In the WW3 In Which We Live

 BY GILAD ATZMON

ww3 covid .jpg
https://gilad.online/writings/2021/1/19/in-the-ww3-in-which-we-live

by Gilad Atzmon

Finally, it landed on me: WW3 is here and it is an unforgiving battle between the ‘vaccinated’ and the ‘sceptics’. It is a vicious struggle between those who are convinced that Pharma, Gates and Fauci are committed to salvaging humanity and the rest, who insist on believing in the bond between man and the universe (the sun, the soil, the sea, the human organ, the viruses around, Covid-19 included).

WW3, as such, is a vicious confrontation between people who are libidinally thrilled by social distancing and those ‘suicidal’ characters who are actually nostalgic about human interaction, fresh air, and freedom in general.

WW3 is an animus struggle between two groups: the first is those who insist upon the notion of ‘real science,’ probably failing to distinguish between ‘science’ and ‘technology.’ The others seem to understand that while science is an attempt to understand the universe, technology is the art of translating that understanding into profit. There is obviously a difference between understanding what Covid-19 may be (science), and the wall-to-wall attempt to translate it into hard cash (technology). Those who believe in the existence of ‘real scientists’ who ‘agree amongst themselves,’ fail to grasp that such a notion is in itself non-scientific as science is not a matter of consensus. The progress of science is actually defined and determined, like art, by creativity and the defiance of accepted paradigms i.e., consensus. Those who talk to us about ‘real science,’ must be blind to the fact that the history of scientific revolutions is a tale of relentless intellectual dissidence.

In the WW3 in which we live, there is neither ‘Left’ and ‘Right’, nor is there ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ there are no states and borders. The world is literally divided in the middle. People who believed themselves throughout their entire lives to be ‘Leftists’ and opposed Trump evidently warmed up to his views. This certainly isn’t because they approve of Trump’s abrasive style or politics; They opened up to Trump because he communicated an existential sense they experienced themselves. While many expected Trump to be politically obliterated by Covid-19, it seems that his approach to the pandemic brought him many new supporters.  

But it may as well be deeper: people who were devoted peace lovers and Palestine supporters in particular suddenly noticed that the same vile Orwellian measures that were inflicted upon them are now used against pretty much half the American people and Covid dissenters. We basically detect an emergence of an unusual alliance that is yet to be realised, but surely will be exploited, if not by the current Trump, then by Trump 2.0.  

In the WW3 in which we live, those who call themselves ‘anti-fascist’ happen to be the fascists of our time , yet those whom they castigate as ‘racists,’ ‘fascists’ and even ‘supremacists’ are often found at the forefront of the battle for universal freedom of thought and elementary human rights.  Seemingly, many of the people who, for some reason, still refer to themselves as ‘Leftists’ have bought into the most problematic Hitlerian ideas. They insist that people should be identified politically by their biology (Identitarians), by their skin colour (unless it is white), by their gender (as long as it isn’t male) and by their sexual preference (heterosexuality excluded). Hitler also believed that German speaking people should identify politically by their biology: ‘race,’ so to say,  as long as they weren’t Jewish or Romani. In the upside-down world that happens to be our reality, the working class or more accurately, the workless class (defined pretty much by socio-economic conditions) ended up with Trump, Brexit, the Tories (in Britain) and the Yellow Vests (in France and other Western European countries). 

In terms of socio-economic political identification, the Left and the Right swapped sides. It wasn’t a political transition; it was actually metaphysical and existential shift. As things stand, the progressives/Left/liberals are bonded with big tech, the mainstream media and Wall Street, while the Right has morphed into a populist movement verging on revolutionary thoughts.  

Israel, for one political reason or another, is by far ahead of every other country in the mass vaccination contest. Israel has already injected the Pfizer ‘miracle’ into more than a fifth of its population and is a perfect testing ground for WW3 in terms of the politics, strategies, ‘science’ and human rights issues at play.  Despite the mass vaccinations (or because of them), the Covid-19 epidemic is taking a very hard toll on Israel’s citizens. Like Britain, Israel’s health system is on the verge of collapse. Like in Brazil, hospitals are running out of oxygen. Despite government attempts to fiddle with numbers, the number of critical cases in Israel keeps rising every day. It is particularly fascinating to examine the Israeli case in light of the early Zionist promise. Israel’s Zionist founding fathers promised to make the new Hebrews brave and fearless. Zionism vowed to make them organically bond with the soil and the sun. 

That Zionist social experiment didn’t work as well as expected. In 2021’s Jewish State, Pfizer’s vaccine has replaced the good old chicken soup. The Israelis have agreed, so far, to act as Guinea pigs for the world to witness. The results are not yet convincing. There are rumours that both Hamas and Hezbollah are considering retirement, admitting that Pfizer achieved far more than they ever wished for. As it seems, the only Israeli communities that seem fearless and actually fulfilled the Zionist dream are the orthodox Jews and the Arabs. It is worth mentioning that neither the Orthodox nor the Israeli Arabs (Palestinians really) were ever suspected of being Zionists, they are just authentic human beings.

I read in the press that there are calls in different countries to impose legislation that restricts those who are subject to quarantine to wear GPS wristbands that will determine their obedience. If I am correct and the WW3 in which we live is an unforgiving battle between the vaccinated and the sceptics, maybe we should apply the same technology and wristband both the vaccinated and the sceptics just to make sure they stay apart. Naturally these two camps do not and should not mix with each other. These two camps seem to be suspicious of each other, and for obvious reasons believe they are existentially threatened by one another.

In previous big wars, people fought over territories, over states’ borders lines, over ideology, often people struggled for freedom. I can’t really see at this point in time how peace can prevail and how this WW3 may come to a harmonious end. I can’t even imagine what defeat or surrender may entail in this war but it doesn’t look good.

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«حماة القَسَم» وأخواتها بين «غزوة الكاپيتول» والحرب العالميّة الثالثة!

 محمد صادق الحسيني

لا شكّ في أنّ الازمة العميقة، التي تعاني منها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، في السنوات الأخيرة، أو بالأحرى في السنتين الأخيرتين، ليست ناجمة فقط عن السياسات الهوجاء، التي مارسها ترامب، في الداخل وفِي الخارج، بل إنها أزمة بنيويّة تهدّد السلم الاجتماعي، في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وكذلك السلم الدوليّ، على الصعيد العالمي كله.

أما السبب في ذلك فيعود إلى أنّ الأزمة الاقتصادية، بشكل خاص، هي التربة الخصبة، التي تنمو فيها العناصر والتيارات الفاشيّة والنازية، وما نمو وتطوّر الفاشية في إيطاليا قبل حوالي مئة عام والنازية في ألمانيا، في الفترة نفسها تقريباً إلا مثال ليس ببعيد زمنياً. حيث شكلت نتائج الحرب العالمية الأولى، على الصعيد الاقتصادي والسياسي والاجتماعي في ألمانيا بشكل خاص، الأرضية الملائمة لنمو التيارات اليمينيّة المتطرفة، ومنها الحزب النازي، بزعامة أدولف هتلر.

ومن أهمّ الظروف الاقتصادية، التي ساعدت على تطور هذا الحزب، واستيلائه على السلطة في ما بعد، موجة الفقر، التي اجتاحت البلاد آنذاك، وما نجم عن ذلك من قدرة عالية لاستقطاب ملايين الشباب، من قبل الحزب النازي. حيث تمكن أدولف هتلر من إنشاء ميليشيات مسلحة، من جنود الجيش الألماني المهزوم في الحرب العالمية الاولى، بلغ عديدها سنة ١٩٢٣ أربعة ملايين فرد، كانوا منضوين تحت راية: السرب الهجوميّ / أو ما يسمّى باللغة الالمانية (شتورم شتافِل ) وتختصر بحرفي أس أس ـ والتي بقيت قائمة حتى نهاية الحرب العالميه الثانية.

ـ وحدة الاقتحام، التي تسمّى باللغة الألمانية: ، ويُطلق عليها اختصاراً. اسم: أس ايه وهي عبارة عن ميليشيا مسلحة انطلق تشكيلها منذ عام 1920 بالضبط، وبقيت قوة فاعلة في الجيوش النازية حتى نهاية الحرب العالميه الثانية.

اذن فإنّ السبب الرئيسي، لظهور هذه الميليشيات الألمانية المسلحة، تمثل في الخسائر المادية والبشرية الكبرى، التي تعرّضت لها ألمانيا خلال الحرب، وما تبعها من موجة فقر اجتاحت البلاد. وهذه الظروف، مع مراعاة خصوصيات كلّ دولة من الدول التي يجري الحديث عنها، هي بالضبط الظروف التي تمرّ بها الولايات المتحده الأميركية، منذ بداية عهد الرئيس ترامب حتى الآن.

إذ أشعلت الولايات المتحدة سلسلة حروب، في أفغانستان والعراق وسورية واليمن وغيرها من أنحاء العالم، منذ بداية تسعينيات القرن الماضي وحتى يومنا هذا، أسفرت عما يلي:

أ ـ خسائر مالية هائلة كلفت الخزانة الأميركية تريليونات الدولارات.

ب ـ اضطرار الحكومه الأميركية للجوء الى وسيلة ضخ المزيد من الأوراق النقدية الأميركية، من دون وجود ما يقابلها في القيمة من الإنتاج المحلي، وما ترتب عن ذلك من اضطرابات في أسواق المال والأسواق الاستهلاكيّة الأميركيّة، وتأثير ذلك على المواطن العادي، خاصة في مجال انخفاض القدرة الشرائية.

ج ـ هدر الحكومة الأميركية، لكلّ تلك الموارد المالية، لتمويل حروبها ومراكمة أرباح شركات الصناعات الحربية، أدّى إلى نقص كبير في تمويل البنى التحتية والبنى المعرفية وبالتالي التطوير التكنولوجي والصناعي في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

د ـ أسفر ذلك عن تطوّر معرفي وعلمي وتكنولوجي هائل، ولأسباب عديدة أخرى طبعاً، في العديد من الدول، على رأسها الصين الشعبية، التي أصبحت المنافس الأول للولايات المتحدة، على كلّ الأصعدة، وبالتالي فقد بدأت واشنطن تتعامل معها على اعتبار أنها هي العدو الأول لواشنطن. وهو الأمر الذي عبّرت عنه وزارة الخارجية الأميركية، قبل ثلاثة أيام، في تصريح لها حدّد أنّ الصين الشعبية وروسيا وإيران وكوريا الشمالية وكوبا هي دول عدوة للولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

هـ ـ أما القشة التي قصمت ظهر البعير فكانت جائحة كورونا، التي كلفت ولا تزال تكلف الاقتصاد الأميركي أرقاماً فلكيةً من مليارات الدولارات، إضافة الى الخسائر البشرية التي تجاوزت الأربعة آلاف وفاة يومياً. وهي خسائر بشرية لم تتعرّض لها الولايات المتحدة ولا في أيّ من الحروب التي خاضتها عبر تاريخها، لا بل إنها تفوق تلك الخسائر مجتمعة.

إذن فإنّ ظروف الانفجار، الذي نشهده في واشنطن، كانت جاهزةً تماماً، وانّ خطاب دونالد ترامب العنصري التحريضي، والبعيد عن قواعد السياسة والاقتصاد (فرض الضرائب والعقوبات على الخصوم)، قد أدّى الى ما تشهده الولايات المتحدة من خطر فقدان أجهزة الدولة للسيطرة على الأمن وانتشار الفوضى، وربما أكثر من ذلك، في كلّ الولايات المتحدة، خاصة أنّ حالة انتشار السلاح في الولايات المتحدة هي حالة عامة، يضمنها الدستور الأميركي.

لكن الانقسام العمودي في المجتمع، الذي أسفرت عنه الانتخابات الأميركيّة الأخيرة، والتحريض المستمرّ من قبل ترامب، لأنصاره البالغ عددهم حوالي خمسةً وسبعين مليون أميركي، مع وجود تشكيلات مسلحة ومنظمة، أيّ ميليشيات، تعتبر ترامب هو المخلص وتتصرّف بناء على توجيهاته التحريضية، تجعل من تلك المنظمات المسلحة لا تختلف كثيراً عن تلك المنظمات الألمانية، التي أسهمت بشكل أساسي في إيصال ادولف هتلر إلى سدة الحكم.

ومن المعلوم أنّ أهمّ تلك التنظيمات الأميركية المسلحة، التي تأتمر بأوامر دونالد ترامب هي التالية:

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ـ منظمة حماة القَسَم. والتي تسمى بالانجليزية: ، والتي يبلغ عدد أفرادها حوالي 35 ألف فرد، وقد تأسّست سنة 2009 من قبل الضابط المظلي السابق، إِلمَرتْ ستيوارت روديس ، الذي عمل مساعداً لعضو مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي، رون پول سابقاً، ومعظم، إنْ لم يكن جميع اعضائها، هم جنود وضباط أميركيون سابقون، من مختلف صنوف القوات المسلحة الأميركية، الى جانب جنود وضباط سابقين من قوات المظلات والقوات الخاصة الأميركية، وعناصر من الشرطة الأميركية. الأمر الذي يجعل هذه المنظمة أشبه بجيش منظم، له قيادة عامة وهيئة أركان وجميع المقوّمات الأخرى في الجيش النظامي، كاللباس العسكري الموحّد، وأقسام الإمداد والتزويد الى أقسام الاستخبارات والرصد والحرب الإلكترونية وغير ذلك.

وهذا ما تؤكده أحداث «غزوة الكونغرس» التي حصلت بتاريخ 6/1/2012، والتي أوضحت انّ الجموع، التي اجتاحت الكونغرس، كانت جموعاً منظمة وتُحرَّك بناءً على خطة موحدة، وتدار من قبل غرفة عمليات موحّدة، تبيّن انّ ترامب نفسه هو الذي كان يديرها من داخل البيت الأبيض.

علماً أنّ مراسل صحيفة ذي اتلانتيك ، السيد مايك كيليو، كان قد نشر حديثاً مع عناصر من هذه المنظمة، في شهر 10/2020، أعربوا خلاله عن دعمهم للرئيس ترامب.

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ـ منظمة كيو أَنون وهي منظمة تتبنى نظرية المؤامره وتمّ تأسيسها سنة 2017، وهي تعتبر انّ هناك قيادة خفية، أو قوى خفية، تتحكم بالولايات المتحدة، وعلى رأس هذه القوى هيلاري كلينتون وباراك أوباما والملياردير الأميركي جورج سورس، وإنه يجب التخلص من هذه القيادة الخفية.

علماً أنّ ترامب تبنى الكثير من طروحاتهم، التي نشرت على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، كما تبنى 60 مرشحاً جمهورياً، لانتخابات مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي تلك الطروحات، وفقاً لما افاد به موقع ميديا ماترز  الأميركي. بينما قامت الشرطة الاتحادية الأميركية بتصنيف هذه المنظمة منظمة «خطر إرهاب داخلي»، خاصة بعد ان قام أحد أعضاء هذه العصابة، وهو ماتِيو فيليب رايت، بتاريخ 15/6/2018 الذي أوقف عربته المدرّعة والمسلحة بالرشاشات الثقيلة على جسر رئيسي، لمدة 90 دقيقة ما أدى إلى تعطيل حركة السير على طريق اوتوستراد رئيسي في الولاية، وذلك بالقرب من سد هوڤِر ، الواقع قرب أحد أنهر ولاية كولورادو.

ومن الجدير بالذكر أيضاً ان لهذه الحركة أتباعاً او أشخاصاً يحملون نظرية المؤامرة نفسها في الدول الأوروبية، وهم الذين يديرون حركة الاحتجاجات الشعبية على إجراءات الحكومات الأوروبية الوقائية ضد كورونا. ومن ابرز قيادات هذه الحركة في أوروبا:

المغني الالماني كساڤيير نايدو .

مؤلف كتب الطبخ الالماني أيضاً أتيلا هيلدمان

ولعل من المفيد أيضاً الإشارة الى التصريح، الذي ادلى به السيناتور الجمهوري، عن ولاية نيبراسكا، بن ساسّي ، وقال فيه إن حرمة كيو أنون تعمل على تدمير الحزب الجمهوري. وفِي هذا إشارة، حسب تقديرنا، الى ان هذه التنظيمات التي يدعمها ترامب والمعادية للمؤسسة الأميركية ولكل المؤسسات / الدول / تعمل على تدمير ما هو قائم من نظم سياسية في الغرب، لإفساح المجال لقيام أنظمة نازية أو فاشية جديدة. وذلك كما حصل في المانيا، بعد هزيمتها في الحرب العالمية الاولى واعلان قيام جمهورية ڤايمَربتاريخ 9/11/1918 والتي استمرت حتى تسلم الحزب النازي الألماني، بزعامة أدولف هتلر، الحكم في البلاد، عن طريق انتخابات برلمانية، بتاريخ 30/1/1933.

فهل سيتمكن الرئيس الأميركي الجديد من إنقاذ الولايات المتحدة من هذا الخطر الداهم، أي خطر ان تكون فترته الرئاسية فترة حضانة للمجموعات الإرهابية، الكثيرة العدد والاتجاهات، في الولايات المتحدة، ما يفتح الطريق على احتمالين هما:

تفكك البلاد وانتشار الفوضى في جميع ولاياتها.

قيام نظام حكم «نازي جديد» يجر البلاد الى حرب عالمية، كما فعل النظام النازي الألماني في نهاية ثلاثينيات القرن الماضي.

نطرح هذه التساؤلات ليس فقط في ظلّ ما اطلق عليه اسم «غزوة الكونغرس»، وانما في ظلّ وجود عدد كبير من التنظيمات اليمينية المتطرفة والعنصرية، فعلاوة على تنظيم «حماة القسم   المسلحة، ومنظمة ، لا بدّ من الإشارة الى عدد من تلك التنظيمات ومستوى خطورتها، والمصنفة، من قبل أجهزة مكافحة الإرهاب الأميركية، على النحو التالي:

منظمات إرهابية محلية (أميركية)

منظمة ألفا

جبهة تحرير الحيوانات .

جيش الله (الولايات المتحدة) ).

آريان نيشينز (الامم الآرية)

جبهة تحرير الأرض .

رابطة الدفاع اليهودية

كو كلوكس كلان Ku Klux Klan.

منظمة إم إيه جي إيه M. A. G. A.

منظمة فينيياس بريستهود . منظمة أَتوم ڤافِن ديڤيسيون ، وهي تسمية ألمانية وتعني: فرقة الأسلحة النووية. كما تسمّى أيضاً: منظمة النظام الاشتراكي الوطني National Socialist Order.

مع العلم انّ هذه التنظيمات وغيرها، قد نفذت العديد من الاعتداءات المختلفة، حسب التصنيفات الأميركية، منذ تاريخ 21/5/1856 وحتى تاريخ 6/1/2921، أي تاريخ اجتياح الكونغرس، وهي العملية التي تسمّى في المصطلحات السياسية الأميركية: الهجوم على الكابيتول

وفِي الختام، لا بدّ من الإشارة الى انّ الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لا تنقصها الأجهزة الأمنية، المتخصصة بمكافحة الإرهاب. إذ انّ لديها 36 جهازاً فيدرالياً مختلفاً لهذا الغرض، تتبع لوزارة الخارجيه والدفاع والعدل والخزانة والأمن الوطني وغيرها من الهيئات الفدرالية. وهذا يعني أن ما يحتاجه جو بايدن هو فقط اتخاذ القرار السياسي المناسب،

لإنقاذ البلاد والعباد، من أخطار الانزلاق اما الى

فوضى داخلية شاملة او حرب عالمية مدمرة.

هنا ينتهي التحليل السياسي، اما اذا نظرنا الى الأعمق من البنية السياسية وذهبنا الى التشكيل البنيوي الفكري لأميركا، فإن بذور تصدعها وانهيارها ربما تكون أقوى من السياسة باعتبار ان هذه الدولة اساساً قامت على الفكرة «الاسرائيلية» الهدامة للكيان الأميركي نفسه والمؤلفة من العناصر التالية:

ـ المعنى «الإسرائيلي» لاميركا.

ـ عقيدة الاختيار الإلهي والتفوق العرقي والثقافي.

ـ الدور الخلاصي للعالم.

ـ قدرية التوسع اللانهائي.

ـ حق التضحية بالآخر.

عندها لن يكون هناك فرق بين ترامب وبايدن، ويصبحان وجهين لعملة واحدة، يسيران سوية باتجاه نهاية أميركا وخلاص العالم من الشيطان الأكبر.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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The Trump Administration Barrels on a Warpath Towards Iran

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December 4, 2020

The assassination of Iran’s preeminent nuclear scientist is a shocking act of terrorism. And there is strong suspicion that Israeli agents were involved in this murderous act with top-level U.S. approval. The world is thus staring into the abyss of war.

This year has been bracketed with two audacious assassinations against the Iranian leadership. Earlier in January saw the murder of Major General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most senior military commander, by an American drone while he was traveling in an armed convoy from Iraq’s international airport on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Now the year ends with a second assassination after nuclear scientist Mohsen Fahkrizadeh was killed last week when his armed escort was attacked in a ferocious bomb and gun ambush near the Iranian capital, Tehran. Fahkrizadeh, like Soleimani, was a national hero. He was eulogized as the “father of Iran’s nuclear project”.

American President Donald Trump crowed about personally ordering the killing of Soleimani. While Trump and his administration have been reticent about the murder of Fahkrizadeh, there are strong reasons to conclude Washington’s complicity.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani stated this week that Iranian authorities believe Israel was the perpetrator along with agents working on its behalf on the ground. The Israelis have not commented. For such an attack to be mounted against a senior Iranian figure the breach of security would have required sophisticated intelligence conducted at state level.

U.S. media reports cite anonymous senior Trump administration officials confirming that Israel carried out the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. It can be further surmised that Israel would have had at least U.S. approval if not more direct complicity such as from providing the necessary intelligence for executing the hit. Such collusion between the U.S. and Israel is a routine matter. Nearly a dozen Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated over the past decade involving the same modus operandi: U.S.-Israeli intelligence coordinating with Iran-based triggermen supplied by the American-backed terrorist group known as Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK).

This year has also seen a series of sabotage bombings at Iran’s nuclear industry sites. Again, for such operations to be conducted, and conducted successfully, would require state-level intelligence and resources.

All this is in the context of Trump ratcheting up his “maximum pressure” campaign which has comprised a hybrid of verbal threats of military assault against Iran, a tightening of already-crippling economic sanctions imposed on a nation badly afflicted with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a U.S. military force build-up in the Persian Gulf. Recently, a fleet of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers flew over Israel on the way to Qatar where the biggest American airbase in the Gulf is located, just south of Iran. This week the USS Nimitz, one of America’s lead strike-force supercarriers, entered the Gulf waters.

Only two weeks ago, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on a more-than-usual jingoistic tour of the Middle East visiting Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Top of his agenda was “deterring” Iran. Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu had previously publicly named Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian nuclear scientist, as enemy number one.

Netanyahu has long been itching for a military offensive against Iran, one involving surgical air strikes on its nuclear sites. There is now the very real danger that Trump in his final fraught weeks in office may oblige the Israelis. The American president has reportedly given Pompeo carte blanche to aid and abet Israeli aggression towards Iran “as long as it doesn’t start World War III”. Trouble is, there is no way of containing such an escalation. What the Trump administration is doing is criminal and insane.

This week saw a particularly incendiary speech by Trump from the White House in which he again reiterated outlandish conspiracy theories whereby he lost the recent presidential election due to alleged “massive fraud” and cheating by Democrat rivals. Some of Trump’s aides are even urging him publicly to suspend the constitution, declare a state of martial law and re-run the election under military supervision. That is tantamount to Trump staging a coup d’état. There is thus no telling what this megalomaniac president is willing to do in order to thwart the scheduled event of his leaving the White House next month in the expected transition to a new administration under Joe Biden.

At the very least, it seems, Trump is hellbent on damaging relations with Iran so badly as to make it impossible for a Biden administration to return to diplomatic negotiations with Iran and possibly, as Biden as suggested, the U.S. returning to the international nuclear accord, which Trump abandoned in 2018.

Previously, Trump has threatened Iran with annihilation. We are dealing with an American president who has no scruples or moral compass. In his outrageously offended ego over electoral loss and perceived foul play by his domestic enemies, Trump is liable to go ballistic with recrimination. In the next four weeks, starting a war with Iran is therefore a most dangerous prospect. Criminal and insane bracket this year, along with assassinations.

Trump Tells Pompeo: Go Wild on Iran, Just Don’t Risk World War III

Trump Tells Pompeo: Go Wild on Iran, Just Don’t Risk World War III

By Staff, Daily Beast

US President Donald Trump may only have seven weeks left in office, but he’s given his top advisers the green light to batter Iran – anything that doesn’t hazard a full-on war before Joe Biden is inaugurated.

According to multiple US officials familiar with the matter, in recent weeks Trump has taken a more passive role in personally overseeing Iran policy for the critical final months until Inauguration Day. One White House official last week described Trump as mostly “checked out” on this major foreign policy issue, having become consumed by his bumbling legal effort to steal the 2020 election amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as by other his pet grievances of the moment.

But Trump has given some of his most hawkish administration officials, particularly his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, carte blanche to squeeze and punish the Islamic Republic as aggressively as they wish in the coming weeks. All Trump asks is that they don’t risk “start[ing] World War III,” as the president has specifically put it in several private conversations with Pompeo and others, according to two senior administration officials.

That has left a host of options at the outgoing administration’s disposal – among them, a suffocating sanctions regime and a studied silence in the face of the assassination of Iranian nationals. Two officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the administration is set to announce new sanctions on government-linked companies and individuals in the coming weeks to solidify a years-long effort to paralyze Tehran’s economy.

Knowledgeable sources say those actions are designed to help fulfill various Trump officials’ long-brewing desire to make it more difficult for the Democratic president-elect to rekindle negotiations with Tehran and re-enter a nuclear deal. And it’s a scenario for which Biden lieutenants and allies have long prepared, having already factored into their Iran strategy that current US officials would do nearly everything they could to undermine a revival of Obama-era relations between the adversarial nations.

Trump administration officials who spoke to The Daily Beast frequently point to Pompeo and Elliott Abbahrams, special representative for Iran, as the leaders of the administration’s last-ditch attempt at pummeling the regime.

Pompeo has been particularly forward leaning in the administration’s efforts to inflict damage on the Iranian government. In a recent trip to the Middle East, Pompeo met with leaders from the “Israeli” entity, the UAE, and Bahrain on ways all three countries could work together on countering Iran. The trip followed on the heels of an announcement by the State Department that it had recently approved a massive sale of F-35 jets to the UAE. The deal has been widely viewed as a way to get Dubai to cooperate with Tel Aviv on deterring Iran. And on Friday, Pompeo announced additional Iran-related sanctions, this time targeting Chinese and Russian entities for transferring sensitive technology and items to Iran’s missile program.

Both Pompeo and Abrams, officials say, are supportive of harsh measures, including the quiet backing of covert actions carried out by other actors. One other senior administration official pointed to Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel as being intimately involved in the administration’s clandestine strategy as it relates to Iran.

Trump has repeatedly told his advisers that one of his priorities is to avoid a confrontation with Iran in which American military personnel would die. But Trump is comfortable letting the “Israeli” entity take the lead in targeting, or even slaying, Iranian government figures in the closing weeks of his presidency, officials said. That includes Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the country’s top nuclear scientist, who was assassinated on Nov. 27 while traveling in a convoy in the northern part of the country.

Two senior Trump administration officials said the entity was behind the attack, confirming global suspicions. One of those same officials, while they did not detail the level of involvement from the US, noted that America’s intelligence agencies often share information with the “Israeli” entity on Iran-related matters.

“There’s obviously a close working relationship between Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and Haspel,” said Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a right leaning think tank that’s advised the Trump administration on Iran.

Some of Trump’s confidants have urged him not to draw too much attention to the killing. The administration has chosen to remain mostly tight-lipped regarding the scientist’s death. A source close to Trump said they had counseled the president in the past few days to avoid gratuitously tweeting about the assassination. Not only would it be a “bad look,” according to this source, it would likely undermine the administration’s public position of keeping the operation at arm’s length, if not farther away.

The two senior administration officials said discussions about taking more active measures to limit Biden’s administration on negotiating a new deal with Iran ramped up this summer and coincided with several of the entity’s covert operations.

“The ‘Israelis’ understand that between now and Jan. 20 they will need to inflict maximum damage on the regime,” Dubowitz said.

The Trump strategy over the next few weeks is clear, one of the senior administration officials said: Continue to use sanctions as a deterrence tool while providing intelligence to regional allies such as Israel that have a mutual goal of damaging the Iranian regime.

That plan isn’t so different from the one the Trump administration has put into action over the past four years. Since Trump took office in 2017, a cohort of top officials, advisers, and external advocacy groups have helped craft and implement a “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran that has relied primarily on the implementation of more than 1,000 sanctions on government-linked officials and companies while also covertly targeting Tehran’s assets overseas.

The only difference now, officials say, is that the administration not only wants to punish Iran, it also wants to pen in President-elect Biden.

Individuals involved in the crafting of the Trump administration’s Iran policy believe the maximum pressure campaign will limit Biden’s ability to get back on track with Tehran, namely because some of the sanctions may be difficult to lift. Dubowitz and Trump administration officials familiar with Iranian sanctions said multinational corporations may be so risk averse to doing business with Iran now, following thousands of financial designations, that even if Biden lifts sanctions they will not engage in normal trade relations with Tehran.

Individuals familiar with Team Biden’s thinking say the president-elect has a clear strategy for dealing with Iran and sanctions come January. That plan rests heavily on Biden’s desire to return back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

“If Iran takes the bait, which is clearly the intention behind [the Farikhzadeh assassination], then it probably makes it impossible to return to the JCPOA and diplomacy,” said Jarrett Blanc, the former coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation in the Obama State Department. “If Iran doesn’t take the bait… I don’t know that it really changes the choices that confront the Biden team or Iran in January.”

Any negotiations between a Biden administration and Iran would include conversations about the lifting of some sanctions, two individuals familiar with the Biden team’s thinking on Iran said. But those sanctions would likely only be lifted if and when Tehran complies with a deal.

“Iran says it is prepared to come back in compliance and reverse some of the decisions it’s made. And the US says it would lift some of the sanctions. [There’s] no legal bar to reverse them. Many of them were imposed for political reasons,” said one former senior Obama administration official. “It’s likely going to be a two-step approach for Biden – getting back in and then perhaps renegotiating a different, better deal.”

