Archive for October, 2017

IRAN IS A MORTAL ENEMY OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALL OF WEST

October 30, 2017

In an interview on Fox News on October 13, 2017, Newt Gingrich commented on Iran. Excerpts below:

Newt Gingrich said that President Donald Trump decided to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal because the administration understands that Iran has long been the United States’ “mortal enemy.”

“I always ask my friends [on the left]: What do you think the term ‘Death to America’ means?'” Gingrich said on “Outnumbered.”

He said he expects Trump to adopt a more aggressive strategy toward Iran, including targeting the Revolutionary Guard, the nation’s most powerful security institution.

“Iranians have bluffed Westerners over and over again, starting with Jimmy Carter in 1979. And now – just like the North Koreans – they’re running into somebody who’s not bluffable.”

[The administration] has zero doubt this is a bad regime said Gingrich. “And I think we will respond as aggressively as we need to to whatever the Iranians do.”

Comment: Gingrich is correct in his view concerning the Persian Empire. The Persians in ancient times created a durable empire that for a long time threatened Greek culture in the West using clever political devices and military force. When Islam created a strong imperial government in Baghdad, they used the Persian Sasanian Empire as an organizational model (3rd to 7th centuries AD). It offered a bureaucracy, an effective military system, diplomacy, and intelligence. Muslim rulers studied the 10lh-century “Book of Kings” (the epic Shahnameh). Another central work was “The Mirror for Princes”, which had been prepared for instruction of rulers and ministers. An important element in the preservation of the empire was intelligence gathering. The work of spies spread throughout the empire.”The Book of Government” (Seyasat-Nameh) by Nizam al-Mulk (d. 1092 AD) was prepared to help sustain fundamentalist Islam, but the origin of the work was completely Iranian. The author, whose title means “Regulator of the Kingdom,” was trained in Iranian bureaucracy. Nizam al-Mulk firmly believed in centralized rule. Essential to the state was a strong army. This was to carry out the everlasting expansionist strategy supported by a totally reliable intelligence service (barid). To create a trusted barid, a good system of communication was of utmost importance.

Bluff is an important part of Persian/Iranian statecraft but its use did not start in 1979. It goes much further back. It started with books of strategy and tactics like the ”Book of Kings” and ”The Book of Government” and the practice of the advise in those works.

Classical statecraft in the countries of the Middle East has stressed cunning, simulation, and ruse. Especially in two areas in the field of statecraft, diplomacy and negotiations, the classical Islamic and Iranian strategies were to out-flank the opponent, seeking ultimate triumph. In such a system, there is not much room for conciliation, confidence, and fair-dealing. A treaty concluded is regarded as a weakness of the opponent, which must at once be exploited to prepare for further triumphs. This has to be remembered by Western states including the United States in negotiations with Tehran. It is crucial in the present to keep in mind Islamic and Iranian heritage in all negotiations and diplomacy. In the view of Iran treaties are not the solution. They are part of a ruse that will lead to future victories.

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CHINA: THE NEXT HEGEMON?

October 29, 2017

John Robb on October 27, 2017, published a contribution on his blog Global Guerrilla on the rise of China. Excerpts below:

The 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is over. It was a seminal event. It…

firmly consolidated political power in the hands of a single man, Xi (no successor was named).

clearly informed the world that China was now a global superpower (and the US was its only rival).

would promote a world based on ‘capitalism with Chinese characteristics’ (a capitalism in a Leninist cage) in opposition to Western democracy.

In short, China publicly announced that it is now in a ‘cold economic war’ with the US for the future of the world.

Robb pointed out that the so called One Belt, One Road is one of the most important projects to reach Chinese global dominance. Starting at an 8 trillion US dollars investment to build a road, rail and maritime infrastructure system connecting Asia with Europe and Africa. This is to achieve a transportation monopoly. It is enshrined in the communist constitution of China and there is certainly the funds available for this. Robb believes that China will be the leading economic power within 20 years.

Robb offers one possible strategic solution for the West: to delay while the West is in a retreat, a rearguard action that will buy time.

Comment: China is challenging the West on the Eurasian heartland. The United States has between 1890 and 2008 followed the geopolitical principle of preventing that one great power grows too strong in Eurasia. Starting in 2017 the United States has the opportunity to follow the classical geopolitical principle that was the policy in relation to Eurasia.

