by Zafar Bangash (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 2, Sha'ban, 1442)
America’s addiction to war necessitates the creation of an endless list of enemies. Once on the list, enemies are not delisted; they simply go down the pecking order if they are not needed immediately as other ‘enemies’ are brought to the fore for targeting.
Let us name some of America’s enemies that are currently being targeted. China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela and Syria top the list. Additionally, there are non-state actors.
These include Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Taliban, al-Qaeda (largely-decimated but still trotted out to create fear), Daesh (aka ISIS—a US-Saudi creation) and the Ansarallah fighters in Yemen (aka Houthis). There are also individuals included in America’s list of enemies. General Qassem Solaimani, martyred in a US missile strike on January 3, 2020, was one such figure. His assassination was a war crime for which Donald Trump must be held accountable.
The highly gullible American people have to be convinced that Washington warlords are acting to defend them from ‘evil-doers’. Truth about their real intentions for war—plundering others’ resources or maintaining US hegemony—are seldom mentioned. Wars are highly profitable business. The military-industrial-banking complex rakes in enormous profits from killing innocent people in distant lands.
America’s wars are a racket. “If we don’t fight them there, we will have to fight them here,” is the official mantra peddled to keep the ignorant masses in line to support whatever criminal act the warlords embark upon. It is the sons and daughters of ordinary, mostly rural Americans that are conscripted into the military to go and kill and be killed in the name of keeping ‘America safe’. If they return alive, as is increasingly the case because of body armor and advances in medical practices, the war veterans are quickly forgotten. Suicide rates among veterans are very high. Most also suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of the horrors they were forced to commit against innocent people.
In his first public pronouncement on US foreign policy priorities, Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan named three countries as being of major concern: China, Iran and Afghanistan. He was speaking at an online programme sponsored by the US Institute of Peace on January 29, 2021.
Since then, other officials, notably Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken have named other “enemies”. Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer” and also accused Russia of interfering in last November’s presidential election. Why would Russia need to do that when Americans are already at each other’s throats and tens of millions believe that Trump was denied victory through fraud? Putin hit back at Biden’s insult and retorted: “It takes-one-to-know-one”!
The Russian president refused to take it on the chin. He pointed to America’s atomic bombing of Japan during the Second World War, as well as its long history of slavery and slaughtering Native Americans, noting the painful legacies weighed on Uncle Sam.
“Otherwise, where would the Black Lives Matter movement come from?” he said, citing racial injustice and the killing of African Americans.
The spat with Russia was long-distance. With China, the other rival and now declared enemy number one, it was face-to-face in Anchorage, Alaska. When Blinken (accompanied by Sullivan) launched a tirade against China over Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan and accused Beijing of carrying out cyberattacks on the US and economic coercion toward America’s allies, the Chinese hit back.
Led by Communist Party Politburo member Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, their response to American diatribe was robust. Yang, senior of the two Chinese officials, retorted: “The United States uses its military force and financial hegemony to carry out long-arm jurisdiction and suppress other countries. It abuses so-called notions of national security to obstruct normal trade exchanges, and incite some countries to attack China.”
The Yang-Wang duo proved more than a match for the Blinken-Sullivan circus. The Chinese made clear that the days of American hegemony and bullying were over. Yang went on: “I think we thought too well of the US. We thought the US side would follow the necessary diplomatic protocols. So, for China it was necessary that we make our position clear.”
Yang later told China’s CGTN television network that “China will firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development.” The Americans were left shell-shocked and put on the defensive. They could only utter that the Chinese were “grandstanding” and playing to “domestic audience”.
During the March 18 meeting when Blinken and Sullivan had finished their attacks on China, handlers told reporters to leave but Yang told them to “wait”, and raised a finger of admonishment. The Chinese diplomat accused the Americans of speaking in a condescending tone. He said the effort to push the press out of the room was another example of US arrogance. The Chinese wanted the press to hear their side as well but a review of the Western press showed little coverage of what they had said in response to American allegations.
For the Washington warlords, China’s economic, and hence growing military power is a nightmare scenario. Instead of competing in a fair manner, the US is busy trying to cobble together alliances to undermine China. One is the Quad—the US, Japan, India and Australia—that is being used to challenge China in its own backyard in the South China Sea (see also here).
The other is an attempt to create a breach between Russia and China and then use Moscow against China as India is being used in Southeast Asia. But what exactly is the US offering Russia to entice it to break away from China? Nothing. Instead, it is exerting pressure on Russia through sanctions and by instigating trouble on Russia’s peripheries—in Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia. Additionally, the US is also trying to block the NordStream-2 gas pipeline to Germany, without much success, one might add.
Washington warlords have gone berserk even threatening nuclear war. As Pepe Escobar, the well-informed commentator on Eurasia pointed out, “… under the cover of ‘strategic deterrence’, the head of the US STRATCOM, Admiral Charles Richard, casually let it slip that ‘there is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state’.
“So, the blame for the next – and final – war is already apportioned to the ‘destabilizing’ behavior of Russia and China. It’s assumed they will be ‘losing’ – and then, in a fit of rage, will go nuclear. The Pentagon will be no more than a victim; after all, claims Mr. STRATCOM, we are not ‘stuck in the Cold War’.”
In the case of Iran, its peaceful nuclear program has been an obsession of successive US regimes since the victory of the Islamic revolution in January-February 1979. Nuclear weapons are not part of Iran’s defence strategy. Iran’s leader, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa banning nuclear weapons because he has declared them as weapons of mass destruction. American intelligence agencies have also confirmed that Iran is not making a bomb yet successive US regimes keep parroting this nonsensical allegation against Tehran.
There is not even a whisper about the rogue regime in Tel Aviv that has between 200-400 nuclear weapons. Instead, it is showered with billions of dollars every year in violation of America’s own laws. As Dr. Philip Giraldi, Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, pointed out, “… the Symington Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act… bans US economic and military assistance to nuclear proliferators and countries that seek to acquire nuclear weapons. But Biden has already indicated that he would not under any circumstances cut aid to Israel, so the matter would appear to be closed.”
Iran is being targeted not because it seeks nuclear weapons but because it insists on remaining completely independent. Its refusal to surrender to US hegemony is what drives the Washington warlords crazy. How dare any country, especially one with a Muslim majority, break loose of the US-crafted world order and establish a system based on the principles of Islam? The nuclear weapons allegation is used to whip up mass hysteria against Iran.
Let us also deal with the issue of Afghanistan—or more precisely US dealings with the Taliban. The US and Taliban signed an agreement on February 29, 2020, referred to as the Doha Agreement under which the Taliban agreed to not carry out any operations against US forces and not allow Afghan territory to be used by terrorist groups to attack US interests. In return, the US agreed to pull all forces out of the country by May 1, 2021.
The Biden regime is now backtracking on this commitment. Regime officials have repeatedly said they are studying what was agreed by the Trump regime (as if international agreements are signed with individual regimes and not the state itself!). Further, American officials have resorted to the old mantra of demanding that the Taliban “do more”. At the same time, despite pledges in the Doha agreement that US forces would not bomb villages or kill civilians, they continue to violate this basic tenet. And US officials are saying that they would like to leave a residual force in Afghanistan. This is not part of the agreement.
Biden is doing in Afghanistan what his predecessor Trump did with the Iran nuclear accord. American signature has no value; the Washington warlords are utterly unreliable and untrustworthy. They are dishonest to the core. Why should anyone trust them?