Month: September, 2017
Former Pentagon Analyst Explains Why Trump Fostering Hysteria Over North Korea
| September 19, 2017 | 8:50 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments

Former Pentagon Analyst Explains Why Trump Fostering Hysteria Over North Korea


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Former Defense Department analyst Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski says that Donald Trump and members of his administration have been deliberately fostering public hysteria over North Korea.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump and members of his administration have been deliberately fostering public hysteria over North Korea to drown out voices opposed to any US military buildup, former Defense Department and Air Force analyst Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

During a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York earlier in the day, Trump said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if it was forced to. On Sunday, US Envoy to the UN Nikki Haley warned that the United States had “plenty” of unilateral military options to choose from to address Pyongyang’s missile tests.

“The public hysteria being promoted by the [Trump] administration… indicates to me that this is an attempt to entertain the US population through fear, and shut down or limit public dissent,” Kwiatkowski said on Tuesday.

The Defense Department and its major contractors have been alarmed at the American public’s growing opposition to massive spending and endless US military adventures and interventions around the world, Kwiatkowski pointed out.

“That we are speaking today of North Korea and its destruction by the US military reveals the driving and desperate concern of the Pentagon and its economic dependencies,” she said.

The United States has repeatedly tried to use the United States as a cover and justification for waging major wars around the world over the past nearly 70 years, Kwiatkowski recalled.

“When the US goes to war as it did in Korea in 1950, Yugoslavia in 1991, Iraq in 1990 and again in 2003, it was under the auspice or strong appearance of UN support,” she said.

Current US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has tried to build up support for a similar war against North Korea this year, but so far she had largely failed, Kwiatkowski observed.

“Haley’s efforts at the UN have been designed to garner such support this summer, and it appears she has been less than fully successful, in part because taking a US fight to North Korea is very similar to declaring war against China and Russia,” she said.

The ploy had failed in part because Moscow and Beijing had both grown in global stature and influence in recent years, Kwiatkowski explained.

“The governments of both China and Russia not only hold UN Security Council veto power, both have asserted themselves globally, financially and militarily in the past decade,” she said.

Also, US propaganda had not been successful so far in making the case for renewed war against North Korea to the American people, Kwiatkowski added.”The domestic propaganda battle by the US Government and domestic war advocates has been largely ineffective, and does not seem to be catching fire yet,” she said.

Efforts to play up the alleged North Korean threat to the Pacific island of Guam, a US dependency had also failed, Kwiatkowski noted.

“Even the potential of a North Korean missile attack of US territory Guam, a tourist location serving a largely Asian clientele, was viewed by many residents of Guam as not much more than a schoolboy spat between two flamboyant and prone-to-exaggeration politicians,” she said.

The Korean security crisis could be finally resolved if the United Statres finally agreed sign a lasting, full peace treaty with Pyongyang as it had failed to do since 1953, Kwiatkowski stated.

“What needs to be done is to actually end the Korean War by committing to the peace treaty between the North and South that the 1953 Armistice was supposed to foster. The US government seems institutionally unable to support such a peace treaty,” she said.

Washington did not want to sign such a peace treaty because it would then no longer have the excuse to continue to operate its massive military bases in South Korea, Kwiatkowski commented.

“Of course, if a peace treaty were signed between North and South Korea, the US military bases in South Korea would no longer be required. Any treaty would likely require these US bases (Army, Navy, Air Force and intelligence operations) to be closed or shifted to South Korean military control,” she said.

All war-games scenarios on a new Korean War result in greater global war with massive casualties and environmental destruction, Kwiatkowski warned.

“Any hot war with North Korea results in literally a billion people dead… [yet there are no fundamental US interests in North Korea than cannot be peacefully acquired or accomplished with the help of China and Russia,” she said.

The Trump administration was seeking to intensify the crisis or defuse it, Kwiatkowski remarked.

“Clearly, the US government is seeking to intensify the crisis, not diffuse it,” she said.

US military needed the justification of continued and worsening crises because the Pentagon faces very real and very severe budget and influence reduction in coming years, as US debt grows rapidly and the US economy slows, Kwiatkowski concluded.

