Peace for the Koreas but not for the United States

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This week’s Inter-Korean Summit meeting between Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in was considered historic for a number of reasons.

For one it is reported that among others, the meeting was meant to formally end the 1950s-era Korean War by singing a peace treaty, or formally known as the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. The Korean War was a conflict that eventually split the Korea into two countries as a result of the anti-communist hysteria during the early days of the Cold War. Armed hostilities ended in July 27, 1953 but the two new states are technically still at war since no truce has been signed.

Also of importance is the Kim’s proposal to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons during the summit at the border truce town of Panmunjon in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The communist leader said he will invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States for inspection of the proposed shuttering of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which might happen as early as this May according to the South Korean government.

North Korea first detonated its nuclear bomb in an illegal weapon test in October 9, 2006 largely as a result of its own research. As it turned out the nuke test was Pyongyang’s leverage to receive aid in exchange for disabling this capability in a series of six-party talks involving the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan, and the United States.

Previous summits between North Korea and South Korea have taken place in 2000 and 2007 but did not bring peace between the two especially as the United States continued to provoke Pyongyang with large invasion military exercises around the DPRK.

Washington’s reaction

After the April 27 summit between the two sides, United States president Donald Trump tweeted “Korean War to End! The United States and all of its great people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!” as if to imply that the Washington played a major role.

Remember that just this year the unpredictable president spoke of brinkmanship when he responded to Pyongyang’s New Year’s day speech, stating in a Tweet that “will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have  Nuclear Button, but it is much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

In a follow-up statement seemingly to placate his earlier pompous assertion, Trump Tweeted that “please do not forget the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States, particularly at the Border of North Korea. Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process!”

Conservative media outlets and pundits have even hinted that Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, just because of the president’s “tough stance” against North Korea and the pressure resulting from hard-hitting economic sanctions after last year’s series of nuclear tests. Note that the Nobel Committee is not immune to politics too when back former US president Barack Obama received the peace prize in 2010 after just a few months of becoming American president.

Although president Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet in a few weeks either in Singapore, Mongolia, or South Korea. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the upcoming meetings will focus on the issue of denuclearization. For his part, US Defense Secretary James Mattis in a phone conversation with his South Korean counterpart said that the United States will maintain “ironclad commitment…using the full spectrum of US capabilities” for its ally.

Peace in the Peninsula is not welcome

And this is where issues might get complicated. Experts anticipate the DPRK’s wish list might include the withdrawal of all American nuclear-capable weapons in the region, and possibly the removal of the United States’ 28,500 troops from South Korea. This might prove to be a non-negotiable demand for Washington, which has maintained bases in numerous countries it ‘liberated’ during World War II.

As with the White House’s unacceptable sabotaging of peace in the Middle East (particularly the alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack recently), the American hunger for armed, diplomatic, and economic conflict will only continue to derail peace elsewhere, and the Korean Peninsula is no exception.

Beyond the initial euphoria for this most recent Inter-Korean Summit, the real international community must cautiously observe possible “incidents” that might “suddenly happen” and give the United States another “concern” about Pyongyang’s “sincerity” about making peace in the region.

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Olympics, Oxfam, SpaceX: what do they have in common?

In order to grasp the ethical relationship between the on-going PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Oxfam, an international partnership of charitable organizations fighting poverty, and the recent launching of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, now the world’ most powerful privately-developed space launch vehicle, it is important to have some background, as follows:

Russian athletes banned in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Beset by continued allegations that their athletes are taking performance-enhancing drugs, Russia is enduring unfounded allegations (remember the photo that spread in social media pitting top world tennis players Serena Williams, who’s obviously well-muscled, against the demure and slim Maria Sharapova back in 2016) of prohibited drug use for its participants in the PyeongChang Olympics games. Also note that this unsuccessful but damaging wholesale ban of Russian athletes was first seen in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Aid agency Oxfam employees hired sex workers in Haiti

One of the world’s most prestigious anti-poverty organizations, Oxfam has been caught in a major sex scandal involving employees hiring and even exploiting sex workers in Haiti during the organization’s relief efforts after a major earthquake struck and killed 220,000 people in 2010. Now there are talks that the non-profit organization, which raked-in some $44 million in government funds and donations last fiscal year, might lose such funding if this outrage is not rectified.

