the sword is ready, eh

Tillerson issues war threat against Iran
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Apr 20 2017

Sec State Rex Tillerson issued a threat of military confrontation with Iran Wednesday at a hastily called news conference in which he drew a direct parallel to Faschingstein’s reckless and increasingly dangerous confrontation with North Korea. Referring to the nuclear agreement negotiated between Iran and the P5+1, Tillerson said:

This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat that we face from North Korea. The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran. The evidence is clear: Iran’s provocative actions threaten Pindostan, the region and the world.

The Trump administration acknowledged on Tuesday that Iran had fully complied with the terms of the nuclear agreement that it negotiated in Jul 2015 with the so-called P5+1, but in the same breath it signaled that it is preparing measures designed to blow the agreement up. In a formal notification required every 90 days to Congress, the first delivered since Trump’s inauguration, Tillerson certified that as of Apr 18, Iran was meeting its terms of the deal. The rest of Tillerson’s statement revealed that the Trump administration is conducting a systematic review of all of the economic and financial sanctions that were waived in return for Iran’s reining in of its nuclear program. Tillerson asserted:

Iran remains a leading sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods, so the President has directed a NSC-led inter-agency review of the JCPoA that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPoA is vital to the national security interests of Pindostan.

On Wednesday, Sean Spicer deflected a direct question as to whether the administration was seeking to abrogate the nuclear agreement, saying that the “inter-agency review” would be concluded in 90 days and would serve as the basis for policy recommendations. He said:

We’re well aware of any potential negative impacts that an action could have.

Indeed such “negative impacts” in reaction to the reimposition of suspended sanctions are precisely the purpose of taking this action, which would be designed to provoke Iran into repudiating its own obligations under the nuclear agreement and thereby creating the pretext for Pindo military aggression. Thus even as Faschingstein is pushing the world to the brink of a potential nuclear confrontation on the Korean peninsula, it is laying the foundations for another catastrophic war in the Middle East. During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly denounced the Iran nuclear agreement as the worst deal ever negotiated, and vowed to rip it up once elected. In February, Gen Michael Flynn marched into a White House briefing to ominously announce that he was putting Iran on notice, implying possible Pindo military retaliation for the Iranian military’s testing of non-nuclear missiles, not barred by the agreement. And last month, CENTCOM chief Gen Votel denounced Iran as the “greatest long-term threat to stability” in the Middle East and advocated a campaign to “disrupt it through military means or other means.” The latest escalation of these threats came as Mad Dog Mattis conducted his tour of the Middle East, with meetings scheduled with Iran’s principal regional enemies, including the Toads, Thanis and Israel. Mattis has reportedly advocated a policy of increasing military aid and arms sales to the Toads, which are already massive, and providing more direct collaboration to their more war against Yemen. Speaking to reporters in Riyadh after meeting with Toad King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Mattis declared:

Everywhere you look, if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran. We will have to overcome Iran’s efforts to destabilize yet another country and create another militia in their image of Lebanese Hezbollah, but the bottom line is we are on the right path for it.

The charges of Iranian “destabilization” stem from Iran’s objective position as Faschingstein’s Tel Aviv’s rival for regional hegemony in the Middle East and its participation, alongside Russia, in defending the government of Syria against the Pindo-orchestrated war for regime change. The hypocrisy of Faschingstein’s labeling Iran as a sponsor of terrorism and the source of all “trouble in the region” is shameless. The Pentagon is reportedly preparing to directly assist a Toad-UAE offensive to conquer the Yemeni port of Hodeida. Speaking alongside the Toad prince on Wednesday, Mattis offered an obsequious tribute to him before going on to declare:

It is in the Pindosi interest to reinforce Toad Arabia’s resistance to Iran’s mischief and make you more effective with your military, as we work together as partners. … It is in the Pindosi interest to see a strong Toad military, security service and secret services.

As with the attack on Syria, the ratcheting up of tensions with Russia, and the ongoing nuclear brinksmanship with North Korea, the Trump administration has enjoyed crucial support from the Demagogs for the build-up toward war with Iran. Key Demagog Congress critturs have joined with Rethugs in supporting the imposition of new sanctions. From the 2016 presidential campaign onward, the Demagogs’ criticisms of Trump have been focused centrally on foreign policy and have come from the right, particularly over concern that the Trump administration would prove “too soft” on Russia and by extension Iran, which has allied itself with Russia in Syria.

