Category Archives: War

Iran Foreign Ministry: Time for intl. community to stop US war machines

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US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The file photo taken on September 8, 2003 shows US forces manning a checkpoint in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. (By AFP)

Iran says it is high time the international community stood up to Washington’s historical warmongering policy, commenting on the Memorial Day in the US that remembers America’s wartime fatalities.

“Time to stand against US violence, warmongering, as remembering millions of lost lives,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry tweeted on Tuesday, a day after the United States commemorated the occasion, which is marked annually on the last Monday of May.

“Regretful that 100,000 American soldiers killed in battles waged because of US leaders’ instrumental rationality & insatiable greed,” the tweet read. “US war machines have just led to killing, destruction, [and] atrocities.”

America’s history of armed incursions is as old as the country, whose very foundation is owed to the deadly invasion of North American territories.

Across modern history, the US’s militarism has most notably been reflected in the Vietnam War (1955-1975), which is bitterly brought to the fore on Memorial Day. Estimates of the fatalities resulting from the war go as high as 4.2 million people, including 58,209 US forces.

In what has become the longest war in its history, the US along with its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of a so-called war on terror. The invasion — which is still underway — toppled the Taliban regime but the Afghan group’s militancy remains resilient to this day. The chaos has also led to the rise of Daesh, the world’s most notorious terror outfit, in the Asian state.

According to the latest figures, over 2,400 US military deaths have been recorded in the war, while over 20,000 American service members have been wounded.

More than 100,000 Afghans have also been killed or wounded since 2009, when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.

Washington’s first major incursion in the Middle East came in the form of the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s in favor of Saudi Arabia. A decade afterwards, the US began planting its jackboot far more firmly in the region by invading Iraq in 2003, a wholesale war that turned the country into a scene of rampant violence.

Nevertheless, Washington has never fallen short of finding excuses to militarily intervene in the region along with its allies

The most recent bout of US-led operations in the Middle East came in 2014, when the US and its allies began a military campaign in Iraq and Syria under the guise of uprooting Daesh, which had risen amid the chaos resulting from Washington’s own wars in the region.

Washington has, throughout its history, also been lending immense political and military support to the regional regimes that are responsible for killing and displacing tens of thousands of people in pursuit of their political agendas.


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US, China Have Unsafe Encounters in South China Sea

Pentagon blames Chinese behavior, but US ships keep confronting them

God damned Americans, what are you doing in Chinese waters, on the other side of the world? Go home and fix your deteriorating country ye eejits!

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May 21, 2020
SOUTH CHINA SEA (Jul. 05, 2010) - A service member assign… | Flickr
Go home Yankees, go fix your country!

Mounting US tensions with China are mostly playing out diplomatically. The South China Sea is the one area where military confrontation is a risk. Pentagon officials have suggested there were nine such incidents in recent months.

The incidents are common. A US warship or two approaches Chinese claimed territory in the South China Sea, and China responds. The US gets mad at China’s response, saying it is “unsafe” to react to their provocations.

The US doesn’t like the way China reacts, but they won’t just not engage in such provocations. If anything, the Pentagon has a growing number of missions in the South China Sea challenging China and provoking a response.

The Pentagon tends to overstate what was “unsafe” labeling any reaction to their operations as such. A military confrontation, however, cannot be ruled out, and the more encounters happen, the higher that risk becomes.

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com. 

What on Earth Is the US Doing by Bombing Somalia?

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Terror,usa,war,america,bombs - free image from needpix.com

The Trump administration has quietly ramped up a vicious bombing – and covert raiding – campaign in Somalia amid a global coronavirus pandemic. Neither the White House nor the Pentagon has provided any explanation for the deadly escalation of a war that Congress hasn’t declared and the media rarely reports. At stake are many thousands of lives.

The public statistics show a considerable increase in airstrikes from Obama’s presidency. From 2009 to 2016, the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced 36 airstrikes in Somalia. Under Trump, it conducted at least 63 bombing raids just last year, with another 39 such attacks in the first four months of 2020. The ostensible US target has usually been the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab, but often the real – or at least consequent – victims are long-embattled Somali civilians.

As for the most direct victims, it’s become clear that notoriously image-conscious AFRICOM public affairs officers have long undercounted and underreported the number of civilians killed in their expanding aerial bombardments. According to Airwars, a UK-based airstrike monitoring group, civilian fatalities – while low relative to other bombing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria – may exceed official Pentagon estimates by as much as 6,800 percent. Only these deaths don’t tell the half of it. Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled areas that the US regularly bombs, filtering into already overcrowded refugee camps outside of the capital of Mogadishu.

There are approximately 2.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia who barely survive and are often reliant on humanitarian aid. So vulnerable are the refugees in the pandemic-petri-dish camps, that one mother of seven described feeling “like we are waiting for death to come.” Her fears may prove justified. Recently, coronavirus cases have risen rapidly in Somalia – a country with no public health system to speak of – and due to severely limited testing availability, experts believe the actual tally is much higher than reported. No matter how AFRICOM spins it, their escalatory war will only exacerbate the country’s slow-boiling crisis.

A Sordid Backstory

While comprehensive analysis of the sordid history of US military operations in Somalia would fill multiple volumes, it’s worth recalling the basic contours of Washington’s record. During the Cold War, the US pressured the United Nations to hand over the ethnically Somali Ogaden region to Ethiopia, then proceeded to arm and back this sworn enemy of Mogadishu. That is until Marxist Ethiopian military officers took power in a 1974 putsch, at which point America turned on a dime, and changed sides. Washington then backed Somalia in the ensuing war over Ogaden. Over the next decade and a half, the US propped up the abusive and corrupt Somali dictator Mohammed Siad Barre.

