International Criminal Lawyer to ST: ICC is Controlled by The US and EU

ST

DAMASCUS, (ST)- An International Criminal Lawyer has underscored that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has fallen under the influence of those who fund it mainly the EU, and US and private corporations who donate to it and who are very willing to use the court when it suits their interests.

Mr. Christopher Black told the Syria Times e-newspaper that the US will not recognize the court, nevertheless it attempts to use it through certain personnel placed in key positions to do its bidding.

“The Americans and British, for example, are putting pressure on the ICC to investigate and charge the Syrian government with war crimes.

This effort is fronted by certain lawyers pretending to represent Syrian refugees, but the lawyers all work for US and UK intelligence and NATO,” he said.

The veteran lawyer went on to say: “one of the US lawyers involved is Stephen Rapp who was once in charge of prosecutions at the Rwanda tribunal where he engaged in some corrupt practices, then became head of the Hariri tribunal which had the objective of making propaganda against Syria, then became the US roving ambassador for war crimes. Now he is acting on US government’s orders.”

He affirmed that US, EU and other NATO countries do not want the ICC to be used against them but they are very willing to use it to suit their interests.

“The USA did sign up to the Rome Treaty but withdrew its signature under President Bush because the Americans see themselves as the exceptional people, subject to no laws but their own, at the same time that they try to dictate to the world what the law should be,” Mr. Black added.

He made it clear that there are of course many atrocities that have been committed by American forces in all their wars and will be in the future but they do not want to be judged in a world court, have their officer and leaders put on trial, their national reputation disgraced.

“They [American forces] also view war crimes tribunals as only suitable for those who have defeated, as propaganda show trials to justify their wars and portray the defeated enemy as criminals. But they will never tolerate the same treatment for themselves because they see themselves in their arrogance above all others and subject to no one’s judgement,” the lawyer stated.

He underscored that the ICC is not accountable to any higher body. “For this reason, Russia and China and I suspect Syria have not joined it.  All national courts are part of a governmental system. Court decisions can be challenged at appeal levels and even to the government in certain cases. But there is no world government for the ICC to report to or where its decisions can be challenged.  So it has fallen under the influence of those that fund it mainly the EU, and US and private corporations who donate to it.”

The chance of the US or close allies being charged is zero

In response to a question about who will judge American, Israeli atrocities and their allies for their war crimes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, the lawyer said: “No one will judge them except the peoples of those countries. There are no means possible to bring them to justice before an international body with the present world power structure. However, each country that has suffered under their aggression can lay their own charges, have their own trials, even in absentia, and show the world the crimes that they committed.”

He indicated that the Americans have made it very clear they will not permit their people to be arrested by the ICC or their allies. “As we saw this week with Afghanistan, when they don’t want to be investigated, the ICC will back off and will drop its investigations. They even have a law permitting them (a US law) to physically release any of their people even if they were arrested. So the chance of the US or close allies such as Israel being charged is zero.”

The lawyer asserted that the ICC is dominated by EU and US and other NATO countries such as Canada.

“Many of the staff are people that used to work under NATO -US command at the Yugoslav and Rwanda tribunals which were in name UN tribunals but were in fact controlled by the USA. Key staff they can rely on to do what they want are placed in key positions,” he said.

Mr. Black concluded by saying: “Once again, the only people who can hold them accountable are the people of the nations they have attacked.”

Interviewed by: BasmaQaddour

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Al-Ahed Re-Publishes Secret File: Gerstein’s Last Moments – Episode 1

 

By Staff – Beirut

Al-Ahed News Website reveals secret chapters of one of the Islamic Resistance’s great achievements, which has remained concealed for years.

The story of the final moments of the commander of the Zionist forces in Lebanon, Erez Gerstein, who was executed by the Islamic Resistance in a qualitative operation on February 28, 1999, is told by those who lived it minute by minute.

The Al-Ahed newspaper unveiled one of the chapters of the secret war that took place during the Zionist occupation of Lebanon. The following is the first episode. The other episodes will follow in the coming days.