China wants to strengthen its position as a rimland power and become the dominating power first in Asia and then in Europe. The overall growth of a country represents the most likely precursors to a large-scale conflict spurred by revisionist sentiment. An example of this realist interpretation of international relations theory is the rise of Nazi Germany during the 1930s. One country today matches the profile of the instigator. During the past decade China’s GDP has increased more than six-fold and its military forces have undergone complete modernization, rendering the country an East Asian hegemon.

DEFECTOR: KRUSHCHEV ORDERED KENNEDY ASSASSINATION

October 28, 2017

President Trump on October 26, 2017, released part of the Kennedy assassination records.

A high rank Warsaw Pact defector has earlier revealed that most intelligence officers in the Soviet empire believed that Oswald was recruited by KGB to assassinate President Kennedy.

Krushchev was angry that Kennedy had hurt his image during the 1962 Missile Crisis and ordered that the American president be killed.

The new release of documents shows that Oswald is suspected to have met with a KGB operative in Mexico City, who was a member of the 13th Department of the KGB, responsible for Soviet assassinations abroad.

It seems as if Krushchev later called off the operation because he feared it could lead to war. The assassination was indeed stopped. Oswald, a fanatic Marxist-Leninist, decided to carry out the deed on his own, possibly supported by Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro.

It seems a likely theory that would need further investigation after the release of the new documents.

A NEW GRAND STRATEGY FOR PROTECTING WESTERN CIVILIZATION

October 27, 2017

From 2008 to 2016 the United States’s grand strategy was to engage with key adversarial powers to find accomodation for American withdrawal from the world. It made the United States (and the West) unsafe.

In a commentary (”Defeating the dictators clique”) on October 19, 2017 J. William Middendorf II and Dan Negrea in Washington Times outlined what could be a new grand strategy for the United States. Excerpts below:

…China [with North Korea] , Russia, Iran threaten democracies everywhere. They are more dangerous than any past dictatorships because they have or are about to have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. The best way for peace-loving nations to oppose these dictators is through a global coalition centered on the United States and Europe. The U.S. and European democracies led coalitions that defeated dictators in World War I, World War II and the Cold War. They can do it again.

The dictatorships [differ]…Xi Jinping rules through his Communist Party over a partially free economy dominated by state-owned enterprises and is hostile to religion. Vladimir Putin and his nationalist party control their partially free economy through cronies and have established Orthodox Christianity as the de facto state religion. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Islamic theocracy has a barely free economy rife with cronyism. Kim Jong-un and his Communist Party control a closed, government-owned economy and their state religion is the veneration of the Kim family.

But what unites them is more important than what divides them: A deep hostility toward democracy, the rule of law, free market capitalism and free media. They all have territorial claims against their neighbors and have provoked military confrontations with them. And they support terrorist regimes and organizations.

When faced with international opposition, they support each other overtly and covertly. North Korea and Iran develop nuclear weapons and missiles together in defiance of international sanctions. China is only slowly and reluctantly reducing its trade with North Korea while Russia continues such trade. Russia protects Iran from inspections at its military bases under the Iran nuclear deal and they are allies in propping up the murderous Assad regime. China and Russia have expanded their economic and military relations and have held joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan and the Baltic Sea.

In opposing the dictator’s clique, the United States and Europe rely on a network of invaluable allies, including Japan, India, South Korea, Canada and Australia. But above all, they rely on their strong economies and militaries.

The economic might of the U.S. and Europe is formidable. Together they represent over half of the world’s gross domestic product and their bilateral trade is a third of the world’s total.

The combined military capability of NATO’s U.S. and European membership is unmatched. But their contribution is unequal. The economies of the United States and Europe are about the same size, but U.S. defense spending is 70 percent of NATO’s total.

The U.S. should also encourage an Eastern European subregional alliance to add dynamism to NATO. Eastern Europe, closer to the Russian menace and just free from tyrannical communism, is more intense about defense than Western Europe.

The Three Seas Initiative fits the bill. It is outwardly an economic forum of countries between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black seas: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria.

Its economic focus is reducing their overdependence on Russian energy imports and the related blackmail risk. During his July 2017 visit to Poland, Mr. Trump attended the initiative’s second summit and promised America’s help. The first U.S. shipment of liquefied natural gas just arrived at a Polish Baltic port and gas deliveries through Croatian Adriatic ports are in the works.

But the military dimension of the initiative is just under the surface: Several member countries host U.S. troops and have participated in joint military exercises, and all want to do more for the common defense. The U.S. should help strengthen their military capabilities.

