Armenia: Electric Yerevan and lessons on the Color-Spring tactic

by Joaquin Flores
June 27, 2015
A Fort Russ and Greanville Post Feature

The Electric Yerevan protest provides us with an excellent opportunity to review some of the basic underlying mechanics and psychology of the Color-Spring tactic.  It is important to share these publicly, for it is indeed probable that the Color-Spring tactic will be increasingly applied in the world as a “hybrid soft-power/hard-power tactic”.
A moral principle held by Gene Sharp, who was one of the tactic’s main developers, was that violence is not necessary for revolution. What is strange, contradictory, even dishonest here is that violence is reduced taxonomically to the physical violence of the state’s gendarmes against the civilians.  But we know that violence comes in many forms.
We live in a time of great violence; physical, psychological, legal, economic, spiritual violence.  Not only has the Color Revolution tactic engendered the latter four, but its mutation into the Arab Spring tactic also employs heinous physical violence.  We can see today, tens of thousands dead in Libya, hundreds of thousands in Syria, and a mounting figure in Ukraine which threatens to surpass the precedents.
“Non-violent” change in Syria
Novices to political science and political activism may be lured by the spectre and spectacle of the Color Revolution method that has characterized ostensible movements for radical social change in the last generation.  The symbols have become iconic and clichéd: the tent city, the die-in, the girl placing flowers in the gendarme’s gun barrels, water cannons and tear-gas, the fist flag.
What is missing of course from this view is an understanding of the real social forces in a society, class and economic forces.  For forty years, genuine activism, labor union militancy, has been marginalized.  In place of direct action against the ruling class at the very places that make their wealth, is a strange simulation of late 1960’s student activism; shown to us on a never-ending film reel loop.
Others have caught on to the fact that the US has been funding these protest movements, and that these ‘grass-roots’ movements are in fact astroturf movements.  Still, it is misunderstood how the US viewed these governments before they tried to destabilize them.
One thing which is often popularly misunderstood about the Color-Spring tactic, by those who know that the US is behind them, is that governments being targeted for regime change by the US are not just those which have apparently bad relations with the US, but may in fact be generally US-friendly governments.  By and large, in fact, the latter is the case.  We will be exploring this aspect as it relates to Armenia.
Also we will look at some of the methods used in the application of this tactic in Armenia, and at the general psychological and technical framework of the organizing methods.
Gene Sharp – a man of ‘Non-Violence’
Why the US Targets ‘Regimes’ for ‘Change’
In the Color-Spring tactic, the US may target countries for ‘regime change’ that it has had generally constructive relations with, but whose other ties are increasingly problematic.  It may be also generally friendly countries who refuse to commit resources to reshaping regional power balances, such as with Mubarak in Egypt, who was reluctant to interfere with Syria.  Another reason may be that the targeted country has a natural relationship with other countries in its region which, regardless of the official position of the government, promotes certain economic and meta-political relationships and developments which are contrary to US interests.  In the latter case, it may be desirable to employ a scorched earth policy, known as the ‘failed state’, in order to destroy the material foundations of economic and political coherency.
Given the failure of the Orange Revolution to frustrate relations with Russia, the situation in Ukraine may be an example of this scorched earth/failed state strategy.   Conclusively, the Color-Spring tactic is compatible with any number of strategies, and can be a part of producing any number of desired outcomes, and as such is a very useful weapon to possess.
How the US Sets up a ‘Regime’ for ‘Change’
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Interview with Michel Chossudovsky: US/NATO playing war games on Russia’s doorstep, threatening Russia with a first-strike nuclear attack

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, June 28, 2015
Press TV

Press TV has conducted an interview with Michel Chossudovsky, of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal, concerning NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calling on Moscow to stop “supporting” pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.
Press TV: Do you think it is in the role of NATO Secretary General to warn Russia against the situation in eastern Ukraine?

Chossudovsky: I think NATO has the ability of turning the realities upside down, because recent reports confirm that it is not Russia which is supporting the rebels but NATO and the United States which are supporting Ukraine not only with so-called nonlethal weapons but also with military advisers, training and so on. Moreover, they are now providing core support not only to the armed forces but also to the neo-Nazi National Guard. And the US Congress has debated this issue and they said yes, we will support the National Guard but we will not support the Neo-Nazi Azov battalion.

Other countries such as Canada are supporting the Azov battalion, but I should say that while the Azov battalion has been recognized as a neo-Nazi entity, the Right Sector Nazi party has an oversight and control over the entire National Guard.

In recent developments, Ukraine’s military has been bombing civilian areas including schools. There is ample evidence to that effect, and ironically NATO is accusing the separatist forces of Donbass of killing their own people, so to speak, when in fact those strikes were perpetrated by the Ukrainian armed forces.

Press TV: Basically you are saying that the US and NATO have set the grounds to ensure this grace period that there is of relative calm in eastern Ukraine is used to basically once again increase hostilities and ensure that there is no separatist movement left within eastern Ukraine. However, my question to you is what does NATO get out of it?

Chossudovsky: I think we have to look at the broader military agenda, because NATO – and when we say NATO we are saying the United States – the United States and NATO are involved in war games on Russia’s doorstep.

They have several initiatives, they are moving military hardware to Eastern Europe, and this serves as an act of provocation directed against the Russian Federation; and they accuse Russia without evidence of supporting the rebels when in fact they have their own troops right on Russia’s doorstep supporting the Ukrainian government, which is an illegitimate government.

And I think there is another element which has not been understood or even reported in the media, is that the president of Ukraine, President Poroshenko, has made the statement and it is with Ukraine Constitutional Court that the coup directed against his predecessor Yanukovych was an illegal act rather than a “transition towards democracy” n.

So within Ukraine there is there is division within the leadership. The country is in crisis situation following the imposition of the IMF’s deadly microeconomic reforms and the impoverishment of large sectors of the population. And within the armed forces there are also divisions and there is also a movement at the grassroots to refuse to fight, in other words not to join the armed forces, not to be involved in a civil war in eastern Ukraine.

Press TV: So if Russia is the big enemy here, what do you make of that? Is Russia a threat to the West – militarily or strategically speaking?

Chossudovsky: I think that Russia is not a threat and neither is China. The United States is engaged on a very dangerous path, because they have adopted the doctrine of preemptive war and they are in fact also saying that they can use nuclear weapons against Russia on a preemptive first strike basis.

Now that type of discourse is extremely dangerous, because it could ignite a World War III scenario.

First of all, they say that the new generation of nuclear weapons, namely the tactical nuclear weapons, are harmless to civilians and can be used against non-nuclear states; this is an outright lie.

And now they that they are threatening Russia with nuclear weapons, and this is very clear, the nuclear option has been debated in the US Congress.

We are at a very dangerous crossroads in our history – the unthinkable: a possible World War III scenario.

And this is no longer at the abstract level, it has been envisaged by decision makers in the Pentagon and it could unleash World War III.


Order Michel Chossudovsky’s Book directly from GR,  

Towards a World War III Scenario, TheDangers of Nuclear War,

Global Research, Montreal, 2011, also available in pdf.

WWIII Scenario

Nuclear war has become a multibillion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright “privatization of nuclear war”.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled.

Breaking the “big lie”, which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

The object of this book is to forcefully reverse the tide of war, challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.

Reviews

“This book is a ‘must’ resource – a richly documented and systematic diagnosis of the supremely pathological geo-strategic planning of US wars since ‘9-11’ against non-nuclear countries to seize their oil fields and resources under cover of ‘freedom and democracy’.”
John McMurtry, Professor of Philosophy, Guelph University

“In a world where engineered, pre-emptive, or more fashionably “humanitarian” wars of aggression have become the norm, this challenging book may be our final wake-up call.”
-Denis Halliday, Former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations

Michel Chossudovsky exposes the insanity of our privatized war machine. Iran is being targeted with nuclear weapons as part of a war agenda built on distortions and lies for the purpose of private profit. The real aims are oil, financial hegemony and global control. The price could be nuclear holocaust. When weapons become the hottest export of the world’s only superpower, and diplomats work as salesmen for the defense industry, the whole world is recklessly endangered. If we must have a military, it belongs entirely in the public sector. No one should profit from mass death and destruction.
Ellen Brown, author of ‘Web of Debt’ and president of the Public Banking Institute

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/06/26/417607/Russia-Ukraine-NATO-US-Europe

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-nato-playing-war-games-on-russias-doorstep-threaten-russia-with-a-first-strike-nuclear-attack-michel-chossudovsky/5458752

Historic interview with Tariq Aziz: “It’s not ‘regime change’ America wants, but ‘region change’…The Embargo also extends to dialogue.”