Erez Gerstein: Identification Card

Brigadier General Erez Gerstein was one of the most prominent Zionist military commanders “and one of the best commanders in the field”, specializing in topography. He was the top “Israeli” military official in Lebanon.

He participated in many acts of aggression against Lebanon. In 1982, he was the assistant to the then War Minister Ariel Sharon. He believed that the naval commandos were not a sufficient challenge for him.

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Ariel Sharon, right, and Menachem Begin, center, at Beaufort after its capture

He repeatedly raided Nabatiyeh and the Beaufort Castle [Arnoun Castle]. He took part in the Battle of Beaufort, in addition to his raids on the tunnels of Naameh.

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He rose through the ranks. He was the commander of “Sirt Golani” that is the Special Forces and then commander of the Golani Brigade. In March 1998, he was appointed successor to Brigadier General Eli Amitai in heading the Southern Command of the Armed Forces (the commander of the liaison unit).

Two months after assuming the post of commander of the Golani Brigade, his brigade suffered a severe blow. Seven soldiers were killed at the Aishiyeh site. At the end of his service at this post, five of his soldiers were also killed in Wadi Saluki.

His car was hit by an improvised explosive device near the village of Al-Rihan. He miraculously survived. But on Sunday evening, 28 February 1999, he did not survive a larger explosion that blew up his armored vehicle. Three others, including an ‘Israeli’ radio reporter were also killed. The Islamic Resistance prepared the explosive device at the al-Khan-Kawkab junction.

““Israel’s” hand is long. We will bring any fugitive back wherever he is. And we will behead him sooner or later. Soon, we will carry the heads of the traitors with our hands. We are a state that does not abandon its vengeance even years later.”

These were the final words of Erez Gerstein, the commander of the liaison unit in Lebanon and the top military man of the “Israeli” forces occupying southern Lebanon, who was speaking to a group of “Israeli”-affiliated militias in the town of Shebaa.

– End of Introduction –

This happened on the last day of the cold month of February. It was a warm morning unlike regular winter mornings. News of his arrival was widely disseminated moments before his convoy of three civilian bulletproofed armored vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns entered the town. The motorcade emerged from the heart of the dust storm. The sun was setting when the general got out of his dark-curtained car and entered a neighboring building to pay his respects to the wife of a fallen militia security agent and pay the price for his death. The widow was paid USD 50,000 within less than five minutes.

The general left the dead agent’s house and waited in the middle of the road.

“I carefully observed him after everyone was in my line of vision. His facial features shone under the shy winter sunlight. He was rudely moving amidst the soldiers, as if he had something he wanted to say quickly,” Malik sighs as he tells the story of his last meeting with Erez Gerstein.

“I sank a little bit into the noise under my balcony. And I began observing him carefully. I saw him chase a flying insect with the corner of his eye and stomp the dirt with his shoe to search for another one crawling. He did not want to miss out on anything. Then, he turned his head. His eyes ran across the hills of Kfar Shuba and Shebaa, as if he was redrawing the map of the deployment of the “Israeli” forces in that region. The region was the other side of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. He was doing so as the top “Israeli” army topographer in Lebanon. This is aside from his passion for insects.”

“With the corner of his other eye, I saw him looking down on my superior in the 504 “Israeli” intelligence unit, who in turn had his head down. It was in contrast to the picture that led me to accompany him in his work, where he would meet senior “Israeli” officers and take instructions from them directly without humiliation. They trusted him. They were so concerned about him that they insisted on getting to know me since I was his personal bodyguard. This coincided with Erez Gerstein taking up his new post in Lebanon. The eyes of my superior did not meet the general’s. Boredom was obvious on his face. And he seemed to stand there for too long when compared to his constant movement on the field. He was only used to standing in the battlefields in the face of elements of the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance. He participated in the invasion of Beirut when he helped Sharon in 1982. He took part in besieging the city of Beirut. He used to watch the fire raging during the night from atop the overlooking hills. He also took part in the Battle of Beaufort. He used to boast that he entered the town despite the forces that defended the castle until the last breath. He raided Nabatiyeh and Arnoun, etc. While I was going through these pictures in my head, the loud voice of a security officer of the agents’ militia Riyad al-Hamra brought me back to where I was standing: ‘Malik, the general wants to speak to the men. It is unreasonable for him to stay on the street. Open your house for us for just five minutes.’”