In this troubled world, strengthening the indispensable partnership of U.S. and Europe as the cornerstone of a global coalition is one of our best hopes for peace.

Comment: In 2005 civilizationalist and political scientist Matthew Melko (1930 – 2010) in the Journal for the Comparative Study of Civilization in the essay ”The Hegemon in World History” identified the United States as hegemon from 1945 (the latest of such a power in world history). At the time of writing it could be said, so Melko, that it had not been weakened by perceived responsibilities. The economy of the United States was strong and more resilient and growing than most. In 2016 the situation had changed dramatically. The United States was voluntarily retreating from its position as hegemon and core defender of the West.

As pointed out in the commentary of Middendorf II and Negrea the states of the West (United States and Europe) need to challenge the anti-Western empires along with its most important allies: Canada in North America, Australia and Japan, India and South Korea in Asia. Maybe Taiwan should also be mentioned.

The Eastern European suballiance mentioned by the authors of the Washington Times commentary is of geopolitical importance when it comes to protection against an aggressive Russia. An effective Three Seas initiative could include Ukraine.

Geopolitical theorist Sir Halford Mackinder (1861–1947) after World War I wanted a loose federal reorganization of the region between Germany and Russia. He was influenced by the democratic spirit of the early inter-war years. In 1919–20, this ambitious design resulted in a diplomatic mission to South Russia, where Mackinder tried to create a large regional defensive alliance against the Bolshevik regime externally supported by the Western powers. Unfortunately the mission was a failure. One can only hope that the present subregional alliance against aggressive Russia is not a failure.

UKRAINE: VICTIM OF RUSSIAN COLONIALISM

October 25, 2017

Washington Times on October 22, 2017, published a review by Joseph C. Goulden of two recent books on the suffering of one of the world’s most abused states: Ukraine.”Lost Kingdom: the Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian Nation” by Serhii Plokhy (Basic Books, $32, 398 pages) and ”Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine” by Anne Applebaum (Doubleday, $35, 496 pages) both document Ukraine’s tragic history as it was victimized for centuries by Russian imperialism and colonialism. Excerpts below:

The Harvard historian Serhii Plokhy, the leading Western scholar on Ukraine, details Moscow’s historic insistence that Russia and its East Slavic neighbors occupy a joint historical space, and essentially comprise a single nation — despite strong language, cultural and religious differences.

Ukraine attempts to retain its independent, medieval Kyvian state over the centuries had off-again/on-again successes. At one point it was amalgamated into Poland.

In the 19th century Russian imperial authorities compromised (in a sense) by creating a tripartite nation composed of three tribes: Great Russian, Little Russian (Ukraine) and Belarusian. Russian revolutions in 1905 and 1917 destroyed the forced alliance, and Ukraine was independent again until the communists seized power after World War I. The “Lost Kingdom” of Mr. Plokhy’s title refers to its involuntary incorporation into the USSR.

Although the reborn-state received swift recognition from many European countries (plus the United States) Lenin moved to reclaim it for the new USSR in January 1918.

[Lenin’s] first scheme was to convert private farms into collective agriculture, run by the state. Lenin put it directly in a 1922 message to colleague Vyascheslav Molotov: “We must teach these people a lesson right now, so that they will not even dare to think of resistance in coming decades.” The dreaded Cheka, the secret police, aided by the Red Army, slaughtered resistant rural leaders by the hundreds. But grain production was not enough to alleviate national shortages.

Thus Stalin and the ruling hierarchy in the early 1930s moved to a more draconian plan: to destroy what remained of Ukrainian culture and to seize the land for the state.

Anne Applebaum [provides] a gripping account of the grim years during which Moscow deliberately sought to starve Ukraine into submission. Ms. Applebaum won a Pulitzer Prize for an earlier book, “Gulag”, on the Soviet prison system. “Red Famine” relates a story that is perhaps more cruel, an account of the misery the Communists inflicted on an innocent populace.

The state-evoked famine that stretched over two decades is well-known in USSR history. The consensus of previous historians was that the primary reason for starvation was Stalin’s campaign for collective farms. But having gained access to Ukraine archives, Ms. Appelbaum relates an even more chilling story: that in its latter stages, the motive driving “land reform” was in fact the deliberate obliteration of the Ukrainian people.

Dissident peasants were forced into labor battalions. “Procurement commissars” were tasked with confiscating every grain of wheat produced — including seeds that were essential to raising the next year’s crop.