The World is on the Brink Yet Again

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It’s all so sensational, I am sure there is no journalists or playwright who can begin to express how messed up the world is today. In America, a president acts like a petulant adolescent. In Europe, a league of nations cannot cope with anything, at least not effectively. Even a global pandemic has not been able to galvanize humanity onto a single course of action. Instead of rallying behind scientists and doctors, people now question everything. The situation is dire. And worse still, it is obscured slightly by the still churning wheels of former progress. Momentum is all that is holding the world together.

Everywhere, trust in leaders and in government is at an all-time low. Not even our most revered institutions are credible anymore, at least not for a huge swath of society. The people are caught in a nightmarish reality where Trump seems ready to snatch democracy into a dark age. Half the world is eager to take a new vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and to end the costly lockdowns, and the other half seems ready to refuse the same remedy, for fear some billionaire has put a control chip inside the vaccine. Yes, millions and millions of people believe a global pandemic is fake. They believe that somehow every doctor and scientist in the world has been bribed to blame COVID for each death.

I was on Twitter yesterday commenting on a crazy tweet by a well-known architect in the UK when I finally realized how close we are to the rim of confrontation. From Athens to Venice, the fire starters of anarchy are pouring gas on civil unrest against prudent mask wearing and lockdowns. Many on Twitter and across social media have been tweeting and sharing their brains out telling their world how lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are going to kill us all! How wearing masks will end us all! And that COVID-19 is actually not all that bad after all! Yes, educated people are taking their valuable time to go nuts disseminating dangerous information, as if they are the saviors or humankind!

To gasp how monumentally dangerous this is, just multiply one provocative post by tens and hundreds of millions on social media and off. Magnify their flawed science, ideas, fears, and personal agendas by a few million even, and the future of humanity clings by threads to civilization. We are about to see a total meltdown, I fear. A meltdown where two sides of an argument crush all those caught in the middle. The “knowing” are about to mow down anyone standing in between, in the chasm created by COVID, bad leadership, and economic cataclysm.

Then there’s the “news” that Vladimir Putin in preparation for World War III. The Russian president’s announcement of the completion of an H-Bomb proof command center has the alt-media going nutso speculating on when, where, and how President Putin will run the fireworks while the rest of the world glows nuclear blue. But wait, wouldn’t we all be disappointed if Vladimir Putin did not prepare? Given the circumstances today, the former KGB Colonel would be stupid not to plan for a pretty obvious contingency. Or am I wrong? Let’s see how this might pan out.

In scenario number one, Donald Trump trips totally out and seizes power through the support of his backers and the U.S. military. A civil war ensues, where this soulless adolescent declares war on his own people. The west descends into anarchy as the American glue that held the whole mess together, melts down into something Medieval. Trump finally snatches a dictatorship from a republic, and then the bullets and rockets start to fly. Bye, bye civilized world. Or, something like that.

Another scenario, the more likely one, evolves once Joe Biden is inaugurated as president. The man owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military-industrial complex does a Ukraine redux and continues the work of the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations, changing every regime that stands in the way of total world domination by America and her cousins in London. Russia is pushed to the brink, and so are all the nations outside the NATO beehive. With no alternative in sight, and with all the cards on the table finally, Russia and China have to draw that line in the sand. And trust me, Joe Biden and his string-pullers won’t back down. The liberal order has their own command bunkers, and they are crazy enough to believe mutually assured destruction (MAD) is a good thing for them.

This is the place where people like Bill Gates will be able to put their plans in place. When the population has thinned down to a few hundred thousand, that’s when your chip goes into your veins. I know some of you get it. Joe Biden the warmonger, is almost as dangerous as Donald Trump.

In the midst of all the bad news, in between the bad wishes for Russia and Putin to fail, somewhere beyond Americans feating a Chinese invasion, and overshadowing fears southern rednecks will start a new civil war in America for Trump, Russia’s president is beseeching Washington to renew an old agreement. Putin’s representatives have now invited Washington to seriously consider the arms control initiative put forward by Russian President Putin on October 26. But don’t hold your breath, Washington is boiling over.

As for positive news, a new type of cotton face mask releases reactive oxygen species (ROS) that kill viruses and bacteria. Scientists have developed a special type of cotton face mask that kills up to 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses within 60 minutes of daylight exposure. Unfortunately, Half of Facebook’s 1 billion users will gleefully search Google for yet another reason facemasks and lockdowns will kill us all. So now you must surely get it. It’s you versus your alter ego-self with the other opinion. Someday, probably sooner than later, the two sides of this trying human experiment are going to go to war. And we’ve fought hundreds of deadly wars over much less furious opinions and ideas.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

One Last Chance to Revive America’s Forgotten Constitutional Traditions and Avoid WWIII

One Last Chance to Revive America’s Forgotten Constitutional Traditions and Avoid WWIII

October 26, 2020

By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog

As I laid out in my last article published on the Saker, false solutions to a crisis of global proportions are being promoted in the form of a “Great Global Reset” which aims at creating a new economic order under the fog of COVID. This emerging “new order”, as it is being promoted by Mark Carney, George Soros, Bill Gates and other minions of the City of London is shaped by a devout commitment to depopulation, world government and master-slave systems of social control.

By attempting to tie the new system of “value” to economic practices which are designed to crush humanity’s ability to sustain itself in the form of “reducing carbon footprints”, “sustainable green energy”, cap and trade, carbon taxes and green infrastructure bonds, humanity is being set up to accept a system of governance onto our children and grandchildren which will subject them to a dystopic world of fascism the likes of which even Hitler could not have dreamed.

The misanthropic philosophy underlying the Great Reset is not new but go back thousands of years and although this fact of world history has been intentionally obscured, the revolution that established a new nation in 1776 represented a total rejection of this system.

The Dual Nature of the USA as a Force in World History

While many people find it easy to dismiss the USA as an intrinsically evil empire which always strove to replace the British Empire as the hegemon of the earth, there is a much richer historic fight at play which America’s emergence as a new nation in 1776 exemplified and which I recently outlined in the lecture below.

As I will demonstrate in this essay, the revolution of 1776 was never about tea parties, taxes or the “right to defend property” as may revisionist historians have lyingly written over many generations.

It was rather an international affair that gave rise to a system of political economy which placed value NOT upon the worshiping money but rather upon the inherent powers of creative reason located in the minds of all citizens. This potentially infinite resource (or “the resource that creates all other resources”) is only expressed IF a nation’s citizens are given the opportunities, means, hope and inspiration to express them. Abraham Lincoln stated this principle beautifully when he said:

“All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner. The whole earth, and all within it, upon it, and round about it, including himself, in his physical, moral, and intellectual nature, and his susceptibilities, are the infinitely various “leads” from which, man, from the first, was to dig out his destiny… Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions.”

The means developed by leading figures of the revolution, to be used by government with the aim of actualizing those powers of mind included practices of national banking, public credit, selective protectionism and increasing the productive powers of labor via investments into internal improvements, infrastructure and scientific progress.

This is the system which the ruling oligarchy is currently frightened may be brought back online under the conditions of a breakdown crisis should Trump maintain his position as President, and due to the fact that it has been so entirely obscured from history books, some words are worth devoting to its existence now.

The Origins of the American System

During the crisis of 1783-1791, The newly established American republic was an agrarian economy in financial ruins with no means to pay off its debts or even the soldiers who fought for years in the revolutionary war. It was only a matter of time before the fragile new nation would come undone and be reabsorbed back into the fold of the British Empire.

The solution to this unsolvable crisis was unveiled by Washington’s former Aide de Camp and now Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) who studied the works of the great dirigiste economists like France’s Finance Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and introduced a four-fold solution:

  1. Consolidate all unpayable state debts into a singular federal debt secured by the issuance of new bonds. This was done via his 1790 Report on Public Credit.
  2. Tie these new bonds to internal improvements like roads, canals, academies and industrial growth which would create a qualitatively new form of debt that would permit the nation to produce its way out of poverty which would lead to “the augmentation of the active or productive capital of a country”. In this sense Hamilton distinguished bad debt from good debt using the important guiding principle that the “creation of debt should always be accompanied with the means of extinguishment.” [to illustrate this more clearly: think of a farmer taking on a debt in order to feed a gambling addiction vs investing his loan into new farm supplies and a tractor.] The thrust of this conception was found in his Report on the Subject of Manufactures of 1791.
  3. Guide that new national power over finance by a system of national banks subservient to the Constitution and the General Welfare (instead of a system of central banks under the British model that ensured nation states would forever be subservient to the laws of usurious finance). This was illustrated in Hamilton’s 1790 Report on a National Bank and his 1791 On the Constitutionality of a National Bank.
  4. Use protective measures where necessary to block foreign dumping of cheap goods into the nation from abroad which essentially makes it more profitable to purchase industrial goods and farm products locally rather than from abroad. Hamilton also promoted federal incentives/bounties to encourage private enterprises to build things that would be in alignment with the national interests.

The Matter of Mind over Money

Hamilton’s idea for the national bank was premised on the unification of private profit with the wellbeing of the whole nation in order to overcome the dichotomy of state vs individual rights which has plagued so much of philosophy and human history.

In opposition to the Jeffersonian crowd promoting British Free Trade which presumed that manufacturing and a strong federal government were evils to be avoided, Hamilton wrote that there is “a general principle inherent in the very definition of Government and essential to every step of the progress to be made by that of the United States; namely—that every power vested in a Government is in its nature sovereign, and includes by force of the term, a right to employ all the means requisite, and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power; and which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution; or not immoral, or not contrary to the essential ends of political society.”

Hamilton added that this power must exist “to give encouragement to the enterprise of our own merchants, and to advance our navigation and manufactures.”

Throughout all of his works, Hamilton is clear that value is not located in land, gold, money, or any arbitrary value favored by followers of the British School like Adam Smith, Bentham, or Mill. In defending the growth of manufactures and internal improvements, Hamilton states that “to cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted.”

The Overthrow of the American System

Although City of London-affiliated traitors in America like Aaron Burr established the speculative Bank of Manhattan which started Wall Street, killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804, and derailed many of Hamilton’s grand designs, the system was never completely destroyed despite the decades of attempts to do so.

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In 1824, the great German economist Frederick List came to America with the last surviving leader of 1776 Marquis Lafayette as part of an international effort to revive the sabotaged plans to create a world of sovereign republics modelled on the American experience of 1776.

While this effort failed with Lafayette’s supplication to the scheme of re-instating a French King in 1830 rather than declare himself the President (as I outlined in my recent paper on the Congress of Vienna), List studied Hamilton’s system and was the first to codify it as the American System of Political Economy (1827). This was the system which List transported to Germany by driving rail development, industrial growth, protectionism under the German Zollverein which finally blossomed under the rule of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. List’s system was also studied, translated and applied in Russia by many “American System economists” with the greatest being the Transport Minister and Prime Minister Sergei Witte who oversaw the trans Siberian railway’s completion and envisioned a line eventually connecting the Americas to Russia via the Bering Straits.

In America, the clash between American vs British Systems defined all major conflicts from 1836 when a racist tool named Andrew Jackson killed the 2nd National Bank (along with thousands of Cherokee) and brought the nation under the heal of British Free Trade, speculation, and cotton plantation economics. Following the IMF’s protocols that would be imposed onto victim nations 150 years later, Jackson cancelled all internal improvements in order to “pay the debt” and deregulated the banking system which resulted in the growth of over 7000 separate currencies issued by an array of state banks rendering the economy chaotic, bankrupt and prone to mass counterfeiting.

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The defenders of the American System during this period (led by Whigs such as John Quincy Adams, Matthew Carey and Henry Clay) played a rear-guard action hoping for an opening to occur at some point. When that opening finally arrived with the victory of Whig President William Harrison in 1840 a glimmer of hope was felt. Harrison swept to power with a mandate to “revive the national bank” and enact Clay’s American System of internal improvements but sadly the new leader found himself dead in a matter of only 3 months with legislation for the 3rd national bank sitting unsigned on his desk. Over his dead body (and that of another Whig president only 10 years later), the slave power grew in influence enormously.

It wasn’t until 1861 that a new president arose who successfully avoided assassination attempts long enough to revive Hamilton’s American System during a period of existential crisis of economic bankruptcy and foreign sponsored civil war. Unlike the British system of free trade which forced its adherents to worship money, the American system of Franklin and Hamilton always placed value on the creative powers of reason of the citizens which distinguished our species as unique among all creation.

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What did Lincoln Actually Face?

Beyond the dangers of secession, Lincoln had to contend with the Wall Street financiers, international bankers and Anglo Canadian operatives who worked tirelessly to sabotage the president’s ability to acquire the funds necessary to execute the war.

To make matters worse, the state of economic affairs was impossibly unmanageable with thousands of recognized bank notes in the USA and over 1496 banks each issuing multiple notes. Under this highly de-regulated system made possible by the 1836 killing of the national bank and the passage of the 1846 Independent Treasury Act which prevented the government from influencing economic affairs, every private bank could issue currencies with no federal authority. With such a breakdown of finances, no national projects were possible, international investments were scarce and free market money worshipping ran rampant. Manufacturing collapsed, speculation took over and the slavocracy grew in influence between the 1837’s bank panic and 1860.

The City of London was obviously not interested in allowing the USA to get out from under water, and with the gold-backed pound sterling, ensured the manipulation of gold prices and orchestrated the buyout of US gold reserves. When Lincoln sought loans to execute the war, whether from Wall Street or International banking houses, the loans were granted only at excessive interest rates of 20-25%.

Russian Ambassador to London de Brunow reported to Moscow of England’s desire to break the Union writing in January 1861:

“The English government, at the bottom of its heart, desired the separation of North America into two republics, which will watch each other jealously and counterbalance one the other. Then England, on terms of peace and commerce with both, would have nothing to fear from either; for she would dominate them, restraining them by their rival ambitions.”

Historian Robert Ingraham described this impossible situation in 2002:

“In January 1862, Gallatin [head of the NY Associated Banks] presented the bankers’ ultimatum to the Treasury: 1) pay for the war effort through a massive increase of direct taxation of the population; 2) deposit all U.S. government gold in the private New York banks and make those banks the sole (monopoly) agent for the marketing of U.S. government debt (primarily bonds sold in London); 3) suspend the “sub-treasury laws” (government regulation of banks); and 4) withdraw all government-issued paper currency so that only gold and private bank notes would circulate as currency.”

Although 150 years of revisionist historians have obscured the real Lincoln and the true nature of the Civil War, the martyred president was always an opponent to slavery and always situated himself in the traditions of the American System of Hamilton describing in 1832 a policy which he later enacted 30 years later: “My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank. I am in favor of the internal improvement system, and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political principles.”

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From this period in the Congress where he became a leading ally of John Quincy Adams, and played a leading role in opposition to the unjust US-Mexican War, Lincoln committed himself consistently to ending not only systems of slavery but also all hereditary power structures internationally which he understood were inextricably connected saying during an 1858 debate with the slavocracy’s Judge Douglas:

“That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles – right and wrong – throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings.“

The means needed to break both systems of empire and slavery were located in the American System of political economy.

Lincoln Revives the American System

Putting this economic policy into action during the height of the war occurred in a 3-step operation which began with Banking and Currency Acts in 1862 and 1863. These acts established placed the thousands of local state banks under a federal charter with federal supervision for the first time in decades. By imposing a 10% tax on state bank notes, private independent state banks shrank from 1466 in 1861 to only 297 by 1865 and over 1630 national banks took their place.

The Bank Act of 1863 established reserve requirements for the first time, and also capped the interest rates in order to destroy usury within the nation itself. In order to eliminate international interference and manipulation from Wall Street financiers, the Bank Act also forced 75% of all bank directors to reside in the state in which the bank was located and all directors had to be American citizens.

The most important step in this fight was the sovereign control of credit issuance which according to Article 1 section 8 of the US constitution can only be affected through the US treasury (an important lesson for anyone serious about ending the privately run Federal Reserve controls over national finance today). Following this constitutional principle, Lincoln issued a new form of currency called Greenbacks which could only be issued against US government bonds. These began being issued with the 1862 Legal Tender Act.

Nationally-chartered banks were now obliged to deposit into the federal treasury totalling at least one third of their capital in exchange for government notes issued by the Mint and Treasury (in order to qualify for federal charters needed to avoid the tax on state bank activities, banks found themselves lending to the government which gave Lincoln an ability to avoid the usurious loans from London and Wall Street.)

New bonds were issued under this scheme called 5:20 bonds (due to their 5-20 year maturation), which citizens purchased as investments into their nations’ survival. These bonds which united “personal self interest” with the general welfare of the nation provided loans to manufacturing as well as served as the basis for the issuance of more Greenbacks. Organized by Lincoln’s ally Jay Cooke (a patriotic Philadelphia banker), the 5-20 bonds were sold in small denominations to average citizens who then had a vested interest in directly participating in saving their nation. Between 1862-1865 these bonds accounted for $1.3 billion. Lincoln described the success of this new approach to finance saying:

“The patriotism of the people has placed at the disposal of the government the large means demanded by the public exigencies. Much of the national loan has been taken by citizens of the industrial classes, whose confidence in their country’s faith and zeal for their country’s deliverance from present peril has induced them to contribute to the support of the government the whole of their limited acquisitions. This fact imposes peculiar obligations to economy in disbursement and energy in action.”

These measures were accompanied by a strong protective tariff to grow American industries as well.

By the beginning of 1865, $450 million in Greenbacks were issued making up over half of all currency in circulation. Greenbacks and 5-20 bonds financed not only the arming, feeding and payments to soldiers, but also the often-overlooked large scale industrial and rail programs begun during the peak of the war itself… namely the trans continental railway (started in 1863 and completed in 1869 linking for the first time in history a continent from east to west). This was financed through grants and subsidies made possible by the greenbacks which increased government spending power by 300%!

In his 1865 essay How to Outdo England Without Fighting Her, Lincoln’s economic advisor Henry C Carey stated: “The ‘greenback’ has fallen on the country as the dew falls, bringing with it good to all and doing injury to none.”

Unfortunately, the subversion of Lincoln’s American System began quickly with Lincoln’s murder. Rather than impose full reconstruction of the defeated south after the war as Lincoln planned, a new war was waged against Greenbacks led by the City of London and its American agents in Wall Street which ultimately subverted American productive credit with the 1875 Specie Resumption Act. This act killed the greenbacks and tied the republic’s currency to gold submitting the nation to London’s speculative controls while contracting the means of credit from large-scale long-term infrastructure projects.

Some Uncomfortable Questions Regarding Lincoln’s Murder

The story has been told of Lincoln’s murder in tens of thousands of books and yet more often than not the narrative of a “single lone gunman” is imposed onto the story by researchers who are either too lazy or too corrupt to look for the evidence of a larger plot.

How many of those popular narratives infused into the western zeitgeist over the decades even acknowledge the simple fact that John Wilkes Boothe was carrying a $500 bank draft signed by Ontario Bank of Montreal President Henry Starnes (later to become Montreal Mayor from 1866-1868) when he was shot dead at Garrett Farm on April 26, 1865?

How many people have been exposed to the vast Southern Confederacy secret service operations active throughout the civil war in Montreal, Toronto and Halifax which was under the firm control of Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin and his handlers in British intelligence?

How many people know that Boothe spent at least 5 weeks in the fall of 1864 in Montreal associating closely with the highest echelons of British and Southern intelligence including Starnes, and confederate spy leaders Jacob Thompson and George Sanders?

Demonstrating his total ignorance of the process that controlled him, Booth wrote to a friend on October 28, 1864: “I have been in Montreal for the last 3 or 4 weeks and no one (not even myself) knew when I would return”.

Exposing the 19th Century Deep State

After Lincoln was murdered, a manhunt to track down the intelligence networks behind the assassination was underway that eventually led to the hanging of four low level co-conspirators who history has shown were just as much patsies as John Wilkes Boothe.

Days later, President Johnson issued a proclamation saying“It appears from evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice that the … murder of … Abraham Lincoln … [was] incited, concerted, and procured by and between Jefferson Davis, late of Richmond, Va., and Jacob Thompson, Clement C. Clay, [Nathaniel] Beverly Tucker, George N. Sanders, William C. Cleary, and other rebels and traitors against the government of the United States harbored in Canada.”

Two days before Booth was shot, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton wrote: “This Department has information that the President’s murder was organized in Canada and approved at Richmond.”

Knowledge of Canada’s confederate operations was well known to the federal authorities in those days even though the majority among leading historians today are totally ignorant of this fact.

George Sanders remains one of the most interesting figures among Booth’s handlers in Canada. As a former Ambassador to England under the presidency of Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), Sanders was a close friend of international anarchist Giuseppe Mazzini- the founder of the Young Europe movement. Sanders who wrote “Mazzini and Young Europe” in 1852, had the honor of being a leading member of the southern branch of the Young America Movement (while Ralph Waldo Emerson was a self-proclaimed leader of the northern branch of Young America). Jacob Thompson, who was named in the Johnson dispatch above, was a former Secretary of the Interior under President Pierce, handler of Booth and acted as the top controller of the Confederacy secret service in Montreal.

As the book Montreal City of Secrets (2017), author Barry Sheehy proves that not only was Canada the core of Confederate Secret Services, but also coordinated a multi pronged war from the emerging “northern confederacy” onto Lincoln’s defense of the union alongside Wall Street bankers while the president was fighting militarily to stop the southern secession. Sheehy writes: “By 1863, the Confederate Secret Service was well entrenched in Canada. Funding came from Richmond via couriers and was supplemented by profits from blockade running.”

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The Many Shapes of War from the North

Although not having devolved to direct military engagement, the Anglo-Canadian war on the Union involved several components:

Financial warfare: The major Canadian banks dominant in the 19th century were used not only by the confederacy to pay British operations in the construction of war ships, but also to receive much needed infusions of cash from British Financiers throughout the war. A financial war on Lincoln’s greenback was waged under the control of Montreal based confederate bankers John Porterfield and George Payne and also JP Morgan to “short” the greenback.

By 1864, the subversive traitor Salmon Chase had managed to tie the greenback to a (London controlled) gold standard thus making its value hinge upon gold speculation. During a vital moment of the war, these financiers coordinated a mass “sell off” of gold to London driving up the price of gold and collapsing the value of the US dollar crippling Lincoln’s ability to fund the war effort.

Direct Military intervention Thwarted: As early as 1861, the Trent Crisis nearly induced a hot war with Britain when a union ship intervened onto a British ship in international waters and arrested two high level confederate agents en route to London. Knowing that a two-fold war at this early stage was unwinnable, Lincoln pushed back against hot heads within his own cabinet who argued for a second front saying “one war at a time”. Despite this near miss, London wasted no time deploying over 10 000 soldiers to Canada for the duration of the war ready to strike down upon the Union at a moment’s notice and kept at bay in large measure due to the bold intervention of the Russian fleet to both Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the USA. This was a clear message to both England and to Napoleon III’s France (who were stationed across the Mexican border) to stay out of America’s war.

Despite Russia’s intervention, Britain continued to build warships for the Confederacy which devastated the Union navy during the war and which England had to pay $15.5 million to the USA in 1872 under the Alabama Claims.

Terrorism: It is less well known today than it was during the 19th century that confederate terror operations onto the north occurred throughout the civil war with raids on Union POW camps, efforts to burn popular New York hotels, blowing up ships on the Mississippi, and the infamous St Albans raid of October 1964 on Vermont and attacks on Buffalo, Chicago, Sandusky, Ohio, Detroit, and Pennsylvania. While the St Albans raiders were momentarily arrested in Montreal, they were soon released under the logic that they represented a “sovereign state” at conflict with another “sovereign state” with no connection with Canada (perhaps a lesson can be learned here for Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers?).

Assassination: I already mentioned that a $550 note was found on Boothe’s body with the signature of Ontario Bank president Henry Starnes which the failed actor would have received during his October 1864 stay in Montreal. What I did not mention is that Booth stayed at the St Lawrence Hall Hotel which served as primary headquarters for the Confederacy from 1863-65. Describing the collusion of Northern Copperheads, anti-Lincoln republicans, and Wall Street agents, Sheehy writes: “All of these powerful northerners were at St. Lawrence Hall rubbing elbows with the Confederates who used the hotel as an unofficial Headquarters. This was the universe in which John Wilkes Booth circulated in Canada.”

In a 2014 expose, historian Anton Chaitkin, points out that the money used by Boothe came directly from a $31,507.97 transfer from London arranged by the head of European confederate secret service chief James D. Bulloch. It is no coincidence that Bulloch happens to also be the beloved uncle and mentor of the same Teddy Roosevelt who became the president over the dead body of Lincoln-follower William McKinley (assassinated in 1901).

In his expose, Chaitkin wrote:

“James D. Bulloch was the maternal uncle, model and strategy-teacher to future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. He emerged from the shadows of the Civil War when his nephew Teddy helped him to organize his papers and to publish a sanitized version of events in his 1883 memoir, The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe. Under the protection of imperial oligarchs such as Lord Salisbury and other Cecil family members, working in tandem with Britain’s military occupation of its then-colony Canada, Bulloch arranged English construction and crewing for Confederate warships that notoriously preyed upon American commerce.”

The Truth is Buried Under the Sands of History

While four low level members of Booth’s cell were hanged on July 7, 1865 after a four month show trial[1], the actual orchestrators of Lincoln’s assassination were never brought to justice with nearly every leading member of the confederate leadership having escaped to England in the wake of Lincoln’s murder. Even John Surrat (who was among the eight who faced trial) avoided hanging when his case was dropped, and his $25 000 bail was mysteriously paid by an anonymous benefactor unknown to this day. After this, Surrat escaped to London where the US Consuls demands for his arrest were ignored by British authorities.

Confederate spymaster Judah Benjamin escaped arrest and lived out his days as a Barrister in England, and Confederate President Jefferson Davies speaking to adoring fans in Quebec in June 1867 encouraged the people to reject the spread of republicanism and instead embrace the new British Confederation scheme that would soon be imposed weeks later. Davies spoke to the Canadian band performing Dixie at the Royal Theater: “I hope that you will hold fast to their British principles and that you may ever strive to cultivate close and affectionate connections with the mother country”.

With the loss of Lincoln, and the 1868 death of Thaddeus Stevens, Confederate General Albert Pike established restoration of the southern oligarchy and sabotage of Lincoln’s restoration with the rise of the KKK, and renewal of Southern Rite Freemasonry. Over the ensuing years, an all out assault was launched on Lincoln’s Greenbacks culminating in the Specie Resumption Act of 1875 tying the US financial system to British “hard money” monetarism and paving the way for the later financial coup known as the Federal Reserve Act of 1913[2].

While the Southern Confederacy plot ultimately failed, Britain’s “other confederacy operation launched in 1864 was successfully consolidated with the British North America Act of July 1, 1867. The hoped-for extension of trans continental rail lines through British Columbia and into Alaska and Russia were sabotaged as told in the Real Story Behind the Alaska Purchase of 1867.

Instead of witnessing a new world system of sovereign nation states under a multipolar order of collaboration driven by international infrastructure projects as Lincoln’s followers like William Seward, Ulysses Grant, William Gilpin and President McKinley envisioned, a new age of war and empire re-asserted itself throughout the 20th century.

It was this same trifold Deep State that contended with Franklin Roosevelt and his patriotic Vice President Henry Wallace for power during the course of WWII, and it was this same beast that ran the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. As New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison demonstrated in his book On the Trail of the Assassins (1991), Kennedy’s murder was arranged by a complex assassination network that brought into play Southern secret intelligence assets in Louisiana, and Texas, Wall Street financiers, and a strange assassination bureau based in Montreal named Permindex under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Louis Mortimer Bloomfield. This was the same intelligence operation that grew out of MI6’s Camp X in Ottawa during WWII and changed its name but not its functions during the Cold War. This is the same British Imperial complex that has been attempting to undo the watershed moment of 1776 for over 240 years.

It is this same tumor in the heart of the USA that has invested everything in a gamble to put their senile tool Joe Biden into the seat of the Presidency and oust the first genuinely nationalist American president the world has seen in nearly 60 years.

The Case of Trump and the Potential Return of the American System

Like Lincoln, President Trump faces many threats today both within his own neocon-infested administration as well as within the British run deep state that has taken over the Democratic party since the 1963 murder of JFK.

But in spite of these problems, he is undeniably the first president to publicly invoke the American System of Lincoln by name since the assassinated President McKinley in 1901. His recent Republican party convention speech of August 27 repeatedly invoked Lincoln’s name while calling for a newly reconstituted party without the Bush dynasty poison (the Bush family completely boycotted the convention). During the speech Trump stated:

“The Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, goes forward united, determined and ready to welcome millions of Democrats, independents and anyone who believes in the greatness of America and the righteous heart of the American people.”

In an earlier 2017 Kentucky speech Trump invoked the “American model” and said “this is the system our Founders wanted. Our greatest American leaders — including George Washington, Hamilton, Jackson, Lincoln — they all agreed that for America to be a strong nation it must also be a great manufacturing nation.”

A Parting Thought From Lincoln

Contemplating the international scope of the Civil War which has more relevance for today’s imperilled age than anyone may have expected 160 years ago, Lincoln stated in 1862:

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress, and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the last generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we know how to save it. We even here–hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free–honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last, best hope of earth. Other means may succeed–this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous and just–a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless… If we do this we shall not only have saved the Union, but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it forever worthy of the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free happy people the world over shall rise up and call us blessed, to the latest generations.”

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide FoundationHe can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

  1. The four conspirators that faced the gallows included Mary Surratt, Lewis Powerll, George Atzerodt, and David Herold. 
  2. The entire principle of the American Credit System as embodied by Lincoln’s Greenback, is that it is driven not by the highly volatile prices of gold or silver but rather to the powers of productivity of the nation as a whole (see: ongoing scientific and technological rates of progress that render debt’s incurred by a national bank self-extinguishing). For more on this system, read the writings of Alexander Hamilton located here. 

واشنطن تستعدّ لشنّ حرب نوويّة ضدّ موسكو وبكين…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

في الوقت الذي ينشغل فيه الرأي العام والإعلام الأميركيين بمهرجان الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية فإن المخططين الاستراتيجيين العسكريين في واشنطن منشغلون بالتخطيط لحرب نووية ضدّ كل من موسكو وبكين.

اي انّ الولايات المتحدة قد تجاوزت مرحلة الحشد الاستراتيجي ضدّ هاتين القوتين العظميين، الصين الشعبية وروسيا الاتحادية، وانتقلت الى مرحلة الاستعداد العملياتي لتنفيذ ضربات نووية ضدهما، وذلك بعد فشل كل المشاريع الأميركية، في كل من غرب آسيا وجنوب شرق آسيا (بحار الصين) وأميركا الجنوبية (فنزويلا)، التي كانت تهدف الى استعادة الهيمنة الأميركية المطلقة على العالم والتي بدأت بالذوبان، بعد صعود القوى الدوليّة، روسيا والصين، والقوى الاقليمية الدولية، الجمهورية الاسلامية، وبعد ان بدأ الاقتصاد الصيني يقترب بتوأدة / بثبات من التربع على الكرسي الاقتصادي الاول في العالم.