Last week, North Korea tested an intermediate ballistic missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the Pacific Ocean about 20 minutes after the launch.The situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated in recent months due to Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on North Korea, which, however, have failed to prevent Pyongyang from conducting new tests.

True or False? Fact-Checking Five Key Points of Trump’s First UN Address
| September 19, 2017 | 8:17 pm | Donald Trump, United Nations | No comments

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017

True or False? Fact-Checking Five Key Points of Trump’s First UN Address

© REUTERS/ Kevin Lamarque


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After referring to North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un as “rocket man” in front of the UN General Assembly, US Presidential Donald Trump made a slew of remarks with questionable accuracy.

Trump stepped up his aggressive rhetoric toward Tehran, berated Kim’s “suicide mission” in developing nuclear weapons, and spared zero effort touting what he claims are his own economic accomplishments. Were the claims true? Sputnik News has a quick review of key points where the president may not have been fully truthful in his comments before the UN.

1.       “We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife.”

US foreign policy since the 9/11 terror attacks has been nothing if not violent. US soldiers have occupied Iraq since 2003 after toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime. Since 2001, US airstrikes have peppered Yemen to reportedly eliminate al-Qaeda militants, but the UN itself calls the Saudi-led (and US-backed) coalition in Yemen the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. US forces are arriving in places like Somalia and Afghanistan in greater numbers as recently as the past month.

2.       “No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans. And for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.”

The US has engaged in a laborious effort to both cover up its torture program and to simply “torture for the sake of torture,” former CIA officer John Kiriakou has said. To silence potential leakers of the torture program, the CIA told its own contractors who it paid to design the torture program “a nuclear bomb was going to be exploded in the United States and that because I told them to stop, I had lost my nerve and it was going to be my fault if I didn’t continue.” On these grounds, the US lacks the moral authority to preach to other nations that torture is morally wrong.

3.       “We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States.”

Trump has long sought to deny the basic reality that the Iran deal has worked. Since taking office, the White House has certified twice—not once, twice – that Tehran is compliant with the terms stipulated in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Nevertheless, Iran hawks in Washington loom large and Trump appears to have succumbed to their pressure.

4.       “Fortunately, the United States has done very well since election day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years.”

Plummeting unemployment trends started during President Barack Obama’s tenure; it has merely continued since Trump was elected president.  Without any major legislative victories on campaign issues such as infrastructure and tax reform, there are actually no major policies Trump can point to as evidence he did something to drive unemployment lower. To his credit, though, the promise alone of lighter regulations has helped maintain the current bull market.

5.       “In America, we seek stronger ties of business and trade with all nations of goodwill.”

Daniel Kovalik, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in the US state of Pennsylvania, observed concisely that US sanctions against Moscow “are in fact … economic warfare against Russia.” Despite repeatedly saying he would seek to improve relations with Russia, Trump’s administration has allowed measures antagonistic to Moscow to become law. Sanctions targeting North Korea and Iran included a late provision that applied sanctions against Russia as well. Trump said the sanctions were “seriously flawed” but let them become the new norm anyway.

US Reckless War Bluff
| September 19, 2017 | 8:09 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments
A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea. (File)

US Reckless War Bluff

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Finian Cunningham

American leaders have warned they will destroy North Korea if it threatens either the US or allies. But how much of this posturing by Washington is a bluff? And a very dangerous bluff at that.

There is a gaping contradiction in official US rhetoric. The Americans have already lambasted North Korea as a global threat due to its nuclear weapons program.

After mocking North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un earlier this week as “rocket man,” US President Trump went on to vilify the communist Asian nation as a “global threat” during his address to the United Nations’ General Assembly.

With Pyongyang having conducted dozens of successful ballistic missile tests this year alone, some of which are reportedly capable of reaching North America, as well as having successfully carried out two underground test nuclear explosions, one might expect that Kim Jong-un has more than breached the supposed American threshold of threat posture.