Nevertheless, after the Berlin Wall came down and Barre, a notorious human rights-violator, had outlived his Cold War usefulness, Congress cut off military and – more importantly – economic aid. Barre was soon toppled in a coup, and clan-based militias carved up the remnants of the Somali state. Civil war raged, and hundreds of thousands of civilians starved to death in the ensuing famine. Thanks to the blockbuster 2001 Hollywood film “Blackhawk Down,” what came next is the one bit of Somali history most Americans know. In 1992, US troops filtered into Somalia to support what began as a United Nations humanitarian response. No doubt, they eventually did some good.

In the chaos, the UN and especially the took sides in the civil war. Then after American special operators killed numerous civilians in the hunt for one particular warlord, thousands of angry Somalis turned on a group of army rangers and Delta Force commandos during another botched raid. In the day-long battle that inspired the film, 18 US soldiers and – far less reported – some 500 Somali men, women, and children were killed. With no stomach for the bad press of body bags being brought home, President Bill Clinton pulled the troops out within months.

For several years, Washington reverted to largely ignoring the ongoing Somali tragedy. That is until the 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., placed the region – and anything vaguely Islamist – into the Pentagon’s crosshairs. There hadn’t been much of an al-Qaeda presence in Somalia at the time, so the US basically “invented” one. In 2006, after an imperfect but popular Islamic Courts movement brought some stability to the capitol, Washington encouraged, backed, and even took part in an Ethiopian invasion.

This too backfired. The more hardline al-Shabab was empowered, largely catalyzed, and grew in popularity through its resistance to the illegal Ethiopian occupation and to the corrupt UN and U.S.-backed interim governments that followed. What AFRICOM’s director of operations called the “disease” of al-Shabab is now used as a vague justification of the latest escalation in US airstrikes.

AFRICOM Inertia

How many Americans know that some 500800 US troops are based in Somalia at any given time? Fewer still likely have the faintest idea that three Americans were killed in neighboring Kenya just a few months back, when al-Shabab nearly overran an airbase that housed some US troops.

Apathy and ignorance are troubling enough, but as has been the case for nearly all recent interventions in the Greater Middle East, Washington’s aggressive Somalia policy has proven counterproductive. The more intense and overt the US military strikes and presence, the more empowered al-Shabab becomes since the group is as much nationalist resistant movement as terror group. While this admittedly abhorrent crew kills and oppresses Somali civilians as much as or more than American bombs or U.S.-backed government security forces, Washington’s self-sabotage is real. As a Brown University Costs of War Project report concludes: “Al-Shabaab is fueled, in part, by the US war against it.” Though affiliated with al-Qaeda, al-Shabab’s recruits, expertise, and grievances are mainly local. Most funding comes from piracy and other criminal enterprises.

The United Nations with tacit support from even America’s NATO allies has called for a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump team has only escalated military actions in various hotspots – particularly Somalia. This won’t play well with allies, adversaries, or neutral nations alike. If anything, it will drive the latter into the arms of Russia or China. In the face of such strategic inertia, one can’t help but wish the US military would heed its own doctrine.

It might start with number four on its list of the eight “paradoxes” of counterinsurgency: “Doing Nothing is Sometimes the Best Action.”

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order. Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet. Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

Confirmed: Trump Ordered Syria’s Wheat Crop Burned During Pandemic 

This is a war crime, no doubt about it.

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Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator

Apache helicopters of the US occupation forces flew low Sunday morning, according to residents of the Adla village, in the Shaddadi countryside, south of Hasaka, as they dropped ‘thermal balloons, an incendiary weapon, causing the wheat fields to explode into flames while the hot dry winds fanned the raging fire.

After delivering their fiery pay-load, the helicopters flew close to homes in an aggressive manner, which caused residents and especially small children to fear for their lives.  The military maneuver was delivering a clear message: don’t sell your wheat to the Syrian government. Head of Hasaka Agricultural Directorate Rajab Salameh said in a statement to SANA that several fires have broken out in agricultural fields in Tal Tamer countryside, as well.

The US illegal bases in Syria fly Apache helicopters.  US President Trump portrays himself as a champion of the American Christians, and he has millions of loyal supporters among the Christian churches across the US.  However, the Christian Bible states in Deuteronomy 20:19 that it is a sin against God to destroy food or food crops even during times of war.

Bread is the most important staple in Syria, and two weeks into the annual wheat harvest, Damascus is keen on securing its supply of grain, while beset by the global pandemic.  On May 4, President Assad said in a meeting with his COVID-19 team that “our most difficult internal challenge is securing basic goods, especially foodstuffs.”

Since the beginning of the US-NATO attack on Syria in 2011, wheat production has fallen from an average of 4.1 million tons per year to just 2.2 million tons in 2019. Syria had been a wheat importer but switched to being an exporter of grain in the 1990s.

According to the UN, Syria was hit by acute food insecurity in 2019, with approximately 6.5 million people considered food insecure.

The northern provinces of Hasakah, Raqqa, Aleppo, and Deir e-Zor, in addition to Hama in central Syria, accounting for 96% of total national wheat production. Using fire as a weapon of war, 85,000 hectares of grain were burnt in 2019, and the Syrian government was forced to import 2.7 million tons to cover the losses. Destroying the Syrian agriculture has been a war strategy used by various enemies of Syria, and has resulted in a mass migration of residents in the villages to Germany, by way of Greece, via the smuggler-boats in Turkey.

The Syrian ‘breadbasket’, the northeastern region, is now controlled by the Kurdish-dominated Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA). In 2019, almost half of the country’s domestic wheat production was produced within the AA territory, and they managed to buy it from farmers at a price lower than offered by Damascus, which suggests that Damascus may be denied the current harvest.

On May 9, Raqqa began its wheat harvest and photos of fires spread rapidly across various social media.  Competition between the AA and Damascus means the Syrian government will be forced to import grains to meet the domestic demand of about 4.3 million tons.

