The Saker interviews Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi

August 21, 2019

[this interview was made for the Unz Review]

The Saker interviews Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi

Introduction: 

First, several friends recently suggested that that I should interview Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi; then I read this most interesting text on Moon of Alabama and I decided to ask Professor Marandi to share his views of the current situation in Iran, the Persian Gulf the rest of the Middle-East who very kindly agreed to reply to my question in spite of his most hectic and busy schedule. I am most grateful to Prof. Marandi for his time and replies. Crucially, Prof. Marandi debunks the silly notion that Russia and Israel are allies or working together. He also debunks that other canard about Russia and Iran having some major differences over Syria.

Prof. Marandi, who is currently in Iran, is superbly connected and informed, and I hope that with this interview some of the more outlandish rumors which were recently circulated will finally be seen for what they are: utter, total, nonsense. Enjoy the interview!

The Saker

——-

The Saker: It is often said that there is an “axis of resistance” which comprises Syrian, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia and China. Sometimes, Venezuela, Cuba or the DPRK are added to this list. Do you believe that there is such an “axis of resistance” and, if yes, how would you characterize the nature of this informal alliance? Do you think that this informal alliance can ever grow into a formal political or military alliance or a collective security treaty?

Professor Marandi: I definitely believe there is an Axis of Resistance that currently includes Iran, Syria, Iraq, Gaza Lebanon, parts of Afghanistan, and Yemen. I do not think that we can include the DPRK in any way or form. I believe that Russia could be considered to a certain degree as aligned or affiliated to this resistance, but that this is not something many would feel the need to acknowledge. At certain levels, there is a lot of overlap between Russian and Chinese policy and the policies of the countries and movements in this region that are affiliated to this Axis of Resistance. The same is true with countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba, which I do not consider to be similar to North Korea at all. Just as almost everywhere else, American policy in the Korean Peninsula is ugly, hegemonic and malevolence, but the nature of the DPRK government is fundamentally different from that of Venezuela or Cuba, whether the Americans or Europeans like to acknowledge that or not. Others can interpret the Axis of Resistance to include or exclude certain countries, but it is pretty clear that Iran and Russia have similar policy objectives when it comes to certain key issues. Nevertheless, Russia has a close relationship with the Israeli regime whereas Iran considers it to be an apartheid state, almost identical to that of apartheid South Africa. Or for example the Syrian government position regarding Israel is different from that of Iran’s. The official Syrian position is that the West Bank and Gaza Strip must be returned to the Palestinians, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, and that the occupied Golan Heights have to be handed back to the Syrian people, which are legitimate demands. But the Iranian position is different, Iran firmly believes that Israel is a colonial and apartheid regime and that it is morally unacceptable for it to exist in its present form. Therefore, at least officially, there are substantial differences. So people can interpret the Axis of Resistance in different ways.

It is important to keep in mind that despite Syria, Iran, Turkey and Qatar are also moving closer together partially thanks to US, Saudi, and UAE hostility towards the Muslim Brotherhood. What is important is that there is a growing consensus about key issues in this region and what the major problems are, and I think that as time goes on this loose alliance of countries and movements is growing more influential and more powerful. I cannot say whether there will be a formal or open collective security treaty or military alliance created by any of these countries in the near or foreseeable future and I do not see such a necessity. However, I think this convergence of ideas is very important and I think that the formal and informal links that exist between these countries is in many ways more important and more significant than formal political or military alliances or security treaties.

The Saker: In recent months a number of observers have stated that Russia and Israel are working hand in hand and some have gone as far as to say that Putin is basically a pawn of Netanyahu and that Russia is loyal to Israel and Zionists interests. Do you agree with this point of view? How do Iranian officials view the Russian contacts with the Israelis, does that worry them or do they believe that these contacts can be beneficial for the future of the region?

Professor Marandi: That is nonsense. The US and Israeli regimes are culturally and ideologically bound to one another, whereas the Americans have a deep antipathy towards Russia. That is why the Russians have a very different position on Syria than do the Americans and Israelis.

The Israelis alongside the US, the EU, the Saudis, and some of Syria’s neighboring countries, supported ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other extremist entities and attempted to tear Syria apart.

As explained earlier, the Russian view of Israel is different from Iran. There are many Russian Jewish immigrants in Israel and they constitute a large segment of the colonists in Palestine and they are largely utilized for the further subjugation of the Palestinian people and ethnic cleansing. Generally speaking, Russian interests are in sharp conflict with those of the United States, Israel’s strongest ally. In addition, Russia’s close relationship with Syria dates back to the cold war and the relentless US pressure on China and Russia has also acted as a strong catalyst to quicken their convergence with one another as well as with Iran on key issues. The Chinese and Russians know quite well that the United States, the Europeans, and regional countries have extensively used extremists in Syria to undermine the state and that those forces could later be used to undermine security in Central Asia, Russia, and China. A large number of Russian, Chinese, and Central Asians have been trained to fight in Syria, and this is a major threat to their collective security. The United States could use these and other extremists in an attempt to impede the potential success of the Belt and Road Initiative or other plans for Asian integration. Thus, there is a sharp and growing conflict between the Russians and the Americans.

The Israeli regime constantly tells the Russians and the Chinese that they are the gateway to Washington and that if they maintain strong ties with Israel, the Israelis can help them solve their problems with the United States. I do not think there is much truth to that, because this growing conflict is about the fate of US global dominance and there is nothing the Israelis can do to change that. Nevertheless, this has been used as an incentive for the Russians and the Chinese to maintain better relations with the Israeli regime.

In any case, Russia does not have to maintain identical views with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Iraq, or Yemen. Differences exist, but strong relationships exist nevertheless. All of these countries recognize that if the Americans are able to undermine any of them, whether it is Syria, Iran, Russia, or China, then that would only encourage the United States to be more aggressive towards the remaining countries that impede US foreign policy objectives or exist as potential rivals whether regionally or globally. So even though their political structures are different, even though their foreign policies are different, the similarities that exist are quite striking as well as the common threats. Again, to a large degree this coalition is a result of US and Western foreign policy, which has strong undercurrents of Eurocentricism, tribalism, and racism.

Not only has this pressure brought these countries and movements closer to one another, but it has also created a deeper understanding among them. The Russians understand Iran better today than they did 5 years ago, partially as a result of their cooperation in Syria. This greater understanding enhances the relationship, and helps to dispel many of the misunderstandings or myths that may exist about one another due to Eurocentric narratives and orientalism.

Hence, Iran is not concerned about Russian-Israeli relation. Obviously, in an ideal world Iran would like Russia to break relations with the Israeli regime for its apartheid nature. But reality is reality, and Iranian relations with Russia are very good and at times I am sure the Iranians send certain warnings to the Israelis through the Russians.

The Saker: How is Russia viewed in Iran? Are most Iranian still suspicious of Russia or do they believe that they have a viable and honest partner in Russia? What are the main reservations/concerns of patriotic Iranians when they think of Russia?

Professor Marandi: Historically, the Iranians have had serious problems with the Russians. The Russians and the Soviet Union interfered extensively in Iranian internal affairs and they undermined Iran’s sovereignty. But ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union the image of Russia has changed. Especially since Russia began fighting alongside Iran in Syria in 2015, Russia’s image has improved significantly. When we look at polls, Russia’s image is pretty good compared to Western countries.

Western governments own or fund dozens of Persian language media outlets These outlets, such as VOA and BBC Persian among others, are constantly spouting anti-Russian propaganda. Obviously they have an impact and that couples with historical Iranian concerns about Russia, but despite all that, the Russian image is relatively favorable and that says a lot.

The Saker: How about Turkey? Iran and Turkey have had a complex relationship in the past, yet in the case of the AngloZionist war against Syria, the two states have worked together (and with Russia) – does that mean that Turkey is seen as a viable and honest partner in Iran?

Professor Marandi: Iran’s relationship with the Turkish government is complicated, especially, because of the constant policy changes that have occurred IN TURKEY over the past few years. This has made the government seem unreliable in the eyes of many. Having said that, Turkey is very different from Wahhabi influenced regimes in the Arabian Peninsula. Turkish Islamic tradition has striking similarities with Iran’s Islamic culture and because of its strong Sufi tradition, Turkey is much closer to Iran than it is to, for example,Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.

The global Wahhabi menace has grown as a result of Saudi financial support, as well as the support of other countries in the Persian Gulf region. Turkish society has been more resistant, although ever since the military conflict in Syria and due to extensive funding from the Persian Gulf, there has been growing concern about growing sectarianism in Turkey, not unlike what happened in Pakistan in the 1980s.

Ironically, before the conflict in Syria President Erdogan had a closer personal relationship with President Assad than did the Iranians. They and their families would spend vacations together.

In any case, Turkey has a very strong economic, political, and cultural relationship with Iran, and some of the rising anti-Shia and takfiri sentiments that have been on the rise in Turkey were stunted by the Saudi and Emirati support for the attempted coup in Turkey. Subsequently, their open antagonism towards the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar, their support for the coup in Egypt, their policies in Sudan and Libya, and of course the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, have all had a beneficial impact on Iranian-Turkish relations. As a result, Turkey has grown much more distant from Iran’s regional antagonists, while Turkish support for the Palestinian cause is another element that brings Iran and Turkey closer together. American support for PKK terrorists in Syria has also angered the Turks adding push to Turkish-Iranian convergence. Even Turkish policy towards Syria is evolving, although it is impossible for the government to make a radical change, because of years of attempts at regime change.

The Saker: Next, turning to Iraq, how would you characterize the “balance of influence” of Iran and the USA in Iraq? Should we view the Iraqi government as allied to Iran, allied to the USA or independent? If the Empire attacks Iran, what will happen in Iraq?

Professor Marandi: The relationship between Iraq and Iran is significantly more important than the relationship between Iraq and the United States. Iran and Iraq are allies, but this alliance does not contradict the notion of Iraqi independence. Iraq’s regional policy is not identical to Iran’s. But the two countries have very similar interests, a very close relationship, many Iraqi leaders have spent years in Iran, and the bulk of the Iraqi population lives close to the shared border of over 1,200 km between the two countries. So trade, pilgrimage, and tourism are key to both countries. The religious similarities and the holy sites that exist in Iran and Iraq are a huge incentive for interaction between the two countries. There are many Iraqi students studying in Iran and many Iranian’s working in Iraq. The fact that Iranians made many sacrifices when fighting ISIS in Iraq and many Iraqis were martyred in the war against ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria is a strong indication of where things stand despite US pressure.

The Arba’een pilgrimage that takes place every year where millions of Iranians and Iraqis make the walk towards Karbala, side by side, with tens of thousands of Iraqi and Iranian volunteers helping pilgrims along the way is, I think, a further sign of the close relationship.

While the U.S presence in Iraq continues to be hegemonic, Iran has not sought to prevent Iraq from having normal relationships with other countries. However, the U.S continues to seek control over Iraq through the world’s largest embassy, its military presence, and its influence over the bureaucracy. The United States continues to have much say over how the country’s oil wealth is spent.

Still, despite the US colonial behavior, its continued theft of Iraqi oil wealth, and its thuggish behavior, the Iraqis have been able to assert a great deal of independence. In the long run, this continued US behavior is only going to create further resentment among Iraqis. The empire rarely takes these realities into account, they seek to accumulate influence and wealth through brute force, but in the long term it creates deep-rooted anger and hostility which, at some point, will create great problems for the empire, especially as this anger and unrest is growing across the region, if not across the globe.