Private space launch company SpaceX successfully tests world’s most powerful rocket

What should have been a triumph for humanity, SpaceX’s spectacular and history-in-the-making test of the world’s most powerful rocket at the moment has had its share of envy-driven criticism from the mainstream media. In an article published in The Guardian, Harvard professor, writer, and accomplished author Nathan Robinson argued that the immense effort and financial commitment to put the rocket, and Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster to space en route to Mars, should have been spent fighting Earthly problems (pun intended) such as ending the war in Syria, or fighting disease. He wrote the piece like it is the visionary billionaire who caused the world problems in the first place.

Now what connects these three bits of news?

The word ‘double standard’ is described in the dictionary as “a set of standards that applies differently and usually more harshly to one group of people or circumstances than to another”, while ‘envy’ is defined as “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”

For the Olympics, what should have been a sporting event to celebrate human physiological achievements has turned into the latest battle ground the West is asserting against its enemies, particularly Russia. Here are some examples of Western double standards: Lance Armstrong, the legendary American professional road racing cyclist who have won numerous world championships including the esteemed Tour de France, and the Olympics, have confessed to engaging in long-term doping offenses in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013; American comedian Jimmy Kemmel’s prank-turned-into-serious-news-by-US-mainstream-media wolf in Sochi, Russia incident where a wolf was seen casually walking in a hotel in Sochi but was actually in an ABC News studio in California; Russian athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics having been forced to represent neutral in the sporting event, which means participants “competing as neutrals without a national team means that athletes will not take part in the opening ceremony, and their country’s anthem will not be played if they win any medals”, and that the Russian Olympic Committee, alleged by the International Olympic Committee to have allowed “state-sponsored” doping of the athletes must pay $15 million that would “cover the costs of the investigations” while forgetting that its most prominent athletes such as Venus and Serena Williams have been “specially allowed” to use drug enhancements that are “within the limits of the Olympic rules.”

For its part, sex allegations against Oxfam continue to pile up against not only its employees stationed abroad but also its management. The relief organization now has to face investigation after The Times reported that aid workers, and then country director Roland van Hauwermeiren brought in underage sex workers to an Oxfam office which it converted to a makeshift brothel. This complete betrayal of trust spanks in the face of those who are donating, the government included, to combat poverty and respond to calamities in other countries. In their website, Oxfam’s purpose include challenging structural causes of injustice, but with news that the organization has been aware of the wrong-doings back then and secretly gave its country director a dignified exit is a form of injustice.

In his article about the historic launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket to space, Harvard commentator Nathan Robinson articulated that there is “no better way to appreciate the tragedy of 21st-century global inequality than by watching a billionaire spend $90m launching a $100,000 car into the far reaches of the solar system.” He added that “a mission to Mars does indeed sound exciting, but it’s important to have our priorities straight. First, perhaps we could make it so that a child no longer dies of malaria every two minutes. Or we could try to address the level of poverty in Alabama…perhaps once violence, poverty and disease are solved, then we can head for the stars.”

Such depiction of a remarkable science achievement is indeed depressing. The author clearly missed the root causes of inequality in the first place, when Western empires consumed entire countries and continents for slave labor during the Industrial Revolution, or when black Americans were not treated equal status as human beings before the human rights movement of the 1960s, or when the 2007-2008 financial crisis (which itself was caused by brutal financial speculation among America’s elite) hurt ordinary people around the world. Having expressed his article as if Elon Musk, owner of SpaceX, Tesla, founder of PayPal, and business magnate, is the sole billionaire who has intentionally overlooked the problems of the world, and that his space projects should be considered as a form of petty ego-trip undertakings.

He has failed mention that such endeavors as Tesla cars helping alleviate climate change by going electric, and helping explore other worlds that humans might migrate to in the future be worthy endeavors that transcend politics of the world today. On the contrary such existential matters as global warming and space exploration will probably be the problems that future generations will have to contend with if we fail to at least take small steps to tackle them today. Indeed the politics of today will eventually come to pass, but our continued survival will be a nagging issue for generations to come.