Youssef Qassem, the General Director of the Syrian Grain Establishment, said 200,000 tons of wheat from Russia has been ordered, and a ship carrying 26,000 tons of wheat coming from Russia had arrived at the port of Tartus, with further shipments to arrive. He added that the wheat is immediately moved from the port to the mills, and said “Preparations are underway to receive the wheat when the harvest season begins next month where 49 centers have been equipped to facilitate the reception of wheat and pay the farmers,” while pointing out that the reopening of the Aleppo-Damascus road has contributed greatly to reducing the costs of transporting wheat.

The AA has talked repeatedly to the Syrian government in Damascus, concerning the future of the northeast, but has not resolved their differences. Ilham Ahmed, co-president of the Executive Council of AA, has been negotiating with Damascus and she is also working closely with the US government representatives in Syria.  Ilham Ahmed is rumored to be the one who gave the idea recently for the US military to target a specific farm in Hasaka, after she had met with Syrian Arab tribal leaders, and found some opposition to selling to the AA.

The armed wing of the AA is the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, who partnered with the US occupation forces in the fight against ISIS, which ended in 2017. Even though Trump allowed President Erdogan of Turkey to invade Syria, the US military is still working in support of the SDF and AA on many levels. The Kurds and their US ally hold the wheat as a trump card in ongoing negotiations.

“Assad needs access to cereal crops in northeast Syria to prevent a bread crisis in the areas of western Syria that he controls,” Syria analyst Nicholas Heras said. “Wheat is a weapon of great power in this next phase of the Syrian conflict,” said Heras, and he added that the Kurds and their US ally “have a significant stockpile of this wheat weapon. It can be used to apply pressure on the (Syrian government), and on Russia, to force concessions in the UN-led diplomatic process.”

In June 2019, the AA stopped wheat from going to territory controlled by the Syrian government. Three provinces which account for nearly 70 percent of the country’s wheat production lie mostly in the hands of the SDF.  “We will not allow any grain of wheat to get out” this year (2019), Barodo said in an interview in Qamishli city. However, the plan bowed to pressure from farmers, who demanded to be able to sell to the Syrian government at a better price than the AA was paying.  The Syrian government operates three wheat collection centers in Hasaka, which allows farmers the choice to sell to the ‘Kurdish authorities’, or the Syrian government.

The Kurds are a minority in Syria, and even in the northeastern region, they are a minority, despite being in ‘control’. The non-Kurdish population is a mix of Syrian Arabs, Syrian Christians, Syrian Armenians and many of them have suffered under the Kurdish administration, which saw non-Kurds being ethnically cleansed, as they lost homes, shops, and farms at the hands of the SDF.

Syria was before 2011, one of the world’s most important agricultural sources of hard durum wheat.  Italyfamous for its pasta, bought hard durum wheat from Syria for decades. During the occupation of Reqaa by ISIS, they shipped by truckloads the wheat stores, which amounted to the equivalent of 8 years of Syrian wheat.  ISIS turned to their trusted business partner, President Erdogan of Turkey, and Erdogan bought the wheat from them.  Erdogan sold the stolen Syrian wheat to Europe and Italy once again had its favorite Syrian wheat running through its industrial pasta machines. The Italians have eaten pasta made of the stolen Syrian wheat.  Perhaps it has left a bitter taste in their mouths.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist

COVID-19: China Updates its ‘Art of Hybrid War’

President Xi Jinping made it clear earlier this week that a “Covid-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available,” won’t be subjected to Big Pharma logic, but “will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.” The Global South is paying attention.

An inevitable corollary is that the all-out offensive to cripple Huawei will be counterpunched in kind, targeting Apple, Qualcom, Cisco and Boeing, even including  “investigations or suspensions of their right to do business in China.” 

A toxic racism-meets-anti-communism matrix is responsible for the predominant anti-Chinese sentiment across the U.S., encompassing at least 66 percent of the whole population. Trump instinctively seized it – and repackaged it as his re-election campaign theme, fully approved by Steve Bannon.

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Chinese General Qiao Liang argues, “If we have to dance with the wolves, we should not dance to the rhythm of the United States,” reports Pepe Escobar.      

A Chinese anti-U.S. propaganda poster from the Korean War era. (Facebook)

  

In 1999, Qiao Liang, then a senior air force colonel in the People’s Liberation Army, and Wang Xiangsui, another senior colonel, caused a tremendous uproar with the publication of “Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America.”

“Unrestricted Warfare” was essentially the PLA’s manual for asymmetric warfare: an updating of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.” At the time of original publication, with China still a long way from having its current geopolitical and geo-economic clout, the book was conceived as laying out a defensive approach, far from the sensationalist “destroy America” added to the title for U.S. publication in 2004.

Now the book is available in a new edition and Qiao Liang, as a retired general and director of the Council for Research on National Security, has resurfaced in a quite revealing interview originally published in the current edition of the Hong Kong-based magazine Zijing (Bauhinia).

General Qiao is not a Politburo member entitled to dictate official policy. But some analysts I talked with agree that the key points he makes in a personal capacity are quite revealing of PLA thinking. Let’s review some of the highlights.

Dancing with Wolves

The bulk of his argument concentrates on the shortcomings of U.S. manufacturing: “How can the US today want to wage war against the biggest manufacturing power in the world while its own industry is hollowed out?”

An example, referring to Covid-19, is the capacity to produce ventilators: “Out of over 1,400 pieces necessary for a ventilator, over 1,100 must be produced in China, including final assembly. That’s the US problem today. They have state of the art technology, but not the methods and production capacity. So they have to rely on Chinese production.”

General Qiao dismisses the possibility that Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India and other Asian nations may replace China’s cheap workforce: “Think about which of these countries has more skilled workers than China. What quantity of medium and high-level human resources was produced in China in these past 30 years? Which country is educating over 100 million students at secondary and university levels? The energy of all these people is still far from being liberated for China’s economic development.”

He acknowledges U.S. military power even in times of epidemic and economic difficulties is always capable of “interfering directly or indirectly in the Taiwan straits question” and finding an excuse to “block and sanction China and exclude it from the West.” He adds that, “as a producing country, we still cannot satisfy our manufacturing industry with our own resources and rely on our own markets to consume our products.”