It is highly unlikely that the regime in Washington will attack Iran, if it does it will bring about a regional war, which will drive the United States out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Syria. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates would, swiftly collapse and the price of oil and natural gas would go through the roof, leading to a global economic meltdown even as millions of people will be streaming towards Europe.

The Saker: It is often said that Russia and Iran have fundamentally different goals in Syria and that the two countries regularly have tensions flaring up between them because of these disagreements. Is that true?In your opinion, how are Russian and Iranian goals in Syria different?

Professor Marandi: The news that we sometimes hear about serious tensions existing between the Iranians and the Russians in Syria is often nonsense. There are clear reasons for people to exaggerate small incidents or to fabricate them altogether, but the relationship is quite good. Iran does not intend to have any military bases in Syria, whereas the Russians do feel the need to preserve their military presence in Syria through long-term agreements.

But ultimately, Iran would like to help enable Syria to acquire the military capability to retake the occupied Golan Heights. Iran does not intend to initiate any conflict with the Israeli regime inside Palestine. That is not an objective in Lebanon and that is not an objective in Syria. As in Lebanon, where the Iranians supported Hezbollah to restore the country’s sovereignty and to drive out the Israeli aggressors and occupiers, the Iranians have the same agenda in Syria. They want to support the Syrians so that they will be able to restore full sovereignty. I don’t believe the Golan Heights is a priority for the Russians.

The Saker: For a while, Iran let the Russian Aerospace Forces use an Iranian military airfield, then when this became public knowledge, the Russians were asked to leave. I have heard rumors that while the IRGC was in favor of allowing Russian Aerospace Forces to use an Iranian military airfield, the regular armed forces were opposed to this. Is it true that there are such differences between the IRGC and the regular armed forces and do you think that Iran will ever allow the Russian military to have a permanent presence in Iran?

Professor Marandi: That is a myth. The Russians were not asked to leave. There were no differences between the IRGC and any other part of the armed forces. This was a decision made by the Supreme National Security Council and the President and all the major commanders in the military were involved in this decision. Actually, the airbase does not belong to the guards it belongs to the air force and a part of the base was used for Russian strategic bombers that were flying to Syria to bomb the extremists. This cooperation ended when the Russians were able to station adequate numbers of aircraft in Syria, because the flights over Iran were long and expensive, whereas the air campaign launched from bases inside Syria was much less expensive and much more effective. Iran was very open about its relationship with the Russians, and openly permitted the Russians to fire missiles over Iranian airspace. There were those who were opposed to the Russian presence in the Iranian airbase. A small segment of Iranian society that is pro-Western and pro-American complained about it in their media outlets, but they had absolutely no impact on the decision-making process. According to polls, an overwhelming majority of Iranians supported Iran’s activities in Syria, and the Supreme National Security Council was under no pressure to its decision. However, Iran does not plan to allow any country to have permanent bases in the country and that is in accordance with the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The revolution in Iran was about independence, dignity, sovereignty and indigenous values, and the removal of American hegemony over Iran was very much a part of that. The Iranians will not give any basis to foreign powers in future, and neither the Russians nor the Chinese have ever made such requests. There are absolutely no differences regarding Iran’s regional policies between the IRGC and the rest of the military, both were a part of the decision-making process when the Russians were allowed to fire missiles over Iranian territory and both were part of the process in allowing Russian aircraft to use Iranian airspace. The Russian bombers were providing air support for Iranian troops and Iranian affiliated troops on the ground.

The Saker: Both Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah have made repeated statements that the days of the racist ZioApartheid regime in occupied are numbered. Do you agree with their point of view and, if yes, how do you see such a regime change actually happening? Which of the One State solution or a Two State solution do you believe to be more realistic?

Professor Marandi:  I do not believe the two-state solution is possible because the Israeli regime has colonized too much of the West Bank. Actually, through acts of selfishness and petty short-term gain, the regime has damaged itself enormously. As a result of the colonization of the West Bank, even the European elites and diplomats who would privately admit that the Israeli regime pursues apartheid policies and who would always speak of hope for a two-state solution, admit that the two state solution is dead. All Palestinians are treated as sub humans, whether they reside in the West Bank or not. They are a subjugated nation, whether they are Israeli citizens or not. However, there is no longer any hope that those who live in the occupied West Bank will gain freedom, even though we predicted the Israelis would never voluntarily relinquish the West bank. This is the most important challenge that the regime faces in the future. By colonizing the West Bank and despite official western media and government narratives, it is increasingly seen by the international community as the apartheid regime that it is. It is delegitimizing itself in the eyes of larger numbers of people.

In addition to that, it can no longer behave with impunity. The 2006 war in Lebanon where the Israeli armed forces were defeated by Hizbullah was a turning point. Before then, the Israelis had created an image that they were invincible. But now even in Gaza, they are unable to carry out their objectives when they periodically attack the territory and its civilians. The Israelis are now more easily contained especially since the Syrian government has been able to restore order and expel ISIS and al-Qaeda from areas neighboring Israeli forces on the occupied Golan Heights, despite the Israelis supporting the extremists. The Israelis have been contained regionally, at home they are increasingly seen as an apartheid regime. Its regional allies are also on the decline and regionally. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the only countries that can be considered as effective allies and they are facing a potential terminal decline. Therefore, regionally the regime is becoming more isolated. I do not believe that under such circumstances, the Israeli regime can last for very long. Just as the apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed under the burden of its own immoral existence, the Israeli regime will not last. There will be no two-state solution, the only realistic and moral solution is for Palestine to be united and for the indigenous population to have its rights restored, whether they are Palestinians, Jews or Christians or anyone else who is indigenous to the land.

The Saker: Iran is an Islamic Republic. It is also a majority Shia country. Some observers accuse Iran of wanting to export its political model to other countries. What do you make of that accusation? Do Iranian Islamic scholars believe that the Iranian Islamic Republic model can be exported to other countries, including Sunni countries?

Professor Marandi: 9-I do not think that there is any validity to that accusation. Iran has a very excellent relationship with Iraq, but it has not imposed its model on the country. In fact, Iran helped create the current constitution of that country. The same is true for Lebanon and Yemen. Iran is constantly accused by its antagonists, but in the most inconsistent ways. Elsewhere they claim that Iran is afraid of their model being exported because they are fearful of rivals. Iran has always been attacked from all sides often using self-contradictory arguments. On the one hand, the so-called regime is allegedly immensely unpopular, it is corrupt, it is falling apart, and it is incapable of proper governance. Yet on the other hand, Iran is a growing threat to the region and even the world. This is paradoxical, how can Iran be incompetent and collapsing on the one hand, yet a growing threat to the whole world on the other hand? This simply does not make sense. Nevertheless, I have seen no evidence that Iran has tried to impose its model on other countries or on movements that are close to it. If it was not for Iran’s support, ISIS and al-Qaeda would have overthrown Syria with its secular government and secular constitution. Iranians firmly believed that the terrorist forces supported by Western intelligence services as well as regional regimes were the worst case scenario for the Syrian people. Did they impose their model?

The Saker: thank you for all your answers!

In Case you missed it

No, Assad Didn’t “Win” The War, He Was Compelled By Putin To “Compromise”  By ANDREW KORYBKO

Don’t miss the comments

NO MR.ANDREW KORYBKO

YOUR ARTICLE IS MISLEADING. ASSAD WAS THE COUNTRY’S DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED AND LEGITIMATE LEADER IN MARCH 2011, TILL THIS VERY MOMENT.

YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT PUTIN INTERFERED IN 2015, 3 THE SO-CALLED SYRIAN “SPRING”. HE WAS THE TARGET, NOT THE REGIME. IF YOU DON’T KNOW, YOU NEED A DOCTOR

LOOK AT SYRIAN REFUGES IN LEBANON MARCHING THO ELECT ASSAD IN 2014 AT THE SYRIAN EMBASSY.

https://postmediacanadadotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lebanon-syria-conflict-vote-refugee1.jpg?quality=60&strip=all

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Venezuela and Iran in the Crosshairs of Murderers Inc – Who is Next?

Venezuela and Iran in the Crosshairs of Murderers Inc – Who is Next?August 09, 2019

by Peter Koenig for The Saker blog

Imagine just for a moment, the World would stand up in unison, sick and tired of the aggressive killer arrogance of the United States and her vassals – and their joint war-force called NATO – and this World, our World, what’s left of it when you deduct Washington and its Brussels allies, would at once block every shipment of everything destined for the ports of the United States of America; every sea port, airport and road port. Hermetically. Nothing would enter. Nothing, no food, no medicine, no electronics, no cars – no nothing. And nothing could leave. No exports, no petrol, no grains, no meat, no pharmaceuticals and foremost, no weapons. Nothing.

And now, take your mind a step further – and imagine the same – exactly the same, a total and full blockage of Israel – nothing would enter, no food, no fuel, no medication, no machinery and especially no weapons – and nothing would leave; a full and total blockage.

This would of course be totally illegal; illegal and unacceptable, by any international law, by the standards of the UN Charter, by the Human Rights Laws and Directives – by any ethical values of human morals. Wouldn’t it? – Yet, this is exactly what these countries are doing, have been doing for decades, sanctioning to strangle and murder entire populations into death or submission. The US with Cuba; Israel with Palestine. And the coercion and strangulation go on, unabated.

The longest embargo – illegal, inhuman and outright criminal – Washington imposed on Cuba – 60 years. Because Cuba has chosen socialism as her form of state and government. Cuba survived and will never give in to the tyrant of the north.

Now the US is expanding her palette of killing by impunity to dominate and subjugate nation after nation which they do not consider bending sufficiently to the dictate of their masters. Venezuela has been targeted for two decades, ever since former President Hugo Chavez was democratically elected in 1998; and Iran, ever since the US-imposed Shah was deposed in 1979 – exactly 40 years ago – by Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Both Venezuela and Iran are rich in natural resources, especially hydrocarbons but also in gold, rare earths and other precious metals and stones.

Contrary to what one would like to imagine, international world bodies, like the United Nations and her sister and associated organizations remain just about silent. When a high-level official utters some benign criticism of the US or Israel – it flairs up for a moment in the ‘news’, then it disappears again, as if it never happened. And indeed, nothing happens. They – the US and Israel – go on with their crimes in impunity.

The latest is an open declaration of economic warfare by Washington, a total embargo on Venezuela; the embargo is now being turned into a naval blockade. Similar steps are to be taken for Iran. That literally means that no merchandise – no matter how vital for survival, like food and medication, is allowed into Venezuela. Three days ago, the US seized, totally illegally, a cargo ship attempting to deliver food and medication to Venezuela – in the Panama Canal, territory which the US does not own or control anymore.

The ship was carrying soy cakes, from which Venezuela was to produce food. Never mind, that the cargoes are fully paid for by Venezuela. And this seems to be just the beginning. Vessels leaving Venezuela with petrol deliveries to client countries are also targeted for blockage, thus confiscating, or rather stealing, Venezuela’s main source of income on which she intends to survive and feed and provide health care for her people. This, in addition to the more than 130 billion dollars total Venezuelan assets confiscated – stolen – by the US worldwide .

