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“The Coming War On China”  –  Watch John Pilger’s Powerfully Relevant Documentary

“The Coming War On China”  –  Watch John Pilger’s Powerfully Relevant Documentary

“The aim of this film is to break a silence: the United States and China may well be on the road to war, and nuclear war is no longer unthinkable,” Pilger says in his 2016 documentary The Coming War on China, which you can watch free on Youtube here or on Vimeo here.

“In a few years China has become the world’s second-biggest economic power,” Pilger’s introduction continues. “The United States is the world’s biggest military power, with bases and missiles and ships covering every continent and every ocean. China is a threat to this dominance, says Washington. But who is the threat? This film is about shifting power, and great danger.”

As we’ve been discussing for years now, the relentless quest of the US-centralized empire-like power alliance for total world domination has put it on a collision course with the surging economic powerhouse of China which refuses to be absorbed into the imperial blob. The empire’s continued existence depends upon its ability to undermine China before it grows too powerful or the empire grows too weak to stop its ascent, at which point global hegemony becomes impossible and we are living in a truly multipolar world.

China has therefore always been the final boss fight in the global campaign of violence and domination by what Pilger calls the “empire which never speaks its name”. And the ramping up of anti-China narrative management by the US government indicates that we are being psychologically primed to accept this world-threatening confrontation, just as Pilger warned in 2016.

“The danger of confrontation grows by the day,” Pilger says.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tent Cities, Troop Surge & Tanks Pouring In: Reasons Why The ‘Final War’ For Idlib Has Begun

Tent Cities, Troop Surge & Tanks Pouring In: Reasons Why The ‘Final War’ For Idlib Has Begun

In the next weeks and months, Idlib is set to be front and center once again in world headlines. Not only have the Turkish and Syrian armies engaged in direct clashes since the weekend  with dozens of casualties on each side  ready for what increasingly looks like the final showdown over Idlib, but superpowers Russia and the US have again lined up on either side. Here are some indicators that dramatic escalation is on the immediate horizon. 

An impressive, perhaps unprecedented build-up of seemingly endless columns of Turkish armored vehicles and tanks were seen amassing on the border this week:

1) Turkey announced Thursday more soldiers are being deployed to Idlib after already previously amassing troops at the border. 

According to Turkey’s Daily Sabah

The Turkish military has dispatched more soldiers and stationed multiple rocket launchers on the Syrian border as it continues to reinforce units and equipment at Turkey’s observation posts in northwestern Idlib province.

The rocket launchers were deployed in Hatay province, while commando squads headed to their units in armored vehicles.

2) Turkish tanks, armored columns, and elite commandos are pouring in as state powers are on a collision course:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has put NATO’s second-largest army on a collision course with Russian-backed forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to try to prevent the fall of Idlib province, Syria’s last rebel stronghold.

The Turkish military ordered hundreds of tanks and armored cars dispatched to Idlib and struck about 170 targets in Syria in retaliation for attacks by Syrian forces that killed at least 12 Turkish soldiers in the northwestern province this month. Russia demanded a halt to attacks on Russian forces and their allies in the northwestern province, who’ve been conducting a months-long advance on the opposition bastion. — Bloomberg

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Top US General On Ramped Up Gulf Presence: “We’re Preventing Iran From Starting A War”

Top US General On Ramped Up Gulf Presence: “We’re Preventing Iran From Starting A War”

The United States has been ramping up its force readiness in the Persian Gulf region following the killing of IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani and subsequent Iranian ballistic missile attack on US forces stationed in Iraq in early January. 

Addressing the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the gulf, the top U.S. commander for the region, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, said while on a brief visit aboard the ship

“You’re here because we are preventing Iran from starting a war.”

USS Harry S. Truman, via Wiki Commons.

The top commander explained that US decisive action against the IRGC Quds force chief as well as the US force build-up which has included an additional thousands of troops in the region as well as a carrier presence and supporting warships, along with American jets roaring overhead, has sent a ‘deterrence’ message which has forced Iran’s own posture to recalibrate

“You’re here because we don’t want a war with Iran and nothing makes a potential adversary think twice about war than the presence of an aircraft carrier and the strike group that comes with it,” Gen. McKenzie told the nearly 5,000 service members aboard the USS. “So, we achieve deterrence, which is preventing Iran from starting a war.”

The Truman was in the North Arabian Sea when McKenzie and his command staff landed on the carrier Saturday. He said that Iran had clearly received Washington’s “message” and appears to be standing down for the moment. 