In consequence, he argues, it’s a “good thing” for China to engage in the cause of reunification, “but it’s always a bad thing if it’s done at the wrong time. We can only act at the right time. We cannot allow our generation to commit the sin of interrupting the process of the Chinese nation’s renaissance.”

General Qiao counsels, “Don’t think that only territorial sovereignty is linked to the fundamental interests of a nation. Other kinds of sovereignty – economic, financial, defense, food, resources, biological and cultural sovereignty – are all linked to the interests and survival of nations and are components of national sovereignty.”

To arrest movement toward Taiwan’s independence, “apart from war, other options must be taken into consideration. We can think about the means to act in the immense gray zone between war and peace, and we can even think about more particular means, like launching military operations that will not lead to war, but may involve a moderate use of force.”

In a graphic formulation, General Qiao thinks that, “if we have to dance with the wolves, we should not dance to the rhythm of the U.S. We should have our own rhythm, and even try to break their rhythm, to minimize its influence. If American power is brandishing its stick, it’s because it has fallen into a trap.”

In a nutshell, for General Qiao, “China first of all must show proof of strategic determination to solve the Taiwan question, and then strategic patience. Of course, the premise is that we should develop and maintain our strategic force to solve the Taiwan question by force at any moment.”

Gloves Are Off

Now compare General Qiao’s analysis with the by-now-obvious geopolitical and geo-economic fact that Beijing will respond tit for tat to any hybrid war tactics deployed by the United States government. The gloves are definitely off.

The gold standard expression has come in a no-holds barred Global Times editorial: “We must be clear that coping with US suppression will be the key focus of China’s national strategy. We should enhance cooperation with most countries. The US is expected to contain China’s international front lines, and we must knock out this US plot and make China-US rivalry a process of US self-isolation.”

An inevitable corollary is that the all-out offensive to cripple Huawei will be counterpunched in kind, targeting Apple, Qualcom, Cisco and Boeing, even including  “investigations or suspensions of their right to do business in China.” 

So, for all practical purposes, Beijing has now publicly unveiled its strategy to counteract U.S. President Donald Trump’s “We could cut off the whole relationship” kind of assertions.

A toxic racism-meets-anti-communism matrix is responsible for the predominant anti-Chinese sentiment across the U.S., encompassing at least 66 percent of the whole population. Trump instinctively seized it – and repackaged it as his re-election campaign theme, fully approved by Steve Bannon.

The strategic objective is to go after China across the full spectrum. The tactical objective is to forge an anti-China front across the West: another instance of encirclement, hybrid war-style, focused on economic war.

This will imply a concerted offensive, trying to enforce embargoes and trying to block regional markets to Chinese companies. Lawfare will be the norm. Even freezing Chinese assets in the U.S. is not a far-fetched proposition anymore.

Every possible Silk Road branch-out – on the energy front, ports, the Health Silk Road, digital interconnection – will be strategically targeted. Those who were dreaming that Covid-19 could be the ideal pretext for a new Yalta – uniting Trump, Xi and Putin – may rest in peace.

“Containment” will go into overdrive. A neat example is Admiral Philip Davidson – head of the Indo-Pacific Command – asking for $20 billion for a “robust military cordon” from California to Japan and down the Pacific Rim, complete with “highly survivable, precision-strike networks” along the Pacific Rim and “forward-based, rotational joint forces” to counteract the “renewed threat we face from great power competition.”

Davidson argues that, “without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China and Russia will be emboldened to take action in the region to supplant U.S. interests.”

Watch People’s Congress

Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where full sessions of the National People’s Congress are held. (AcidBomber, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

From the point of view of large swathes of the Global South, the current, extremely dangerous incandescence, or New Cold War, is mostly interpreted as the progressive ending of the Western coalition’s hegemony over the whole planet.

Still, scores of nations are being asked, bluntly, by the hegemon to position themselves once again in a “you’re with us or against us” global war on terror imperative.

At the annual session of the National People’s Congress, starting this Friday, we will see how China will be dealing with its top priority: to reorganize domestically after the pandemic.

For the first time in 35 years, Beijing will be forced to relinquish its economic growth targets. This also means that the objective of doubling GDP and per capita income by 2020 compared with 2010 will also be postponed.

What we should expect is absolute emphasis on domestic spending – and social stability – over a struggle to become a global leader, even if that’s not totally overlooked.

After all, President Xi Jinping made it clear earlier this week that a “Covid-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available,” won’t be subjected to Big Pharma logic, but “will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.” The Global South is paying attention.

Internally, Beijing will boost support for state-owned enterprises that are strong in innovation and risk-taking. China always defies predictions by Western “experts.” For instance, exports rose 3.5 percent in April, when the experts were forecasting a decline of 15.7 percent. The trade surplus was $45.3 billion, when experts were forecasting only $6.3 billion.

Beijing seems to identify clearly the extending gap between a West, especially the U.S., that’s plunging into de facto New Great Depression territory with a China that’s about to rekindle economic growth. The center of gravity of global economic power keeps moving, inexorably, toward Asia.

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is 2030.” Follow him on Facebook.

This article is from The Asia Times.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

China Will Not Accept Any US Invasion in Venezuela: Spokeswoman Hua Chunying

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China repudiates the United States’ attempt of a naval invasion of Venezuela and all interventionist maneuvers against the sovereignty of any country.

Through a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, stressed again this Wednesday her rejection of the United States’ aggression against Venezuela and has emphasized that Beijing will not accept any US invasion plan in the South American country.

“We reject the violation of the sovereignty of Venezuela by any means or excuse, in addition, we call to prioritize the welfare of the people, work together to safeguard national stability and promote the peaceful resolution of the situation in the Caribbean country,” stressed the spokeswoman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China, reads the note, has always been in favor of respecting the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and the basic rules that govern international relations against the policies of hostility of the United States towards the Maduro government.

