Observations from Outside the Death Star: How Many Ways Can We Start World War Three?

Editor’s note: as I write this, we’re closing in on the sixty day mark of swine emperor Trump’s presidency and it seems safe to say that cataloguing and analyzing just his lies and the domestic abuses of this proto-fascist administration is a thoroughly overwhelming task in it’s own right.

Unfortunately, while there’s a pretty good chance the United States is rocketing towards some kind of domestic meltdown over conspiracy theories about Russia being officially supported by the “opposition” party; Donald Trump’s happy band of warmongering henchmen are already flexing US imperial power in increasingly destabilizing ways all over the globe – threatening to embroil the country in no less than four serious conflicts that no sane American wants any part of.  

It is important to remember that some of these problems existed long before Trump became president; but it is also unarguably true that he and his cabinet of shockingly hard line military advisors will be tasked with “solving” them – which is likely of little comfort to anyone who knows all that much about them.

 

“Imperialism or globalization – I don’t have to care what it’s called to hate it.” – Bill Ayers

 

  1. The “Secret” American War in Syria

With the announcement that the US military have deployed four hundred additional troops to fight in Syria under the guise of “destroying ISIS” it is clearly now time to call the American “mission” in Syria what it is; a goddamn imperialist war about dollars and oil. The White House can parade lying sack of shit Sean Spicer out to declare that the deployed Marines are merely advisors but that lie didn’t work for John Kerry’s State Department and it’s not going to work for Donald Trump either – especially when any goddamn fool can see that the marines are there to fire American artillery in a foreign nation.

Uninvited US forces in Manbij, Syria

At this point, the United States officially has about nine hundred troops inside Syria, many of whom are conducting operations that have little if anything to do with fighting ISIS, and if you believe the Pentagon’s hand-crafted troop count, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. Furthermore, reports indicate that the Trump administration will likely deploy as many as a thousand additional US troops into the country as early as next week and that twenty-five hundred US servicemen have been dispatched from Fort Bragg to nearby Kuwait for operations in Syria & Iraq. Clearly, the United States has begun amassing troops in Syria and it seems highly unlikely that they’re all going over just to capture Raqqa and return it to the Syrian government.

Whether American officials like it or (decidedly) not, Bashar al-Assad is the rightful leader of the Syrian government and for better or for worse, the Syrian people overwhelmingly prefer him to the other choices on offer; and before you criticize the 2014 Syrian election, please let me remind you that the United States has literally no moral ground to stand on when discussing “fair” electoral practices right now.

It doesn’t matter if the American government hates Assad so much they’re prepared to pay and support literally anyone who opposes him. Nor does it matter if difficult (although not impossible) to confirm reports of mass atrocities by the Syrian government offend American sensibilities; particularly when we so readily tolerate similar activities from our own allies all the time. Finally, it does not even matter if the American war machine approves of Assad’s decision to invite the Russian military into the strategically important region, instead of the United States; after all, the US military deploys thousands of troops within striking distance of territory that’s strategically important to its rivals across dozens of military bases on the soil of its own allies – why can’t Russia do the same if they’ve been invited to do so?

All that actually matters is that the Syrian President has emphatically made it clear that American troops are unwelcome in his country and has in fact, rightfully called them invaders; which in turn makes the US mission in Syria a full blown war that no amount of grumbling about who is best equipped to fight ISIS can disguise. It’s high past time the US media started reporting the conflict as a war with potentially catastrophic consequences instead of repeatedly obscuring the truth for an American Empire that knows there’s precious little support for another US military intervention back home.

 

2. The Ongoing US Bleeding of Cambodia

The US Ambassador to Cambodia, William Heidt recently touched off a public dispute between the United States and the tiny Asian nation by asking the government to repay a $US500 million war debt originally incurred for food aid to the then US-backed Lon Nol government. This distinction is of course important because it was ultimately US intervention (in the form of 500,000+ tons of bombs) in support of the Lon Nol government that plunged Cambodia into full blown civil war and eventually, mass genocide at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

Although the actual death toll from American attacks in Cambodia remains impossible to calculate, reliable estimates say indiscriminate US bombing killed between 50,000 and 100,000 Cambodians alone; while the Yale Genocide Studies Program estimates that roughly 1.7 million people were killed during the Cambodia Genocide from 1975-1979. To this day, undetonated American ordinance from these conflicts remain a serious health crisis for children and farmers in the Cambodian countryside and throughout Southeast Asia.

US forces train Cambodian Army, 2014

Ostensibly, Heidt’s excuse for Washington’s staggeringly inhumane repayment demand is Cambodia’s (relative) recent prosperity; with the US Ambassador noting that there seem to be “buildings coming up all over” and that “government revenue is rapidly rising.” A little digging underneath the surface however reveals that there’s a lot more going on in the Cambodian-US relationship than initially meets the eye.