“Madam Felicity, when I was ten years old, I was handing out leaflets in the streets of Baghdad, putting them through people’s doors, to stop the British stealing our oil. I am not about to give up on Iraq now.”
Former Iraq Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz died of a heart attack in prison June 5, 2015.
Global Research, June 27, 2015

First published by Middle East International, 21st May 1999.

Author’s note: In context, this interview took place during the most draconian US-UK led UN sanctions ever imposed on a country, denying all essential to modern life, which had been in place for nine years and nine months.

Tariq Aziz doesn’t hide his anger and frustration when speaking of his country’s plight:

“This is a region of conflicts, upheavals, revolutions, but this is the first time such rigid and comprehensive sanctions have been imposed anywhere.

“Prior to the embargo we had a high standard of free education from primary school to university and free health care. But one cannot live alone in the world. Nations need to trade, to buy and sell. There has been a sharp deterioration in health, social services, electricity, clean water.”

Seated in his Baghdad office, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister lists countless further examples of the misery inflicted by sanctions, from how the collapse of the Dinar has slashed the income of once well paid professionals to the equivalent of $3 a month, to the way the world’s former number one date producer is prohibited from selling its crop.

Aziz stresses that increasing the amount of oil that Iraq is allowed to sell under the oil-for-food arrangement to $5.2 billion every six months does nothing to alleviate the situation: “Our oil industry cannot do it”, he says.

“They need new equipment, parts, extensive refurbishment. Even before recent further damage by bombing, we could pump less than $2billion worth each six months. Forty percent of that goes to the UN. We are still paying for UNSCOM* which destroyed hundreds of factories and equipment, a number of whose Members are now exposed as spies. We also paying reparations to Kuwait and so on. We have nearly twenty three million inhabitants. We need  $16-18 billion a year plus export of commodities. Yet we are not allowed agricultural equipment to produce our own food, so we have to import.”

Ironically it was the UN Food and Agricultural Organization which advised Iraq that importing the bulk of its food needs made better economic sense than trying to become self-reliant. In 1993, just  three years in to the embargo, the (UN) World Food Programme warned that: “All the pre-famine indicators are now in place” in Iraq.

He recalls how James Baker ** told him during their famous pre-war meeting in Geneva that if Iraq did not comply with US demands: “We will reduce you to the pre-industrial age.” “That remains the objective today”, he asserts.

“In March ’91, we were left with no telephones or electricity, no clean water, with the refineries either crippled or damaged, almost all the bridges bombed, thus the country virtually divided. But we rebuilt and restored to a certain degree. The government remained. But now there are almost daily bombardments with the same objective.

“In the December (1998) aggression, the US ignored the (UN) Security Council. Fifteen Members were formally meeting (to discuss Iraq) and the bombs were already falling.”

Aziz contrasts Washingtons’s refusal to talk to Baghdad with the increasingly receptive ears grievance against sanctions have been falling on in other world capitals. “When we go to the US we are not allowed to leave New York. Congressmen, old friends, must come to New York to see us. Even a minor official at the UN is not allowed a cup of tea in the lobby with an Iraqi official. The Embargo also extends to dialogue. Dialogue is the golden rule to finding solutions. Yet the US accuses us of being ‘undemocratic’ “, he says.

“Recently, President Chirac was denied permission to discuss Iraq with (President) Clinton, yet Paris is deeply involved and I can talk at any level with them, the Russians, the Chinese. Big delegations visit here and I recently travelled to Spain, Italy, Belgium and France. But sanctions are genocide. If the US wants to impose military sanctions on Iraq, let them do it, but don’t deprive our children of milk, health, medicine.”

He has no doubt why the US attitude:

“ Iraq has the second largest oil reserves – actually the first. You can find oil wherever you drill in Iraq. The US wishes to dominate oil, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. They want to keep us dormant, to bring in a pro-US government and present that as bringing about ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights.’ We are a ‘threat to peace and stability’ and a ‘threat to the region.’ ”

“Yet Saudi Arabia, run by just one man, is the darling of Washington. The irony is that the countries of the region are paying dearly, Saudi and Kuwait are paying – while we are the perceived ‘threat’ – for Americans to be on their soil.”

But doesn’t Iraq indeed pose a threat to its neighbours? What about human rights? Halabja? The Kurds? He replies that Iraq too feels threatened by US bases in the region, that the Kurds have a better deal than their Turkish counterparts, enjoying autonomy, official recognition and cultural rights. The truth about such matters, he intimates, is in the eye of the beholder.

“I have read stories in The Times that President Saddam shoots people in Cabinet meetings. How could he survive? Iraqis are quick to revolt as they did in 1921, 1931, 1947, 1957 and 1968.”

So how is this impasse to be resolved?

“Why don’t a cross-party group of US Congressmen come here, address our parliament, engage in dialogue, meet people? Misunderstandings arise from lack of dialogue. Even our Bishop” – Aziz is a Chaldean Christian – “cannot get in to the US to travel with a delegation. He has had to apply for a Vatican passport

“Last year, when I received an invitation from the Oxford Union, my visa was turned down by the UK. But shortly I am going to Ireland at the invitation of University College Dublin and they are connecting with the Oxford Union by TV, so we will belatedly have our debate – three ways.

As I rose to leave he said: “It is not ‘regime change’ America wants, but ‘region change.’ “

Then: “Madam Felicity, when I was ten years old, I was handing out leaflets in the streets of Baghdad, putting them through people’s doors, to stop the British stealing our oil. I am not about to give up on Iraq now.”

First published by Middle East International, 21st May 1999.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/its-not-regime-change-america-wants-but-region-change-historic-interview-with-tariq-aziz/5458748

U.S. death sentence by proxy for Iraq’s former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz

Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz died in prison June 5, 2015.

Tariq Aziz AA

Global Research, June 26, 2015
Middle East Eye 23 June 2015

Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US published a list of the most wanted high-ranking Iraqi officials. The list contained 55 names and was known as “The Deck of Cards“. Former foreign ninister Tariq Aziz was number 43 on the list. Some of these officials were killed; others were either apprehended or left Iraq to neighbouring countries.

Known on the international political stage as a long-serving diplomat, Aziz believed he was completely innocent and had nothing to fear.

Through a German intermediary and a close family friend, Aziz offered to surrender himself to the American army as a prisoner of war. In response, Aziz was offered sufficient assurances that upon his surrender he would go through routine interrogation procedure and then be allowed to leave. While in office, he had considerable negotiating experience with US officials; accordingly he decided to accept the US guarantees and assurances. In April 2003, he handed himself in.

With no open arms and no rose-petals welcome by the Iraqi people to the invasion, the US administration of President George W Bush was, at the time, desperate for a political trophy to celebrate the successful defeat of the Iraqi army. Aziz’s surrender was seen as a very much sought-after prize for US domestic consumption.

During the interrogation, the US officials assumed ignorantly that being a Christian and with no fear of reprisal from the former regime, Aziz would cooperate and play an important role in their propaganda campaign. In particular, they hoped he would support the alleged liberation of Iraq. Most importantly, he was to make a public outright condemnation of President Saddam Hussein. The US interrogators were bitterly disappointed to find that the prisoner, Aziz, was a loyal and patriotic Iraqi. No different from the deputy prime minister of Iraq, who confronted Secretary of State James Baker during negotiations in 1991 following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Having failed to secure his collaboration, the US officials negated on their promises and assurances and kept Aziz as a prisoner. Not only that, but they also cleared the way for the Iraqi regime to prosecute Aziz while in US custody. His critical attitude in court further antagonised the US.

