Editor’s note: now, I don’t want to alarm you but if you spent this past weekend at the cottage you almost certainly missed the fact that the Trump administration and the US military appears poised to open up not one, but two major military conflicts with client states of nuclear-capable US rivals China and Russia. I am currently writing as fast as I can, but the bloodthirsty western media is already spinning Trump’s aggression as a positive sign for his administration and perhaps not coincidentally – every time I turn around there’s more ominous news of further US military action that could potentially draw us into a planet-destroying, World War Three scenario.
I’m currently working on an essay about dictators, US imperialism and military intervention for the purposes of “regime change” in general and I will undoubtedly be writing more about each of these two potential conflicts (and America’s increasing hostility towards Iran) but for now, I’m going to post a quick Info Meme to try and catch readers up on the news they need to know immediately while I’m working on more detailed analysis and critiques. Warning: this piece contains a metric “fuck-ton” of sources:
Note: Please be reminded that if you’re having trouble reading this admittedly cluttered Info Meme, you can right click on the picture and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version. Additionally, don’t forget to check out my comments after the sources section of this article – they are once again fairly long and heavily-sourced in their own right this time.
Now, before rabid ideologues on both the left and right call openly for my head, there are two things I would like to make abundantly clear for the record:
A) I am not saying that Assad didn’t launch a chemical weapons/gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
I am fully aware that like virtually all leaders of sufficiently-powerful nations on earth, Bashar al-Assad is a ruthless, calculating prick capable of ordering unspeakable acts of violence in the service of his own political goals. Furthermore, the problem with most reporting on Syria in 2017 is that the highly-politicized media environment that has risen around the Syrian conflict since 2011 often makes it impossible to trust anyone who isn’t on the ground in a multi-sided war zone that very few western journalists have actually visited. Both Assad and Russia could be lying, Gabbard might be letting her hatred of war cloud her judgement on the situation and it could just be a coincidence that the Doctor whose film is driving a large portion of western outrage was once tried for terror offenses in the UK. In this environment, I cannot say for certain that the Assad government isn’t responsible because I wasn’t there, although it should be pointed out that the vast majority of western media outlets claiming that there’s definitive proof that Assad is guilty weren’t there either and much of their reporting is based on testimony from often unidentified anti-Assad activists.
There are however a number of problems with the western establishment narrative; not the least of which is answering why Bashar al-Assad would be stupid enough to launch a chemical weapons attack at the very moment he seemed poised to defeat the rebels and the United States had just announced deposing him was no longer a priority for the new Trump administration? How did we go from “suspected gas attack in Syria” to “Assad is definitely guilty of war crimes and that justifies firing roughly 82 million dollars worth of missiles at a Syrian airbase” in the span of a mere 63 hours? Shouldn’t it worry people when even a warmongering assclown like Boris Johnson is couching his diatribes with “though we cannot yet be certain” but the Trump administration is already firing missiles? Didn’t the United States and Russia partner with the UN in 2014 to destroy all of Syria’s chemical weapons? In light of the fact that this wouldn’t be the first time western media and the US government falsely accused Syria of a chemical weapons/sarin gas attack, wouldn’t an independent investigation be a more reasonable step then firing cruise missiles based on circumstantial evidence and highly politicized rhetoric before we even know what actually happened? Shouldn’t congress at least vote on this sort of thing? Was Trump’s missile attack even legal? Isn’t it a little weird to fire off the missiles first and then debate in the UN whether the strike was justified and if there’s enough evidence to determine that Assad gassed his own people? Am I the only one worried that warmongering western politicians are now openly declaring that Russia is responsible with even less evidence than they have for the gas attack?
This is of course completely setting aside whether or not you believe the United States has the money, mandate or moral authority to institute regime change anywhere and for any reason (spoiler: after Iraq and Libya I most certainly don’t) as well as questions about what the American people really have to gain from helping US-allied jihadist militias (described on the nightly news as moderate Syrian rebels) overthrow Assad and presumably install a fundamentalist government in Syria. All I’m pointing out is that nobody has definitively proven the Assad government was behind the gas attacks and there are legitimate reasons to ask if anyone really knows enough yet to justify launching bloody fucking missiles at a nation allied with the world’s other preeminent nuclear power, Russia.
B) I am not saying that the US is going to attack North Korea or that doing so will cause a war with China.
At this point, all we know is that the United States has sent a carrier group to within striking range of the DPRK and it should be noted that Trump’s questionably-informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the news this afternoon implying that China had approved the US decision to send it. It is entirely possible that this openly threatening gesture represents the limit of the Trump administration’s commitment to hostilities with North Korea; we simply do not know and won’t know until the carrier group attacks or leaves the region. In light of ongoing instability in North Asia and China’s apparently deteriorating relationship with DPRK leader Kim Jong-un it does seem reasonable to question the wisdom of just sending a full carrier group within attack range of North Korea however.
Of course, it may also be unwise to assume peaceful intentions from a tough-talking Trump administration that has already threatened to attack North Korea, floated the idea of assassinating Kim Jong-un and openly discussed putting nuclear weapons in South Korea. What if Jong-un (perhaps rightfully) assumes that the United States means to kill him and attacks first; is North Korea already nuclear capable and would they consider firing one off before American forces could take the initiative? How would China respond to a prolonged conflict between the USA and the DPRK so close to its borders? Considering the size of the North Korean military, doesn’t really even matter if China supports us or Kim Jong-un; won’t the results of any conflict between the US and North Korea be horrifying enough on their own?
Weighing the sheer possibility of accidentally triggering off a massive, multi-nation war in Asia; is anyone confident that the Trump administration can park a carrier group off the Korean shore without stumbling into a horrifying conflict that would take literal decades to end?
As storm clouds gather and mad warmongers on both sides of the political aisle cackle with sadistic glee, I am once again reminded of the disastrous lead up to the horrifying invasion of Iraq and the frightening truth that with enough repetition, even the most obvious lies can send America to war.
Oh Superman, where are you now?
- Nina Illingworth
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