“The blood in my veins froze due to the shock that came over me. ‘In my house, me, what blind trust.’ I said to myself, I could not say a single word. The whole group walked toward the stairs while I was taking my little family, my wife and child, upstairs to where my parents lived. I opened the doors widely for the arrivals, including twenty military personnel working in the “Israeli” intelligence and security officers with stars on their shoulders, which I’ve come accustomed to seeing recently. I looked for Doron’s face among the crowd. He was the first “Israeli” intelligence officer I met in the Metula settlement before handing over his post to his successor, Abu al-Nimr. Doron was not among those who entered my small house. Gerstein did not forgive those with even a single security failure. The issue of double agent Raja Ward fleeing the occupation’s authority has not been closed yet! I have never seen a fat person like Abu Nimr, an “Israeli” officer whose eloquence in Arabic and broad memory of Arab proverbs I will never forget. The leaders that passed before me were not higher than the general’s rank. His body touched mine. He did not pay attention to my surprised and confused breathing. He trusted me. He threw his pouch indifferently at my porch as proof of his confidence in the security measures as well as being in my house.”

Malik, who is recalling the details of the last 30 minutes in the life of Erez Gerstein, added: “He entered and sat here on this chair. Next to him was Rafiq al-Saeed, the Zionist general who was responsible for the so-called civil administration in the eastern sector. On his other side was “Israel’s” radio reporter and military spokesperson in the region Ilan Roeh. He was preparing the recorder for him [Gerstein] on this table as if he was documenting the history of this senior officer who was qualified to hold very high-ranking positions in the “Israeli” army.” Here (gesturing with his hand) sat Munir al-Shawfi, the operations officer of the 30th Regiment.”

“Before the rest of the crowd rested from the tour, Nadeem Abu Rafie, the commander of the Hasbaya district of the 30th Brigade, sent Mohammed Zein, the officer of the agents’ militia in the region, to buy refreshments. The agents were in a state of tension as a result of the blows dealt by the Islamic Resistance. The blows shook the agents’ army structure and infiltrated its security apparatus. The agents needed some juice to be refreshed and a morale boost to strengthen their determination. The general started boosting their morale, taking advantage of the intermittent time as usual. He enjoyed talking about his achievements against Hezbollah even if it was about the Kfour explosive device that lead to the martyrdom of five resistance fighters. He seemed boastful with his great achievement, which would contribute as he put it to the dismantling of Hezbollah!”

“He said, ‘the safety of the “Israeli” Defense Force and the Northern Command was based on striking Hezbollah everywhere.’ Then he continued sarcastically, ‘This is what happened to them in this operation – the Kfour Operation. We certainly hit them. We see that we have an intelligence capability to reach them. The use of the explosive devices is aimed at helping launch local strikes at Hezbollah whenever we want. I repeat what I said before, we meant to hit those responsible for the “subversive operations” in Hezbollah, which was sometimes portrayed in the country as a large organization. There are many fighters in it, and this is no secret when you succeed in striking them.’”

“Erez Gerstein was accustomed to recounting his military achievements. He presented himself as a hero in his wars against the resistance. He did not hesitate in his private conversations with his fellow officers to reveal his role in the attack of the Special Forces on the military headquarters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – the General Command in the Naameh-Damour area to assassinate Ahmed Jibril. Back then he was the commander of the Golani Brigade and the spearhead.

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The operation began with dropping elite elements with booby-trapped dogs trained to enter tunnels. “Israeli” military intelligence officers, including Erez, believed that the assassination of Ahmed Jibril in this way would be a great achievement for them. But the pictures of the dead dogs on the pages of Beirut’s newspapers issued the following day proved without doubt the failure of the smart operation.”

“He said: ‘The more chaos, the more complaints from the military police. This is good.’ The leaders patted his shoulder and he always got the highest applause when he stated his position.”

“He strongly criticized what he called self-restraint in Lebanon, saying: ‘The soldiers’ blood is no less red than the blood of the civilians.’

