Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Death Is in Charge of the Clattering Train of US Security Policy

By Martin Sieff - October 23, 2018 at 10:01AM

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Does the US Deep State really want to provoke a thermonuclear world war with Russia, China and Iran at the same time? The recklessness and confusion of US policies provoking major crises on every side certainly suggests so. Yet the truth may be even more terrifying.

The dangers of nuclear war and global conflict should literally be regarded as suicidal and insane. Yet the policies being repeatedly urged on President Donald Trump by Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of Congress, the hysterical and delusional mainstream US media and even the top defense and national security officials Trump has himself appointed seem to allow for no other conclusion.

On September 4, Trump, who won his shock election victory two years ago campaigning on a policy of pulling back from needless confrontations and conflicts around the world, threatened to launch a full-scale military invasion of Syria even if that meant clashes with Russian and Iranian forces too.

Second, that same day, the Pentagon gave two Russia warships directly to the chaotic, ferociously anti-Russian government of Ukraine for potential use against Russia.

Third, the very next day, September 5, US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suggested a military blockade against Russia as a serious option to cut off Moscow’s booming oil and natural gas exports to Western Europe.

Fourth, On October 2, US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former United States senator threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against Russian missiles deployed in their own country.

Should Russia’s alleged new system become operational, Hutchison told reporters, “At that point, we would be looking at the capability to take out a missile that could hit any of our [European allied] countries. Countermeasures would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation.”

Hutchison then tried to backtrack on the threat but the term “take out” she used to describe possible US unilateral action against the alleged missiles cannot plausibly be interpreted as other than a threat of direct military action.

Fifth, in November, scathing new sanctions aimed at crippling Russia’s ability to carry out financial transactions around the world will go into effect. They have already been passed virtually unanimously by both chambers of Congress with veto-proof majorities and with the hate-crazed support of the mainstream media.

Judged in isolation, these measures – eagerly egged on and supported by Theresa May’s craven government in the United Kingdom – amount to criminal irresponsibility for the survival of the entire world.

But there is even more: Sixth, not content with being obsessed with provoking a full-scale thermonuclear war with Russia, a country whose leadership and people have repeatedly proven their abhorrence of such a prospect, the United States is simultaneously provoking full scale conflict with China – its largest debtor and most important trading partner, and with Iran.

US military officials have told CNN that the US Navy wanted to send warships and aircraft through the South China Sea in November to send a message to Beijing. One has to wonder exactly what message they truly have in mind.

And on October 4, Vice President Mike Pence issued a blunt warning to China that the US would not back down from what it sees as Chinese threats and attempts at intimidation.

To add to the chaos, Trump is now also blundering into a full-scale diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia following the bizarre and obscene murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul of Jamal Khashoggi, ironically a leading figure in urging the disruptive and revolutionary US policies that have brought chaos and misery to the peoples of the Middle East throughout this century.

Trump and his irresponsible son-in-law Jared Kushner have only themselves to blame for witlessly giving Saudi Arabia’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) a free hand in the first place. But already, the Saudis are threatening to boost global oil prices to $200 or even $400 per barrel if the US government and Congress are themselves reckless enough to condemn or sanction them in response to the murder of Khashoggi.

Such threats, if carried out, would certainly provoke a global economic crisis. But it first victim would inevitably be the government of Saudi Arabia, which is already dangerously fiscally vulnerable precisely because of MBS’s own disastrous economic policies.

The only rational explanation for this combination of aggressive, chaotic confrontational actions and policies in every direction is that Washington policymakers are determined to destroy their own country and take down the world with them. But the true explanation is even more terrifying: They quite simply do not realize what they are doing.

Before World War II, British politician Winston Churchill called for a full-scale military alliance with the Soviet Union as the only realistic way to deter the catastrophe of a Second World War and the conquest of Europe by Nazi Germany.

Instead, Churchill saw a stupid, ignorant, irresponsible British national leadership complacently allowing Europe to descend into chaos and destruction.

To explain the coming doom he saw so clearly, Churchill in Parliament quoted a long forgotten 1890 verse by the Irish editor and wit Edwin James Milliken about a terrible train disaster

“The pace is hot, and the points are near,
“And Sleep hath deadened the driver’s ear;
“And signals flash through the night in vain.
“Death is in charge of the clattering train!”

The same judgment should be made of US policymaking today. In the White House, the Department of Defense the State Department, both houses of Congress and the great institutions of the US media, the story is the same. No sane and responsible person is in control any more.

Death is in charge of the clattering train.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.

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