his life in 1994.

To finish. This was not the first time you were in the DPRK. What did you see in your visits to the country? Did you see differences from what is broadcast by the media? Has anything changed since your previous visit?

This was my fourth time in the DPRK.

The first was in 2011 to attend the celebrations of the 99th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung. The reality of the country is totally different from what is shown by the mainstream media. Contrary to what many may think, the DPRK is not a bankrupt country, miserable, about to collapse. Pyongyang, for example, can easily be considered one of the most beautiful cities in Asia, full of parks, museums, monuments, etc. Since when I first visited the country, one can see in Pyongyang a rapid economic development. In recent years the government is inaugurating various infrastructure works, new buildings with popular housing, avenues. Recently Mirae Avenue was built, which is a street with huge buildings, where the apartments are dedicated to the scientists who made outstanding contributions to the socialist construction process in Korea. In this residential avenue you can find several restaurants, shops, popular markets, cinema, bars, etc. A few days ago Ryomyong Avenue opened, also with gigantic buildings and modern apartments. Also on Ryomyong Avenue you can find all the infrastructure we see on Mirae Avenue, with the difference that this new avenue is even more modern. In Pyongyang, in all corners of the city, it is possible to see new works being built, buildings being renovated. This demonstrates a certain economic development.

 


North Korean missiles rattled Japan and South Korea

An American Century of Carnage

Global Research, March 31, 2017
TomDispatch.com 28 March 2017

[This essay is adapted from “Measuring Violence,” the first chapter of John Dower’s new book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two.]

On February 17, 1941, almost 10 months before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Life magazine carried a lengthy essay by its publisher, Henry Luce, entitled “The American Century.” The son of Presbyterian missionaries, born in China in 1898 and raised there until the age of 15, Luce essentially transposed the certainty of religious dogma into the certainty of a nationalistic mission couched in the name of internationalism.

Luce acknowledged that the United States could not police the whole world or attempt to impose democratic institutions on all of mankind. Nonetheless, “the world of the 20th Century,” he wrote,

“if it is to come to life in any nobility of health and vigor, must be to a significant degree an American Century.” The essay called on all Americans “to accept wholeheartedly our duty and our opportunity as the most powerful and vital nation in the world and in consequence to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such measures as we see fit.”

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the United States wholeheartedly onto the international stage Luce believed it was destined to dominate, and the ringing title of his cri de coeur became a staple of patriotic Cold War and post-Cold War rhetoric. Central to this appeal was the affirmation of a virtuous calling. Luce’s essay singled out almost every professed ideal that would become a staple of wartime and Cold War propaganda: freedom, democracy, equality of opportunity, self-reliance and independence, cooperation, justice, charity — all coupled with a vision of economic abundance inspired by “our magnificent industrial products, our technical skills.” In present-day patriotic incantations, this is referred to as “American exceptionalism.”

The other, harder side of America’s manifest destiny was, of course, muscularity. Power. Possessing absolute and never-ending superiority in developing and deploying the world’s most advanced and destructive arsenal of war. Luce did not dwell on this dimension of “internationalism” in his famous essay, but once the world war had been entered and won, he became its fervent apostle — an outspoken advocate of “liberating” China from its new communist rulers, taking over from the beleaguered French colonial military in Vietnam, turning both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts from “limited wars” into opportunities for a wider virtuous war against and in China, and pursuing the rollback of the Iron Curtain with “tactical atomic weapons.” As Luce’s incisive biographer Alan Brinkley documents, at one point Luce even mulled the possibility of “plastering Russia with 500 (or 1,000) A bombs” — a terrifying scenario, but one that the keepers of the U.S. nuclear arsenal actually mapped out in expansive and appalling detail in the 1950s and 1960s, before Luce’s death in 1967.

The “American Century” catchphrase is hyperbole, the slogan never more than a myth, a fantasy, a delusion. Military victory in any traditional sense was largely a chimera after World War II. The so-called Pax Americana itself was riddled with conflict and oppression and egregious betrayals of the professed catechism of American values. At the same time, postwar U.S. hegemony obviously never extended to more than a portion of the globe. Much that took place in the world, including disorder and mayhem, was beyond America’s control.