Commanding officer of the Trumpan, Navy Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, said additionally

“When an aircraft carrier is in your neighborhood you know it,” according to Military Times

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is the Draft Coming Back?

Is the Draft Coming Back?

During recent increased US-Iran confrontation, so many people viewed the Selective Service website to find out about the draft that the website crashed. People were right to be concerned about a return of the draft.

With the ongoing military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan unlikely to end any time soon, and the possibly of the US being neoconned into war with Iran and possibly even Russia or China, the demand for troops is likely to rise. At the same time, soldiers return home with lifelong medical problems, including psychological problems, causing a horrifying number of veterans to commit suicide. All this can make it more difficult for the military to attract recruits. And it can leave a Congress unwilling to pursue nonintervention with a choice: increase spending on troops’ pay and benefits or bring back the draft. A Congress facing an over 25 trillion dollars debt may reinstate the draft instead of further increasing spending on the troops.

Any future draft will probably include women, thanks to judges, politicians, and feminists who think women should have the “opportunity” to be forced to join the military.

A military draft violates the principle that individuals have inalienable rights that no government should violate. A draft also puts all of our rights at risk. If we accept that the government has the legitimate authority to force individuals to fight, kill, and die in a war, then how can we argue that the government cannot force citizens to pay high taxes, purchase health insurance, or submit to TSA screenings? How can we argue against the government forbidding people from smoking marijuana or owning “assault” weapons? Many traditional conservatives, including Ronald Reagan, opposed the draft, pointing to its threat to individual rights.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Europe Can Do to Avoid WWIII? Say ‘No!’ Now to Its Start

What Europe Can Do to Avoid WWIII? Say ‘No!’ Now to Its Start 

The US Government, which had lied its way into invading and destroying Iraq in 2003 (with a little help from UK and Europeans), wants Europeans to pitch-in for more US-run invasions. Europeans find this disturbing, but not repulsive enough to say, flat-out, “No!” to it. However, only that “No!” can stop the onrush toward a massive US war against both Iran and Iraq, which would spread ultimately into a global nuclear war between US and Russia.

On January 6th, Barbara Wessel, a columnist for Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW), headlined a common European sentiment: “Trump has Europeans caught in a trap: Europe is suffering under the way Donald Trump makes political decisions on the fly. The only option left is to appeal to Iran’s interest in self-preservation”. But Iranians can’t stop the sanctions against itself, and can’t stop Trump’s other outrageous aggressions. Wessel’s false underlying assumption was that Europe must lecture Iranians. That’s like lecturing to Jews during WWII: “The only option left is to appeal to Jews’ interest in self-preservation.” Victims already do everything they can to stop their being victimized; they cannot stop the victimizer from victimizing them. They don’t cause it. Europe must, at last, say “No!” to US, the tyrant over the entire world — Bolivia, Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and more. Wessel, however, understood, at least, that the dangerousness actually comes far more from the US, than it does from Iran. So, she recognized that her thinking on this whole matter was confused. She stated:

Any illusions about the possibility of an even partially rational cooperation on foreign policy with the government in Washington have long been shattered. Cynical remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who accuses the Europeans of not giving enough support in the Middle East, underline their helplessness. …

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Another Stupid War

Another Stupid War

All I wanted to do this week was work on part 2 of my localism series, but circumstances quickly got the best of me. The assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani was an event of such historical significance, I feel obligated to detail my thoughts on what it means and how things unfold from here, especially given how much of a role geopolitics and questions of empire have played in my writings.

First off, we need to understand the U.S. is now at war with Iran. It’s an undeclared, insane and unconstitutional war, but it is war nonetheless. There is no world in which one government intentionally assassinates the top general of another government and that not be warfare. You can argue the U.S. and Iran were already engaged in low-level proxy wars, and that’s a fair assessment, but you can’t say we aren’t currently in a far more serious a state of war. We are.

Soleimani was not only a powerful general, he was a popular figurewithin Iran. Unlike other blows the U.S. and Iran have inflicted upon one another, this cannot be walked back. There’s no deescalation from here, only escalation. Even if you want to pretend this didn’t happen and turn back the clock, it’s impossible. This is a major event of historical proportions and should be seen as such. Everything has been turned up a notch.