وبالنظر إلى أهمية هذا الموقع الإخباري، الذي تديره وزارة الخارجية الالمانية، بشكل غير مباشر، ويرأس تحريره هورست تويبرت ، المعروف بارتباطاته الوثيقة ليس فقط بالخارجية الألمانية، وإنما باجهزة الاستخبارات الالمانية، وفِي مقدمتها الاستخبارات العسكرية، وبالنظر الى ما جاء في التقرير من تفاصيل غاية في الأهمية، والتي سنأتي على ذكرها لاحقاً، وانطلاقاً من ردود الفعل الروسية، الدبلوماسية والإعلامية، على هذه الاستعدادات العسكرية الأميركية الأطلسية الخطيرة، فإن من الضروري التأكيد على النقاط المهمة التالية:

أولاً: امتلاك القيادة السياسية والعسكرية الروسية والصينية معلومات دقيقة جداً، عن خطط الحرب النووية التي يجري التخطيط لها، في البنتاغون الأميركي وفي دوائر حلف شمال الأطلسي في أوروبا، وهو:

البقية

A Meditation on President Putin’s Warning from History

Source

A Meditation on President Putin’s Warning from History

June 21, 2020

By Ken Leslie for The Saker Blog

1. The last warning…

In the middle of the current global turmoil, largely ignored by the Western media, President Vladimir Putin of Russia recently wrote an article for the National Interest magazine (the article is featured on this site). In it, he magisterially dissected and integrated one of the most disputed topics in contemporary history—the cause(s) and antecedent(s) of World War II. The article is long and very detailed, drawing on a rich historical and historiographic documentation and it leaves no stone unturned. The point I wish to elaborate on here is that far from being a historical dissertation, the article is a last warning to the enemies delivered in the form of a parable. Rather than expound on the precarious state of the world and the seemingly inexorable drift to war, Putin used the tragic landscape of the late 1930s Europe to shed light not only on the true causes of WWII but also on the causes of a rapidly approaching WWIII.

Although discussing all the principal players responsible for perhaps the greatest holocide in history, I had a feeling that the article was aimed particularly at the Anglo-Saxon part of the Western empire (which also includes the EU, Israel and some Arab and Asian countries). Although I can’t be certain, there is a sense that this is president Putin’s last appeal to the former allies in the struggle against Nazism, the last melancholy hand of friendship extended to the powers that almost ignited WWII and are busy repeating the same horrible ritual of a total war against Russia. There is something deeply Russian and Orthodox Christian about Putin’s appeal. Precisely because he is aware of the deep enmity that the Anglo-Saxon establishment harbours for Russia in all its manifestations, he is that much more grateful to the British and American soldiers and statesmen for that all-too-brief, almost miraculous interlude of friendship and co-operation, that even today 80 years later appears to many like an unfortunate tear in the yarn of history.

And yet, this interlude offered a glimpse of a new dawn. The people in the West saw with their own eyes how uniquely heroic the Soviet people were in the defence of their motherland. The workers and peasants of the Soviet Union realised that there were many good people in the West who did not bear the eternal grudge but were glad to have the USSR on their side. It is often assumed that this short détente lasted five years—from the start of the German invasion until say, 1946, but this would not be accurate. The mistrust between the almost-allies was such that it took a concerted effort by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt as well as a number of well-disposed politicians (e.g. Harry Hopkins, Anthony Eden) to cement the bond which started to crack well before the end of hostilities.

The “weakest link” in the allied leadership chain was Winston Churchill. Not fond of Russians to say the least, he was an imperialist and anti-communist par excellence. The current anti-racism protests show that this side of Churchill is well known to the younger generation. Whose fault is it that those same younger people don’t remember that Churchill once suppressed his natural instincts and fought a good fight against the greatest menace the world has ever known? Here again, we see the results of a massive blowback caused by the unceasing attempts to diminish the international and anti-fascist nature of the war-time alliance and WWII. Instead of cherishing the values that were defended by the three great nations, modern historians and politicians (with few exceptions) have competed in ways of demonising the Soviet Union (and Russia), burying the existential threat of nazi-fascism and treating WWII as a bloody misunderstanding among otherwise friendly nations. Yes, Nazi Germany was dangerous, but the USSR and its successor have been much more pernicious.

Granted, Churchill’s leadership in WWII was not enough to secure him a prime ministership in 1945, but the overall positive role he played in allying himself with the Americans and Soviets and his reputation as an anti-fascist gradually withered and ultimately died by the end of the last century. In a way, his fate is more tragic than that of Stalin who was the first to experience the “awakening of the people”. Although Stalin has not been fully rehabilitated, his role in saving the Soviet Union and freeing the world from the fascist beast is slowly being recognised and re-evaluated.

It was Churchill who started undermining the war-time alliance long before the guns fell silent. He sabotaged the relationship between Roosevelt and Stalin, refused to consider giving independence to British colonies, undermined the prospects of a progressive US government via his intelligence apparatus in the USA (he sent Roald Dahl to spy on Henry Wallace) and in the ultimate betrayal of the good faith that was supposed to underpin the alliance, began planning an all-out attack on the Soviet Union as early as 1944. Named Operation Unthinkable, this plan envisaged a massive offensive against the USSR which would involve Polish troops and even re-armed German prisoners of war.

Many historical records note Stalin’s deep disappointment and a sense of hurt at the betrayal of the blood brotherhood by Churchill and Truman. Long after peace returned to the villages and cities of Europe, Stalin kept warning and beseeching his former allies not to throw away the legacy of friendship and co-operation. Despite the decades of cruel and inhumane attacks on the USSR that ensued, contributing substantially to its downfall, Soviet leaders and people never forgot the supreme sacrifice made by British and American soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in the struggle against the common enemy. This tradition of honouring the Western allies has been preserved and nurtured by President Putin. The campaign in the West to denigrate the great sacrifice of the Soviet people brought about an absurd situation in which the brave British sailors who took part in the war-time convoys that delivered badly needed supplies to the USSR were barred from receiving Soviet decorations by David Cameron.[1]

Perhaps the most hurtful and one could say evil blow that the former reluctant allies could deliver has been the attempt to re-write the history of WWII and treat Russia as a co-aggressor on the par with Germany. This is a red line for any Russian patriot and any right-thinking human being. The constant pressure to delegitimise the role of the USSR in freeing the world from the menace of fascism has led to the revival of fascist tendencies in some European countries including Croatia, the Baltic states, the Ukraine and others. These virulent forms of extreme nationalism (Chauvin-ism) were salvaged from the embers of the dying Nazi Reich, cultivated for decades in the satanic laboratories of the Western intelligence services (including Israel’s) and weaponised against Russia and its allies.[2]

A special role in the total war against Russia has been assigned to Poland—a Slav nation whose complex history has largely rested on a constant opposition to Russia and somewhat less, Germany. Briefly, Poland’s raison d’etre and geopolitical role has been to act as a spoiler in any attempts to bring about a peaceful co-existence in Europe. In the 1920s and 1930s, Polish extreme right-wing (it could be argued fascist) regime saw the country as a major power which by virtue of its religion and military prowess should rule over Central Europe.[3] The Vatican’s Intermarium (“between the seas”) project designed in the 19th Century aimed at countering the rise of the protestant Prussia in the West and Orthodox Russia in the East. It involved forming a federation from the (now former) Austro-Hungarian Slav provinces under the auspices of the Catholic Church. After the Bolshevik revolution, Poland put the plan into practice and awarded itself the leadership of the prospective “cordon sanitaire”. With the help of its Western patrons (especially Britain and France), it occupied the largely Russian-speaking regions of the Ukraine and Byelorussia. Under the doctrine of Prometheism, Poland started lighting “fires of freedom” all along the Soviet border. The rest of Poland’s nefarious role has been (belatedly) exposed by Russian historians. Far from being an innocent victim of Nazi expansionism, Poland wholeheartedly collaborated with Germany in plotting against the Soviet Union, planning the mass removal of the Jews, sabotaging any possibility of an anti-Nazi alliance and enslaving and converting their “heathen” Slav brethren.

It is this giant geopolitical déjà vu combined with an exponentially increasing risk of a global war that must have compelled president Putin to address the Western audiences—perhaps for the last time. As recently as 50 years ago, it would have been unthinkable for Western politicians and media to equate the USSR and Germany with regard to the culpability for the war. Yet, a concerted campaign in the Western media and chancelleries that accompanied the fall the of the USSR and the ramping up of a Russophobic campaign in the intervening years have led to the current dangerous impasse which leaves no room for diplomacy and negotiation. Largely unnoticed by the commenters, in his inimitable subtle and statesmanlike style, president Putin delivered to the western public what I believe to be the last appeal for peaceful co-existence. As I stated above, the appeal was directed primarily at the Anglo-Saxon powers which are currently at the forefront of the undeclared war against Russia.

He reminded his former allies of the dangers of using “running dogs” such as Poland or the Ukraine in order to destabilise Russia. He also informed them in no uncertain terms of Russia’s determination not to allow any further besmirching of its historic sacrifice. No more mollycoddling of petty fascist fiefdoms in the name of class or ethnic/racial solidarity. It was also a warning to the Poles that their state policy of siding with any country as long as it is inimical to Russia can only lead to ruin and renewed partition. I’ll paraphrase the notorious Russophobe Josef Beck, one of the chief architects of Poland’s pre-WWII foreign policy, who admitted after the war that Poland was destroyed because it had been acting in the interests of the Vatican and not the Polish people.

In other words, president Putin drew a line—if you wish to avoid a potential nuclear war, stop demonising and destabilising Russia and join us in creating a more equitable world. Russia will never abandon its unique civilisational path and any attempts at thwarting its legitimate claim to life and development will be punished harshly. Russian insistence on peaceful conflict resolution should not be confused for weakness. Having experienced one of the greatest genocides in history, Russia will never advocate war. But if war becomes inevitable, it will fight to the death. This stern warning was couched in the language of reconciliation. President Putin harks back to the war-time alliance with the USA and Great Britain to remind the modern audiences that confrontation is not the only way but that if attacked, Russia would defend itself to the last Russian and inflict terrible and (this time) unsustainable damage.

As noted by some commenters, his message might have been too subtle for the ignorant and ideologically blinded hacks posing as geopolitical experts in the West. So, let me enlighten them a bit by explaining the deeper meaning of president Putin’s message. Those who think that this has to do mainly with righting the wrongs of modern Western history are only partly correct. The main point is simple yet profound: Whichever form the Russian state takes, it will never be accepted as an equal by the racists, fascists and religious bigots in the West. The President is deeply aware of this but is hoping against hope that some form of détente is still possible. To elucidate the situation, he uses historical precedent to highlight the similarity between the geopolitical situations in 1941 and today and delivers a parable disguised as a historical treatise.

2. History doesn’t repeat…

A long time ago, there was a large and powerful country—let’s call it country X. Having gone through a decade of terrible convulsions and a series of civil wars which resulted in millions of deaths and a wholesale destruction of the country’s social and political systems, it began to grow and develop and this growth was perceived as a direct challenge to the Western imperialist system. The country was far from perfect. Years of suffering and neglect had taken their toll and large parts of the country needed rebuilding—especially the transport infrastructure. The people were traumatised and yearning for peace. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, a strong leader emerged who shunned the idea of imperial expansion and focussed on building up the country and preparing it for a possible war. In a famous speech, the leader warned that the country needed to catch up with the West and warned of the dangers of the attempts by the imperialist enemy to encircle and destroy it.

The leader knew that the accusations levelled at his country were mainly propaganda lies. While some Westerners were fascinated by the rapid development of the vast land, most were convinced that the ideas of suppression of rampant capitalism, development within one’s own borders, ending of imperialism and moving towards a multipolar world were seriously endangering the survival of the imperialist system. In order to curtail and extinguish the perennial enemy, the Western powers started inflaming extreme nationalism in their client states (combined with financial globalism) to encircle and destroy the only country that was a threat to their dominance. Although one country was preeminent in terms of military might, the strategy called for continental unity and this was achieved by co-opting smaller countries one after another and pushing the borders of the aggressive empire ever closer to those of country X. Hiding behind the enlightened principle of defending the Western civilisation against the peril from the East, the Empire’s aim was to surround and eventually destroy country X in order to plunder its natural wealth and human resources and forever extinguish its spirit.

The leader of X was desperate to avoid conflict. Through an international forum set up to prevent future wars, he reached out to Western governments time after time trying to convince them of his peaceful intentions and readiness to co-operate in building a peaceful multipolar world. All his attempts were in vain. The military machine of the West was moving inexorably towards his country. Not only that but a new threat emerged from a belligerent rapidly militarising island off the country’s Eastern coast whose militarist revival was supported by X’s principal enemy. The loudest and most vicious enemy of country X was a smaller neighbouring state whose rabid hatred of X and religious zeal ensured its preeminent position as the mailed fist of the Western aggression. With the help of Western intelligence services, this country encouraged and funded innumerable plots against country X and sabotaged its attempts to revamp the international security architecture.

The leader of X was demonised in the imperialist press as a ruthless butcher of various nations and ethnic groups within or outside his country, an autocrat whose ruthless grip on power was maintained by fear and whose removal of foreign agents from the political and economic apparatus was evidence of his genocidal bloodthirst. By means of a vicious propaganda campaign, a regime of harsh sanctions and an intelligence offensive, X was gradually turned into a pariah, isolated and despised. At the same time, X gave hope to many people around the world that a more just and fair society was possible. Poor countries still burdened by colonialism and imperialism looked especially favourably on X as a potential patron and protector.

Instead of folding under the ostracism and pressure of sanctions, X continued to develop rapidly and soon outpaced most of its Western competitors. The leader of X attempted to parry the concerted campaign of the imperialist enemy by reaching out to various Western countries trying to create a united defensive front. However, this was made impossible by a fascist feeding frenzy that led to a dismemberment and occupation of a previously neutral/friendly country.

In a belated attempt at creating a buffer zone against the merciless existential foe, X recaptured some of the territories it had lost previously. For this it was lambasted and chastised even more. The critical moment came when the enemy, emboldened by years of appeasement and dithering, breeched the old borders of X and quickly found itself about 450 km away from the capital of X. An erroneous perception of the enemy places all the blame for the aggression on a single country. Yet, with a couple of honourable exceptions, the entire continent contributed troops and logistical, financial, economic and propaganda support to the aggressor.

3. Guess who

The legerdemain I employed here to illustrate the peril facing the world might just work. If you toggle USSR/Russia, Germany/US-NATO, Czechoslovakia/Yugoslavia/Ukraine, you will realise that the similarities between that faithful summer of 1941 and the COVID-infected summer of 2020 are more than accidental. I leave it to you to fill in the names of other players. I am not claiming that the two situations are identical, but simply that the template of demonisation perseveres through centuries and political systems. If I’d tried harder, I could have fitted the Russian empire into this template but it is not worth the effort—not because the Russian empire does not matter but because the comparison between the USSR and modern Russia suffices for my purposes.[4] In the same way that Stalin used religion and tradition to strengthen the fighting spirit of the people, Putin is turning to the epic struggle of the Soviets to prepare the Russian people for what is likely to come. In a supreme irony (another one of these) in its attempt to suffocate the historical memory of Russia’s role in WWII the West has denigrated its own effort to the point where younger generations of Westerners have no knowledge of their ancestors’ just war. In a sense, this is the blowback of all blowbacks.

The rest of the story which now refers to WWII goes something like this: At this very last moment, when all hope was lost, the leaders of the three major powers overcame their suspicions and joined hands in an epic struggle against fascism and militarism. For president Putin (and many of us) this moment was magical—akin to the brief state of weightlessness induced by a freefalling aeroplane. Freed from the gravity of earthly power, the world could ascend to new hights of peaceful development. His plea/warning is unlikely to be heeded by the intended audience. Nevertheless, it is very necessary. The world cannot afford another summer of war because this one would be unbearably hot. Briefly, Putin is saying “Remember your brave ancestors who gave their lives in the joint struggle and honour them by embracing Russia as an equal and respected partner.” Putin’s essay is a wholesale repudiation of the canard that “countries don’t have friends, only interests”. Although he is appealing to the sound political interests of his Western “partners”, he is articulating something greater—a world based not on predation and profit but on humane and universally valid civilisational principles.

There is little hope that his hand will be grasped by the current lot of political clowns who are currently in power in the West. While pretending to be friendly to Russia, the Jesuitical fraud Trump has done more to damage the Russian-American ties than most of his predecessors taken together. The mendacious tapir Boris is doubling down on using the Ukraine to irritate and annoy Russia.[5] In that, he bears some similarity to his idol Churchill who spared no effort to criticise the Russian Empire and sabotage the Soviet Union. However, the comparison ends there. Unlike Churchill, who despite his despicable ideology and actions was a statesman of a great calibre, Boris is a Churchill wannabe who unlike his idol seems incapable of grasping the uniqueness of the present moment and the importance of not repeating historical mistakes.

  1. To my knowledge, president Putin has never publicly addressed the occupation of parts of Russia by the allied intervention forces in 1918. 
  2. Note similar attempts by the Anglo-Zionist empire to equate China with imperial Japan through the curriculum of Hong Kong schools 
  3. My criticism of Poland does not imply my fondness for Bolshevism. Needless to say, Poland has never changed its position vis-à-vis Russia irrespective of the latter’s system of government. 
  4. In the same way that Stalin and Putin have been accused of being the butchers of the Ukrainians, Chechens and Tatars, Nicholas II was being lambasted by the “progressive” Jews for the pogroms (which occurred mainly in the Western non-Orthodox areas of the Russian Empire). Despite saving the Jews from the holocaust and being the first to support and recognise Israel (also see The Jewish Autonomous Oblast), Stalin soon became the bete noire of the Zionists/Trotskyites and a synonym for antisemitism. Despite having excellent relations with the Russian Jews and Israel, Putin has been the target of Zionist wrath almost from the beginning. The reader should draw their own conclusions. 
  5. British involvement with the Ukrainian nationalism stretches back to the end of WWII when Sir Collin Gubbins took over from Abwehr as the runner of the Prometheus terrorist network. Of course, the links between the MI6 and Polish inspired anti-Soviet networks almost certainly existed before 1939. 

Putin’s Call for a New System and the 1944 Battle of Bretton Woods: Lessons for Victory Day

May 10, 2020

Putin’s Call for a New System and the 1944 Battle of Bretton Woods: Lessons for Victory Day

By Matthew Ehret for The Saker Blog

As today’s world teeters on the brink of a financial collapse greater than anything the world experienced in either 1923 Weimar or the 1929 Great depression, a serious discussion has been initiated by leaders of Russia and China regarding the terms of the new system which must inevitably replace the currently dying neo-liberal order. Most recently, Vladimir Putin re-initiated his January 16, 2020 call for a new emergency economic conference to deal with the looming disaster based upon a live session with representatives of the five nuclear powers of the UN Security Council.

While Putin’s commitment for this new system is premised upon multi-polar principles of cooperation and respect of national sovereignty, the financial oligarchy and broader deep state structures infesting the western nations who have initiated this crisis over the course of decades of globalization have called for their own version of a new system. This new system as we have seen promoted by the likes of the Bank of England and leading technocrats over the past year, is based upon an anti-Nation State, unipolar system which typically goes by the term “Green New Deal”. In other words, this is a system ruled by a technocratic elite managing the reduction of world population through the monetization of carbon reduction practices under a Global Government.

No matter how you look at it, a new system will be created out of the ashes of the currently dying world order. The question is only: Will it benefit the oligarchy or the people?

In order to inform the necessary decision making going into this emergency conference, it is useful to revisit the last such emergency conference that defined the terms of a world economic architecture in July 1944 so that similar mistakes that were then made by anti-imperialist forces are not made once more.

What Was the Bretton Woods?

As it was becoming apparent that the war would be soon drawing to a close, a major fight broke out during a two week conference in Bretton Woods New Hampshire where representative of 44 nations convened to establish the terms of the new post-war system. The question was: Would this new system be governed by those British Imperial principles similar to those that had dominated the world before the war began or would they be shaped by a community of sovereign nation states?

On the one side, figures allied to American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s vision for an anti-Imperial world order lined up behind FDR’s champion Harry Dexter White while those powerful forces committed to maintaining the structures of a bankers’ dictatorship (Britain was always primarily a banker’s empire) lined up behind the figure of John Maynard Keynes[1].

John Maynard Keynes was a leading Fabian Society controller and treasurer of the British Eugenics Association (which served as a model for Hitler’s Eugenics protocols before and during the war). During the Bretton Woods Conference, Keynes pushed hard for the new system to be premised upon a one world currency controlled entirely by the Bank of England known as the Bancor. He proposed a global bank called the Clearing Union to be controlled by the Bank of England which would use the Bancor (exchangeable with national currencies) and serve as unit of account to measure trade surpluses or deficits under the mathematical mandate of maintaining “equilibrium” of the system.

Harry Dexter White on the other hand fought relentlessly to keep the City of London out of the drivers’ seat of global finance and instead defended the institution of national sovereignty and sovereign currencies based on long term scientific and technological growth. Although White and FDR demanded that U.S. dollars become the reserve currency in the new world system of fixed exchange rates, it was not done to create a “new American Empire” as most modern analysts have assumed, but rather was designed to use America’s status as the strongest productive global power to ensure an anti-speculative stability among international currencies which entirely lacked stability in the wake of WWII.

Their fight for fixed exchange rates and principles of “parity pricing” were designed by FDR and White strictly around the need to abolish the forms of chaotic flux of the un-regulated markets which made speculation rampant under British Free Trade and destroyed the capacity to think and plan for the sort of long term development needed to modernize nation states. Theirs was not a drive for “mathematical equilibrium” but rather a drive to “end poverty” through REAL physical economic growth of colonies who would thereby win real economic independence.

As figures like Henry Wallace (FDR’s loyal Vice President and 1948 3rd party candidate), Representative William Wilkie (FDR’s republican lieutenant and New Dealer), and Dexter White all advocated repeatedly, the mechanisms of the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations were meant to become drivers of an internationalization of the New Deal which transformed America from a backwater cesspool in 1932 to becoming a modern advanced manufacturing powerhouse 12 years later. All of these Interntional New Dealers were loud advocates of US-Russia –China leadership in the post war world which is a forgotten fact of paramount importance.

In his 1944 book Our Job in the Pacific, Wallace said: “It is vital to the United States, it is vital to China and it is vital to Russia that there be peaceful and friendly relations between China and Russia, China and America and Russia and America. China and Russia Complement and supplement each other on the continent of Asia and the two together complement and supplement America’s position in the Pacific.”

Contradicting the mythos that FDR was a Keynesian, FDR’s assistant Francis Perkins recorded the 1934 interaction between the two men when Roosevelt told her: “I saw your friend Keynes. He left a whole rigmarole of figures. He must be a mathematician rather than a political economist.” In response Keynes, who was then trying to coopt the intellectual narrative of the New Deal stated he had “supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking.”

In his 1936 German edition of his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Keynes wrote: “For I confess that much of the following book is illustrated and expounded mainly with reference to the conditions existing in the Anglo Saxon countries. Nevertheless, the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state.”

While Keynes represented the “soft imperialism” for the “left” of Britain’s intelligentsia, Churchill represented the hard unapologetic imperialism of the Old, less sophisticated empire that preferred the heavy fisted use of brute force to subdue the savages. Both however were unapologetic racists and fascists (Churchill even wrote admiringly of Mussolini’s black shirts) and both represented the most vile practices of British Imperialism.

FDR’s Forgotten Anti-Colonial Vision Revited

FDR’s battle with Churchill on the matter of empire is better known than his differences with Keynes whom he only met on a few occasions. This well documented clash was best illustrated in his son/assistant Elliot Roosevelt’s book As He Saw It (1946) who quoted his father:

“I’ve tried to make it clear … that while we’re [Britain’s] allies and in it to victory by their side, they must never get the idea that we’re in it just to help them hang on to their archaic, medieval empire ideas … I hope they realize they’re not senior partner; that we are not going to sit by and watch their system stultify the growth of every country in Asia and half the countries in Europe to boot.”

FDR continued: “The colonial system means war. Exploit the resources of an India, a Burma, a Java; take all the wealth out of these countries, but never put anything back into them, things like education, decent standards of living, minimum health requirements–all you’re doing is storing up the kind of trouble that leads to war. All you’re doing is negating the value of any kind of organizational structure for peace before it begins.”

Writing from Washington in a hysteria to Churchill, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden said that Roosevelt ”contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires.”

Unfortunately for the world, FDR died on April 12, 1945. A coup within the Democratic establishment, then replete with Fabians and Rhodes Scholars, had already ensured that Henry Wallace would lose the 1944 Vice Presidency in favor of Anglophile Wall Street Stooge Harry Truman. Truman was quick to reverse all of FDR’s intentions, cleansing American intelligence of all remaining patriots with the shutdown of the OSS and creation of the CIA, the launching of un-necessary nuclear bombs on Japan and establishment of the Anglo-American special relationship. Truman’s embrace of Churchill’s New World Order destroyed the positive relationship with Russia and China which FDR, White and Wallace sought and soon America had become Britain’s dumb giant.

The Post 1945 Takeover of the Modern Deep State

FDR warned his son before his death of his understanding of the British takeover of American foreign policy, but still could not reverse this agenda. His son recounted his father’s ominous insight:

“You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren’t in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of ’em: any number of ’em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!” I was told… six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It’s like the British Foreign Office….”

Before being fired from Truman’s cabinet for his advocacy of US-Russia friendship during the Cold War, Wallace stated: “American fascism” which has come to be known in recent years as the Deep State. “Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.”

In his 1946 Soviet Asia Mission, Wallace said “Before the blood of our boys is scarcely dry on the field of battle, these enemies of peace try to lay the foundation for World War III. These people must not succeed in their foul enterprise. We must offset their poison by following the policies of Roosevelt in cultivating the friendship of Russia in peace as well as in war.”

Indeed this is exactly what occurred. Dexter White’s three year run as head of the International Monetary Fund was clouded by his constant attacks as being a Soviet stooge which haunted him until the day he died in 1948 after a grueling inquisition session at the House of Un-American Activities. White had previously been supporting the election of his friend Wallace for the presidency alongside fellow patriots Paul Robeson and Albert Einstein.

Today the world has captured a second chance to revive the FDR’s dream of an anti-colonial world. In the 21st century, this great dream has taken the form of the New Silk Road, led by Russia and China (and joined by a growing chorus of nations yearning to exit the invisible cage of colonialism).

If western nations wish to survive the oncoming collapse, then they would do well to heed Putin’s call for a New International system, join the BRI, and reject the Keynesian technocrats advocating a false “New Bretton Woods” and “Green New Deal”.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk, is regular author with Strategic Culture, the Duran and Fort Russ and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation and can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

  1. You may be thinking “wait! Wasn’t FDR and his New Deal premised on Keynes’ theories??” How could Keynes have represented an opposing force to FDR’s system if this is the case?This paradox only exists in the minds of many people today due to the success of the Fabian Society’s and Round Table Movement’s armada of revisionist historians who have consistently created a lying narrative of history to make it appear to future generations trying to learn from past mistakes that those figures like FDR who opposed empire were themselves following imperial principles. Another example of this sleight of hand can be seen by the sheer number of people who sincerely think themselves informed and yet believe that America’s 1776 revolution was driven by British Imperial philosophical thought stemming from Adam Smith, Bentham and John Locke. 

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions

April 01, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions

By Ramin Mazaheri – for The Saker Blog

Looking back, why was there such a huge, swift economic collapse after 9/11? Doesn’t it seem to have been totally unjustified?

After all, there was no drastic global reordering, no Armageddon, no World War III. The biggest consequence was the legalisation of the 21st century Western security state, which dwarfs anything the KGB could have waged, but from an economic point of view there was absolutely nothing which justified the enormous economic downturn and its accompanying pessimism.

So what were we worried about? The economic threat caused by Islamic radicalism?

There is not (and has never been) any major threat to the global order/economy from Islamic radicals – there is no such widespread movement, period. Iranian Islamic Socialism is indeed a threat to Western capitalism-imperialism, but only an idiot, racist, Islamophobe and/or general nutcase would equate the two; Iranian Islamic Socialism only asks to be allowed to democratically experiment inside Iran in peace.

So what were we worried about? Quite justifiably, was it the economic fallout to be caused by how terribly neo-imperial Rome (the US) would react?

The US did not launch thermonuclear war in revenge. The response was – by the Pentagon’s satanic standards – only earth-shattering in two spots of the globe: The US occupied a totally poor country with very little tapped oil (but a lot of opium-production potential) – Afghanistan – and they occupied an oil-rich former client which had been decimated by two decades of Western-ordered war and inhuman Western sanctions – Iraq. Bad for Muslims? Of course. Bad for “Capitalism with Western characteristics”? Not hardly. (After all, capitalist-imperialist war is always profitable for the aggressors’ elite.) The subsequent phony “War on Terror” was ultimately bad for the US taxpayer, sure, but who in the US 1% cares about them?

So what were we worried about? The economic threat posed by the entrenchment of an existential fear which would cause people to refuse to get out of bed in the morning? Clearly, I am reaching… because I just can’t think of anything else.

The horrible thing that was supposed to happen simply never happened.

Yet the economy did crater, and everyone is now reading stuff like, “(this latest economic statistic) is the worst since 9/11.” But while the economic downturn was sharp it wasn’t prolonged.

High finance is always ahead of everyone else in understanding macro-economic trends and truths: the rich unlocked their gates in the Hamptons and it took only two months for the Dow Jones to regain its pre-9/11 levels. However, it took crude oil prices a year to regain pre-9/11 levels ($40/barrel) because people were slow to realise that the huge economic depression (sparked by the reduced economic activity which many said 9/11 was certain to provoke) did not materialise.

The only industry which was correctly hurt by 9/11 was insurance (but to hell with them). The downturns in the two other most affected industries – airlines and tourism – were provoked by the false, hysterical idea that the (nonexistent) Islamic radical movement were going to kamikaze more planes/bloody flag-waving Americans would be dropping bombs on beaches and hotels.

Yes, economic sentiment was justifiably a bit pessimistic back then because 9/11 exacerbated the already-in-progress 2001 recession, which had been caused by the totally unjustified Y2K hysteria.

Is anybody identifying a Western trend here yet?

(I mean, besides the West’s comedians? From “America’s Finest News Source”, The Onion: Historians Politely Remind Nation To Check What’s Happened In Past Before Making Any Big Decisions)

But the coronavirus… this time it’s different Ramin

Indeed, in the sense that the entire world has gone hysterical and not just the evangelist, paranoid Americans.