Pence warns North Korea “the sword is ready”
Peter Symonds, WSWS, Apr 20 2017

As he continued his tour through Asia, UVP Pence issued another ominous military threat yesterday to North Korea. While absurdly claiming that Pindostan “always seeks peace,” he declared:

Under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready! History will attest: the soldier does not bear the sword in vain! We will defeat any attack, and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective Pindosi response! All options are on the table!

Underscoring the threat, Pence was speaking on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan at its home port of Yokosuka, Japan. Another aircraft carrier strike group headed by the carrier Carl Vinson is headed to waters off the Korean Peninsula and is due to arrive there next week. Earlier false reports by the White House and Pentagon suggested it was on its way last week. Pence’s renewed threats against Pyongyang were amplified by open support by Lindsey Graham for a pre-emptive attack on North Korea, even while acknowledging that millions of people would die. Graham declared on NBC Today:

It would be terrible. … It would be bad for the Korean Peninsula. It would be bad for China. It would be bad for Japan, be bad for South Korea. It would be the end of North Korea. But what it would not do is hit Pindostan, and the only way it could ever come to Pindostan is with a missile.

The remarks of Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, reflect the recklessness and callous indifference for human suffering that pervades the entire Pindosi political and military establishment. A war on the Korean Peninsula could draw in nuclear-armed powers such as China and Russia and result in a catastrophe for the entire planet. Graham was scathing about the failure of previous administrations to force North Korea to halt its limited nuclear and missile programs, saying:

Twenty years ago, North Korea really didn’t have any nuclear weapons. Every Rethug and every Demagog has screwed up North Korea. They’re close to getting a missile to hit the homeland. Now is the time to stop.

Graham is simply repeating more overtly the militaristic logic of the Trump administration. In comments yesterday to the WaPo, Pence declared:

I think the path of negotiations with North Korea has been a colossal failure now for more than 25 years.

Pence said that Pindostan was not seeking negotiations with North Korea and was not in any direct talks at this time. In a separate interview with CNN, he said:

The only thing we need to hear from North Korea is that they are ending and ultimately dismantling their nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program.

Significantly, when asked whether cyber-sabotage was responsible for North Korea’s failed missile test last weekend, Pence refused to respond directly, saying only:

I really can’t comment on the electronic and technical capabilities of our military.

The NYT revealed last month that the Obama administration established a cyber-warfare program that was believed to be responsible for the high number of failed North Korean missile tests. In a follow up article this week, the newspaper reported that the Trump administration embraced the program “with enthusiasm,” concluding:

They have no compunction about using this new class of weapon against missile tests.

The sabotage of a missile test is an act of war that invites retaliation. Yet according to the NYT, the Trump administration regards such measures as legitimate because the UNSC has banned North Korea’s missile tests. This logic could be used to justify any action, including the use of military force, even though the UNSCRs on North Korea are limited to economic sanctions. The risks involved in cyber-sabotage were underscored by North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Monday, which implied that a Pindosi “special operation” was responsible for Sunday’s failed missile test and denounced “Pindostan’s bellicose and reckless acts.” Pyongyang’s own militarist response only plays into the hands of the Pindosi administration and media, which routinely condemn North Korea as a “rogue state” that threatens them and the world. The regime released a video clip showing North Korean missiles passing over the Pacific and engulfing a Pindosi city in flames. The drumbeat for war against North Korea is continuing on a daily basis. Speaking in Britain, Paul Ryan declared:

Of course we don’t want to have military options employed, but we must keep all options on the table.

Speaking in the Middle East this week, Mattis insisted:

North Korea has got to change its behaviour. Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan. North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of Pindostan in this region.

The references to the cruise missile attack on Syria and the MOAB bomb in Afghanistan only underline the fact that Pindo imperialism is for war, not peace, with North Korea. After a quarter century of military interventions and wars of aggression in its striving for global hegemony, Pindostan is on the brink of conflict that could precipitate a war involving nuclear-armed powers.

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