And nobody says beep. Almost. Yes, there are some collective protests by countries in solidarity – like key members of the Sao Paulo Forum, as well as more than 60 members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM – total 120 members) that have become especially active in recent years in defense of Venezuela within the United Nations. Protests and protest declarations also take place by ALBA members, a Latin American trade alliance (ALBA – Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, 11 members [Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis]).

But most interesting are the hypocrites, those who write and scream that Venezuelans are starving to death, that the Maduro government neglects its people – yet these accusers-in-falsehood – let the US and her vassals strangle Venezuela and steal her foreign assets, including foreign reserves and gold, food and medical imports – they are saying zilch, nada, nothing. Just watching.

To top it all off, the Human Rights Commissioner, Madame Michelle Bachelet, Hypocrite-in-chief, who recently visited Venezuela, at the invitation of President Nicolas Maduro, on a Human Rights mission, and who delivered a devastating report about Venezuela’s HR, full of lies, half-truths and outright omissions, not mentioning with one word the US inspired coup attempts, the US-funded opposition and its bloody atrocities on the Chavista population, and the strangulating and starving by the US and US-dictated European sanctions – Madame Bachelet now came forward condemning the naval blockade. Great. But she did not stand up against the deadly embargo by the US and the European Union. – What credibility remains for the Human Rights Commission? – The world can see it – it’s all bought, coerced into submission, like so many other UN agencies by the Murderers Inc.

If we are not careful, they are soon going to rule the globe. Thanks god, for Russia and China – which are also subjects of US-EU sanctioning and targeted for take-over. But they are a tiny little bit too big and too strong for this sort of games by the decaying US empire and her obedient rats on the sinking ship.

Similarly, the European Union – despots as they have been for hundreds of years as colonialists in Africa, Asia and Latin America – and continue in a modern colonial role through economic control of much of Africa – this very EU, has been sanctioning Venezuela for years on the orders of Washington, naturally, who else? – Now they condemn the naval blockade, but continue their routine sanctions regime.

According to a study carried out by the Washington DC based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), under guidance of Mark Weisbrot, CEPR co-director and Jeffrey Sachs, economics professor, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, New York, US and EU sanctions have cost some 40,000 Venezuelan lives. This mainly since August 2017, when Washington escalated its unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela and her state oil company, PDVSA, cutting them off international financial markets.

Yes, the world would have plenty of reasons to stand up and dish out similar naval and air blockades against the US and Israel. Just as a teaser to begin with, and if that doesn’t send a strong enough wake-up message, perhaps such embargoes should be considered on a longer-term indefinite scale. It’s illegal. But we are living in a world where international laws don’t count – where laws are made, as we go, by the self-declared hegemon, the US of A, and her symbiotic Middle East ally, Israel. – So, why not nudging the legal, moral and ethical order back into balance?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.  Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Conversations with Fidel Castro: The Dangers of a Nuclear War

Global Research, August 09, 2019

First published by Global Research on November 13, 2010. Today is August 9, 2019. A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945

Introductory Note

From October 12 to 15, 2010, I had extensive and detailed discussions with Fidel Castro in Havana, pertaining to the dangers of nuclear war, the global economic crisis and the nature of the New World Order. These meetings resulted in a wide-ranging and fruitful interview.

The first part of this interview published by Global Research and Cuba Debate focuses on the dangers of nuclear war.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. We have reached a critical turning point in our history.

This interview with Fidel Castro provides an understanding of the nature of modern warfare: Were a military operation to be launched against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US and its allies would be unable to win a conventional war, with the possibility that this war could evolve towards a nuclear war.

The details of ongoing war preparations in relation to Iran have been withheld from the public eye.

How to confront the diabolical and absurd proposition put forth by the US administration that using tactical nuclear weapons against Iran will  “make the World a safer place”? 

A central concept put forth by Fidel Castro in the interview is the ‘Battle of Ideas”. The leader of the Cuban Revolution believes that only a far-reaching “Battle of Ideas” could  change the course of World history. The  objective is to prevent the unthinkable, a nuclear war which threatens to destroy life on earth.

The corporate media is involved in acts of camouflage. The devastating impacts of a nuclear war are either trivialized or not mentioned. Against this backdrop, Fidel’s message to the World must be heard;  people across the land, nationally and internationally, should understand the gravity of the present situation and act forcefully at all levels of society to reverse the tide of war.

The “Battle of Ideas” is part of a revolutionary process. Against a barrage of media disinformation, Fidel Castro’s resolve is to spread the word far and wide, to inform world public opinion, to “make the impossible possible”, to thwart a military adventure which in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.  

When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an “instrument of peace”, condoned and accepted by the World’s institutions and the highest authority including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction.

Fidel’s “Battle of Ideas” must be translated into a worldwide movement. People must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda.

This war can be prevented if people pressure their governments and elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens regarding the implications of a thermonuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people’s movement which criminalizes war. 

In his October 15 speech, Fidel Castro warned the World on the dangers of nuclear war:

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people. In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity. Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”

The “Battle of Ideas” consists in confronting the war criminals in high office, in breaking the US-led consensus in favor of a global war, in changing the mindset of hundreds of millions of people, in abolishing nuclear weapons.  In essence, the “Battle of Ideas” consists in restoring the truth and establishing the foundations of World peace.

 

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG),

Montreal, Remembrance Day, November 11, 2010.


“The conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is no alternative for anyone.  On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global”

“I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction

“In a nuclear war the collateral damage would be the life of humankind.  Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”

“It is about demanding that the world is not led into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life.”

Fidel Castro Ruz, Havana, October 2010.

CONVERSATIONS

Professor Michel Chossudovsky: I am very honored to have this opportunity to exchange views concerning several fundamental issues affecting human society as a whole. I think that the notion that you have raised in your recent texts regarding the threat against Homo sapiens is fundamental.

What is that threat, the risk of a nuclear war and the threat to human beings, to Homo sapiens?

Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz: Since quite a long time –years I would say- but especially for some months now, I began to worry about the imminence of a dangerous and probable war that could very rapidly evolve towards a nuclear war.

Before that I had concentrated all my efforts on the analysis of the capitalist system in general and the methods that the imperial tyranny has imposed on humanity.  The United States applies to the world the violation of the most fundamental rights.

During the Cold War, no one spoke about war or nuclear weapons; people talked about an apparent peace, that is, between the USSR and the United States, the famous MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) was guaranteed.  It seemed that the world was going to enjoy the delights of a peace that would last for an unlimited time.

 Michel Chossudovsky: … This notion of “mutual assured destruction” ended with the Cold War and after that the nuclear doctrine was redefined, because we never really thought about a nuclear war during the Cold War.  Well, obviously, there was a danger –as even Robert McNamara said at some point in time.

But, after the Cold War, particularly after September 11 [2001],  America’s nuclear doctrine started to be redefined.

Fidel Castro Ruz: You asked me when was it that we became aware of the imminent risk of a nuclear war, and that dates back to the period I talked to you about previously, barely six months ago.  One of the things that called our attention the most regarding such a war danger was the sinking of the Cheonan during a military maneuver. That was the flagship of the South Korean Navy; an extremely sophisticated vessel.  It was at the time when we found on GlobalReasearch the journalist’s report that offered a clear and truly coherent information about the sinking of the Cheonan, which could not have been the work of a submarine that had been manufactured by the USSR more than sixty years ago, using an outdated technology which did not require the sophisticated equipment that could be detected by the Cheonan, during a joint maneuver with the most modern US vessels.

The provocation against the Democratic Republic of Korea added up to our own earlier concerns about an aggression against Iran.  We had been closely following the political process in that country. We knew perfectly well what happened there during the 1950s, when Iran nationalized the assets of the British Petroleum in that country- which at the time was called the Anglo Persian Oil Company.

In my opinion, the threats against Iran became imminent in June [2010], after the adoption of Resolution 1929 on the 9th of June, 2010, when the United Nations Security Council condemned Iran for the research it is carrying out and the production of small amounts of 20 per cent enriched uranium, and accused it of being a threat to the world.  The position adopted by each and every member of the Security Council is known: 12 member States voted in favor –five of them had the right to veto; one of them abstained and 2 –Brazil and Turkey- voted against. Shortly after the Resolution was adopted –the most aggressive resolution of of them all– one US aircraft carrier, embedded in a combat unit, plus a nuclear submarine, went through the Suez Canal with the help of the Egyptian government.  Naval units from Israel joined, heading for the Persian Gulf and the seas nearby Iran.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies against Iran was absolutely abusive and unjust.  I cannot understand the reason why Russia and China did not veto the dangerous Resolution 1929 of the United Nations Security Council.  In my opinion this has complicated the political situation terribly and has placed the world on the brink of war.

I remember previous  Israeli attacks against the Arab nuclear research centers.  They first attacked and destroyed the one in Iraq in June 1981.  They did not ask for anyone’s permission, they did not talk to anybody; they just attacked them and the Iraqis had to endure the strikes.

In 2007 they repeated that same operation against a research center that was being built by Syria.  There is something in that episode that I really don’t quite understand:  what was not clear to me were the underlying tactics, or the reasons why Syria did not denounce the Israeli attack against that research center where, undoubtedly, they were doing something, they were working on something for which, as it is known, they were receiving some cooperation from North Korea.  That was something legal; they did not commit any violation.

I am saying this here and I am being very honest: I don’t understand why this was not denounced, because, in my opinion, that would have been important. Those are two very important antecedents.

I believe there are many reasons to think that they will try to do the same against Iran:  destroy its research centers or the power generation centers of that country.  As is known, the power generation uranium residues are the raw material to produce plutonium.

Michel Chossudovsky:  It is true that that Security Council Resolution has to some extent contributed to cancelling the program of military cooperation that Russia and China have with Iran, especially Russia cooperates with Iran in the context of the Air Defence System by supplying its S-300 System.I remember that just after the Security Council’s decision, with the endorsement of China and Russia, the Russian minister of  Foreign Affairs said: “Well, we have approved the Resolution but that is not going to invalidate our military cooperation with Iran”. That was in June.  But a few months later, Moscow confirmed that military cooperation [with Iran] was going to be frozen, so now Iran is facing a very serious situation, because it needs Russian technology to maintain its security, namely its [S-300] air defence system.

But I think that all the threats against Russia and China are intent upon preventing the two countries from getting involved in the Iran issue. In other words, if there is a war with Iran  the other powers, which are China and Russia, aren’t going to intervene in any way; they will be freezing their military cooperation with Iran and therefore this is a way [for the US and NATO] of extending their war in the Middle East without there being a confrontation with China and Russia  and I think that this more or less is the scenario right now.

There are many types of threats directed against Russia and China. The fact that China’s borders are militarized –China’s South Sea, the Yellow Sea, the border with Afghanistan, and also the Straits of Taiwan- it is in some way a threat to dissuade China and Russia from playing the role of powers in world geopolitics, thus paving the way and even creating consensus in favour of a war with Iran which is happening under conditions where Iran’s  air defence system is being weakened.   [With the freeze of its military cooperation agreement with Russia] Iran is a “sitting duck” from the point of view of its ability to defend itself using its air defence system.

Fidel Castro Ruz:  In my modest and serene opinion  that resolution should have been vetoed.  Because, in my opinion, everything has become more complicated in several ways.

Militarily, because of what you are explaining regarding, for example, the commitment that existed and the contract that had been signed to supply Iran the S-300, which are very efficient anti-aircraft weapons in the first place.

