the jews want war, any war will do as long as it’s big

Pindostan threatens China over NK sanctions
Peter Symonds, WSWS, Jul 13 2017

The Trump administration has prepared a UNSCR that contains tough new economic penalties on NK following Pyongyang’s purported ICBM (sic – RB) test on Jul 4. At the same time, Pindostan is drawing up its own unilateral sanctions against NK, as well as secondary sanctions against countries allegedly in breach of these measures. The chief targets are Beijing and Moscow, which have already indicated they do not favour crippling sanctions on NK and could veto the UNSCR. The draft was circulated to China and other UNSC permanent members this week. Senior UN diplomats told Reuters that Nikki Haley, aims to put the UNSCR to the vote within weeks, circumventing the months of negotiations that preceded other sanctions on NK. Citing a diplomatic source, Izvestiya reported that Beijing and Moscow would not support the draft. The source stated:

The proposed restrictions imply the introduction of an embargo on energy supplies to Pyongyang and a ban on employing NK nationals abroad.

Details of the UNSCR have not been released but Haley indicated to the UNSC last week that it would include a ban on oil exports to NK and on NK nationals working overseas. Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, bluntly declared last week:

Attempts to economically strangle NK are equally unacceptable, as millions of people are in great humanitarian need.

Both Moscow and Beijing are hostile to any attempt by Faschingstein to precipitate an economic and political crisis on their doorstep it could exploit to orchestrate a regime-change in Pyongyang. Haley indicated that the draft UNSCR is an ultimatum and not up for negotiation or substantial amendment. Speaking last Sunday on CBS Face the Nation, she said:

We do not expect the UNSCR to be watered down. We do expect to know within days whether China and Russia will support it. We are going to push hard against China. This will be a really big test. Beijing has the ability to pressure Pyongyang, and we need to see some more action going accordingly.

The WSJ reported on Tuesday that the DoJ had already initiated a federal court case that was partly unsealed last week, targeting “offshore dollar accounts” associated with a network of five companies linked to the Chinese citizen Chi Yupeng. The alleged network included one of the largest Chinese importers of NK goods, Dandong Zhicheng. The DoJ claimed on the basis of dubious information from NK defectors that Chi Yupeng had hidden transactions that helped to finance NK’s military programs. The case could provide the basis for penalties against the five companies similar to those imposed on another Chinese corporation, Dandong Hongxiang, last year. Late last month, Treasury Sec Mnuchin announced sanctions on China’s Bank of Dandong, Dalian Global Unity Shipping and two Chinese business executives for their supposed business dealings with NK. These penalties come on top of other provocative steps against China, including a major arms sale to Taiwan and so-called freedom of navigation operations challenging Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. Chinese foreign ministry spox Geng Shuang said on Tuesday:

Certain people, talking about the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called ‘China responsibility theory.’

Geng insisted China had made significant efforts to push Pyongyang to denuclearise and called on all parties to meet each other halfway. While Geng did not name any country, his remarks were clearly directed against Pindostan. Reflecting the increasingly bitter relations between Beijing and Faschingstein, the spox declared:

Asking others to do work, but doing nothing themselves is not okay. Being stabbed in the back is really not okay.

Beijing has repeatedly proposed negotiations on the basis that NK freezes its nuclear and missile tests in return for Pindo and SK halting their large-scale joint military exercises. Faschingstein has dismissed the plan out of hand. An online article in People’s Daily this week accused Pindostan and Japan of using the “China responsibility theory” to hide their own failure on the Korean Peninsula. It declared that both countries had “refused to fulfill their duties to negotiate” to reach a peaceful solution. State Dept spox Heather Nauert fired back. While acknowledging that China had tightened sanctions on NK, she declared:

We expect and we want you to do a whole lot more.

Behind the push for tough sanctions is the threat to carry out military strikes on NK that would trigger a devastating war on the Korean Peninsula and more broadly. Haley told the UNSC that Pindostan was prepared to “use the full range of our capabilities,” including “our considerable military forces” to deal with NK. While declaring that the military option was not preferable, she emphasised:

We will use them if we must.

In the latest show of military force, the MDA announced a successful test of the THAAD system. An interceptor based in Alaska shot down an intermediate-range target launched over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. Pindostan is in the process of completing a THAAD battery deployment in SK, supposedly aimed against NK. Beijing has repeatedly criticised the installation, pointing out that the associated powerful X-band radar can be used to undermine China’s nuclear deterrent against a potential Pindo attack.

Revelation of meeting intensifies political crisis in Faschingstein
Joseph Kishore, David North, WSWS, Jul 13 2017

The revelation that Donald Trump Jr met in Jun 2016 with a Moscow lawyer with ties to the Putin government and Russian oligarchs has become the focus of intensifying political warfare in Faschingstein. From the response of the Demagogs and the media, one might think that Trump’s son set up the meeting to turn over the Pindo nuclear codes to the Kremlin. In reality, it seems that Trump Jr, then a campaign adviser to his father, met Natalia Veselnitskaya to get information damaging to Hillary Clinton. This sort of “digging for dirt” is not exactly unusual in Pindo politics. Individuals associated with the Clinton campaign reportedly met with Ukrainian government officials in Mar 2016 in search of material that might discredit Paul Manafort. Clinton herself has connections with governments and intelligence agencies all over the world, which she no doubt sought to leverage in her contest with Trump. In any event, Trump Jr’s clumsy contact with a Russian lawyer doesn’t quite measure up to Nixon’s efforts during the 1968 presidential campaign to sabotage the Paris Peace Talks, lest the sudden end of the Vietnam War cost him votes, or Reagan’s efforts to persuade the Iranian regime not to release Pindosi hostages before Election Day in 1980. The Trump Tower meeting, however, has acquired explosive significance in the context of the ferocious political battle that is being waged in Washington. Both Demagogs and Thugs have said that the meeting with the Russian lawyer amounts to a “smoking gun” in the Trump-Russia investigations. Hillary Clinton’s former running mate Tim Kaine said:

We are now moving beyond obstruction of justice into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.

