President Trump and his new axis of evil

President Donald Trump said this to say in his address to the United Nations yesterday—

We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions or even systems of government.  But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.

He went on to say—

Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

I think these would be excellent points, if only he had applied them to the United States as well as the rest of the world.

He called for an intensification of economic and diplomatic warfare against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, his new axis of evil.

How is this in the interest of the American people?  How is this consistent with respecting national sovereignty?   Are not North Korea, Iran and Venezuela sovereign nations?

The United States has paid radical jihadist terrorists to overthrow the government of Libya and is attempting to use them to overthrow the government of Syria—two sovereign states that never have threatened the United States.   The result has been to reduce these two countries to chaos and misery, as the cost of thousands of innocent lives.

President Trump in that very speech threatened another nation with the most destructive weapons known to humanity—

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

He accused the North Korean government of starving and torturing its own people, and various other crimes, which were real though not necessarily current.  But then he threatened an even worse atrocity.

To be fair, it is not clear whether he is threatening North Korea with attack merely if it fails to disarm or whether he is threatening retaliation in the event of an attack, which is different.

This ambiguity may be deliberate on President Trump’s part; he may think keeping others guessing is a good negotiating strategy.   Where nuclear weapons are concerned, this is dangerous.  It may lead the other person to think he has nothing to lose by launching an attack.

Iran’s crime consists in trying to prop up certain governments and defend certain militias that are under attack by Saudi Arabia.

Iran is not engaging in terrorism by supporting the government of Yemen; the terrorists are the Saudis who, with U.S. backing, have reduced the country to hunger and plague.

Iran is not engaging in terrorism by supporting the government of Syria; the terrorists are the radical jihahists supported by the United States.

Trump calls Venezuela as “socialist dictatorship,” but the crime of President Nicolas Maduro was to hold an election against the wishes of President Trump.   It’s true enough that Venezuela is in an economic crisis.

I don’t know enough to say whether it is the result of the failure of President Maduro’s policies, corruption of the Maduro administration, economic sabotage by the Venezuelan opposition or economic warfare by the United States.

But if American leaders really believe that socialism is doomed to fail wherever it is tried, why not stand aside and let it fail?   Why give the socialists the excuse that they are victims of American power?

∞∞∞

Trump’s policies are not new.   The United States has for decades been waging economic and covert warfare and, from time to time, invading countries that threaten American military dominance or economic interests.

This is a bipartisan policy supported by the majority of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.   Both parties have voted to support his military buildup.

Both parties voted not only to enact his sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea into law; they forbid Trump to relax them without congressional approval.   Leaders of both parties give him free rein to wage war.  They only limit his authority to make peace.

What does limit Trump’s power to wage war is the emergence of an alliance between China, the only nation whose economic power rivals the United States, and Russia, the only nation whose nuclear weapons could annihilate the United States.

Both countries now befriend nations that are under threat or sanctions by the United States, which limits U.S. power, and this is unlikely to change.

Empires in decline sometimes start wars as a forging national unity.   The typical result is a defeat that exposes the weakness of the empire.   I hope and believe there is still time for the United States to turn away from this path.

LINKS

Full text of President Trump’s UN speech on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

Unmasked: Trump doctrine vows carnage for new axis of evil by Pepe Escobar for Asia Times.

Military Defeat as a Financial Collapse Trigger by Dmitry Orlov for ClubOrlov.

The Empire’s Hustle: Why Anti-Trump Doesn’t Include Anti-War by Ajamu Bakara for Counterpunch.

 

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