Trump escalates nuclear war danger


This 6 December 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Daniel Ellsberg Reveals He was a Nuclear War Planner, Warns of Nuclear Winter & Global Starvation

Could tension between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un bring us to the brink of nuclear war? As tensions ramp up, we discuss what nuclear war would look like with a former nuclear war planner and one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers—Daniel Ellsberg.

In 1971, Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. He played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. Few know Ellsberg was also a Pentagon and White House consultant who drafted plans for nuclear war. His new book, published Tuesday, is titled “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.” We speak with Ellsberg about his top-secret nuclear studies, his front row seat to the Cuban missile crisis, whether Trump could start a nuclear war and how contemporary whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden are his heroes.

By Andre Damon in the USA:

Trump, announcing new missile defense program, ramps up nuclear arms race

19 January 2019

Speaking at the Pentagon Thursday, President Donald Trump announced the largest expansion of US missile defense forces since Ronald Reagan’s failed “Star Wars” program.

The announcement is the latest move in a global nuclear arms race in which the United States, Russia and China are rapidly expanding their nuclear arsenals, even as the Trump administration moves to tear up all restrictions on the development, deployment and use of nuclear weapons.

Trump has accelerated a $1 trillion nuclear modernization program put in place under Obama, while rushing the development of new US strategic bombers, nuclear submarines and “low-yield” nuclear weapons that are more likely to be used in combat.

At the same time, the White House has announced the United States’ intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as it prepares to ring Russia and China with short- and medium-range nuclear and conventional missiles.

While US missile defense strategy previously claimed to defend against the actions of smaller states such as North Korea and Iran, this year’s missile defense review more directly targets Russia and China. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank wrote, “For the first time, the document puts Russia and China in the same sentence as missile defenses, making explicit what has hitherto been implicit.”

Speaking at the Pentagon Thursday, Trump declared that “foreign adversaries, competitors and rogue regimes are steadily enhancing their missile arsenals… Their arsenals are getting bigger and stronger.”

Trump’s remarks echoed the themes of the Pentagon report he was presenting. “Military superiority is not a birthright,” the report states. “The scale and urgency of change required to renew our conventional and missile defense overmatch should not be underestimated.”

The report goes on to threaten: “To our competitors: We see what you are doing, and we are taking action.”

Congress has approved $10.3 billion for the US missile defense agency this fiscal year, a figure that is poised to skyrocket if Trump’s plans are carried through.

In his Pentagon appearance, Trump did not attempt to hide the fact that he was using the prospect of billions of dollars in additional military funding to solicit political support. Responding to applause as he took the podium, Trump told the military audience, “You’re only doing that because I gave you the greatest and biggest budget in our history. And I’ve now done it two times. And I hate to tell the rest of the world, but I’m about to do it three times. So that’s the only reason you gave me such a nice welcome.”

Despite the bitter factional warfare in Washington, there is overwhelming bipartisan agreement on the vast and perpetual expansion of the military. Last June, the Senate approved, on an 85-10 vote, an $82 billion increase in the Pentagon budget, bringing annual spending to $716 billion. The colossal levels of military spending are almost never discussed in the media and the money is appropriated without question.

The diversion of funds into military appropriations and the pockets of defense contractors is even more shameless in connection with missile defense than with other types of military spending, because the efficacy of missile defense is, according to experts, largely illusory.

Missile defense is “the longest running scam in the history of the Department of Defense,” wrote Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, and “the new Missile Defense Review continues that proud tradition.”

Since President Reagan first announced his “Star Wars” initiative, the United States has spent some $300 billion on missile defense systems. Cirincione observed that “a decade after the start of ‘Star Wars’, having spent tens of billions of dollars on X-ray lasers, directed energy weapons, particle-beam weapons, space-based kinetic interceptors and ‘brilliant pebbles’, the Pentagon was forced to conclude that none of these fanciful concepts would work. We ended up with a concept of limited, ground-based interceptors that might be able to intercept one or two primitive long-range warheads.”

But the extremely limited effectiveness of the US missile defense systems did not prevent Trump from making sweeping claims about US capabilities. “Our goal is simple: to ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime, anyplace,” he said.

“We will destroy every type of missile attack against any American target, whether before or after launch,” he added.