I feel totally justified to call it “corona hysteria” because nobody can convince me that corona is as very terrible as it seems. The data is simply not there. It might be, but as of the writing of this article nobody can claim for certain that it is there.

In this very good article from The Spectator – How deadly is the coronavirus? It’s still far from clear: There is room for different interpretations of the data – which was penned by a recently-retired Professor of Pathology and NHS (UK) consultant pathologist. He notes some very basic logic concepts are being ignored even though the ultimate policy question is, “How truly lethal is this virus?”

  • Health care and science are fields fundamentally characterised by doubt rather than certainty, contrary to what doctors on TV are insisting.
  • Testing regimes based in hospitals will always overestimate virulence: they are dealing only with the worst cases, not with the masses of asymptomatic cases of infection.
  • Most crucially, many are inflating the death tolls because the vast majority of respiratory deaths in the UK were not historically recorded as being caused by the flu, but recorded as bronchopneumonia, pneumonia, old age or a similar designation… but now the deaths are being being listed as due to Covid-19.
  • The obvious proof that we lack solid data, on which we must base policy decisions, is evidenced by the wide range of reported national mortality rates: 7% for Spain, 4% for France, 1% for the US. The author says the best example nation we could look at is Iceland: mortality is 0.3%, which is slightly above the normal 0.1% for flu but definitely not a repeat of the Spanish Flu of 1918.
  • Rushed science is bad science. However, the MSM is demanding “science now”.
  • The average age of death in Italy is 79, compared with an average Italian life expectancy of 83. Am I heartless to report this? No, because I am not advocating ending self-responsibility measures for the vulnerable and the possibly infected.

The most interesting country to watch is Sweden (and Mexico and Brazil), who alone in Europe have not locked down. They haven’t done absolutely nothing, but their corona policy is relying on self-responsibility. Compare the treatment of Sweden from the non-MSM financial website ZeroHedge with the panic-inducing, hysterical treatment by fake-leftist UK media The Guardian. Sadly, the latter gets exponentially more eyeballs than an indispensable site like ZeroHedge.

So I just won’t be browbeaten into agreeing that corona is so exceptionally deadly – that might be proven one day, but anybody who says it has already been proven is pushing bad, unproven science. Corona sceptics are falsely attacked by those rushing to judgement, but the ex-doc/prof defends our scepticism quite capably:

‘The moral debate is not lives vs money. It is lives vs lives.’

Yes, because bad economics kills. Austerity kills. Neoliberalism kills. So I’ll stick with my analysis: there is an economic overreaction going on with corona similar to what happened after Y2K and the attacks on 9/11. However, the corona overreaction is way, way, WAY more shocking:

“The immediate impact of the 9/11 attack was to reduce (in the US) real GDP growth in 2001 by 0.5%, and to increase the unemployment rate by 0.11% (reduce employment by 598,000 jobs.)” (found here)

Goldman Sachs, which is more concerned about a high finance recovery than a real economy recovery, just optimistically estimated (but pessimistically when compared with their previous estimate) a jobless rate topping out at 15% and GDP sagging by a record 34% in the second quarter, followed by only a 19% rebound in the third quarter.

Such projections are… incomprehensibly bad. But especially so because we don’t even know how deadly corona truly is. The idea that such a self-induced downturn isn’t going to cause huge amounts of death, poverty and even more sickness is not just wilfully naive but dangerously wrong.

Have you never heard the expression: We’re all just 9 meals from murder? Surely, LOL, this cynical saying is especially true for people who don’t do Ramadan (which begins April 23!).

Again, socialist-inspired countries like China, Iran and Cuba control the levers of their economies for the benefit of their masses and will pull those levers – but India? The perma-stagnant Eurozone? The dog-eat-dog US? Think Iran isn’t used to war, a command economy, and unnatural impositions imposed by ruthless stifling (sanctioning) forces? I raise my scepticism because because bad economics kills, and the West especially is full of terrible economics which attack their lower classes.

“But Ramin, you are the only open Islamic Socialist I have ever heard of and, what’s worse, you work for the Iranian government. Nobody was listening to you before – because you espouse these undoubtedly nutty ideologies – and certainly nobody is listening to you now. ”

Tell me something I don’t know!

Doesn’t make me wrong, though. Doesn’t mean I should be writing human interest reports about how to cope with corona-boredom instead of writing this article.

I am drawing attention to the fact that the West – despite all their wealth, and despite their constant proclamations of being the self-appointed defenders of human rights – does not have the socialist-inspired, lower class-protecting economic safeguards to take these drastic shutdown measures. Furthermore, while The Washington Post is now running horse-is-out-of-the-barn articles such as The coronavirus crisis is exposing how the economy is not as strong as it seemed, for years I have repeatedly been among the relatively few journalists reporting about how the Western economy is even more over-leveraged in 2020 than during the 2008 crisis, which was caused by over-leveraging, so… there’s that to deal with, too.

I don’t mean to stoke economic hysteria – all the West and their client state admirers have to do is implement socialist-style measure after socialist-style measure over the next few months, and then my worries here will have proven to be unfounded.

A radical 180 from TINA – There Is No Alternative (to neoliberalism)? It’s not an impossibility… technically.

The next few months will certainly demand it.

If we could add the West’s false Y2K hysteria to their false 9/11 hysteria and then multiply it by the 2008 economic crisis, then we can get start to imagine what the West is stampeding themselves towards economically.

Socialist-inspired countries like Iran, China and Cuba should do what they have always done – hold on tight. The West’s corona hysteria will only push them more in favor of the big-government, socialist-inspired policies they have already (thankfully) adopted, anyway. That process may take years, when it needs to take mere months.

***********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience?

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for?

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire)

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s?

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

Turkey Asks NATO to Join Its War Against Syria and Russia

February 29, 2020

Eric Zuesse for The Saker blog

The spokesperson for the Islamist party of Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has called upon all of NATO to go to war against Syria for Syria’s having killed dozens of Turkey’s troops in order for Syria to defeat Turkey’s invasion and military occupation of Syria’s Idlib Province, which borders on Turkey. Going to war against Syria would mean going to war also against Russia, which is in Syria to protect Syria’s sovereignty over its own territory. If the United States accepts that Turkish proposal, then World War III will consequently result.

Darius Shahtahmasebi reported for Russia’s RT News on the morning of February 28th,

Turkey is calling for NATO’s protection after 33 of its soldiers were killed in an apparent Syrian airstrike in Idlib, allegedly while fighting in terrorist ranks. In the regional chaos that ensues, only one player stands to gain.

Speculation over what’s to come next has seen #article 5 trending on Twitter in the hours following the attacks, after Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AKP party, indicated to reporters in Ankara that he was looking at requesting formal NATO protection against Damascus and, by proxy, the Russian air force.

“We call on NATO to [start] consultations. This is not [an attack] on Turkey only, it is an attack on the international community. A common reaction is needed. The attack was also against NATO,” Celik told Turkish media.

Article 5 of the NATO treaty says an attack on one member is an attack on them all.

The US State Department also condemned the attack, stating that it stands by its “NATO ally Turkey.” It further stated that it continues to “call for an immediate end to this despicable offensive by the Assad regime, Russia and Iranian-backed forces.” Never one to let us down, the US envoy to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson also told journalists that “everything is on the table.”

This is the opportunity for U.S. President Donald Trump to join his opposition, Democratic Party’s, and even his own Party’s, hate-Russia campaign, by unleashing World War III, if he wants to. (For example, it was a unified Congress, both Parties, that forced him, on 17 July 2018, to reverse himself and say that Russia had assisted in his having become the U.S. President. He needed to be forced in order to say he agreed with that statement.)

Internally, within Islamist-ruled Turkey, the official Anadolu Press Agency sub-headlined one English-language news report, “Crisis in Idlib has crossed all limits, says presidential spokesman after regime attack martyrs 33 Turkish troops” and opened, “Turkey’s presidential spokesman on Friday called on the international community to take measures to de-escalate tensions in Syria after dozens of Turkish soldiers were martyred in a late night attack by the regime forces.” No mention was made, about those ‘martyrs’, that this had occurred in Syrian territory, where Turkish forces were invaders and military occupiers, and that the ‘regime’ they referred to is Syria’s committedly and ideologically secular, non-sectarian, Government, which is the only internationally recognized Government that Syria has (but from which Islamist Turkey is now trying to seize Syria’s Idlib Province and to include it within Turkey’s own territory).

By 7PM Turkish time on Friday the 28th, Firat Kozok of Bloomberg News headlined “Turkey Says It Has No Choice But to ‘Loosen’ Stance on Refugees” and reported that

Turkey is pressed by developments in Syria’s Idlib and has no choice but to “loosen” its policy of preventing refugees from travelling on to Europe, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun told reporters in Ankara.

“If Idlib falls, then millions of Syrian refugees will try to escape to Turkey and Europe. Turkey no longer has the possibility to provide resources for and help these people,” Altun said.

This is applying pressure upon the European member-nations in NATO to either join Turkey’s now very hot war against both Syria and Russia, or else to become faced with Turkey’s release of the tens of thousands of ‘rebels’ (mainly jihadists) whom Turkish forces in Syria’s Idlib Province have been protecting against military fire from Syria’s Army and from Russia’s Air Force.

The events that led to this critical impasse were reported by me last night (the 27th), and that report thus continues here, in order to provide context to these events:

“Turkey Now Claims Syria’s Idlib Province as Turkish Territory”

Eric Zuesse

On February 26th, Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s President, told his Islamist political party that Idlib, which is the most heavily jihadist of all of Syria’s provinces and the province where Syria had been sending jihadists who had been defeated but not killed by the Syrian army elsewhere in the Syrian war, is now permanently under Turkey’s protection, and belongs to Turkey — Turkish territory. Russia’s RT news headlined on the 26th, “‘We’re the hosts there’: Erdogan says Turkey won’t pull back from Syria’s sovereign territory, gives Assad ultimatum to retreat”, and reported that,

The Turkish leader has ruled out withdrawal from Idlib, where his forces are backing militants fighting the Syrian Army. He also gave Damascus an ultimatum to retreat beyond Turkey’s observation posts placed on Syrian soil.

“We will not step back in Idlib. We are not the guests in this realm, we are the hosts,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting of his AK party on Wednesday. Vowing to bring “the regime’s attacks” to an end, Erdogan said Ankara is giving Damascus time to pull forces back from Turkish observation posts.

The very next day, on the 27th, the Turkish English-language newspaper Yeni Safak bannered “Situation in Syria’s Idlib ‘in favor of Turkey’: Turkish president says Turkey has also reversed situation in Libya, which was previously in favor of Libyan warlord Haftar” and they reported that Erdogan saw signs that Turkey was introducing new international realities in both Syria and Libya.

Later on the 27th, RT headlined “33 Turkish soldiers confirmed killed in Idlib airstrike as Erdogan chairs emergency meeting on Syria” and reported that “Turkish officials attributed the strike to the Syrian military.” However, any Turkish retaliation against Syrian forces would not only be met by Russian defense of Syrian forces but would be clearly a Syrian response to Turkish aggression and therefore any U.S. involvement supporting Turkey in this matter would be America’s participating in Turkey’s blatantly illegal grab for Idlib. Even America’s allies in Europe and elsewhere might then turn away from the U.S., and away from Turkey.

This extraordinarily assertive position by Erdogan results from the sequence of events that will be described here:

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. allies made unequivocally clear in late August and early September of 2018 that if Syria and Russia would try to restore Syrian Government control over Syria’s Idlib Province, then the U.S. and its allies would greatly escalate their war against Syria’s Government. For example, on 3 September 2018, Trump tweeted, “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.” South Front reported, the following day, that,

Trump’s tweet comes as Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the start of his visit to Damascus said that “terrorists must be purged” from the province and Idlib in its entirety must be returned under government control.

“Syria’s territorial integrity should be safeguarded and all tribes and groups, as one society, should start the reconstruction process, and the refugees should return to their homes,” Mr Zarif said.

Zarif met with President Assad and the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem. They mostly discussed the expected September 7th summit, which will happen in Tehran. Russian, Turkish, Syrian and Iranian leaders are supposed to meet and discuss the situation in Idlib.

A statement from Assad’s office said that Iran and Syria “had similar views on the different issues” that are to be discussed.

On 10 September 2018, I wrote that “Unless Syria will simply hand its most heavily pro-jihadist province, Idlib, to adjoining Turkey, which claims to have 30,000 troops there and is planning to add 20,000 more,” there would be a war between NATO member Turkey, which has invaded there, versus Russia, which — at Syria’s request — has been assisting Syria’s Government to conquer all of Syria’s jihadists. Syria’s Army has gradually liberated and retaken most of Syria’s territory from jihadists, but had been using Idlib Province as a collection-area for the ones who were holding Syrian civilians as human shields. Syria was bussing into Idlib the tens of thousands of jihadists that surrendered. This was being done so as to minimize the numbers of civilians who would be killed when Syria’s army would retake an area, under Russian air-cover. This would allow the civilians there to escape to Syrian-Government-held territory, and the armed forces of Syria and Russia then to move in and slaughter the jihadists who remained there, so that Syria would retake that area from the U.S.-backed jihadists.

Then, seven days later, I headlined “Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ as I Recommended”, and reported that,

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan jointly announced on September 17th in Tehran, “We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide,” which compares to the Korean DMZ’s 4-km width.

Though the understanding that Erdogan had reached with Iran’s President Rouhani and with Russia’s President Putin was that this would be only a temporary measure in order to get the U.S. and its allies to cease threatening World War III if Syria and Russia promptly let loose and slaughtered the ‘rebels’ in Idlib (those being Americas’s previous main fighters to defeat and replace Syria’s Government), Erdogan soon presented clear indications that he actually wanted to seize Syrian territory and to get as much of it as he could — that his goal in Syria included expanding Turkey into Syria. His temporary policing function, as agreed-to by Russia, to isolate and not allow to escape the defeated jihadists who had become trapped there, turned out to be far more than that: it turned out to be Erdogan’s protection of those jihadists.

On September 25th of 2018, I had bannered “Turkey Now Controls Syria’s Jihadists”, and presented the historical background behind this. Then, on 14 July 2019, I headlined “Turkey Will Get a Chunk of Syria: An Advantage of Being in NATO”, and explained that because of NATO’s backing of Turkey’s seizure of Syrian territory, Turkey was already committed to the construction of Syrian branches of Turkey’s Gaziantep University and of Turkey’s Harran University, as well as of building supportive infrastructure for those facilities — absorbing portions of northern Syria into Turkey.

So, this has been a gradual process, and now Erdogan, backed by U.S.President Trump and by NATO, will be saving the lives of the tens of thousands of jihadists (plus their families) who had been defeated elsewhere in Syria, and who thus will avoid what the U.S. and its allies had warned would be a ‘humanitarian crisis’ of mass-slaughtering those defeated jihadists (which the U.S. and its allies still call ‘Syrian rebels’ — even though most of them aren’t even Syrian).

As I noted in the 14 July 2019 article:

At that time, just prior to the Tehran conference — and this was actually the reason why the conference was held — the U.S. and its allies, and the U.N., were demanding that an all-out invasion of Idlib, which had been planned by the Governments of Syria and of Russia, must not take place, for ‘humanitarian’ reasons. There was all that ‘humanitarian’ concern (led by the United States) for the world’s biggest concentration of Nusra and Nusra-led jihadists — and for Syria’s most jihadist-supporting civilian population. So much ‘kindness’, such ‘admirable’ ‘humanitarianism’. Furthermore the U.S. Government was threatening to greatly increase its forces against Syria if that invasion by Syria and by Russia into Idlib (which is, after all, part of Syria — so, what business is it, even of the U.N., at all?) were to be carried out. The Tehran conference was meeting in order to resolve that emergency situation (mainly America’s threats of a possible war against Russia), so as to forestall this attack.

Trump’s backing of Turkey’s aggression was taking the United States even deeper into his predecessor, Barack Obama’s, support of jihadists in order to overthrow Syria’s non-sectarian Government and install one that would be acceptable to the fundamentalist-Sunni Saud family who own Saudi Arabia.

And now Erdogan again is threatening Russia with WW III if Russia continues to defend Syria’s sovereignty over Idlib — Syria’s most-jihadist province.

On February 26th, Yeni Safak bannered “Turkey will never compromise on Sochi deal for Syria, says Erdoğan”; so, Erdogan is openly threatening WW III if Russia and Syria resist Turkey’s seizure of Idlib and protection of its many thousands of jihadists.

Although the U.S. has led this apparent victory for jihadists and for international aggression, Turkey’s Erdogan has been its spearhead. Russia and Iran had not agreed to this. Certainly, Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, hadn’t agreed to anything like this outcome. Turkey, in its 10 September 2018 agreement with Russia and with Iran, had committed itself to separating-out and killing the jihadists; but, instead, Turkey has been protecting them, and now will be absorbing them, and taking Idlib Province from adjoining Syria. As recently as 22 October 2019, Erdogan had promised Putin in Sochi that “The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria,” and that, “They emphasize their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.” Yeni Safak’s February 26th article opened “Turkey will never compromise on the Sochi deal on embattled Idlib, Syria, and it expects the deal to be implemented, said the country’s president on Wednesday.” Turkey “expects the deal to be implemented” while blatantly violating it.

Brett McGurk, a leading neoconservative in the Administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, admitted, on 27 July 2017, that “Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe-haven since 9/11, tied directly to Ayman al-Zawahiri,” and that “to send in tens of thousands of tons of weapons and looking the other way as these foreign fighters come into Syria, may not have been the best approach,” but yet the U.S. regime continues that approach, and backs Turkey’s grab of Idlib and protection of those jihadists. Previously, McGurk had been U.S. President Barack Obama’s special envoy for the anti-Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) coalition. He had supported jihadists led by al-Nusra (Syrian branch of Al Qaeda) and supported separatist Kurds in Syria, to overthrow Syria’s Government. Even the liberal (or Democratic Party, pro-Obama) neoconservative Washington Post  had not hidden the fact that “The U.S. team, headed by senior White House adviser Robert Malley and State Department envoy Brett McGurk” had informed the newspaper that “Russia was said to have rejected a U.S. proposal to leave Jabhat al-Nusra off-limits to bombing as part of a cease-fire” — the fact that Obama was actually protecting those jihadists (though not protecting ISIS or ‘ISIL’). Obama backed al-Qaeda there, and so does Trump. However, when Trump ran for the Presidency in 2016, he promised to reverse Obama’s obsession to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. That, and similar promises he made, were antithetical to the most-basic commitments of the U.S. Establishment. They became his implacable enemies.

Finally, on 10 November 2016, right after Trump’s election, that same newspaper, the WP, bannered “Obama directs Pentagon to target al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, one of the most formidable forces fighting Assad” and, without noting that Obama had supported that “al-Qaeda affiliate” until then, but instead falsely reporting that “the administration had largely ignored until now” it, said: “While Obama, White House national security adviser Susan E. Rice, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and special presidential envoy Brett McGurk agreed with [the super-neoconservative Obama Secretary of Defense Ashton] Carter on the need to keep the focus on the Islamic State, they favored shifting resources to try to prevent al-Nusra from becoming a bigger threat down the road.” That was extreme euphemism, coming from this extremely neoconservative liberal newspaper. Actually, Obama had built his overthrow-Assad operation mainly upon al-Nusra, to train and lead the tens of thousands of foreign jihadists who had been pouring into Syria. The Washington Post was one of the most lying, deceptive, newspapers reporting anywhere in the world about international relations, very heavily slanted neoconservative — in favor of expanding the U.S. mega-corporate empire. Whereas the separatist Kurds were America’s main proxy-army fighting in Syria’s northeast, al-Nusra led America’s proxy-armies everywhere else in Syria. That 10 November 2016 WP article also asserted “But aides say Obama grew frustrated that more wasn’t being done by the Pentagon and the intelligence community to kill al-Nusra leaders given the warnings he had received from top counterterrorism officials about the gathering threat they posed.” That’s another lie, because Secretary of State John Kerry had actually fought inside the Administration against Obama’s policy on that, and the policy came from Obama himself — and NOT from his subordinates (such as Ashton Carter), as that lying newspaper alleged. The article referred to “the expanded push against al-Nusra” — but here is the reality: by no later than December 2012 Obama had settled upon al-Nusra to lead America’s overthrow-Assad campaign inside Syria. And the reason for that has very deep historical roots — all hidden from the American public. Instead of such realism, that propaganda-organ, in its article on 10 November 2016, wrote:

A bitterly divided Obama administration had tried over the summer to cut a deal with Moscow on a joint U.S.-Russian air campaign against al-Nusra, in exchange for a Russian commitment to ground Syrian government warplanes and to allow more humanitarian supplies into besieged areas. But the negotiations broke down in acrimony, with Moscow accusing the United States of failing to separate al-Nusra from more moderate rebel groups and Washington accusing the Russians of war crimes in Aleppo.

‘Humanitarian’. How stupid does the owner of the Washington Post think that the American public is in order for it still to believe that its Government really cares about being “humanitarian” around the world — especially in countries it’s trying to conquer, such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia …? Really? He thinks it’s that stupid? Or, does he think his newspaper can help to make them so misinformed?

That rabidly anti-Russian newspaper continued there:

Russia had accused the United States of sheltering al-Nusra, a charge repeated Thursday in Moscow by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“The president doesn’t want this group to be what inherits the country if Assad ever does fall,” a senior U.S. official said. “This cannot be the viable Syrian opposition. It’s al-Qaeda.”

Officials said the administration’s hope is that more-moderate rebel factions will be able to gain ground as both the Islamic State and al-Nusra come under increased military pressure.

The article also featured a headline and link to their 9 November 2016 news-story, “Intelligence community is already feeling a sense of dread about Trump”. Even back then, the Democratic Party’s billionaires were pumping their agents’ allegations which would lead to Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and ultimately to Ukrainegate and Trump’s impeachment for being insufficiently supportive of President Obama’s 2014 coup and conquest of Ukraine, which Obama had started planning by no later than 2011. All of that was a warning to any current or future U.S. President, that to buck the collective will of America’s billionaires is to commit political suicide. It doesn’t make any difference what the President’s Party is — the dictate, from the billionaires, applies to any U.S. President. This ‘restored Cold War’ is nothing of the sort — on the U.S. side, the war secretly continued uninterrupted, even after the Soviet Union ended its communism, and its Warsaw-Pact mirror of America’s NATO military alliance.

UPDATE: On February 28th, the German Government news-agency Deutsche Welle (DW) bannered “Idlib: ‘I’d rather suffer bombs than Assad’” and provided an extensive interview by telephone with someone in Idlib who says that she supports democracy and tolerance of all religions and is determined to overthrow the present Government of Syria. If her pro-democracy, anti-jihadist, allegations are honest, then she is an extraordinary exception for Idlib, as has been documented by the periodic polls that the British polling firm Orb International took throughout Syria and reported during 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018. For examples:

In the 2014 report (page 12) only 4% of the people sampled in Idlib said that they supported “The Assad Government.” This was far lower than the percentages in any other Syrian province. 52% supported either “armed opposition” or “Violent religious extremist groups.” This was far higher than in any other province except ISIS-controlled Raqqah, where it was 59%.

In the 2015 report (page 7), 35% of the people sampled in Idlib said that al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) was a “Completely positive influence”; an additional 35% said it was a “Somewhat positive influence.” That 70% support for al-Qaeda was by far the highest found in any of Syria’s provinces.

If the person who was at the other end of that DW phone-call was authentic, then she was anything but representative of the people in Idlib.

At around 10 AM Eastern time in the U.S. on the 28th, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper headlined “Erdoğan and Putin may meet next week, Kremlin says”, and reported that “Erdoğan and Putin spoke over the phone Friday to try to defuse tensions that rose significantly in northwestern Syria after 33 Turkish troops were killed in a Syrian regime airstrike.” Either Erdogan is trying to find a face-saving way out of his huge gamble, or Putin is trying to prevent WW III, or both. An hour later, that newspaper bannered “Turkey determined to remove Assad regime from Syria’s Idlib, Erdoğan tells Trump.” Why is it that a country can proudly proclaim in a headline that it will commit international aggression in blatant violation of international law and yet not be roundly damned by the publics in all countries for doing such a vile thing?

At around noon, U.S. Eastern time, on the 28th, Turkey’s TRT World bannered “NATO and the West’s dereliction of duty in Syria and Turkey” and opened: “If the West and NATO continue on the path they have chosen, it will allow Vladimir Putin to reshape the post-Soviet world order in his image.” After trying to scare Europe’s leaders by threatening to overwhelm them with maybe hundreds of thousands of released jihadists who have been basically penned-up in Idlib, Erdogan was trying to appeal to those leaders’ obligations to NATO, America’s anti-Russian military alliance.

At around 1:30 PM U.S. Eastern time on the 28th, Britain’s Guardian headlined “Nato expresses ‘full solidarity’ with Turkey over Syria airstrikes” but NATO chief “Stoltenberg offered no immediate promise of assistance to Turkey,” and the article went on to report that the UK and five of its allies would bring the matter to the U.N. Security Council on Friday night (where Turkey’s demands would even more certainly go nowhere). The reality of Stoltenberg’s statement (which had been issued at 12:33 Eastern time) was a total humiliation to Erdogan’s fantasies that because of his country’s NATO membership he could get the U.S. to invade Russia. Stoltenberg gave the standard NATO hate-talk against Russia and its allies, however, saying that “Allies condemn the continued indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and its backer Russia in Idlib province.” Even when a NATO member engages in clear-cut foreign aggression in violation of the U.N. Charter’s prohibiton against that, and explicitly violating the International Criminal Court’s “Crime of Aggression”, NATO will spew its standard hate-propaganda against the countries that were and are victims of that blatantly illegal aggression by the NATO member-country. Notwithstanding NATO’s sometimes diplomatic language, it is — after Russia ended its side of the Cold War in 1991 — basically an extremely dangerous militarized hate-organization, of which every one of its member-nations should be profoundly embarrassed to belong.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for ‘World War III’: World War IV Has Already Begun

February 27, 2020

A. B. Abrams on Today’s Great Power for The Saker Blog


“A. B. Abrams is the author of the book ‘Power and Primacy: A History of Western Intervention in the Asia-Pacific.’ His second book covering the history of the United States’ conflict with North Korea is scheduled for publication in 2020.

He is proficient in Chinese, Korean and other East Asian languages, has published widely on defence and politics related subjects under various pseudonyms, and holds two related Masters degrees from the University of London.”


The world today finds itself in a period of renewed great power conflict, pitting the Western Bloc led by the United States against four ‘Great Power adversaries’ – as they are referred to by Western defence planners – namely China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This conflict has over the past 15 years escalated to encompass the military, economic and information spheres with global consequences – and appears to be coming to a head as signs of peaking tensions appear in multiple fields from military deployments and arms races to harsh economic wars and a harsher still information war.

While the term ‘World War III’ has been common since the 1940s, referring to the possibility of a global great power war on a greater scale than the first and second world wars, the Cold War between the Western and Soviet Blocs was at its height as total, as global and as heated as the prior conflicts. As weapons technology has evolved, the viability of a direct shooting war has diminished considerably – forcing major powers to seek alternative means to engineer their adversaries’ capitulation and assert their own dominance. This has been reflected in how the Cold War, and the current phase of global conflict some refer to as ‘Cold War 2’ have been distinct from the first two world wars despite the final objectives of the parties involved sharing many similarities. I would thus suggest redefining what a ‘world war’ is and acknowledging that this current phase of global conflict is every part as intense as the great power ‘hot wars’ waged in the first half of the 20th century.

Had the intercontinental range ballistic missile and the miniaturised nuclear warhead been invented twenty years earlier, the Allied Powers may have needed to rely more heavily on economic and information warfare to contain and eventually neutralise Nazi Germany. The Second World War would have been very different in nature to reflect the technologies of the time. When viewed from this paradigm, the Cold War can be seen as a ‘Third World War’ – a total conflict more vast, comprehensive and international than its predecessors stretched out over more than 40 years. The current conflict, or ‘World War IV,’ is ongoing. An assessment of prior ‘great power wars,’ and the unique nature of the current conflict, can provide some valuable insight into how warfare is evolving and the likely determinants of its victors.

As of 2020 it is clear that great power conflict has become almost as heated as it can short of an all-out hot war – with the Western Bloc applying maximum pressure on the information, military and economic fronts to undermine not only smaller adversaries such as Venezuela and Syria and medium sized ones such as North Korea and Iran, but also China and Russia. When exactly this phase of conflict began – sometime after the Cold War’s end – remains uncertain.

The interval between the third and fourth ‘world wars’ was considerably longer than that between the second and the third. This was due to a number of factors – primarily that there was no immediate and obvious adversary for the victorious Western Bloc to target once the Soviet Union had been vanquished. Post-Soviet Russia was a shade of a shadow of its former self. Under the administration of Boris Yeltsin the country’s economy contracted an astonishing 45% in just five years from 1992 (1) leading to millions of deaths and a plummet in living standards. Over 500,000 women and young girls of the former USSR were trafficked to the West and the Middle East – often as sex slaves (2), drug addiction increased by 900 percent, the suicide rate doubled, HIV became a nationwide epidemic (3) corruption was rampant, and the country’s defence sector saw its major weapons programs critical to maintaining parity with the West delayed or terminated due to deep budget cuts (4). The possibility of a further partition of the state, as attested to multiple times by high level officials, was very real along the lines of the Yugoslav model (5).

Beyond Russia, China’s Communist Party in the Cold War’s aftermath went to considerable lengths to avoid tensions with the Western world – including a very cautious exercise of their veto power at the United Nations which facilitated Western led military action against Iraq (6). The country was integrating itself into the Western centred global economy and continuing to emphasis the peaceful nature of its economic rise and understate its growing strength. Western scholarship at the time continued to report with near certainty that internal change, a shift towards a Western style political system and the collapse of party rule was inevitable. The subsequent infiltration and westernisation was expected to neuter China as a challenger to Western primacy – as it has other Western client states across the world. China’s ability to wage a conventional war against even Taiwan was in serious doubt at the time, and though its military made considerable strides with the support of a growing defence budget and massive transfers of Soviet technologies from cash strapped successor states, it was very far from a near peer power.

North Korea did come under considerable military pressure for failing to follow what was widely referred to as the ‘tide of history’ in the West at the time – collapse and westernisation of the former Communist world. Widely portrayed in the early 1990s as ‘another Iraq’ (7), Western media initially appeared to be going to considerable lengths to prepare the public for a military campaign to end the Korean War and impose a new government north of the 38th parallel (8). Significant military assets were shifted to Northeast Asia specifically to target the country during the 1990s, and the Bill Clinton administration came close to launching military action on multiple occasions – most notably in June 1994. Ultimately a combination of resolve, a formidable missile deterrent, a limited but ambiguous nuclear capability, and perhaps most importantly Western certainty that the state would inevitably collapse on its own under sustained economic and military pressure, deferred military options at least temporarily.