Yet, not unreasonably, Luce’s catchphrase persists. The twenty-first-century world may be chaotic, with violence erupting from innumerable sources and causes, but the United States does remain the planet’s “sole superpower.” The myth of exceptionalism still holds most Americans in its thrall. U.S. hegemony, however frayed at the edges, continues to be taken for granted in ruling circles, and not only in Washington. And Pentagon planners still emphatically define their mission as “full-spectrum dominance” globally.

Washington’s commitment to modernizing its nuclear arsenal rather than focusing on achieving the thoroughgoing abolition of nuclear weapons has proven unshakable. So has the country’s almost religious devotion to leading the way in developing and deploying ever more “smart” and sophisticated conventional weapons of mass destruction.

Welcome to Henry Luce’s — and America’s — violent century, even if thus far it’s lasted only 75 years. The question is just what to make of it these days.

Counting the Dead

We live in times of bewildering violence. In 2013, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate committee that the world is “more dangerous than it has ever been.” Statisticians, however, tell a different story: that war and lethal conflict have declined steadily, significantly, even precipitously since World War II.

Much mainstream scholarship now endorses the declinists. In his influential 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker adopted the labels “the Long Peace” for the four-plus decades of the Cold War (1945-1991), and “the New Peace” for the post-Cold War years to the present. In that book, as well as in post-publication articles, postings, and interviews, he has taken the doomsayers to task. The statistics suggest, he declares, that “today we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’s existence.”

Clearly, the number and deadliness of global conflicts have indeed declined since World War II. This so-called postwar peace was, and still is, however, saturated in blood and wracked with suffering.

It is reasonable to argue that total war-related fatalities during the Cold War decades were lower than in the six years of World War II (1939–1945) and certainly far less than the toll for the twentieth century’s two world wars combined. It is also undeniable that overall death tolls have declined further since then. The five most devastating intrastate or interstate conflicts of the postwar decades — in China, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and between Iran and Iraq — took place during the Cold War. So did a majority of the most deadly politicides, or political mass killings, and genocides: in the Soviet Union, China (again), Yugoslavia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan/Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, and Cambodia, among other countries. The end of the Cold War certainly did not signal the end of such atrocities (as witness Rwanda, the Congo, and the implosion of Syria). As with major wars, however, the trajectory has been downward.

Unsurprisingly, the declinist argument celebrates the Cold War as less violent than the global conflicts that preceded it, and the decades that followed as statistically less violent than the Cold War. But what motivates the sanitizing of these years, now amounting to three-quarters of a century, with the label “peace”? The answer lies largely in a fixation on major powers. The great Cold War antagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union, bristling with their nuclear arsenals, never came to blows. Indeed, wars between major powers or developed states have become (in Pinker’s words) “all but obsolete.” There has been no World War III, nor is there likely to be.

Such upbeat quantification invites complacent forms of self-congratulation. (How comparatively virtuous we mortals have become!) In the United States, where we-won-the-Cold-War sentiment still runs strong, the relative decline in global violence after 1945 is commonly attributed to the wisdom, virtue, and firepower of U.S. “peacekeeping.” In hawkish circles, nuclear deterrence — the Cold War’s MAD (mutually assured destruction) doctrine that was described early on as a “delicate balance of terror” — is still canonized as an enlightened policy that prevented catastrophic global conflict.

What Doesn’t Get Counted

Branding the long postwar era as an epoch of relative peace is disingenuous, and not just because it deflects attention from the significant death and agony that actually did occur and still does. It also obscures the degree to which the United States bears responsibility for contributing to, rather than impeding, militarization and mayhem after 1945. Ceaseless U.S.-led transformations of the instruments of mass destruction — and the provocative global impact of this technological obsession — are by and large ignored.