During the years of 2007 to 2010, the so-called “Iraqi High Tribunal”, a government body that had no international recognition or legitimacy, was allowed to bring three trumped-up charges against Aziz. The charges were: the execution in 1992 of 42 merchants who were hoarding food during the UN economic sanctions against Iraq; the gassing and displacement in the 1980s of Kurds; and the persecution of Shia preachers and interfering with Friday prayers, also in the 1980s. For the first two charges, Aziz was found guilty in 2009 and handed jail sentences of 15 and seven years, while he was handed the death sentence in 2010 for the last charge, despite being a Christian who had nothing to do with Muslim Friday prayers. Lawyers representing Aziz appealed the sentences on the grounds that the charges were politically motivated. The appeals were dismissed.

When the US withdrew from Iraq in 2010, Aziz was handed over to the Iraqi authorities, safe in the knowledge that he may well be executed – an act that is in violation of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. This was the US punishment imposed on Aziz for refusing to collaborate with their propaganda – a “death sentence by proxy”.

On 5 December 2011, the first day of Ashura for Shia Muslims, the Iraqi Minister of National Dialogue and Reconciliation, Saad al-Muttalibi, announced on CNN to the world that the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki intended to celebrate the New Year by executing Aziz.

There was an outright and immediate worldwide abhorrence to this announcement by Western governments, human rights organisations and church leaders, including the Vatican. The fact that the minister of reconciliation made the announcement during the Christian festivals of Christmas and the New Year made it even worse.

The Iraqi regime succumbed to international pressure and Aziz was not executed. However, he was punished with a fate worse than death. To let him rot in jail and die like an animal.

Earlier this year, Aziz was transferred from the prison in Baghdad to a place in southern Iraq which was not fit for human or animal habitation.

Aziz, 79 years old, wheelchair bound, suffering from diabetes, having lost the sight of one eye, was placed in jail with hands and legs cuffed all day whilst in his wheelchair. He was denied visitation, access to medication and sufficient food, and rotted and died like a neglected animal.

To compound the agonies of family and loved ones, Aziz was also denied a proper Christian burial for some 10 days. His coffin was snatched from the Jordanian airline by militias loyal to former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki while his body was being transferred to Jordan.

Aziz was left to die in a very inhumane and undignified manner. The moral responsibility for his death lies squarely with the US, which betrayed his trust and failed to protect his rights under international law as a prisoner of war. Yet another dark chapter in the US’s failed occupation of Iraq, and the destruction of the historic nation of the cradle of civilisation.

Dr Burhan Al-Chalabi, FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts), is the former Chairman of the British Iraqi Foundation, and the publisher of The London Magazine.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: Tariq Aziz, the late foreign minister of Iraq (AA)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-death-sentence-by-proxy-for-iraqs-former-deputy-prime-minister-tariq-aziz/5458339

“Five seconds to midnight” — America’s dangerous nuclear posturing against Russia

Global Research, June 26, 2015
RT 23 June 2015

We all remember how, in early June, President Putin announced that Russia would deploy more than 40 new ICBMs “able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems.”

Oh dear; the Pentagon and their European minions have been freaking out on overdrive ever since.

First was NATO Secretary-General, Norwegian figurehead Jens Stoltenberg, who condemned it as “nuclear saber rattling.

Then there’s Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, the head of US Global Air Strike Command – as in the man responsible for US ICBMs and nuclear bombers – at a recent briefing in London; “[They’ve] annexed a country, changing international borders, raising rhetoric unlike we’ve heard since the cold war times…

That set up the stage for the required Nazi parallel; “Some of the actions by Russia recently we haven’t seen since the 1930s, when whole countries were annexed and borders were changed by decree.”

At His Masters Voice’s command, the EU duly extended economic sanctions against Russia.And right on cue, Pentagon supremo Ashton Carter, out of Berlin, declared that NATO must stand up against – what else – “Russian aggression” and “their attempts to re-establish a Soviet-era sphere of influence.

Bets are off on what this huffin’ and puffin’ is all about. It could be about Russia daring to build a whole country close to so many NATO bases. It could be about a bunch of nutters itching to start a war on European soil to ultimately “liberate” all that precious oil, gas and minerals from Russia and the Central Asian “stans”.

Unfortunately, the whole thing is deadly serious.

Get your tickets for the next NATO movie

Vast desolate tracts of US ‘Think Tankland’ at least admit that this is partly about the exceptionalist imperative to prevent “the rise of a hegemon in Eurasia.” Well, they’re not only “partly” but totally wrong, because for Russia – and China – the name of the game is Eurasia integration through trade and commerce.

That condemns the “pivoting to Asia”, for the moment, to the rhetorical dustbin. For the self-described “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” Obama administration – and the Pentagon – the name of the game is to solidify a New Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Black Sea and cut off Russia from Europe.

So it’s no surprise that in early June, the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, in itself a think tank, hired another think tank, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) to churn out – what else – a bunch of war games.

CEPA happens to be directed by A. Wess Mitchell, a former adviser to former Republican presidential candidate and master of vapidity Mitt Romney. Mitchell – who sounds like he flunked history in third grade – qualifies Russia as a new Carthage; “a sullen, punitive power determined to wage a vengeful foreign policy to overturn the system that it blames for the loss of its former greatness.

Russian intelligence is very much aware of all these US maneuvers.So it’s absolutely no wonder Putin keeps coming back to NATO’s obsession in building a missile defense system in Europe right at Russia’s western borderlands; “It is NATO that is moving towards our border and we aren’t moving anywhere.”

NATO, meanwhile, gets ready for its next super production; Trident Juncture 2015, the largest NATO exercise after the end of the Cold War, to happen in Italy, Spain and Portugal from September 28 to November 6, with land, air and naval and special forces units of 33 countries (28 NATO plus five allies).

NATO spins it as a “high visibility and credibility” show testing its “Response Force” of 30,000 troops. And this is not only about Russia, or as a rehearsal in pre-positioning enough heavy weapons for 5,000 soldiers in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

It’s also about Africa, and the symbiosis NATO/AFRICOM (remember the “liberation” of Libya?) NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Breedhate, sorry, Breedlove, bragged, on the record, that, “the members of NATO will play a big role in North Africa, the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa.”

Feel the love of my S-500

As far as Russia is concerned, all this warmongering hysteria is pathetic.

Facts: under Putin, Russia has actively rebuilt its strategic nuclear missile force. The stars of the show are the Topol M – an ICBM which zooms by at 16,000 miles an hour – and the S-500 defensive missile system, which zooms by at 15,400 miles an hour and effectively seals off Russian airspace.

Russian intelligence identified as early as the dawn of the new millennium that the weapons of the future would be missiles; not clumsy aircraft carriers or a surface fleet which can easily be smashed by top-class missiles (as the new SS-NX-26 anti-ship, Yakhont missile which zooms by at 2.9 Mach).

The Pentagon knows it – but hubris dictates the “we’re invincible” posing. No, you’re not invincible; silent Russian submarines offshore the US could engage in a nuclear turkey shoot knocking out every major American city in a few minutes with total impunity. In only fifteen years Russia has jumped two generations ahead of the US on missiles and may be on the verge of a first strike nuclear capacity, while the US can’t retaliate because the Pentagon can’t get through the S-500s.

Public opinion in the US doesn’t know any of this – so what’s left is posturing. We’re back to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey spinning the US is “considering” deploying land-based missiles – with nuclear warheads – that could reach Russian cities across Eurasia.

This does not even qualify as a childish – and unbelievably dangerous – provocation. These missiles will be useless. The US has submarine-based missiles available, and they cannot get through Russian defenses either; the S-500s will do the job. So if the Pentagon and NATO really want war, wait until next year or 2017 max – with ‘The Hillarator’ or Jeb “I’m not Bush” at the White House – when the S-500 deployment will be completed.

A Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launcher with a transport. (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)

Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launcher with a transport. (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)

Putin knows extremely well how dangerous is this posturing. That’s why he emphasized that the US unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty – which established that neither the US nor the USSR would try to neutralize each other’s nuclear deterrence by building an anti-missile shield – is pushing the world towards a new Cold War; “This in fact pushes us to a new round of the arms race, because it changes the global security system.

Washington unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty during the “axis of evil” Dubya era, in 2002. The pretext was that the US needed “protection” from rogue states, at the time identified as Iran and North Korea. The fact is this cleared the Pentagon to build a global anti-missile system directed against – who else – the only true “threats” against the hegemon; BRICS members Russia and China.

Terminator Ash on a roll

Under neocon Ash Carter – compared to whom Donald Rumsfeld barely qualifies as Cinderella – the Pentagon wants to go Terminator all the way.