There are other things regarding fuel supplies, which are very important for China, because China is the country with the highest economic growth.  Its growing economy generates greater demand for oil and gas.  Even though there are agreements with Russia for oil and gas supplies, they are also developing wind energy and other forms of renewable energy. They have enormous coal reserves;  nuclear energy will not increase much, only 5% for many years. In other words, the need for gas and oil in the Chinese economy is huge, and I cannot imagine, really, how they will be able to get all that energy, and at what price, if the country where they have important investments is destroyed by the US.  But the worst risk is the very nature of that war in Iran.  Iran is a Muslim country that has millions of trained combatants who are strongly motivated.

There are tens of millions of people who are under [military] orders,  they are being politically educated and trained, men and women alike.  There are millions of combatants trained and determined to die.  These are people who will not be intimidated and who cannot be forced to changing [their behavior]. On the other hand, there are the Afghans –they are being murdered by US drones –there are the Pakistanis, the Iraqis, who have seen one to two million compatriots die as a result of the antiterrorist war invented by Bush.  You cannot win a war against the Muslim world; that is sheer madness.

Michel Chossudovsky:  But it’s true, their conventional forces are very large,  Iran can mobilize in a single day several million troops and they are on the border with Afghanistan and Iraq, and even if there is a blitzkrieg war, the US cannot avoid a conventional war that is waged very close to its military bases in that region.

Fidel Castro Ruz: But the fact is that the US would lose that conventional war. The problem is that nobody can win a conventional war against millions of people; they would not concentrate their forces in large numbers in a single location for the Americans to kill them.

Well, I was a guerrilla fighter and I recall that I had to think seriously about how to use the forces we had and I would never have made the mistake of concentrating those forces in a single location, because the more concentrated the forces, the greater the casualties caused by weapons of mass destruction….

Michel Chossudovsky: As you mentioned previously, a matter of utmost importance: China and Russia’s decision in the Security Council, their support of Resolution 1929, is in fact harmful to them because, first, Russia cannot export weapons, thus its main source of income is now frozen.  Iran was one of the main customers or buyers of Russian weapons, and that was an important source of hard currency earnings which supported Russia`s consumer goods economy thereby covering the needs of the population.

And, on the other hand China requires access to sources of energy as you mentioned. The fact that China and Russia have accepted the consensus in the UN Security Council, is tantamount to saying: “We accept that you kill our economy and, in some ways, our commercial agreements with a third country”.  That’s very serious because it [the UNSC Resolution] not only does harm to Iran; is also harms those two countries, and I suppose –even though I am not a politician –that there must be tremendous divisions within the leadership, both in Russia and in China, for that to happen, for Russia to accept not to use its veto power in the Security Council.

I spoke with Russian journalists, who told me that there wasn’t exactly a consensus within the government per se; it was a guideline.  But there are people in the government with a different point of view regarding the interests of Russia and its stance in the UN Security Council.  How do you see this?

Fidel Castro Ruz: How do I see the general situation? The alternative in Iran –let me put it this way –the conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is not an alternative for anyone.

On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global.  Thus the danger in my opinion exists with the current situation in Iran, bearing in mind the reasons you are presenting and many other facts; which brings me to the conclusion that the war would end up being a nuclear war.


Filming of Fidel’s message on October 15. 2010 From left to right: Fidel Castro, TV crew, Michel Chossudovsky, Randy Alonso FalconMichel Chossudovsky: In other words, since the US and its allies are unable to win the conventional war, they are going to use nuclear weapons, but that too would be a war they couldn’t win, because we are going to lose everything.Fidel Castro Ruz: Everyone would be losing that war; that would be a war that everyone would lose. What would Russia gain if a nuclear war were unleashed over there? What would China gain?  What kind of war would that be? How would the world react? What effect would it have on the world economy? You explained it at the university when you spoke about the centralized defence system designed by the Pentagon.  It sounds like science fiction; it doesn’t even remotely resemble the last world war.  The other thing which is also very important is the attempt [by the Pentagon] to transform nuclear weapons into conventional tactical weapons.

Today, October 13th, I was reading about the same thing in a news dispatch stating that the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were drawing up strong protests about the fact that the US had just carried out subcritical nuclear tests.  They’re called subcritical, which means the use of the nuclear weapon without deploying all the energy that might be achieved with the critical mass.

It reads:  “Indignation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of a United States nuclear test.”…

 “The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that suffered a nuclear attack at the end of WW II, deplored today the nuclear test carried out by the US on September last, called sub critical because it does not unleash chain nuclear reactions.

“The test, the first of this kind in that country since 2006, took place on September 15th somewhere in Nevada, United States.  It was officially confirmed by the Department of Energy of that country, the Japan Times informed.”

What did that newspaper say?

“I deeply deplore it because I was hoping that President Barack Obama would take on the leadership in eliminating nuclear weapons”, the governor of Nagasaki, Hodo Nakamura, stated today at a press conference.

A series of news items related to that follows.

“The test has also caused several protests among the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including several survivors of the atomic bombs attacks that devastated both cities in August of 1945.

“We cannot tolerate any action of the United States that betrays President Barack Obama’s promise of moving forward to a world without nuclear arms, said Yukio Yoshioka, the deputy director of the Council for the Victims of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb.

“The government stated that it has no intention of protesting.”  It relegates the protest to a social level and then said: “With this, the number of subcritical nuclear tests made by the United States reaches the figure of 26, since July 1997 when the first of them took place.”

Now it says:

“Washington considers that these tests do not violate the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) since they do not unleash any chain reactions, and therefore do not release any nuclear energy, and so they can be considered to be laboratory tests.”

The US says that it has to make these tests because they are necessary to maintain the “security of its nuclear arsenal”, which is the same as saying: since we have these great nuclear arsenals, we are doing this in order to ensure our security.

Michel Chossudovsky:  Let us return to the issue of the threat against Iran, because you said that the US and its allies could not win a conventional war.  That is true; but nuclear weapons could be used as an alternative to conventional warfare, and this evidently is a threat against humanity, as you have emphasized in your writings.

The reason for my concern is that after the Cold War the idea of nuclear weapons with a “humanitarian face” was developed, saying that those weapons were not really dangerous, that they do not harm civilians, and in some way the nuclear weapons label was changed.  Therefore, according to their criteria, [tactical] nuclear weapons are no different from conventional weapons, and now in the military manuals they say that tactical nuclear weapons are weapons that pose no harm to civilians.

Therefore, we might have a situation in which those who decide to attack Iran with a nuclear weapon would not be aware of the consequences that this might have for the Middle East, central Asia, but also for humanity as a whole, because they are going to say: “Well, according to our criteria, these [tactical] nuclear weapons [safe for civilians] are different from those deployed during the Cold War and so, we can use them against Iran as a weapon which does not [affect civilians and] does not threaten global security.”

How do you view that?  It’s extremely dangerous, because they themselves believe their own propaganda.  It is internal propaganda within the armed forces, within the political apparatus.

When tactical nuclear weapons were recategorized in 2002-2003, Senator Edward Kennedy said at that time that it was a way of blurring the boundary between conventional and nuclear weapons.

But that’s where we are today; we are in an era where nuclear weapons are considered to be no different from the Kalashnikov. I’m exaggerating, but somehow nuclear weapons are now part of the tool box –that’s the word they use, “tool box” –and from there you choose the type of weapon you are going to use, so the nuclear weapon could be used in the conventional war theatre, leading us to the unthinkable, a nuclear war scenario on a regional level, but also with repercussions at the global level.

Fidel Castro Ruz: I heard what you said on the Round Table [Cuban TV] program about such weapons, presumably harmless to people living in the vicinity of the areas where they are to be targeted,  the power [explosive yield] could range from one-third of the one that was used in Hiroshima up to six times the power [explosive yield] of that weapon, and today we know perfectly well the terrible damage it causes.  One single bomb instantly killed 100,000 people.  Just imagine a bomb having six times the power of that one [Hiroshima bomb], or two times that power, or an equivalent power, or 30 per cent that power.  It is absurd.

There is also what you explained at the university about the attempt to present it as a humanitarian weapon that could also be available to the troops in the theatre of operations.  So at any given moment any commander in the theatre of operations could be authorized to use that weapon as one that was more efficient than other weapons, something that would be considered his duty according to military doctrine and the training he/she received at the military academies.

Michel Chossudovsky:  In that sense, I don’t think that this nuclear weapon would be used without the approval, let’s say, of the Pentagon, namely  its centralised command structures [e.g. Strategic Command]; but I do think that it could be used without the approval of the President of the United States and Commander in Chief.  In other words, it isn’t quite the same logic as that which prevailed during the Cold War where there was the Red Telephone and…

Fidel Castro Ruz: I understand, Professor, what you are saying regarding the use of that weapon as authorized by the senior levels of the Pentagon, and it seems right to me that you should make that clarification so that you won’t be blamed for exaggerating the dangers of that weapon.

But look, after one has learned about the antagonisms and arguments between the Pentagon and the President of the United States, there are really not too many doubts about what the Pentagon decision would be if the chief of the theatre of operations  requests to use that weapon because he feels it is necessary or indispensable.

Michel Chossudovsky: There is also another element.  The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons now, as far as I know, is being undertaken by several European countries which belong to NATO.  This is the case of Belgium, Holland, Turkey, Italy and Germany.  Thus, there are plenty of these “little nuclear bombs” very close to the theatre of war, and on the other hand we also have Israel.

Now then, I don’t think that Israel is going to start a war on its own; that would be impossible in terms of strategy and decision-making.  In modern warfare, with the centralization of communications, logistics and everything else, starting a major war would be a centralized decision.  However, Israel might act if the US gives Israel the green light to launch the first attack.  That’s within the realm of possibilities, even though there are some analysts who now say that the war on Iran will start in Lebanon and Syria with a conventional border war, and then that would provide the pretext for an escalation in military operations.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Yesterday, October 13th, a crowd of people welcomed Ahmadinejad in Lebanon like a national hero of that country.  I was reading a cable about that this morning.

Besides, we also know about Israel’s concerns regarding that, given the fact that the Lebanese are people with a great fighting spirit who have three times the number of reactive missiles they had in the former conflict with Israel and Lebanon, which was a great concern for Israel because they need –as the Israeli technicians have asserted – the air force to confront that weapon.  And so, they state, they could only be attacking Iran for a number of hours, not three days, because they should be paying attention to such a danger.  That’s the reason why, from these viewpoints, every day that goes by they are more concerned, because those weapons are part of the Iranian arsenal of conventional weapons. For example, among their conventional weapons, they have hundreds of rocket launchers to fight surface warships in that area of the Caspian Sea.  We know that, from the time of the Falklands war, a surface warship can dodge one, two or three rockets.  But imagine how a large warship can protect itself against a shower of weapons of that kind.  Those are rapid vessels operated by well-trained people, because the Iranians have been training people for 30 years now and they have developed efficient conventional weapons.

You yourself know that, and you know what happened during the last World War, before the emergence of nuclear weapons.  Fifty million people died as a result of the destructive power of conventional weaponry.