Continuities in American-style “warfighting” (a popular Pentagon word) such as heavy reliance on airpower and other forms of brute force are downplayed. So is U.S. support for repressive foreign regimes, as well as the destabilizing impact of many of the nation’s overt and covert overseas interventions. The more subtle and insidious dimension of postwar U.S. militarization — namely, the violence done to civil society by funneling resources into a gargantuan, intrusive, and ever-expanding national security state — goes largely unaddressed in arguments fixated on numerical declines in violence since World War II.

Beyond this, trying to quantify war, conflict, and devastation poses daunting methodological challenges. Data advanced in support of the decline-of-violence argument is dense and often compelling, and derives from a range of respectable sources. Still, it must be kept in mind that the precise quantification of death and violence is almost always impossible. When a source offers fairly exact estimates of something like “war-related excess deaths,” you usually are dealing with investigators deficient in humility and imagination.

Take, for example, World War II, about which countless tens of thousands of studies have been written. Estimates of total “war-related” deaths from that global conflict range from roughly 50 million to more than 80 million. One explanation for such variation is the sheer chaos of armed violence. Another is what the counters choose to count and how they count it. Battle deaths of uniformed combatants are easiest to determine, especially on the winning side. Military bureaucrats can be relied upon to keep careful records of their own killed-in-action — but not, of course, of the enemy they kill. War-related civilian fatalities are even more difficult to assess, although — as in World War II — they commonly are far greater than deaths in combat.

Does the data source go beyond so-called battle-related collateral damage to include deaths caused by war-related famine and disease? Does it take into account deaths that may have occurred long after the conflict itself was over (as from radiation poisoning after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or from the U.S. use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War)? The difficulty of assessing the toll of civil, tribal, ethnic, and religious conflicts with any exactitude is obvious.

Concentrating on fatalities and their averred downward trajectory also draws attention away from broader humanitarian catastrophes. In mid-2015, for instance, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of individuals “forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations” had surpassed 60 million and was the highest level recorded since World War II and its immediate aftermath. Roughly two-thirds of these men, women, and children were displaced inside their own countries. The remainder were refugees, and over half of these refugees were children.

Here, then, is a trend line intimately connected to global violence that is not heading downward. In 1996, the U.N.’s estimate was that there were 37.3 million forcibly displaced individuals on the planet. Twenty years later, as 2015 ended, this had risen to 65.3 million — a 75% increase over the last two post-Cold War decades that the declinist literature refers to as the “new peace.”

Other disasters inflicted on civilians are less visible than uprooted populations. Harsh conflict-related economic sanctions, which often cripple hygiene and health-care systems and may precipitate a sharp spike in infant mortality, usually do not find a place in itemizations of military violence. U.S.-led U.N. sanctions imposed against Iraq for 13 years beginning in 1990 in conjunction with the first Gulf War are a stark example of this. An account published in the New York Times Magazine in July 2003 accepted the fact that “at least several hundred thousand children who could reasonably have been expected to live died before their fifth birthday.” And after all-out wars, who counts the maimed, or the orphans and widows, or those the Japanese in the wake of World War II referred to as the “elderly orphaned” — parents bereft of their children?

Figures and tables, moreover, can only hint at the psychological and social violence suffered by combatants and noncombatants alike. It has been suggested, for instance, that one in six people in areas afflicted by war may suffer from mental disorder (as opposed to one in ten in normal times). Even where American military personnel are concerned, trauma did not become a serious focus of concern until 1980, seven years after the U.S. retreat from Vietnam, when post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was officially recognized as a mental-health issue.

In 2008, a massive sampling study of 1.64 million U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between October 2001 and October 2007 estimated “that approximately 300,000 individuals currently suffer from PTSD or major depression and that 320,000 individuals experienced a probable TBI [traumatic brain injury] during deployment.” As these wars dragged on, the numbers naturally increased. To extend the ramifications of such data to wider circles of family and community — or, indeed, to populations traumatized by violence worldwide — defies statistical enumeration.

