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Why the BRICS must stop the Anglosphere

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Cecil Rhodes, the 19th century British businessman and the architect of Apartheid, once said that to be born an Englishman was to have “won first prize in the lottery of life”. On another occasion he said: “I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.”

Due to the efforts of arch racists and colonialists such as Rhodes – who complained he could not “annex the planets” and colonise the stars because they were too far – the English race has spread around the world, forming a virtual Anglosphere.

The US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – or the E-5 – are the five countries of the Anglosphere. Post World War II they became are so closely allied and their intelligence networks so well integrated that you could say the Anglosphere is a single country spread across five separate territories.

It is well known that their militaries are well synced but few are aware that all three US Army Corps have Canadian deputy commanders. Moreover, citizens of the Anglo nations serve as important exchange or liaison officers with top US commands.

The E-5 has jointly fought in almost all modern wars – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Their ability to stick together during conflicts is a key reason why group leader US is able to rush forces into conflict zones.

Because the US is assured of the near total acquiescence of its English speaking siblings, it provides a critical mass of support to actions undertaken by the Americans. It bears pressure on other leading western nations such as Germany and France to fall in line.

The UK, for instance, plays the role of trying to keep the Europeans in line with American policies. In a draft paper dated August 1968, the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office noted that one of its key objectives with regard to Anglo-US relations is “to ensure that the longer-term relationship between Europe (including the UK) and the United States remains as close as possible”.

In this regard, the FCO noted: “The Americans are gifted at representing American national interests as noble ideals which all should follow. Nevertheless it is very much in our and Europe’s interests to prevent the United States becoming a rogue elephant. We have to persuade all the Western Europeans, including in the long run France, that a close relationship with the United States is the only way of preventing this.”

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed the nature and extent of teamwork among the Anglosphere members. The Snowden papers show that most spying projects are carried about to assist the US and allies gather political and economic intelligence country-by-country around the world. The Five Eyes spying network – which scoops up phone, fax and email data on a global scale – has undoubtedly led to commercial, diplomatic and political benefits for all five Anglosphere members.

First among equals

Although the E-5 works closely with the wider western world – as shown in the invasions of Iraq and Libya – there are limits and boundaries within the West. Allies such as Germany, France and Italy are relegated to the status of outsiders who can’t be completely trusted and must be constantly spied on. The E-5 forms the inner circle; they are cousins; they do not spy on each other.

While taking part in a panel at the New America Foundation in March 2015, Gen Michael Hayden, a former NSA and CIA director, said only members of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance have the privileged status of America’s most intimate friends. In his opinion, other nations are shut out of that club indefinitely.

In this backdrop, it’s easy to see why non-Anglo Europeans are a target of Five Eyes spying. One of the reasons cited for continued spying against Germany is that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder “had opposed American policy in Iraq, and who seemed to have a strange and mutually productive relationship with Vladimir Putin”.

Crumbling fortress

However, the Anglosphere isn’t what it used to be. After the triumphant post-Cold War phase, in recent years there has been a palpable sense of economic and military decline in all the five English speaking countries. The rapidly growing clout of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) group has also unnerved them.

With their old dominance gone, they can no longer write the rules of global governance any more. Whether at the United Nations, G-20 or APEC, the E-5 are finding it next to impossible to push through policies that favour the Anglosphere. While Russia and China are the heavyweights manning the frontlines, they are getting key support from other emerging powers such as India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and Argentina.

In the book America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It, Canadian author Mark Steyn sees the US and England “facing nothing so amiable and genteel as continental-style ‘decline’ but something more like sliding off a cliff”.

American arch-conservative politician and one-time presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan is horrified at the prospect of a diminished global status for the Anglosphere even as much of what was once the ‘Third World’ is roaring up the growth charts.

Buchanan’s book Suicide of a Superpower, about America’s decline, has been called racist and homophobic by critics, but it nevertheless has some grounding in reality. “America is disintegrating,” he screams. “The centrifugal forces pulling us apart are growing inexorably. What unites us is dissolving. And this is true of western civilization…. Meanwhile, the state is failing in its most fundamental duties. It is no longer able to defend our borders, balance our budgets, or win our wars.”

On the other side of the world, The Australian newspaper laments that Canberra has become Asia’s coalmine, dependent on supplying commodity exports to emerging economies such as China: “We are to be attendants to an emerging empire: providers of food, energy, resources, commodities and suppliers of services such as education, tourism, gambling/gaming, health (perhaps), and lifestyle property.”

