Inbound nephews and nieces of Joe Biden: A return to killing fields

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

It’s as good a moment to laugh at or mourn for the Americans and verify this utterance four years down the line in 2024.

For men like me, it’s a moment of chuckle since the US media is having an orgasm on Good Old Joe and his team even though Georgia, Wisconscin, Arizona and Nevada and 79 critical electoral votes are being challenged.

But then the US media, in the presidential campaign, never raised the little matter of “war and peace” while pitching for Joe Biden and now wouldn’t like the Americans to peek at the dossier of his inbound nieces and nephews.

So, we have Tony Blinken as Secretary of the State who was disappointed that the United States didn’t apply enough force in Syria and advocated that Saudi Arabia be sided with in their bombings in Yemen. He had chortled along with Biden for military action in Libya. Those polite call him Biden’s “alter ego.” Those blunt prefer the phrase of “war-mongering psycho.”

Somehow, this essential on the man misses the US media completely as they harp on his experience, having been a deputy both in the offices of the National Security Advisor (2013-2015) and Secretary of State (2015-2017).

This once aspiring film producer couldn’t have found a better script than his own journey: Jewish parents, father who dominated the world of venture capital, mother a patron of arts, a stepfather who survived the holocaust and became one of the most influential lawyer on the global stage.

Blinken’s access in the ante-chambers of White House was visible as back as on May 1, 2011, peering behind Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton while the Operation Abbottabad against Osama bin Laden was on ( Blinken in red circle in image below).

Then you have Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor, who once wrote to her boss Hillary Clinton that “Al Qaeda is on our side” in Syria. He also was a key player in hyping up the fake allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. He too is all for “American exceptionalism” which is America-in-the-palm-of-military-industrial-complex-again in the post-Trump world.

Then there are nieces. Michele Flournoy who is most likely to be the Secretary of Defense. Janet Yellen, treasury secretary, who is an inflation hawk, unlikely to support large spending on social welfare, and generally means that the rigged US financial system, a private monetary system, is ruling the roost again.

If still unconvinced, they say, follow the money and truth would reveal itself to you.

The two most-common link between most of these nephews and nieces is CNAS (Centre for New American Security) and CSIS (Centre for Strategic and International Studies)—the 2nd and 6th highest recipient of US government and defense-contractor funding.

Who are the top donors to CNAS? Northrop, Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and the Department of Defense. Now Michele Flournoy is co-founder of CNAS. One of her well-documented sleight of hand was in getting the UAE to pay CNAS $250,000 to draft just a report that it must buy American drones. These pilotless birds, US-made, have never stopped ending up in Gulf theocracies, never mind their human rights record or brutal bombings in neighbourhood such as Yemen.

Tony Blinken has been with CSIS, Jake Sullivan with Macro Advisory Partners, run by British spy chiefs, not to say with Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, funded by 10 military agencies and defence contractors. Watch out for the names of Avril Haines (top contender for CIA director) and Kathleen Hicks (CSIS) in case their names pop up in your New York Times of Washington Post tomorrow morning.

There is this moral from Aesop’s fable: “A man is known by the company he keeps.” To me, it means the return of GIs boots in the far-flung corners of the world. The US media would never mention that this set cost the United States humiliating defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, just as in Vietnam. Some three million service members spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan for no gain in the last 19 years. Some $6 trillion dollars of the taxpayers have gone down the drain. Some 515,000 people have been killed, including 260,000 civilians.

So the sacred cow of foreign policy and the golden calves of defence establishment would again be venerated. Those who found Donald Trump an evil incarnate in the last four years, a Hitler reborn, would sing peace hymns in the background to genocides. Meanwhile, you could carry on with your clowns in NYT and Washington Post.



Of Pentagon, China, India and NSG

The lead story this week by Chidanand Rajghatta in Times of India this week is factually correct on both its major points: (a) China is building forces on Indian borders and (b) China is thwarting US-supported bid for India’s admission into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The report also states that Pentagon has warned of China’s increasing military presence in various parts of the world.

It’s understandable that millions of TOI readers would be alarmed; and inclined to see US as friend as China as an enemy with aggressive intent. This narrative needs a bigger picture lest the Indian subcontinent, and Asia, is gripped with a heightened arms race. After all, a nuclear flashpoint in South Asia is arguably the greatest threat to life on our planet.

First, the Pentagon assertion that China is increasing military presence around the world. The truth is, it’s US which is operating/controlling around 1000 military bases worldwide, according to International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases. So much so that Pentagon “owns” the biggest land bank in the world. Over 50 percent of world’s weapons are supplied by US corporations.

Just a few weeks ago, US signed a deal to have five military bases in Philippines. US army has a “Pacific Pathways” program where it coordinates joint military operations with Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Korea and Thailand. Obama administration has approved the sale of1.8 billion dollars worth of weapons to Taiwan, the biggest such weapons supply in years. South Koreawas the leading US arms importer in 2014.

US is hell-bent on controlling the air and seas near the Chinese mainland from its bases in Australia, Guam, Japan and South Korea. A new semi-official report, by the Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) details plans for Pentagon’s preparations for war against China. The report titled “Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025: Capabilities, Presence and Partnerships,” chiefly targets China.

The report is commissioned by the US Department of Defence, at the behest of Congress, under the 2015 National Defence Authorisation Act. It spells out Pentagon’s overall strategy for war against China, known as AirSea Battle.  This involves massive air and missile strikes on the Chinese mainland aimed at destroying key military assets, infrastructure, communications, economy and political leadership. It also involves an economic blockade of China by disrupting its maritime trade route through Indian Ocean. The report is a master plan to boost arms race in Asia that would inevitably place the region and Asia at a holocaust risk.

Enters India into the picture. There is little secret that India is into a massive drive to boost its nuclear and missile capability. Its defence budget has increased by 12% in 2014-15 to over $38 billion. It’s now collaborating with Israel in missile defence technology. It plans to mount MIRVs on nuclear-capable Agni V missile. Indeed, India is one of the leaders in global arms import. Indian Missile Defence Shield is for real.

Given the wariness with which Pakistan and China view India’s armed preparedness, and vice-versa, it’s logical that an arms race has ensued. The Indo-US Nuclear Deal of 2008 hasn’t helped matters. And now India and US have signed a 10-year defence framework agreement. Thus, to portray China’s presence on Indian borders as proof of its aggressive intent needs to be viewed in totality.

Now to India’s 48-nation NSG membership issue. Presently, it comprises mostly of OECD countries although it also includes nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkey and Ukraine. It doesn’t include India. That’s because NSG itself was formed in 1975 in the wake of India’s 1974 test explosion of an atom bomb. Since nuclear mercantilism is also important for rich nations, they made the distinction between nuclear weapons and nuclear power and created NSG. As they say, all is fair in business and war.

The truth is, US wants India—like it does with Indoensia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines—to be tied down in military alignments and facilities to counter China.  It wants a US-led front against the growing might of China. As NewsBred reported last year, US would love a China-India holocaust. It’s nobody’s friend.

If China were to place its military forces off Californian coast and discuss plans to carpet bomb the American mainland, the response of US is easy to guess. And yet, that’s exactly what Washington is doing in its “Pivot to Asia.” It’s up to India, China and Pakistan that they de-escalate rather than spiral the arms race. Trusting each other is better than be a pawn to a master who wants nothing but Asia in flames.