Terror Counts and Terror Fears

Largely unmeasurable, too, is violence in a different register: the damage that war, conflict, militarization, and plain existential fear inflict upon civil society and democratic practice. This is true everywhere but has been especially conspicuous in the United States since Washington launched its “global war on terror” in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here, numbers are perversely provocative, for the lives claimed in twenty-first-century terrorist incidents can be interpreted as confirming the decline-in-violence argument. From 2000 through 2014, according to the widely cited Global Terrorism Index, “more than 61,000 incidents of terrorism claiming over 140,000 lives have been recorded.” Including September 11th, countries in the West experienced less than 5% of these incidents and 3% of the deaths. The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, another minutely documented tabulation based on combing global media reports in many languages, puts the number of suicide bombings from 2000 through 2015 at 4,787 attacks in more than 40 countries, resulting in 47,274 deaths.

These atrocities are incontestably horrendous and alarming. Grim as they are, however, the numbers themselves are comparatively low when set against earlier conflicts. For specialists in World War II, the “140,000 lives” estimate carries an almost eerie resonance, since this is the rough figure usually accepted for the death toll from a single act of terror bombing, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The tally is also low compared to contemporary deaths from other causes. Globally, for example, more than 400,000 people are murdered annually. In the United States, the danger of being killed by falling objects or lightning is at least as great as the threat from Islamist militants.

This leaves us with a perplexing question: If the overall incidence of violence, including twenty-first-century terrorism, is relatively low compared to earlier global threats and conflicts, why has the United States responded by becoming an increasingly militarized, secretive, unaccountable, and intrusive “national security state”? Is it really possible that a patchwork of non-state adversaries that do not possess massive firepower or follow traditional rules of engagement has, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared in 2013, made the world more threatening than ever?

For those who do not believe this to be the case, possible explanations for the accelerating militarization of the United States come from many directions. Paranoia may be part of the American DNA — or, indeed, hardwired into the human species. Or perhaps the anticommunist hysteria of the Cold War simply metastasized into a post-9/11 pathological fear of terrorism. Machiavellian fear-mongering certainly enters the picture, led by conservative and neoconservative civilian and military officials of the national security state, along with opportunistic politicians and war profiteers of the usual sort. Cultural critics predictably point an accusing finger as well at the mass media’s addiction to sensationalism and catastrophe, now intensified by the proliferation of digital social media.

To all this must be added the peculiar psychological burden of being a “superpower” and, from the 1990s on, the planet’s “sole superpower” — a situation in which “credibility” is measured mainly in terms of massive cutting-edge military might. It might be argued that this mindset helped “contain Communism” during the Cold War and provides a sense of security to U.S. allies. What it has not done is ensure victory in actual war, although not for want of trying. With some exceptions (Grenada, Panama, the brief 1991 Gulf War, and the Balkans), the U.S. military has not tasted victory since World War II — Korea, Vietnam, and recent and current conflicts in the Greater Middle East being boldface examples of this failure. This, however, has had no impact on the hubris attached to superpower status. Brute force remains the ultimate measure of credibility.

The traditional American way of war has tended to emphasize the “three Ds” (defeat, destroy, devastate). Since 1996, the Pentagon’s proclaimed mission is to maintain “full-spectrum dominance” in every domain (land, sea, air, space, and information) and, in practice, in every accessible part of the world. The Air Force Global Strike Command, activated in 2009 and responsible for managing two-thirds of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, typically publicizes its readiness for “Global Strike… Any Target, Any Time.”

In 2015, the Department of Defense acknowledged maintaining 4,855 physical “sites” — meaning bases ranging in size from huge contained communities to tiny installations — of which 587 were located overseas in 42 foreign countries. An unofficial investigation that includes small and sometimes impermanent facilities puts the number at around 800 in 80 countries. Over the course of 2015, to cite yet another example of the overwhelming nature of America’s global presence, elite U.S. special operations forces were deployed to around 150 countries, and Washington provided assistance in arming and training security forces in an even larger number of nations.

America’s overseas bases reflect, in part, an enduring inheritance from World War II and the Korean War. The majority of these sites are located in Germany (181), Japan (122), and South Korea (83) and were retained after their original mission of containing communism disappeared with the end of the Cold War. Deployment of elite special operations forces is also a Cold War legacy (exemplified most famously by the Army’s “Green Berets” in Vietnam) that expanded after the demise of the Soviet Union. Dispatching covert missions to three-quarters of the world’s nations, however, is largely a product of the war on terror.