Perhaps the tipping point – when the Anglosphere’s fear turned into panic – was Russia’s aggressive diplomacy that blocked the US from bombing Syria. This is hardly a small matter. The English speaking world was baying for President Bashar al-Assad’s blood. “Hit him hard” The Economist, the British mouthpiece, headlined.

But the Russian block – with BRICS backing – stymied those plans. The Anglosphere realised the world had changed considerably since 2003, when Saddam Hussein was overthrown, with few countries daring to protest the illegal act.

Crimea and Ukraine are two other instances where the Anglosphere finds itself isolated.

With their dominant status now a thing of the past, the Anglosphere countries are staring at the prospect of international isolation and irrelevance. This is making them close ranks. In this backdrop, the five countries of British origin have been making a number of moves towards integration.

August 19, 2014. Following days of bitter racial riots in the American city of Ferguson, Missouri, the state’s Lt. Governor Peter Kinder lashed out at the rioters for seeking justice in the streets, and bizarrely demanded “Anglo American” justice. “One of the great advances of Anglo-American civilisation is we do not have politicised trials,” he declared.

May 20, 2014. The UK government announced that the US, UK, Australia and Canada are establishing combined space operations among their armed forces. “Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have furthered their defence cooperation by establishing a partnership on combined space operations,” it said.

January 14, 2014. Canada’s defence department announced the formal signing of a long-term partnership with the US Department of Defence. Among other things “this partnership permits the Canadian Space Operations Centre to coordinate and share unclassified information and data in support of government agencies”.

November 21, 2013. The US Air Force Space Command announced it would relocate a tracking radar from Antigua to Australia. It would also deploy a new DARPA-developed optical telescope there. The telescope is especially useful for monitoring geosynchronous orbit where major spy satellites are located.

September 24, 2012. Britain and Canada announced they will establish joint diplomatic missions and share embassy offices abroad. The proposals involve ‘co-locating’ embassies and sharing consular services in countries where one of the nations does not have an embassy. Australia and New Zealand already have such an arrangement in place.

These developments are part of a growing trend where the Anglosphere is closing ranks to form a more cohesive unit to increase their weight in global affairs. Considering the US is still a very large economy and its military power projection capability is unmatched, there is a good chance the group could bounce back.

Checkmating the E-5 revival

The great rival of the war-obsessed Anglosphere was the Russian-led Soviet Union, which is now history. That leaves the BRICS as the only group with the ability to take on the Anglosphere. For, as surely as day follows night, the Anglos will come swinging back.

So it is imperative that somebody be in a position to stop the E-5 from trampling on small countries and destabilising larger ones. The good news is Russia and China are strongly committed to the BRICS becoming a more political group. Brazil – ever since Snowden revealed the US was spying on Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff – is also bitterly opposed to the US.

The problem country seems to be India. Earlier this year, it signed a $2.5 billion helicopter deal with the US, which had in December 2013 publicly arrested an Indian woman diplomat and then conducted a shameful – and unnecessary – cavity search on her.

Despite its involvement in the BRICS, India sometimes acts like a fence sitter. One explanation for India’s behaviour is two centuries of brainwashing and Anglicising. Only a brainwashed person could have said what India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in 2005: “If there is one phenomenon on which the sun cannot set, it is the world of the English-speaking peoples, in which the people of Indian origin are the single largest component.”

Like Singh, there are plenty of Indians suffering from delusions of Anglosphere goodness, and are prone to make such shameful and factually wrong statements. The good news is they are growing old and will disappear soon. The bad news is the Anglosphere can dangle carrots – such as university education, jobs, green cards etc – before the young generation.

The best defence against the Anglosphere’s re-emergence is for the BRICS to stick together. As they have shown in recent crises such as Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, this rainbow coalition can stop the Anglosphere elites. To be more effective, the BRICS must coalesc e into a political union and join their military forces to form a rapid reaction force. The Anglosphere can only beat small nations to pulp so a militarised BRICS isn’t a bad idea at all.

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Americas

‘Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People’: Time to retire

Mohammad Ghaderi

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Again, another mass shooting, again a school, again a troubled teen, a racist, a white supremacist, a Bloods or Crips gangster, a refugee, a war veteran, a mad policeman, a terrorist from al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front or from the ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Daesh) terrorist outfits … what difference does it make and again dead bodies lying on the ground in their blood. Who believes they were alive seconds ago. The story goes on and to my surprise it is having less effect than it used to have years ago. Why?