Before discussing what happens next and the big picture implications, it’s worth pointing out the incredible number of blatant lies and overall clownishness that emerged from U.S. officials in the assassination’s aftermath. It started with claims from Trump that Soleimani was plotting imminent attacks on Americans and was caught in the act. Mass media did its job and uncritically parroted this line, which was quickly exposed as a complete falsehood.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Evaluating 13 Retaliation Scenarios To Inflict “Historic Nightmare” On US

Iran Evaluating 13 Retaliation Scenarios To Inflict “Historic Nightmare” On US

Breaking a 5-day silence over its response for the US killing of General Qassem Soleimani, on Tuesday Iran said it was assessing 13 scenarios to inflict a “historic nightmare” on the US. “Even if the weakest of these scenarios gain a consensus, its implementation can be a historic nightmare for the Americans,” Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran’s national security council, was cited by Fars news agency, adding that, “For now, for intelligence reasons, we cannot provide more information to the media.”

Iranian officials previously said that U.S. forces in the region will be targets, and overnight the Iranian parliament on Tuesday designated the Pentagon and affiliated companies as terrorists. In response, the U.S. issued a warning to shipping in the Middle East over the possibility of Iranian action against U.S. maritime interests, the Associated Press reported, citing a statement.

Soleimani’s death has rippled through the Middle East, with the U.S. and its allies on high alert for a retaliation attack by Iran.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, said Tuesday that the U.S. would suffer consequences for the killing of Soleimani “at a time and place of Iran’s choosing.” Zarif added the U.S. must leave the Middle East and warned that if they don’t, a new multi-generational war could erupt.

The leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, told tens of thousands on Tuesday for the burial of Soleimani in the city of Kerman that Iran was ready to “set ablaze those places Americans hold dear” over the killing of the former commander. Thousands chanted “revenge, revenge,” as the IRGC leader declared “we will take revenge. The revenge will be vigorous and unwavering, woeful, and terminal.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rabobank: “World War 3? The US Has Crossed A Red Line… But It’s Not The One They Think”

Rabobank: “World War 3? The US Has Crossed A Red Line… But It’s Not The One They Think”

“World War Three!” is trending on social media the day I return to work after two weeks off deliberately not reading any news for once: ironic given my reputation for being bearish about geopolitics. Markets, of course, have failed to react much: Middle-East bourses closed down 2-4% on Sunday, which is not exactly end of the world stuff; WTI futures are up around 3%, again not a real panic; while US 10-year yields were down from 1.94% intraday Thursday to 1.79% as of the Friday close – but the weak US ISM survey (47.2 headline; 46.8 new orders; 45.1 employment) could be to blame for that alone.

You know what? For once the markets are arguably right, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Markets think nothing that happens in the Middle East matters because central banks will have their backs regardlessThat is patent nonsense, even if Ben Bernanke is muttering about not ruling out negative rates and further purchases of “private securities” during the next down-turn. If Iran launched a devastating missile attack on Saudi and UAE oil facilities, and means it this time; or on Tel Aviv and the nuclear reactor at Dimona; if it unleashed a wave of global terrorist attacks and assassinations from sleeper agents – none of those things are made better by a lower cost of borrowing. They aren’t even helped by (not) helicopter money, as Bernanke alludes to. Central banks can and would be funding a lot more defence spending immediately on a helicopter money basis in those scenarios, but much of the world economy would take a hit regardless – most so if the oil complex is hit. Sorry Central banks, but in those kind of scenarios–as Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted to US President Trump right before he then killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards Council head Qassem Suleimani–“You can’t do anything.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2020 Begins With A Bang (Literally)

2020 Begins With A Bang (Literally)

A heck of a lot happened this week

It sure didn’t take long for 2020 to get interesting.

Iran

The biggest development of the new year happened Thursday when the US military assassinated Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful figure after its Supreme Leader, in a surgical drone strike.

This is an extremely serious action; one that Iran is highly likely to respond forcefully against. As the world anxiously awaits what will happen next, #wwwiii suddenly is a top twitter trend.[Update: since this original publication of this article, the US has conducted further airstrikes on Iranian targets located in Iraq, Bagdad’s ‘Green Zone’ which contains the US Embassy has come under attack, and there are unconfirmed reports that US aircraft have hit Iranian targest in Syria.]

Chris has been furiously processing the news flow on this on an hour-by-hour basis in his latest post on the topic here.

If you want to better understand the context behind the current US-Iran tension as well as breaking developments from last night’s bombing and the likely repercussions, read the post and follow Chris’ updatesin its Comments section.

Gold

On Sunday, Chris released this prediction that gold was poised for a big price move. Sure enough, gold closed the week up $40/ounce, certainly helped today by the geopolitical worries escalating between the US and Iran.