“‘All eyes on him’  … He carried a cup filled with soda and sipped the acid nitrate, and then with his other hand he threw the pieces of nuts into his mouth and began to crack pistachios and the white pumpkin seeds with his shiny teeth. Everyone was looking at him in silence, observing the details of the forty-year old man’s facial features, which were drone by the ranks he occupied. He rose from the commander of the Special Forces to the commander of the Golani Brigade. In March 1998, he was appointed successor to Brigadier General Eli Amitai who was dismissed from office following his security failure and the confirmation by the leadership in the “Israeli” army that the Islamic Resistance was able to breach all his security measures and get to agents and recruit them. The command of the Armed Forces in the south was handed over to Gerstein, who outperformed his trainers with his vast experiences against what they called subversive operations. He was classified as one of the best field officers and most senior commander of the “Israeli” army in Lebanon. He had every Zionist’s trust as the commander of the liaison unit.”

No Peace!

Malik was tirelessly narrating what had happened at his home shortly before the death explosive device planted by the resistance on the road to Kawkaba killed Erez. Unlike his family, he never mentioned the word peace once. “I remember when we used to go to Eilat, Taba, Haifa, Naqab and Safad every year to attend secret security meetings and the distribution of tasks or receive training under the auspices of Uri Lubrani, who used to meet us once a year to deliver his “peace” speech. He entered with an olive branch in his hand saying: “You are the ambassadors of peace and mediators between us and the Lebanese state.”

“The general adjusted his seating position and puffed his chest out, which was filled with threats and mixed with kindness for the remains of the agents that were the only ones left behind from the many that deserted. His words were harsh. Rafiq Al Saeed noticed the relatives of the agents that deserted. So he whispered to Gerstein and asked him to smooth things over and avoid stirring sensitivity and tension among the remaining agents. However, Erez stuck to his stance as usual. When he spoke during meetings, silence befell the brigade commanders and officers, in anticipation of what he had in store for them. He never disappointed the enemy. His public statements in internal deliberations were headlines. He was the one who did not take into account the feelings of the mothers when he attacked the Four Mothers organization in May of last year because “it negatively affects the battlefield and posed a threat to the soldier and his life as a commander.” How would he take into account the feelings of his agents! This was what affected the siblings of the agents present there and pushed them to flee later and follow their fugitive brothers.”

Malik takes a puff of his cigarette and adds: “After more than half an hour, the general left my house with his entourage. The phone was on my side. I had a strange feeling of responsibility and fear of what was coming at once. My anticipation for certain news included a mixture of fear and challenge. I even wished for a moment that he would die after one or two days.

My heart was beating with every tick of the clock, which indicated ten past 11. Then my brother, who lived above my house, called me to turn on the television and shouted: “Look at what happened to the people who were at your house.” I tried to stop breathing to hear the news broadcast by one of the Arab satellite channels: “General Erez Gerstein, the “Israeli” liaison officer in southern Lebanon, was killed in southern Lebanon on the Marjayoun-Hasbayya road after an explosive device was detonated by Hezbollah fighters. Gerstein was the highest-ranking military officer killed by Hezbollah … Three of his companions, including an ‘Israeli’ radio correspondent were killed with him.”

“I was shocked and silent. I flipped channels hoping to hear something that refutes the news. I might be dreaming. Could all these resonating speeches evaporate and go in vain without a farewell!”

“After hearing the news of his death, dozens of Zionist settlers protested angrily in front of the headquarters of the so-called Minister of War. They burned rubber tires and raised banners saying: ‘Stop the foolish occupation’, ‘It’s stupid to stay in Lebanon’, and ‘It’s Lebanon, you idiots.’”

“Then I remembered the last thing he said before he left my house for Marjayoun: ‘Hezbollah is dying.’” The moment of my meditation was interrupted by a call. On the other side of the line was a voice I got used to confidently cheering: ‘Congratulations.’”