We are getting bad. We are not hurt anymore. Too much violence has made us numb.

What does the motto on the entrance of the United Nations building says? A poem by the Iranian influential poet Sa’adi, from the 13th century, the medieval period. The poem has many translations however one is this:

The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others,
You are unworthy to be called by the name of a Human.

Give it a thought, try to put it in practice, politician and statesmen in the United Nations, New York, United States. It is ludicrous that almost all of them call for end of wars, urge foe peace and tranquil but at the same time produce and sell arms.

War, violence and killing is simply unacceptable, nasty and painful in any kind and form, whether it occurs in a house, street, city, countries like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine or the United States of America.

U.S. teen confesses to mass shooting at Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

A troubled teen with alleged ties to a white supremacist group confessed on Thursday to murdering 17 people at his former high school in Florida, as the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) admitted it had received a tip-off about the 19-year-old gunman yet failed to stop him.

As Americans reeled from the country’s worst school massacre since the horror at Sandy Hook six years ago, the U.S. President Donald Trump suggested the root cause of the violence was a crisis of mental health — and defied calls to address gun control.

Terrified students hid in closets and under desks on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, texting for help as the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, stalked the school with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, appearing on Thursday afternoon before a judge who ordered him held without bond.

After being read his legal rights, “Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on the school grounds,” court documents showed.

Cruz also admitted he discarded his rifle — which he bought legally in Florida — and tactical gear in order to blend in with the crowd to flee the campus, the documents showed.

The recent mass shooting at a school in Florida is the latest reminder that the United States is a “very violent country,” a journalist in Detroit says.

After the shooting, he stopped at a Wal-Mart store and then McDonald’s, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters. He was detained 40 minutes later, after police identified him using school security camera footage.

Expelled from school for disciplinary reasons, Cruz was known to be fixated on firearms — and had reportedly been identified as a potential threat to his classmates.

In a somber televised address to the nation in response to the 18th school shooting so far this year, Trump vowed to make mental health a priority — after tweeting about the “many signs” the gunman was “mentally disturbed” — while avoiding any talk of gun curbs.

Earlier in the day, Trump had asserted that “neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”

But U.S. authorities themselves were under scrutiny, after the FBI confirmed it was alerted last September to a message posted on YouTube, in which a user named Nikolas Cruz vowed: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

In a statement, the FBI said it had carried out “database reviews and other checks” but was unable to identify the person who made the post.

Trump cites mental health, not guns, in speech on shooting

Declaring the nation united and grieving with “one heavy heart,” Trump promised on Thursday to tackle school safety and “the difficult issue of mental health” in response to the deadly shooting in Florida. He made no mention of the scourge of gun violence.

Not always a natural in the role of national comforter, Trump spoke deliberately, at one point directly addressing children who may feel “lost, alone, confused or even scared.”

“I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be,” Trump said. “You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you.”

However, the ones killed were alone when they were shot in cold blood in fear and hope. The ones who lost their precious lives had many hopes and ambitions.

Now they are dead, and it could be every and each one of us, at a school, stadium, concert hall, cinema, home, Middle East, Americas… anywhere, it could be.

Such incidents are cause of sorrow and pain, I cannot explain how I felt when I saw the horrible pictures of the Florida High School shooting, just like how I felt when I saw the massacre committed by the ISIL terrorists killing cadets in Camp Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq. At the time of the attack there were between 4,000 and 11,000 unarmed cadets in the camp. ISIL terrorists singled out Shia and non-Muslim cadets from Sunni ones and murdered them.

Who arms and supports terrorist groups like ISIL? No one can be so naeive to believe that they have just popped out. I recall the U.S. President Trump as saying on his election campaign to Hillary Clinton that the U.S. created ISIL. Well done!

While Trump stressed the importance of mental health and school safety improvements, his latest budget request would slash Medicaid, the major source of federal funding for treating mental health problems, and cut school safety programs by more than a third. Last year, he signed a resolution blocking an Obama-era rule designed to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people.

Trump’s silence on guns was noted with displeasure by many who are seeking tougher firearm restrictions. But the White House said the president wanted to keep his remarks focused on the victims.

