There are several powder kegs around the world, among them the South China Sea where the Pentagon’s surface warships, surveillance submarines and electronic warfare aircraft try to provoke China to take action against their aggressive operations, to the Baltic and Black Seas in which U.S.-Nato armed forces confronting Russia have the same objective. But in the Middle East, the leaky powder keg that will soon attract an igniting flash is the State of Israel which indulges in equally provocative behaviour. In regard to Palestinians and the Iranian nation the government of Naftali Bennett has been every bit as inhumane, barbaric and confrontational as any of its predecessors. Continue reading
Washington considers that Iran is and always will be hostile to the U.S. and there is no indication whatever of desire to initiate discussions
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, Najat Rochdi, is concerned about the crisis in the country and reports that “Extreme poverty rose threefold during the past two years. More and more Lebanese households are unable to afford basic services like food, health, electricity, water, internet, and child education.” One development, mentioned in the media on September 16, was that Iran had provided desperately-needed fuel oil to that stricken country. Continue reading
It is far from inconceivable that Israel would employ its nuclear arsenal. After all, for what other reason does it have ninety nuclear weapons?
The main result of the meeting between Presidents Putin and Biden in Geneva on June 16 was the joint statement that “we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” This welcome recognition that nuclear war would probably destroy the world is especially relevant now, because August sees the 76th anniversary of the first—and so far the last—use of nuclear weapons in war. On 6 August 1945 a U.S. atomic bomb exploded over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing some 70,000 people. On August 9 another bomb destroyed Nagasaki city, causing about 40,000 deaths. Japan surrendered on August 15, thereby ending a world war that resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people, mainly civilians. Estimates vary from 35 to 60 million, but whatever the number, the war was a major catastrophe—but not as great as the cataclysm that would befall the world if nuclear weapons are ever again employed. Continue reading
U.S. provocations in the East are likely to continue and only Beijing knows how much more it will take before there is an explosion.
In July there were senior representatives of the Washington administration bouncing about the globe like a bunch of ping-pong balls, lecturing in one place, suborning in another and announcing everywhere that the U.S. wants a “Rules-Based International Order”, as Secretary of State Blinken told China last March. Continue reading
Cuba will remain one of Washington’s chosen enemies, while relations with the murderous autocratic Saudi regime will be “recalibrated.”
According to the geopolitical analysis site STRATFOR, sanctions are “a coercive tool to compel a targeted entity to adjust its behaviour” and can be effected in a number of ways and, indeed, applied for very different reasons. An intriguing aspect of sanctions’ imposition is that some of these reasons are not intended primarily to alter the target’s behaviour but rather to penalise it for failing to follow the policies of the punisher. Continue reading
The president of the United States has the power to fire off thousands of nuclear weapons and destroy the world. As succinctly explained by William Perry and Tom Collina in the New York Times, “Mr. Trump has the absolute authority to start a nuclear war. Within minutes, the president could unleash the equivalent of more than 10,000 Hiroshima bombs. He does not need a second opinion. The defense secretary has no say. Congress has no role.” Continue reading
One of the more bizarre indications that Trump Washington is interested in the Arctic was made a year ago when he said he would like to buy Greenland, a vast territory that is administered by Denmark. It is about the same size as Saudi Arabia, and slightly smaller than India—a big country in which there is a Pentagon base at Thule which, among other things, as Defence News tells us, is “the U.S. military’s northernmost base and the only installation north of the Arctic Circle. It is home to the 12th Space Warning Squadron, a cadre of Air Force officers and enlisted personnel that provide 24/7 missile warning and space surveillance using a massive AN/FPS-132 radar. Besides being a critical site for missile defence and space situational awareness, Thule hosts the Defence Department’s northernmost deep-water seaport and airfield. Those assets would come into play in any sort of military conflict in the arctic, giving the Pentagon forward-basing options if needed.” Continue reading
In the United Kingdom on December 3-4 a gathering of the US-NATO military alliance took place to mark the 70th anniversary of its creation. It might be expected that such an occasion would have been one of jovial self-congratulation for managing to keep such a moribund institution on its expensive feet for so long, but the mood was decidedly downbeat, and divisions between some national leaders were most marked. Indeed the entire affair declined into farce rather than being dignified and productive. Continue reading
The Washington Post is a noisily anti-Russian newspaper which every weekday by email produces for subscribers (of whom I am one) the Daily 202 (“Power Post—Intelligence for Leaders”) which covers US politics, a little international stuff, and a section called “There’s a Bear in the Woods” aimed at denigrating, belittling and generally insulting Russia. Continue reading