So, if the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is indeed a threat, as Washington repeatedly declares, why don’t US forces take the military action that American leaders keep warning about?One such action, in particular, would be to shoot down the ballistic missiles that North Korea has test-fired above the atmosphere over Japan. The latest test last week involved a ballistic missile that overshot Japan’s Hokkaido northern province and landed 3,700 kilometers away in the Pacific Ocean. That distance from Pyongyang also puts the US Pacific territory and military base of Guam within a target range of North Korean missiles.

This week, US Defense Secretary James Mattis was asked by reporters why American forces did not shoot down that missile or several others that have been test-fired by North Korea around the Korean Peninsula and over Japanese airspace.

“Those missiles are not directly threatening any of us,” Mattis said Monday, according to Bloomberg reporting. “The bottom line is that when the missiles – were they to be a threat, whether it be to US territory, Guam, obviously Japan – Japan’s territory, that would elicit a different response from us,” he added.

But hold on a moment. Mattis is here saying there is “no threat”, which is in contradiction to repeated US claims that North Korea is posing a threat.

OK, perhaps the Pentagon chief is selectively narrowing the definition of threat to mean North Korean missiles that are detected specifically being aimed at US territory and its allies.Somehow, knowing the American gung-ho propensity for belligerence, that narrower definition of threat is not credible as an explanation for why the US forces have not shot down any North Korean missiles so far. The US is not known for restraint when it comes to using military power and especially when its officials brag about “amazing technology.”

What’s really holding the Americans back from blasting North Korea rockets out of the sky?

A more plausible explanation is that the hi-tech, anti-missile systems which the Americans boast about are not at all what they’re cracked up to be. That is, these systems do not, in fact, provide a protective “shield” or “dome” from incoming ballistic warheads.In Asia-Pacific, the US has sold billions of dollars-worth of these anti-missile systems to its allies in South Korea and Japan.

The systems are touted to provide “a layered defense” against attack. They include the Patriot system, for taking out short-range missiles; the newly installed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries that have controversially been installed in South Korea; and the Aegis onshore and offshore systems. The latter is supposed to give protective cover for a wider area encompassing thousands of kilometers.

Currently, there are some 14 US Navy destroyers patrolling the Asia-Pacific around Japan which are equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system. Some of these destroyers keep colliding with cargo vessels, which makes one wonder about the effectiveness of the supposed hi-tech radar systems onboard. If they can’t detect approaching oil tankers, how will they fare against supersonic warheads?

Anyway, despite undergoing development over three decades back to the “star wars” concept initiated under US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, the capability of these anti-missile systems is still very much an open question.

In an article this week in the American publication Defense One, author Joe Cirincione makes the following stark conclusion: “The reason why we don’t shoot down North Korea’s missiles is that we cannot.”The article quotes several Pentagon missile-testing experts who candidly admit that the performance of the US anti-missile systems is only average at best. “It’s like a coin toss,” says one former Pentagon official who oversaw system testing.

The problem is that the US anti-missile defense systems have never been tested in a stressful real-war scenario. They have only been deployed under strictly controlled test conditions in which all the launch and flight data are well rehearsed in advance, giving the anti-missile systems maximum chance to succeed in intercepting the incoming projectile. And yet despite favorable conditions, the performance of the system is only about 50 percent successful.

That means the American allies are nowhere near as protected as Washington boasts about.

How about the US mainland, how well protected is it?The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptors based in Alaska and California are designed to shoot down Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) aimed at the US mainland. However, as one Pentagon test director admitted, the performance record of this last line of defense is “dismal”  – lower even than the lackluster Patriot, THAAD or Aegis.

In other words, not only are American allies not fully protected from a missile strike, neither is the US mainland.

Many independent analysts agree with North Korean official claims that the nation has reached the capability to hit US cities with a nuclear ICBM.

This is where the provocative rhetoric of US officials becomes exposed as a reckless bluff. Trump, Mattis and the ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley keep threatening North Korea with a pre-emptive military attack. Trump has said the strike would be “overwhelming,” which hints at the use of nuclear weapons.

Washington’s bravado is partly based on a misplaced confidence or a bluff that its defenses are impregnable. That does not seem to be the case, as even US defense experts admit. Therefore, the US and its allies are far from invincible as they might believe.