A war today is not like the war that was waged in the nineteenth century, before the appearance of nuclear weapons.  And wars were already highly destructive.  Nuclear arms appeared at the very last minute, because Truman wanted to use them.  He wanted to test the Hiroshima bomb, creating the critical mass from uranium, and the other one in Nagasaki, which created a critical mass from plutonium.  The two bombs killed around 100,000 persons immediately.  We don’t know how many were wounded and affected by radiation, who died later on or suffered for long years from these effects. Besides, a nuclear war would create a nuclear winter.

I am talking to you about the dangers of a war, considering  the immediate damage it might cause.  It would be enough if we only had a limited number of them, the amount of weapons owned by one of the least mighty [nuclear] powers, India or Pakistan.  Their explosion would be sufficient to create a nuclear winter from which no human being would survive.  That would be impossible, since it would last for 8 to 10 years.  In a matter of weeks the sunlight would no longer be visible.

Mankind is less than 200,000 years old.  So far everything was normalcy.  The laws of nature were being fulfilled; the laws of life developed on planet Earth for more than 3 billion years.  Men, the Homo sapiens, the intelligent beings did not exist after 8 tenths of a million years had elapsed, according to all studies.  Two hundred years ago, everything was virtually unknown.  Today we know the laws governing the evolution of the species.  Scientists, theologians, even the most devout religious people who initially echoed the campaign launched by the great ecclesiastical institutions against the Darwinian Theory, today accept the laws of evolution as real, without it preventing their sincere practice of their religious beliefs where, quite often, people find comfort for their most heartfelt hardships.

I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction, to the Iranians as well as the Israelis.  Natural resources should be distributed.  They should!  I don’t mean they will, or that it would be easy to do it.  But there would be no other alternative for humanity, in a world of limited dimensions and resources, even if all the scientific potential to create renewable sources of energy is developed. We are almost 7 billion inhabitants, and so we need to implement a demographic policy.  We need many things, and when you put them all together and you ask yourself the following question:  will human beings be capable of understanding that and overcome all those difficulties? You realize that only enthusiasm can truly lead a person to say that he or she will confront and easily resolve a problem of such proportions.

Michel Chossudovsky:  What you have just said is extremely important, when you spoke of Truman.  Truman said that Hiroshima was a military base and that there would be no harm to civilians.

This notion of collateral damage; reflects continuity in [America’s] nuclear doctrine ever since the year 1945 up until today.  That is, not at the level of reality but at the level of [military] doctrine and propaganda.  I mean, in 1945 it was said: Let’s save humanity by killing 100,000 people and deny the fact that Hiroshima was a populated city, namely that it was a military base.  But nowadays the falsehoods have become much more sophisticated, more widespread, and nuclear weapons are more advanced.  So, we are dealing with the future of humanity and the threat of a nuclear war at a global level. The lies and fiction underlying [US] political and military discourse would lead us to a Worldwide catastrophe in which politicians would be unable to make head or tails of their own lies.

Then, you said that intelligent human beings have existed for 200,000 years, but that same intelligence, which has now been incorporated in various institutions, namely the media, the intelligence services, the United Nations, happens to be what is now going to destroy us.  Because we believe our own lies, which leads us towards nuclear war, without realizing that this would be the last war, as Einstein clearly stated. A nuclear war cannot ensure the continuation of humanity; it is a threat against the world.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Those are very good words, Professor.  The collateral damage, in this case, could be humanity.

War is a crime and there is no need for any new law to describe it as such, because since Nuremberg, war has already been considered a crime, the biggest crime against humanity and peace, and the most horrible of all crimes.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  The Nuremberg texts clearly state: “War is a criminal act, it is the ultimate act of war against peace.” This part of the Nuremberg texts is often quoted. After the Second World War, the Allies wanted to use it against the conquered, and I am not saying that this is not valid, but the crimes that they committed, including the crimes committed against Germany and Japan, are never mentioned.  With a nuclear weapon, in the case of Japan.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  It is an extremely important issue for me and if we are talking about a “counter-alliance for peace”, the criminalization of war seems to me to be a fundamental aspect. I’m talking about the abolition of war; it is a criminal act that must be eliminated.

Fidel Castro Ruz –  Well, who would judge the main criminals?

Michel Chossudovsky.- The problem is that they also control the judicial system and the courts, so the judges are criminals as well. What can we do?

Fidel Castro Ruz   I say that this is part of the Battle of Ideas.

It is about demanding that the world not be spearheaded into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life.

We do not know, but we presume that if man becomes aware of his own existence, that of his people, that of his loved ones, even the U.S. military leaders would be aware of the outcome; although they are taught in life to follow orders, not infrequently genocide, as in the use of tactical or strategic nuclear weapons, because that is what they were taught in the [military] academies.

As all of this is sheer madness, no politician is exempt from the duty of conveying these truths to the people. One must believe in them, otherwise there would be nothing to fight for.        

Michel Chossudovsky .- I think what you are saying is that at the present time, the great debate in human history should focus on the danger of nuclear war that threatens the future of humanity, and that any discussion we have about basic needs or economics requires that we prevent the occurrence of war and instate global peace so that we can then plan living standards worldwide based on basic needs;  but if we do not solve the problem of war, capitalism will not survive, right?          

Fidel Castro Ruz.– No, it cannot survive, in terms of all the analysis we’ve undertaken, it cannot survive. The capitalist system and the market economy that suffocate human life, are not going to disappear overnight, but imperialism based on force, nuclear weapons and conventional weapons with modern technology, has to disappear if we want humanity to survive.

Now, there something occurring at this very moment which characterizes the Worldwide process of disinformation, and it is the following: In Chile 33 miners were trapped 700 meters underground, and the world is rejoicing at the news that 33 miners have been saved. Well, simply, what will the world do if it becomes aware that 6,877,596,300 people need to be saved, if 33 have created universal joy and all the mass media speak only of that these days, why not save the nearly 7 billion people trapped by the terrible danger of perishing in a horrible death like those of Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

Michel Chossudovsky. -This is also, clearly, the issue of media coverage that is given to different events and the propaganda emanating from the media.

I think it was an incredible humanitarian operation that the Chileans undertook, but it is true that if there is a threat to humanity,  as you mentioned, it  should be on the front page of every newspaper in the world because human society in its totality could be the victim of a decision that has been made, even by a three-star general who is unaware of the consequences [of nuclear weapons].

But here we are talking about how the media, particularly in the West, are hiding the most serious issue that potentially affects the world today, which is the danger of nuclear war and we must take it seriously, because both Hillary Clinton and Obama have said that they have contemplated using nuclear weapon in a so-called preventive war against Iran.

Well, how do we answer? What do you say to Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama regarding their statements pertaining to the unilateral use of nuclear weapons against Iran, a country that poses no danger to anyone?      

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, I know two things: What was discussed. This has been revealed recently, namely far-reaching arguments within the Security Council of the United States.  That is the value of the book written by Bob Woodward, because it revealed how all these discussions occurred. We know the positions of Biden, Hillary, Obama, and indeed in those discussions, who was firmer against the extension of the war, who was able to argue with the military, it was Obama, that is a fact.

I am writing the latest reflection, actually, about that. The only one who got there, and gave him advice, who had been an opponent because of his Republican Party membership, was Colin Powell. He reminded him that he was the President of the United States, encouraging advice.

I think we should ensure that this message reaches everybody; what we have discussed. I think many read the articles you have published in Global Research.  I think we need to disclose, and to the extent that we have these discussions and harbor the idea of disclosure. I am delighted every time you argue, reasonably, and put forth these issues, simply, in my opinion, there is a real deficit of information for the reasons you explained.

Now, we must invent. What are the ways to make all this known? At the time of the Twelve Apostles, there were 12 and no more, and they were given the task of disseminating the teachings a preacher transmitted to them. Sure, they had hundreds of years ahead of them. We, however, we do not have that. But I was looking at the list of personalities, and there are more than 20 prominent people who have been working with Global Research, prestigious people, asking the same questions, but they do not have hundreds of years, but, well, very little time.

Michel Chossudovsky. –  The antiwar movement in the United States, Canada and Europe is divided. Some people think the threat comes from Iran, others say they [the Iranians] are terrorists, and there is a lot of disinformation in the movement itself.

Besides, at the World Social Forum the issue of nuclear war is not part of the debate between people of the Left or progressives. During the Cold War there was talk of the danger of nuclear conflict, and people had this awareness.

At the last meeting held in New York on non-proliferation, under the United Nations, the emphasis was on the nuclear threat from non-state entities, from terrorists.

President Obama said that the threat comes from Al Qaeda, which has nuclear weapons.  Also, if someone reads Obama’s speeches he is suggesting that the terrorists have the ability of producing small nuclear bombs, what they call “dirty bombs”. Well, it’s a way of [distorting the issues] and shifting the emphasis.

Fidel Castro Ruz. – That is what they tell him [Obama], that is what his own people tell him and have him believe.

Look, what do I do with the reflections? They are distributed in the United Nations, they are sent to all governments, the reflections, of course, are short, to send them to all the governments, and I know there are many people who read them. The problem is whether you are telling the truth or not. Of course, when one collects all this information in relation to a particular problem because the reflections are also diluted on many issues, but I think you have to concentrate on our part, the disclosure of essentials, I cannot cover everything.

Michel Chossudovsky. – I have a question, because there is an important aspect related to the Cuban Revolution. In my opinion, the debate on the future of humanity is also part of a revolutionary discourse.  If society as a whole were to be threatened by nuclear war, it is necessary in some form, to have a revolution at the levels of ideas as well as actions against this event, [namely nuclear war].

Fidel Castro Ruz .- We have to say, I repeat,  that humanity is trapped 800 meters underground and that we must get it out, we need to do a rescue operation. That is the message we must convey to a large number of people. If  people in large numbers believe in that message, they will do what you are doing and they will support what you are supporting. It will no longer depend on who are those who say it, but on the fact that somebody [and eventually everybody] says it.

You have to figure out how you can reach the informed masses. The solution is not the newspapers. There is the Internet, Internet is cheaper, Internet is more accessible. I approached you through the Internet looking for news, not through news agencies, not through the press, not from CNN, but news through a newsletter I receive daily articles on the Internet . Over 100 pages each day.

Yesterday you were arguing that in the United States some time ago two thirds of public opinion was against the war on Iran, and today, fifty-some percent favored military action against Iran.

Michel Chossudovsky .- What happened, even in recent months, it was said: “Yes, nuclear war is very dangerous, it is a threat, but the threat comes from Iran,” and there were signs in New York City  saying: ” Say no to nuclear Iran, “and the message of these posters was to present Iran as a threat to global security, even if the threat did not exist because they do not have nuclear weapons.

Anyway, that’s the situation, and The New York Times earlier this week published a text that says, yes, political assassinations are legal.

Then, when we have a press that gives us things like that, with the distribution that they have, it is a lot of work [on our part]. We have limited capabilities to reverse this process [of media disinformation] within the limited distribution outlets of the alternative media. In addition to that, now many of these alternative media are financed by the economic establishment.            

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And yet we have to fight.

Michel Chossudovsky .- Yes, we keep struggling, but the message was what you said yesterday. That in the case of a nuclear war, the collateral damage would be humanity as a whole.

Fidel Castro Ruz.- It would be humanity, the life of humanity.

Michel Chossudovsky.-   It is true that the Internet should continue to function as an outreach tool to avoid the war. 

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Well, it’s the only way we can prevent it. If we were to create world opinion, it’s like the example I mentioned: there are nearly 7 billion people trapped 800 meters underground, we use the phenomenon of Chile to disclose these things.