In reality, current US missile defenses are not capable of reliably destroying modern ICBMs possessed by Russia or China, much less the new generation of hypersonic reentry vehicles that the two countries are deploying.

Trump’s statements reflect the two most essential characteristics of American military policy since the fall of the Soviet Union: boundless, often delusional, hubris and a total lack of restraint. Given the series of blank checks Congress keeps writing, it is likely that Trump’s announcement will be the start of a new “Star Wars” boondoggle—turning over hundreds of billions more dollars for fanciful proposals.

However, the dubious efficacy of these initiatives does not lessen their deadly implications. The entire program is part of accelerating preparations for nuclear war, in which US imperialism is preparing to use offensive nuclear weapons.

For all the money Trump’s new missile defense system will consume, the primary mechanism for ensuring that no missiles reach the United States in the event of war is the threat to destroy the entire landmass of a potential opponent with nuclear weapons. “The United States will continue to rely upon nuclear deterrence for strategic nuclear attack from major powers,” the CSIS declares.

The central aim of the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, released last year, was to de-stigmatize the use of nuclear weapons by expanding the range of possible scenarios in which the president could respond with a nuclear strike.

As numerous studies have made clear, a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia or between the United States and China, beyond an initial death toll in the hundreds of millions, would result in a climatological phenomenon known as nuclear winter, entailing a long-term drop in global temperatures that would make agriculture impossible and wipe out the entire human race.

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‘Stop United States military intervention in Syria’


This 18 January 2019 video from the USA:

Rep. Ro Khanna: U.S. Troops Are a “Sitting Target” in Syria; It’s Time to Bring Them Home

In Syria, a suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the northern city of Manbij Wednesday, killing 19 people including four Americans. Two of them were U.S. soldiers. The bombing was claimed by ISIS and came just weeks after President Trump declared victory over the group and ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from Syria, prompting the resignation of Pentagon chief Jim Mattis. Just hours after the attack, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that ISIS has been defeated. Wednesday’s attack drew renewed calls from congressional hawks—both Republicans and Democrats—to reverse Trump’s Syria withdrawal. The U.S. has an estimated 2,000 troops stationed in Syria, even though Congress has never declared war on the country. We speak with Ro Khanna, Democratic congressmember from California. He is a leading critic of U.S. military interventions abroad.

‘Dutch soldiers got cancer in Afghanistan’


Dutch military camp in Afghanistan, ANP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Dozens of Dutch soldiers think that during their stay in Afghanistan they got cancer by ‘burn pits‘. These are burning garbage heaps. At the burn pits, eg, medical waste and work materials were burned.

The soldiers have reported to lawyer Ferre van de Nadort, who has done research on the burn pits in Kamp Holland. From July 2006 to July 2010, Kamp Holland was a Dutch army base in the Afghan province of Uruzgan.

Several soldiers have given photographs to the lawyer. These show that waste was incinerated in the open air and not in the incinerators in Kamp Holland. “From day one those ovens did not work properly”, says Van de Nadort.

Burn pit at Kamp Holland in Afghanistan

Dutch daily Dagblad van het Noorden writes today about this photo (translated):

At ‘Kamp Holland’ in Afghanistan there were only three incinerators (in the upper-left of the picture), not six, as the defense minister told the House of Representatives. And they all did not work because of technical defects. That is why until the end of 2010 this burn pit, in which all waste was dumped, burned.

The NOS article continues:

Incorrectly informed

He says that former Minister Hillen of war Defense informed the House of Representatives incorrectly. He said in 2010 that there were six incinerators in Kamp Holland and that the waste was incinerated there. “But those six were in another camp, in Kandahar“, says Van de Nadort. “The minister has probably confused the two locations.”

The lawyer also says that the Ministry of Defense has never done good measurements at the incinerators and is now not dealing well with the sick (former) military people. “Defense is passing the buck to them, the soldiers are supposed to prove that it’s the burn pits, it’s an upside down world.” …

The ministry emphasizes that it now no longer has incinerators in mission areas and that the waste is now being disposed of via a ‘contractor’.

There are problems with privatising things through ‘contractors’; whether with big Japanese corporations in British nuclear energy; whether in prisons; or in war in Afghanistan. These ‘contractors’ may prioritize making profits above Dutch soldiers, other soldiers or Afghan civilians not getting cancer.

Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht murdered, 100 years ago


This video from Germany says about itself (translated):

Active leftists of various groups demonstrated peacefully against fascism, exploitation, imperialism and war on January 13, 2019 in Berlin. 100 years ago, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht fought this fight and died. A big thank you to all active leftists who continue this fight.

This video is the sequel.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

One hundred years since the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

15 January 2019

Today marks the centenary of one of the most horrific and consequential crimes in world history. In Berlin on 15 January, 1919, Freikorps soldiers of the Garde-Kavallerie-Schützen Division arrested Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the two leaders of the German Communist Party (KPD), which had been founded just two weeks earlier. Soldiers transported them to the Hotel Eden, where they were tortured before being taken away and murdered.

The 48-year-old Rosa Luxemburg was among the most outstanding Marxist revolutionaries of her epoch. She gained notoriety for her sharp polemics against Eduard Bernstein’s revisionism and the Social Democrats’ pro-war policies in the First World War, and was the undisputed theoretical leader of the SPD’s revolutionary wing and later of the Spartacus League.

Karl Liebknecht, who was the son of SPD founder Wilhelm Liebknecht and the same age as Luxemburg, embodied irreconcilable opposition to militarism and war. The bravery and determination with which he rebelled as an SPD parliamentary deputy against his own party, rejected war credits, and, despite persecution and suppression, fought and agitated against the war, won him the respect of millions of workers. In the November Revolution of 1918, he fought for the overthrow of capitalism. At a mass rally on 9 November he proclaimed the Free Socialist Republic of Germany.

The frail Rosa Luxemburg was struck down with the butt of a rifle in the Hotel Eden foyer and brought to a car where she was shot. Her body was thrown into the Landwehr canal, where it was recovered only months later. Karl Liebknecht was executed by three shots from close range in the Tiergarten. The press subsequently reported that Liebknecht was shot while trying to flee and that Luxemburg was lynched by an outraged mob.

The brutal murder of Luxemburg and Liebknecht marked a new stage of counter-revolutionary violence. Prior to this, the bourgeois state had ruthlessly cracked down on socialist opponents, and, as in the aftermath of the suppression of the Paris Commune in 1871 in France, took bloody revenge against revolutionary workers with mass executions. But the murder of the leaders of a revolutionary party by state organs without a trial or court judgment was a new phenomenon and set a precedent followed by others. Even the autocratic Tsarist regime generally banished socialist opponents to Siberia.

The German ruling class thereby drew the lessons from the Russian Revolution, where the subjective factor, the role of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolshevik party, was decisive in leading the proletarian revolution to victory. In the days prior to the murders, leaflets were distributed in Berlin with the slogan “Kill their leaders!” The murders proceeded with the approval of the highest levels of the state.

Gustav Noske, the minister responsible for the Reichswehr and a leading SPD member, had ordered the Garde-Kavallerie-Schützen Division, which was notorious for its ruthless violence, to Berlin to be deployed against revolutionary workers. During the Bloody Christmas of 1918, they fired artillery at sailors in revolt who had occupied the Berlin castle and brutally suppressed the Spartacus uprising.

When a court martial acquitted those officers directly involved in Luxemburg and Liebknecht’s murder in May 1919, Noske personally signed the acquittal. Waldemar Pabst, who as head of the Garde-Kavallerie-Schützen Division issued the order to murder Luxemburg and Liebknecht, was never charged. He was able to continue his career under the Nazis and in the post-war Federal Republic and died a wealthy arms trader in 1970.

To this day, the SPD disputes its responsibility for Luxemburg and Liebknecht’s murder. But it is certain that Pabst spoke with Noske by telephone immediately prior to the killings. Pabst later confirmed on several occasions that he received the go-ahead from Noske. As he wrote in a 1969 letter which was found after his death, “It is obvious that there was no way I could have carried out the action without Noske’s support—with Ebert in the background—and that I had to protect my officers. But very few people have understood why I was never called to testify or charged with an offence. As a cavalier, I acknowledged the SPD’s behaviour at the time by keeping my mouth shut for fifty years about our cooperation.”

The ruling class had to kill Luxemburg and Liebknecht to prevent the revolution, which spread like wildfire throughout Germany during November, from overthrowing capitalism as it had done in Russia. The Hohenzollern regime, which capitulated in the first days of the revolution, could not be saved. But this only made its base of support—industrial and finance capital, the big landowners, the military caste, and the reactionary judiciary, police, and administrative apparatus—all the more determined to defend their social position.

