by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 9, Safar, 1439)
Is Donald Trump an enemy agent? Could he be a mole deployed by Russia to implode the US Empire? Much of the American mainstream media seems to buy into this conspiracy theory. And it is easy to see why. Trump’s erratic words and actions have further destabilized an already shaky unipolar world order, one that only a few years ago seemed doomed to remain dominated by the self-proclaimed one-and-only-hegemon for the foreseeable future.
During his first ten months in office, Trump has mortally wounded America’s most important asset: its soft power. Before Trump, the US had somehow managed to project an image of freedom, democracy, prosperity, and superficially reasonable behavior. That image concealed the reality of American imperial brutality. It entranced the world and quite literally allowed the US to get away with murder.
Now the benign mask of a smiling Uncle Sam has been ripped away, revealing the hideous features of that illiterate, insensitive, uncultivated monster of ego who stalks the world stage in the ultra-narcissistic person of Donald Trump. As Trump lays waste to the international order like the proverbial bull in a china shop — withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, threatening sovereign nations with “total destruction,” deriding diplomacy, derailing trade deals, and sabotaging the P5+1 Iran nuclear deal — the world rolls its eyeballs and hastens its exit from the US imperial orbit.
Of all of Trump’s many blunders, it may be his clumsy attack on the P5+1 nuclear deal that seals his, and America’s, fate. Just a few years ago, when the deal was being negotiated, most of the world lined up behind America against Iran. Never mind that there was no Iranian nuclear weapons program, just a nuclear power program. Never mind that Iran hasn’t attacked another nation in centuries. Never mind that Iran is by far the most democratic nation in the Muslim East, with the arguable exception of Turkey. Never mind that Iran’s foreign policies are reasonable, balancing a principled insistence on opposing the tyranny and extremism of Zionists, imperialists, takfiri terrorists, and corrupt oil dynasts with pragmatism and patient realism. Obscuring reality with self-serving illusions, the soft power of American propaganda convinced most of the world to play along with the “Iranian nuclear threat” charade, resulting in a pact that severely restricted Iran’s nuclear energy program, gave foreign inspectors unprecedented access to Iranian facilities, and imposed no restrictions on the US (with its more than 6,000 nuclear weapons) beyond the obligation of giving Iran back its own money!
Trump is correct that the deal was one-sided. But he is wrong about which side it favored. A fair and balanced deal would have required the US to obey the 1968 Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, which requires all signatories to “pursue negotiations in good faith” aimed at the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The US government has been in blatant violation of this central provision of the NPT for almost 50 years.
Why should Iran, a nation of 80 million people, have zero nuclear weapons, while the US with its 320 million people possesses more than 6,000 (logically Iran, with one-quarter of America’s population, should be allowed one-quarter as many nuclear weapons)? More broadly, why should 183 of the earth’s nations be permanently barred from possessing nuclear weapons, while nine nations maintain a monopoly on the militarization of nuclear energy, and the geopolitical power it brings?
Last July, more than two-thirds of the United Nation’s 192 members signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Having the force of law 90 days after it is ratified by 50 countries, the TPNW categorically prohibits all nuclear weapons. Any nation that remains in possession of nuclear weapons thereafter will be officially deemed an international outlaw. Yet the US and its NATO allies boycotted the TPNW proceedings and have announced their refusal to abide by its provisions, preemptively designating themselves as rogues and war criminals, and thereby putting an exclamation point on their five decades of refusal to abide by the provisions of the NPT.
Donald Trump’s sabotage of the P5+1 nuclear deal, his announced intention to seek a tenfold increase in America’s nuclear arsenal, his threats to totally destroy North Korea, and his ominous statement that we are currently living in “the calm before the storm” all suggest that Trump is charting a course toward World War III. Such a war could begin in the Muslim East. Trump’s seemingly irrational animosity toward the Iran deal stems from his slavish obeisance to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been openly seeking to drag the US into war with Iran for more than a decade. On October 1, Hizbullah leader Sayyid Hasan Naßrullah suggested that such a war may be approaching. Naßrullah warned Jewish settlers to leave Occupied Palestine in advance of hostilities, saying that Netanyahu’s government was flirting with entering a war it would not know how to exit — a war that would end in the Zionist entity’s total destruction.
Is Trump planning to let Netanyahu dupe America into an even more disastrous Mideast war than its ill-starred invasion of Iraq? Many experts are worried. Thomas Graham, Jr., a diplomat who has been a senior figure in every major American arms-control and disarmament negotiations during the past 25 years, says, “I’ve never seen anything remotely like this. There isn’t any reason in my opinion to decertify it, except for narrow political advantage, or if you really want to have a war.”
If the US and its Israeli masters launched a war on Iran, they would find themselves fighting not only the Iranians and their regional allies, but most of the world, whose active or tacit opposition to Trump would throw insuperable obstacles in America’s path. The Zio-Americans would essentially be declaring war on the entire international community, which supports the Iran deal and is horrified not only by Trump’s move toward scrapping the deal, but also by the American president’s whole spectrum of aberrant behavior. The world increasingly understands that Trump and the US cannot keep their word; America is now a rogue nation, not a negotiating partner. By alienating all of his potential allies in advance (with the exception of Netanayhu’s Israel and its sycophantic slaves in Saudi Arabia) Trump would be digging his own grave, and the grave of the unipolar American empire.
Will the US Congress follow Trump’s lead and shred the Iran nuclear deal, paving the road toward Netanyahu’s avidly-desired war? Current indications suggest that the deal may be dismantled bit by bit. The Republican-dominated Congress is likely to apply new, ostensibly non-nuclear-related sanctions on Iran first. The purpose will be to try to push Iran toward exiting the deal in such a way that the Americans could plausibly blame Tehran. Iran, the nation where chess was invented, is unlikely to fall for this beginner’s gambit. Then Trump and his generals, who increasingly seem to be running the US as a banana republic style military dictatorship, will have to either back off, or allow a false flag attack aimed at demonizing Iran and legitimizing a US-Israeli attack. Such a false flag could, like 9/11, be largely carried out by Israelis, with the US command chain ordering stand-down, passive complicity, and cover-up.
Are America’s generals irrational enough to allow Trump and Netanyahu to bring down the curtain on the US empire in such a disgraceful fashion? Are they willing to risk incinerating civilization in a nuclear-biological World War III? I certainly hope not. But declining empires sometimes do stupid things. Hasan Naßrullah’s warning to the Jews of Occupied Palestine also stands as a warning to the entire world.