Michel Chossudovsky .- The comparison you make with the rescue of 33 miners, saying that there are 33 miners below ground there to be rescued, which received extensive media coverage, and you say that we have almost 7 billion people that are  800 meters underground and do not understand what is happening, but we have to rescue them, because humanity as a whole is threatened by the nuclear weapons of the United States and its allies, because they are the ones who say they intend to use them.        

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And will use them [the nuclear weapons] if there is no opposition, if there is no resistance. They are deceived; they are drugged with military superiority and modern technology and do not know what they are doing.

They do not understand the consequences; they believe that the prevailed situation can be maintained. It is impossible.

Michel Chossudovsky. – Or they believe that this is simply some sort of conventional weapon.           

Fidel Castro Ruz. – Yes, they are deluded and believe that you can still use that weapon. They believe they are in another era, they do not remember what Einstein said when he stated he did not know with what weapons World War III would be fought with, but the World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. I added there: “… there wouldn’t be anyone to handle the sticks and stones.” That is the reality; I have it written there in the short speech you suggested I develop.

Michel Chossudovsky .- The problem I see is that the use of nuclear weapons will not necessarily lead to the end of humankind from one day to the next, because the radioactive impact is cumulative.

Fidel Castro Ruz. – Repeat that, please.

Michel Chossudovsky. – The nuclear weapon has several different consequences: one is the explosion and destruction in the theater of war, which is the phenomenon of Hiroshima, and the other are the impacts of radiation which increases over time.           

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, nuclear winter, as we call it. The prestigious American researcher, University of Rutgers (New Jersey) Professor Emeritus Alan Robock irrefutably showed that the outbreak of a war between two of the eight nuclear powers who possess the least amount of weapons of this kind would result in “nuclear winter”.

He disclosed that at the fore of a group of researchers who used ultra-scientific computer models.

It would be enough to have 100 strategic nuclear weapons of the 25,000 possessed by the eight powers mentioned exploding in order to create temperatures below freezing all over the planet and a long night that would last approximately eight years.  Professor Robock exclaims that it is so terrible that people are falling into a “state of denial”, not wanting to think about it; it is easier to pretend that it doesn’t exist”.  He told me that personally, at an international conference he was giving, where I had the honor of conversing with him.

Well, but I start from an assumption: If a war breaks out in Iran, it will inevitably become nuclear war and a global war. So that’s why yesterday we were saying it was not right to allow such an agreement in the Security Council, because it makes everything easier, do you see?

Such a war in Iran today would not remain confined to the local level, because the Iranians would not give in to use of force. If it remained conventional, it would be a war the United States and Europe could not win, and I argue that it would rapidly turn into a nuclear war. If the United States were to make the mistake of using tactical nuclear weapons, there would be consternation throughout the world and the US would eventually lose control of the situation.

Obama has had a heated discussion with the Pentagon about what to do in Afghanistan; imagine Obama’s situation with American and Israeli soldiers fighting against millions of Iranians. The Saudis are not going to fight in Iran, nor are the Pakistanis or any other Arab or Muslim soldiers. What could happen is that the Yanks have serious conflicts with the Pakistani tribes which they are attacking and killing with their drones,  and they know that. When you strike a blow against those tribes, first attacking and then warning the government, not saying anything beforehand;  that is one of the things that irritates the Pakistanis. There is a strong anti-American feeling there.

It’s a mistake to think that the Iranians would give up if they used tactical nuclear weapons against them, and the world really would be shocked, but then it may be too late.

Michel Chossudovsky .- They cannot win a conventional war.          

Fidel Castro Ruz .- They cannot win.

Michel Chossudovsky. – And that we can see in Iraq; in Afghanistan they can destroy an entire country, but they cannot win from a military standpoint.          

Fidel Castro Ruz. – But to destroy it [a country] at what price, at what cost to the world, at what economic costs, in the march towards catastrophe? The problems you mentioned are compounded, the American people would react, because the American people are often slow to react, but they react in the end. The American people react to casualties, the dead.

A lot of people supported the Nixon administration during the war in Vietnam, he even suggested the use of nuclear weapons in that country to Kissinger, but he dissuaded him from taking that criminal step. The United States was obliged by the American people to end the war; it had to negotiate and had to hand over the south. Iran would have to give up the oil in the area. In Vietnam what did they hand over? An expense. Ultimately, they are now back in Vietnam, buying oil, trading. In Iran they would lose many lives, and perhaps a large part of the oil facilities in the area would be destroyed.

In the present situation, is likely they would not understand our message. If war breaks out, my opinion is that they, and the world, would gain nothing. If it were solely a conventional war, which is very unlikely, they would lose irretrievably, and if it becomes a global nuclear war, humanity would lose.

Michel Chossudovsky.- Iran has conventional forces that are …significant.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Land forces, but also rockets and also Iran has the ability to defend itself.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   While there remains one single man with a gun, this is an enemy they will have to defeat.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  And there are several millions with guns.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions, and they will have to sacrifice many American lives, unfortunately it would be only then that Americans would react, if they don’t react now they will react later when it will be too late; we must write, we must divulge this as much as we can.   Remember that the Christians were persecuted, they led them off to the catacombs, they killed them, they threw them to the lions, but they held on to their beliefs for centuries and later that was what they did to the Moslems, and the Moslems never yielded.

There is a real war against the Moslem world.  Why are those lessons of history being forgotten?  I have read many of the articles you wrote about the risks of that war.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Let us return to the matter of Iran.  I believe that it is very important that world opinion comprehends the war scenario.  You clearly state that they would lose the war, the conventional war, they are losing it in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran has more conventional forces than those of NATO in Afghanistan.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Much more experienced and motivated.  They are now in conflict with those forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and one they don’t mention: the Pakistanis of the same ethnic group as those in the resistance in Afghanistan. In White House discussions,  they consider that the war is lost, that’s what the book by Bob Woodward entitled “Obama’s Wars” tells us.  Imagine the  situation if in addition to that, they append a war to liquidate whatever remains after the initial blows they inflict on Iran.

So they will be thrust into a conventional war situation that they cannot win, or they will be obliged to wage a global nuclear war, under conditions of a worldwide upheaval.  And I don’t know who can justify the type of war they have to wage; they have 450 targets marked out in Iran, and of these some, according to them, will have to be attacked with tactical nuclear warheads because of their location in mountainous areas and at the depth at which they are situated [underground].  Many Russian personnel and persons from other nationalities collaborating with them will die in that confrontation.

What will be the reaction of world opinion in the face of that blow which today is being irresponsibly promoted by the media with the backing of many Americans?

Michel Chossudovsky.-  One issue, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, they are all neighbouring countries in a certain way.  Iran shares borders with Afghanistan and with Iraq, and the United States and NATO have military facilities in the countries they occupy.  What’s going to happen? I suppose that the Iranian troops are immediately going to cross the border.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Well, I don’t know what tactic they’re going to use, but if one were in their place, the most advisable is to not concentrate their troops, because if the troops are concentrated they will be victims of the attack with tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, in accordance with the nature of the threat as it is being described, the best thing would be for them to use a tactic similar to ours in southern Angola when we suspected that South Africa had nuclear weapons; we created tactical groups of 1000 men with land and anti-air fire power.  Nuclear weapons could never within their reach target a large number of soldiers. Anti-air rocketry and other similar weapons was supporting our forces.  Weapons and the conditions of the terrain change and tactics must continuously change.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Dispersed.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Dispersed, but not isolated men, there were around 1000 men with appropriate weapons, the terrain was sandy, wherever they got to they had to dig in and protect themselves underground, always keeping the maximum distance between components.  The enemy was never given an opportunity to aim a decisive blow against the 60,000 Cuban and Angolan soldiers in southern Angola.

What we did in that sister country is what, a thousand strong army, operating with traditional criteria, would have done.  Fine, we were not 100 000, in southern Angola there were 60,000 men, Cubans and Angolans; due to technical requirements the tactical groups were mainly made up of Cubans because they handled tanks, rockets, anti-aircraft guns, communications, but the infantry was made up of Cuban and Angolan soldiers, with great fighting spirit, who didn’t hesitate one second in confronting the white Apartheid army supported by the United States and Israel.  Who handled the numerous nuclear weapons that they had at that moment?

In the case of Iran,   we are getting news that they are digging into the ground, and when they are asked about it, they say that they are making cemeteries to bury the invaders. I don’t know if this is meant to be ironic, but I think that one would really have to dig quite a lot to protect their forces from the attack which is threatening them.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Sure, but Iran has the possibility of mobilizing millions of troops.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Not just troops, but the command posts are also decisive.  In my opinion, dispersion is very important.  The attackers will try to prevent the transmission of orders.  Every combat unit must know beforehand what they have to do under different  circumstances.  The attacker will try to strike and destabilize the chain of command with its radio-electronic weapons.  All those factors must be kept in mind.  Mankind has never experienced a similar predicament.

Anyway,  Afghanistan is “a joke” and Iraq, too, when you compare them with what they are going to bump into in Iran: the weaponry, the training, the mentality, the kind of soldier…  If 31 years ago, Iranian combatants cleaned the mine fields by advancing over them, they will undoubtedly be the most fearsome adversaries that the United States has ever come across.

 

Our thanks and appreciation to Cuba Debate for the transcription as well as the translation from Spanish.

 

 

Fidel’s Message on the Dangers of Nuclear War

Recorded on the last day of the Conversations, October 15, 2010

TRANSCRIPT

The use of nuclear weapons in a new war would mean the end of humanity. This was candidly foreseen by scientist Albert Einstein who was able to measure their destructive capability to generate millions of degrees of heat, which would vaporize everything within a wide radius of action. This brilliant researcher had promoted the development of this weapon so that it would not become available to the genocidal Nazi regime.

Each and every government in the world has the obligation to respect the right to life of each and every nation and of the totality of all the peoples on the planet.

Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don’t harbour the least doubt that an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict.

The World’s peoples have an obligation to demand of their political leaders their Right to Live. When the life of humankind, of your people and your most beloved human beings run such a risk, nobody can afford to be indifferent; not one minute can be lost in demanding respect for that right; tomorrow will be too late.

Albert Einstein himself stated unmistakably: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. We fully comprehend what he wanted to convey, and he was absolutely right, yet in the wake of a global nuclear war, there wouldn’t be anybody around to make use of those sticks and stones.

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people.

In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 15, 2010

Paradigms Flip as Trump and Tulsi Emerge as the Winners of the Democratic Party Debate

Joaquin Flores
June 29, 2019
Image result for Paradigms Flip as Trump and Tulsi Emerge as the Winners of the Democratic Party Debate

The single truth that many mainstream Democrats will have a very difficult time acknowledging coming out of the June 26thDemocratic Party Presidential Debate, is that Donald Trump’s positions on China and Latin America have become a Democratic Party line. Is this is a mere matter of pandering to the polling data on questions like Latin America and China? Even if just that, it would be a Trump success in and of itself.

But it also raises whether Trump has indeed accomplished more – a tectonic shift, a sea-change in elite policy formation focus from Russia and the Mid-east over to China and Latin America. The ties between the DNC and China still appear too strong, and so the reality would seem to tend to rotate around a pandering to the polling data.

From China to solving the migration problem through a ‘Marshall Plan’ for Latin America and more, Trump’s nominal views on these questions found expression as dominating themes in the debate.