The death toll: some five million persons.

Ms. Applebaum concedes that the archives contain no single document containing a Stalin order to obliterate Ukraine. But his iron control of the USSR makes him the prime mover.

Moscow’s lies continue even with communism dead. In 2015, Sputnik News, a Russian propaganda website, posted an article calling the famine “one of the 20th century’s most famous myths and vitriolic pieces of anti-Soviet propaganda.”

Ms. Applebaum puts the lie to this denial in strong and readable terms.

Joseph C. Goulden writes frequently on intelligence affairs.

Comment: Given independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union Ukraine did not achieve real liberation until 2014 through the Euromaidan revolution. In response Putin occupied Crimea and initiated a military attack on eastern Ukraine. Both the United States and the European Union should directly have provided more support for Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia is not enough.

Strong US support for Ukraine against Russian aggression was promised by US Defense Secretary James Mattis who met with Kyiv leaders in August vowed continued US support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression as he met with the country’s leaders in Kyiv after attending a Ukranian Independence Day parade.

At a news conference, Mattis said he intended to strengthen the US relationship with Ukraine:

“Have no doubt, the United States stands with Ukraine. We support you in the face of threats to sovereignty and territorial integrity, to international law, and to the international order writ large,” the US secretary of defense said.

“We do not, and we will not, accept Russia’s seizure of Crimea and despite Russia’s denials, we know they are seeking to redraw international borders by force, undermining the sovereign and free nations of Europe.”

“We in the United States understand the strategic challenges associated with Russian aggression — alongside our allies, we remain committed to upholding the widely accepted international norms that have increased global stability for decades”

Mattis said that the United States has approved the provision of nearly $750 million-worth of military equipment in recent years. More military aid is needed to deal with insurgents in the east and the present force of 3,000 Russian troops on Ukrainian territory. Ukraine seeks EU membership to create further stability. Brussels needs to speed up the treatment of the Kyiv membership application.

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THE COMING INVASION OF TAIWAN

October 22, 2017

A new important book ”The Chinese Invasion Threat, Taiwan’s Defense and America’s Strategy in Asia” by Ian Easton”, (Project 2049, US dollar 20.00, 389 pages) warns that China will be much more aggressive in the coming decades.On October 10, 2017, the book was reviewed in Washington Times by Richard D. Fisher Jr., a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center. Excerpts below:

For the first time since the early 1950s China is close to being able to attempt its never-abandoned goal of conquering Taiwan.

[It is] the CCP’s fear of Taiwan’s strengthening democratic culture and identity [that it will make] peaceful “unification” unlikely while increasingly undermining the legitimacy of the CCP’s dictatorship. But politics may also be pressing current CCP and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) leader Xi Jinping; starting the “historic mission” of unification near the end of his second term in 2022 may help justify an unprecedented third term as leader.

Using PLA-related publications with restricted access in China Mr. Easton provides new insights into the details, deliberations, planning and even some doubts of PLA invasion planners. He details an expansive PLA order of battle, modernized with advanced intelligence, information capabilities, and fourth-generation weapon systems, which soon will be more fully prepared for rapid offensive operations.

He notes the PLA is prepared to mobilize large numbers of civilian cargo ships and aircraft to supplement formal PLA invasion transport. His review of PLA sources shows they are well aware of the challenges, such as the need for surprise and favorable weather in the tricky Taiwan Strait. The PLA knows it must capture vital ports and airfields quickly to surge follow-on forces. Some of these PLA source estimate 1 million troops may be needed, especially to fight grueling urban campaigns against Taiwan’s defenders, who they do not expect to surrender.

Mr. Easton points out that CCP control of Taiwan will pose an immediate threat to Japan — PLA planners note that from occupied Taiwan they could quickly reduce Japan’s foreign trade by 30 percent.

After seizing Taiwan, could China come to lead an anti-democratic coalition with America as its main target.

[The author] details how Taiwan has used recent decades to build a fortress that could hold out for a considerable period. But what vexes both PLA and Taiwanese planners is the potential reaction of the United States to a PLA invasion campaign. For Taipei, will the U.S. arrive soon enough, and for the PLA, can they both politically and militarily delay the U.S. rescue mission, perhaps by distracting and debilitating attacks of a cyber or kinetic nature?