The yellow metal is now up nearly $100/oz from a month ago, and over $200/oz from a year ago.

It seems to be finally emerging from its 7-year slumber. Even the long-beaten mining shares are up nicely over the past year.

The start of a new bull market in the precious metals may indeed be upon us.

WTF?! (What The Fed?!)

The first trading day of the year saw the S&P 500 close at an all-time high, suggesting that Fed liquidity was still driving the show as it did for the entirety of 2019.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“We Do Not Seek War,” Says President Who Just Started A War

“We Do Not Seek War,” Says President Who Just Started A War

President Trump has been steadfastly assuring the world that the United States government does not wish to start the war it has already started by assassinating Iran’s top general.

“We are a peace-loving nation and my administration remains firmly committed to establishing peace and harmony among the nations in the world,” Trump said in a speech at his luxury Mar-a-Lago getaway on Friday. “We do not seek war, we do not seek nation-building, we do not seek regime change, but as president I will never hesitate to defend the safety of the American people.”

“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” the president added.

To be clear, in no way is any part of this a thing. Assassinating a nation’s most senior military official, and then claiming that you do not wish to start a war with that nation, is not a thing.

America is at war with Iran currently. What that war will end up looking like is anyone’s guess right now, but there is no question that a war has been initiated. If any nation had assassinated a top US general via airstrike and then openly admitted to it, the US would immediately be at war with that nation. Without question. An extreme military retaliation would be in the works within minutes of the announcement, and the entire political/media class would fully support that retaliation in whatever form it took.

This may come as a surprise to some Americans, but that same principle holds true for other nations as well.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Terrifying Rise of the Zombie State Narrative

The Terrifying Rise of the Zombie State Narrative

The ruling Establishment has learnt a profound lesson from the debacle over Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. The lesson they have learnt is not that it is wrong to attack and destroy an entire country on the basis of lies. They have not learnt that lesson despite the fact the western powers are now busily attacking the Iraqi Shia majority government they themselves installed, for the crime of being a Shia majority government.

No, the lesson they have learnt is never to admit they lied, never to admit they were wrong. They see the ghost-like waxen visage of Tony Blair wandering around, stinking rich but less popular than an Epstein birthday party, and realise that being widely recognised as a lying mass murderer is not a good career choice. They have learnt that the mistake is for the Establishment ever to admit the lies.

The Establishment had to do a certain amount of collective self-flagellation over the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, over which they precipitated the death and maiming of millions of people. Only a very few outliers, like the strange Melanie Phillips, still claimed the WMD really did exist, and her motive was so obviously that she supported any excuse to kill Muslims that nobody paid any attention. Her permanent pass to appear on the BBC was upgraded. But by and large everyone accepted the Iraqi WMD had been a fiction. The mainstream media Blair/Bush acolytes like Cohen, Kamm and Aaronovitch switched to arguing that even if WMD did not exist, Iraq was in any case better off for having so many people killed and its infrastructure destroyed.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth

The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth

“This goofy ass Trump letter is gonna get more outraged coverage than the bombshell report on the entire Afghanistan war being a lie and frankly I don’t know if I can handle that right now,” popular Youtube commentator Kyle Kulinski tweeted today.

The post was just one of the many observations that Kulinski tosses into the Twitterverse every day, presented in his typical casual, offhand way without any self-significance. But if you actually pause and think about what he’s saying here, how true it is and what it says about the mass media institutions which people rely upon to form their worldviews, it’s actually a damning indictment of our entire society.

It is a fact that far more news media energy is going into one trivial aspect of an impeachment agenda that will with absolute certainty fail to remove Trump from office than there is for the known fact that the US government fought to suppress indisputable proof that American officials have been consistently lying about an 18-year military occupation which continues to this day. This fact should, by itself, be sufficient to completely discredit the mainstream press. This one tiny piece of information, that there’s vastly more buzz about an irrelevant impeachment sideshow than there is over the Afghanistan Papers, should in and of itself cause everyone to regard the entire establishment media complex with the same amount of respect as it gives the Flat Earth Society.


This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in US history is a forgettable non-issue


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is it Jaw-Jaw or War With Iran?

Is it Jaw-Jaw or War With Iran?

Is it Jaw-Jaw or War With Iran?

Strategically, economically and politically, the Islamic Republic of Iran seems to be in almost desperate straits.