The World in 2018

Outlets from media to think tanks to governments have published their annual prognostications for the year ahead. From sports, to culture, to economics, to global politics, here I present a calendar of events, as well as predictions for the next 365 days.

Sports

The 2018 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in Pyeonchang, South Korea. The international multi-sport event will take place from February 9 to 25, and the country of 51.25 million sees this as their first time hosting the Winter Olympics, and their second Olympic Games.

The World Cup 2018 will be held in Russia. This once-in-four-years football event will take place from June 14 to July 15 and is said to be the first World Cup to be held in Europe since 2006.

Economy

The global economy in 2017 was for the most part about steady growth, and the year 2018 sees this trend continuing to 3.6 percent for 2018 compared to 3.5 percent the previous year. In fact the major economies of the world have had their growth forecasts revised from 2016: the International Monetary Fund collectively described them as ‘positive surprises.’

Goldman Sachs predicts a generally ‘strong expansion in the world economy’ at 4.0% real GDP growth in 2018. It further added that the “strength is broad-based across advanced economies (US, Japan, Euro area)”, except for the UK with a much slower growth.

As for emerging economies, Goldman Sachs are positive about the economies of India and Russia, while China “appears to be slowing modestly.”

The annual World Economic Forum, a gathering of the world’s biggest economic leaders, top CEOs, and millionaires and billionaires, will be held on January 23 to 26 in Davos, Switzerland. It is said that this year’s edition will be the first time in two decades an Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will be visiting this ski resort.

Politics

Russia’s incumbent president, Vladimir Putin, will once again run for presidential elections in April this year. The 65-year-old leader is expected to lead the polls once again, but as an independent candidate after leaving United Russia, a political party he has been associated with since 2001.

In the United Kingdom, another Royal Wedding is stirring up moods and spirits. This one’s a bit special as the bride-to-be, Meghan Markle, to be married to Prince Harry, is an American. When she becomes Royal on May 19, 2018, the former TV actress says she will focus on humanitarian work.

The United States will once again be busy at the polls as the midterm elections takes place on November 6. This midterm election is expected to shakeup the House of Representatives and the Senate as Democrats rally their way to Capitol Hill (and to opposed and worsen the presidency of Republican Donald Trump). Although in the minority right now, the Democrat’s win is not as far-fetched as it sounds since Conservative Trump has quickly become one of the most-hated presidents in US history.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s move to lessen conservatism will start with allowing women to be issued driving licenses starting June. Women will now be allowed to attend sporting events (although segregated through designated ‘family sections’), as well as the return of movie theaters to the kingdom since the 1980s by March this year. Also important is Riyadh’s plans to offer its first tourist visas in 2018.

The Palestine issue will be a pivotal topic in Middle East politics especially after the United States and Israel angered the world with the announcement that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel (and with it the relocation of US embassies to the city) back in December. Trump was quick to lash out those who opposed the decision (where a UN vote saw 128 to 9 votes against the Trump declaration) by threatening to withdraw billions of dollars of US aid to countries that opposed him.

Science

Outer space and the Moon is expected to be in the headlines in this Year of the Dog as private companies try their hands on economizing the last frontier. Elon Musk, the American business magnate who owns Tesla Inc. among other big ventures, announced his outer space company SpaceX will send two (unidentified) space tourists on a trip around the Moon in 2018. If successful, this leisure trip will be the first time humans have ventured beyond low-Earth orbit since 1972.

British billionaire Richard Branson has announced his company Virgin Galactic is on track to begin commercial passenger spaceflights before the end of 2018. This prodigious plan will be accomplished by Virgin Galactic’s air-launched suborbital spaceplane SpaceShipTwo, allowing extremely well-paying passengers to experience a few minutes of microgravity and divine views of the Earth below.

Another space-faring company, Moon Express, announced that it is “definitely” going to land a spacecraft to the Moon in 2018. Moon Express is owned by Indian-American entrepreneur Naveen Jain. His company (so is SpaceX, and other space venture companies) is a participant to the Google Lunar X-Prize, an international prize space competition which challenges private funded spaceflight contestants to “be the first to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit back high-definition video and images.” The $20 million reward will and should be awarded at the contest’s conclusion on March 2018.