“Options” being considered against Russia are an offensive missile shield across Europe to shoot Russian missiles (totally useless against the Topol M); a “counterforce” (in ‘Pentagonese’) that implies pre-emptive non-nuclear strikes against Russian military sites; and “countervailing strike capabilities”, which in ‘Pentagonese’ means pre-emptive deployment of nuclear missiles against targets – and cities – inside Russia.

So we’re talking about the unthinkable here; a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia. There’s only one scenario if that happens; a full-scale nuclear war. The mere fact that this is considered an “option on the table” reveals everything one needs to know about what passes for “foreign policy” in the heart of the Indispensable Nation.

In Iraq, a pre-emptive strike – although non-nuclear – was “authorized” based on non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). So the whole planet knows the ‘Empire of Chaos’ is capable of fabricating any pretext. In the case of Russia, the Pentagon may play ‘Ultimate Terminator’ all they want, but it won’t be a walk in the park; after all in less than two years Russian airspace will be effectively sealed by the S-500s.

Beware of the ‘Shock and Awe’ you want. Still, no chance the Pentagon will take Putin seriously (Ash Carter, on the record, is a sucker for regime change.) Recently, the Russian President couldn’t be more explicit; “This is no dialogue. It’s an ultimatum. Don’t speak the language of ultimatums with us.”

MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – is way over. It kept a somewhat uneasy peace during seven decades of Cold War. Cold War 2.0 is as hardcore as it gets. And with all those Breedhate Strangeloves on the loose, nuclear madness is now at five seconds to midnight.

 The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Nuclear weapons and the American agenda — “coercive foreign policy instruments” intended for actual use

Global Research, June 26, 2015
Global Research 17 July 2002

This article published by Global Research in 2002 focusses on the role of nuclear war as a means to enforcing a coercive and extremist US foreign policy agenda. It also points to the dangers of a first strike nuclear attack by the US directed against non-nuclear states as formulated in the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review.

“Not since the dawn of the nuclear age at the end of World War II has the danger of nuclear war been greater.”1 – Richard Falk

“As the Bush administration relentlessly injects itself into conflicts around the world in the name of eradicating terror, rather than bringing peace, it only fans the flames of hatred. If this is allowed to continue, it may carry us to nuclear war, and to the annihilation of humankind.”2 – Haruko Moritaki, Hiroshima

UPDATE

In January 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set their Doomsday Clock at three minutes to midnight

Since the rigged election and judicial coup which resulted in the illegitimate installation of President George W.Bush, and his extremist foreign policy team of nuclear hard-liners, the world has careened wildly toward the nuclear precipice.3 Continuing and accelerating existing nuclear war-fighting policies, Bush has radically lowered the threshold to the actual use of nuclear weapons. The current risk as measured by the “Doomsday Clock” of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reads seven minutes to midnight, the closest since 1990.4 Given the present confluence of international developments including 9-11, impending total war against Iraq, the Bush Nuclear Posture Review, political instability in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and the abrogation of the antiballistic Missile Treaty, the Doomsday Clock is, perhaps, running a bit slow.

The purpose of nuclear weapons has never been about deterrence or mutually assured destruction (MAD), but rather to serve as a coercive foreign policy instrument designed and intended for actual war fighting. In the words of the Joint Chiefs of Staff rebuttal to Jimmy Carter’s 1976 proposal to reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal to 200 warheads,

“U.S. nuclear strategy maintains military strength sufficient… to provide a war-fighting capability to respond to a wide range of conflict in order to control escalation and terminate the war on terms acceptable to the U.S..”5

First strike nuclear weapons, designed to back up military intervention and enforce geopolitical dictates, are seen by Pentagon war planners as the backbone of war-fighting strategy and in this capacity have been used at least 27 times between 1945 and 1998.6 Daniel Ellsberg, former RAND Corporation nuclear war planner wrote;

“Again and again, generally in secret from the American public, Nuclear weapons have been used: …in the precise way that a gun is used when you point it at someone’s head in a direct confrontation, whether or not the trigger is pulled.”7

The most powerful empire in world history, the U.S. will use any military force necessary, including the use of nuclear weapons, to expand, consolidate and maintain control.

Unfortunately, the ‘deadly connection’ between intervention and nuclear weapons is poorly understood.

“…few disarmament and arms-control activists or leaders have understood the relationship between the nuclear arms race and the global ambitions of the U.S.. Similarly, efforts to halt and restrain U.S. intervention in the third world have too often proceeded in ignorance of the nuclear ramifications of ‘conventional’ conflicts in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, or Africa.”8

As Bush prepares public opinion for the invasion of Iraq, the overthrow and/or assassination of Saddam Hussein, and the possible use of nuclear weapons, General Pervez Musharaf is rattling the nuclear saber against India. Once again, the rational fear and anger of a mobilized public may be the only truly effective force against the mass-murder psychopathology of nuclear weapons. In his memoirs, Nixon claimed that the only reason he refrained from using nuclear weapons in autumn 1969 to “end” the Viet Nam war was the October 15 Mobilization which brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the nation’s capital: “On October 14, I knew for sure that my (nuclear) ultimatum failed.”9

The Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

According to Francis A. Boyle, an eminent professor of International Law, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes which violated virtually every treaty of that era.

“…the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were egregiously illegal under the relevant rules of international law that were fully subscribed to by the U.S. government as of 1945.”10

The targeting criteria used by the Interim Committee including giving no warning, and the selection of “a vital war plant employing a large number of workers and closely surrounded by worker’s houses,” were in direct contravention of numerous treaties.11 The deliberate mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians, overwhelmingly women, children, elders, and Korean war slaves, was celebrated by Harry Truman on August 9 in a blasphemous radio message to the American people: “We thank god that (the atomic bomb) came to us instead of to our enemies, and we pray that god may guide us to use it in his ways and for his purposes.”12

P.M.S. Blackett, a renowned British physicist and Nobel prize winner argued that there was no doubt that the atomic bombings were “not so much the last military act of the second World war, as the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia.”13 Arjun Makhijani wrote,

“If only implicitly, the decision to… explode the atomic bombs over Japan was partly in the hope that it would induce a quick surrender thereby providing a better postwar position for the U.S..”

He pointed out that had saving lives been the “main criteria” for the bombings, no harm would have come from waiting until mid-August when the Soviet Union was scheduled to enter the war against Japan.14

Of course, had the Soviets participated in the invasion and occupation of Japan, their geopolitical position in western Asia would have been greatly strengthened, an outcome totally unacceptable to U.S. post war imperial designs. In 1945, the U.S. launched a first strike with atomic weapons to consolidate and advance its unprecedented position of economic, political and military power. In 2002, the U.S. remains prepared to do precisely the same! The strategy has always been, and continues to be threaten to use nuclear weapons to advance U.S. interests and, if necessary, to launch a first strike.

“Containment”

In an unusual moment of candor, George Kennan, the principal architect of the strategy of ‘containment’(see Paul Nitze’s definition below) wrote in a ‘top secret’ memo in 1948,

 

 

 

“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population …we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity….To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreamings….We should cease to talk about vague and…unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. …we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”15

This admission, ever more relevant as the U.S. becomes increasingly dependent on imports of nonrenewable resources, encapsulates the real purpose of military interventions and the nuclear arsenal; “The exercise of U.S. power is intended to preserve not only the international capitalist system but U.S. hegemony of that system.”16

Issued by Harry Truman in 1950, NSC-68, written largely by Paul Nitse, openly discussed a first strike against the Soviet Union, and articulated the war-fighting basis of the nuclear arsenal. The following extended excerpts illuminate the gist of U.S. nuclear policy at the dawn of the nuclear age, policies which are still largely operative to this day.

“… Without superior aggregate military strength, in being and readily mobilizable, a policy of “containment”–which is in effect a policy of calculated and gradual coercion–is no more than a policy of bluff.”..

.“Our overall policy at the present time may be described as one designed to foster a world environment in which the American system can survive and flourish.”… “A large measure of sacrifice and discipline will be demanded of the American people. They will be asked to give up some of the benefits which they have come to associate with their freedoms.”…

“The execution of such a (military) buildup, however, requires that the United States have an affirmative program beyond the solely defensive one of countering the threat posed by the Soviet Union.” ..

