Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Brink of War by Erick San Juan

In the Brink of War by Erick San Juan

The world, is in the brink of war as tensions from different parts of the planet occur almost on a regular basis showing off their latest firepower like what North Korea did recently.

“North Korea’s launch of four missiles on Monday was a training exercise for a strike on US bases in Japan and was supervised by leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang’s state media said Tuesday.

Three of the four missiles came down provocatively close to Japan, in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone, representing a challenge to the US administration. Another was fiund at east asia.

Washington and Tokyo have sought an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the launch, likely to be scheduled for Wednesday.

Under UN resolutions, Pyongyang is barred from any use of ballistic missile technology, and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Twitter that the world “won’t allow” North Korea to continue on its “destructive path55.”

But six sets of UN sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt Pyongyang’s drive for what it insist are defensive weapons.

Kim Jong-un ordered his military “to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out anytime”, KCNA reported, and to be ready to “open fire to annihilate the enemies” when ordered.” (By Agence France-Presse, March 7, 2017)

The scud missiles fired by North Korea provocatively near Japan and over the Korean Peninsula are clear signs of war provocations which Kim Jong-un said that “an actual war may break out anytime”.  US allies like Japan and South Korea have reacted strongly against such actions by North Korea :

‘This clearly shows North Korea has entered a new stage of threat’
—Shinzo Abe, Japan’s PM

`The results of the North having a nuclear weapon in its hands will be gruesome beyond imagination’
— Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea’s acting President

Even Beijing has become increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, and last month announced a suspension of all coal imports from the North until the end of the year — a crucial source of foreign currency.

Pyongyang wants to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland — something Trump has vowed would not happen.

It has undoubtedly made progress in its efforts in recent years, although questions remain over its ability to master re-entry technology and miniaturize a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile warhead. (Ibid)

For over a decade since its first nuclear test and sanctions were already given to NoKor by the United Nations, and now this? How come? What happen to UN’s sanctions? Questions that have to be addressed soon before an actual war of Kim will materialize.

On the other side of the globe, “Trump’s 'Moderate' Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War” the title of Mehdi Hasan’s article – “Did you know that the Trump administration almost went to war with Iran at the start of February?

Perhaps you were distracted by Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser or by President Trump’s online jihad against Nordstrom. Or maybe you missed the story because the New York Times bizarrely buried it in the midst of a long piece on the turmoil and chaos inside the National Security Council.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the paper, wanted the U.S. Navy to “intercept and board an Iranian ship to look for contraband weapons possibly headed to Houthi fighters in Yemen. … But the ship was in international waters in the Arabian Sea, according to two officials. Mr. Mattis ultimately decided to set the operation aside, at least for now. White House officials said, "that was because news of the impending operation leaked.”

Get that? It was only thanks to what Mattis’s commander in chief has called “illegal leaks”, that the operation was (at least temporarily) set aside and military action between the United States and Iran was averted.

Am I exaggerating? Ask the Iranians. “Boarding an Iranian ship is a shortcut” to confrontation, says Seyyed Hossein Mousavian, former member of Iran’s National Security Council and a close ally of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Even if a firefight in international waters were avoided, the Islamic Republic, Mousavian tells me, “would retaliate” and has “many other options for retaliation.”

Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council and author of the forthcoming book “Losing an Enemy — Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy,” agrees. Such acts of “escalation” by the Trump administration, he tells me, “significantly increases the risk of war.”

So why would a retired Marine Corps general such as Mattis be willing to provoke a conflict with Tehran over a single ship? The fact is that Mattis, too, is perceived to be obsessed with Iran. He has hyperbolically called the Islamic Republic “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East” and — in a Trump-esque descent into the world of conspiracy theories — suggested Tehran is working with ISIS. “Iran is not an enemy of ISIS,” Mattis declaimed in 2016, because “the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked” by ISIS “is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I’m sure.”

According to the Washington Post, in the run-up to the talks over Iran’s nuclear program, “Israelis may have questioned Obama’s willingness to use force against Iran. … But they believed Mattis was serious.” The general, in his capacity as head of U.S. Central Command, even proposed launching “dead of night” airstrikes on Iranian soil in 2011, in retaliation for Tehran’s support for anti-American militias in Iraq — a proposal rejected by White House officials who were worried that it “risked starting yet another war in the Middle East.”

Mousavian is puzzled by the defense secretary’s hawkishness: “He is one of the most experienced U.S. generals and he knows … the consequences of confrontation with Iran would be tenfold what the U.S. experienced in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”

Mattis allegedly has been tied to some of the worst war crimes of the Iraq invasion. It was he who gave the order to attack the village of Mukaradeeb in April 2004 — a decision he would later admit took him only 30 seconds to approve — which killed 42 civilians, including 13 children, who were attending a wedding there. “I don’t have to apologize for the conduct of my men,” he told reporters.

Six months later, in November 2004, it was Mattis who planned the Marine assault on Fallujah that reduced that city to rubble, forced 200,000 residents from their homes, and resulted, according to the Red Cross, in at least 800 civilian deaths.”

We are all living dangerously that any moment a war may broke out and with the political bickering among our country’s 'pulpolitikos', we are really looking for trouble as if nobody is minding the store – again?

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