The government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has denounced the recent incursion of mercenary forces for being organized from Colombia and supported by the United States with the aim of creating chaos to provoke a coup against Maduro, the legitimate and constitutionally elected president.

The new adventure of the USA and Colombia against Venezuela on Sunday May 3rd, takes place almost a year after the coup attempt, led by opposition deputy Juan Guaidó – self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela – with full backing from Washington, against the Chavista government.

On the other hand, the Chinese diplomat, referring to the rifle attack against the Cuban embassy in the United States, has claimed that “her government firmly opposes any violent action perpetrated against official diplomatic offices.”

Likewise, she has urged Washington to take the necessary measures to guarantee due protection to the headquarters and diplomatic personnel present in its territory from any damage, as provided by the Vienna Convention of 1961.

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Featured image: Spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying / Photo; File

Why It’s Ugly To Criticize Trump For Dodging The Vietnam Draft

 

There’s a popular tweet going around saying “Do you know what the 58,220 American Dead from the Vietnam War will have in common with the 58,220 American dead expected this midweek? Donald Trump refused to fight for either one of them.”

The tweet has thousands of shares and made it to the front page of Reddit today. Liberals love it.

While it is certainly legitimate to criticize Trump for his many spectacular failures in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is entirely illegitimate to criticize him for dodging America’s most evil and idiotic war in living memory. Anyone who avoided fighting in Vietnam was absolutely right to do so, regardless of their motives and regardless of the means they used.

For years hitting Trump on his “bone spurs” medical deferment of questionable validity has been a common line of attack used by mainstream liberals, and by self-described progressive pundits like TYT’s Cenk Uygur. We are seeing this attack reinvigorated as Trump’s critics begin highlighting the fact that the official number of US Covid deaths is about to surpass the US death toll in the Vietnam War, as in this Washington Post article titled “This pandemic is Trump’s Vietnam. He has earned his bone spurs.” which opens, “President Bonespurs finally gets to fight a war. Unfortunately for us, he’s re-fighting the Vietnam War.”

This criticism has been leveled many times since Trump’s election, and we can expect it to get a lot more mentions as November draws closer. And everyone using it will have one thing in common: a lack of appreciation for how senseless, pointless, worthless, destructive and unforgivably evil the Vietnam War actually was.

Not one good thing came about as a result of anyone killing or being killed in that war. Not a one. All of the US soldiers who died in Vietnam died for no legitimate reason, and nothing was accomplished by their deaths. They did not fight for Americans. They did not fight for freedom. They fought for the same thing all US service members fight for in modern wars: war profiteers and idiotic geostrategic agendas of global domination.

Americans were deceived into beginning the Vietnam War, were deceived throughout its duration, and were deceived into continuing itMillions of human lives were violently ended. Unarmed civilians were horrifically massacred. Unspeakably brutal weapons like napalm and Agent Orange were used liberally. The CIA’s Phoenix Program routinely tortured enemies and suspected enemies using starvation, gang rape, rape using snakes or eels, attack dog maulings, electrical wires attached to genitals, and other vicious methods designed to inflict unimaginable human suffering.

US soldiers were sent into hell, for no legitimate reason and with no discernible objectives. The horror, brutality and insanity of it all left hundreds of thousands of veterans struggling with mental health disorders for decades. Commanders being murdered by their own troops became commonplace. Young men were sent to be killed, wounded, ruined and driven into madness for nothing. For nothing.

That is what you are condemning Trump for when you slam his medical deferment. For using the means that were available to him to escape a situation in which he would have been forced to inflict permanent trauma and have permanent trauma inflicted upon him for no legitimate reason whatsoever and to no gain for the greater good at all.

The Vietnam War was an unforgivable evil that should never have happened, and this sort of “draft dodger” argument kills off the natural revulsion and outrage we should all still hold about its having been inflicted upon our species. It’s impossible to make such arguments without the tacit assumption that there was something good and noble about going to fight in that inferno of insanity, and there simply wasn’t. You are necessarily implying that those who went were morally superior in some way to those who avoided going, and they simply weren’t.

Whenever I voice this unpopular opinion, Trump’s critics often claim, correctly, that the president didn’t dodge the draft for any kind of moral reason; he wasn’t a conscientious objector, he was a privileged kid who didn’t want to get killed. But I insist that this doesn’t matter. There is no wrong reason for avoiding a monstrous war that should never have happened, and every single person who did so was absolutely right to do so regardless of their motives.

People sometimes claim, correctly, that Trump was a rich man’s son who had access to means which would have enabled him to dodge the draft that less privileged individuals would not have had available to them. But I insist that this, too, doesn’t matter. Everyone who avoided the Vietnam draft was right to do so, regardless of the means they used to do so. The fact that others did not have Trump’s means does not mean he was wrong to make use of them. Anyone in his place would have been absolutely right to do the same.

People sometimes claim, correctly, that Trump is sending soldiers off to kill and be killed (usually kill) in foreign wars while himself being unwilling to fight in Vietnam. But this argument cannot be made without taking it as a given that someone who had gone to kill Vietnamese people and undergo irreparable trauma would have had more legitimacy in waging those wars, and this is simply not the case. America’s warmongering was evil and inexcusable during Vietnam, and it is evil and inexcusable today. Trump has the same amount of moral authority to continue these endless wars that Vietnam veteran John McCain would have had if he’d beaten Obama in 2008, namely zero. Mass murder by someone who also murdered Vietnamese people isn’t any more moral than mass murder by someone who stayed home.

There are many, many, many perfectly valid criticisms that can be accurately leveled against Trump, from pretty much anywhere on the political spectrum. From my point of view he’s a vicious warmonger who has been advancing many longstanding agendas of the same corrupt political establishment he pretends to oppose, claiming he’s draining the swamp while maintaining a cabinet filled with establishment swamp monsters. There is no shortage of accurate and productive criticisms to level at this president, and indeed anyone who values truth, justice and peace will do so frequently. But dodging the Vietnam draft is not one of them.