.“In the event we use atomic weapons either in retaliation for their prior use by the USSR or because there is no alternative method by which we can attain our objectives, it is imperative that the strategic and tactical targets against which they are used be appropriate and the manner in which they are used be consistent with those objectives.”….

“The United States now has an atomic capability, including both numbers and deliverability, estimated to be adequate, if effectively utilized, to deliver a serious blow against the war-making capacity of the USSR.”17

NSC-68 laid the foundation of modern U.S. ‘flexible response’, ‘counter-force’ and ‘escalation dominance’ nuclear war-fighting startegy.

Counterforce & Escalation Dominance

“The most ambitious (damage limiting) strategy dictates a first strike capability against an enemy’s strategic offensive forces which seeks to destroy as much of his megatonnage as possible before it can be brought into play. An enemy’s residual retaliation, assumed to be directed against urban-industrial targets, would be blunted still further by a combination of active & passive defenses, including ASW(anti-sub), ABMs, anti-bomber defenses, civil defense, stockpiles of food & other essentials, and even the dispersal & hardening of essential industry.” -Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from 1978 Nuclear Posture Review18

The U.S. enjoyed a quarter century of nuclear superiority, but by the late 1960s and early 1970s the Soviet Union had reached a rough nuclear parity, seriously eroding the Pentagon’s ability to wield a credible nuclear threat. In response, Henry Kissinger and others elaborated on Nitze’s policy of “calculated and gradual (nuclear) coercion” to develop a policy of “escalation dominance.” In essence, escalation dominance is the ability to control every level of conflict from conventional, to battlefield nuclear, to strategic. The principal theoretical problem with the theory(aside from the absolute insanity of nuclear war) was the inability to control the final rung of the ‘escalation ladder’- strategic nuclear war with the Soviets. According to nuclear dogma, control is essential at each escalation level, including all out nuclear war, otherwise the nuclear threat lacks credibility.

In 1976,‘moderate Democrat’ Jimmy Carter ran on a successful campaign of deep cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, but was soon compelled by a bipartisan claque of nuclear cold-warriors, The Committee On the Present Danger founded by Paul Nitze, to launch a massive program to attempt to regain absolute nuclear superiority.19 Carter ordered development and production of the MX missile, Trident 2 submarine launched missile, and Pershing 2 missile, all three super accurate counter force weapons designed to destroy hardened Soviet targets like missile silos and command and control facilities. In 1980, Carter implemented Presidential Directive 59 which specifically targeted Soviet missile silos, a threatening escalation of formal U.S. policy which implied a first strike. A meaningless retaliation would destroy already empty silos.

Ronald Reagan continued and greatly accelerated the policies of Jimmy Carter, and embarked on his Star Wars program which was and is an integral part of first strike. The result of Reagan’s nuclear policies and outrageous political provocations was massive global anti-nuclear protests, especially in the U.S. and Europe. Faced with strong public opposition, Reagan negotiated the Intermediate Nuclear Forces(INF) treaty, which removed medium range U.S. and Soviet missiles from Europe, leaving the British & French arsenals still under NATO control. Reagan also negotiated the Strategic Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which significantly reduced the nuclear arsenals by enabling the elimination of obsolete weapons while continuing to produce and deploy counterforce weapons; in essence, pruning the deadly nuclear tree to the U.S. advantage.

First Strike

While the sophistication and accuracy of the U.S. nuclear arsenal continued to improve, the Soviet arsenal, already substantially inferior to that of the U.S., began to deteriorate at every level. Already at a great disadvantage because of geographical ‘choke points’ and stunning advances in U.S. anti-submarine warfare (ASW), with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the aging Russian nuclear submarine fleet, containing only a small fraction of its nuclear warheads, became increasingly vulnerable to a pre-emptive strike. Their strategic bombers became easy targets for advanced U.S. technology like AWACS, sophisticated guidance systems and cruise missile. Meanwhile, their land-based missiles fell under the bulls eye of super accurate missiles like Trident 2, MX and Minuteman 3 with a circular error probable (CEP) of 400 feet, close enough to destroy them with a high degree of certainty. Star Wars, intended to ‘mop up’ surviving Soviet retaliatory missiles, was the only missing part of a renewed credible first strike strategy.

“The end of the Cold War marked a return to historical patterns repressed or obscured by the U.S.-Soviet confrontation.”20

The emphasis became access to resources and human rights, echoing imperialist propaganda from a century earlier. The specter of nuclear war was increasingly threatened against non-nuclear nations like Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea. When Clinton issued PDD-60 in 1997, the Washington Post reported,

“”general planning for potential nuclear strikes against other nations that have… ‘prospective access’ to nuclear weapons and that are now or may eventually become hostile to the United States. A separate official described these countries as ‘rogue States,’ specifically listed in the directive as possible targets in the event of regional conflicts or crises.”21

The problem with such repeated threats, even ambiguous ones like Clinton’s, is that, like ‘the little boy who cried wolf’, with each threat repetition without the use of nuclear weapons the threat credibility is diminished.

Dubya’s Excellent Nuclear Adventure

Rather than “a radical departure from established U.S.(nuclear) policy,”as widely reported in the mainstream media, the Bush Administration’s nuclear strategy is a continuity of policies developed during the Gulf by his father and further advanced by Clinton.22 The Bush Nuclear Posture Review(NPR)23 exposed by investigative journalist William Arkin in the Los Angeles Times, “…myopically ignores the political, moral and military implications- short-term and long -of crossing the nuclear threshold,” and indicates that Bush officials “are looking for nuclear weapons that could play a role in the kinds of challenges the U.S. faces with Al Qaeda.”24

The NPR calls for contingency plans to nuke Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Libya, and proposes the development of new nuclear weapons to destroy buried bunkers and reduce collateral damage. The Nuclear Posture Review

“is understood to identify three circumstances in which nuclear weapons could be used: against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack; in retaliation for the use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; and ‘in the event of surprising military developments’.”25

The plan further blurs the already fuzzy distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons by calling for integration of “new non nuclear strategic capabilities” into nuclear-war plans, and for “incorporation of ‘nuclear capability’ into many conventional systems under development.”26 Although a continuation and elaboration of Clinton’s nuclear policies, the NPR represents a further lowering of the threshold for the actual use of nuclear weapons.

Prior to 9-11 it was widely understood that NMD, ‘Star Wars revisited,” was dead on arrival in the Democratically controlled Senate. However in the wake of the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon, Bush, by arguing “national security” and the fraudulent concept of ‘rogue nuclear states’,27 was able to ram through a massive increase in the “Defense” budget, including billions for an antiballistic missile system. (The current Pentagon budget now exceeds total expenditures of the next 25 largest militaries combined.28 ) Although the workability of such a system is highly questionable, the point is not whether such a system will work, but, rather, the perception that it might work. Russia, and especially China have both vehemently opposed NMD, and the Chinese have threatened to modernize their archaic and feeble ICBM arsenal in order to maintain deterrence.

The compelling logic of antiballistic missile defense- since no conceivable ABM system can stop a massive first strike, the only rational purpose for such a system is for “mopping up” after your own first strike- led Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger to negotiate the first ABM treaty in 1973.29 Admiral Eugene Carroll with the Center for Defense Information said,

“Missile defense sends a signal to the rest of the world, ‘we will hide behind our nuclear weapon shield and you can’t do anything about it. We will use nuclear weapons when and if we choose.’ We’ve even said publicly that we will use them against non-nuclear states. Then we build what we say is a National Missile Defense System to make certain that we don’t suffer the consequences of our policies and actions.”30

George W. Bush made ‘national missile defense’ a cornerstone of his campaign platform, and with Donald Rumsfeld in charge of the Pentagon, and with the Democratic ‘opposition’s’ abject aquiesence, this costly31 first strike weapon can only be stopped by an informed and mobilized public. The stakes are enormous, not only because NMD will destabilize the nuclear standoff making nuclear war more likely, but Rumsfeld’s plans include the weaponization and domination of space.

Rumsfeld Doctrine

Of all the Bush foreign policy team, Donald Rumsfeld is perhaps the most dangerous. Tellingly, Henry Kissinger called him ‘The most ruthless man he has ever known.’ 32 While Gerald Ford’s Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld championed larger military budgets and advocated a return to U.S. nuclear superiority. He was responsible for initiating the B-1 Strategic Stealth Bomber, the Trident Submarine and the MX Missile, all first strike weapons.33 While Kissinger was in Moscow negotiating the SALT 2 treaty, Rumsfeld went behind Kissinger’s back and persuaded the Joint Chiefs of Staff to kill the treaty.