There is still time to deter a Chinese attack. Washington may have less than 10 years, but much can be done to change the CCP-PLA’s deadly calculus. Mr. Easton recommends integrating Taiwan into U.S. security policy in Asia with the eventual goal of restoring full diplomatic relations.

Washington can also offer decisive arms sales, such as the fifth-generation F-35 fighter, and technology enabling Taiwan to build thousands of cheap cruise missiles, better to deter China’s invasion fleets.

Comment: There is growing unease concerning China. The American administration is conducting a review of China policy led by the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. Everything seems to be on the table but the focus is on economy more than security. The threat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan should also be included.

China has during the past decade been waging an economic war against the United States. The Chinese state is subsidizing own companies and stealing American inventions on a grand scale. The forcing of technology transfers is creating a threat to the whole world trading system. America is not the only target. All foreign competitors are threatened.

There are now similarities between China and the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It is necessary for groups outside the US administration to wake up the West and help change thinking in the United States and Europe about China. Foreign policy is seldom of importance in the West during elections. This need to be changed in the coming 2018 and 2020 American elections. The present thinking about China as a friend or partner is wrong. The West must consider if the Chinese Communist Party is an economic enemy.

Geopolitically China may be considering forming an Eurasian coalition against the United States. So far experts in the field of geopolitics have concentrated on the influence of Alfred Thayer Mahan on Peking geostrategy. Most likely both Sir Halford Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman are classical geopolitical theorists China will be looking at.

NAZISM, FASCISM OCH VÄNSTERN

October 16, 2017

Kristianstadsbladet publicerade den 16 oktober 2017 på ledarsidan en artikel av den förre ledarskribenten vid Dagens Nyheter, Nils-Erik Sandberg om fascismens och nazismens ideologiska rötter i vänstern. Utdrag återges nedan:

De förvirrade typerna i Nordiska motståndsrörelsen har genomgående kallats för högerextremister. Antifascistisk aktion, som specialiserat sig på att störa möten och demonstrationer, kallar sina motståndare höger och fascister. Är beteckningarna korrekta?

Först en viktig distinktion. Partier som kallas höger, eller nyliberala, vill ha starka individer och sätta gränser för statens makt. Vänstern vill ha det omvända. Ett högt skattetryck, som det svenska, flyttar makt över konsumtion och investeringar från individerna till politikerna.

Sambandet (mellan våld och marxism) beskrivs utförligt av bland andra Friedrich Hayek i ”The Road to Serfdom”, av Herbert Tingsten i tre böcker – ”Demokratins seger och kris”, ”Den svenska socialdemokratins idéutveckling”, Tingstens bästa verk, och ”Den nationella diktaturen ”.

Så fascismen har utgått ur marxismen. Sambandet beskrivs utförligt av Yvan Blot i boken ”Socialism och fascism – samma familj”.

Nazismen är en förkortning av det formella namnat på partiet: ”Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei”, NSDAP. Nazismen koncentrerade makten över individerna till staten, och blev i denna mening ett socialistiskt parti.

Socialdemokratin har berömt sig av att ha fört en keynesiansk politik, med höga offentliga utgifter som instrument, och betraktat detta som en socialistisk politik.

Keynesianism kan enklast definieras som offentliga utgifter som andel av BNP. Keynes´ bok, ”The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” kom 1936. Vi ser nu på siffrorna på 1937 – de är hämtade från IMF. I de 15 största europeiska länderna, med ett undantag, var utgiftskvoten som genomsnitt 18 procent. I Sverige var den 11.9 procent. Ett land var extremt, med en utgiftskvot på 44 procent. Det var Nazityskland. Den utgiftskvoten kom Sverige upp i först 1969, året efter att Palme blivit statsminister

Kommentar: Keynes insåg, skriver Sandberg också, att hans förslag lättast kunde införas i länder med ett auktoritärt styre. Det är också viktigt att erinra om hur nazismen från sovjetkommunismen hämtade idén att placera politiska motståndare i straffläger. Nazisterna följde noggrant utvecklingen i Sovjetryssland och inspirerades av den terror mot borgerligheten som inleddes av Lenin 1917 i Ryssland. Det är väsentligt att 2017 påminna om detta.

