In the following is our translation of a troubling analysis from RIA Novosti with commentary and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
In a nutshell, according to Danilov, it looks like Washington has never learned the important lessons from our recent failures and is determined to blunder into failure time and time again, believing that, far from abandoning our flawed recipes, we need to double or triple them to achieve the desired results. Danilov nails it in the following description of a US “expert” and his deluded idea of how to fix the coronavirus problem using military strategy:
“...Stephen Myrow, who managed to work both in the US occupation administration in Iraq in 2004 and in the US Treasury during the 2008-2009 crisis, and, accordingly, now feels that he has the practical experience necessary to decisively defeat the epidemic. It is significant that the expert compares the coronavirus pandemic with another "epidemic" – that is, a wave of Iraqi attacks on the US military, complaining that Washington failed to allocate military and financial resources for a long time, and so if they had allocated more money and soldiers, then everything would have been resolved more easily. It does not occur to him that the mistake was the operation in Iraq itself, not minor flaws in its execution.” [my highlighting]
The thing is, there is a desperate need for new blood in US think tanks and politics, but instead Washington is simply recycling the same tired old ideas and fostering more of the inbreeding, and the idiocy to which it gives birth.
But, both Russian and US geopolitical thinkers ignore is a deeper concern in international relations and that is the thinking of the US grassroots, a chilling percentage of whom choose leaders according to a convoluted system of mysticism that puts modern secular Israel at the centre of the spiritual universe thanks to a tragic misreading of the Judaic and Christian scriptures. It is of little use to combat sclerotic thinking on the rarefied think-tank level without simultaneously exposing the flaws in its support base, ie, grassroots thinking, which has always focussed on mysticism rather than on concrete knowledge and real-world solutions. I have proven here that this cult-like worship of modern Israel it is definitely not about the Israel of Ezekiel’s prophecy as it is believed to be by these cultists, who dominate US politics. This cult is at the heart of US-led wars, sanctions and propaganda that destroys and undermines once-stable and prosperous whole nations and societies and their economies, all of which defies the spirit of traditional Judaism and Christianity, as expressed in the Torah and again in the New Testament. It can be boiled down to a simple formula:
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
American Evangelicals and Israeli political leaders defy and violate this teaching with all their policies toward our Semitic and Persian brothers in the Middle East, treating them with utter disdain and, yes, hatred and racism. And then they wonder why Western recipes fail so dramatically time and time again even when they are doubled and tripled. After all, doubling the recipe will not improve the taste of a bland unpalatable cake.
There is only one country that adheres to the above scriptural teaching in its policy toward the rest of the world, and that is Russia. And that is precisely why Washington wants us to think of the Russians – as well as their Chinese partners – as enemies who must be opposed militarily. They literally believe they can destroy decency and godliness with lethal arms!
I suspect that, because of the above-described sclerotic grassroots thinking, no meaningful change whatsoever can come from within the US. It must come from the East. Ivan Danilov’s essay in the following supports this suspicion, showing how refractory Washington is to abandoning its old ambition of conquering other nations rather than winning minds and cooperating with them to make a better, more-harmonious world. No amount of political bombast can make this recipe work.
Washington has figured out how to restore global leadership
March 30, 2020
In times of crisis, the essence of not only individual citizens, but also entire countries is manifested. Heroism and selfishness, negligence and responsibility, concern for the public good and neglect of common sense – all this is highlighted vividly and clearly. All countries are looking for ways to overcome the epidemic, but some succeed efficiently, while others do not. Some find an opportunity to lend a helping hand to those who have suffered the most, as, for example, Russia and China do in Italy. And some, on the contrary, try to rack up the maximum number of political points on the epidemic, using it to advance the idea of creating a "world government," or to restore "American leadership" on the planet.