After leaving Government for the corporate boardroom, Rumsfeld continued to maintain a high profile as a nuclear hawk, especially his advocacy of missile defense.(In 1998 he received the ‘Keeper of the Flame Award’ from the Center for Security Policy, the ‘nerve center of the Star Wars lobby.’34 The 1998 Congressionally mandated Rumsfeld Commission predictably found that the U.S. faced a ballistic missile threat from “rogue states” within five years; a finding radically at odds with the CIA’s own estimates. In 2001, shortly before he became Defense Secretary, Rumsfeld chaired another commission on U.S. satellite security which implied “active… anti-satellite weapons(ASATs), including ones in space (for) ‘protective measures’.”35

Bill Berkowitz writing in Working for Change spelled out the basic principles of the Rumsfeld Doctrine.

“First, wars must be fought on multiple fronts — including economic, diplomatic, financial, intelligence-related and law-enforcement-related. Second, the U.S. military must operate as one seamless entity. Third, international coalitions, sometimes secretive, will be created and dissolved as the situation dictates. Fourth, these coalitions must not be allowed to bog down the mission — committees cannot fight wars. Fifth, pre-emptive action cannot be ruled out, and indeed, may be required. Sixth, no military option can be ruled out; wars will be fought by any means and with any weapon at our disposal. Seventh, highly skilled Special Forces should be used early and liberally.”36

Coupled with the emphasis on nuclear war fighting and new nuclear weapons development, the ‘Rumsfeld Doctrine’ is a recipie for disaster.

Pathways to Nuclear War

Any actual use of nuclear weapons will almost certainly follow a carefully scripted propaganda campaign, followed by one of a litany of rationalizations- ‘saving American lives’, ‘destroying a nuclear/chemical/biological weapons bunker’, ‘protecting Israel’, ‘responding to use of weapons of mass destruction(real or fabricated)’, etc.. The current highly visible nuclear threats, in conjunction with the calculated demonization of Iraq and the so called “rogue states”, can be seen as part of a strategy by Bush to reshape public opinion in support of using nuclear weapons. With the American public(and worldwide) strongly favoring nuclear disarmament, this would seem at first glance difficult if not impossible task.37

However, a Gallup Poll done during the Gulf War in 1991 showing 45% public support for the use of nuclear weapons to “save American lives” should give pause to those who believe that public opinion would not support U.S. use of nuclear weapons.38 The U.S. political leadership, especially under a reactionary, quasi-caretaker government like Bush(and Reagan), will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Iraq or any other opponent if they calculate that the end justifies the means.

In the likely event that the Pentagon is ordered to wage total war against Iraq, leading to the overthrow and assumed assassination of Saddam Hussein, and “war crimes” trials for the senior Iraqi leadership, several factors may come into play, any one of which could lead to nuclear war. A desperate, beleaguered Iraqi leadership could order attacks with biological or chemical weapons(whatever limited ability they may have) against U.S. forces or Israel, leading to retaliation with nuclear weapons. The Pentagon may use nuclear weapons against Iraqi ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ real or fabricated. A significant number of U.S. ground troops may become besieged, as in Khe-Sanh, Vietnam with resulting nuclear weapons use.(Modern battlefield nukes make this scenerio even more likely today.39) Iraqi leadership may take shelter in a highly fortified and defended bunker and nuclear weapons used against it. These scenarios are by no means the only potential contingencies described in the recent NPR.

The chaos and confusion sown by unilateral U.S. action against Iraq, and continuation of the mindless and ineffectual “war on terrorism” may have unintended consequences. Israel could attempt to take advantage of a U.S. attack to intensify its already near genocidal attempt at ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, risking a military confrontation with the neighboring Arab states; a war which could easily become nuclear.40 (Those who doubt Israel’s willingness to use nuclear weapons should consider that in 1998 80% of Israelis supported the use of nuclear weapons.)41 Complicating the situation further, Israel has been openly weighing air strikes against a Russian built Iranian nuclear power reactor, a strategy similar to the destruction of the Iraqi Osirak reactor in 1981. Russia is currently an ally of Iraq and Israeli nuclear weapons are targeted against Moscow.

Pakistan and India on the brink

The present U.S. “military footprint”in Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan will destabilize all of South Asia and inflame Arab and Islamic nationalism, which could threaten the stability of several states in the region, especially Pakistan, which possesses an arsenal of several dozen atomic bombs.42 Destabilization of the Musharraf dictatorship, reportedly under attack by rogue elements in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency, could easily intensify the already near war situation between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, leading to nuclear conflict. Reversing years of India’s opposition to nuclear weapons, “the Hindu fundamentalist, right wing , Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP),”43 has strongly embraced nuclear weapons. Additionally, there are credible reports that the U.S., working in coordination with Israel, is contemplating raids to capture Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, a harebrained scheme that if true is likely to backfire with potentially catastrophic results.44

India and Pakistan have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Most press accounts describe the deadly standoff in terms of a dispute over Kashmir, but the roots of the crisis are firmly interwoven with U.S. policy. Since the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, Pakistan has been a client state of the U.S. and the cornerstone of the CIA’s anti-Soviet terror campaign in Afghanistan. It was in the context of massive U.S. support that Pakistan, with help from China, developed its nuclear arsenal, a project which would have been seriously complicated without U.S. financial and diplomatic support. The Pakistani Intelligence(ISI) has been coordinating the terror war in Kashmir, largely fought by veterans of the CIA’s Afghan campaign.

“In late 1997, India’s… RAW(CIA equivalent) estimated that some 800 to 1,000 foreign guerrillas, many veterans of the Afghan jihad of the 1980s… were unleashed in the Kashmir battle.”45

In September, 1997 India reported killing 302 guerrillas, including 118 Afghans and 106 Pakistanis.46 This CIA initiated terror campaign is currently being replicated around the world from Chechnya to the Philippines to Macedonia.

India too has been the object of U.S. policies. During the Cold War, the U.S. tried, with limited success, to drive a wedge between India and the Soviet Union. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, India has became a potential strategic asset in the campaign to surround and isolate China and Russia. Since 9-11 the U.S. has resumed weapons sales to India and announced renewed military cooperation. In return, India has voiced support for Bush’s Ballistic Missile Defense program. Meanwhile, the U.S. has also resumed direct military sales to Pakistan. Each side now sees itself as the favored U.S. client state. “The new relations of India and Pakistan with the U.S. A. have also promoted the prospects of a nuclear war between the two South Asian neighbors. “Each is interpreting statements and signals from the endless stream of U.S. and Western emissaries to the region over the recent period in terms that encourage them and exacerbate the tensions.”47

In a strategy reminiscent of the Iran-Iraq war and numerous other regional conflicts, the U.S. is arming and abetting both sides in the nuclear standoff. “Advise both sides on the conduct of war. Arm both sides in the conflict, fueling America’s military-industrial complex. Develop joint military and intelligence cooperation with both countries, enabling the U.S. to oversee the theatre of an eventual war. Fracture and impoverish both countries. Restore the Empire.”48 The purpose of the orchestrated escalation in South Asia is not just to extend the U.S. sphere of influence in Central and South Asia, but to complete the encirclement and isolation of Russia and China as part of a strategy to maintain hegemony and secure relatively untapped resources and markets.

Conclusions

There are still nearly 25,000 nuclear weapons in existence worldwide, with over 5,000 strategic weapons on hair trigger “launch on warning” alert; more than enough to precipitate “nuclear winter” and potentially destroy life on earth.49

The recent much ballyhooed nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia is a PR sham designed only for public consumption. The treaty calls for unspecified reductions in nuclear warheads to a total of between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012. The lower limit of 1,700 warheads is entirely voluntary and the treaty does nothing to restrain the proliferation of tactical nukes, a key element in Bush’s nuclear plans.