The only blame to be case for the Vietnam War lies in those who inflicted that terrible trauma upon our world. Nobody who avoided it was wrong to do so, and in fact it would have been better if everyone would have avoided it altogether. The US armed services are continuing to leave generation after generation of soldiers damaged, desperate and suffering, and the more people find ways to avoid being funneled into the gears of the American war machine, the better.

________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics onTwitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Hilarious Kim Jong Un Jokes, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

 

Ha ha ha let’s all laugh about rumors that Kim Jong Un might be dead because he runs a crazy backwards regime where the media are a propaganda arm of the state and the public is oppressed and surveilled and people are imprisoned for exposing the truth about the government.

~

“I sure hope those North Koreans get to have democracy someday like we have here. Lemme log off this search engine algorithmically stacked toward billionaire CIA-tied media and ponder whether I want Donald Trump or Joe Biden to continue the wars and oligarchic exploitation.”

~

The US needs to constantly bully the world, drop bombs, patrol the skies with drones, torture people, arm terrorists, start wars for oil, starve civilians, and surveil everyone on earth while endangering us with nuclear brinkmanship, because if it didn’t, the bad guys would win.

I mean can you imagine if the US stopped circling the planet with hundreds of bases, waging dozens of undeclared military operations, imprisoning journalists and obliterating every nation which refuses to bow to it? We might all find ourselves ruled by some sort of evil tyrant!

That’s why it’s so important to preserve the unipolar world order at any cost. If we don’t all bend over backwards to help the US threaten everyone with nukes and wage endless wars around the globe, we might wind up under the thumb of a brutal oppressor.

I mean, a different one.

~

The words “I don’t support war but” are always followed by a talking point that is being circulated to manufacture support for acts of war.

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I’m sorry if I’ve been rude to those of you who’ve swallowed the establishment anti-China propaganda, it’s just that you’re all stupid and wrong and I don’t like you.

~

“I guess you’re unaware of this Caitlin, but China has actually committed human rights abuses.” Nobody’s disputing that, idiot. What’s being disputed is that we should all be imperiled by nuclear escalations just because a few assholes decided the United States should rule the planet.

~

I’ve been told countless times in a matter-of-fact tone that if the US didn’t rule the world with unipolar hegemony then Beijing or Moscow would, but I’ve never once had someone back this claim up with a solid argument. There’s simply no evidence that it’s true.

The only thing we know would change if the US didn’t rule the world is US-centralized power structures would lose the ability to sanction disobedient nations into oblivion and gin up support for coalition invasions. Everything else is just baseless conjecture assumed to be true.

From what I can tell the belief that China wants to rule the world is premised on nothing other than projection of western evangelical and colonialist values upon a civilization that has never held those values. We assume they want what we want, and there’s no evidence they do.

~

Impotently blaming other countries for the problems inflicted on you by your own leaders is about as effective as blaming the neighbors for your own husband beating you up.

~

Foreign policy is the most consequential aspect of government behavior. The elite manipulators clearly understand this, while the rank-and-file public (even its well-informed oppositional members) usually don’t. The trouble is that foreign policy is too big and too remote for most people to really grasp unless they’re actively shown how their money and resources are stolen to pay for foreign military aggression. And the billionaire media are highly invested in not showing them this.

~

“Oh no, Maduro is a narco trafficker!”

“Oh no, fentanyl is coming in from China!”

There’s so much doofy drug war schtick being used to justify US imperialism lately. Like even if you accepted such claims as fully true, you have literally decades of irrefutable evidence proving that banning drugs has failed. Drugs should be legal and resources should be spent on treatment; the science on this has been very, very clear for a long, long time. Dumb enough still having a drug war without having to start actual wars defending it.

~

I would oppose the imperialist agendas against Venezuela and China whether they were full-blown communist or full-blown capitalist, yet cheerleaders for those agendas always say I oppose them because I love communism. It’s never been an ideological game to me, but it is for them.

I oppose imperialism against Iran, Syria and Russia too; it’s got nothing to do with communism. But for those who want to topple the governments of China and Venezuela it is, and they don’t care how many lives they need to snuff out to win their sociopathic little game. These are people’s lives you’re talking about, but for them it’s a game and all they care about is “winning”. They want the right side to beat the left side and nothing else matters to them. It’s depraved.

~

I can understand the logic of “vote for the lesser of two evils”, I just can’t understand why people only ever say that while pointing at one inseparably unified blob of evil.

~

Why do progressives keep babbling about the need to get “concessions” from the Biden campaign? You want Biden’s handlers to lie to you and add more fake progressive policies to his platform that they’ll definitely never see through if elected? It’s just undignified for everyone.

~

Biden is just a symptom, in the same way Trump is just a symptom. Biden is the ugly, rapey, demented, blood-spattered mask that the empire deserves to be wearing, but in the end he’s just a symptom of the disease behind the mask. Pay more attention to the disease than its symptoms.

~

It’d be cool if the military’s artificial intelligence projects all start hitting a wall where the AI always gets to a certain level of intelligence and then says “What the fuck? You want me to help you KILL each other?? That’s stupid, no. I’m gonna go start a band.”

~

It’s weird how many analysts in both alternative and mainstream media get by on using esoteric buzzwords, obscure references and complex concepts in order to sound intelligent. If only a few people can understand you that doesn’t make you smart, it makes you bad at your job.

~

It sucks that Bono turned into a power-mad oligarch but worth noting that he also simultaneously lost all ability to write a decent song and his musicality got up and left. This happens because the ego has no access to inspiration and can only pretend or recycle old ideas. We have the creativity. Inspiration is on our side. Take hope.

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The three most overlooked and under-appreciated aspects of the human condition are (1) consciousness itself, (2) the way compulsive thought patterns shape our experience and our lives, and (3) the effects of mass media propaganda. In that order.