The fourth of the states that the United States today considers a ‘greater power adversary,’ Iran too was going to considerable lengths to avoid antagonism with the Western Bloc in the 1990s – and appeared more preoccupied with security threats on its northern border from Taliban controlled Afghanistan. With a fraction of the military power neighbouring Iraq had previously held, the presence of an ‘Iranian threat’ provided a key pretext for a Western military presence in the Persian Gulf after the Soviets, the United Arab Republic and now Iraq had all been quashed. With the new government in Russia put under pressure to terminate plans to transfer advanced armaments to Iran (9), the country’s airspace was until the mid 2000s frequently penetrated by American aircraft, often for hours at a time, likely without the knowledge of the Iranians themselves. This combined with a meagre economic outlook made Iran seem a negligible threat.

While the Cold War ended some time between 1985 and 1991 – bringing the ‘third world war’ to a close – the range of dates at which one could state that the ‘fourth world war’ began and the West again devoted itself to great power conflict is much wider. Some would put the date in the Summer of 2006 – when Israel suffered the first military defeat in its history at the hands of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Using North Korean tunnel and bunker networks, command structures, weapons and training (10), and bolstered by Iranian funding and equipment, the shock of the militia’s victory, though underplayed in Western media, reverberated among informed circles across the world.

Others would place the date two years later in 2008 during the Beijing Summer Olympics, when Georgia with the full support of the West waged a brief war against Russia – and Moscow despite harsh warnings from Washington and European capitals refused to back down on its position. Post-Yeltsin Russia’s relations with the Western Bloc had appeared relatively friendly on the surface, with President George W. Bush observing in 2001 regarding President Vladimir Putin that he “was able to get a sense of his soul,” and predicting “the beginning of a very constructive relationship.” Nevertheless, signs of tension had begun to grow from Moscow’s opposition to the Iraq War at the UN Security Council to President Putin’s famous ‘Munich Speech’ in February 2007 – in which he sharply criticised American violations of international law and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations.”

It could also be questioned whether, in light of what we know about Western support for separatist insurgents in Russia itself during the 1990s, the war against the country ever ended – or whether hostilities would only cease with a more total capitulation and partition and with the presence of Western soldiers on Russian soil as per the Yugoslav precedent. As President Putin stated in 2014 regarding continuing Western hostilities against Russia in the 1990s: “The support of separatism in Russia from abroad, including the informational, political and financial, through intelligence services, was absolutely obvious. There is no doubt that they would have loved to see the Yugoslavia scenario of collapse and dismemberment for us with all the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples of Russia” (11). Regarding Western efforts to destabilise Russia during the 1990s, CIA National Council on Intelligence Deputy Director Graham E. Fuller, a key architect in the creation of the Mujahedeen to fight Afghanistan and later the USSR, stated regarding the CIA’s strategy in the Caucasus in the immediate post-Cold War years: “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power” (12). The U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare’s director, Yossef Bodansky, himself also detailed the extent of the CIA’s strategy to destabilize Central Asia by using “Islamist Jihad in the Caucasus as a way to deprive Russia of a viable pipeline route through spiralling violence and terrorism” – primarily by encouraging Western aligned Muslim states to continue to provide support for militant groups (13).

Much like the Cold War before it, and to a lesser extent the Second World War, great powers slid into a new phase of conflict rather that it being declared in a single spontaneous moment. Did the Cold War begin with the Berlin Blockade, the Western firebombing of Korea or when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – which accelerated the move into a nuclear arms race. Equally, multiple dates were given for the opening of the Second World War – the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war two years prior, the Japanese Empire’s attack on Pearl Harbour and conquest of Southeast Asia which marked the first major expansion beyond Europe and North Africa in 1941, or some other date entirely. The slide into a new world war was if anything even slower than its predecessors.

The shift towards an increasingly intense great power conflict has been marked by a number of major incidents. In the European theatre one of the earliest was the Bush administration’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2002 and subsequent deployment of missile defences and expansion of NATO’s military presence in the former Soviet sphere of influence, which was widely perceived in Russia as an attempt to neutralise its nuclear deterrent and place the Western Bloc in a position to coerce Moscow militarily (14). This threatened to seriously upset the status quo of mutual vulnerability, and played a key role in sparking a major arms race under which Russia would develop multiple classes of hypersonic weapon. Their unveiling in 2018 would in turn lead the United States to prioritise funding to develop more capable interceptor missiles, a new generation of missile defences based on lasers, and hypersonic ballistic and cruise missiles of its own (15).

Another leading catalyst of the move towards great power confrontation was the Barak Obama administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ initiative, under which the bulk of America’s military might and considerable assets from the rest of the Western world would be devoted to maintaining Western military primacy in the Western Pacific. This was paired with both economic and information warfare efforts, the latter which increasingly demonised China and North Korea across the region and beyond and actively sought to spread pro-Western and anti-government narratives among their populations through a wide range of sophisticated means (16). These programs were successors to those sponsored by Western intelligence agencies to ideologically disenchant the populations of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union with their own political systems and paint Western powers as benevolent and democratising saviours (17). Economic warfare also played a major role, with efforts centred around the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ trade deal – or ‘Economic NATO’ as several analysts referred to it – to isolate China from regional economies and ensure the region remained firmly in the Western sphere of influence (18). The military aspect of the Pivot to Asia would reawaken long dormant territorial disputes, and ultimately lead to high military tensions between the United States and China which in turn fuelled the beginning of an arms race. This arms race has more recently led to the American withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which paves the way for deployment of American long-range missiles across the Western Pacific – all with China and North Korea firmly in their crosshairs (19).

It is arguably in the Middle East, however, where the new phase of global conflict has seen its most direct clashes so far. The nine-year conflict in Syria, although far less destructive or brutal, provides ‘World War IV’ with something of an analogue to the Korean War in the Cold War. The conflict has united the Western Bloc and a wide range of allies, from Turkey and Israel to the Gulf States and even Japan (which funds the jihadist-linked White Helmets) (20), in an effort to overthrow an independent government with close and longstanding defence ties to Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. The conflict has seen North Korean, Russian, Hezbollah and Iranian special forces (21) among other assets deployed on the ground in support of Syrian counterinsurgency efforts, with all of these parties providing considerable material support (the Koreans have built and fully staffed at least three hospitals as part of large medical aid packages and continue to be a major supplier of arms and training) (22). China too, particularly concerned by the presence of jihadist militants of Chinese origin in Syria, has played some role in the conflict – the exact details of which remain uncertain with much reported but unconfirmed (23).

Syria’s insurgency involving a range of jihadist groups, at times united only by their intent to end the secular Syrian government, have received widespread support from the Western Bloc and their aforementioned allies. This has involved both material support, which according to State Secretary Hillary Clinton included turning a blind eye to Gulf countries’ considerable assistance to the Islamic State terror group (24), and active deployments of special forces from a wide range of countries, from Belgium and Saudi Arabia to Israel and the U.S. The U.S., European powers, Turkey and Israel have at times directly attacked Syrian units in the field – while Russian reports indicate that close Western coordination with jihadist groups has been used to facilitate a number of successful attacks on Russian positions (25). The conflict in Syria arguably represents a microcosm of the macrocosm which is a new world war – one which pits the Western Bloc and those which support the Western-led order, both directly and through local proxies, against three of its four ‘great power adversaries’ in the field.

‘World War IV’ is unlikely to come to an end for the foreseeable future, and its final outcome remains difficult to predict. Much like in the Cold War, the Western Bloc retains considerable advantages – today most notably in the field of information war which allows it to extensively shape perceptions of the vast majority of the world’s population. This has included the demonization of Western adversaries, the whitewashing of Western crimes both domestically and internationally, and portraying westernisation and increased Western influence as a solution to people’s frustrations from corruption to economic stagnation. This has been a key facilitator of the pro-Western protests engulfing states from Sudan and Algeria to Ukraine and Thailand. Economically too, only China among the Western Bloc’s major adversaries has posed a serious threat to Western primacy. Indeed, it remains highly questionable whether the other three could survive economically under Western pressure without Chinese trade and economic support.

Russia has made a considerable economic recovery since the 1990s, but remains a shadow of its former self in the Soviet era. The country’s leadership has succeeded in reforming the military, foreign ministry and intelligence services, but the economy, legal system and other parts of the state remain in serious need of improvement which, over 20 years after Yeltsin’s departure, cannot come soon enough. Even in the field of defence, the struggling economy has imposed serious limitations – and in fields such as aviation and armoured warfare the country is only beginning to slowly go beyond modernising Soviet era weapons designs and begin developing new 21st century systems (26). On the positive side, the country does remain a leader in many high end technologies mostly pertaining to the military and to space exploration, while Western economic sanctions have undermined the positions of Europhiles both among the elite and within the government and boosted many sectors of domestic production to substitute Western products (27).

In the majority of fields, the ‘Eastern Bloc’ have been pressed onto the defensive and forced to prevent losses rather than make actual gains. While preserving Venezuelan sovereignty, denying Crimea to NATO and preventing Syria’s fall have been major victories – they are successes in denying the West further expansion of its own sphere of influence rather than reversing prior Western gains or threatening key sources of Western power. Pursuing regime change in Venezuela and Ukraine and starting wars in the Donbasss and in Syria have cost the Western Bloc relatively little – the Ukrainians and client states in the Gulf and Turkey have paid the brunt of costs for the war efforts. Material equipment used by Western backed forces in both wars, ironically, has largely consisted of Warsaw Pact weaponry built to resist Western expansionism – which after the Cold War fell into NATO hands and is now being channelled to Western proxies. Libyan weaponry, too, was transferred to Western backed militants in Syria in considerable quantities after the country’s fall in 2011 – again minimising the costs to the Western Bloc of sponsoring the jihadist insurgency (28). The damage done and costs incurred by the Syrians, Hezbollah, Russia and others are thus far greater than those incurred by the Western powers to cause destruction and begin conflicts.

Syria has been devastated, suffering from issues from a return of polio to depleted uranium contamination from Western airstrikes and a new generation who have grown up in territories under jihadist control with little formal education. The war is a victory only in that the West failed to remove the government in Damascus from power – but Western gains from starting and fuelling the conflict have still far outweighed their losses. In the meantime, through a successful campaign centred around information warfare, the Western sphere of influence has only grown – with further expansion of NATO and the overthrow of governments in resource rich states friendly to Russia and China such as Libya, Sudan and Bolivia. Commandeering the government of poor but strategically located Ukraine was also a major gain, with states such as Algeria and Kazakhstan looking to be next in the Western Bloc’s crosshairs. Thus while Syria was saved, though only in part, much more was simultaneously lost. The damage done to Hong Kong by pro-Western militants, ‘thugs for democracy’ as the locals have taken to calling them, who have recently turned to bombing hospitals and burning down medical facilities (29), is similarly far greater than the costs to the Western powers of nurturing such an insurgency. Similar offensives to topple those which remain outside the Western sphere of influence from within continue to place pressure on Russian and Chinese aligned governments and on neutral states seen not to be sufficiently pro-Western.

While the Western Bloc appears to be in a position of considerable strength, largely by virtue of its dominance of information space, which has allowed it to remain on the offensive, a sudden turning point in which its power suddenly diminishes could be in sight. From teen drug abuse (30) to staggering debt levels (31) and the deterioration of party politics and popular media, to name but a few of many examples, the West appears at far greater risk today of collapse from within than it did during the Cold War. A notable sign of this is the resurgence of both far right and far left anti-establishment movements across much of the Western world. Despite massive benefits from privileged access to third world resource bases, from France’s extractions from Francophone West Africa (32) to the petrodollar system propping up American currency (33), Western economies with few exceptions are very far from healthy. A glimpse of this was given in 2007-2008, and little has been done to amend the key economic issues which facilitated the previous crisis in the twelve years since (34). The West’s ability to compete in the field of high end consumer technologies, particularly with rising and more efficient East Asian economies, increasingly appears limited. From semiconductors to electric cars to smartphones to 5G, the leaders are almost all East Asian economies which have continued to undermine Western economic primacy and expose the gross inefficiencies of Western economies. The result has been less favourable balances of payments in the Western world, a growing reliance on political clout to facilitate exports (35), and increasing political unrest as living standards are placed under growing pressure. The Yellow Vests and the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are all symptoms of this. With very real prospects of another economic crash in the coming decade, in the style of 2008 but likely much worse, Western economies are expected to bear the brunt of the damage. Their ability to survive remains in serious question. Effects of a crash on North Korea, Iran, Russia and even China will be far less severe. While the previous crash hit Russia particularly hard (36), an economic turnaround from 2014 and the insulation provided by Western sanctions leave it far less vulnerable to the fallout from a Western economic crisis.

Ultimately China appears to be setting itself up for an ‘Eastern Bloc’ victory – a coup de grace which could see Western gains over the past several decades reversed and the power of the West itself diminished to an extent unprecedented in centuries. While the United States reluctantly outsourced much of its high end consumer technologies to East Asian allies during the Cold War – namely Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – China is going for the jugular of the Western world’s economy with its ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, which will see some critical remaining fields of Western technological primacy shift to East Asian hands. The Coronavirus, bombings in Hong Kong, the trade war, and the wide range of tools in the Western arsenal for destabilisation can at best slightly delay this – but cannot prevent it. In a globalised capitalist economy the most efficient producers win – and East Asia and China in particular, with its Confucian values, stable and efficient political systems and world leading education (37), are thus almost certain to take over the high end of the world economy.

Much as the key to Western victory in the Cold War was successful information warfare efforts and isolation of the Soviet economy from the majority of the world economy, the key to determining the victor of ‘World War IV’ is likely lie in whether or not Beijing succeeds in its attempt to gain dominance of high end technologies critical to sustaining Western economies today. This is far from the only determinant of victory. Efforts to undermine the effective subsidies to Western economies from Central and West Africa, the Arab Gulf states and elsewhere in the third world, and to ensure continued military parity – to deter NATO from knocking over the table if they lose the game of economic warfare – are among the other fields of critical importance. Based on China’s prior successes, and those of other East Asian economies, the likelihood that it will meet its development goals is high – to the detriment of Western interests. The result will be an end to world order centred on Western might – the status quo for the past several hundred years – and emergence in its place of a multipolar order under which Russia, Asia (Central, East, South and Southeast) and Africa will see far greater prominence and prosperity.

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Bechev, Dimitar, Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2017 (Chapter 1).

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(9) Axe, David, ‘Iran Desperately Wants This Fighter Plane,’ The National Interest, January 4, 2020.

(10) ‘Hezbollah a North Korea-Type Guerrilla Force,’ Intelligence Online, No. 529, August 25–September 7, 2006.  “North Koreans Assisted Hezbollah with Tunnel Construction,” Terrorism Focus, The Jamestown Foundation, vol. III, issue 30, August 1, 2006.

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(11) Kremlin, President of Russia, Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, December 4, 2014.

(12) Congressional Record, V. 151, PT. 17, U.S. Congress, October 7 to 26, 2005.

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(14) Kremlin, President of Russia, Plenary session of St Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 17, 2016.

(15) Gregg, Aaron, ‘Military Industrial Complex Finds a Growth Market in Hypersonic Weapons,’ Washington Post, December 21, 2018.

(16) Mullen, Mike and Nunn, Sam and Mount, Adam, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations, Independent Task Force Report No. 74, September 2016.

Cartalucci, Tony, ‘Twitter Targets Hong Kong in US-backed Regime Change Operation,’ Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, October 15, 2019.

Park, Kyung-Ae, ‘Regime Change in North Korea?: Economic Reform and Political Opportunity Structures,’ North Korean Review, vol. 5, no. 1, Spring 2009 (p. 23-45).

(17) ‘Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A.,’ New York Times, December 26, 1977.

(18) Wu, S., ‘Why the TPP is an “economic NATO,”’ Huffington Post, October 19, 2015.

(19) Ait, Abraham, ‘US Withdrawal From the INF Treaty Isn’t About Russia,’ The Diplomat, October 25, 2018.

(20) al-Jablawi, Hosam, ‘The White Helmets Struggle Without US Funding,’ Atlantic Council, June 11, 2018.

(21) ‘North Korean Special Forces in Syria; A Look at Pyongyang’s Assistance to Damascus’ Counterinsurgency Operations,’ Military Watch Magazine, June 10, 2018.

(22) ‘DPRK Ambassador affirms his country’s readiness to support health sector in Syria,’ Syrian Arab News Agency, July 25, 2016.

(23) Pauley, Logan and Marks, Jesse, ‘Is China Increasing Its Military Presence in Syria?,’ The Diplomat, August 20, 2018.

Hemenway, Dan, ‘Chinese strategic engagement with Assad’s Syria,’ Atlantic Council, December 21, 2018.

(24) ‘We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis,’ The Independent, October 14, 2016.

(25) ‘Inquiry Into Death of Russian Lt. Gen. Asapov Shows Data Leaks to Daesh –      Source,’ Sputnik, September 26, 2017.

‘Drones used by Syrian terrorists “require advanced training” – Russian MoD in response to US,’ Sputnik, January 9, 2018.

(26) ‘Five Next Generation Russian Combat Jets We Will See in the 2020s: From MiG-41 Hypersonic Interceptors to PAK DA Stealth Bombers,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 1, 2019.

(27) Twigg, Judy, ‘Russia Is Winning the Sanctions Game,’ National Interest, March 14, 2019.

(28) Hersh, Seymour, ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line,’ London Review of Books, vol. 36, no. 8, April 2014

Angelovski, Ivan and Patrucic, Miranda and Marzouk, Lawrence, ‘Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East,’ The Guardian, July 27, 2016.

Chivers, C. J. and Schmitt, Eric and Mazzetti, Mark, ‘In Turnaround, Syria Rebels Get Libya Weapons,’ New York Times, June 21, 2013.

McCarthy, Andrew C., ‘Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Debacle: Arming Jihadists in Libya . . . and Syria,’ National Review, August 2, 2016.

(29)  ‘Militants Bomb Hospital, Torch Quarantine Center as Hong Kong Braces for Virus Outbreak,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 27, 2020.

(30) ‘Class A drug use “at record levels due to young people”,’ BBC News, September 20, 2019.

(31) Buchholz, Katharina, ‘Industrialized Nations Have Biggest Foreign Debt,’ Statista, February 7, 2019.

(32) ‘France’s Colonial Tax Still Enforced for Africa. “Bleeding Africa and Feeding

France,”’ Centre for Research of Globalization, January 14, 2015.

Bart Williams, Mallence, ‘The Utilization of Western NGOs for the Theft of Africa’s Vast Resources,’ TedxBerlin, January 26, 2015

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnruW7yERA).

(33) Wong, Andrea, ‘The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret,’ Bloomberg, May 31, 2016.

Spiro, David E., The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets, New York, Cornell University Press, 1999.

(34) ‘Banks have not learnt lessons of 2008 crisis, says Gordon Brown,’ Financial Times, October 31, 2017.

‘A decade after the financial meltdown, its underlying problems haven’t been fixed,’ The Guardian, August 6, 2017.

(35)  ‘Fearing U.S. Sanctions Over Su-35 Purchase: What is Behind Indonesia’s Interest in New F-16V Fighters,’ Military Watch Magazine, November 6, 2019.

Rogan, Tom, ‘The very political reason Qatar buys different fighter aircraft from Britain, France, and the US,’ Washington Examiner, February 25, 2020.

Krishnan, Rakesh, ‘Countering CAATSA: How India can avoid American arm twisting,’ Business Today, March 6, 2019.

(36) Gaddy, Clifford G. and Ickes, Barry W., ‘Russia after the Global Financial Crisis,’ Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 51, no. 3, 2010 (pp. 281-311).

(37) Hobbs, Tawnell D., ‘U.S. Students Fail to Make Gains Against International Peers,’ The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2019.

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Putin makes annual State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly

Source

January 15, 2020

Besides discussing internal demographic, economic and weapons issues, the president said the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, China, Russia, Britain and France – carry a “special responsibility for securing the sustainable development of humanity.”

These five nations must begin to devise measures aimed at neutralizing any conditions for a global war, and develop new approaches towards securing the stability of the planet.

RT Commentary : Five nuclear-armed states must work together to neutralize threat of ‘global war’ – Putin

Sputnik Commentary : Key Takeaways From Vladimir Putin’s Address to Federal Assembly

Pravda Commentary : Putin wants 7 amendments to Constitution for strong, nuclear Russia

Transcript : Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

Russian Federation – Minister for Foreign Affairs Addresses General Debate, 74th Session

Source

September 27, 2019

Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 24 – 30 September 2019).

Transcript : http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3822351

28 September 201900:13
Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019

Unofficial translation

Distinguished Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations which was established as a result of the Victory in World War II and the realization of the need for a collective mechanism to maintain international peace and security, is getting closer. Regrettably, the events of the Cold War, which started soon after, prevented this tremendous creative potential from being unleashed.

The hope arose again almost 30 years ago when the Berlin Wall symbolizing confrontation of the two irreconcilable systems fell. It was the hope for the possibility to finally turn the grievous pages of wars – not only hot but also cold – and to join efforts for the benefit of all mankind.

However, we have to admit – although World War III was prevented thanks to the UN, the number of conflicts on the planet has not declined and enmity has not weakened. New most acute challenges emerged – international terrorism, drug trafficking, climate change, illegal migration, the growing gap between the rich and the poor. It is getting harder to address these and many other challenges from year to year. The fragmentation of international community is only increasing.

In our view, the reason for the current state of affairs lies, first and foremost, in the unwillingness of the countries which declared themselves winners in the Cold War to reckon with the legitimate interests of all other states, to accept the realities of the objective course of history.

It is hard for the West to put up with its weakening centuries-long dominance in world affairs. New centers of economic growth and political influence have emerged and are developing. Without them it is impossible to find sustainable solution to the global challenges which can be addressed only on the firm basis of the UN Charter through the balance of interests of all states.

Leading Western countries are trying to impede the development of the polycentric world, to recover their privileged positions, to impose standards of conduct based on the narrow Western interpretation of liberalism on others. In a nutshell, “we are liberals, and we can do anything”. Pursuing these aspirations, the West is less frequently recalling international law and more often and importunately dwelling upon the “rules-based order”.

The aim of such a concept is obvious – to revise the norms of international law which no longer suit the West, to substitute it for the “rules” adjusted to its self-serving schemes which are elaborated depending on the political expediency, and to proclaim the West and only the West as an indisputable source of legitimacy. For instance, when it is advantageous, the right of the peoples to self-determination has significance and when it is not – it is declared “illegal”.

In order to justify revisionist “rules” the West resorts to manipulation of public consciousness, dissemination of false information, double standards on human rights, suppression of undesirable media, bans on practicing journalism. Moreover, the West got “apt students” among its wards on the post-Soviet territory.

Instead of equal collective work, closed formats beyond legitimate multilateral framework are being created, and approaches agreed upon behind closed doors by a narrow group of the “select few” are then declared “multilateral agreements”. This is accompanied by the attempts to “privatize” the secretariats of international organizations, to use them in order to advance non-consensual ideas in circumvention of universal mechanisms.

Attacks on international law are looming large. The US withdrawal from the JCPOA endorsed by UNSC Resolution 2231 is broadly discussed. Washington not just repudiated its obligations enshrined in this Resolution but started demanding from others to play by American “rules” and sabotage its implementation.

The United States set a tough course for abolishing the UN resolutions on international legal framework of the Middle East settlement. It suggests waiting for some “deal of the century”, meanwhile it has taken unilateral decisions on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. A two-state solution to the Palestinian issue – which is essential for satisfying the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and providing security for Israel and the whole region – is under threat.

Apparently, when NATO members were bombing Libya blatantly violating the UNSC resolution, they were also guided by the logic of their “rules-based order”. It resulted in the destruction of Libyan statehood, and international community is still disentangling the disastrous repercussions of NATO’s adventure with African countries affected the most.

“Hidden agendas” in countering terrorism remain – despite the universally binding Security Council decisions on listing terrorist organizations, some countries made it a “rule” to cover terrorists and even to engage in cooperation with them on the ground as it is happening, for instance, in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. The United States has already been saying it loud that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is a rather moderate structure which “can be dealt with”. As recent discussions on the situation in the Syrian Idlib showed, the United States wants to induce members of the UNSC to such unacceptable logic.

The West also has its own “rules” regarding the Balkans where it is pursuing an open course for undermining the UNSC decisions on Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina settlement.

Universal conventions together with the SC resolutions are an integral part of international law. The West would like to substitute even them for its “rules” as it happened in the OPCW whose Technical Secretariat was illegally granted “attributive” functions through unlawful manipulations and unscrupulous pressure in direct violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and exclusive prerogatives of the Security Council.

Playing with Conventions obliging all countries to provide linguistic, educational, religious and other rights of national minorities continue. Even here our Western colleagues are guided by their “rules” – they turn a blind eye to the open denial of national minorities’ relevant rights and indulge the retaining of an ignominious phenomenon of statelessness in Europe.

The course for the revision of international law is more frequently observed in the persistent policy of rewriting the history of World War II, justifying an increasing number of manifestations of neo-Nazism, vandalism against the monuments to the liberators of Europe and Holocaust victims.

The key principles of the UN Charter – non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force or the threat of force – are also undergoing durability tests.

We are now facing the attempts to add Venezuela to the list of countries whose statehood was destroyed before our eyes through aggression or coups inspired from abroad. Like the overwhelming majority of the UN members, Russia is rejecting the attempts to return the “rules” dating back to the times of Monroe Doctrine to Latin America, to change from outside regimes in sovereign states descending to the methods of military blackmail, unlawful coercion and blockade as it happens in relation to Cuba in defiance of the UN resolutions.

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples adopted at the initiative of our country. However, a number of Western states are still clinging to the old “rules”, ignoring this Declaration and other decisions of the General Assembly on decolonization addressed directly to them, while keeping former overseas territories under their control.

This November marks another anniversary – 20 years since the adoption of the Charter for European Security and the Platform for Co-operative Security. These documents set out principles of cooperation for all countries and organizations in the Euro-Atlantic region. Heads of states and governments solemnly declared that no one should provide his own security at the expense of other’s security. Regrettably, the consensus reached back then today is substituted for taken as a “rule” NATO practice, the organization which continues thinking in terms of searching for enemies, while moving its military infrastructure to the East to the Russian borders and increasing its military budgets, although they already exceed the Russian one more than 20 times. We call on NATO to return to the agreements on shaping equal and indivisible security in the OSCE area. Recently, responsible European politicians have been speaking in favor of it, which, in particular, was demonstrated during the meeting of the Presidents of the Russian Federation and France in August.

The Asia-Pacific region needs a reliable and open architecture. It is dangerous to yield to the temptation and divide it into conflicting blocs. Such attempts will contradict the task to join efforts of all countries in the region in order to effectively address the continuing threats and challenges there, including the task to resolve a whole range of issues on the Korean Peninsula exclusively by peaceful means.

Actions taken by the United States, which, following its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, destroyed the INF Treaty with the overwhelming support of all NATO members, caused a huge damage to the global system of strategic stability which had been established for decades. Now the United States is questioning the future of the New START Treaty, refusing to ratify the CTBT. Moreover, it has lowered the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons in its doctrinal documents. The United States is setting course for transforming cyberspace and outer space into the arena for military confrontation.

In order to prevent further escalation of tensions, Russia proposed several initiatives. President Vladimir Putin announced the decision not to deploy land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe or other regions if and as long as the Americans refrain from doing it. We called on the United States and NATO to join such a moratorium. We have also repeatedly suggested Washington that we start negotiations on prolonging the New START Treaty. Together with China we support the harmonization of a legally binding document on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. So far, the reaction of the United States and its allies has not been encouraging.

We are alarmed by the protracted lack of answer to our proposal made to American colleagues already a year ago – to adopt a high-level Russian-American statement on unacceptability and inadmissibility of the nuclear war which by definition cannot have a winner. We call on all countries to support this initiative.

Today I would like to make an announcement – at the current session of the General Assembly we are introducing a draft resolution on Strengthening and Developing the System of Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Agreements. We invite everyone to conduct substantial talks. The adoption of the resolution would greatly contribute to the creation of conditions for a successful hosting of another NPT Review Conference next year.

Russia will continue to work persistently in order to strengthen universal security. In this sphere, we are acting with utmost responsibility, exercising restraint in enhancing defence capacity – obviously, without any damage to the effective delivery of national security and in full compliance with international law.

We support the consolidation of efforts to combat international terrorism under the auspices of the UN. In the interests of mobilizing the potential of regional organizations to suppress the terrorist threat Russia initiated a Ministerial meeting of the Security Council with the participation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Among the most critical tasks of the world community is elaboration of generally acceptable approaches to the digital sphere management and understanding of the processes related to the creation of artificial intelligence. Last year, the General Assembly endorsed the beginning of the substantive work on discussing the rules of the responsible conduct of states in information space. Resolution on Combating Cybercrime was adopted at Russia’s initiative. It is important to work for achieving legally binding agreements on all aspects of international information security.

We need to step up efforts to facilitate the settlement of numerous crises and conflicts in all regions of the world. The main point is to seek compliance with already existing agreements from parties without allowing them to invent pretexts to refuse from implementing obligations already taken during negotiations. This also concerns conflicts on the post-Soviet territory, including the need to strictly follow the provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures to settle the crisis in the East of Ukraine.

In Syria, where major success in combating terrorism has been achieved, further advancement of the political process lead by the Syrians with the assistance of the UN is at the forefront. With the decisive contribution of Russia, Turkey, and Iran as guarantors of the Astana format, the establishment of the Constitutional Committee has been finished, which was announced by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres a few days ago. Post-conflict reconstruction and creation of conditions for the return of the refugees are the items on the agenda. Here the UN system is to play an important role.

Yet, on the whole, the Middle East and North Africa still face many challenges. We witness what is happening in Libya and Yemen. Prospects for the Palestinian settlement are on the verge of collapse. Efforts to play the “Kurdish card” – which is combustible for many countries – are alarming.

The Persian Gulf region is facing artificial escalation of tensions. We call on overcoming the existing disagreements through dialogue without baseless accusations. On our part, we made a contribution having presented this summer the renewed Russian concept of the collective security in this region.

Supporting the efforts of the African states to put an end to conflicts on their continent, yesterday Russia organized the meeting of the Security Council on strengthening peace and security in Africa. At the end of October, Sochi will host the first ever Russia-Africa Summit. We hope its outcomes will help increase the effectiveness of addressing modern challenges and threats and of work to overcome the problems of development African countries are facing.