In the war of positions, this is a victory for Trump.

The June 26th Democratic Party Presidential Debate was astounding in its representation of a major paradigm shift in the United States.

TULSI GABBARD COMES AWAY THE WINNER

Connected to Trump as the ‘winner’, it was Tulsi Gabbard who stood out from the rest of the candidates. Interestingly, reliable polling data just out from the Drudge Report shows that Gabbard emerged as the winner of the debate on ideas and policies overall. She won some 40% of the vote, and when compared to the candidates whom the other 60% was divided, it was a landslide.

Before anyone dismisses Gabbard, it’s critical to understand that mainstream media lost most of its credibility over the lat election. This is the age of underdogs and dark horses

When the subject moved to Afghanistan and occupation, Gabbard was on confident and really on fire. This is significant because while historically Gabbard’s anti-imperialist line on occupation would be associated with (normally later broken) Democratic Party talking points, it was here that Trump defeated Clinton at the polls, when Trump won the anti-war vote in 2016.

Worth noting as well as that in the aftermath of the debate last night, Gabbard’s new social media campaign on Twitter features her name scrolling across the bottom of the screen in undeniable Trump 2016 campaign font. Coincidence? Nothing in politics is coincidental – nothing.

Gabbard destroyed Ryan on Afghanistan, and Booker’s attempt to attack Gabbard fell tremendously short and felt very artificial, saying that Gabbard’s position on LGBTQ ‘isn’t enough’, but then switching incoherently to the subject of African Americans, Jim Crow, and lynchings – a misfire and very much off-topic.

CHINA

Of the ten candidates debating, four responded that China was the primary threat to the US – but this was the single-most consistent answer. Delaney, Klobuchar, Castro, and Ryan all answered this way.

This was a win for Trump’s entire line for the last thirty something years.

De Blasio stood out as the lone Russiagater, definitely representing the mindset of his New York City electorate and the coastal media establishment.

Gabbard, meanwhile, was wise to name ecological threats as this helped her maintain her position as an anti-war candidate.

The pivot to a focus on China is much less dangerous than the focus on Russia. The US does not really believe it can challenge China in a military sense, and their anti-Chinese rhetoric, while full of sword rattling and imperial bravado, amounts to noise and little more. There is some hope in American quarters about curtailing China’s economic strength, but the focus on China appears more as a question of a state requiring the spectre of an anthropomorphized threat in the abstract, in order to justify the existence of a state and a military budget, and to make a foreigner responsible for matters of wealth disparity and a lack of employment opportunities in the US – a prominent tactic and talking point in market-driven societies based in private property norms.

But the pivot to a focus on China was tremendous and not expected, given the relationship historically between China and the Democratic Party – a friendly one.

Until now, it’s been just the conservative corners of the alt-light in the US-centric internet who view the ‘rising Chinese threat’ as a serious concern for the US. This trope was primarily focused on the twin threat of Chinese rising military prowess and its population size, along with the US practice of outsourcing American jobs to China – a policy that saw short term consumer savings, and mid-to-long term slashes to US wages and employment. It created a trade imbalance which the US can only resolving by defaulting on and then drawing its guns to force a new deal.

Taken all together, this means that whoever Trump gets into the big race with, it will not be a question of ‘whether’ China is a threat, but how to ‘best contain’ the Chinese threat. This is a victory from ‘go’ for Trump.

LATIN AMERICA

Here is another major subject where Trump’s influence on the entire discourse has prevailed, though it’s a little less obvious and requires a minor bifurcation to reveal.

We are of course obliged to mention that the location of the debate in Miami Florida was strategic given its representation of Latinos in the US – traditionally Cuban and more recently Venezuelan Republicans as hardline anti-communists and cold-warriors, who see their children increasingly becoming more ‘center-left’ as they have Americanized and become ‘Latinos’ in the US. They are still at odds geopolitically with Latinos, primarily Mexican-Americans from the American southwest, who tend to be friendlier to socialist ideas and have represented the far-left of the Democratic Party on economic issues as well as anti-imperialism, even if sharing with Cuban-Americans some more socially conservative values. This communitarian axis of Latinos in the US, however, has grown and become a real force of its own.

Trump’s hardline on Cuba and Venezuela is appealing to the Florida wing of the Latino constituency (to the extent we can speak of a single constituency), and this is where the Democratic Party understands it needs to fight in order to win Florida.

There hasn’t been a Republican candidate to win the Presidency without winning Florida in many generations, and the Republican victory of Rick Scott in the state’s most expensive senatorial race against Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson in 2018 shows that Republicans are aiming to win Florida in 2020. The Democratic Party concern is palpable and well founded.

So we find the extraordinary focus on Latinos was represented in the ultimately surprising display of whole Spanish language answers from both Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker, and a few questions wholly or partly in Spanish from the moderators. The entire debate was brought to viewers not just by NBC but also by Spanish language network Telemundo.

At face value, Trump and Democrats seem to be 6’s and 7’s over immigration. But when we really look at what the real deal is, we find yet another alignment of the Democrat’s position to that of Trump’s. How can this be?

To understand this is to understand the overall trajectory now that the US empire is all but finished. Its historical aim now is to be able to disentangle from the Mid-East, a prominent Trump position which used to be Obama’s until it wasn’t, and on the Democratic side today is only being carried forward by Tulsi Gabbard. The so-called neo-isolationism of the US isn’t so much that, as it is a return to the Monroe Doctrine. This author has written about this several years before Trump took office, in the article ‘From Pax Americana to Pan Americana’. Here this author argued that the US must transform from a Sea Power into a Land Power. This isn’t isolationism, but a right-sized regional hegemon, a regional hegemon for the Americas.

Trump’s rhetoric on the immigration question and Mexico has never failed to mention that the mid-to-long term solution is not only that Mexico enforces its own borders to its south, but that the Mexican economy grows – and this requires investment.

The trade-offs are several fold. For one, the US goes back to its China position, and wants Latin American countries to agree to reduce the Chinese influence in exchange for real industrial capital investments from the United States into Latin America.

This is not to say that the Democratic Party has ignored Latin America to date, far from it. It was under Obama’s two terms that the US worked the most to reverse the Pink Tide in Latin America, and this came with a few ‘own goals’ when the ultimate consequence of the regime-change operation in Honduras was to stoke a human wave migration crisis. This was, in short, the American version of the Libya scenario.

While Trump is nominally strict on immigration, it was under Obama that the US deported the most migrants in history. This is a fact that Democrats ignore in their talking points and attacks on Trump’s ‘inhuman policy’ that tears families apart. And so in a strange departure from what might otherwise occur to us, it was Obama’s policy that was worse by the numbers for pro-migration advocates, and it’s been Trump who has openly called for investment into Latin America with a named reason being to stem the migration ‘crisis’.

And it’s this exact talking point that numerous Democratic Party candidates picked up on, and a very telling term was introduced by Julian Castro – a Marshall Plan for Latin America. Cory Booker stood beside and nodded in apparent agreement, and that the words came from the token Latino (no, not Beto), Castro was both intentional and symbolically telling.

While Bolton and Pompeo have operated under the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ term, this is so entirely distasteful for all of Latin America that it offends anyone and everyone, even the US’s own lackeys, puppets, and proxies in the region.

But this Marshall Plan for Latin America was already introducedby none other than Mexican President AMLO himself, in talks with Trump.

“Why it matters: AMLO has worked energetically since taking office to sell the White House on a “Marshall Plan” of support to address the region’s growing migrant crisis. The US commitment is a preliminary sign that he’s at least being heard…

While he campaigned as a compassionate voice on immigration, Mexico’s new left-wing leader spied the need for a grand solution. The US funding will contribute to a $30 billion aid package envisioned by AMLO…

AMLO even dangled the prospect of Chinese investment to bring Trump to the table, according to the NY Times — reasoning that the US might be more willing to pay up if it feared that China might try to expand its influence in the region by opening its wallet.”

Since them, numerous articles have popped up describing Trump’s potential ‘Marshall Plan’ for Central America.

WHAT NEXT? CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

What Tulsi Gabbard, the clear winner of the debate, will do next is to appropriate Julian Castro’s ‘Marshall Plan’ line on Mexico and Central America. It dog-whistles numerous Trump talking points in relation to Mexico, as well as taking a ‘less migration is good migration’ approach to what is no doubt a real problem, without engaging in reactionary attacks on the migrants themselves. To get ‘to the source’ of the problem, as Castro explains, requires investment into Latin America.

Gabbard will be well positioned to nominally attack Trump’s policy implementation along human rights grounds, while not being specific on anything except getting ‘to the source of the problem’.

Gabbard is the dark horse, and along with Yang (in the second night’s debate) will no doubt pull ahead of the conventionally pre-selected winners that were supposed to be Booker, Sanders, Warren and especially Biden. We will see much more focus on Gabbard now in virtual spaces, even while the mainstream media will continue to wrongly focus on Biden and Booker. Booker played his left-most game in the debate, but as prospective voters sort him on questions as far and ranging as Palestine, war, and labor (economy) – they will find him sorely lacking.

With 60% of American generally supporting Trump’s approach to the economy, these are his highest approval ratings, and ones which Americans care about and highly prioritize. Gabbard would be wise to approach the question of distribution, winners and losers of the economic boom, and focus on the 1% vs. the 99%. Doing so will help her move beyond her initial base of support as the anti-war candidate.

This will angle the populist line, and position her well not only against all other Democrats, but even against Trump himself should she win the nomination. It’s a long shot, but remember indeed: this is the age of underdogs and dark horses.

 

The head of the Russian GRU reveals US plans against Venezuela (MUST SEE!)

The head of the Russian GRU reveals US plans against Venezuela (MUST SEE!)

May 02, 2019

The U.S. wants to change the government in Venezuela and use Colombia to do that. The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov, stated that. He made that statement at the conference on international security. It was held last week in Moscow.

Behold the Breathtaking Weakness of the Empire!

 • APRIL 30, 2019

The Empire has suffered painful defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, but one has to admit that these are “tough” countries to crack. The Empire also appears to have lost control of Libya, but that is another complex country which is very hard to control. We also saw all the pathetic huffing and puffing with the DPRK. But, let’s be honest, the US never stood a chance to bully the DPRK into submission, nevermind invading or regime-changing it. Syria was much weaker, but here Russia, Iran and Hezbollah did a world class job of repelling all the AngloZionist attacks, political and military. Besides, I for one will never blame Trump for not listening to Bolton and not triggering WWIII over Syria (yet?)

But Venezuela?!

No Hezbollah or Iran backing Maduro there. And Venezuela is way too far away from Russia to allow her to do what she did in Syria. In fact, Venezuela is in the proverbial “backyard” of the US and is surrounded by hostile puppet regimes. And yet, tonight, it appears that the US puppet Guaidó has failed in his coup attempt.

Moon of Alabama did a great job covering the events of the day, so I will refer you to the excellent article “Venezuela – Random Guyaidó’s New Coup Attempt Turns Out to Be A Dangerous Joke“. I fully concur that today’s coup was both a joke and very dangerous.

Russian readers can also check out this article by Vzgliad which also gives a lot of interesting details, including the fact that Guaidó launched his coup from the Colombian Embassy in Caracas (see here for a machine translation).