Some are worried about people's lives, while some are worried that the former hegemony is not the same as before, and they attribute Washington's geopolitical problems to the "Chinese virus." The epidemic, in a sense, allows you to look inside the souls of those who make decisions and make expert recommendations in the framework of the "pyramids of power" and the "deep states" of our Western partners. And the picture is pretty disappointing: judging by the considerations expressed by them, the leading power of the Western world (the owner of both an impressive nuclear arsenal and a printing press for the base currency of the global financial system) has ultimately forgotten how to cope with problems that cannot be bombed or bribed away.
[Keep in mind that Danilov’s descriptions of all the “intellectuals” and their ideas, discussed in the following, are extremely sarcastic in tone.]
Obviously, the United States now needs sources of inspiration, and the expert community offers these sources in the most decisive way. For example, William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment, the oldest US expert centre in international affairs, advises the authoritative Wall Street Journal to turn to the experience of centuries ago, because at that time the United States risked missing the opportunity to establish a new world order, but it mustered its strength and did not miss this chance, thereby rendering the world a great service. [A “service” that, you will recall, culminated in WW II]
"In the spring of 1919, when the major powers gathered at Versailles to agree on the structure of the world after World War I, President Woodrow Wilson was lying in bed with the flu. At that moment, when Dr. Wilson said," it seemed that all of civilization was at stake,” the terrifying pandemic of influenza [the so-called Spanish flu] cast a shadow over the prospect of a new order,” Mr. Burns explains, and nonetheless proposes mustering [US] strength and putting this order in place. At the same time, note that the head of the Carnegie Endowment clearly and publicly recognizes the magnitude of the problem that Washington was facing, and did not just collide with it, but plunged into it – even before the world was blanketed with coronavirus.
If someone else had set forth the same theses, and not the venerable and meritorious American expert and head of one of the most influential American NGOs, he would have definitely been accused of working for either Moscow or Beijing. According to Burns, an ideal storm has now gathered, consisting of major shifts in the balance of power and large-scale political, economic, technological and environmental transformations: "The competition of the great powers has returned; China has risen, and America’s old domination has been lost. The world economic and military centre of gravity is shifting from west to east. The technological revolution is transforming our way of living, working and waging wars. Tensions between open and closed societies are growing, nationalization is re-appearing and authoritarianism, and democracy, apparently, are being inverted. Tailwind globalization has turned into a powerful headwind, while climate change looms as an existential threat.”
The recipe offered by the president of the Carnegie Endowment is that the United States must abandon its isolation from globalization and, at the same time, from the illusion that restoring American global leadership will be an easy process. Mr. Burns emphasizes that although the current US leadership is worse off than George W. Bush or Harry Truman, it is still possible to make America a “democratic example” and also a quiet haven in the world of an ideal storm.
As another specific measure, American society and political leaders are encouraged to rediscover "a sense of the meaning of life" and "American enlightened selfishness." With all due respect to the intellectual power of the authoritative US think tank, there are certain doubts that the overseas [ie, US] "enlightened egoism" combined with acute nostalgia from the time of George W. Bush and the rampant globalization of the 2000s will indeed become the magic elixir that will restore American hegemony, and will also give the United States the status of a global role model.
The Bloomberg agency publishes proposals of a more pragmatic nature from a prominent representative of a relatively young generation of experts - Stephen Myrow, who managed to work both in the US occupation administration in Iraq in 2004 and in the US Treasury during the 2008-2009 crisis, and, accordingly, now feels that he has the practical experience necessary to decisively defeat the epidemic. It is significant that the expert compares the coronavirus pandemic with another "epidemic" – that is, a wave of Iraqi attacks on the US military, complaining that Washington failed to allocate military and financial resources for a long time, and so if they had allocated more money and soldiers, then everything would have been resolved more easily. It does not occur to him that the mistake was the operation in Iraq itself, not minor flaws in its execution.
[This reveals an inherent flaw in the thinking of US “intellectuals,” who simply can’t abandon old failed ideas and invariably try to re-invent them without abandoning them as they should. This signals the main failure of Making America Great Again. And –though Danilov doesn’t mention this – it’s not just the elites but also, and more importantly, the grassroots that cement these ideas in place.]