The reform of the SC is aimed at improving the UN anti-crisis and peacekeeping activities. Given the realities of the multipolar world, the main task is to find a formula which would correct an obvious geopolitical imbalance in its current composition and would ensure increased representation of African, Asian, and Latin American countries in the Council with the broadest possible agreement of the UN Member States.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dividing lines are harmful not only to the world politics but also to the economy. Its inclusive growth is curbed as a result of the WTO norms being substituted for other “rules” – methods of unfair competition, protectionism, trade wars, unilateral sanctions, and open abuse of the American dollar status. All this leads to the fragmentation of the global economic space, negatively affects people’s standards of living. We believe it necessary to get back to the substantial work both in the UN system organizations and in the G-20. To this end, we will contribute to the creation of favorable conditions, including through the opportunities offered by BRICS, where Russia will assume the chairmanship in 2020.

Together with other like-minded countries we support the harmonization of integration processes. This philosophy lies at the core of President Vladimir Putin’s initiative of the Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), SCO, ASEAN, and which is open to all other Eurasian states, including the EU countries. We have already started moving in this direction by interconnecting development plans of the EAEU and the Chinese Belt And Road Initiative. Consistent implementation of these endeavors will contribute not only to increasing economic growth but also to laying a solid foundation in order to form the territory of peace, stability, and cooperation from Lisbon to Jakarta.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the run-up to the next anniversary of the United Nations, I would like to underline – the UN-centered system of the world order, despite all trials, is stable and has a great margin of safety. It is a kind of a safety net which guarantees – if the UN Charter is respected – a peaceful development of mankind through finding a balance of sometimes rather contradictory interests of various countries.

At the outcome of these 75 years the main conclusion is probably that the experience of de-ideologized cooperation of states at the face of common threat, gained in the years of that most severe war, is still relevant.

Today’s challenges and threats are no less dangerous.

Only working together we will be able to effectively address them. Half a century ago a prominent scientist and public figure, the Nobel Prize Laureate Andrei Sakharov wrote the following – The division of mankind threatens it with destruction. If mankind is to get away from the brink, it must overcome its divisions It was the unity which was considered the key task of the UN by its Founding Fathers. Let us be worthy of their legacy and memory.

Idiots Driving World to War

A view of the Grace 1 super tanker in the British territory of Gibraltar, Thursday, July 4, 2019
Finian Cunningham
10620

Like a person going up in an escalator while asserting they are going down, the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has a bizarre way of trying to assure Iran that war is not on the cards.

Hunt, who is vying to become Britain’s new prime minister, stated on camera that “he wants to de-escalate” the danger of a military confrontation with Iran over mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf.

That was only days after he vowed to dramatically increase Britain’s military spending and in particular, boost the country’s naval firepower  – citing Iran as the main threat to British commercial shipping interests.

It also follows news that London has ordered a second warship to patrol the Persian Gulf. Earlier this week a British Royal Navy frigate reportedly challenged Iranian military vessels (three small boats) after they allegedly tried to impede a British oil tanker entering the narrow Strait of Hormuz. Iran vehemently denied any such interference by its boats and claimed that Britain and the US were engaging in a provocation.

Given that the Pentagon has announced plans to send an international coalition of warships to the Gulf “over the next two weeks”, under the guise of protecting commercial shipping from alleged Iranian threats, it must certainly look to Iran like the “war escalator” is speeding upwards.

Hunt has previously asserted that British forces would join in any American military attack on Iran. The resonance of past Anglo-American skullduggery against Iran is no doubt palpable to most Iranians.

There seems little doubt that Hunt is playing the “hard military man” card in his grubby contest with Boris Johnson to become the next prime minister. Conservative Party members are due to vote later this month on who is to replace the hapless Theresa May.

Bumbling Boris is the favourite to win the party race. But Hunt is making a last-gasp bid to rally the rank-and-file with seeming credentials of being a “tough leader”.

This week he wrote in a newspaper oped: “As the son of a naval officer, I know a little of the sacrifices of these individuals and of their families back home.”

He then promised that, if elected prime minister, he would ramp up military spending by 25 per cent, or by £15 billion, over the next five years. He claimed the tensions in the Gulf with Iran are “proof” that Britain needs to overhaul its maritime forces.

That exorbitant indulgence of military spending will likely wreak havoc on public services and prolong years of economic austerity on ordinary Britons. But such is the ambition of Hunt to get into 10 Downing Street, it’s a devastating price he seems willing to make British citizens pay.

However, more damning is Hunt’s reckless gamble from inflaming tensions with Iran. Sending more naval forces to the Gulf at a time of knife-edge fears about a war breaking out is ludicrous, if not criminally irresponsible.

Over the past two months, there have already been numerous incidents of alleged sabotage on shipping in the strategically important Gulf which the US has blamed on Iran. An American spy drone was shot down on June 20 by the Iranians after it allegedly violated Iran’s airspace. That incident nearly resulted in, reportedly, Trump ordering airstrikes.

The seizure last week by British commandoes of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar has added to fraught nerves in the region. More so because Tehran contends that seizure to be an illegal “act of piracy” orchestrated by Washington and London. The refusal by Britain to release the cargo of two million barrels of oil – based on dubious claims of enforcing EU sanctions against Syria – would also seem to be a calculated insult to provoke Iran.

From Iran’s point of view, the British are permitted to hijack oil ships, but whenever its patrol boats even as much as approach a British tanker near its territorial waters, then London and Washington are crying “foul”. The flagrant hypocrisy is in itself another provocative goading.

Let’s be clear: the Buffoonish Boris Johnson would be equally as deplorable as the Silly Hunt. Both of them are unscrupulous sycophants to America’s President Trump and his crazed warmongering towards Iran.

Russia has warned that the escalating tensions in the Gulf could spark a catastrophic war. Potentially a war in the tinderbox region could lead to World War III.

Lamentably, Britain’s shambolic politics and its venal politicians are playing with fire in their pathetic plans for personal self-aggrandizement of power.

Hunt’s double-think posturing of “escalating to de-escalate” is a sure sign that this Tory toff should not be heading to Downing Street, but rather to a padded cell. Johnson could also qualify for a cell next door.

The backdrop to resolving the current madness for endangering global peace seems blindingly obvious. Washington needs to abide by the 2015 international nuclear treaty with Iran, lift the sanctions crushing the Iranian economy, and remove all warships from the Persian Gulf.

As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this week, there would be no need for the US or Britain to “protect shipping” in the Gulf if these two states simply respected international law and norms of diplomacy.

It is insane and gut-wrenchingly tragic that world peace is being jeopardized by idiots like Hunt, Johnson and their puppet master in Washington. The only long-term solution is for the whole rotten political class in Britain, and the US, to be thrown out by popular revolt.

Views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

The plan of Marcks, the Barbarossa Directive, and Banderism in WWII

May 10, 2019

By Rostislav Ishchenko

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with 
https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-plan-of-marcks-the-barbarossa-directive-and-banderism-in-wwii/

source: https://ukraina.ru/history/20190509/1023546752.html

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:576a68edc36188751f8b45c8.jpg

There is a false opinion that is popular in narrow circles of Rezun adherents that the “unfortunate peaceable” Fuhrer, having suddenly learned that the USSR concentrated too many troops in the Western Military Districts, scratched around, and with the incidental divisions found near at hand was forced to urgently attack the USSR in order to not be attacked himself.

In practice Hitler gave the order to prepare an attack on the USSR already on July 31st 1940 (France capitulated on June 22nd of the same year).

He motivated his position not at all by the fact that the USSR was preparing to attack him, but by saying that the disappearance of the last major (alternative to German) military force in Europe will deprive Great Britain of hope for a result of war that is positive for it, and London will agree to make peace on the terms of Berlin. I.e., Hitler planned to “heal” the war that was already launched by him via a new war only because his calculations on the tractability of England after the defeat of France failed.

Directive No. 21, which approved the “Barbarossa Option”, appeared only on December 18th 1940. It became the development of the “Ost” plan elaborated by the General Erich Marcks, who was considered to be the best specialist of the OKH (Oberkommando des Heeres) on Russia. Marcks presented his reasons in August, but they did not satisfy Hitler, and the “Ost” plan was improved on the basis of the instructions of the Fuhrer by the group under the leadership of the well-known in Russia – thanks to the Battle of Stalingrad – General Friedrich Paulus.

Here it is necessary to make the reservation of the rather personal qualities of General Paulus. All of his colleagues recognised him as a well educated officer who was brilliantly prepared for staff work. But at the same time they nevertheless noted his obedience. Paulus always unconditionally obeyed the person with a stronger character irrespective of whether the latter occupied in relation to him a leading position (like Hitler) or a subordinated position (like the chief of his headquarters in the 6th army Major General Arthur Schmidt). Paulus executed orders irrespective of whether he considered them to be correct or nhttp://thesaker.is/ending-a-cultural-revolution-can-only-be-counter-revolutionary-7-8/ot. Thanks to this quality of Paulus, the deployment of troops within the framework of the “Barbarossa Directive” happened as a part of three groups of armies, and not two, as General Marcks proposed.

The matter is that Erich Marcks, apparently, was not only a great expert on Russia, but also a sensible staff officer who perfectly acquired the principles of the adventurous strategy of blitzkrieg, which allowed Germany to win at the first stages of World War II. Blitzkrieg assumed a victory by the smaller forces of a stronger opponent due to a concentration of troops (including all mobile formations) in strategic directions unexpected for it. The created local superiority materialised into deep breaches. The mobile formations supported by aircraft destroyed the rear, provided a loss by the highest headquarters of the leadership of troops, after which the front units found themselves in numerous cauldrons, catastrophically losing their fighting capacity, the organised defence of the country collapsing, and the fighting was turning into an operation to clean up the area from the remains of troops of the opponent, already demoralised and incapable of resistance.

This approach justified itself in Poland, in France, and at the beginning (in 1941) in the USSR. In 1942 the success of German troops on the Eastern front was local and didn’t have such a catastrophic character for the USSR. In general in 1942, despite large-scale defeats on the Southern flank, the Staff of the General Headquarters retained control over the situation.

The strategy of blitzkrieg was dictated by the general weakness of Germany in comparison with its opponents. Without going on adventures that were dangerous and fraught with instant defeat, Germany could not count on victories. But an adventure on the verge of catastrophic defeat, if it was successful, led to a just as catastrophic defeat of the opponent. This method is expressed in a proverb today: “He who takes no chances drinks no champagne”.

In full compliance with the strategy of blitzkrieg, General Marcks made a plan that was extremely adventurous, but in the event it was triumphant it promised absolute success. The deployment of “Ost” was supposed to be carried out within the framework of two groups of armies operating to the North of the Polesia swamps. In the South, Romania and Hungary didn’t have to enter the war, which provided the impossibility of an attack of Soviet troops through their territory. And in order to defend the Carpathian passes leading to Poland, there were rather enough small forces. The Polesia swamps, extending from the border to Bryansk, had to cover the open Southern flank of the attacking group. It was supposed to control them also by rather small forces.

Thus, the Soviet troops concentrated in Ukraine (40% of all potential and 50% of mobile formations) had to switch-off from active fighting until the attacking German army appeared on the outskirts of Moscow, in the deep rear of the Ukrainian group of Soviet troops. At the second stage (after capturing Moscow and Leningrad) it was supposed to drive the Soviet troops concentrated in the South towards the Black Sea and the Caucasian ridge and to destroy them with the assistance of the Turkish army, which had to strike them in the rear.

It is unknown whether they would have succeeded to implement this plan, but specific battles of 1941 show that, despite all its adventurousness, it could’ve been realised in the condition of strict fulfilment. During this period of war the Soviet troops proved to be good in passive defence, but no so good at deep and difficult offensive operations, and the command was catastrophically late to react to the actions of the enemy. That’s why the isolation of the large group of Soviet troops in Ukraine in the specific conditions of 1941 is not something unreal.

However, Hitler, who was always much more careful than his Generals, stated that he cannot fight without Ukrainian bread, coal, and metal, etc. He demanded the development of an operation taking into account the need to occupy Ukraine. Conscientious Paulus developed the “Barbarossa” plan, within the framework of which over 30% of German military power as a part of the “South” army groups had to operate to the South of the Polesia swamps (in Ukraine). At the same time, expeditious collaboration between the “Centre” and “South” army groups would be achieved only after arriving at the Smolensk-Chernigov line. This would reduce (although it didn’t completely remove) the general operational risk, but would also sharply reduce the chances of success.

The specific peripeteias of fighting in the Great Patriotic War were repeatedly parsed. The critical, on the verge of a Soviet defeat, situation of 1941 came to an end with the victorious battle of Moscow, after which it was a question only of what year, with what forces, and with what losses will the USSR crush Germany. But for us the transformation of the “Ost” plan into the “Barbarossa” plan is important due to the fact that if it wasn’t for the German occupation of Ukraine, we would not face such a phenomenon as civil war during the Great Patriotic War.

Traitors and collaborators were everywhere (in Western and Eastern Europe, in different regions of the USSR). On Russian territories there was a “Lokot republic” of Kaminsky, and besides Vlasov’s Russian Liberation Army, the 15th SS Cossack Cavalry Corps of Lieutenant General Helmuth von Pannwitz worked in the structure of the German army, and there was also the Baltic and Caucasian “SS legions”, even in Belarus there were its own homegrown henchmen, although the most part had to be sent from Ukraine and from the Baltics. However, in any region, including the Baltics, the amount of the local population that was at war as a part of the Red Army exceeded (some by orders of magnitude, and some by percentage, but all the same exceeded) the number of those who went to serve the enemy.

In Ukraine there was a cardinally different situation. In its central and its Southeast regions the picture was approximately the same as the average for the Union. But the Western regions, generally Galicia, were on the side of the enemy almost in full strength. It’s not a coincidence that after war the USSR couldn’t cope with banderism for a long time. UPA enjoyed the support of the local population. Even Banderist terror would be impracticable if it wasn’t for the support of the local population.

During the war about 1,200,000 Soviet citizens served in different military and auxiliary formations of the Wehrmacht, the SS, and police. From them, according to the data of the German command, 400,000 were Russians and 250,000 were Ukrainians. However, according to the same data, over half a million (nearly a half) from all collaborators lived on the territory of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic before the war. The Germans simply considered as Ukrainians mainly Galicia residents or those people who officially adopted the ideology of Ukrainian nationalism.

Moreover, as was said above, collaborators from Ukraine and from the Baltics alone (three small republics gave in total 230,000 collaborators) were used to maintain order in other regions (in the regions of Belarus, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and Eastern Ukraine, where their own collaborators were lacking in numbers). There was one essential difference between the Ukrainian and Baltic collaborators. A considerable part of the latter indeed fought at the front. The former mainly committed atrocities in the rear. The actions of Baltic police battalions outside the actual territory of the Baltics aren’t as known (there are several cases in Belarus). But the Ukrainian (Galician) punishers “glorified themselves” for both Khatyn and atrocities committed while interrogating members of the Young Guard in Krasnodon. Henchmen from Galicia were brought to Kiev, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Donbass, as well as to the regions of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic bordering with Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Rostov, Belgorod), and also to Belarus.

I draw your attention to the fact that in the area of actions of Galician collaborators, 2/3rds of spaces are occupied by the Southeast and central regions of Ukraine, where their own collaborators were lacking in numbers. It is precisely this that grants us the right to say that during the Great Patriotic War the occupied territory of Ukraine became the arena of civil war between the Russian population of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (which became partisans) and the Galician collaborators. Banderism, suppressed after war, only went underground. In new conditions, with the collapse of the USSR, this civil war resumed, and rather quickly went through a cold stage and since 2014 has acquired open character.

However, there is also an even more important detail. During the Great Patriotic War the Ukrainian collaborators, performing punitive functions on the territories of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic and Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, already tried to transfer civil war beyond the border of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic – to set fire to all the USSR. Now, by talking about their “war” with Russia and about their readiness to carry out saboteur work against it, trying to establish ties with Russian marginal opposition and to create a terrorist underground on its foundations, modern Banderists again try to solve a problem that was not solved by their predecessors – to transfer civil war from the territory of Ukraine to Russia and to destroy the Russian State.

The defeat of Germany in war became a condition for a victory over banderism after the Great Patriotic War. The condition of a victory over modern banderism is a victory in the hybrid war launched by the US against Russia and now also China.

The U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion

December 11, 2018

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker BlogThe U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion

The following combination of articles explains — and they link to conclusive evidence proving — that the United States Government is actually designing its nuclear forces now with the intention to win a nuclear war against Russia (World War III), and no longer (if they ever really were) adhering to the idea (“Mutually Assured Destruction”) that WW III would produce unacceptable catastrophe for both sides, and must therefore be prevented. The U.S. Government is definitely set upon winning WW III, not avoiding WW III. Nuclear weapons are thus being built and deployed by the U.S. Government with the intention to conquer Russia, and this goal has become NATO’s mission, and its only remaining core function, though this fact is not publicly acknowledged. Here are these articles, and their key quotes, showing this:

1:  https://fas.org/blogs/

“Back in 2011, before the B61-12 development program had progressed to the point of no return, FAS sent a letter to the White House and the Office of the Secretary of Defense pointing out the contradiction with the administration’s policy and implications for nuclear strategy. They never responded.”

2:  http://www.voltairenet.org/

As from March 2020, the United States will begin to deploy in Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Holland (where B-61 nuclear bombs are already based), and probably also in other European countries, the first nuclear bomb with precision guidance in their arsenal, the B61-12. Its function is primarily anti-Russian. This new bomb is designed with penetrating capacity, enabling it to explode underground in order to destroy the central command bunkers with its first strike. How would the United States react if Russia deployed nuclear bombs in Mexico, right next to their territory?”

3:  http://www.unz.com/article/

The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”

4:  https://off-guardian.org/2017/

The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, ‘Nuclear Primacy’ against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia.”

CONCLUSIONS

The U.S. Government’s statements to the public, alleging that Russia is the ‘aggressor’, and that the U.S. Government designs its nuclear program only for ‘defense’ against Russia and other nations, is as much of a lie as was the U.S. Government’s statement in 2002 that Iraq needed to be invaded because the IAEA had found (which it never did) that Iraq was within six months of having a nuclear bomb. The U.S. Government is not to be trusted — no more now than it was then. And also the U.S. regime invaded and destroyed Libya, and Syria, and Yemen, on the basis of lies. No such serial liar should be trusted.

The U.S. regime’s real goal is conquest and control of the entire world — including especially Russia. After the end of the Soviet Union, and of its communism, and of its Warsaw Pact military alliance that had been established in order to defend against America’s NATO military alliance, there is no excuse for this. The U.S. regime’s guilt here is especially outrageous regarding Russia, because invading Russia would destroy the entire world.

The U.S. regime’s craving to control the entire world is sheer evil, and is ‘justified’ entirely on lies (such as the lie that Putin had “seized” Crimea — this being the alleged ‘justification’ for NATO’s ramping up troops and missiles on and near Russia’s borders).  One of these lies is that “Putin wants to conquer Ukraine”Only the grossest of fools could believe that. But it’s not just the Crimea-Ukraine issue where the U.S. regime lies: All U.S. sanctions against Russia are based on clearly proven lies.

Furthermore, the U.S. regime’s increasing moves towards a police-state if not toward ultimately military law for Americans, are drastically reducing Americans’ own freedoms, and this is extremely bad for the American people. The increasing percentages of the U.S. Government’s spending that go to the military have also been spreading poverty and concentrating wealth in the aristocracy; so, only America’s billionaires are benefiting from this imperialism, even within the U.S.

The United States Government is no ‘democracy’, and it has now become the enemy of the entire world, except of the regimes that rule its allied countries, but even its allied countries will be immiserated by such a war as America’s rulers are preparing, on behalf of the owners of Lockheed Martin and other such corporations.

The U.S. regime is the enemy of publics everywhere. It is the biggest threat to the world in all of human history, if Hitler’s regime wasn’t that. And it will be worse even than Hitler’s regime, if its military bases and personnel aren’t expelled from every country before the secretly planned blitz-invasion of Russia ultimately occurs. Only doing that could now prevent such an attack. If this won’t be done, then NATO’s invasion of Russia will. It has come down to that choice, for each and every nation.

On 20 October 2016, NBC News bannered “Philippine Leader Duterte Ditches U.S. for China, Says ‘America Has Lost’”.

On 1 May 2017, Global Research headlined an opinion-article, “No More Crimes Against Peace: Why Canada Must Leave NATO Now”.

Europe’s emerging competitor to America’s NATO is called “Permanent Structured Cooperation”, a dull name so as to avoid especially the U.S. public’s attention. It was announced on 8 September 2017, and then established on 11 December 2017, with a list of “Ambitious and more binding common commitments” and with 25 EU Member States (all of the 28 EU members except: UK, Denmark, and Malta), signing onto those commitments. Its creation was the start of the end of NATO. This has been inevitable ever since the U.S. coup in Ukraine in February 2014 and installation there of a nazi regime, which the U.S. regime had planned to become a member both of NATO and of the EU.

On 9 November 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted,

“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”

Perhaps Macron wants to keep France out of WW III. Perhaps, also, Macron wants France to be free to determine its own international policies without needing to adhere to the demands of America’s billionaires, especially the demands which America’s billionaires share with Saudi Arabia’s royal family and Israel’s billionaires,* such as to conquer Syria so as to install there a leader who would be chosen by King Saud and cooperate with America’s billionaires. For example: on December 7th, Al Masdar News headlined “Syria accuses US Coalition of completely destroying hospital in Deir Ezzor”. Deir Ezzor is Syria’s oil-producing region, and the U.S. regime and its allies want to steal Syria’s oil and they’ve therefore been trying for years to destroy the Government’s infrastructures and grab control there.

To understand the broader geostrategic context in which these daily events are happening, click here.

NOTE: There is a possibility that Ukraine might, on December 14th, invade its former Donbass region and provoke there a Russian response that the U.S. regime might use as a pretext to invade Russia, but I doubt that the U.S. regime yet feels confident enough that it possesses “Nuclear Primacy” so as to invade Russia at the present time. So, if such a Ukrainian invasion occurs, the Ukrainian regime, which was installed by the American regime, might turn out to be disappointed.

——

* On November 27th, “President Trump’s full Washington Post interview transcript, annotated” included Trump’s fullest explanation, to-date, on why he will not blame Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud for Khashoggi’s murder:

“They’ve been a great ally. Without them, Israel would be in a lot more trouble. We need to have a counterbalance to Iran. … It’s very, very important to maintain that relationship. It’s very important to have Saudi Arabia as an ally, if we’re going to stay in that part of the world. Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel. Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there” (other than to do the will of Israel’s billionaires, and of America’s billionaires who also share in the control of Israel’s Government). An astute observer noted about that comment from Trump:

As Trump explains now that he holds not only the relations with the Saudis, in order to serve Israel’s interests, but that Israel is “a reason” for the US and its troops remain in the region. With that, Trump has broken a long-standing taboo, because the simple information that Israeli interests are the reason that the US and its troops are in the region, has so far tried to suppress the Zionist lobby with great force and quite successfully. After all, the naked truth does not sound good to the Zionist regime and its henchmen: rows of bombed and destroyed countries, thousands of dead US soldiers and many more cripples, trillions of dollars in costs, and what this all is about: Israel.

Like many traditionalists, that observer refuses to consider that the royal Saud family might be dominant over the Jewish billionaires, instead of vice-versa such as is the case because the Sauds control the exchange-rate of the dollar and the Jewish billionaires don’t even control much oil at all. But that’s a relatively minor disagreement, in the present context.

Furthermore, on December 8th, The Atlantic bannered “The U.S. Is Paying More Than It Bargained for in the Yemen War” and reported that the Pentagon had written to The Atlantic that (as they quoted from the Pentagon), “Although DoD has received some reimbursement for inflight refueling assistance provided to the Saudi-led coalition (SLC), U.S. Central Command recently reviewed its records and found errors in accounting where DoD failed to charge the SLC adequately for fuel and refueling services,” and the Pentagon refused to indicate just how much of that expense had been charged to U.S. taxpayers — that is, added to the federal debt. However, the Pentagon had to have known the answer to that question because otherwise the Pentagon wouldn’t now be demanding from Crown Prince Salman al-Saud this reimbursement. You don’t demand reimbursement unless you know precisely how much the demand is for. The likely reason why Trump makes this demand at the present time would be that with the public information now known about the murder of Khashoggi, Trump now has a vastly better bargaining-position to demand this money. Trump’s bargaining-position against al-Saud has been greatly improved. He represents both America’s billionaires and Israel’s billionaires. He does not represent the American public. In effect: he negotiates here for those billionaires, against al-Saud.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

With Regard to War, Trump Doesn’t Talk the Talk or Walk the Walk

With Regard to War, Trump Doesn’t Talk the Talk or Walk the Walk

WAYNE MADSEN | 18.11.2018 |

With Regard to War, Trump Doesn’t Talk the Talk or Walk the Walk

Last week, Donald Trump disgraced himself before his French hosts, US and Allied military veterans, and the entire world by remaining inside the residence of the US ambassador to France and snubbing a memorial service for US dead in World War I.

Donald Trump, who is undoubtedly the least intelligent man to ever occupy the White House, failed to understand the importance of the 100th centenary observations in France held to mark the armistice that concluded World War I. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the guns along the Western front in France fell silent. The war was entirely preventable but had been spurred on by nationalist fervor whipped up by kings, emperors, prime ministers, and foreign ministers who sent armies into battle to fight for the “honor” of their nations.

It was unbridled nationalism that led to World War I and it was nationalist feelings bent on revenge for being vanquished in World War I that ultimately led to World War II. Left unchecked, similar nationalist feelings being fanned today may lead to World War III.

The irony of World War I was that the monarchs of warring parties Britain, Russia, and Germany were all related. King George V of the United Kingdom was the first cousin of German Kaiser Wilhelm. King George and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were also first cousins. And the Tsar and Kaiser were third cousins. Nevertheless, the nationalistic passions between Germany and its ally, the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the Habsburgs; Serbia and its protectors Russia and France; and the Ottoman Empire, allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary; and the United Kingdom, later allied with the United States led to the first modern world war.

In 1914, the ground was set for a conflagration. All that was needed to set off the tinderbox was a flame. That match was struck in 1914 when Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne, and his wife, Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg, were assassinated in Sarajevo, in Austrian-ruled Bosnia, by a Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip. Austria-Hungary not only blamed Serbia and a Serb terrorist group, the Black Hand, for carrying out the assassination but also implicated the Russian military attaché’s office in Belgrade, Serbia. Accusations that Serbia and Russia were behind the assassinations of the Archduke and Duchess were unfounded. Nevertheless, this “conspiracy theory” of 1914 eventually led to the direct deaths of almost 20 million people around the world. Add the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which is believed to have been spread by troops returning home from the war fronts, and the indirect war dead count climbs to an additional 100 million.

Compare the Sarajevo conspiracy theory of 1914 to several that exist today, including accusations that Russia perpetrated biological warfare attacks on individuals in England and that Russian forces shot down Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine, and we see the same irresponsible allegations about state-sponsored acts of violence that triggered World War I. In 1914, warfare led to the use of chemical and, quite possibly, biological weapons. World War II, the cause of which is nested in World War I’s aftermath, led to the use of nuclear weapons. It is unthinkable what a World War III might lead to.

Since Russia was Serbia’s patron, the Austro-Hungarians believed Serbia’s protector, Russia, and even Romania were behind the assassination plot. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Since Russia and France were pledged to defend Serbia, they declared war on Austria-Hungary, prompting Germany to honor its alliance with the Habsburgs and declare war on Serbia, Russia, and France. Eventually, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Greece, and Britain entered the war in an alliance with Russia and France. The Ottoman Empire backed the Central Powers of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Bulgaria. The United States entered the war in 1917 on the side of Britain and France.

For all the warring parties, “the other” meant their “nefarious” enemies. Extreme nationalism took an ugly turn. For the Austrians and Germans, “the other” was the “barbaric” Slavs. For the British, French, Russians, Italians, and, eventually, the Americans, “the other” was the “beastly” Germanic “Huns.” For the Ottoman Turks, “the other” was the nomadic, “uncivilized,” and “cruel” Arabs. The Greeks and Serbs, “the other” was the Ottomans Muslim “hordes” ready to re-occupy the Balkans and eradicate Christianity. And, so it went, until over 18 million military and civilian personnel were killed. World War I was the result of blaming “the other” for whatever atrocity could be conjured up by the propaganda machinery of the era. It was a case of extreme nationalism running rampant. At the end of the conflict, the royal houses of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire fell, but the nationalistic blame game continued.

Aspirant peoples, with nationalism as their trumpet, rose from the battlefields of World War I to demand independence. Some of these nations, including Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia), were recognized at Versailles. Others, like Kurdistan, the Emirate of Darfur, the Dervish State of Somaliland, Tuareg Confederation, Zayan Confederation of the Berbers, the Emirate of Jabal Shammar (moderate rivals of the Saudis), Balochistan, and Vietnam, were not granted independence, a decision that would lead to war outbreaks later in the 20th century.

At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, statesmen, including US President Woodrow Wilson, gathered to draw new borders, grant aspirant nations their independence, and establish an international body – the League of Nations – to serve as a place for dialogue to prevent war. However, the Treaty of Versailles also, inadvertently, laid the ground for World War II. Wilson could never convince the isolationist “America Firsters” in the Republican Party to commit the United States to membership of the League of Nations. America’s absence from the League denied the organization the universality it desired. Today, President Donald Trump is ripping up treaty after treaty, withdrawing from various United Nations agencies and agreements, and sending troops to the US southern border to meet a bogus threat that Central American asylum seekers are planning an “invasion” of the United States. Trump, who fancies himself as an American “nationalist,” has seen “the other” in women and children escaping political violence and economic stagnation in countries where dictators and death squads are propped up by the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency.

Brutal reparations demanded from Germany by the victorious Allies at Versailles, as well as German disarmament, gave rise to someone who would blame “the other” for Germany’s miseries, which were accentuated by the economic depression of the 1920s.

For Adolf Hitler, a wounded veteran of the “war to end all wars,” “the other” was the “Jews,” aided and abetted by Bolsheviks and “international bankers.” Hitler blamed them all for Germany’s surrender in World War I and its subsequent economic collapse. The world failed to learn the lessons of World War I.

At a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to mark the 1918 armistice, French President Emmanuel Macron told the collected world leaders, including an uncomfortable Trump, that “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.” Macron hosted a November 11-13 Paris Peace Forum for 84 world leaders in Paris for the World War I centenary. They included Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The forum’s itinerary, including a keynote speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, touched on topics ranging from climate change and rising nationalism to abusive corporations and human rights.