But the thing which amazes me most tonight is the truly breathtakingly pathetic weakness of the clowns who launched this latest failed operation: Pompeo and Mr MAGA. Check them out:

Let’s begin with Pompeo.

According to him, the coup failed because of Russia (what else is new?)! Not only that, but Maduro had already decided to run to Cuba, but then the Russians stopped him.

Really?

So are we to believe that the coup was a stunning success, yet another feather to the CIA’s “hat” of failed successful covert operations? Apparently so.

After all, why would Maduro want to run unless he realized that the situation was hopeless?

But then “Russia” called him and told him to stay put. The conversation must gone something like this:

Putin: Mr Maduro – you don’t need to worry about a thing. Just do what we tell you and stay put.
Maduro: but my people hate me! They all turned against me! The military is behind the coup!
Putin: no, no, it’s all under control, just stay put.
Maduro: but the mob will lynch me if I stay!!!!
Putin: no worries, nobody will touch you.

Does that dialog look credible to you? I sure hope not! I think that anybody with a modicum of intelligence ought to realize that Maduro’s decision to stay in place could only have been based on one of two possible considerations:

  1. The coup has failed and Maduro is safe or
  2. The coup is successful and Maduro will stay and fight till his last breath (like Allende did)

But tonight Maduro is safe in Caracas and the coup plotters are on the run.

The truth is that only a loser and imbecile like Pompeo could come up with such a lame excuse in a desperate attempt to “cover his ass” and blame his failure on the Neocon’s favorite scapegoat: Russia.

Now let’s check what his boss had to say:

Trump does not blame Russia. Instead, he blames Cuba!

I don’t know what kind of silly scenarios Mr MAGA ran in his head to come up with “the Cubans did it” but that is even more ridiculous than “the Russians did it”. Reading this “tweets” (how appropriate for this bird-brain!) one could get the impression that the Cubans launched a full-scale military attack (involving both the Cuban military and “militias”) and that they orchestrated a brutal crack-down on the Venezuelan people.

In the real world, however, Cuba did nothing of the sort.

But, really, who cares?!

In the Empire of Illusions fact don’t matter. At least to the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire who continue to believe that only spin matters.

In the case of Venezuela, spin alone failed.

So what’s next?

According to the typical scenario revealed to us by John Perkins, the next step should be a full-scale US invasion. And yes, he is right, that would be what the Empire would have done in its heyday. But nowadays?

Check out this interesting news snippet: Eric Prince wants Blackwater to send 5,000 mercenaries to Venezuela (does anybody know why and how these clowns came up with the 5,000 figure? First Bolton, now Prince. Do they really think that this is enough?!).

The point is not whether Prince will ever get to send mercenaries to Venezuela or whether the Trump administration is inclined to accept this offer. The point is that Prince would have never made this offer in the first place if the US military was up to the task. It is not, and Prince knows that very well.

The military stands by the Constitutional government of Venezuela
The military stands by the Constitutional government of Venezuela

As for Maduro, he seems to have the support not only of a majority of his people, but of the Venezuelan armed forces. As for the armed forces, they are clearly enjoying the support of the people.

This is a very bad combination for the Empire. Here is why:

Yes, Venezuela has immense problems. And yes, both Chavez and Maduro have made mistakes. But this is not about Chavez or Maduro, this is about the rule of law inside and outside Venezuela. This is about the people of Venezuela, even the suffering ones, not willing to renounce the sovereignty of their country. Yes, Chavez did not solve all of Venezuela’s problems, but to deliver the country to the Empire would mean crushing any hope of true, real, people power. The Venezuelan people apparently have no illusions about their Yankee neighbors and they don’t want the Empire-style “democracy” to turn Venezuela into the next Libya.

I should never say never, and God only knows what tomorrow (May 1st) will bring (Guaido has called for a mass protests) but my gut feeling is that the Empire “injected” itself into Venezuela just enough to trigger an immune reaction, like a vaccine, but not enough to infect Venezuela with a toxin powerful enough to kill it.

In the meantime, US aircraft carriers are in the Mediterranean trying to scare Russia, Syria and Iran all at the same time. I can just imagine the disgusted contempt with which this latest sabre-rattling with outdated hardware is received in Moscow, Damascus or Tehran. Even Hezbollah remains utterly unimpressed.

The truth is that the only people who have not come to the realization that the Empire is broken and defeated are the rulers of the Neocon deep state and those who still watch the legacy Ziomedia.

By now everybody else has realized who utterly impotent the Empire has become.

Conclusion:

The Empire only appears to be strong. In reality it is weak, confused, clueless and, most importantly, run by a sad gang of incompetent thugs who think that they can scare everybody into submission in spite of not having won a single significant war since 1945. The inability to break the will of the people of Venezuela is only the latest symptom of this mind-boggling weakness.

I will leave the last word to this charming lady who really said it all:

WASHINGTON NOT HAPPY ABOUT NEW CHINA FOCUS ON CENTRAL AMERICA

25.04.2019

As it becomes clear that the Trump Administration support, so far unsuccessful, for regime change in Venezuela is also very much about targeting the huge financial presence of China with the Maduro regime, recent news of a major Chinese oil success in Cuban waters will clearly deepen the geopolitical tensions. And it involves not only Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil .

China’s major state-owned oil company, CNPC, through its subsidiary, Great Wall Drilling, has begun exploring for oil off Cuba’s coast in a joint venture with state-owned oil firm Cuba Petroleum Company (CUPET), according to an April 16 report in the China state news agency, Xinhua. Great Wall has been engaged in oil exploration in Cuba since 2005, but this is the most promising result to date. Advanced drilling technology from CNPC has opened the prospect of major oil off Cuba for the first time.

The news comes as Washington sanctions target Venezuela oil earnings and also its agreements to supply Cuba with low cost oil. While the Maduro government continues to insist it will deliver oil to Cuba despite sanctions, clearly the security of supply is becoming riskier and supply less.

On April 21 US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that Washington will use a heretofore unused sanction law that allows legal action in US courts to sue foreigners using property seized by the communist regime. While it’s not clear how hard that will hit Cuba, it will clearly chill foreign companies looking to invest in Cuba.

Cuba is well-known to have provided large-scale military assistance as well as thousands of Cuban doctors and medical personnel to support the Maduro presidency in Venezuela. What is less well-known and perhaps an unspoken motive behind the Bolton declaration is the presence of China in both countries.

China presence in Cuba

Details of Chinese loans to the Cuban economy are classified state secret and not disclosed. Clearly though, Beijing has quietly been increasing its presence in the Caribbean island, a country which during the Cold War Fidel Castro era had become a close ally of the Soviets, putting them then at odds with China. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite several attempts by Russian companies such as Norilsk Nickel to gain a presence in Cuba again, financial restraints have hindered any strong new Russian presence.

China appears to have no such problems, and has been investing in a number of key areas in Cuba’s liberalizing economy. Since Cuba trade liberalizations over the past two years, China has sold Yutong buses, Sinotruk trucks, YTO tractors, Geely cars, Haier domestic appliances to Cuba along with 100 railroad locomotives.

Huawei is building internet hotspots on the island and discussions are underway, though with no result to date, for $600 million Chinese investment in a China-Cuban joint venture at the Las Camariocas Cuban nickel processing plant that was left unfinished by the Soviets. Cuba has the world’s third-largest nickel reserves. In 2017 Haier opened a Cuban computer assembly plant with an annual capacity of 120,000 laptops and tablets and a ship container terminal Santiago de Cuba, financed by a $120 million Chinese development loan.

Currently Beijing is Cuba’s largest trading partner and Havana’s largest creditor, with Cuba importing major supplies of Chinese rice, along with thousands of China tourists, a business that brings Cuba an estimated $2 billion annually. Sugar and nickel are the two major Cuban products sent to China amid a trade imbalance in China’s favor.

If China now develops major offshore oil resources in Cuba, their presence will significantly increase and the decline of Venezuelan oil to Cuba as a kind of barter payment for the military and medical and other support, will be eased. Until now Russia’s Rosneft has filled the oil import gap for Cuba.

A Chinese Caribbean?

China is well-established as the major foreign creditor as well to Venezuela with some estimates putting their debt as high as $61 billion. Venezuelan oil is clearly at the heart of the relationship, but there are indications Chinese companies also are looking to exploit untapped gold and coltan resources there. Since the Washington declarations in support of Guaido, China has been unusually outspoken in defense of Maduro, unusual for a state that claims never to involve in local politics.

With details of the extent of Chinese investments in Venezuela not fully clear, China has also made a major presence in neighboring Guyana, since 2018 officially welcoming the small former British colony to join the Belt, Road Initiative, sometimes called China’s New Economic Silk Road. That is indeed far away from an original Beijing infrastructure project, first unveiled by Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan in 2013 that proposed to link all Eurasia from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic in a dual network of deep-water container ports and high-speed railways. As it unfolds, the China BRI clearly is developing global perspective, and this is clearly beginning to unsettle some in Washington.

In Guyana Chinese companies and Chinese money are presently building a highway link from Manaus in Northern Brazil through Guyana, giving Brazil far more efficient access to the Panama Canal, cutting thousands of miles off the shipping route. Talks are reportedly also underway for China to build a deep-water port in Guyana’s northern coast to link to China’s highway to the Brazil Amazon region bordering Venezuela, with its vast untapped mineral riches. People in Guyana say the road-port will benefit China far more than Guyana. In any case, it would enable efficient ship transport from the Amazon through the Panama Canal to China.

And Panama…

If we add to the quiet but growing Chinese economic presence in Cuba, Venezuela and Guyana, the recent actions of Beijing in the strategic Panama Canal it begins to explain part of Washington’s growing alarm over developments in Venezuela and Cuba.

In 2016 China’s Landbridge Group bought Panama’s Margarita Island Port in the Colón Free Trade Zone, the largest port, on the canal’s Atlantic side, giving the Chinese company intimate access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world. They have made major expansion since using by state-owned China Communication Construction Corp., today the world’s largest infrastructure and engineering company.

Already in 1997 China’s Hutchinson Whampoa took control of the American-constructed ports of Balboa and Cristobal in a 50-year contract. Today Hutchison Whampoa is owned by Cheung Kong Holdings of the family of Chinese billionaire Li Ka Shing.

In 2017, Panama delivered a shock to Taiwan, and to Washington, and withdrew its earlier recognition of Taiwan in favor of Beijing. In early April, this year Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela was in China to discuss formally joining the China BRI. In December, 2018 China’s Xi Jinping paid an official visit to Panama as well. Beijing has put Panama high on its priority list. Chinese goods are the second in volume to those of the USA going through the canal.

In addition to Chinese ownership of vital Panama container ports such as Margarita Island Port, China is proposing to build a $4.1 billion 243-mile high-speed rail line from Panama City to its border with Costa Rica —under the rubric of the Belt and Road.

As these relationships develop, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he is considering joining Belt and Road.

In this strategic setting, it becomes clearer why Washington is beginning to react more strongly in its backyard, Central America, by invoking the 19th Century Monroe Doctrine, a de facto empty shell of rhetoric. What is desperately lacking is a series of positive economic initiatives from Washington to provide the means to help those countries develop critical infrastructure across Central and South America, a stark departure from earlier Gunboat Diplomacy. Were that to begin, the climate in the region could become much more friendly to cooperation with Washington.

 

“New Eastern Outlook”

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