The real purpose is

“to create a diplomatic illusion of nuclear arms restraint to accelerate Russia’s integration into the U.S. led free market system, ensuring Russia’s role as a natural resource supplier.”50

This treaty allows the U.S. to increase its arsenal at any time, so long as the numbers are at 2,200 in 2012, at which point the treaty expires and the limits would balloon to the 6,000 mandated under START 1. Each side is required to give only 90 days notice of intent to withdraw.

“‘What we have now agreed to do under the treaty is what we wanted to do anyway,’ a senior administration official said today. ‘That’s our kind of treaty.’”51

The real key to preventing the use of nuclear weapons, an act which will inevitably have calamitous consequences for the entire world, lies in the ability of the anti-nuclear, anti-intervention, social justice and antiglobalisation movements to understand that their issues are inextricably linked. The task is not an easy one. For example, In the teeth of unprecedented nuclear sabre rattling by Bush, the April, 2002 mobilization which brought 100,000 to Washington featured only two speakers on the nuclear threa t(Helen Caldicott and Phil Berrigan), while the June 12, 1981 anti-nuclear protest in Central Park, during the height of the Israeli annihilation of Beirut, failed to address the intervention issue at all. At the April 2000 mass rally against the World Bank in Washington, DC, a single speaker was given just 2 minutes to talk about the connection between militarism, nuclear weapons and globalization. The task is complicated even further by the present jingoistic atmosphere and Constitutional lawlessness that have undoubtedly intimidated millions from speaking out.

In The Dialectics of War, Martin Shaw writes,

By the time nuclear war is even likely, war-resistance may be largely beside the point. The resistance to nuclear war has to be successful in the period of general war-preparation. The key question is the relationship between militarism and antimilitarism, and the wider social struggles of the society in which nuclear war is prepared.”52

He argues that “If the values which sustain all the social movements for change suffer when nuclear militarism is in the ascendancy …the relationship between nuclear militarism and society implies a general strategic relationship between peace movements and wider movements for social change.”53 The best strategy for abolishing nuclear weapons and fighting social injustice is broadening the people’s movement to challenge all aspects of the corporate imperial state.

May 29, 2002, The National Network to End the War Against Iraq issued this statement:

“The On August 6th, 2002, local Network members across the United States will be holding demonstrations, rallies and vigils in protest of the ongoing sanctions against Iraq, and U.S. plans to invade Iraq, including the possible use of nuclear weapons against Iraq.”54

Notes

1) Richard Falk & David Kreiger, “Taming the Nuclear Monster”, (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, April 11, 2002), <www.wagingpeace.org>

2) Haruko Moritaki, Message to the American People, (Hiroshima, Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, 2002) Contact Steve Leeper at <leeps@mindspring.com  > for complete text.

3) Greg Palast, “Jim Crow In Cyberspace: The Unreported Story of How They Fixed the Vote In Florida,”The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, (London, Pluto Press, 20002) pp. 6 – 43

4) Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists<http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/02/020227.doomsday2.shtml >

5 Michio Kaku and Daniel Axelrod, “To Win A Nuclear War: the Pentagon’s Secret War Plans,” (Boston,South End Press, 1987) p.184

6 Arjun Makhijani, “A Chronology of Nuclear Threats,” (Takoma Park, Institute for Energy & Environmental Research, 1998) <www.ieer.org/ensec/no-6/threats.html >

7) Daniel Ellsberg, “A Call to Mutiny,” Protest and Survive, eds. E.P. Thompson and Dan Smith, (New York, Monthly Review Press, 1981) p. i

8) Joseph Gerson, “What is a Deadly Connection?,” The Deadly Connection: Nuclear War and U.S. Intervention, ed. Joseph Gerson, (Philadelphia, New Society Publishers, 1986) p.9

9 Kaku and Axelrod, pp 166-168

10) Francis A. Boyle, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence: Could the U.S. War On Terrorism Go Nuclear?, (Atlanta, Clarity Press, Inc., 2002) p. 57

11) ibid, pp. 67-68.

12) Louise Franklin-Ramirez and Howard Morland, Atomic Power and the Arms Race, Twin Evils of the Split Atom, (Washington, Visual Information Project, 1980, slide 26

13) P.M.S.. Blackett, Fear War and the Bomb: Military & Political Consequences of Atomic Energy, (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1949) p. 139

14) Arjun Makhijani and John Kelly, Target Japan: The Decision to Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, (Washington, Unpublished Manuscript, 1985) P.32. (Published in Japan as Why Japan?) Contact Arjun Makhijani at <arjun@ieer.org  >

15) George Kennan, Policy Planning Study 23, (U.S. State Department, 1948) <www.marxmail.org/facts/quotes.htm >

16) Michael Parenti, Against Empire, (San Francisco, City Lights Books, 1995) P.36

17) Kaku and Axelrod, pp.  62 – 66

18) Robert Aldridge, The Counterforce Syndrome: A Guide to U.S. Nuclear Weapons and Strategic Doctrine, (Washington, Transnational Institute, 1978) p. 9

19) Kaku & Axelrod, pp. 184 – 192

20)Joseph Gerson, With Hiroshima Eyes: Atomic War, Nuclear Extortion and Moral Imagination, (Philadelphia, New Society Publishers, 1995) pp. 2-4

21) R. Jeffrey Smith, Clinton Directive Changes Strategy On Nuclear Arms, (Washington Post, 7 December 1997), p. A1.

22)Daniel Sneider, Bush Policy On Nuclear Weapons Traced to Cheney after Gulf War, (San Jose Mercury News, March 15, 2002) P. 2

23) periodically, the pentagon conducts a ‘nuclear posture review (NPR) for the purpose of updating and refining nuclear weapons strategy.

24) William M. Arkin, Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable, (Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2002) <http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-arkinmar10.story >

25) David Wastell, US plans for first-strike nuclear attacks against seven countries (Sunday Telegraph, 10 Mar. 2002, p. 1

26) Arkin, op. cit.

27) Joseph Gerson, Continuity and Change in the Aftermath of September 11 , (Speech to Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives, May 8-9, 2002) <www.afsc.org/nero/pesp/jgarena.htm >

28) Joseph Gerson, Continuity and Change in the Aftermath of September 11

29) Robert M. Bowman, Star Wars: Defense or Death Star? , (Institute for Space and Security Studies, 1985) pp.58 – 63

30) Eugene J. Carroll, Nuclear Wars Past and Future, (C-SPAN, April 29, 2002

31 Nuclear Disarmament Partnership(NDP), Cost Implications of National Missile Defense, (NDP, June 2001) (The NDF estimates that NMD will cost at least $241 billion and probably much more)

32) Helen Caldicott, The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush’s Military Industrial Complex, (New York, The New Press, 2002) pp. 165-166 33 U.S. Department of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, 13th Defense Secretary, <www.defenselink.mil/specials/secdef_histories/bios/rumsfeld.htm >

34) Caldicott, p. 27

35) Daniel Smith, Space Wars, (Washington, Center for Defense Information, 2001) <www.cdi.org/dm/2001/issue2/space.html >

36) Bill Berkowitz, Let them eat guns: Rumsfeld’s Rambo rumblings for a permanent ‘war on terrorism’. (Working for Change, February 8, 2002) <www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemId=12786 >

37) Abolition 2000, Recent Public Opinion Polls Indicate Overwhelming Support for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, (Abolition 2000, 2001) <www.abolition2000.org/polls.html >

38) William Arkin and Stan Norris, Nuclear Notebook, (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, April 1991)

39) Kaku and Axelrod, P. 159

40) John Steinbach, Israel’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, (Covert Action Quarterly, April-June, 2001), p. 22 41 Asher Arian, Israeli Public Opinion on National security, 1998, (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 1998) <www.tau.ac.il/jcss/memoranda/memo49chp5.html >

42) Robert Burns, U.S. considers future military relations with former Soviet states, (Sacremento Bee, April 30,2002) <http://www.sacbee.com/24hour/special_reports/terrorism/story/386005p-3072835c.html>

43) Praful Bidwai, India Politics: Right-wing Party Hardens Nuclear Stance,

44) Praful Bidwai , Nuclear worries mount by the day, (Asia Times On-Line, November3, 2001) <www.atimes.com/ind-pak/CK03Df06.html >

45) John A. Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, (London, Pluto Press,2000) pp. 233-234

46) Cooley, p.234

47) J. Sri Raman, South Asia: Waiting for the U.S.A., (Global Network Against Weapons and Power In Space, June 1, 2002) <www.space4peace.org