“Locked and loaded” for ship collisions: is the US Navy too arrogant to give way?

Not one, but two United States Navy maritime collisions have occurred in less than two months in the “freedom of navigation” sea lanes the US government proclaims of the seas in the Far East.

On August 21 the American USS John S McCain warship collided with a Liberian-flagged commercial vessel Alnic MC which damaged the military ship off the coast of Singapore. The Navy announced that “there are currently ten sailors missing and five injured” as a result of the mishap. President Donald Trump in a Twitter statement conferred his “thoughts and prayers…with our US Navy sailors aboard.”

Some three times the Navy vessel’s size, the oil and chemical tanker Alnic MC measures in at 183 meters long and has a deadweight of 50,760 tons. The shipping lanes off Singapore’s coast are among the busiest in the world, carrying a quarter of the world’s oil and commodities. Early reports showed that the merchant vessel was not loaded with oil cargo and thus avoided a major oil and chemical spill which would have been a bigger disaster.

This accident comes as the investigation for an earlier collision involving the USS Fitzgerald, a ballistic missile (BMD) ship, has yet to be concluded. The collision which occurred in mid-June claimed the lives of seven sailors, as well as injuring three crews and Commander of the ship Bryce Benson.

In total this year, the US Navy, the largest and often considered the “most sophisticated and powerful” in the world, have been involved in four collisions and accidents. In January the USS Antietam guided missile cruiser run aground off the coast of Japan where it spilled more than a 1000 gallons of oil. In May the USS Lake Champlain guided-missile cruiser hit a South Korean fishing vessel, and in June the USS Fitzgerald guided missile destroyer collided with a Philippines-registered cargo ship off the coast of Japan.

In its reaction to the latest fatal US Navy accident, China’s state news ran a spread with the headline “the South China Sea should not be Bermuda Triangle for the United States.” In a statement, it also opined that “the US Navy has behaved arrogantly in the Asia-Pacific region. It lacks respect for huge merchant vessels and fails to take evasive action in time, thus resulting in serious accidents.”

And as always, when the competencies of American sailors should be questioned, the blame will always fall on others. For instance, American cybersecurity firm Votiro said in a statement that “I don’t believe in coincidence, both the USS McCain and USS Fitzgerald were part of the 7th Fleet…there may be a connection…China has capabilities, maybe they are trying things, it is possible.”

Accidents in this part of the world should not be surprising: the US Navy’s confrontational maneuvers in Chinese waters

USS Fitzgerald after it collided with Philippine-flagged container ship in Tokyo Bay in June 2017, claiming 7 lives.

Early last year the United States conducted the so-called freedom of navigation (FON) program in the South China Sea which infuriated Beijing, interpreting it as reckless provocation of China’s claim in the highly disputed seas. The US Department of State has in its official statement that the FON operations are designed to deter “unilateral acts of other states (that) restrict the rights and freedoms of the international community in navigation and overflight…in high seas uses.” Furthermore, the FON program are conducted “on a worldwide basis in a manner that is consistent…with the Law of the Sea Convention.”

Reacting to the FON operations, China’s Defense Ministry continues to condemn Washington’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea, warning of “an increase in the intensity of air and sea patrols…according to the extent of the threat that its national security is facing.”

It should not be sidelined that the United States is not and refuses to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an international agreement signed by 167 states. UNCLOS is the de-facto body for setting and respecting sea borders among nations, and thus has jurisdiction over the use of international waters as well as maritime disputes. The United States, being averse to international treaties, blatantly avoids any jurisdiction over its sea vessels, and most especially on the conduct of its Navy around the world, from performing dangerous patrols to the immunity of its servicemen abroad.

