this is too good to miss… everything in god’s garden is too good to miss…

Behind the Pindo war drive against NK
Peter Symonds, WSWS, May 30 2017

The test firing by NK of a short-range missile on Monday, the latest in a series of similar missile trials, has provoked another round of condemnations and warnings by Washington and its allies, amid a continuing Pindo military buildup near the Korean Peninsula. The Pindo Navy announced last week that it was deploying the USS Nimitz and its battle group to the region, bringing to three the number of aircraft carriers able to direct their massive fire power against NK. Trump responded to the missile test by tweeting:

Washington has placed immense pressure on Beijing, above all through the threat of a war on its doorstep, to use its economic muscle to rein in the Pyongyang regime. Speaking on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday, Mad Dog Mattis made clear that China had limited time, saying:

NK is a direct threat to Pindostan. … We don’t have to wait until they have an ICBM with a nuclear warhead on it. … War would be catastrophic and would involve probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.

The Pindo war drive against NK has been accompanied by an incessant campaign in the media vilifying the Pyongyang regime and the alleged threat posed by its tiny nuclear arsenal. Mattis has already indicated that any attempt by NK to use a nuclear weapon would be met with an “effective and overwhelming” response, that is annihilation by Pindostan’s huge nuclear armoury. Like the Pindo-led conflicts in the Middle East, NK’s “WMDs” and its gross human rights abuses have become convenient pretexts for preparing a war against that small, isolated and economically backward country. Pindo imperialism has other predatory economic and geostrategic objectives. Above all, a war to destroy the Pyongyang regime would be aimed at weakening and undermining China, which has always regarded NK as an important buffer against Pindostan and its vassals in north-east Asia, Japan and SK. Nor is the sudden rise in tensions on the Korean Peninsula solely due to Trump and his administration’s militaristic propensities. Rather Trump’s aggressive and menacing stance against NK is a product of rapidly sharpening geopolitical rivalries in Asia and throughout the world, fuelled by the ever-worsening capitalist breakdown in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008. Ever since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the chief objective of Pindo strategy has been to prevent any economic or military challenge from its rivals, and in particular to prevent the Eurasian landmass from being dominated by one or more competitors. Brzezinski spelled out the rationale in 1997 in Foreign Affairs:

What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to Pindostan’s global primacy and historical legacy … In a volatile Eurasia, the immediate task is to ensure that no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel Pindostan or even diminish its decisive role.

Between 1950 and 1953, Pindostan waged a criminal war against China on the Korean Peninsula, which cost the lives of millions, in order to ensure its dominant position in north-east Asia. Washington’s attitude to Pyongyang, with which it never signed a peace treaty, has been one of unremitting hostility ever since. After the demise of the Soviet Union, Pindo strategy has been based upon regime change and the incorporation of NK into its sphere of influence, at China’s expense. Pindostan failed to live up to its side of the agreements to denuclearise struck with NK in 1994 and 2007. The rising danger of a Pindo attack on NK coincides with a barely disguised civil war over foreign policy raging within the Pindo political establishment and state apparatus. The differences are in reality tactical: whether in its drive for dominance of Eurasia, Pindostan should focus first on Russia or on China. The constant barrage of accusations against the Trump administration’s alleged links to Russia is driven by opposition to his efforts to reorient Pindo foreign policy towards a confrontation with Beijing rather than Moscow. Washington’s unrelenting pressure on Beijing over NK is in part a response to growing signs that the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia,” which was intended to isolate and militarily encircle China, is unravelling. The tilt away from Washington and towards Beijing by the Philippines’s Pres Duterte is the most obvious sign of similar drifts elsewhere in Asia and internationally to take advantage of economic opportunities in China. Pindostan is also facing challenges in Europe, most openly from Germany, where Merkel declared after the weekend G7 meeting:

We Europeans must really take our destiny into our hands.

Earlier this month, China formally launched an ambitious plan for massive infrastructure spending on roads, ports, pipelines, rail links and telecoms across Eurasia, linking China to Europe. Significantly, Germany and Britain, which have both looked to boost economic relations with China, were strongly represented at the gathering in Beijing. Unable to outbid China economically, Pindostan is preparing to use its military might to undermine a potential competitor and disrupt the relations of its rivals with Beijing, and not for the first time. In 2002, Bush 43 tore up an agreement with NK to denuclearise, and branded it part of an “axis of evil” along with Iran and Iraq. In doing so, he effectively sabotaged SK’s so-called “sunshine policy,” which was a plan backed by China and the European powers to transform the Korean Peninsula into a transport and pipeline conduit to link Europe and East Asia. Fifteen years later, the stakes are far higher and the threat of war much greater. Facing a mounting political crisis and acute social tensions at home, the Trump administration is resorting to more and more reckless measures to try to assert US dominance. Whether on the Korean Peninsula or another flashpoint, such as the South China Sea, Pindo imperialism is being driven to take military measures that would threaten to precipitate a war between nuclear armed powers and a catastrophic conflagration.