In addition to skipping a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery outside of Paris, where the remains of thousands of American soldiers who died at the Battle of Belleau Wood are buried, Trump boycotted the Paris Peace Forum.

Trump, like the doomed monarchs of early 20th century Europe, the fascist dictators who rose to power in the interbellum period, and the tyrants of today, blames “the other” for everything he can imagine.

Trump wanted nothing to do with the Paris Peace Forum. His former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is finalizing plans, along with Belgian, French, German, Austrian, Brazilian, British, white South African and Rhodesian, Hungarian, Serbian, Canadian, Australian, and fascisti Italian far-right wingers, to establish a Fascist International, called “The Movement,” in Brussels early next year. It is among these far-right wing politicians where Trump will feel most at home. One hundred years after the end of World War I, we should all have progressed to a point where we no longer pay heed to the Trumps, Bannons, and others who find always find blame in “the other.”

Decoding the hypersonic Putin on a day of remembrance

Image result for end of World War I, Putin and Trump
November 14, 2018Decoding the hypersonic Putin on a day of remembrance

Sitting alongside French President Macron during the 100th anniversary to commemorate the end of World War I, Putin and Trump stole the show in Paris

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

The Elysee Palace protocol was implacable. Nobody in Paris would be allowed to steal the spotlight away from the host, President Emmanuel Macron, during the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day marking the end of World War I.

After all, Macron was investing all his political capital as he visited multiple World War I battlefields while warning against the rise of nationalism and a surge in right-wing populism across the West. He was careful to always place the emphasis on praising “patriotism.”

A battle of ideas now rages across Europe, epitomized by the clash between the globalist Macron and populism icon Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister. Salvini abhors the Brussels system. Macron is stepping up his defense of a “sovereign Europe.”

And much to the horror of the US establishment, Macron proposes a real “European army” capable of autonomous self-defense side by side with a “real security dialogue with Russia.”

Yet all these “strategic autonomy” ideals collapse when you must share the stage, live, with the undisputed stars of the global show: President Donald  Trump and President Vladimir Putin.

So the optics in Paris were not exactly of a Yalta 2.0 conference. There were no holds barred to keep Trump and Putin apart. Seating arrangements featured, from left to right, Trump, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Macron, his wife Brigitte and Putin. Neither Trump nor Putin, for different reasons, took part in a “walking in the rain” stunt evoking peace.

And yet they connected. Sir Peter Cosgrove, the governor general of Australia, confirmed that Trump and Putin, at a working lunch, had a “lively and friendly” conversation for at least half an hour.

No one better than Putin himself to reveal, even indirectly, what they really talked about. Three themes are absolutely key.

On the Macron-proposed, non-NATO European army: “Europe is … a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and … sovereign in the field of defense and security.”

On the consequences of such an army: It would be “a positive process” that would “strengthen the multipolar world.” On top of it, Russia’s position “is aligned with that of France.”

On relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Washington: “It is not us who are going to withdraw from the INF Treaty. It is the Americans who plan to do that.” Putin added that Moscow has not scheduled military drills near NATO borders as an attempt to appease an already tense situation. Yet Russia has “no issue with” NATO drills and expects at least a measure of dialogue in the near future.

Enter the Avangard

Vast sectors of the US Deep State are in denial, but Putin may have been able to impress on Trump the necessity of serious dialogue due to an absolutely key vector: the Avangard.

The Avangard is a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle capable of flying over Mach 20 –  24,700km/h, or 4 miles per second – and one of the game-changing Russian weapons Putin announced at his ground-breaking March 1 speech.

The Avangard has been in the production assembly line since the summer of 2018, and is due to become operational in the southern Urals by the end of next year or early 2019.

In the near future, the Avangard may be launched by the formidable  Sarmat RS-28 intercontinental ballistic missile and reach Washington in a mere 15 minutes, flying in a cloud of plasma “like a meteorite” – even if the launch is from Russian territory. Serial production of Sarmat ICBMs starts in 2021.

The Avangard simply cannot be intercepted by any existing system on the planet – and the US knows it. Here is General John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command:  “We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us.”

Iran as the new Serbia?

I wish I had been in Paris – my home in Europe – to follow these concentric World War I–related plots live. But it was no less fascinating to follow them from Islamabad, where I am now, back from the northern part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The British Empire used 1.5 million to 2 million Indian colonial subjects to fight, and die, for empire in that war. Quite a few were Punjabis, from what is now Pakistan.

As for the future, Trump is certainly aware of Russia’s hypersonic breakthroughs. Trump and Putin also talked about Syria, and might have touched on Iran, although no one at the working lunch leaked anything about it.

Assuming the dialogue continues at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires at the end of November, Putin might be able to impress on Trump that just as Serbia catalyzed a chain of events that led great powers to sleepwalk into World War I, the same could happen with Iran leading to the terrifying prospect of World War III.

Team Trump’s obsession on strangling Iran into economic submission is a no-go, even for the Macron-Merkel-led European Union. On top of it, the Russia-China strategic partnership simply won’t allow any funny – reckless – games to be played against a crucial node of Eurasia integration.

Putin won’t even need to go hypersonic to make his case to Trump.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

The text below is a full version of the anlysis entitled “Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict“, which was originally released by SouthFront on October 10, 2018:

Introduction

In the Department of Defense authored summary of the National Defense Strategy of the United States for 2018, Secretary James Mattis quite succinctly sets out the challenges and goals of the U.S. military in the immediate future. Importantly, he acknowledges that the U.S. had become far too focused on counter-insurgency over the past two decades, but he seems to miss the causation of this mission in the first place. U.S. foreign policy, and its reliance on military intervention to solve all perceived problems, regime change and imperialist adventurism, resulted in the need to occupy nations, or destroy them. This leads to the growth of insurgencies, and the strengthening of long simmering religious radicalism and anti-western sentiment in the Middle East and Central Asia. The U.S. military willfully threw itself headlong into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The United States engaged in unnecessary wars, and when these wars were easily won on the immediate battlefield, the unplanned for occupations lead to guerilla insurgencies that were not so easy for a conventional military to confront. The U.S. Army was not prepared for guerilla warfare in urban areas, nor for the brutal and immoral tactics that their new enemies were willing to engage in. They obviously had not reflected upon the Soviet experience in Afghanistan, nor the nature of their new enemies. As casualties mounted due to roadside IEDs, snipers, and suicide bombers hidden amongst civilians, the U.S. military and the defense industry were forced to find ways to protect soldiers and make vehicle less vulnerable to these types of attacks. This resulted in vehicles of every description being armored and new IED resistant vehicles being designed and fielded in large numbers. This in turn, equated to a vast amount of time, effort and money. It also focused both the U.S. military services and the defense industry away from fighting conventional wars against peer adversaries.

After a decade of fighting an insurgency in Afghanistan and almost as long in Iraq, the U.S. leadership decided to destroy the sovereign nation of Libya, and foment a war in Syria immediately afterward. There is no doubt with the knowledge of historic events today, that the CIA and State Department facilitated a foreign invasion of Syria of Islamist radicals. They funded and armed these groups, provided clandestine training, and facilitated the logistical movement of fighters and weapons into a sovereign nation to cause its disintegration. In these two examples they decided not to occupy these countries, but to destroy all semblance of ordered society and replace it with brutally violent chaos. The U.S. political and military leadership seems to have learned that their past adventurism resulted in costly occupations, yet instead of refraining from using the military option as a tool to alter geopolitical realities they did not like, they merely opted to abandon the responsibility of occupation and reconstruction all together.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

Benghazi, Libya. An example of democratic progress and stability in North Africa courtesy of U.S. led “humanitarian intervention”.

While Secretary Mattis describes the “near peer” nations China and Russia as “revisionist powers”, it was not these nations that made the irresponsible and reckless decisions that have weakened the U.S. military establishment, nor aim to revise the ill-conceived and executed catastrophes of their American “peers”. They have reached a state of military and technological parity with, and in many cases a position of superiority vis a vis the United States, because they exercised better judgement over the past two decades, invested their time, talent and treasure in developing powerful conventional and nuclear forces, and refrained from using their national defense assets to punish their perceived adversaries in such a way that more damage was caused to themselves. In many ways, the poor example of the United States and its ill-conceived military expeditions, influenced both Russia and China to advance along different paths. Now, without recognizing and acknowledging the failures of leadership and decision making that have lead the U.S. military to a weakened state, the United States has declared that it is now in a period of strategic competition with the two other strongest kids on the block.

In order to understand how Secretary Mattis has come to such a declaration, we have to look at the U.S. military decisions, actions, mistakes, and failures of leadership at the highest levels that have brought us to this point. A brief analysis of the resultant metamorphosis of the United States military from a robust and balanced conventional fighting force, backed up by a viable nuclear deterrent into a force obsessed with occupation and counterinsurgency must be conducted. This must be followed by a study of how the U.S. military has decided to invest its extensive funding, the weapons systems it has pursued, and how it envisions that it is best suited to protect the national security interests of the state. Finally, a comparison must be conducted of the capabilities of its declared strategic adversaries. A conclusion can then be made regarding the ability of the United States military to successfully engage and defeat these adversaries in a future conflict.

Imperial Expansion, Regime Change and Occupation

When the Soviet Union dissolved in December of 1991, a global power vacuum was immediately created. Regardless of the many assurances given to the Gorbachev government (which were finally revealed in the December 2017 National Security Archive releases of official NATO correspondence) that NATO would not expand and that the former Soviet federated states would be included in the established European economic and security apparatus, the United States immediately embarked on a policy of NATO expansion and economic exploitation of post-Soviet territories.

Just scant months earlier, the United States deployed military forces to Saudi Arabia as the backbone of an international coalition to confront and reverse the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. This resulted in Operation Desert Shield, the greatest deployment of combined military forces on the part of the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. By January of 1991, not even a month since the U.S.S.R. ceased to be, Operation Desert Shield transitioned to Operation Desert Storm, with the invasion of Iraq and Kuwait. The conventional military power utilized by the U.S. was greatly effective, and most combat systems worked extremely well on the battlefield. Air superiority was soon absolute, as the Iraqi Air Force largely left the skies uncontested. The great success of Operation Desert Storm largely gave the military planners of the Pentagon a false sense of superiority, which as we shall see, led to a number of wrong assumptions and poor decisions being made regarding the future development and transformation of the U.S. military.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

M1A2 Abrams tank platoon advancing during Operation Desert Storm. The armored combat vehicles of the U.S. Army proved very effective against a far inferior opponent in this conflict, yet they proved capable and reliable. Logistical requirements; however, did prove to be a challenge.

The first post-Cold War military “humanitarian intervention” conducted by the U.S. was the Yugoslavian civil conflict interdiction of 1995. Predicated upon escalating ethnic atrocities, the NATO intervention was actually designed to make the fracturing of the former Yugoslavian Republic permanent, and to establish a number of pro-NATO, or pro-U.S.-Atlantic establishment nations on the Balkan periphery of Russia. Slovenia became a NATO member state in 2004, followed by Croatia in 2009, and then Montenegro in 2017. At the same time that a civil war was raging in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, the U.S. and its Gulf State allies fomented and aided Islamic insurgencies in the Caucasus Republics of the newly comprised Russian Federation in an attempt to further weaken and encircle it. At the conclusion of U.S. intervention in the Balkans, which included the deployment of U.S. ground forces as part of multiple NATO-led operations including Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Joint Guard and Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Kosovo Force (KFOR), the United States would de facto create the statelet of Kosovo. As many as 43,000 NATO troops were serving as part of these operations at any given time between 1995 and 2002.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

U.S. Camp Bondsteel in the U.S. sponsored protectorate of Kosovo located in southwestern Serbia. The intervention in Kosovo had nothing to do with humanitarian concerns as usual, but in establishing a permanent military foothold in the Balkans.

As I have described and explained in an earlier analysis entitled “U.S. Army Armored Vehicle Developments in the 21st Century; The Future Combat System gives way to Mobile Protected Firepower”, although the U.S. military leadership was pleased with the performance of its legacy armored vehicles and weapons systems in both Operation Desert Storm and its Operation Joint Endeavor, it was not satisfied with the amount of time required to deploy large combined Arms units via available sealift and airlift capacity. The complex logistics involved in mobilizing and moving heavy armored units does not lend well to rapid deployments, especially over significant distances. Even pre-deployment of heavy armored equipment, either in host countries or loaded in sealift vessels kept on stand-by at forward deployed bases (such as Diego Garcia) or berthed at major seaports of the continental United States, present a whole host of logistical challenges.

The desire to streamline U.S. military logistics, and to create a fighting force that was more rapidly deployable, flexible and yet maintained the highest levels of lethality, and that leveraged advanced information technologies and communications systems led to the genesis of the Future Combat System (FCS). Embracing the FCS concept, the Army set very high deployment goals, which would prove to be unattainable. General Eric Shinseki, then Chief of Staff of the Army, stated that the Army would strive to attain the ability to deploy a combat brigade anywhere in the world within 96 hours, a full division within 120 hours, and no less than five divisions in 30 days. Then Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld was a vocal supporter of the FCS concept. The U.S. Army would eventually pursue the FCS program, the largest defense acquisition program in U.S. military history with a price tag of approximately $200 billion USD. The program was eventually cancelled in 2009, yet its influence in transforming the U.S. Army have proven substantial, and have had a negative influence on the Army’s ability to fight near peer adversaries in today’s warfighting environment.

The United States military would become a force for invasion and occupation during the Neo-Con era spanning from 2000 to the present. BY 2003, the U.S. was once again invading Iraqi territory, this time during Operation Iraqi Freedom. By this time the U.S. Army had partially realized some aspects of FCS, mainly in the area of rapidly deploying combat ready forces of the Brigade size. Operation Iraqi Freedom was envisioned as a rapid invasion utilizing highly mobile, self-contained, combined-arms combat teams supported by overwhelming airpower. The Iraqi military was far weaker in 2003 than it had been in 1991. It was a shadow of its former self and had been repeatedly targeted over the intervening decade, especially its air-defense and command and control networks. A combined ground force of approximately 148,000 men was deployed and ready for offensive operations in approximately a month and a half. Ground operations of the invasion lasted from March 20th until May 1st, 2003. The initial victory was impressive, but it soon became quite obvious that there was no realistic and pragmatic plan to occupy the country and render aid to a stable and capable new government.

What followed was a time of crisis for the U.S. military. When the U.S. soldiers were not greeted as liberators, and a number of organized and ruthless anti-occupation insurgencies formed, some motivated my patriotism, some my tribal and religious factions, and still others by terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, the soldiers tasked with the occupation of Iraq were woefully unprepared for the task asked of them. U.S. troops deployed to a nation whose minimal civil infrastructure they had just destroyed, were tasked with reconstruction and nation building in a country producing a growing anti-occupation insurgency on many different levels. Convoys and patrols were increasingly the targets of ambushes by insurgents operating along key roadways and within urban centers. Light vehicles and military transports were targeted and destroyed in significant numbers, and the crews had no protection from weapons ranging from small arms and RPGs to extremely powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The Bush administration at the time, who had claimed that the U.S. troops would be widely embraced as liberators, began to scramble for ways to reduce the mounting U.S. casualties. The answer was to add armored protection to all existing vehicles, whether they be HMMWVs, or the LMTVs and HEMMTs of the logistics units. Adding armor to logistical support vehicles not meant to see front line combat greatly reduced their fuel efficiency (of great importance in the logistics arm) and was only accomplished at great cost. The U.S. Army only had one armored security vehicle in active service at this time, the M1117, albeit in small numbers. The decision was made to armor the ubiquitous HMMWV and to give it the tasks of armored patrol, internal security and crowd control vehicle. The HMMWV was designed and used quite effectively as a light utility vehicle and had always performed well in such a role; however, it was never intended for the roles it was called upon to perform after 2003.

An Obsession with MRAPs

A number of different armor packages were developed for the HMMWV, mainly to increase the likelihood of crew survivability. The armored Hummer was merely a stopgap until purpose-built armored vehicles could be developed and fielded in greater numbers. Although effective against high caliber small arms, shrapnel and mines, the M1117 was fielded in very limited numbers in 2003 with military police units, mostly in security duties on U.S. military installations. Large orders of the vehicle were placed after the 2003 Iraq invasion, and the number grew from approximately 50 to over 1,800 units in active service.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

M1117 at the head of a column of HMMWVs and an LMTV halted along a road in Iraq sometime after the 2003 invasion.

The U.S. military enlisted the help of both the U.S. and international defense industry to produce an armored vehicle that could better serve the needs of an army now faced with occupying not only one rebellious nation, but two. Between 2003 and 2007, the U.S. military would suffer increasing casualties in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres of occupation. In the case of Afghanistan, casualties would continue to increase until 2010 before decreasing over consecutive years. Most of these casualties were the result of ambushes with IEDs. Such attacks increased six fold from 2003 to 2007.

The DOD would award billions of dollars in contracts for Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected vehicles (MRAP) between 2003 and the present. The total acquisition cost of the various MRAPs ordered and put into service conservatively exceeds $45 billion USD. The U.S. military has no less than seven different types of MRAPs in service as of today, more than any other nation by far. As the U.S. has reduced its active footprint in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it has sold many of these vehicles to local security forces, and even U.S. domestic police forces, as they are of little use on a contested battlefield where the U.S. military would be fighting a conventional conflict with a powerful adversary. The following list details the main types of MRAPS in use by the U.S. military and costs associated:

M-ATV

The genesis of the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) was the desire to gain both the IED level protection of an MRAP and the mobility of a lighter all-terrain vehicle. It was realized early on that the armored M1114 HMMWV variant sacrificed much of its off road performance with the addition of heavy armor plate, yet failed to provide adequate protection. A purpose-built light MRAP was called for. Oshkosh Corporation was awarded the initial $1 billion USD contract to supply the new M-ATV to the U.S. Army, USMC, Air Force and Special Operations Command (which employs special operations elements of all the military services) in mid-2009. The initial contract order grew four fold within a few years, and total M-ATVs produced to date has approached 10,000 units of different variants. The acquisition cost not corrected for inflation likely exceeds $4 billion USD, and additional contracts have been awarded to update and refit all units retained in U.S. service. Many units have since been handed over to allied governments in the Middle East and Europe at far reduced prices. NATO recipients include both Poland and Croatia.  Both the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia have made use of the M-ATV in the conflict in Yemen, and have lost a significant number in combat.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

Comparative size of the armored HMMWV and the M-ATV. The ubiquitous “Hummer” was never meant to be an armored car, and hundreds were destroyed by IEDs in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cougar

The Cougar is a much more robust vehicle than the M-ATV, resembling a heavily armored truck. It comes in a 4 x 4 and larger 6 x 6 version, with several variants based on these two platforms, depending on the intended role. The Cougar was developed by Force Protection, Inc. in 2004. The company was later acquired by General Dynamics in 2011. The Cougar was rushed into service after a very simple and rudimentary testing program in 2004, as the U.S. military wanted thousands of MRAPs for service in Iraq as soon as possible. The Cougar can trace its lineage to earlier South African designed and fielded vehicles, and was also adopted into British and Canadian service as well.

The Cougar was produced in great numbers between 2004 and 2010 for the U.S. military, with further orders filled by the British military, who have fielded the Cougar in at least 4 different variants. A number of Cougars have also be gifted to other NATO countries with contingents serving in Afghanistan. The U.S. military spent approximately $2.5-3.0 billion USD to acquire its Cougars, and additional funds have been spent to upgrade the roughly 20% of the surviving fleet selected to remain in service.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

British Army variants of the 4×4 and 6×6 Cougar (Mastiff and Ridgeback) in a convoy protecting military transports in Afghanistan.

Caiman

Probably the most cost effective MRAP to be developed to meet the requirements of the MRAP Vehicle Program is the Armor Holdings (since acquired by BAE Systems) Caiman. The Caiman initially shared 85% of its construction components with the Stewart & Stevenson/Oshkosh family of military tactical vehicles (FMTV). This family of light to medium trucks have been produced since the early 1980s, with over 74,000 units of varying configuration put into service. This commonality of construction reduced manufacturing, maintenance and inventory carrying costs. The total cost of the Caiman contract (including a later contract to upgrade and improve vehicles to the Multi-Terrain Vehicle standard) amounted to over $1.15 billion USD. The United States sold 1,150 Caiman MRAPs that had been put in surplus status to the U.A.E. to aid in their operations in Yemen.

MaxxPro

Manufactured by Navistar Defense, a subsidiary of the Navistar International Corporation, the MaxxPro MRAP is based on a commercial truck chassis and makes use of a bolt-on armor construction as much as possible. This reduces manufacturing cost when compared to welded construction, and allows for easier repair in the field. Approximately 9,000 MaxxPro MRAPs were built for the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. At an average per unit cost of $515,000 USD, the Maxxpro cost the United States military over $4.6 billion USD, not counting a number of upgrade contracts. Of the 9,000 units constructed and delivered, the U.S. military services announced in 2013 the intension of keeping only a third of these units in service beyond 2014.

Buffalo MPRC

The largest MRAP in the U.S. inventory, the Buffalo was designed as an IED and mine clearance vehicle. Manufactured by Force Protection Inc., it is based on the Casspir MRAP that has been in service with the South African Army for decades. The Buffalo in a 6×6 armored vehicle with a maximum service weight of 25,000 kgs. (56,000 lbs.). After building the first 200 units, the Buffalo was upgraded to the A2 standard in 2009, after which an additional 450 units were produced. Over 750 total Buffalos have been produced in total, with 650 of these in service with the U.S. military at a cost of over $1 billion USD.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

Force Protection Buffalo IED and Mine Clearance MRAP removing an explosive devise by use of its articulated, hydraulically-operated claw.

The Buffalo’s origins are clearly a response to the dangers posed by a prolonged military occupation in an environment of active guerilla warfare. It was based on a proven design, and has been extremely effective in its intended role. The traditional vehicle for mine clearance or IED disposal would normally be an MBT fitted with mine clearance apparatus. The Buffalo is cheaper to manufacture, maintain and operate than an MBT, and is slightly more flexible in a multitude of environments. It also can accommodate 12 soldiers in addition to a normal crew of two.

Nyala RG-31/33

Manufactured by Land Systems OMC (BAE Land Systems) of South Africa and FNSS of Turkey, the RG-31/33 NyalaMRAP is produced in a 4×4 (RG-31) and 6×6 (RG-33) version to meet the requirements of the Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected Vehicle Program. Although used by the U.S. military in the highest numbers (almost 2,000 vehicles), ten other nations use this MRAP to some degree. The USMC ordered 1,385 of the Mark 5E variant, and operate more RG-31s than any other military service. The total cost of RG-31/33 acquisition is easily in excess of $2.7 billion USD.

JLTV

The most ambitious of all of the MRAP programs, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is meant to replace the HMMWV in use by all of the U.S. military branches. Although the design of the new vehicle is meant to allow it to exceed at a number of military tasks, it is at its core a mine resistant, ambush protected vehicle. The JLTV is suited to take over the tasks of light armored reconnaissance, armored security, special operations, utility and convoy protection. The JLTV is meant to be flexible enough to perform all of these tasks and its very design allows for the upgrading or downgrading of armor and weapons systems tailored to the task required.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated in 2015 that the total acquisition cost of the JLTV across all services would likely be $53.5 billion USD, with a total of 5,500 units for the UMC and 49,099 for the U.S. Army requested. In 2016, the Department of Defense claimed that the total cost of the program would be reduced due to revised unit costs and corrected “cost estimate methodologies”; however, past experience has proven that the Pentagon is usually quite bad when it comes to managing finances. The procurement timetable proposed has the first JLTVs being delivered beginning in 2018, and not being completed until 2040 for the U.S. Army. The 5,500 units requested by the USMC should be delivered between 2018 and 2022.

The JLTV program clearly embodies the U.S. military’s fixation on its experiences in both Iraq and Afghanistan with occupation and the resultant insurgencies motivated by inevitable anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiments. Invaders are never seen as liberators, but always as subjugators and occupiers. Occupiers are never safe, as the frontline is everywhere. The U.S. military reacted to protect itself by armoring everything. Light utility vehicles and logistics transport of all categories were armored for protection. Only a nation that plans to invade and occupy other countries, and that will find itself always in a hostile environment will require so many MRAPs and armored transports. No other major military in the world has decided to follow this new U.S. model. Perhaps that is due to the fact that the main duty of their armed forces is to fight defensively in defending their own territory. Armies of national defense have no need to prepare themselves to fight a hostile native population.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

A side-by-side comparison of an unarmored HMMWV and an armored JLTV. The new vehicle is twice as heavy as the standard HMMWV.

The JLTV is an armored, all-terrain monster that can carry a payload between 1,600 and 2,300 kgs. (3,500 – 5,100 lbs.), weapons as large as the SHORAD (Short Range Air Defense variant of the Hellfire missile) or the 30mm M230LF automatic cannon, and provide crew survivability in most IED attacks. The DOD has decided to replace both MRAPs and the HMMWV family of utility vehicles with the new JLTV platform. The JLTV is equipped with a 6.6 liter diesel V8 which can generate at least 300 horse power. The vehicle weighs in at between 14,000 and 15,639lbs. depending on the variant. By comparison, the unarmored HMMWV weighed in at 7,700 lbs. fully loaded and made use of a diesel V8 (some models used a turbo diesel) generating a maximum 190 hp. Even considering greater efficiencies achieved through modern internal combustion engine technology, a vehicle that weighs twice as much and requires greater horsepower will lead to higher fuel consumption and require higher levels of maintenance.

Counter Insurgency

Not only did the U.S. military experience with occupation and counterinsurgency shape the armored vehicle procurement projects and design priorities of future armored vehicle acquisitions, but it also resulted in an over-focusing of resources toward a traditionally elite, limited and specialized subset of conventional fighting forces; special operations. All effective modern national defense forces operate a small cadre of special operations units. These units are made up of highly motivated, highly trained and highly skilled soldiers who can perform any number of military tasks, but are specifically focused on asymmetrical, hybrid and very specialized warfare subsets. They complement and enhance conventional fighting forces, and often act as significant force multipliers in any conflict.

Prior to the U.S. wars of occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States operated a robust special operations force comprising of units from all services. The considerable investment in these highly selective forces, the high standards demanded, and the extremely difficult training requirements have always kept these forces small; however this has changed a great deal over the past 17 years. The need for soldiers with a skill set specific to counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan lead to increased focus and demand on special operations. From 2001 to the present, the special operations forces under the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) have expanded from 42,800 to approximately 63,500 today. Special operations specific funding has grown four fold in the same time period, from $3.1 billion USD to $12.3 billion USD. According to SOCOM, an average of 8,300 special operators are deployed in missions in as many as 149 nations across the globe on a weekly basis, and 70 nations on any given day.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

U.S. Special Operations Command has access to uniquely qualified units from across all branches of the U.S. military.

There is little doubt that the Pentagon’s over-focus on counterinsurgency (the State Department is guilty here as well) has lead to U.S. military adventurism involving it in the internal conflicts of 75% of the countries of the world. Does this clandestine military involvement in the civil or regional strife of most of the planet really have anything to do with U.S. national security? Does it make the U.S. any safer, or is it only creating more enemies? SOCOM has even deployed assets to clandestinely train amongst the civilian population of the United States itself, a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

This disproportional over-emphasis on special operations has resulted in an atrophying of more traditional martial structures and establishments. While the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have stayed at the forefront of modern armor and artillery development, and have advanced the related tactics, the United States has fallen far behind. Even the Peoples Liberation Army has made great strides in these conventional warfare realms in comparison to the United States. The United States surely has the economic resources, and the technical capability to close the gap, but the focus of the military needs to be realigned toward conventional warfighting.

Secretary Mattis has obviously recognized the need to focus higher procurement towards conventional forces, as well as fund R&D efforts into better field artillery, rocket artillery, armored fighting vehicles such as the AMPV, and a new main battle tank (MBT). In identifying near peer adversaries as the greatest national security threat, Secretary Mattis realizes that the U.S. must waste no time in closing the technological and quality gap that now exists between the conventional fighting forces of the United States and Russia and China respectively.

A Navy in Disarray

While the ground forces of the United States have suffered from two decades of occupation and counterinsurgency, which has morphed them from a balanced, combined arms conventional fighting force, into a force obsessed with IEDs, insurgents and guerilla warfare, the U.S. Navy seems to have lost any idea of its national security role. After two decades of enjoying uncontested control of the seas and the ability to use aircraft carrier-borne airstrikes to pummel inferior adversaries, none of which possessed a viable navy or air force, nor a modern air defense network or shore-based anti-naval capability, the U.S. Navy has seemed determined to sail further into the realm of irrelevancy in any future conflict. Unless it intends to engage in battle against significantly weaker opponents, the U.S. Navy will not possess an advantage over its two most powerful possible adversaries, Russia and China.

The United States Navy has not engaged in a major naval engagement with a major adversary since the closing days of World War Two. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union largely kept one another at bay, with very close competition leading to significant advancements in naval warfare. They did not engage in any verified hostile actions. Although the U.S. Navy engaged in combat with Libyan military forces in 1986 in the Gulf of Sidra, as well as sunk a small force of Iraqi Navy vessels of small displacement at the “Battle of Bubiyan” (not really much of a battle at all and UK Navy helicopters did most of the fighting), these engagements were largely one-sided and no one could ever say that the outcomes were a surprise. Regardless, the U.S. Navy apparently has decided that it is an indomitable force that can go wherever it pleases and no one can stand in its way. Such hubris and arrogance are one of the reasons why it is in such poor shape today. The other reason must surely be attributed to a military industrial complex that has sold the service on an expensive pipe dream of wonder weapons that have failed to live up to their hype. All to the tune of huge profits. The following are the most egregious examples:

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

Based on a flawed concept from the start, of a small surface combatant that could make use of modularity to tailor it to specific tasks as opposed to a traditional multi-purpose design, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was largely doomed for a number of reasons. Two different designs were awarded contracts, the trimaran Independence Class designed by General Dynamics, and the mono-hull Freedom Class designed by Lockheed Martin. The decision to produce two different designs to meet the needs of a single class should have been seen as problematic. Here the Navy accepted the responsibility and costs associated with maintaining two different platforms, with separate maintenance needs and schedules, not to mention two separate training programs for LCS crews.