En av Lenins ledande hemliga poliser (Martin Latsis, 1888 – 1938) förklarade med all tydlighet planerna på att utrota borgerligheten som klass: “Vi för inte krig mot enskilda individer. Vi avser att utrota borgerligheten som klass. Se inte till bevis som styrker den misstänktes skuld. Det man skall fråga sig är: Till vilken klass hör denne, vad är ursprung, utbildning och yrke. Det är detta som ska avgöra den anklagades öde. Det är detta som är den röda terrorns mening och inre väsen” (S.P. Melgunov, “Krasny terror” v. Rossii, 1918 – 1923, Berlin 9123, andra upplagan, sid. 72).

THE UNITED STATES STANDS AGAINST IRANIAN THREAT TO THE WEST

October 14, 2017

Fox News on October 13, 2017, reported on President Trumps announcement that he will decertify the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Excerpts below:

…he believes the “radical regime” has committed multiple violations of the agreement as he kicked a decision over whether to restore sanctions back to Congress.

“I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said during a speech at the White House. “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakthrough.”

…the president threatened that he could still ultimately pull out of the deal.

“In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, the agreement will be terminated,” he said. “It is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as president at any time.”

In making his decision, Trump said, “Iran is not living up to the spirit of the deal.” Among other alleged violations, Trump said Iran failed to meet expectations in its operation of advanced centrifuges and intimidated international inspectors into not using their full authority.

The president also slammed sunset provisions in the deal itself, complaining that the U.S. got a “weak inspection” in exchange for a “short-term” delay in Iran’s nuclear progress.

Trump, meanwhile, announced plans to take action against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, authorizing the Treasury Department to impose targeted sanctions against “its officials, agents, and affiliates.”

In his broadside against the Iranian regime, the president said it “remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” accusing it of providing assistance to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah and other terrorist networks.

The president accused Iran of developing missiles that threaten American troops and allies and imprisoning Americans “on false charges.”

“Given the regime’s murderous past and present, we should not take lightly its sinister vision for the future,” Trump said. “The regimes two favorite chants are ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel.’”

The National Resistance Council of Iran, an offshoot organization of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), praised Trump’s move in support of the de-certification.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), welcomed the new U.S. policy to “condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights” in Iran.

“The IRGC is a prime means of suppression, execution, and torture in Iran, spreading terrorism throughout the world, war mongering and massacre in the region, the drive for acquiring nuclear weapons, and the increase in the proliferation of ballistic missiles,” she said. “If the IRGC had been recognized as a terrorist entity earlier and dealt with accordingly, the current situation in the region in general, and Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Afghanistan in particular, would have been totally different.”

Republicans are calling for new legislation that addresses the “flaws” of the agreement.

“Lawmakers need to do now what we couldn’t do two years ago: unite around an Iran strategy that truly stops Iran’s nuclear weapons program and empowers the United States and our allies to combat the full spectrum of Iran’s imperial aggression,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said in a statement.

Former Republican House Speaker and historian Newt Gingrich on Fox News on October 13, 2017, said that President Donald Trump decided to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal because the administration understands that Iran has long been the United States’ “mortal enemy.”

He said that Trump and his national security team methodically thought this through, and they arrived at the correct decision.

He said he expects Trump to adopt a more aggressive strategy toward Iran, including targeting the Revolutionary Guard, the nation’s most powerful security institution.

“And that is going to enrage the Iranians,” Gingrich said. “They’ve bluffed Westerners over and over again, starting with Jimmy Carter in 1979. And now – just like the North Koreans – they’re running into somebody who’s not bluffable.”

In a speech on October 12, 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the University of Texas castigated Iran calling it a ”thuggish police state” and comparing it to the Islamic State as reported by the Washington Free Beacon”. Excerpts below:

“Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are the cudgels of a despotic theocracy, with the IRGC accountable only to a Supreme Leader,” Pompeo said. “They’re the vanguard of a pernicious empire that is expanding its power and influence across the Middle East.”

He also suggested that the IRGC is becoming bolder in its operations.

“In recent years, the IRGC has become more reckless and provocative, seeking to exploit the vacuum left by instability in the Middle East to aggressively expand its influence,” he added. “It openly vows to annihilate Israel. And when you look at the death and destruction inflicted in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq by Tehran and its proxies, the threat is clear: Iran is mounting a ruthless drive to be the hegemonic power in the region.”

“…unlike ISIS and its mirage of a caliphate, Iran is a powerful nation-state that remains the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism. The Islamic Republic is Iran’s version of what the caliphate ought to look like under the control of an Ayatollah and his praetorian guard, the IRGC,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo also argued the IRGC had previously attempted to orchestrate a terrorist attack in Washington, D.C. and suggested a U.S. serviceman was killed by an IED linked to Iran.