If we factor in too that North Korea has a fleet of submarines which are also reportedly capable of launching ballistic missiles that makes American defenses even more vulnerable. Sub-launched missiles give much less chance of detection and interception.Washington’s belligerent rhetoric is criminally reckless. Talking about “exhausting diplomacy” and “only military options” which will “destroy North Korea” is a huge reckless bluff aimed at intimidating Pyongyang into submission to give up its nuclear weapons.

The Americans deceitfully claim the right to “preventive war” when in reality what their words and actions amount to is “aggression.”

If a war breaks out, US leaders have put the lives of millions of their citizens and allies at risk of nuclear horror.

American delusion of invincibility is one big catastrophic bluff.

The 43rd KNE-Odigitis Festival concludes its journey with a three-day political and cultural event in Athens

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The 43rd KNE-Odigitis Festival concludes its journey with a three-day political and cultural event in Athens

After passing from numerous cities and town across Greece, including last week’s successful three-day festivities in Thessaloniki, the 43rd KNE-Odigitis Festival concludes its journey on 21-23 September in Athens. The events of the festival, which have political and cultural dimensions, will be held at “Antonis Tritsis” Park in the western suburb of Ilion. 
This year’s Festival by the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) is dedicated to the 100 years since the Great October Socialist Revolution. For that reason, a significant part of the Festival will honour this great historical event, with a large exhibition which will also include material from the KKE archives. 
In the Cultural place of the Festival, someone will have the opportunity to see an art exhibition of the Russian avant garde, through digital copies from the renowned Costakis Collection of the Thessaloniki State Museum of Modern Art. 
Among the interesting political discussions that will take place at the Festival is the one under the title “Anticommunism, EU’s official ideology” which will be held on Thursday 21 September at the University students’ kiosk. Major speakers include Kostas Papadakis, KKE MEP and member of the CC of the Party, as well as representatives from the Communist Party of Poland and the Revolutionary Communist Youth Union (bolsheviks) of Russia. 
On the same day, at the international place (Diethnoupolis), Kostas Skolarikos, member of the History Section of the CC of the KKE, will address the issue of the “international impact of the October Revolution”. Representatives from foreign youth organisations will also participate and intervene. 
On Friday, 22 September, a central discussion under the title “Truths and lies about the socialist revolution” will take place, with major speakers being Makis Papadopoulos, member of the political bureau of the CC of the KKE, and Loukas Anastasopoulos, member of the CC of KNE. 
At the Culture Place, Eleni Miliaronikolaki, member of the CC of the KKE and responsible for the CC’s Culture Section, will analyze the “red fruits of October in art and culture”.
The festival will conclude on Saturday 23 September, at 20:30 local hour, with a large political event and a speech by the Secretary General of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas. A greeting message will be delivered by the Secretary of the Central Council of KNE Nikos Abatielos
A concert in memory
of  Manos Loizos will
be held on Sept.23rd


The festival’s last day includes a great concert, dedicated to the late composer Manos Loizos, with the participation of some of Greece’s most famous singers like George Dalaras, Maria Farantouri and Vasilis Papakonstantinou
During the previous days, singers like Miltos Paschalidis, Dimitris Basis, Melina Aslanidou, Rita Antonopoulou, Vasilis Lekkas, Kostas Makedonas and others will participate in concerts dedicated to significant personalities of Greek music culture, such as the renowned legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis and the late popular singer Dimitris Mitropanos.
Why Peace is Alien to the US
| September 17, 2017 | 3:14 pm | Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments
People watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017.

Why Peace is Alien to the US

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Finian Cunningham

You’d have to laugh – if it were not so grave. The Trump administration says that it is running out of patience for a diplomatic solution to the Korea crisis.

This pseudo piousness comes from a US government that continually refuses to enter into direct negotiations with Kim Jong-un, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

So, how can the US say it is growing weary from diplomatic effort when it hasn’t even bothered to breathe an earnest word of diplomacy – despite being urged to do so by Russia, China, and other world leaders?