Before he was a candidate, Trump at one point favored some tighter gun regulations. But he embraced gun rights as a candidate, and the National Rifle Association spent $30 million in support of his campaign.

During his brief, televised statement, Trump said he wanted to work to “create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life,” a phrase likely to resonate with his conservative base.

In contrast, former President Barack Obama tweeted out a call for “long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws.” Obama wrote: “We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job.”

In reacting to previous mass shootings, Trump has largely focused on mental health as a cause, dismissing questions about gun control. After a shooting at a Texas church in November left more than two dozen dead, the president said, “This isn’t a guns situation.”
The US has averaged one school shooting every 60 hours since the beginning of 2018, data shows.

Trump was criticized in early August for saying that both white nationalists and counter-protesters were responsible for the violent clashes at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While Trump has offered somber responses to some tragedies, he has also drawn criticism for other reactions.

After the Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub that left 49 dead in June 2016, then-candidate Trump tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” In the wake of a deadly terror attack in London last June, he went after Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter.

Sadiq Khan compares the US president’s rhetoric against Islam to tactics used by ISIL to inspire terror attacks in Western cities.

First published in our partner Tehran Times

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On Jettisoning Failed Leaders and Mass Shootings in the U.S.

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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The scene is the House of Commons; the date May 7, 1940.  A simple motion to adjourn for the ten-day Whitsun recess is of little concern to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who has a comfortable 213 seat majority.  Then things take a turn.  A plan approved by the first Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill to land troops in Norway and engage the Germans directly has been a disaster with huge losses, and the eventual naval evacuation of the expeditionary force — an Arctic Dardanelles planned by the same man.

Chamberlain rises to defend Churchill and the conduct of the war in what has now come to be known as the “Norway Debate”.  In the most unlikely of scenarios and with no evidence of Winston trying to put his name forward — in fact the opposite — when the tide turns against Chamberlain, within three days as more favored candidates are shed, he has become prime minister.  Such is the parliamentary system.  Margaret Thatcher is another example, toppled shortly after success at the polls.

The American system, however, puts the president beyond such reach other than through a laborious impeachment.  Analogous to the third Roman Emperor Caligula, Donald Trump, too, has no military or political experience.  Caligula made his horse a senator or some say consul; Trump has the equivalent running government departments and agencies.  Caligula declared himself a god; Trump tweeted he is a ‘stable genius.’  If Caligula’s reign ended with assassination, Trump’s will be more prosaic — just disaffected voters.

Another mass shooting this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Seventeen are dead and  many more injured.  The gunman, identified as Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 assault type rifle, a weapon far deadlier than a pistol — perhaps he watched the coverage of the Las Vegas shooting.  He was a former pupil who had been suspended from the school, and who students recalled as disturbed and scary.

President Trump in his remarks following the incident did not bring up the obvious question of why an AR-15 was so easily available for purchase.  Gun owners and the gun lobby are part of his constituency.

Following a mass shooting in April 1996 when a man armed with two semi-automatic rifles killed 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, the Australian government put together strict gun laws.  They were supplemented with a mandatory gun-buyback program through which 650,000 firearms were destroyed.  Did the program work?  The data tells the story more vividly:  From 1979 to 1996, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings; since 1997 it has had none.

Under his usual theme of ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’, President Trump continues to talk about finding ways to deal better with disturbed people.  The sure Australian way is to stop them acquiring guns.

Lost in the Florida school story was another shooting the same day when trigger-happy guards let loose at a National Security Agency entrance.  The forested area is a confused mass of entries and exits.  It has happened before that somebody inadvertently makes a wrong turn and panics when faced with shouting armed guards.  In this incident, bullet holes can be seen in the windshield and the three men in the car were injured.

Introducing the Gates Foundation’s annual philanthropic letter a few days ago, Bill and Melinda Gates appealed to Donald Trump to not cut foreign aid — “even a 10 percent cut could lead to 5 million deaths in the next decade”, Bill Gates warned.  Will President Trump listen?

Despite the many wonderful aspects the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, when it comes to jettisoning incompetent leaders, it is difficult to best the parliamentary system for immediacy.

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Trump’s new nuclear doctrine just rhetoric

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Recently the US President Donald Trump unveiled his new nuclear doctrine which had remained unchanged since 2010. Many experts consider Trump’s new doctrine which enjoys many ambiguities as just campaign rhetoric. To shed more light on the issue we reached out to Prof. Filip Kovacevic, University of San Francisco geopolitics.