Treason, defined in Pindosi law as levying war against Pindostan or supporting and giving “aid and comfort” to its “enemies,” is a capital offense. If Kaine’s words are taken literally, the 2016 Demagog vice-presidential candidate is suggesting that the son of the current president and, by implication, the president himself are potentially guilty of a crime that could lead to execution. It is worth considering the issue that has generated this staggering level of political infighting. Neither the Demagogs nor their media allies are working themselves into a frenzy over the horrific destruction and loss of life in Mosul, or the ongoing plans to deny health care to millions of Pindosis, or the rounding up and deportation of thousands of immigrants, or the staggering level of wealth concentration and social inequality in Pindostan. The conflict, rather, is entirely centered on issues of foreign policy. Trump’s opponents in the Demagog Party and the most influential sections of the capitalist media such as the NYT, WaPo and CNN are being uncharacteristically aggressive because they are being supported by large sections of the military-intelligence apparatus. Trump’s opponents do not believe for a minute that the fascist-minded president is an agent of Russia or any other foreign power. But they do fear that Trump’s obsessive preoccupation with his business empire and personal wealth are colliding with the imperatives of Pindosi imperialism, and not without some degree of legitimacy.

Pindostan is ruled by a financial-corporate oligarchy. But the Trump administration is an oligarchic government with a kleptocratic and nepotistic twist. The deep and impenetrable entanglement between Trump’s business interests and those of other billionaire cabinet members and administration policy has fueled suspicions that this collection of oligarchs is subordinating basic imperialist strategic interests to their personal moneymaking schemes. This is why the issue of Trump’s relations with Russia and the role of different family members looms so large in this conflict. Given the fact that Russia is viewed as a hostile power, interfering with multiple geostrategic interests, all signs that Trump is “soft on Putin” cause a high degree of alarm. But even the divisions over policy toward Russia do not fully explain the astonishing level of political conflict within the ruling elite. This is more than a crisis over policy. It is a crisis of class rule, rooted in the intractable economic, political and social problems confronting Pindosi imperialism. The decades-long erosion of the hegemonic position of Pindostan was covered over temporarily by the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which was accompanied by triumphalist proclamations of the “end of history” and a “unipolar moment” of unchallenged dominance. However, a quarter century of unending and expanding war centered in the Middle East and Central Asia has failed to prevent the emergence of new rivals. The struggle to maintain its control over key geostrategic regions of the world has brought Pindostan into ever more direct conflict with its larger competitors. The G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany last week made clear that Pindostan is being directly and openly challenged. Angela Merkel’s meetings with Xi Jinping and her insistence that Germany must stake out an independent foreign policy, underscored the reality of waning Pindosi influence internationally. Trump’s ruling-class critics worry that his actions are intensifying the crisis of Pindosi policy. Lawrence Summers, Treasury Sec under Clinton 42 and economic advisor to Obama, voiced these concerns in a column published over the weekend. He wrote:

The idea that Pindostan should lead in the development of international community has been a central tenet of Pindosi foreign policy since the end of WW2. … the president’s behavior in and around the summit was unsettling to Pindo vassals and confirmed the fears of those who believe that his conduct is currently the greatest threat to Pindo national security.

The ruling class has no simple way out of its crisis. No doubt there are many discussions behind the scenes over scenarios for removing Trump from office, for installing VP Pence, who has been busy meeting with top donors in recent weeks, or arranging some other scenario. Even if Trump’s ruling class critics succeed in removing him through some sort of palace coup, that will not change the basic dynamic of decline and decay. They might end up regretting what they set into motion. The more fundamental problem of the ruling elite is that it lacks a political program capable of inspiring support that extends beyond the top 10% of the population. Both parties are ferociously hostile to anything that upsets the current distribution of wealth. A half-century of social counter-revolution has completely eroded the popular legitimacy of state institutions. The fact that different factions of the state are hurling mud at each other and engaging in the most filthy and corrupt maneuvers only deepens popular hostility.

History teaches that this type of conflict within the ruling class is always bound up with a revolutionary crisis. The real concerns of masses of workers, however, are entirely separate from and opposed to the issues dividing the ruling elite. Millions are angry over war, the assault on health care, the destruction of pensions, stagnating wages, declining life expectancy and police violence. These are the issues that will bring millions into struggle. It is urgent that the working class intervene with its own program. It cannot passively await the outcome of the conflict within the ruling class. It must advance its own interests and its own solution. Mass struggles are on the agenda in Pindostan. Protest rallies, demonstrations and strikes will tend to acquire a general, nationwide character. The political conclusion that flows from this analysis is that the fight of the working class against Trump and all that he represents will raise ever more urgently the necessity of a political mass movement, independent of and opposed to both the Thugs and the Demagogs, against the capitalist system and its state. This objective tendency of social development must be developed as a conscious strategy of working class struggle. The task of linking the struggles against all the deplorable social conditions of life under capitalism with the political struggle against Trump and both big business parties, based on a socialist program, must be raised and become a topic of discussion within factories, workplaces, working-class communities and schools and colleges throughout the country.

2 Comments

  1. Sarte
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I liked the second article. It gave a new perspective, about the two groups within the elites.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Mhmmm. They always reduce it to this rather simple Russia vs China choice.

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