“Jaw-jaw is better than war-war,” is attributed, wrongly, say some historians, to Winston Churchill. Still, the words lately came to mind.

While last week ended with a hopeful U.S.-Iranian prisoner exchange that was hailed by President Donald Trump — “Thank you to Iran for a very fair negotiation. See, we can make a deal together” — a few days earlier, the week produced more ominous news.

In a startling front-page story Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. is to send 14,000 troops to the Middle East, in addition to the 14,000 we have sent since May.

The reason for the reinforcements, said the Journal, is Iran.

“The Trump administration is considering a significant expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East to counter Iran, including dozens more ships … and as many as 14,000 additional troops.”

By week’s end, Defense Secretary Mark Esper had knocked down the Journal story, saying no major new deployment is planned and U.S. forces in the region are sufficient to deal with the situation in Iran.

And what is that situation?

Strategically, economically and politically, the Islamic Republic of Iran seems to be in almost desperate straits.

U.S. sanctions have slashed Iran’s oil sales from 2.5 million barrels per day to, by one estimate, 400,000 barrels. After the Nov. 15 announcement of a 50% hike in gas prices to close a budget gap, a week of riots exploded. Within days, protesters were calling for the overthrow of the regime.

Security forces answered with gunfire. In the bloodiest political violence since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, hundreds were killed, with thousands wounded. Amnesty International says it has documented more than 200 deaths.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Blocking SWIFT Access Would Be “Declaration Of War”: Russia Warns Against US ‘Nuclear Option’

Blocking SWIFT Access Would Be “Declaration Of War”: Russia Warns Against US ‘Nuclear Option’

Last year during the height of controversy over the Kerch Strait incident, while two dozen Ukrainian sailors were still being held by Russia, Washington’s special envoy to Ukraine at the time, Kurt Volker, floated the possibility of Washington blocking Russian banks from SWIFT. He told Voice of America at the time that it was considered “a nuclear option” and it would have huge costs which would even inadvertently impact US allies.

“People refer to it as a nuclear option. It would have costs for everybody involved,” he said. “Big costs for Russia, but big costs for allies as well. Ultimately, we have to keep it on the table as a possibility because we just can’t continue to see Russia launch further steps of aggression in its neighborhood like this.”

No doubt it’s still in Washington’s playbook as a ‘nuclear option’ long after the Kerch Strait incident was diffused with an historic prisoner swap, and the Kremlin has taken note.

Russia’s Central Bank, via Wiki Commons.

On Thursday Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took Washington to task over the prior warning, telling reporters that Moscow is well aware of discussions to take sanctions further, even cutting off the country’s access to some 11,000 banks and financial institutions in over 200 countries by blocking SWIFT. This is exactly what the Trump White House did vis-à-vis Iran months after it pulled out of the 2015 JCPOA.

Medvedev said such far-reaching action would be tantamount to a declaration of war. According to statements reported in Russian media:

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Medvedev recalled the West once seriously considered the option, and Moscow is aware of it.

“This would in fact be a declaration of war, but nevertheless it was discussed,” the Russian prime minister said, adding that this is one of the reasons why the government is looking into ways to protect the Russian part of the internet.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

After all the failure, they still look at our wars in the Middle East as some kind of golden age.

Credit: U.S. Air Force/Flickr

I wish to call attention to an instructive essay about U.S. policy in the Middle East—instructive in the sense that it reveals the utterly impoverished nature of establishment thinking on this subject. The title of the essay is “The US Has One Last Chance to Halt Its Withdrawal from the Middle East.” The author is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, who shall remain nameless since I bear him no ill will. Let us refer to him simply as X, in honor of George Kennan, author of a famous 1947 essay offering counsel on how to deal with the Soviet Union. Kennan published that essay under the pseudonym X. And so shall I refer to the author of “One Last Chance.”

Kennan’s purpose was to sound the alarm regarding the Soviet threat and to propose what came to be called the strategy of Containment. The purpose of our present-day Mr. X is to sound the alarm about the United States lowering its profile in the Middle East. To avert that prospect, he proposes what can only be termed a strategy of staying-the-course-while-ignoring-the-facts.

X concedes that throughout the region, things have not gone especially well for the United States over the last couple of decades. He rightly notes that Americans are “still reeling from costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the continuing chaos in Syria, Yemen, and Libya.” He ever so briefly acknowledges that this is “a region where even pro-American governments are often undemocratic and can be disdainful of fundamental human rights” and “where billions of dollars are spent that would be better used at home.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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