The concept of the LCS was also divergent in many respects, and quite frankly, too much was expected of a ship that was smaller in size than a conventional frigate. The U.S. Navy expected the vessels to marry significant striking power, with modularity tailored to just about every form of modern naval warfare, and new networking and information technologies that would reduce the required crew to a minimum. What resulted was what those serving in the force would begrudgingly coin the “Little Crappy Ship”. The aluminum and composite (Independence Class) and lightweight steel (Freedom Class) hulls of the ships provide little armored protection, offensive striking power is far from adequate for either surface warfare or fire support for forces deployed inland, the platform has yet to meet anti-submarine requirements, and the reduced crew size has been determined to be unmanageable.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

This image of the construction of USS Independence LCS-2, clearly illustrates the aluminum structure of the hull. Aluminum offers little armored protection, burns vigorously at high temperature, and led to increased corrosion of steal propulsion components in areas where the dissimilar metals were in close proximity below the waterline.

As a result of its overwhelming failure to meet the expectations of the U.S. Navy or Congressional oversight, the total fleet size of LCS vessels has been reduced from the original 50 planned down to 32. Project cost overruns, a number of high profile system failures, and the smaller fleet size have resulted in a total cost of $12.4 billion USD for the first 26 vessels. The U.S. Congress capped the per-unit cost at $480 million per ship, bringing the theoretical total cost to $15.5 billion USD. All for a ship that has a minimal chance of surviving most modern naval combat scenarios. There is little wonder why the U.S. Navy has decided to start building a multi-purpose frigate, dubbed the FFG(X), to pick up where the LCS has failed.

 DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class

If the LCS was not a huge and unequivocal disappointment, then the much vaunted stealth destroyer, the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class was a total embarrassment and unmitigated failure.  Envisioned as a high-tech game changer, the DDG-1000 was supposed to make use of powerful new technologies, overwhelming firepower, and massive power generation, all wrapped in stealth that would render it invisible. Although designed as a multi-mission surface combatant, added emphasis was put on naval surface fire support (NSFS) while operating in littoral waters. Due to a number of factors, mostly the exorbitant cost of the program, the Navy is now trying to find a role for the Zumwaltclass vessels.

Originally, the Navy intended to build 32 of these stealth destroyers, yet the exorbitant initial cost plus huge cost overruns led the Navy and the U.S. Congress to reduce the fleet to 24, then 16, then 7, and finally to only 3 vessels. Correspondingly, the cost per vessel increased tremendously, as did the cost of all class-specific systems including weapons systems, power generation and propulsion systems. Cost per vessel stands at over $7.5 billion USD.

The 155mm Mark 51 advanced gun system (AGS) deck guns designed specifically for the DDG 1000s were made to fire guided rounds over a range in excess of 80 nautical miles, with a circular error probable (CEP) of just 50 meters (160ft.). Each DDG 1000 is equipped with two AGS on the forward deck. These guns were designed to strike shore targets accurately from coastal waters in support of allied ground forces and amphibious landing forces. Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems developed the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) for use in the AGS, but due to the now 3 vessel fleet, the per unit cost of each LRLAP had risen to over $800,000 USD. The Navy had already procured 90 rounds before the decision was made to cease purchasing the rounds due to the prohibitive costs.

The DDG-1000 utilizes the same MT-30 Rolls Royce gas turbine engines as the Freedom Class LCS vessels; however, in the case of the destroyers the gas turbine is linked to a massive electrical grid that not only powers the electric motors that propel the vessel, but just about every other system onboard, including the weapons systems. The arrangement is proving problematic, as the first two vessels in class have both experienced main engine failures and damages. The USS Michael Monsoor DDG-1001 suffered damage to the turbine blades of one of its main engines during sea trials in February of this year. The MT-30 engine will have to be replaced at the cost of $20 million USD. The USS Zumwalt DDG-1000 famously broke down during its transit from Maine to San Diego and had to be towed from the Panama Canal to its new home port.

The U.S. Navy is now struggling to find a new niche for the DDG-1000s. Now that its NSFS mission is a non-starter, it is being adapted as a platform to strike inland targets with land-attack cruise missiles (LACM) and engage other surface ships with an anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) that has yet to be accepted into the service. The DDG-1000s lack a strong anti-air warfare (AAW) capability, and would thus be tied to other fleet components such as the Arleigh Burke Class DDG-51s and Ticonderoga Class CGs which have strong AAW capabilities. In an attempt to utilize the USS Zumwalt, the Navy has added legacy weapons systems, radars and communications antennas to the stealthy superstructure, undoubtedly negating its minimal radar signature. It remains to be seen what munitions will be provided for the two AGS turrets, as no munitions other than the cost prohibitive LRLAP exist.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

The latest revision of the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class lead vessel’s once smooth and unblemished superstructure is now marred by various external sensory and communications arrays. Two rear deck guns for close-in defense have also been added.

CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford Class

As if the U.S. Navy was not content with wasting $38 billion USD on the failed LCS and DDG-1000 programs, an even more grandiose undertaking was envisioned for the service that would revolutionize the all too important and largely obsolete “super carrier”. It is a widely accepted fact that the U.S. Navy has been obsessed with the aircraft carrier since World War II and the pivotal naval battles between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. This obsession is alive and well to this day, seemingly immune to the realities of modern missile technology, especially in regard to guidance, speed, range, and the advent of armed and semi-autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) of increasing lethality.

The U.S. Navy embarked on a program to replace the existing Nimitz Class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers currently comprising the central component of the aircraft carrier strike groups (ASG), of which the service operates 10 (with the additional CVN-65 Enterprise in reserve), in 2005 with the advanced construction of CVN-78. In 2008 the U.S. Navy signed a contract with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding worth approximately $5.1 billion USD to build the first in a series of four such carriers. The goal is to build each carrier in four year periods under the current funding schedule. The Gerald R. Ford Class was supposed to take advantage of a number of new technologies and experience significantly improved efficiencies in aircraft carrier operations over the preceding Nimitz Class.

While the initial cost estimate for CVN-78 was around $10 billion USD (U.S. Congress had caped it at $10.5 billion USD in 2007), the total cost for the vessel has exceeded $13 billion USD as of May of this year when it was revealed that the Advanced Weapons Elevator and a main thrust bearing had suffered damage in sea trials and required repair. The CVN-78 is by far the most expensive warship ever constructed. In a controversial move, it was decided to try and incorporate a number of new, unproven systems in the new design. In retrospect, this decision was bound to result in cost overruns and a more problematic breaking-in period. New systems integrated into the Gerald R. Fordinclude an electro-magnetic launching system (EMALS), advanced aircraft arresting system, advanced weapons elevator system, dual band radar (DBR), and a more powerful nuclear reactor.

There was much discussion in the Navy regarding the wisdom of introducing so many new technologies in a single platform. Many senior officers argued that there were bound to be serious delays in working through both the foreseeable and unforeseeable problems associated with rendering so many new technologies operational. This opinion turned out to be of merit, as the Gerald R. Ford immediately experienced problems with just about all of its new systems. The vessel has experienced two main propulsion malfunctions over the past year, the advanced arresting gear has proven unreliable, and the EMALS (as well as other “critical systems”) has displayed “poor or unknown reliability” according to the Navy Operational and Test Evaluation Force. In early testing, the EMALS was unable to launch F-18 strike aircraft at weights even close to a full combat load. All of these problems or shortcomings were revealed during sea trials and the vessel returned to shipyard in Newport News, Virginian on July 15th, 2018 to undergo extensive repairs and improvements.

In should have been of little surprise to most naval architects, engineers, and naval line officers who have held vessel commands, that the above mentioned problems were inevitable. The big question is why the leadership of the Navy decided upon such a platform at all. What is the point of investing so much money and effort into such a large and advanced vessel, regardless of the unproven nature of many of the critical systems, when aircraft carriers have become so vulnerable to modern anti-ship missiles? Of even greater significance, why invest so much in a new carrier and not invest in increasing the range and striking power of the carrier air wing? An aircraft carrier is worthless without a powerful and flexible air wing element.

Carrier Air Wing Vulnerabilities

As much as President Trump and various administration officials and Senators tout the power of the U.S. military, often citing an increasing defense budget as an indicator of strength, efficiency and effectiveness, there is little doubt that U.S. naval aviation has atrophied over decades of misuse, neglect and poor decision making at the highest levels. U.S. naval aviation is arguably in its worse state since the opening days of the Pacific Theatre of operations during the Second World War. Not only is it in disrepair, but it is ill-equipped for a fight against a peer adversary.

Let us address the first issue, the ever shrinking air wing with its shrinking range. In the last decade of Cold War naval competition between The U.S. and the U.S.S.R., the Nimitz Class aircraft carriers deployed with nine, or even ten squadrons of fixed-wing aircraft. Today, that has been reduced to six. Of greater importance, the only aircraft utilized for combat operations is the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet with all of its inherent shortcomings, most importantly its limited operational range of 370 nautical miles (full strike combat weapons load and fuel). The aircraft it replaced, the A-7 Corsair II and A-4 Skyhawk in the Navy and the F-4 Phantom in the USMC, all had much longer operational ranges and all but the A-4 had greater weapons payload capacity. The F/A-18 is a jack of all trades and a master of none. In an attempt to lower costs (although few combat aircraft has ever operated at lower cost than the A-4 Skyhawk) by using one airframes for all roles, the U.S. Navy has put all of its eggs in one basket, and that basket is not up to the task. This is not to say that the F/A-18 Hornet and F-/A-18E/F Super Hornet are poor aircraft. The plane merely cannot do all of the things asked of it as well as many other aircraft. What has resulted, is an aircraft carrier air wing that is less capable in all respects, and cannot compete and excel in a future conflict with a peer adversary.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

This image clearly illustrates the ordinance payload capacity of the A-4 Skyhawk. It could carry 9,900lbs. of munitions on 5 external hardpoints. It had an effective combat radius from an aircraft carrier of over 700 miles, and a maximum range of 2,000 miles.

Although the improved F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is significantly larger than its predecessor, and gains about 100 nautical miles in range due to larger internal fuel capacity, it still lacks the required range needed to protect its carrier. Not surprisingly, even though there was a better option, the Navy decided to use F/A-18s for aerial refueling duties as well. The S-3 Viking had been kept in service as a carrier borne aerial tanker, having given up its original role as an ASW aircraft, and was superior to the F/A-18 in this respect. Although most S-3s in service still have approximately 12,000 hours of service life left on their airframes, the Navy pushed ahead with their retirement in 2009. With a much greater range than the F/A-18 and a fuel capacity of 16,000 lbs., the S-3 was a better and far cheaper solution. The fact that it was a far cheaper option was probably its downfall. Profit drives the U.S. military industrial complex, not efficiency or performance.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

The only fixed wing aircraft that operate from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers today are the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E Super Hornet and E-2C and E2-D Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft.

The second issue, which is perhaps more damning, is the fact that the F/A-18 squadrons that the Navy relies on to conduct almost all carrier air wing duties including attack/strike missions, air superiority, fleet defense, buddy refueling, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surveillance, are in an alarming state of disrepair. The Navy announced in February of 2017, that two thirds, or 62% of all F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets were unserviceable due to maintenance issues. Twenty-seven percent of these aircraft were undergoing major maintenance depot work, not minor or preventive maintenance. Of the 542 total F/A-18 and E/F-18 Hornets, only 170 were mission capable. Fast forward one year and a new and increased defense budget, and the Navy is still a long way from solving the shortfall in available replacement parts just to meet normal maintenance requirements. The decision was also made to take 140 of the oldest single seat Hornets (A/C variants) in the Navy and either cannibalize them for parts or transfer them to USMC squadrons that are experiencing similar maintenance issues. In the case of the USMC, they have been waiting so long for new F-35Bs that their legacy F-18s are falling into disrepair.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

Maintenance crews performing repairs on an F/A-18 aboard a carrier. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps must address the maintenance crisis plaguing the services, yet the problem cannot be remedied at this level. Only a reduction in the tempo of deployments, flight operations or the provision of added funding will alleviate the issue which will be determined by the White House and Congress.

Has anyone asked the question, “What good is an advanced, gigantic aircraft carrier with an air wing that is limited in range and capability?” If the U.S. Navy does manage to get the first three Gerald R. Ford Class carriers in service, how many F/A-18E Super Hornets will be mission capable to fly from them? Will the F-35C and F35B Joint Strike Fighters meant to complete the complement of strike and fighter aircraft going to finally be available for deployment? Seeing that the F-35 does not close the “missile gap” that threatens U.S. aircraft carriers in general, is the Navy soliciting the defense industry to produce a carrier-borne aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, to correct this obvious weakness? Russian and Chinese anti-ship ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles can strike U.S. CSGs long before their aircraft can get within range of striking the territories of either of these near peer adversaries. This “missile gap” will not be rectified anytime soon.

The One-Size-Fits-All Fighter Aircraft

After a short review of the Navy’s decision to settle on a single airframe to fill all of the roles of the carrier air wing, it should come of little surprise that the Pentagon would come to a similar decision on a much broader scale. A cursory study of combat aviation history has proven that there is no one-size- fits-all solution to the many combat functions performed by military aviation. It appears that the decision to introduce a multi-role fighter making use of many new technologies and heavily reliant on stealth to be effective in modern aerial warfare for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and USMC was more about making huge profits for the defense industry and providing jobs to American workers than it was about providing the U.S. military with a superior tool.

The story of the development of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is a cautionary tale of a weapons development program that was ill conceived and soon spiraled out of control.  Perhaps the most controversial and scandalous of any such program, the JSF is the costliest weapons program in world history. Newly revised estimates from the Pentagon put the cost of development and procurement of the 2,056 fighters that the DOD wants at $406.1 billion USD. The total cost to procure these aircraft and maintain them over the 20 year life span of the aircraft exceeds $1.5 trillion USD.

While the F-35A first flew in 2006, the only U.S. military branch to declare the F-35 operation and to use it in combat is the USMC. The F-35 was developed from the outset for export to allied nations, and Israel has used the F-35 for strikes against targets in Syria. It is important to note that Israel has relied heavily on its decades old squadrons of F-15 and F-16 multi-role aircraft to bear the brunt of most combat missions. Approximately 300 units of all versions have been produced so far for both the U.S. military and foreign militaries, yet only Israel and the USMC have declared the aircraft combat ready. A major issue facing the program is the fact that aircraft manufacturing began years before the plane was deemed fit for operational deployment, largely because so many deficiencies have been identified and have had to be rectified. This was the result of concurrency, a procurement process that allowed for production of the aircraft prior to final approval of the design. It was agreed that all deficiencies identified would eventually be addressed and rectified in airframes already manufactured at a later date in order to bring them up to the latest standard.

Not only has the F-35 not attained wide operational status seventeen years after its first flight, but it has pulled an exorbitant amount of funding from existing, combat proven aircraft. What could have been done to maintain and improve existing squadrons of F-15 Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, and F/A-18 Hornets currently in varying states of disrepair and serviceability? The idea of replacing all of these front line aircraft with the F-35 is laughable. What kind of imperial hubris and institutional tunnel vision could have led to such an ill-advised decision?  The answer is the institutionalized corruption and waste of the U.S. military industrial complex. It continues to leave the United States less protected, and sends American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen into combat with increasingly less capable weapons.

Atrophy and Exhaustion

The U.S. military has been engaged in counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan for over seventeen years. The disastrous invasion of Iraq, the destruction of Libya, and counterinsurgency operations in a host of nations including, but not limited to Yemen, Somalia, Niger and Nigeria, have all taken a toll on the U.S. military. Not only has a great deal of military hardware been destroyed, but a great deal of equipment has been worn out and essentially must be retired from service. More importantly, the constant deployments have undermined the personnel needs of all services, with thousands of men having been killed or physically and psychologically maimed for life. Tens of thousands of the most skilled commissioned and non-commissioned officers have left the services, many of them having served multiple combat deployments.

The fact that 62% of U.S. Navy’s F-18s are not mission capable is not an anomaly. In 2017, approximately 72% of all U.S. Air Force aircraft were not flight worthy. Many of the airframes are quite old, yet well within their engineered service life, but most are in need of maintenance. Both the Navy and Air Force claim that there is not enough money in their respective budgets to procure the needed spare parts to keep these aircraft flying. One would wonder that if this is the case, why tens of billions of dollars are being poured into new aircraft when existing fleets are being left in disrepair. The decisions being made in the upper echelon of the DOD are quite perplexing for the thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen struggling to keep weapons and vehicles ready for action.

The U.S. Army finds itself looking for buyers of surplus MRAPs, vehicles of little utility in a major conventional war with a peer adversary, while at the same time lacking spare parts and munitions for armored vehicles and artillery systems. While the Army has made some progress in procuring the first of the 49,099 JLTVs it wants, it is far behind in all other armored vehicle procurement and development programs. BAE has delivered the first batch of 29 AMPVs to the U.S. Army for extensive testing before the decision can be made to start low rate initial production (LRIP). Once the LRIP begins, it is estimated that BAE will be able to produce approximately 262 units annually, unless the company’s main manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania is expanded. The initial contract is worth $1.6 billion USD. The Army wants at least 3,000 AMPVs of six different main variants to replace the thousands of M113 armored vehicles still in service. The M113 first saw service in 1962 and a replacement for the venerable vehicle has been required for decades.

Defense Secretary James Mattis made it crystal clear in his National Defense Strategy that the U.S. must rebuild its conventional warfare capabilities. The U.S. Army’s proposed 2019 budget lays bare the new priorities of a service facing a major transition in priorities. Procurement of tracked combat vehicles, as well as artillery rounds, rockets and missiles account for much of this latest budget request. Procurement is up by 18.4% over the previous year, with procurement of weapons and tracked vehicles up 84% over the previous year. Although upgrading of the M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer to the M109A7 level is down by 56% compared to 2018, procurement of 155mm artillery rounds is up a whopping 800%.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

The percentage of total procurement directed toward weapons and tracked combat vehicles in the 2019 proposed budget denotes that the U.S. Army recognizes its weakness in conventional warfighting capability.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

This chart clearly shows the desire on the part of the U.S. Army to upgrade and rearm conventional capabilities. 155mm artillery rounds and Army Tactical Missile System upgrades to the M207 MLRS are at the top of the list, followed by MBT upgrades and acquisition of new AMPV vehicles.

As the U.S. Army attempts to rebuild its aged and depleted armored brigade combat teams and conventional and rocket artillery, the U.S. Navy and Air Force are facing their own challenges. The Navy finds itself in a position that is far from enviable, but was very easy to predict. Having dumped $38 billion USD into two failed new classes of warships and a further $13 billion into a new aircraft carrier that will likely not become operational until 2022, the service is currently in the process of realigning its priorities. The service is struggling to procure the new VirginiaClass SSN and Columbia Class SSBNs that are required to ensure the viability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent triad well into the foreseeable future. These defensive weapons programs, which are integral to U.S. national security, could have benefitted greatly from the $50 billion wasted on the LCS, DDG-1000 and Gerald R. Ford programs. Russia and China have spent the same time wasted by the U.S. Navy on updating and modernizing their own submarine forces, chiefly their ballistic missile submarines.

Institutional Corruption

If one had to identify the main reason behind the utter failure of the U.S. political establishment and military leadership, both civilian and in uniform, to identify and prioritize weapons programs and procurement that was truly in line with the national defense needs of the country, it would be the institutional corruption of the U.S. military industrial complex. This is not a fault of one party, but is the inevitable outcome of a thoroughly corrupted system that both generates and wastes great wealth at the expense of the many for the benefit of the few.

Massive defense budgets do not lead to powerful military forces nor sound national defense strategy. The United States is the most glaring example of how a nation’s treasure can be wasted, its citizens robbed for generations, and its political processes undermined by an industry bent on maximizing profitability by encouraging and exacerbating conflict. At this point it is questionable that the United States’ could remain economically viable without war, so much of its GDP is connected in some way to the pursuit of conflict.

There is no doubt that the War Department was renamed the Department of Defense in an Orwellian sleight of hand in 1947, just a few years after end of World War II. The military industrial complex grew into a monolith during the war, and the only way to justify the expansion of the complex, was by finding a new enemy to justify the new reality of a massive standing military, something that the U.S. Constitution expressly forbids. This unlawful state of affairs has persisted and expanded into a rotten, bloated edifice of waste. Wasted effort, wasted wealth and the wasted lives of millions of people spanning every corner of the planet. Tens of thousands of brave men and women in uniform, and millions of civilians of so many nations, have been tossed into the blades of this immoral meat grinder for generations.

President Donald Trump was very proud to announce the largest U.S. military budget in the nation’s history last year. The United States spent (or more accurately, borrowed from generations yet to come) no less than $874.4 billion USD. The declared base budget for 2017 was $523.2 billion USD, yet there are also the Overseas Contingency Operations and Support budgets that have to be considered in determining the total cost. The total DOD annual costs have doubled from 2003 to the present. Yet, what has the DOD really accomplished with so much money and effort? Very little of benefit to the U.S. tax payer for sure, and paradoxically the exorbitant waste of the past fifteen years have left every branch of the U.S. military weaker.

The U.S. Congress has the duty and responsibility of reigning in the military adventurism of the executive branch. They have the sole authority to declare war, but more importantly, the sole authority to approve the budget requests of the military. It is laughable to think that the U.S. Congress will do anything to reign in military spending. The Congress and the Senate are as equally guilty as the Executive in promoting and benefitting from the military industrial complex. Envisioned as a bulwark against executive power, the U.S. Congress has become an integral component of that complex. No Senator or Representative would dare to go against the industry that employs so many constituents within their state, or pass up on the benefits afforded them through the legalized insider-trading exclusive to them, or the lucrative jobs that await them in the defense industry and the many think tanks that promote continued prosecution of war.

Possible Reforms

It would be quite simple for the U.S. Department of Defense to rectify the current endemic problems that have rendered it weaker and less prepared for a major conventional conflict with a peer adversary. The greater challenge is transforming the relationship between the federal and state governments back to the constitutionally intended one, and to dissolve the powers of the now allied executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government. This would undermine the ability of the military industrial complex to coerce the nation into working against the interests of the states and the citizenry. The military industrial complex and the Deep State that serves it can only exist when power is greatly concentrated in a federal system.

For the sake of argument, if the political will could be found to work against the military industrial complex in the interests of true national defense and fiscal responsibility, the following steps could be taken immediately to rectify the many problems facing the military services of the United States:

The U.S. Army

Abandon the obsession with counterinsurgency and occupation and realign the focus of the Army on the defense of the homeland and a handful of historical allies. Rebuild the Army as a lean and well-equipped conventional fighting force. The most highly trained and experienced cadres of special operations forces should be retained, with other members dispersed to more conventional infantry, airborne and reconnaissance units. Most of these men would be moved to reserve status. Personnel should be cut by at least 25%, the majority retained moved to reserve status, and many overseas bases and operations ceased. The focus should be on defense of the nation’s own territories, while also safeguarding the economic interests and maritime trade lanes that are the lifeblood of any nation.

All legacy systems that have proven capable and efficient on the modern battlefield should be refurbished and upgraded to the most modern standard. The M2 Bradley modernization program should be continued, and the AMPV program given increased priority so that the thousands of M113 vehicles can finally end their 56 year tour of duty. MRAP inventories should be reduced to the very minimum and all surplus units sold off to recoup some of the expense incurred in their procurement and the money directed into offsetting procurement costs of new AMPVs and JLTVs.

The JLTV platform is a modular, easily upgradable light tactical vehicle that can be tailored to fit the mission. Although most units should be the basic utility variant, many will need to be acquired to fill the roles of light armored reconnaissance, armored security, convoy security, and light special operations vehicles. An air-droppable airborne armored fighting vehicle should be developed based on the JLTV. The U.S. airborne forces have lacked any real armored fighting vehicle that can accompany them in parachute operations since the M551 was retired in 1996. An up-armored JLTV equipped with a 30mm autocannon would serve as a good stopgap until a purpose built tracked vehicle could be designed. The venerable and ubiquitous HMMWV should maintain its utility role in all non-combat formations, as well as the basis for the Avenger light anti-aircraft missile system for years to come.

Of greatest importance is the rejuvenation of the armored and mechanized units of the U.S. Army. The M1126 Stryker family of wheeled armored vehicles cannot bear the weight of a conventional conflict with either Russia or China. The M1A2SepV3 MBT upgrade, including the addition of the Trophy APS should be afforded adequate funding, yet the greatest need of the Army is the replacement of the M113 in combat units.  The U.S. Army’s proposed 3,000 unit procurement of AMPVs is a good start.

The artillery arm of the U.S. Army must gain the attention it has lacked since the dissolving of the Soviet Union and the success of Operation Desert Storm. U.S. military planners and the leadership of the DOD must realize the continued importance of both conventional and rocket artillery on the modern battlefield. The U.S. Army only operates two self-propelled artillery systems, the M109 Paladin and M270 MLRS. This is not necessarily a bad thing as long as both systems are maintained, upgraded and fielded in sufficient number. The M109A7 upgrade program must gain greater funding in the immediate future.

The U.S. Navy

The LCS and DDG-1000 programs are a national disgrace and should be declared as such. The two existing DDG-1000s should be used as test beds for future engineering and weapons systems. The third vessel should be cancelled immediately. As for the LCS, the existing fleet should be used for littoral patrol duties, and all units currently under construction or planned should be cancelled. Enough money has been wasted on these horribly conceived and even more horribly manifested examples of the monumental corruption and waste so integral to the U.S. defense industry.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

Freedom Class LCS (background) and Independence Class LCS (foreground). Arguably two of the most monumental failures of warship design in modern history. A cautionary tale of waste and ineptitude.

The FFG(X) program to design a modern yet conventional multi-purpose frigate for the U.S. Navy should be fully embraced. The new frigate should adhere to the traditional naval warfare duties of a frigate and should be designed to sufficiently fulfill a balance of AAW, ASW, and surface warfare missions.  In conjunction, priority should be given to procurement of the new DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Flight III. The Arleigh Burke has been the backbone of the U.S. Navy since it entered service. It is a well-designed, balanced, flexible and powerful naval combatant of significant displacement. It puts the LCS and the Zumwalt to shame in every respect, and has existed as a symbol of U.S. Navy power and presence across the length and breadth of the globe since 1991.

It is almost unconscionable that with the richest and most accomplished history of aircraft carrier aviation under its belt, that the U.S. Navy could not come up with a better design for the next generation of CVNs than the Gerald R. Ford Class. Perhaps the namesake of the lead vessel in the class was well chosen, as President Ford was far from a memorable performer; however, the wisdom of the entire program from its very inception must be questioned. The U.S. Navy must outgrow the “super carrier” fixation. There is a future for aircraft carriers, yet on a far different pattern than what the U.S. Navy has operated for the past 50 years.

The greatest area of concern for the U.S. Navy is the weakness of the carrier air wing, a weakness that will not be fundamentally corrected by the introduction of the F-35 in U.S. Navy and USMC service aboard U.S. carriers. A new, longer range fleet defense aircraft akin to a modern F-14 Tomcat must be developed. In addition, a new attack aircraft must be developed with a range that exceeds that of the F-18 Super Hornet by a factor of 100%. It is hard to believe that the F-4 Skyhawk had an operational combat radius exceeding 700 miles (2,000 mile maximum range), twice that of a Super Hornet. Additionally, the S-3 Viking must be re-tasked as a carrier borne aerial tanker, and the many airframes now mothballed, yet with thousands of hours of use left, need to be repurposed to this task. The current carrier air wing as it stands, even with the introduction of the F-35, is of little utility against a peer adversary such as Russia or China.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

S-3 Viking in use as a carrier borne aerial refueling tanker. Even without significant modification, this stout little aircraft can carry 16,000 lbs. of fuel. The US Navy has 108 of these aircraft sitting in storage at a military aircraft storage facility in Arizona.

The United States must acquire both an SSN and SSBN to replace the Los Angeles and Ohio Class vessels that are approaching the end of their service lives. There is no greater defensive role for the U.S. Navy in ensuring the security of the nation than the continued operation of its attack and ballistic missile submarine forces. Both Russia and China understand this, and have greatly modernized their own submarine forces. Much of the success they have achieved in pushing the envelope of submarine design was due to their intense competition with a U.S. Navy submarine force that was always at the cutting edge of sub-surface warfare.

Conclusion

The United States stands at a crossroads in many respects, and the nation’s military equally so. All empires experience a period of over-expansion, military, economic and political over-reach and imbalance. The United States has followed in the wake of the many imperialist endeavors before it, with apparently little lessons having been learned. Imperialism is the inevitable result of power devoid of wisdom and humility. A nation borne out of a revolution against empire and absolutism has itself devolved into a much more dangerous and immoral avatar of its former oppressor. This must change.

While Defense Secretary Mattis clearly acknowledged the need to transform the U.S. military and realign it in a direction more focused on fighting and winning a conventional conflict with the near peer adversaries he identified as Russia and China, one can only hope that he realizes how the U.S. military that he served in for decades, got to the deplorable state that it now finds itself in. The greatest enemy that the U.S. military has fought for the past seventy years is undoubtedly the military industrial complex that it is an integral component of. The Soviet Union, North Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Syria were never as much of a threat to the U.S. Armed Services as the corrupt military industrial complex and the Deep State that serves as its guardian.

The United States military is in the weakest state of material strength and readiness since the conclusion of the Cold War. The conventional ground forces of the Army have been transformed into a force bent on occupation and counterinsurgency. Its heavy armored formations are in a state of disrepair and material inferiority vis-a-vis its most capable theoretical adversaries. The cornerstone of American power projection and intimidation, the aircraft carrier strike groups, are a sad shadow of their former self. The carrier air wing, the entire reason that an aircraft carrier exists in the first place, has devolved into a tool of increasingly limited utility, with an ever diminishing reach.

The corrupt military industrial system that permeates every facet of American economic, political and even cultural life has sucked the very lifeblood from the nation, eroded its morality, bankrupt its economic future, and stolen a generation of its most patriotic and selfless sons and daughters. While James Mattis acknowledges the challenges facing the national security of the United States, he clearly misattributes the blame and misidentifies the very real adversary. Russia and China are not existential threats to the continued welfare of the American state. James Mattis need only look in the mirror to see the real threat, for he has come to represent the cabal of special interests that enslaves the nation and constitution he has pledged to serve, and holds the remainder of the world equally hostage.

There is very little chance that the reforms mentioned in this analysis will be adopted, or that the United States will move in a direction that brings it back to its inception as a constitutional republic. The interests of the military industrial complex in promoting conflict, and maximizing financial profit will continue to steer the United States military, and the nation as a whole, on an unsustainable and self-destructive path. There is little doubt that if the Deep State pushes the nation to war against Russia or China, and likely an alliance of the two, that the United States military has ever been in a weaker position. Such a conflict would be of no benefit to any of the nations concerned, yet many potential flash points exist that could lead to a conflict, including the South China Sea, Syria or Ukraine. As the United States plays catch-up after decades of military adventurism, China and Russia have spent that same time patiently and judiciously gathering their strength. The scenario of a one-sided victory in favor of the United States is pure fantasy, existing only in the daydreams of the emperor who wears no clothes.

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