Analyst Kambale Musavuli talks about the latest developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where anger is mounting against the presence of foreign forces. He talks about the recent repression of those protesting the presence of UN forces and explains that the country needs a political situation. This calls for the US and UK to hold to account their allies Rwanda and Uganda who are backing rebel groups in the Congo. Kambale also talks about the recent actions of DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, the distance between his words and deeds, and his close collaboration with Israel.
War and Militarism
Ukraine War: Those Who Fail To Call For Negotiations, Fail to Understand The Danger Facing The Planet
At no time since the Cuban missile crisis has our world has been so close to disaster. As the war in Ukraine approaches its first anniversary, it is being increasingly transformed by the Biden administration and the “collective west” into a war between NATO and Russia. The danger of turning into a nuclear confrontation is imminent. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was a wake-up call in the midst of Cold War, warning just how close a nuclear World War III could be. Unlike today, both sides sought accommodation. They understood that a retreat from war was in their mutual interest. The Anti-Ballistic Missile and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaties, now scrapped, were negotiated. Back then, an international peace movement with a robust US contingent amplified the demand for a peaceful world. Such voices are much diminished now.
The head of the Southern Command of the United States Armed Forces, Craig Faller, declared that Russia and Cuba represents a threat to them due to the “fundamental” support they give to Venezuela, a country on which the Donald Trump regime has imposed a brutal total blockade and continually threatens military invasion. In viralized statements on social networks, Faller says that they have had to set off the alarms because of “the size of the threat” represented by “Russian influence” and the support that the Eurasian country gives to the government presided over by Nicolás Maduro. “I cannot describe the size of the threat. Russian influence is essential to sustain Nicolás Maduro in power, I look with alarm at what Russia is doing in Venezuela in terms of personnel,” said Faller.
The lack of connections between the dots of the Corona and security – human security in particular – would be another example. The present author would see the handling of the Corona pandemic as the most fundamental documentation of the fact that not a single government has practiced security the right way: billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on weapons (that de-crease security in most cases), while there was nobody who had thought of face masks, thermometers, hospital equipment, and facilities – for what must be called a perfectly predictable security challenge. Instead, the Corona crisis has been seeing as a failure of the health system and other systems – but hardly ever as a fundamental failure of everything termed security politics. There ought to have been a global uproar by citizens against their governments’ de facto contempt for their security.
I fear that it either can’t or won’t end because, as Martin Luther King, Jr., pointed out in 1967 during the Vietnam War, the United States remains the world’s greatest purveyor of violence -- and nothing in this century, the one he didn’t live to see, has faintly proved him wrong. Considered another way, Washington should be classified as the planet’s most committed arsonist, regularly setting or fanning the flames of fires globally from Libya to Iraq, Somalia to Afghanistan, Syria to -- dare I say it -- in some quite imaginable future Iran, even as our leaders invariably boast of having the world’s greatest firefighters (also known as the U.S. military). Scenarios of perpetual war haunt my thoughts. For a healthy democracy, there should be few things more unthinkable than never-ending conflict, that steady drip-drip of death and destruction that drives militarism, reinforces authoritarianism, and facilitates disaster capitalism.
The United States Navy (US) sailed into Venezuelan waters, “to challenge the excessive claim of Venezuela on June 23”, when the Minister of Popular Power for Defense, G / J Vladimir Padrino López , warned that a US ship entered 30 miles north of the Venezuelan coasts, calling the event a threat. According to US military forces, the “Freedom of Navigation” operation in the Caribbean Sea is being carried out “outside 12 nautical miles off the Venezuelan coast.” However, the ship sailed through an area that according to international law belongs to Venezuela. According to the Venezuelan Organic Law of Aquatic Spaces, the territorial sea has a width of twelve nautical miles (12 MN) along the continental and insular coasts of Venezuela, and additionally 12 more NM for the Contiguous Zone. International law also establishes 200 NM of Exclusive Economic Waters. Article 16 of this norm establishes that the passage of a ship through jurisdictional waters ceases to be “innocent” when the foreign ship makes threats or uses force against the sovereignty of Venezuela or violates the principles of Internal and International Law set forth in the UN Charter.