French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin was the latest world leader to endorse Moscow’s appeal for negotiations over the Korea crisis.As Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, pointed out, the latest resolution concerning North Korea, voted on September 11, specifically calls on all parties, including the United States, to open negotiations and commit to finding a peaceful resolution.

Therefore, by not fulfilling diplomatic responsibility, the US is not complying with the UN resolution.

Following another ballistic missile test by North Korea on Friday in defiance of UN resolutions, President Trump’s national security advisor, General HR McMaster claimed that the US was at the end of its tether in seeking diplomacy.

“We’ve been kicking the can down the road, and we’re out of the road,” McMaster told reporters after North Korea launched a ballistic missile that overflew Japan. The distance traveled – 3,700 km – would put the US territory of Guam within a target range.

Trump’s top security advisor then added with familiar sinister intent: “For those who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option.”

Meanwhile, the American president was touring the Anderson air force base near Washington where he again boasted of US “overwhelming” military power to wipe out North Korea.Russia and China have repeatedly called on the US and North Korea to enter into talks to settle the security crisis – a crisis that could stumble into a global catastrophe from nuclear war, as President Putin recently warned.

Moscow and Beijing gave their support to the latest UN resolution (UNSC 2375) based on the obligation demanded by the text for multilateral negotiations.

The resolution also calls for cutting oil exports to North Korea by up to 30 percent (not the blanket ban the US was seeking).

However, if the US is not willing to implement the diplomatic measures called for in the resolution, then why should China or Russia enforce the sanctions on oil trade?

Typically, Washington wants to have its cake and eat it. The US is demanding Russia and China to “take direct action” on North Korea’s economy, but Washington shows no sign of implementing its side of the bargain to enter into diplomatic communications.

Trump and his senior officials keep threatening that “all options are on the table” – meaning a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea, including with the use of nuclear weapons.

It is important to note that North Korea’s nuclear program and missile launches are all about deterrence. Kim Jong-un reiterated after the latest ballistic test that Pyongyang was seeking military “equilibrium” with the US in order to deter it from carrying out a pre-emptive attack.

Apart from Russia, China, Germany, and France, among others, calling for diplomatic talks, many reasonable voices within the US are also urging the same.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, who has visited North Korea on three occasions, has forthrightly stated that Washington must commit to peace and enter into talks with Pyongyang.The US-based National Campaign to End the Korean War is also advocating direct negotiations for a peaceful resolution. The organization says the key to successful diplomacy is for the US to sign a formal peace treaty with North Korea.

Amazingly, 64 years after the end of the Korean War (1950-53), the US refuses to sign a peace treaty. Technically, the US is still at war with North Korea, having only ever observed a truce to the conflict. With continuous military maneuvers by the US around the Korean Peninsula, this observation of truce is thinly veiled.

From the North Korean point of view, the US could resume a full-scale war at any time. Military drills and gung-ho rhetoric about “decapitation strikes” and “all options” are cause for deep alarm in North Korea, especially given the enormous suffering that it was subjected to by the US during the 1950-53 war.

If Washington were serious about seeking a diplomatic solution in Korea then it would confirm that purported aspiration by signing a long-overdue peace treaty with North Korea. Then, as Russia and China have urged, the parties should engage in comprehensive talks on security concerns.

But this is the crux of the entire matter. Washington does not want peace in Korea.

Tensions, conflict and the shadow of war are essential to US presence in Asia-Pacific. That allows the US to project North Korea as a “bogeyman threat” to American allies in South Korea and Japan, which, in turn, facilitates the massive selling of weapons vital to the US economy.

Just last week, the US sold more of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missiles to South Korea, even though South Korean President Moon Jae-in previously said he was opposed to installing these weapons. Japan is also moving to purchase more US-made Aegis anti-missile systems.

Moreover, the escalation of US military forces in Asia-Pacific to allegedly “counter the North Korea threat” provides Washington a convenient cover to expand its strategic reach over China and Russia – the two nations which the Pentagon repeatedly labels as its main global adversaries.

China and Russia have expressed their objection to the US missile systems in Asia-Pacific, saying that they disturb the strategic balance.