They Know Everything

One of the Zionist analysts said during a live broadcast in an interview with the enemy’s television: “that he had to say that because of everything that happened, this was a pre-planned ‘attack’ on Brigadier General Erez Gerstein. It was not a coincidence. He was the intended target and they were doing research on him. This is because they broadcast his biography all the time. Since the first broadcast on Al-Manar TV in the afternoon, they spoke about Gerstein’s life in an archival documentary for 20 minutes. Of course, this is not an easy job to do in a day. It is related to different events and tours he made during his work for a year since he took up his post, including material they record from “Israeli” television and based on Hezbollah’s information. What is more important is that the operation was carried out inside the “security zone” under “Israeli” control, and we know that Hezbollah has intelligence and informants inside this area. The elements collect and transfer this intelligence information to Hezbollah leaders in southern Lebanon. Accordingly, they plan to carry out their operations.

In the next episode: Who is the Malik al-Saeedi?

How did he infiltrate the agents’ militia and gained the confidence of the Zionist officers?

Information published for the first time

The first lie detector was used in police circles in 1924. It is a traditional device known as the polygraph or multiple scripts. It is illustrated by a number of wavy lines on a sheet of paper. It monitors the “physiological” indicators, such as respiration, skin conductivity and pulse. It also requires the use of highly qualified experts.

How to use a lie detector: The person being questioned sits on a chair. Two rubber belts are tied around his chest and stomach to measure the pattern of his breathing. A blood pressure monitor is also placed on his arm. His fingers are connected to a metal piece to measure the activity of the sweat glands. The test begins with asking simple questions to gain a standard for the indicators recorded on the polygraph. Then the subject is asked real questions to which he has to answer with Yes or No. This, while all his body indicators are drawn on a piece of moving paper.

Before and after the test, charts can be seen on the moving sheet to see if there is a sudden and significant change in the indicators, such as a rapid heartbeat, increase in blood pressure, increased sweating, or others when answering a particular question.

Researcher and director of the Federation of American Scientists Project, Steven Aftergood, said that the lie detector is a trick. It can easily be tricked by moving the feet or shoulders while giving any misleading answers to the interrogator’s questions as well as the constant thinking about disturbing matters that cause the subject to feel sad or upset during the session. Hence, the device can no longer distinguish between his worries and his misleading answers.

Related videos

Hundreds of Israelis have attended the funeral of a reporter killed in a car bomb attack in Southern Lebanon. Elan Roe was in a four-car convoy which was blown up by two bombs near the Israeli/Lebanese border at noon on Sunday. Brigadier-General Erez Gerstein and two other Israelis in the convoy were also killed.

HAMAS ARRESTED “SPECIAL OPERATION AGENT” OF ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE IN GAZA – REPORT

Hamas Arrested “Special Operation Agent” Of Israeli intelligence In Gaza – Report

South Front

Palestinian security forces in the Gaza Strip arrested a local “special operation agent” of the Israeli intelligence few days ago, the al-Majd security awareness website revealed on February 10.

According to the Palestinian website, which is known for its close ties with the Hamas Movement, the local collaborator was arrested while he was trying to install a “malware” in the laptop of one of his relatives, who is a member of Hamas. The collaborator had received the malware in a USB drive from his Israeli handlers.

“The agent has been working with the Israeli intelligence since 2009, he was recruited via phone by a girl who identified herself as Shereen, she told him that she works for a charity,” the al-Majd’s report reads.

If confirmed, the arrest of this special agent will be the latest in a series of failures of the Israeli intelligence. Last November, Hamas foiled a sensitive intelligence operation by a unit of the Israeli military’s “Sayeret Matkal” special forces inside the Gaza Strip. The failure of the Israeli operation uncovered 45 local collaborators.

Hamas offered a reward of a 1 million U.S. Dollars to any local collaborator with the Israeli intelligence who would defect and “hunt” one of its operators. The offer reflects the group’s growing interest in counter-espionage sector.

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War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

January 13, 2019

War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

by Phillyguy for The Saker Blog

Summary

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

How did we get here?

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

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

2008 Financial Crash

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

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

Focus on China

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

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

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

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

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

Vulnerability to War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Likely Targets

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

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

Concluding Remarks

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

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

Final Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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