A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence

A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence

World War 3 image

By John Pilger, award-winning journalist and filmmaker
[Excerpted from a transcribed lecture at University of Sydney]

In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons.” People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories.  Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.

A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable.”

In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two—led by the United States—is taking place along Russia’s western frontier.  Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia.

Ukraine—once part of the Soviet Union—has become a CIA theme park. Having orchestrated a coup in Kiev, Washington effectively controls a regime that is next door and hostile to Russia: a regime rotten with Nazis, literally. Prominent parliamentary figures in Ukraine are the political descendants of the notorious OUN and UPA fascists. They openly praise Hitler and call for the persecution and expulsion of the Russian speaking minority.

This is seldom news in the West, or it is inverted to suppress the truth.

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia—next door to Russia—the U.S. military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world’s second nuclear power is met with silence in the West. 

What makes the prospect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a parallel campaign against China.

Seldom a day passes when China is not elevated to the status of a “threat”.  According to Admiral Harry Harris, the U.S. Pacific commander, China is “building a great wall of sand in the South China Sea”.

What he is referring to is China building airstrips in the Spratly Islands, which are the subject of a dispute with the Philippines—a dispute without priority until Washington pressured and bribed the government in Manila and the Pentagon launched a propaganda campaign called “freedom of navigation”.

What does this really mean?  It means freedom for American warships to patrol and dominate the coastal waters of China.  Try to imagine the American reaction if Chinese warships did the same off the coast of California.

I made a film called The War You Don’t See, in which I interviewed distinguished journalists in America and Britain: reporters such as Dan Rather of CBS, Rageh Omar of the BBC, David Rose of the Observer.

All of them said that had journalists and broadcasters done their job and questioned the propaganda that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction; had the lies of George W. Bush and Tony Blair not been amplified and echoed by journalists, the 2003 invasion of Iraq might not have happened, and  hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today.

The propaganda laying the ground for a war against Russia and/or China is no different in principle. To my knowledge, no journalist in the Western “mainstream”—a Dan Rather equivalent, say—asks why China is building airstrips in the South China Sea.

The answer ought to be glaringly obvious. The United States is encircling China with a network of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle groups, nuclear-armed bombers.

This lethal arc extends from Australia to the islands of the Pacific, the Marianas and the Marshalls and Guam, to the Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, Korea and  across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India. America has hung a noose around the neck of China. This is not news. Silence by media; war by media.

In 2015, in high secrecy, the U.S. and Australia staged the biggest single air-sea military exercise in recent history, known as Talisman Sabre. Its aim was to rehearse an Air-Sea Battle Plan, blocking sea lanes, such as the Straits of Malacca and the Lombok Straits, that cut off China’s access to oil, gas and other vital raw materials from the Middle East and Africa. 

In the circus known as the American presidential campaign, Donald Trump is being presented as a lunatic, a fascist.  He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure.  That alone should arouse our skepticism. 

Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.

According to one prodigious liberal commentator, Trump is “unleashing the dark forces of violence” in the United States. Unleashing them?   

This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and the police wage a murderous war against black Americans. This is the country that has attacked and sought to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle East, causing the deaths and dispossession of millions of people. 

No country can equal this systemic record of violence. Most of America’s wars (almost all of them against defenseless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

In 1947, a series of National Security Council directives described the paramount aim of American foreign policy as “a world substantially made over in [America’s] own image”.  The ideology was messianic Americanism. We were all Americans. Or else. Heretics would be converted, subverted, bribed, smeared or crushed.

Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn’t want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted “exceptionalism” is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face. 

As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies—just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about “hope.” And the drool goes on.

Described by the Guardian columnist Owen Jones as “funny, charming, with a coolness that eludes practically every other politician,” Obama the other day sent drones to slaughter 150 people in Somalia.  He kills people usually on Tuesdays, according to the New York Times, when he is handed a list of candidates for death by drone. So cool.  

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons.  As Secretary of State under Obama, she participated in the overthrow of the democratic government of Honduras. Her contribution to the destruction of Libya in 2011 was almost gleeful. When the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, was publicly sodomised with a knife—a murder made possible by American logistics—Clinton gloated over his death: “We came, we saw, he died.”

One of Clinton’s closest allies is Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of State, who has attacked young women for not supporting “Hillary”. This is the same Madeleine Albright who infamously celebrated on TV the death of half a million Iraqi children as “worth it”.

Among Clinton’s biggest backers are the Israel lobby and the arms companies that fuel the violence in the Middle East.  She and her husband have received a fortune from Wall Street. And yet, she is about to be ordained the women’s candidate, to see off the evil Trump, the official demon. Her supporters include distinguished feminists: the likes of Gloria Steinem in the U.S. and Anne Summers in Australia.