48) Michael Chossudovsky, Washington is pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war, (Centre for Research on Globalisation, 23 May, 2002) <http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO205C.html

49 John Pike, Status of Nuclear Powers and Their Nuclear Capabilities, (Federation of American Scientists, January, 1999) <www.fas.org/nuke/guide/summary.htm>

50) Natural Resources Defense Council, The Bush-Putin Treaty: An Orwellian Approach to Nuclear Arms Control, (NRDC, May, 2002 <www.nrdc,org/nuclear /atreaty02.asp >

51) Michael R. Gordon, Treaty Offers Pentagon New Flexibility for New Set of Nuclear Priorities, New York Times Foreign Desk, May 14, 2002

52) Martin Shaw, The Dialectics of War: An essay in the social theory of total war and peace, (London, Pluto Press, 1988) p. 102

53) Martin Shaw, p. 111

54) National Network to End the War Against Iraq, Plan to Oppose Impending Invasion of Iraq Adopted by Peace Activists at National Meeting, (National Network to End the War Against Iraq, May 28,2002) Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, 457 Kingsley Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301 <www.endthewar.org > <nnewai@usa.com  >  (650) 326-9057

http://www.globalresearch.ca/nuclear-nightmares-redux-first-strike-nuclear-attacks-seven-minutes-to-midnight/5458086

Tony Cartalucci: U.S. to begin the invasion of Syria. Washington policymakers call for the division, destruction and military occupation of Syria

The hubris and arrogance of these Americans who make policy and manipulate governments as if they are personal property is breathtaking. For more of the same that is also openly published, read
http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2014/09/02-army-defeat-assad-syria-Pollack
An Army to Defeat Assad: How to Turn Syria’s Opposition Into a Real Fighting Force
By Kenneth M. Pollack, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2014

By Tony Cartalucci
Near Eastern Outlook,
Posted on Global Research, June 26, 2015

US policymakers sign and date paper calling for the division, destruction, and US occupation of Syria.

Unbeknownst to the general public, their elected politicians do not create the policy that binds their national destiny domestically or within the arena of geopolitics. Instead, corporate-financier funded think tanks do – teams of unelected policymakers which transcend elections, and which produce papers that then become the foundation of legislation rubber stamped by “legislators,” as well as the enumerated talking points repeated ad naseum by the corporate-media.

Such a policy paper has been recently written by the notorious US policy think-tank, the Brookings Institution, titled, “Deconstructing Syria: Towards a regionalized strategy for a confederal country.” [here] The signed and dated open-conspiracy to divide, destroy, then incrementally occupy a sovereign nation thousands of miles from America’s shores serves as a sobering example of how dangerous and enduring modern imperialism is, even in the 21st century.

Pretext ISIS: US Poured Billions Into “Moderates” Who Don’t Exist 

The document openly admits that the US has provided billions in arming and training militants fed into the devastating and increasingly regional conflict. It admits that the US maintains – and should expand – operations in Jordan and NATO-member Turkey to provide even more weapons, cash, and fighters to the already catastrophic conflict.

It then recounts the rise of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), but fails to account from where its money, cash, and weapons came. It should be obvious to readers that if the United States has committed billions in cash, weapons, and training on multiple fronts to alleged “moderates” who for all intents and purposes do not exist on the battlefield, a state-sponsor of greater magnitude would be required to create and sustain ISIS and Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front who Brookings admits dominates the “opposition” uncontested.

Image: By all accounts, including Western think-tanks and corporate-media, ISIS territory includes corridors that lead up to NATO-member Turkey’s borders, as well as US-ally Jordan’s. Both nations host a significant number of US military personnel as well as CIA and special forces contingents. Clearly ISIS is a creation and perpetuation of the West, subsiding on a steady stream of supplies streaming from these two bases of operation.

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In reality, ISIS’ supply lines lead right into US operational zones in Turkey and Jordan, because it was ISIS and Al Qaeda all along that the West planned to use before the 2011 conflict began, and has based its strategy on ever since – including this most recent leg of the campaign.

The US Invasion of  Syria 

After arming and funding a literal region-wide army of Al Qaeda terrorists, the United States now plans to use the resulting chaos to justify what it has sought since the beginning of the conflict when it became clear the Syrian government was not to capitulate or collapse – the establishment of buffer zones now called “safe zones” by Brookings.

These zones once created, will include US armed forces on the ground, literally occupying seized Syrian territory cleared by proxies including Kurdish groups and bands of Al Qaeda fighters in the north, and foreign terrorist militias operating along the Jordanian-Syrian border in the south. Brookings even admits that many of these zones would be created by extremists, but that “ideological purity” wound “no longer be quite as high of a bar.

Image: The West has only thinly veiled its support for Al Qaeda and ISIS before an impressionable general public. In policy circles, talk of using Al Qaeda to divide and destroy Wall Street’s enemies around the planet is lively and enthusiastic.

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The US assumes that once this territory is seized and US troops stationed there, the Syrian Arab Army will not dare attack in fear of provoking a direct US military response against Damascus. The Brookings paper states (emphasis added):

The  idea would be to help moderate elements establish reliable safe zones within Syria once they were able. American, as well as Saudi and Turkish and British and Jordanian and other Arab forces would actin support, not only from the air but eventually on the ground via the  presence  of  special  forces  as  well. The  approach would  benefit  from  Syria’s open desert  terrain  which  could  allow  creation  of  buffer  zones  that could  be  monitored  for possible  signs  of  enemy  attack  through  a  combination  of  technologies, patrols,  and other methods that outside special forces could help Syrian local fighters set up.

Were Assad foolish enough to challenge these zones, even if he somehow forced the withdrawal  of  the  outside  special  forces,  he  would  be  likely  to  lose  his  air power  in ensuing  retaliatory  strikes  by  outside  forces,  depriving  his  military  of  one  of its  few advantages over ISIL.Thus, he would be unlikely to do this.

In a single statement, Brookings admits that the government of Syria is not engaged in a war against its own people, but against “ISIL” (ISIS). It is clear that Brookings, politicians, and other strategists across the West are using the threat of ISIS in combination with the threat of direct military intervention as a means of leverage for finally overrunning and seizing Syria entirely.

The Invasion Could Succeed, But Not for US Proxies  

The entire plan is predicated on America’s ability to first take and hold these “zones” and subsequently mesh them into functioning autonomous regions. Similar attempts at US “nation building” are currently on display in the ravaged failed state that used to be North Africa’s nation of Libya, Syria’s neighbor to the southeast, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and the list goes on extensively.

The folly of this plan both in attempts to use non-existent credibility and military will to actually implement it, as well as in terms of those foolish enough to place their trust in a nation that has left a swath of global destruction and failed states in its wake stretching from South Vietnam to Libya and back again, can be described only as monumental.

This strategy can almost certainly be used to finally destroy Syria. It cannot however, be used to do any of the things the US will promise in order to get the various players necessary for it to succeed, to cooperate.

Image: US-NATO “liberated” Libya is dominated by Al Qaeda who has more recently rebranded itself as ISIS. Claims by US policymakers that its incremental invasion of Syria will result in anything differently for Syrians is dishonest at best.

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Almost certainly there are measures Syria, its allies Iran and Hezbollah, as well as Russia, China, and all other nations facing the threats of Western hegemony can take to ensure that US forces will not be able to take and hold Syrian territory or ultimately succeed in what is essentially an invasion in slow motion. Already the US has used their own ISIS hordes as a pretext to operate militarily within Syrian territory, which as predicted, has led to this next stage in incremental invasion.

An increase in non-NATO peacekeeping forces in Syria could ultimately unhinge Western plans altogether. The presence of Iranian, Lebanese, Yemeni, Afghan, and other forces across Syria, particularly bordering “zone” the US attempts to create, may offer the US the prospect of a multinational confrontation it has neither the political will, nor the resources to undertake.

The ability of Syria and its allies to create a sufficient deterrence against US aggression in Syria, while cutting off the logistical lines the US is using to supply ISIS and other terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq will ultimately determine Syria’s survival.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

http://journal-neo.org/2015/06/26/us-to-begin-invasion-of-Syria/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-to-begin-the-invasion-of-syria-washington-policymakers-call-for-the-division-destruction-and-military-occupation-of-syria/5458628