Nevertheless, the US is proceeding to build up its forces because it is using the North Korea crisis as a politically acceptable stalking horse.

The stark reality is that the US rulers and their military-driven economy do not want peace in Korea. Hence, they refuse to sign a peace treaty or give diplomacy any chance. Conflict with North Korea is simply vital for US corporate capitalism, as well as allowing the US to project its military power over perceived rivals in Russia and China.The truly abominable issue here is that world peace is being jeopardized in order to satisfy the selfish strategic interest of American rulers. International law, UN resolutions, appeals to reason and diplomacy are being outrageously snubbed by a rogue regime in Washington itching for war.

And then Washington has the audacity to claim its patience for diplomacy is running out. The only thing running out is the world’s tolerance for such American belligerence and arrogance.

This is not just about Korea and Asia-Pacific. The Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, NATO’s expansion in Europe, Ukraine and the Balkans. Venezuela, Cuba and Latin America. Conflicts in every part of the globe, past, and present are correlated with America’s addiction to war. Because peace is anathema to US rulers.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Trump’s Mini-Nuke Plan: Idea Nuclear War Could Be Limited is ‘Clinically Insane’


US nuclear weapons test in Nevada in 1957

Trump’s Mini-Nuke Plan: Idea Nuclear War Could Be Limited is ‘Clinically Insane’

© Flickr/ International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


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The Trump administration is reviewing its options on the development and deployment of new low-yield tactical nuclear weapons. In an interview with Sputnik, renowned author and anti-nuclear activist Helen Mary Caldicott outlined what she feels is the real reason behind Washington’s new mini-nuke ambitions.

President Trump has created a panel to review Obama-era policy on the development of new nuclear weapons systems, and the prospects for creating new low-yield nukes for battlefield use, according to Politico.

In a written interview for Sputnik, Dr. Helen Caldicott, a well-known leader of the anti-nuclear movement in Australia and the United States during the Cold War, described the thinking behind the idea of a ‘limited nuclear war’ as ‘insane’.

“Of course everyone knows that once one nuclear weapon is used, it could well trigger a global nuclear war. This kind of thinking [by some military planners] is clinically insane,” she stressed.

In its story, Politico said the new low-yield nuke review was aimed at “deter[ring] Russia, North Korea and [the US’s] other potential nuclear adversaries.” Asked what she thought was the real reason behind this move, Caldicott said that “there is no real reason…except that it gives more money and business to the US weapons makers and the military-industrial complex.”In any case, the activist warned that if the US goes ahead with the creation of new tactical nukes, other nuclear powers will be sure to go along.

“The US is the model for all other countries in the world, and what the US does with its nuclear weapons policy is sure to be emulated by other nations equipped with facilities to make nuclear weapons; hence it makes nuclear war more likely,” Caldicott said.

Well-known as a passionate critic of nuclear weapons, even as a means of deterrence, Caldicott described the policy of nuclear deterrence as “a policy of nuclear madness.””The fact that we have not yet experienced nuclear extinction is a matter of sheer luck. But considering the present political situation with volatile political leaders threatening each other with nuclear weapons, I think that we are closer to nuclear annihilation than we have ever been,” Caldicott concluded.

Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die
| September 15, 2017 | 7:11 pm | Analysis, China, Fascist terrorism, Russia, Syria | No comments
Flag of the Islamic State in the conflict zone in Latakia, Syria

Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die

© Sputnik/ Andrey Stenin

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Pepe Escobar

A serious working hypothesis is being discussed for a while now among independent geopolitical analysts. Here it is, in a nutshell.

Daesh may be dying – but the world is still encumbered with its walking corpse. Plan B of Daesh’s masters may have been to indoctrinate repeated waves of misguided youth across the EU and “seduce” them into D.I. Y. jihadi terror, creating fear and insecurity in Europe. I’ve just been to Barcelona — and that’s not happening. No Fear.

Daesh can also manipulate its brand name to stake a claim into what we may call the New War Belt in Southwest Asia. That’s also not happening, because the “4+1” – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – with the addition of Turkey, and with China in a “leading from behind” role, are all working together.