The US was never an honest broker in negotiations but a behind-the-scenes lawyer for Israel, bound in part by a pledge dating from the Gerald Ford administration to never float a peace proposal without first seeking approval from Israeli negotiators. This theme of US complicity in Palestinian oppression carries over into The Hundred Years’ War and is deepened with an account of the US role in Lebanon when American officials promised to ensure the safety of Palestinian refugees following the departure of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Those same officials reneged on the pledge as Israel oversaw the Phalangist massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Khalidi concludes that US administrations have colluded with Israel ever since the 1967 War, which Washington green-lighted. The US continues to provide both the military aid and the diplomatic cover essential to preserving Israel as an apartheid, settler-colonial state.
Washington is upping the ante on Moscow. The message appears to be ‘surrender to western capital or we will continue to militarily encircle your nation’. A new and deadly arms race that could easily lead to a shooting war is underway with the US leading the pack. The US has chosen Poland as the perfect location to sharpen the tip of the Pentagon’s spear. The US already has roughly 4,000 troops in Poland. Warsaw has signed an agreement with Washington that provides for setting up storage of Pentagon heavy military equipment in its territory. The Polish side provides the land and the US-NATO are supplying the military hardware that is being deposited at an air base in Laska, the ground troops training center in Drawsko Pomorskie, as well as military complexes in Skwierzyna, Ciechanów and Choszczno.
Almost simultaneously, Iran started to withdraw its Revolutionary Guards from Syria — according to Israeli media leaks and western media confirmation — while the US started to withdraw its Patriot missiles from Saudi Arabia, return swarms of its air force jets back to their bases and announce the reduction of its naval presence in the Arabian Sea and Gulf. Iran has not yet acknowledged its sudden move in Syria. However, Washington has said that Tehran no longer constitutes a threat to the security of the United States, Israel or Saudi Arabia; that is the justification for the withdrawal of US forces from the Kingdom. On a related issue, sources say that a prisoner exchange deal between Tehran and Washington is almost ready at last. Ali Rabiei, a spokesman for the Iranian government, has expressed his country’s willingness to conduct a full exchange of prisoners with the United States with no need for any mediation by a third party.
Over the last few weeks and months, grassroots activism has pushed climate change into the media in the United Kingdom. In particular, the Extinction Rebellion movement has spread from the UK to countries around the world, while the youth strike actions initiated by Greta Thunberg have led to thousands of young people leaving school to demand governments take action on climate issues.
Is a genuine antiwar movement reemerging in the U.S., the citadel of military worship? Will we witness the revival of an anti-imperialist bloc, a cohort of Americans who take a principled stand against U.S. empire and its proliferating wars of choice?
President Donald J. Trump looks as a flag is revealed during a ceremony to establish the U.S. Space Command in the Rose Garden in the Rose Garden at the White House on Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images). President Trump has signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020 that establishes a U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces—despite the Outer Space Treaty designating space as a global commons to be used for peaceful purposes.
“The money just isn’t there” for virtually anything that matters — you know, healthcare for all, free college tuition, clean water, eco-sustainable energy production — but we’ve sold the national soul to the war god so long ago that the perfunctory, bipartisan passage of the National Defense Authorization Act comes and goes every year with, at most, a few marginal cries of outrage and a big shrug from the media. This year the NDAA came with a few extra stocking-stuffers for the warmongers and profiteers.
West Point Professor Tim Bakken’s new book The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military traces a path of corruption, barbarism, violence, and unaccountability that makes its way from the United States’ military academies (West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs) to the top ranks of the U.S. military and U.S. governmental policy, and from there into a broader U.S. culture that, in turn, supports the subculture of the military and its leaders. The U.S. Congress and presidents have ceded tremendous power to generals.