Indeed, the United States continues to believe that all the world’s oceans are their backyard; that there should be priority accorded only to US warships and that all other vessels should give way to American warships wherever they are in the world. A ship the size of a typical oil tanker is impossible to miss and remain undetected aboard sophisticated US Navy vessels. That fact that these military vessels are designed to detect ballistic missiles in space and yet are unable to detect nearby and very large vessels should be a cause of concern for how Washington’s military machine operate beyond the continental United States. To be sure, the task of “policing” the world will always be America’s sole responsibility; that these military vessels in busy international shipping lanes are in a hurry to delivery democracy around the world.

Qatar and GCC row: Behind the headlines

In a move that surprised even keen observers Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and other Middle East countries have severed diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar this week.

The official reason for the public to consume was to protect from “various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region” as announced by Saudi Arabia on June 5.

Similar statements where heard from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) capitals and was immediately followed by air, land, and sea travel bans to and from Qatar by the same countries.

Qatar for its part has defended its position, stating that the recent email leaks by its leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was a fabrication designed to implicate and isolate the country, and that it was not behind the leaked emails of Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States.

Referring to the Saudi-led diplomatic embargo, leaders in Doha articulated that the unjustified action against them aims “to impose guardianship on the state” and that “this by itself is a violation of its [Qatar’s] sovereignty as a state.”

The days leading up to the GCC dispute

It can be recalled that during the end of May, US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia, his first such visit outside America as president. The visit to Riyadh was perceived as quite a surprise choice, and is part of a nine-day, five country tour across the Middle East and Europe. The areas of discussion and agreements included the signing of a $110 billion arms deal between the two countries, the ongoing war in Syria, and the issue of Israel.

The visit was not well received in Qatar, as they opined that the it only resulted in emboldening Riyadh’s stance against Doha’s quasi-independent foreign policy, especially regarding long standing issues like the latter’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and its cordial relationship with Iran, the arch nemesis of Saudi in the region.

Also during that week the Qatar government announced that its state-run news agency was hacked, where unidentified attackers published a fake story about alleged controversial comments made by the ruling emir. In response, Saudi Arabia and the UAE blocked Qatari media, including the influential Al-Jazeera news channel.

On June 5, unknown hackers have leaked the emails of Yousef al-Otaiba, where it was revealed that the UAE had strong links to think-thanks closely linked to Israel, as well as other points including the Emirate’s efforts to destabilize Turkey, its fight against Islamic movements including the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, and its efforts to taint the reputation of Qatar and Kuwait.

The email leak also showed the Emirate’s ambition to replace Saudi Arabia as the United States’ “right hand” in the Middle East, and plans by Washington and the Emirates to halt a meeting between Hamas and the leadership of Qatar.

Bigger issues that have triggered this latest GCC row

It is important to note that a similar diplomatic spat occurred in 2014, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar as a result of Doha’s failure to implement a security pact of non-interference in their respective internal affairs. In response, leaders in Doha expressed their “disappointment and surprise” and that the real issue was about Qatar’s support of the deposed Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi. At the height of the GCC dispute, former Qatar ambassador to the United Nations and the US expressed that “I am sure in the days after that wisdom will come and these countries will realize that trying to impose the philosophy of my way and the highway will not work with Qatar.”

Qatar has been criticized for its support for the Muslim Brotherhood especially in Egypt. This Islamic movement, which favors Sharia law to be implemented in the country, supports free and open elections, which does not sit well with most Arab monarchies, especially Saudi Arabia. The Saudis see elections as a threat to its legitimacy and internal security, and thus has lobbied to brand this Islamic movement as a terrorist organization.

In Washington, President Trump along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson supports the Saudi’s judgement of the Muslim Brotherhood, although other bodies, such as the Human Rights Council, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, opposed such terrorist branding.

The Iranian connection

Prior to Donald Trump’s Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, a leading Saudi newspaper published a story accusing Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani of meeting the Iranian Qud Force Commander Qasim Sulaimani, during the former’s visit to Iraq.

The visit was allegedly about helping arrange the release of members of the Qatari royal family, who were in Iraq as part of a falconry trip and then kidnapped in late 2015. The 26-man falconry party was released after the Qatari government paid a hefty $1 billion ransom for their release early this year.