To this end they called upon Friedrich Ebert, the leader of the SPD, to form a new government on 9 November, 1918. Over the preceding four years, the SPD had demonstrated its unconditional loyalty to bourgeois rule with its support for the First World War. Ebert immediately aligned himself with the general staff of the army to suppress the revolution.

Thus, the first revolutionary wave was bloodily suppressed, but this by no means resolved the question of which class would rule. …

In addition, with the founding of the KPD at the turn of the year 1918-19, a crucial step forward in overcoming the SPD’s betrayal and the Independent Social Democrats’ (USPD) centrist policies was taken. The USPD had been founded at the beginning of 1917 by deputies expelled by the SPD for their refusal to back war credits. Nonetheless, the USPD entered Ebert’s government in 1918 and served as a left fig leaf.

The KPD’s founding programme, authored by Rosa Luxemburg, made unmistakably clear that the KPD was not striving to replace the Hohenzollern regime with a bourgeois parliamentary democracy but to overthrow bourgeois rule.

On 9 November the Hohenzollern regime had been driven out of power and workers’ and soldiers’ councils had been elected, the programme stated. “But the Hohenzollerns were no more than the front men of the imperialist bourgeoisie and of the Junkers. The class rule of the bourgeoisie is the real criminal responsible for the World War, in Germany as in France, in Russia as in England, in Europe as in America. The capitalists of all nations are the real instigators of the mass murder. International capital is the insatiable god Baal, into whose bloody maw millions upon millions of steaming human sacrifices are thrown.”

The programme stressed that the alternatives were not reform or revolution, but socialism or barbarism. “The World War confronts society with the choice: either continuation of capitalism, new wars, and imminent decline into chaos and anarchy, or abolition of capitalist exploitation. … The words of the Communist Manifesto are the fiery writing on the wall above the crumbling bastions of capitalist society: Socialism or barbarism.”

Luxemburg’s warning was to be confirmed fourteen years later. The Weimar Republic was not the product of a victorious democratic revolution, but of counter-revolutionary violence. The murder of Luxemburg and Liebknecht set into motion a development that ultimately led to the coming to power of the Nazis. They rested on the same social forces that the Ebert regime had rescued and strengthened. Hitler’s paramilitary SA emerged out of the Freikorps.

Part of the tragedy of Luxemburg and Liebknecht is that they underestimated the counter-revolutionary determination of their opponents. Otherwise they would have adopted better procedures and security measures to avoid falling into the hands of their captors.

The death of its two most important leaders was a disastrous blow to the KPD. …

Had Luxemburg and Liebknecht survived in 1919, not only German history, but also world history would have turned out differently. A victorious socialist revolution in Germany would have freed the Soviet Union from its isolation and thereby removed the most important factor for the growth of the bureaucracy and the rise of Stalin.

It is also inconceivable that the KPD, under the leadership of the uncompromising internationalist Rosa Luxemburg, would have bowed to Stalin’s nationalist course, or supported his policy of [depicting the SPD as] social fascism, which paved the way for Hitler to come to power in 1933. The refusal of Stalin, and his German proxy Thälmann, to fight for a united front with the “social fascist” SPD against the Nazis divided and paralysed the working class. Based on a correct policy by the KPD, which had hundreds of thousands of members and millions of voters, the working class could have prevented Hitler from coming to power. …

For Luxemburg, the overcoming of all forms of oppression was inseparably bound up with the overthrow of the capitalist system.

One hundred years after Luxemburg’s death, all of the contradictions of the capitalist system that made the period 1914-45 the most violent in human history are erupting once again. Nationalism, trade war and war dominate international relations. Far-right and fascist forces are on the offensive in many countries, with the explicit or concealed support of the state. In Germany, refugee policy is being dictated by the far-right AfD, in whose ranks Waldemar Pabst would feel at home. In the army, the police and intelligence agencies, right-wing extremist networks are active and are being supported and trivialised by the highest echelons of the state.

This gives to the legacy of Liebknecht and Luxemburg a burning actuality. As Luxemburg formulated it in 1918, society once again confronts “either continuation of capitalism, new wars, and imminent decline into chaos and anarchy, or abolition of capitalist exploitation.”