For years the US government has tried to treat Cambodia’s hard line Hun Sen administration as a client state; even going so far as to train Cambodian soldiers in the fine art of suppressing political opponents as recently as 2014 and engaging in regularly–scheduled public military exercises with both US and Cambodian troops. Recently however, the Cambodian government has sought to strengthen its relationship with American “rival” China and potentially send a message to Washington by cancelling annual exercises with US troops for at least 20017-18. Is the United States demanding repayment of the war debt as punishment for the Hun Sen government’s refusal to toe the American line in Southeast Asia? It certainly does look that way.

Regardless of the motivations however, the simple truth is that it will be the Cambodian people, not the Hun Sen administration who suffer hardship from repaying the “debt,” and the American government’s demand is the height of hypocritical lunacy; it should be rescinded immediately. After all of the “assistance” the US military has given the Cambodian people, forgiving a thirty year-old war debt incurred by a US puppet government that no longer exists is the very least America could do for Cambodians today.

 

3. Dramatic Escalation of Tension Continues in Northern Asia

Last week, I discussed the rapidly-developing diplomatic situation in Northern Asia as a result of and in response to North Korean missile tests that objectively prove the so-called “Hermit Kingdom” can target US military bases in Japan with the DPRK’s newly-recognized nuclear capabilities.

Kim Jong-un watches 2016 missile test

You can read the article here, but the long and short of the situation is that deteriorating relationships between North Korea & its allies, escalating tensions over US missile defense positions in South Korea and the ongoing struggle for regional control being acted out by imperial “superpowers” China & the United States have threatened to embroil America in an open, multi-nation conflict in Asia once again. At the time, I theorized that only a calm, rational negotiator would likely be able to avoid a catastrophic conflict in this situation; while noting that I really didn’t think the Trump administration would be capable of  sufficiently diffusing tensions enough to avoid open war.

So, how has the American empire responded in the meantime? By deploying military drones to South Korea and very publicly ordering the same Navy Seal team that assassinated Osama Bin-Laden to practice for a potential raid to depose North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – while the US media ranks the various nations that might become involved in the conflict like March Madness contestants with gleeful delight.

If I didn’t know better, I would be inclined to suggest that Donald Trump intends to make up for famously “missing out” on the US war in Southeast Asia by helping to start another, potentially more devastating conflict in Northern Asia; but we all know it sure as fuck won’t be his kids dying for American imperialism on hostile, foreign shores.

 

4. Supporting the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen

In my last Observations from Outside the Death Star article, I briefly talked about the Obama administration’s “secondhand” war in Yemen and why, despite attempts by American media to absolve the government for Saudi crimes against humanity, the US remains ultimately responsible for the catastrophic loss of life their allies create with US weapons and technical “advisors.” Unfortunately for those hoping that a change in American presidents might end US involvement in Saudi Arabia’s objectively immoral war against the Yemeni population, the first two months of Donald Trump’s presidency have brought only bitter tidings.

Yemenis protest Saudi airstrikes in 2016

First came the reckless (and disastrous) American raid in the Yemeni village of al Ghayil that left thirty innocent civilians and one US Navy SEAL dead on January 29th of this year; the gruesome details of which are only now becoming fully clear with little help from mainstream American media sources. Although Donald Trump has had the audacity to publicly declare the raid “highly successful” the fact that innocent children as young as three months old were reportedly killed during the operation and the raid objectively failed to take out its main target (al Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi) make it clear the White House is selling bullshit and calling it a bouquet of roses.

Now reports indicate that the Trump administration ordered a staggering forty airstrikes over five days in Yemen; ostensibly as part of it’s “war on terror” against al Qaeda targets. While the results of these airstrikes remain unclear, what is absolutely without dispute is that the war torn nation of Yemen is quite literally on the verge of famine and that what the country needs is more food; not more American/Saudi bombs. Even if one were to accept the ridiculous premises of the failed US war on terror, the continued slaughter and starvation of the Yemeni people makes little rational sense – as a nation with seven million people facing famine and twice as many suffering from severe severe food insecurity represents fertile recruiting ground for terrorist organizations who oppose the United States.

 

Naturally, this is all without even mentioning simmering tensions caused by the US government’s ongoing, open hostility towards Iran or the distinct possibility that the CIA may be trying to drag the American swine emperor into a conflict with Russia whether Trump likes it or not. If this is the political situation the United States finds itself in after a mere two months of Trump’s presidency, I simply fail to see how the country can survive four years without entering into at least one catastrophic, globe-altering war.

Hug your kids a little tighter tonight my friends and if you’re the praying type – pray for peace, because lord knows we can use all the help we can get right now.

 

  • Nina Illingworth

 

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