The US new nuclear doctrine was published several days ago. This document had remained unchanged since 2010. What are the reasons for new changes?

According to the US military establishment, the most important reason for changes is that the world has been a more dangerous and geopolitically unstable place. What the generals are not saying, though, is that it was their own actions which are responsible for this state of affairs. The hegemonic US foreign policy, the attempt to force a neo-liberal Pax Americana on the diversity and richness of the world’s cultures and traditions, is the cause of the present world problems.

Of course, you won’t find this stated openly in the doctrine. What you will find there, in a typical manipulative fashion, are the accusations of others for the problems that the US foreign policy has caused itself. In fact, this hypocritical pattern of behavior, where you take the legitimate reactions of others to your own provocations and aggressive moves as the main cause of tensions and conflicts, goes back many decades into the past.

What is the most significant difference between the new doctrine and the previous one?

In my opinion, the most significant difference is that a lot more money will be poured into the development of nuclear weapons. This will inevitably lead to a nuclear arms race with other states and to the proliferation of nuclear weapons as more and more countries will want to acquire them. But it will bring tremendous profits to the US military-industrial complex. In fact, the Trump administration is completely under the control of this section of the US corporate oligarchy. Trump is essentially breaking down all the institutional checks and balances in the US political system and paving a way for a military dictatorship. I have no doubt that the next US president will be a military officer. This means that we are about to see more wars and more deaths around the world, including in the Middle East. Many old, frozen conflicts will be re-opened across Asia and, apparently, the US is also setting a stage for the first-time use of a low yield nuclear weapon. Let’s not forget, though, that the bombs with depleted uranium have already been extensively used in the US /NATO conflicts, starting with the attack on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, causing horrific public health and environmental problems for generations to come.

In new doctrine, the use of nuclear weapons is allowed in extraordinary situation. There are some ambiguities around this. What are those extraordinary situations exactly?

The fact that the US reserves the right to respond with a nuclear weapon to a non-nuclear attack is nothing new. In fact, the US dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki even though there was no nuclear threat from the Imperial Japan. However, what is new in this doctrine is that now the US considers the potential use of a nuclear weapon against a large-scale cyber-attack. This is extremely worrying, because, as is well known, it is very difficult to correctly attribute the source of a cyber-attack. This could make a false-flag attack by some rogue terrorist faction or by the inside provocateurs misinterpreted as an attack by another nuclear power and lead to the nuclear annihilation of all life on Earth.

As the US considers the first strike on Russia acceptable, it means the spirit of the cold war is governing this new doctrine. Why has the US taken this approach?

Provoked by the rapid and aggressive expansion of the US political, economic, and cultural influence in Central and Eastern Europe under the umbrella of NATO, Russia has embarked on the campaign of re-arming and strengthening its defense and security apparatus in recent years. It appears that the US thought that Russia would cave in under its demands and accept to be a third-rate power in Eurasia. However, this was a serious misunderstanding of the Russian history and tradition. Now that Russia pushes back, the US establishment does not know what else to do but to make threats. However, these are empty threats because any kind of use of nuclear weapons against Russia or against its allies within the Collective Security Treaty Organization would quickly lead to mutual destruction. The spirit of the old Cold War has returned, and it will be with us for a long time to come. Accordingly, we will see the flare-up of proxy conflicts and covert actions across the world.

How do you assess the US new doctrine toward Iran? What are the new points?

Iran is one of only four states separately mentioned in the doctrine. The others are Russia, China, and North Korea. Iran is given the least coverage because it is not seen as an immediate nuclear danger to the US .The main emphasis is on what will happen after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ends in 2031. It is stated that after this period, Iran will be able to produce a nuclear weapon within a year. Interestingly, there is no mention of the US getting out of the JCPOA before that time, which is in contradiction to what the US president Donald Trump has been saying recently. It appears that Trump’s statements are just campaign rhetoric intended to please some important and wealthy interest groups, but that, in reality, it will be difficult for the US to get out of the JCPOA, considering that all other signatories are still backing it. However, this is not to say that the US will not use all other means at its disposal, including its vast media and intelligence resources, to sow discord within the Iranian political elite and create an economic and political crisis in the country.

First published in our partner Mehr News Agency

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