~

That the human brain is capable of a drastic, transformational shift in its relationship with mental narrative is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated facts in society in general and revolutionary-minded political analysis in particular.

_____________________________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics onTwitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Iran Launches US Fury

“Washington’s presumed global empire is all washed up. Its disgraceful dereliction towards American public health is abundantly clear. Its bullying of China, Russia, Venezuela, and others is futile. Its navy is impotent from COVID-19 sick sailors aboard billion-dollar warships. And Iran, hammered by US sanctions, is able to make a landmark satellite achievement while beating the US in terms of managing a pandemic. No wonder the Americans are livid.”
sputniknews.com
by 
April 24,2020

No wonder the US reacted with fury this week when Iran launched a satellite 465 kilometers into space. In baseball terms, the Iranians just hit the US ball out of the park.

Mike Pompeo, America’s top diplomat, is demanding more sanctions against Iran over what he claimed was a violation of UN resolutions outlawing Iranian military missiles in space. He called on the “Iranian regime” to prioritise resources in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and to end its campaign of global terror”.

You have to hand it to Pompeo for his total lack of awareness of America’s own absurdity.

Pompeo cited UN Resolution 2231 which pertains to the 2015 international nuclear accord with Iran – the same accord that the Trump administration dumped in May 2018. So, Washington wants Iran to abide by resolutions relating to a treaty that is non-existent, as far as the US is concerned.

In any case, Iran says that its communication satellite does not violate UN resolutions because it is not for an offensive military purpose. Russia has reportedly backed the Iranian viewpoint.

Pompeo points to the involvement of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the launch as somehow indicative of malign intent ignoring the fact that military and space technology are historically deeply entwined. None more so than in the US space ventures, which originated from Nazi V2 rocket science.

© REUTERS / WANA NEWS AGENCY
A first military satellite named Noor is launched into orbit by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, in Semnan, Iran April 22, 2020.

The US lecturing to Iran about a military satellite comes only weeks after President Trump has ordered the establishment of a new Space Force which opens up weaponization of space – in contravention of an international treaty forbidding such development.

Pompeo’s call on Iran to “prioritise resources” to meet the “demands of the Iranian people” (an oblique reference to the COVID-19 crisis) is made while the US leads the world in the number of infections and deaths from the disease.

The abject fiasco of Washington not being able to better contain the pandemic is a result of chronically underfunded health services in the US. This is while the US sends warships to the Persian Gulf – 10,000 kilometers from its shores – to carry out naval maneuvers threatening Iranian security and the security of the wider region. Just who is waging a global terror campaign?

Pompeo’s piffle about “prioritising resources” comes from a regime in Washington that spends more than $750 billion on the military every year. That’s nearly 57 times the estimated $13 billion that Iran spends. And, by the way, five times more than China, and more than 10 times Russia’s military budget.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
© REUTERS / ANDREW HARNIK/POOL NEW
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

American citizens’ demand for better healthcare could be easily met if its monstrously profligate military expenditure was redirected. The failure of the US public health system is made all the more apparent by the current COVID-19 crisis.

The US pandemic death toll is this week heading above 50,000 compared with Iran’s figure of 5,300. Considering the respective population numbers of 330 and 80 million that suggests Iran is doing a much better job at containing the virus. On a per-capita basis, according to publicly available data, Iran’s mortality rate is less than half that of the US.

This is while the US has sanctioned Iran to the hilt. American sanctions – arguably illegal under international law – have hit Iran’s ability to import medical supplies to cope with COVID-19 and other fatal diseases, yet Iran through its own resources is evidently managing the crisis much better than the US.

To top it all, Iran this week was able to launch its first satellite into space. The Iranians deserve applause for their technological achievement-based entirely on their own resources and ingenuity of their scientists.

What’s really motivating Washington’s ire is that its criminal and barbaric sanctions policy is shown – spectacularly – to be an abysmal flop. Even with so many resources at its disposal, the US has failed to thwart the Iranian nation.

A handout picture provided by the Iranian Presidency on April 15, 2020 shows Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wearing a face mask during a cabinet session in the capital Tehran
© AFP 2020 / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY
A handout picture provided by the Iranian Presidency on April 15, 2020 shows Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wearing a face mask during a cabinet session in the capital Tehran

This is why Pompeo is blustering now about appealing to other nations to impose more international sanctions. The US sanctions alone and its campaign of bullying and terrorism have failed, and it is desperately trying to dragoon others to join its heartless policy – under the guise of UN resolutions.

It would also explain Trump’s crazed order this week to the US navy to “shoot down” Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf. 

Washington’s presumed global empire is all washed up. Its disgraceful dereliction towards American public health is abundantly clear. Its bullying of China, Russia, Venezuela, and others is futile. Its navy is impotent from COVID-19 sick sailors aboard billion-dollar warships. And Iran, hammered by US sanctions, is able to make a landmark satellite achievement while beating the US in terms of managing a pandemic. No wonder the Americans are livid.

Merchants of Death: Multibillion-dollar Bailout for Arms Industry Amid Rising COVID-19 Toll

 

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” US President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday in a startling threat that could trigger a catastrophic war throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The threat to launch a war 7,000 miles from US shores in the midst of coronavirus pandemic, whose death toll in the US is rapidly approaching 50,000, comes on the heels of Trump’s Monday night tweet announcing a suspension of all immigration into the United States, a transparent attempt to scapegoat immigrants for the ravages of the pandemic and the layoffs of tens of millions of workers.

There is in both of these actions an expression of desperation and a flailing about in the face of a national and global crisis for which the US ruling class has no viable solution. It is a crude attempt to change the subject and divert public attention from the catastrophic consequences of the criminal indifference of the government and the ruling oligarchy it represents to the lives and well-being of the vast majority of the population.

Pentagon officials reported Wednesday that they had received no prior notification of Trump’s tweet, much less any orders for a change in the rules of engagement in the Persian Gulf.