Flowers at 2019 Berlin Luxemburg-Liebknecht commemoration

United States warmongering ex-vice president Dick Cheney


This 11 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

MOVIE REVIEW: VICE Underplays the “Evil” of Dick Cheney – Wilkerson and Jay Review the Movie

Cheney was the coming to power of the far right of the American elite; the Neo-cons wanted to “cash in” as they asserted US military dominance over the world – Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff and is depicted in the film joins TRNN’s Paul Jay to discuss the movie “VICE”.

This 12 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Cheney’s Lies Left Middle East in Flames – Film Review of “Vice” with Wilkerson and Jay (2/2)

Larry Wilkerson tells the story of Powell’s fateful speech to the UN that prepared the way for the invasion [of Iraq]; he’s asked why he and Powell didn’t quit – Col. Lawrence Wilkerson joins TRNN’s Paul Jay.

Trump’s Pompeo’s warmongering speech in Egypt


This 10 January 2019 South Korean TV video is called U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo attacks Iran, Obama in Cairo speech.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Pompeo in Cairo: The ugly face of US imperialism

12 January 2019

Overloaded with lies, hypocrisy and absurdities, the speech delivered by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the American University in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday signaled to the collection of monarchs and despots that count as Washington’s allies in the Middle East that US imperialism is committed to a continued escalation of war in the region, particularly against Iran.

He insisted that despite Donald Trump’s December 19 announcement of a decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, there would be no “change of mission.”

“For our part, airstrikes in the region will continue as targets arise,” he said. “We will keep working with our partners in the Coalition to Defeat ISIS. We will continue to hunt down terrorists who seek safe havens in Libya and in Yemen.”

He vowed that the US would continue its intervention in Syria “to expel every last Iranian boot” from the country and spelled out an unwavering agenda of regime change in both Damascus and Tehran.

Reflecting US imperialism’s priorities in the region, Pompeo mentioned Iran 25 times in his speech, compared to a mere dozen references to “terrorism.”

Universally described as a “keynote” speech, Pompeo’s address was as crude and thuggish as the man himself.

Titled “A Force for Good: America Reinvigorated in the Middle East”, it represented an unabashed celebration of the decades of US military interventions, occupations and bombings that have decimated entire societies.

Pompeo introduced himself as the personification of Washington’s role in promoting “goodness” in the Middle East, noting in his opening remarks that the visit to Egypt was “especially meaningful for me as an evangelical Christian” and sharing with his audience that “In my office, I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and His Word and The Truth.”

He went on to insist that “because I’m a military man by training, I’ll be very blunt and direct today: America is a force for good in the Middle East.”

Taking these self-descriptions together, it was as if Pompeo had crafted his remarks to substantiate the Islamists’ portrayal of America’s role in the Middle East as that of “crusaders”.

It was notable that even in the audience of handpicked functionaries, businessmen and vetted flunkies of Egypt’s dictatorial regime, only a single line in Pompeo’s delusional presentation was interrupted by applause—when he thanked the Egyptian dictator Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for “his courage”—and at the end, the response was at best tepid.

The rhetoric about the US as a “force for good” is so at odds with the reality of a quarter century of unending US wars in the region that even this audience found it tough to swallow.

The war in Iraq, launched on the basis of lies about weapons of mass destruction with the criminal invasion of 2003, claimed well over 1 million lives and left the society in shambles, torn by sectarian divisions. It saw massacres in Fallujah and other cities and the degrading spectacle of torture at Abu Ghraib

In Syria, the attempt by the US and its allies to effect regime change through a CIA-orchestrated insurgency by Al Qaeda-linked militias has claimed hundreds of thousands more lives and turned millions into refugees. Similarly, the US-NATO war for regime change in Libya left the country in a shambles, with continuous fighting between rival militias, a government that exists in name only and a hell on earth for migrants trapped in a network of prisons and slave markets.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, the Pentagon continues to arm and aid a near-genocidal Saudi-led war that has claimed well over 60,000 lives and brought some 20 million people to the brink of famine in what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

To attribute such mass slaughter and suffering as the workings of a “force for good” is obscene.

Driving this rhetoric was a puerile attempt by Pompeo to contrast his speech to one given by then-president Barack Obama 10 years earlier from the same podium at Cairo’s American University. Not mentioning the former president by name, referring to him only as “another American who stood before you” in 2009, Pompeo excoriated Obama for offering even a hint of an apology for the crimes carried out by US imperialism in the Middle East and claimed that the message he delivered resulted in the US becoming too “timid in asserting ourselves” and a “reluctance to wield our influence.”