A generation ago, a post-modern cult now known as “identity politics” stopped many intelligent, liberal-minded people examining the causes and individuals they supported—such as the fakery of Obama and Clinton; such as bogus progressive movements like Syriza in Greece, which betrayed the people of that country and allied with their enemies.

Self absorption, a kind of “me-ism”, became the new zeitgeist in privileged western societies and signaled the demise of great collective movements against war, social injustice, inequality, racism and sexism.

Today, the long sleep may be over. The young are stirring again. Gradually. The thousands in Britain who supported Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader are part of this awakening—as are those who rallied to support Senator Bernie Sanders.

In Britain last week, Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally, his shadow treasurer John McDonnell, committed a Labour government to pay off the debts of piratical banks and online pharmacy no prescription and, in effect, to continue so-called austerity.  

In the U.S., Bernie Sanders has promised to support Clinton if or when she’s nominated. He, too, has voted for America’s use of violence against countries when he thinks it’s “right”. He says Obama has done “a great job”.

In Australia, there is a kind of mortuary politics, in which tedious parliamentary games are played out in the media while refugees and Indigenous people are persecuted and inequality grows, along with the danger of war. The government of Malcolm Turnbull has just announced a so-called defense budget of $195 billion that is a drive to war.  There was no debate. Silence. 

What has happened to the great tradition of popular direct action, unfettered to parties? Where is the courage, imagination and commitment required to begin the long journey to a better, just and peaceful world? Where are the dissidents in art, film, the theatre, literature?  

Where are those who will shatter the silence? Or do we wait until the first nuclear missile is fired?  


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.

 

Training Youth: The Model Global Parliament

Training Youth: The Model Global Parliament

Model Parliament
By Chris Hamer
DWF Board Member

A Model Global Parliament was just held in the New South Wales Parliament building, the eighth in a series of Model Global Parliaments that have now been held over the past three years in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney. The Model Global Parliament program is the brainchild of Pera Wells, formerly an Australian diplomat, and at one time the Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations. The scenario is that the Members of Parliament (MPs) act as if they are members of a real global parliament, with the power to enact binding laws or regulations concerning global issues, such as nuclear weapons, climate change, and so on. In Pera’s model, half the MPs represent regions of the globe, such as North Asia or Latin America, and half represent global civil society organizations such as the World Parliament of Religions or the International Association of Trade Unions. Up to now, most but not all of the MPs have been graduate students in disciplines like international relations or international law.

Attendance at our 3rd Model Global Parliament in Sydney was modest, but as always included an extraordinary mix of students and others from many different nationalities, including Syria, Italy, Turkey, Sri Lanka, China, Spain, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Egypt, Hong Kong, Palestine, Australia, and Bangladesh. The concept generally seems to appeal more to international students than the locals.

This session took place on the theme of climate change, looking forward to the global conference in Paris at the end of the year. Prof Chris Hamer, President of Scientists for Global Responsibility, gave a quick rundown of the conventional view of the facts behind climate change, as given by the IPCC. Dr Howard Brady, an Antarctic geologist, gave the skeptical viewpoint, arguing the need not to panic, but to slow down and give time for infant technologies to develop. Debate of the motions put forward to the MGP followed.

The following motions were voted upon:

Motion 1: North Asia

Motion Carried

Noting the increasing concerns over global environmental issues,

Calls for the creation of a global umbrella group instead of establishing a new institution, which will act as a research facility, think-tank, and information bank for the wider public. The Global Institute for ‘Green’ Innovation (GIGI) will have a headquarters in North Asia coordinating regional hubs, and will be internationally renowned as a hotspot for innovative renewable energy technology. The institute will include a significant scientific research division with focus areas being the development of ground-breaking ‘green’ technologies on an international scale.

 

Motion 2: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Motion defeated

Considering that setting of emissions reduction targets is hindered by differing viewpoints over appropriate accountabilities of developing and developed nations.

Proposes that the target agreed-upon in Paris informs resolution of these conflicting views by incorporating objective, crowd-sourced data around human dependence on nature/natural resources and the contribution of nature to people’s livelihoods.

 

Motion 3: World Parliament of Religions

Motion carried

Noting that more than eight in ten people worldwide identify with a religious group, religious adherence should be given greater acknowledgement by the United Nations.

Calls upon the United Nations to establish a Council of Religions and also to bring the religious groups into discussion, to give a voice to religious groups, and to ensure their interests are represented in policy.

Motion 4: Latin America

Motion Defeated

Noting the power imbalance in the UN Security Council and the changing dynamics of global power.

Calls on the United Nations General Assembly to vote to amend the Charter to include Brazil as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Motion 5: Universities

Motion Defeated

Noting that the UNSC is becoming increasingly ineffective in stopping transnational wars as in Iraq, Syria and Yemen,

Calls on the UNSC to disband and to allow the UNGA to make decisions involving global security on an 85% supermajority vote.

 


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.