As for Iran’s complicity in attacks using IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, Pompeo mentioned the possibility that a Tyler, Texas, soldier had been killed this month by Iranian weapon, noting he had been killed “in an area controlled by a Shia militia aligned with Iran.”

The Washington Free Beacon on October 13, 2017, reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saluted President Donald Trump’s “courageous decision” to decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal…, saying that if the agreement was unchanged Iran would wind up with an “arsenal” of nuclear weapons. Excerpts below:

“President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran’s aggression, and to confront its criminal support of terrorism. That’s why Israel embraces this opportunity, and that’s why every responsible government and any person concerned with the peace and security of the world should do so as well.”

RULE BY SOCIAL DEMOCRACY IN THE WEST MEANS CONTINUED DECLINE

October 9, 2017

The Guardian (UK) on September 29, 2017, published an article, (”The right is rising and social democracy is dying across Europe – but why”) by Josef Joffe, a German editor of the journal Die Zeit and American academic (Hoover Institution, Stanford University). A similar article by Joffe but on the global implications of this trend can be found on-line at the journal American Conservative (”The Relentless Decline of the Social Democracy in the West”) in October 2017.

It is an important subject. For excerpts from the Guardian article see below:

To put it brutally, the reformist left is losing its customer base

The common denominator is resentment and protest.

…these sentiments highlight a…bigger picture: the precipitous decline of those large centre-left parties…that have governed…Europe since the second world war.

The[German Social Democratic Party] SPD is battling long-term decay. Here, too, Germany is not alone; the signs of decline for social democracy stretch across Europe.

In Italy, the once mighty Italian Socialist party (PSI) is no more. The Socialist party in France used to be strong…In this year’s presidential race, they captured only 6.4% in the first round. In Scandinavia, the moderate left has taken a beating.

The Dutch Labour party (PvdA) has plunged from 19% to less than 6% in five years. A similar fate has befallen Greece’s Pasok. To take in the whole panorama, imagine a map of Europe. Twenty years ago, the map was mainly covered in red, the traditional colour of social democracy. Today, only five countries are inked in red. (Comment: one of these five countries is the small island of Malta in the Mediterranean).

Then look farther afield. At first sight, Britain sticks out as the great exception because Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour almost edged out the Tories in the June election. Arguably, the verdict was more anti-May than pro-Labour.

In the US, the Democrats seem to fare much better, given their majority of the popular vote in 2016. Now look again, at middle America. Since Barack Obama’s first victory, the Republicans have gained 1,000 additional seats in the state legislatures, and 34 out of 50 governors are Republicans.

What happened?

Historically, social democrats rose to power in tandem with a rising working class. Now, this once mighty force is shrinking along with manufacturing as a share of GDP. In the past 50 years, that portion has roughly dropped from 35% to 15% throughout the West. To put it brutally, the reformist left is losing its customer base, and it shows in all recent elections.

It is also losing its unique selling point, which is redistribution and the all-providing state. Take Martin Schulz, the SPD’s hapless candidate for chancellor. His message was “social justice” – taking from the rich to help the poor through taxes and benefits. But today’s German workers are middle class, and the highest tax bracket bites at €50,000 – the salary of an upper-level teacher or skilled worker.

These folks do not look forward to more taxation – not in a country where the government takes in almost half of GDP…So the SPD must find another selling point. Yet the SPD is trapped by its traditions.

Comment: It is important to consider the Scandinavian countries. These were once the core of European social democracy. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden were for decades ruled by social democratic parties sometimes with the support in parliament by communist parties. In 2017 the scene is different. The center right is ruling in Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland. Sweden is the only exception. The reason for social democratic rule in Sweden is not that voters like overwhelming state influence in most sectors. In the 2014 elections the voters had lost confidence in the center right alternative. In 2017 the center right parties have not regained the confidence they had from 2006 to 2014. They may still have chance in the 2018 elections but must shape up. The Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) is in the fall of 2017 supported by around 30 percent of the electorate. The party should be down at around 20 percent like the German SPD.

In general terms the way forward in the West is not a moderate reformist brand of socialism. What saved Sweden between 2006 and 2014 was a center right government that lowered taxes and introduced pro-enterprise reforms. Like Germany Sweden is an exporting country and SAP has been able to remain in power thanks to the reforms of non-socialist parties and a fairly strong economy in Europe. The relentless decline of social democracy will most likely continue in the West. Rule by social democratic parties in America and Europe can only mean continued decline of the West. One can only wish that the present trend of social democratic parties on both sides of the Atlantic will continue.