This meeting was perceived by the House of Saud as compromising the merits of their anti-Iran agenda. The ransom paid to Iranian agents is said to be money that directly or indirectly supported extremists in the region. This accusation is despite Qatar’s signing the anti-Tehran Riyadh Declaration which condemned, among other allegations, that Iran had “hostile positions” and continues to interfere “in the domestic affairs of other countries.”

Doha has so far denied their deep involvement in Iran’s alleged hostile influence in the region. For instance, the Saudi-led war in Yemen is being supported by Qatar, which has about 1,000 troops combating the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Despite this military support, Riyadh still accuses Doha of supporting the anti-government forces in Yemen.

Fake News: the new name of propaganda

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There used to be a song with the lyrics “before you accuse me take a look at yourself” which was popularized by the English singer and songwriter Eric Clapton. The ‘mass hysteria’ regarding the frenzied ‘proliferation’ of what they now brand as ‘fake news’ has enraged the ruling establishment and the media alike. But really, who is accusing who?

Just a few days back Reuters, the international news agency from London, has accused the Russian television network RT and the Russian news outlet Sputnik of spreading fake news against the accusation that the Russian government intervened in the very recent French presidential elections.

To begin with, Reuters quoted their usual anonymous “US officials” (who are therefore unaccountable) stating that the Russian government attempted to influence the outcome of the French elections in order to favor far right leader Marine Le Pen against Emmanuel Macron who favors a stronger stance against the Kremlin, and who’s political party also accused the Russians of meddling in their campaigns.

Macron has since taken the presidency in a definitive win against the softer, anti-NATO and reconciliatory Le Pen. He is widely believed to be pro-European Union, elitist, and staunchly anti-Russian who favors even more damaging sanctions. And although any evidence to back up their claims has not since surfaced (or ever will) the fake news accusations has since been mirrored by the mainstream media outlets in the other side of the Atlantic.

For instance CNN ran a story with the usual fear mongering tone with a headline declaring “Fears of Russian meddling as France prepares to go to the polls”. In the article, they quoted Richard Burr, head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, as saying “I think it’s safe by everybody’s judgement that the Russians are actively involved in the French elections…part of our responsibility is to educate the rest of the world.” And buried in between the paragraphs there is a link with the title “Read: How Russia hacks you”. To top it all off, not a single evidence has been presented regarding this fantastical claim of Moscow’s meddling and hacking.

Not too far ago the same stories were published across the mainstream news media regarding Russia’s ‘push’ to help Donald Trump win the American elections. Does anyone remember how the likes of CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and others have monitored ‘the polls’ showing that Hillary ‘the warmonger’ Clinton was leading, and we eventually knew how surprised and upset the news outlets were when ‘suddenly’ Trump won the race to the Oval Office.

In the past decade alone, the United States government together with its media tentacles have spewed false news in order to rally the public into taking destructive action abroad. This may be in the form of an outright military intervention, or it can be by means of economic and political war waged against America’s enemies.

Such was the case with Iraq when the whole American and British mainstream media establishments ran the unescapable fake news that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that the Iraqi leader had ties to Osama Bin Laden. Who could forget Colin Powel, then Secretary of State during George W. Bush’s presidency, presented the ‘physical evidence’ of Saddam’s WMDs to the United Nations Security Council. The world, but perhaps not Iraq, has since moved on with these fake news from the US government itself and the United States has since been bogged down in that country up to the present time.

Led by the American establishment the world has time and again been witness to various unfounded ‘facts’ (and therefore fake news) against Washington’s enemies, including the Syrian chemical attacks alleged to have been instigated by the Syrian government (no evidence has since been presented), to the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 that crashed over Ukraine and was attributed to “Putin’s missile” immediately (not even a day after the accident), to how Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are traitors and spies, that ISIS presented an “existential threat to the security of the United States of America”, that China aims to become the dominant military power in the next few decades, that foreigners are stealing American jobs, that the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia was plagued by “security concerns”, that the Cold War was over and NATO had no plans to expand to the East to Russia’s doorsteps, that Western Europe needed anti-ballistic missile installations near Russia’s borders are necessary to counter the “Iranian missile threat”, and so on and so forth. We all know by now that such emotion-stirring headlines and “worst case scenarios” didn’t happen to the benefit of the world.