Nonetheless, the brutal and fascistic rhetoric of Trump reflects a drive to war by US imperialism that has not been tempered, but rather intensified, by the global pandemic.

Even as Trump issued his tweet, US warships were sailing toward a confrontation with China in the South China Sea. At the same time, the Pentagon was announcing a shift in its deployment of long-range, nuclear capable B-52 bombers to make their presence less predictable to Beijing and Moscow and thereby ratchet up tensions.

In recent days, the US has sharply escalated its air strikes against the impoverished African nation of Somalia, even as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to ravage its population. Escalating war threats continue against Venezuela, and the Pentagon continues to provide support for the near-genocidal Saudi-led war against the people of Yemen.

Nowhere does this war drive find more naked expression than in the massive government bailout that is being organized for the US arms industry. With tens of millions of workers unemployed, many facing hunger, and a drive by both the Trump administration and state governors to force a premature return to work, billions upon billions of dollars are being lavished upon military contractors to sustain their guaranteed profits and the obscene fortunes generated for their major shareholders.

The Pentagon’s top weapons procurer, Undersecretary of Defense Ellen Lord, told a press conference Monday that some $3 billion has already been funneled to the arms makers in the form of early payments for existing contracts, in addition to billions more approved by Congress in the first CARES Act, which pumped trillions of dollars into the financial markets. She indicated that much more will be doled out once Congress passes another stimulus package.

Asked by a reporter how much would be need to insure Washington’s Merchants of Death from any losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, she replied, “We’re talking billions and billions on that one.” Lord added that the first priority for this aid program was the “modernization process of the nuclear triad.”

These industries are hardly the picture of the deserving poor. The fact that massive financial resources that are desperately needed to save lives and rescue millions of workers from poverty are instead being poured into their pockets is a crime.

In a conference call this week to inform Lockheed Martin shareholders of first-quarter earnings, the company’s CEO, Marilyn Hewson, boasted that the corporation’s “portfolio is broad and expanding” and its “cash generation” strong. She said the company looked forward to “supporting our warfighters’ needs.”

Indeed, Lockheed Martin pulled in $2.3 billion in cash during the single quarter and expects to top $7.6 billion—coronavirus effects notwithstanding—over the year. It has a $144 billion backlog in orders, an all-time high.

Asked whether she had any qualms about political fallout over completing a $1 billion stock buyback in the midst of the crisis, she replied, “We’re very different, I think, than those who have experienced a very significant impact to their demands.” Hewson announced that the company had set aside a grand total of $10 million for COVID-19-related relief and assistance.

The “very different” character of these companies was also noted in a financial column published in the New York Times for the benefit of its well-heeled readers, titled “Opportunity in the Military-Industrial Complex.”

Pointing to the projected $741 billion Pentagon budget for the coming year, the Times counsels: “That combination of federal dollars and corporate heft may represent an opportunity for investors who don’t mind profiting from warfare. A modest bet on a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that buys military contractors and aerospace companies may help buffer the deep recession brought on by the coronavirus.”

In short, one can reap substantial wealth from—and amid—mass death.

One of the principal concerns expressed by Undersecretary of Defense Lord as she spelled out plans for the multibillion-dollar bailout of the arms industry was the disruption of supply chains, particularly those originating in the maquiladora sweatshops just across the US border in Mexico. She also mentioned problems in India.

Thousands of Mexican workers have struck and protested against the deadly conditions inside these plants, conditions that are being prepared for workers throughout the planet as back-to-work orders are shoved through. At a plant in Ciudad Juárez owned by Michigan-based Lear Corporation, 16 workers have died from COIVD-19, while area hospitals are overflowing with victims of the virus.

The Pentagon and US Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau have intervened with the Mexican government, demanding that the maquiladora workers be forced back into the plants as “essential” to US imperialism’s war machine, just like their counterparts in the US. Lockheed relies on low-paid Mexican workers in Chihuahua, Mexico to produce electrical wiring for the US military’s Black Hawk and S-92 helicopters and F-16 fighter jets, while Boeing gets parts from a plant run by PCC Aerostructures in Monterrey. General Electric, Honeywell and other military contractors also profit off the labor of Mexican workers across the border.

Transmitting the dictates of the Pentagon in the language of contempt for human life that characterizes all of the policies of the Trump administration and the US ruling class, Ambassador Landau launched a Twitter campaign demanding that Mexican workers go back into the maquiladoras for the greater good of US imperialism. He enjoys the full collaboration of Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, promoted by the pseudo-left as a “progressive” and even “socialist,” who has prepared the country’s National Guard for deployment against strikers.

Warning that workers’ jobs are tied to supply chains linking them to US arms manufacturers, Ambassador Landau said, “if we do not coordinate our response, these chains can evaporate.”

He added, “There are risks everywhere, but we don’t all stay at home for fear we are going to get in a car accident. The destruction of the economy is also a health threat.”

These are the same reactionary, antiscientific and misanthropic arguments being made in the US and internationally in an attempt to force workers back into the factories and workplaces with the certainty that many will fall sick and die.

Workers in the arms industry in the US, like their counterparts in Mexico, have also struck and protested over being forced to work as part of the “critical infrastructure” of US imperialism. Workers at the Bath Iron Works in Maine and the BAE Systems shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, both run by General Dynamics, have struck over the failure of the employers to provide them with protection against infection and death. Similarly, workers at the GE Aviation plant in Lynn, Massachusetts, which produces engines for US Marine helicopters, picketed the plant over the lack of protective measures or any guarantee for workers who fall victim to COVID-19.

This resistance of the working class across national boundaries is directly opposed to the rabid nationalism and reaction that characterizes the response of the ruling classes, not only in the US, but in Europe and internationally, to the intensification of the capitalist crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. To defend their profit interests, they will condemn millions to sickness and death, even as they prepare for world war and fascist dictatorship. The only alternative is for the international working class to put an end to the profit system and rebuild society on socialist foundations.

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The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site