The unfinished war across “Syraq” coupled with spasms of jihadism in Europe could certainly still metastasize into a massive Eurasian cancer, spreading like a plague from Afghanistan to Germany and vice-versa, and from the South China Sea to Brussels via Pakistan and vice-versa.

What would happen under this cataclysmic scenario is the complete derailment of the Chinese-driven New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); its integration with the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEC); and a massive security threat to the domestic stability of the Russia-China strategic partnership, with uncontrollable bellicose scenarios developing very close to their borders.It’s no secret which elements and institutions would very much cherish internal political chaos in both Russia and China.

Charlie gets stronger

Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski may be dead, but geopolitics is still encumbered with his corpse. Brzezinski’s life obsession is that no peer competitor to the US should be allowed to emerge. Imagine as he lay dying contemplating the ongoing, ultimate nightmare; a Russia-China pan-Eurasian alliance.

The less disastrous scenario in this case would be to seduce either Moscow or Beijing into becoming a US partner, based on which one would pose a lesser “threat” in the future. Brzezinski focused on Russia as the immediate threat and China as the long game threat.

Thus the obsession of the US deep state and the Clinton machine in demonizing all things Russia – like an infantile neo-McCarthyism on steroids. Inevitably, what this geopolitical back hole has precipitated is China’s even more rapid advance on all fronts.Not to mention that the Russia-China strategic partnership kept getting stronger every day – an eerie echo of Capt. Willard’s line in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now; “Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker, every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger”.

And yet Charlie is not squatting; he’s conquering via trade and investment. And he’s not in the bush; he’s all over the Eurasian plains.

A basket of Hobbesian flare-ups

The other American dalang, Henry Kissinger, is still alive, at 94. Advising President Trump before the January inauguration, and posing as the supreme gray eminence on China matters, he suggested Russia should be courted.

But then came the clincher. Clearly identifying that the Russia-China-Iran alliance holds the key to Eurasia integration, Kissinger revealed his true colors; it’s the weakest link – Iran – that should be neutralized.Thus his recent proclamation/warning about an “Iranian radical empire” developing/stretching from Tehran to Beirut as the “vacuum” left by Daesh is filled by the Persians.

And here we have Kissinger once again as the unreconstructed Cold Warrior that he is; exit Communism, enter Khomeinism as the supreme “evil.” And may the Lord bask in praise of the Wahhabi matrix of jihadism enablers; the House of Saud.

The Kissingerian recipe sounds like music to the US deep state; Daesh should not be routed, it should be “realigned” as a tool against Iran.

Who cares that the notion of an “Iranian radical empire” per se does not even qualify as a joke? Lebanon is multicultural. Syria will continue to be ruled by the secular Baath Party. Iraq rejects Khomeinism – with tremendously influential Ayatollah Sistani privileging the parliamentary system.

The “4+1” – backed by China — have forged a serious alliance in the fire of the Syrian war. None of this will change by a Kissinger decree. As for “filling the vacuum”, the alternative is Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria. “But wait!” — say the neocons/neoliberalcons of the War Party. “We like that!”

And that brings us full circle to the initial working hypothesis. Daesh won’t be allowed to die – as much as the geopolitical re-engineering of what Dr. Zbig used to call the “Eurasian Balkans” refuses to die.ISIS-Khorasan, or ISIS-K – that regroup in Afghanistan – can be so handy to wreak havoc in the intersection of Central Asia and South Asia, so close to key BRI development corridors.

Moscow and Beijing though, know exactly what’s goin’ on. The phony Caliphate was useful in an attempt to break off BRI across “Syraq”, as much as Maidan in Ukraine was useful to break off the EAEU. Other war fronts will follow – from the Philippines to Venezuela, all bent on disrupting regional integration projects under a Divide and Rule strategy of US satraps manipulated into Hobbesian asymmetrical flare-ups.

Sixteen years after 9/11, the name of the game is not GWOT (Global War on Terror) anymore; is how, under the cover of GWOT, to disturb geostrategic expansion by the people who matter; “peer competitors” Russia and China.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.