EN (S)-POLITIKER OCH DET KOMMUNISTISKA FOLKMORDET I KAMBODJA

October 4, 2017

I en artikel (”Jag drevs av helig vrede”) den 20 september 2017 publicerade borgerliga Kristianstadsbladet en artikel om den socialdemokratiska politikern Birgitta Dahl, med anledning av hennes 80-årsdag. Dahl förnekar i artikeln att hon gett stöd till de Röda khmerernas skräckvälde i Kambodja på 1970-talet. Jag har aldrig stött Pol Pot, det är förtal och lögner i en systematisk, skamlig kampanj mot mig, heter det nu.

Hennes avbön och avgång som riksdagens talman kom först 1997, men redan 1991 avslöjade författaren Bertil Häggman i boken ”Medlöparna” att Dahl 1975 tigit och fortfarande teg om de kommunistiska morden i Kambodja, Det var först 1976 som den ledande s-politikern medgav att det förekom ”problem”. Men det var riktigt att tiga 1975, tyckte hon. Det skrevs så mycket lögner och var så många spekulationer. Och det var nödvändigt att evakuera huvudstaden Phnom Penh. Det behövdes arbetskraft på landsbygden och det krävdes ”stora offer av befolkningen”. Min fråga i boken var hur många liv Dahl tyckte var lämpligt att offra.

Så gick ännu ett år och nu kunde tidskriften Vietnam Nu rapportera att Dahl medgav ”att många människor dött efter befrielsen”. Det var så hon beskrev massmorden. Offren uppskattas numera till 1,7 miljoner från april 1975 till 1978. Siffran kan dock vara högre.

1978 tyckte Dahl dock att man inte skulle tala om ”systematiska massakrer”. Det var inte vår sak, ansåg Dahl, att döma eller fördöma. Vi skulle i stället ”försöka förstå”.

Det tog över 20 år för Dahl att medge att hon haft fel på 1970-talet.

Vilken var den världsbild som den tidigare talmannen i riksdagen företrädde. I en artikel skrev hon att de Röda khmererna (hon kallade den för en ”befrielserörelse” som representerade ”demokrati, kultur och social rättvisa”). Det kommunistiska väldet i Kambodja var samhällsbyggnad som var ett ”livsfarligt vapen mot den amerikanska imperialismen”. USA ville sprida det kapitalistiska systemet över världen. I en annan artikel av Dahl hette det att ”slagord som ’proletärer i alla länder, förenen eder’” är aktuella också i dag”.

I Dahls avbön 1997 hette det att hon var en ”övertygad demokrat och reformist”. I radio 1976 hade Dahl dock avfärdat uppgifterna om Pol Pots folkmord som ”lögn och spekulation”. Man måste ha förståelse för att ledarna i Pnomh Penh hade svårt att ha tid för att ta emot utländska besökare. Det fanns så många andra omedelbara problem som måste lösas.

Under 1990-talet utkom ytterligare böcker om vänsterns accepterande av det kommunistiska folkmordet. Bland dessa var den liberale politikern och tidigare ministern Per Ahlmarks ”Vänstern och tyranniet” (1994) och ”Det öppna såret” (1997).

År 1997 höll Dahls förnekande inte längre. Sveriges riksdag kunde inte ha en talman som försvarat folkmord. Det var inte acceptabelt att en talman skrubbade den kambodjanska slaktarbodens tröskel ren. Dahls förhoppning under det sena 1970-talet var att sanningen skulle glömmas. Inga obekväma frågor ställdes då till Dahl och det var dags för henne att medverka i ytterligare ett Sommarprogram i radio.

Efter att ha medgivit sin ”felbedömning” 1997 skrev hon då i Dagens Nyheter att hon hade ”svårt att föreställa sig att något så gräsligt kunde vara sant”. Hon gav dock inte något erkännande åt Bertil Häggman och Per Ahlmark för klarsynthet.

Nu har det gått 20 år sedan 1997 och riksdagens förra talman Birgitta Dahl är tillbaka där det började. Hon var, säger hon igen, utsatt för en systematisk kampanj och betraktar sig tydligen återigen som oskyldig. Förhoppningen är väl denna gång att hennes avbön 1997 har fallit i glömska.