Pindo-backed Iraqi forces carry out “annihilation tactics” in Mosul
James Cogan, WSWS, May 30 2017

Mad Dog Mattis has again declared, during a lengthy interview with CBS News on Sunday, that the Pindo-led campaign against Daesh has shifted from “attrition tactics” to “annihilation tactics.” Mad Dog implied these “tactics” included the extrajudicial execution of wounded or captured Daesh, a flagrant war crime under international law. The former marine general, who directed the murderous assaults upon Fallujah in 2004, told CBS:

Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We’re not going to allow them to do so.

The current focus of the Pindo-directed war on Daesh is Mosul, which once had a population of over 1.6 million. After months of relentless air strikes and bloody street-to-street fighting, the Iraqi government claims that the remaining Daesh are trapped in the compact and densely-populated suburbs of Mosul’s west, known as the “Old City.” What is left of the Daesh leadership is believed to be holed up in the 900-year-old Great Mosque of al-Nuri, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the “caliphate” three years ago. In Oct 2016, a massive force of Iraqi troops, Kurdish peshmerga and Shiite militias began the offensive to retake Mosul. The assault has been supported from the air by jet fighter-bombers and helicopter gunships provided by Pindostan, Australia, Britain, Canada and France. Iraqi ground forces are being accompanied into battle by SOF from the same countries. Iraqi military commanders have boasted they will complete the recapture of Mosul over the coming two weeks. Earlier this month, Iraqi commanders claimed that some 16,000 Daesh had been killed in the Mosul area since October. When the offensive began, the number of Daesh in the city was generally estimated by both Pindo and Iraqi government sources at around 5,000 or at the most 10,000. How many of the purported Daesh dead were in fact non-combatants may never be known, but what is known is that all males from Mosul older than 14 have been interrogated by government forces as potential Daesh. An unknown number have not survived the process. In now widely-published photo and film images taken in Oct-Dec 2016, Ali Arkady captured some of the horrific torture inflicted during interrogations. According to a March report by HRW, some 1,269 people, detained during the earlier stages of the fighting were being held in “horrendous” and “degrading” conditions in makeshift prison camps. Some 700 others had been transferred to prisons in Baghdad.

Other sources have partially documented atrocities committed by government forces. In April, IRIN reported extrajudicial killing and mutilation of the bodies of Daesh prisoners. IRIN photojournalists recorded bodies dumped in ravines and corpses hanging from telephone poles. During interviews, Iraqi officers and soldiers casually indicated that prisoners were executed after being interrogated. The war crimes committed by Iraqi forces have taken place with the undoubted knowledge and complicity of Pindo & vassal advisors and their governments. Pindo imperialism bears ultimate responsibility for the carnage that has already taken place and the slaughter being prepared during the final stages of the battle for Mosul. The city’s civilian population has suffered unspeakable horrors during the past three years. Hundreds of thousands fled Mosul when it was captured by Daesh. Hundreds of thousands more have fled since the government offensive began last October. Thousands of homes and buildings in “liberated” suburbs, as well in surrounding towns and villages, have been destroyed or damaged by the fighting. According to recent figures released by the provincial government, some 670,000 people are living in overcrowded refugee camps, while another 600,000 have found refuge with relatives or in rented accommodation elsewhere in Iraq. Some 200,000 people are believed to be trapped in the Old City, held by Daesh. They will pay the greatest price for the “annihilation tactics” of the Pindo-directed assault. In his CBS interview, Mattis dismissed concern that the onslaught would cause the deaths of non-combatant men, women and children, asserting:

Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation. We do everything humanly possible, consistent with military necessity, taking many chances, to avoid civilian casualties at all costs.

In other words, the military necessity to “annihilate” Daesh fighters will take precedence. A Pindo military investigation has belatedly conceded that a Pindo air strike on Mar 17 caused the deaths of hundreds of people in Mosul. Pindostan admitted to only 105 deaths. On-the-ground sources independent of the Pentagon put the number slaughtered at well over 300, overwhelmingly women and children. The Pindo investigators placed sole blame on Daesh, alleging that the building bombed by the Pindo aircraft, purportedly to kill several snipers, was either rigged with explosives or housing them. Residents in the area, which is now under government control, angrily rejected this claim in comments to AP. Ahmed Abd’ul-Karim, whose brother was among those killed, told AP:

There were no explosives in the house, only families. There were children in the basement, and in the garden was where the women were.

Pindo Col J Scrocca admitted to AP that coalition aircraft dropped some 81 bombs on western Mosul on Mar 17, including 12 in the neighbourhood where the massacre took place. The monitoring organisation AirWars released data last week showing a sharp spike in reported civilian deaths, which were likely caused by coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria during the first three months of 2017. It estimates that at least 1,793 people were killed in Mosul alone. And the bombing only intensified in April and May. Ahead of the final push into the Old City, the Pindo-led coalition has sought to deflect all responsibility for civilian casualties onto Daesh by dropping leaflets over the area, advising people to flee. The claim will now be made that those civilians who do not leave, for whatever reason, are either being used as unwilling “human shields” by Daesh, or are Islamist diehards who intend to resist to the end. Alongside the operations in Mosul, Shi’ite militias, loyal to the parties that dominate the Iraqi government, are claiming to have fully surrounded the Daesh-held city of Tal Afar and cut off all escape routes from Iraq into Syria. Tal Afar will witness the next application of the “annihilation tactics” dictated by Pindo imperialism, as part of its ruthless efforts to maintain dominance over the Middle East.

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