Many of these present-day undertakings require maintaining overseas “lily pad” facilities that are small, temporary, and unpublicized. And many, moreover, are integrated with covert CIA “black operations.” Combating terror involves practicing terror — including, since 2002, an expanding campaign of targeted assassinations by unmanned drones. For the moment, this latest mode of killing remains dominated by the CIA and the U.S. military (with the United Kingdom and Israel following some distance behind).

Counting Nukes

The “delicate balance of terror” that characterized nuclear strategy during the Cold War has not disappeared. Rather, it has been reconfigured. The U.S. and Soviet arsenals that reached a peak of insanity in the 1980s have been reduced by about two-thirds — a praiseworthy accomplishment but one that still leaves the world with around 15,400 nuclear weapons as of January 2016, 93% of them in U.S. and Russian hands. Close to two thousand of the latter on each side are still actively deployed on missiles or at bases with operational forces.

This downsizing, in other words, has not removed the wherewithal to destroy the Earth as we know it many times over. Such destruction could come about indirectly as well as directly, with even a relatively “modest” nuclear exchange between, say, India and Pakistan triggering a cataclysmic climate shift — a “nuclear winter” — that could result in massive global starvation and death. Nor does the fact that seven additional nations now possess nuclear weapons (and more than 40 others are deemed “nuclear weapons capable”) mean that “deterrence” has been enhanced. The future use of nuclear weapons, whether by deliberate decision or by accident, remains an ominous possibility. That threat is intensified by the possibility that nonstate terrorists may somehow obtain and use nuclear devices.

What is striking at this moment in history is that paranoia couched as strategic realism continues to guide U.S. nuclear policy and, following America’s lead, that of the other nuclear powers. As announced by the Obama administration in 2014, the potential for nuclear violence is to be “modernized.” In concrete terms, this translates as a 30-year project that will cost the United States an estimated $1 trillion (not including the usual future cost overruns for producing such weapons), perfect a new arsenal of “smart” and smaller nuclear weapons, and extensively refurbish the existing delivery “triad” of long-range manned bombers, nuclear-armed submarines, and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

Nuclear modernization, of course, is but a small portion of the full spectrum of American might — a military machine so massive that it inspired President Obama to speak with unusual emphasis in his State of the Union address in January 2016.

“The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth,” he declared. “Period. Period. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.”

Official budgetary expenditures and projections provide a snapshot of this enormous military machine, but here again numbers can be misleading. Thus, the “base budget” for defense announced in early 2016 for fiscal year 2017 amounts to roughly $600 billion, but this falls far short of what the actual outlay will be. When all other discretionary military- and defense-related costs are taken into account — nuclear maintenance and modernization, the “war budget” that pays for so-called overseas contingency operations like military engagements in the Greater Middle East, “black budgets” that fund intelligence operations by agencies including the CIA and the National Security Agency, appropriations for secret high-tech military activities, “veterans affairs” costs (including disability payments), military aid to other countries, huge interest costs on the military-related part of the national debt, and so on — the actual total annual expenditure is close to $1 trillion.

Such stratospheric numbers defy easy comprehension, but one does not need training in statistics to bring them closer to home. Simple arithmetic suffices. The projected bill for just the 30-year nuclear modernization agenda comes to over $90 million a day, or almost $4 million an hour. The $1 trillion price tag for maintaining the nation’s status as “the most powerful nation on Earth” for a single year amounts to roughly $2.74 billion a day, over $114 million an hour.

Creating a capacity for violence greater than the world has ever seen is costly — and remunerative.
So an era of a “new peace”? Think again. We’re only three quarters of the way through America’s violent century and there’s more to come.

John W. Dower is professor emeritus of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning War Without Mercy and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat. His new book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two (Dispatch Books), has just been published. This essay is adapted from chapter one of that densely annotated book. (Sources for the information above appear in the footnotes in that book.)

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