In reality, the speech delivered this week and the one given by Obama ten years ago have more in common than Pompeo let on.

As the World Socialist Web Site noted at the time, Obama and his speech were merely a means of presenting a new face for imperialism.

While Obama voiced support for “democracy” and “human rights”, he said nothing about the actual conditions in Egypt under the US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak, or Saudi Arabia, which he had just visited, under the tyrannical House of Saud. He defended the ongoing US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and said nothing about the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.

“The vague and flowery rhetoric, the verbal tributes to Islamic culture and the equal rights of nations, constitute an adjustment of the language being used to cloak the policy of US imperialism, not a change in substance”, the WSWS stated. “Obama made not a single concrete proposal to redress the grievances of the oppressed peoples of the Middle East. That is because the fundamental source of this oppression is the profit system and the domination of the world by imperialism, of which American imperialism is the most ruthless.”

Pompeo has ditched the flowery rhetoric as Washington pursues a naked policy of aggression against and demonization of Iran. He boasted of Trump’s scrapping of the Iran nuclear treaty and the ever-escalating economic sanctions that have been imposed against the country, punishment tantamount to an act of war.

He vowed that US sanctions would only “keep getting tougher until Iran starts behaving like a normal country.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter: “The day Iran mimics US clients … to become a ‘normal’ country is the day hell freezes over … Best for the US to just get over loss of Iran.”

Noting that Obama had declared that the relationship between the US and the Middle East needed a “new beginning,” Pompeo insisted that only with the advent of Trump had the “real new beginning” become possible. As evidence of this, he pointed to the two US cruise missile attacks on Syria—emphasizing that Washington is “willing to do it again.” He cited the airstrikes that leveled the cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria and the unfettered relations with the monarchical dictatorships of the Persian Gulf and the police state regime of General Sisi in Egypt.

“The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over,” Pompeo declared.

He added: “For those who fret about the use of American power, remember this: America has always been, and always will be, a liberating force, not an occupying power. We’ve never dreamed of domination in the Middle East.”

Somehow, Pompeo’s listeners contained their laughter. US domination of the Middle East and its oil wealth has been a cornerstone of US foreign policy for over 70 years. US imperialism has always masked its predatory interests by the “liberating” myth. As Leon Trotsky noted wryly in 1924: “America is always liberating somebody. That is her profession.”

The US secretary of state went so far as to brag about the role being played by the Pentagon in the slaughter of the Yemeni people, declaring, “In Yemen, we’ve assisted our coalition partners as they take the lead in preventing an Iranian expansion…”

The main thrust of his speech was the call for the building of an anti-Iranian coalition that he referred to as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) based upon the Sunni oil sheikdoms, the Egyptian dictatorship and Israel.

To that end he praised the regime of General Sisi, the former army commander who came to power through a coup against Egypt’s first elected president, Mohamed Morsi, which saw the massacre of some 1,600 of his followers and the subsequent imprisonment of an estimated 60,000 Egyptians for political reasons, in prisons where torture is routine. Pompeo presented the general’s regime as a beacon of tolerance and freedom in the Middle East.

While General Sisi has enthusiastically embraced Washington’s war on terrorism—labeling all of its opponents as terrorists—it is less clear that Cairo is anxious to enlist in a US-led war on Iran.

Pompeo’s speech served only to underscore the continuing catastrophic role played by US imperialism throughout the Middle East and the threat that a new and even bloodier war is being prepared in the drive for US hegemony over the region.

BOLTON ASKED FOR IRAN ATTACK OPTIONS The White House’s national security team last fall asked the Pentagon to provide options for striking Iran. The request by the National Security Council, led by the hawkish John Bolton, sparked deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials. [Reuters]

US ratchets up threats against Iran, Turkey amid Syria withdrawal plans: here.

United States Democrat Tulsi Gabbard running for president


This 11 January 2019 video from the USA is called BREAKING: Tulsi Gabbard Announces She’s Running for President in 2020.

United States Democratic party Congresswoman Gabbard, a military veteran, is a critic of United States foreign military interventions. She was a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter during the 2016 campaign.