He cites as a positive example the actions of the US Treasury Department in 2008-2009, which simply “flooded everything with money,” and did it quickly and decisively, despite political risks. You may notice that while the United States is trying to follow just such a scenario, such actions have negative consequences: this corporate American method, wherever it is used, leads to an explosive increase in social inequality, and the newly printed money finds its way mainly into the hands of the rich and corporations while the inability to save and earn income on one’s savings deprives the poor of the future. [Because the newly printed money must be created in an atmosphere of low, zero or negative interest rates, which kill savings.]
Stephen Bannon – a banker, political strategist, head of the Trump presidential campaign headquarters in 2016 and the actual "author" of his election success – said many times that it was the injustice and social consequences of the decisions made in 2008 that led to an increase in the demand for populism and to destroy the existing American system, which opened the door to Trump's victory.
From this point of view, one can say of the American expert community that it has not forgotten anything and has not learned anything. [As witnessed, for example, by Trump’s recent record-size “coronavirus bailout” funded with newly printed dollars]. A dollar printing press and a claim to world leadership is still the "elite’s recipe." And it is not a fact that this will suffice in the long run. It is unlikely that such an example of behaviour on the part of Washington will create the necessary prerequisites for the restoration of world leadership. But they will definitely try. The main concern is that in the process of restoring leadership after the epidemic, Washington will again be tempted to bomb someone in the name of democracy – judging by expert assessments, this is practically the only measure that for some of them seems to be the absolutely universal solution to any geopolitical problem.
Iraq assumes full control of military base in Nineveh province
Xinhua, March 27, 2020
BAGHDAD, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Thursday took over full control of al-Qayyara military base from the U.S.-led coalition forces in the northern province of Nineveh.
"The international coalition forces handed over the al-Qayyara base to Iraqi forces at the request of the Iraqi government after the end of their combat mission," the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
The military base is the second that Iraq has received from the international coalition forces within a week, according to the statement.
It said that Iraq will also take full control of other bases, including K1 in the country's northern province of Kirkuk, and the Habbaniyah base in the western province of Anbar, in addition to a coalition headquarters within the complex of Nineveh Operations Command.
The handover of al-Qayyara base confirms the ability of the Iraqi forces to maintain the security and sovereignty of Iraq from any attack, the statement added.
On Jan. 5, the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, just two days after a U.S. drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolution Guards Corps.
Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support Iraqi forces in battles against the Islamic State (IS), mainly for training and advisory purposes.
The troops were part of the U.S.-led international coalition that has also been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.
Iraq to play serious role in deescalating conflict between US and Iran: PM
By News Desk -2020-03-29
BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.)- Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adnan Al-Zurfi announced that his country will begin to play a serious role in alleviating the conflict between Tehran and Washington, and in removing Iraq and the region completely from its dangerous repercussions.
Zurfi tweeted on Sunday: “The increase in geopolitical tension in the region, especially the conflict between the United States and the neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, has negative repercussions on the Iraqi political, economic and security situation.”
“Therefore, we will start playing a serious role in alleviating this conflict and removing Iraq and the region from its dangerous repercussions,” he continued.
In another tweet, he said, “Iran’s help in facing the Corona virus will contribute to preventing a humanitarian catastrophe that the Iranian people are suffering in a frightening way, and the international community should help them by lifting or easing the sanctions and providing medical treatments because of this health and security repercussions on Iraq, being the most extended and closely related neighbor to the Islamic Republic.”
Iraq has been at the forefront of this conflict between the U.S. and Iran, as both nations have used the country to launch attacks against each other.
Analyst calls sanctions on Iran ‘a moral abomination’
March 29, 2020 - 22:4
TEHRAN - The Trump administration’s move to impose further sanctions against Iran at a time when the country is battling the new coronavirus pandemic is a “moral abomination,” an American political analyst said on Saturday.
Rodney Martin, the former congressional staffer based in Arizona, suggested the world leaders should ignore U.S. sanctions and form a “new economic cooperative” to counter the restrictive measures.
Martin made the remarks during a phone interview with Press TV when asked to comment on Russia’s call for the urgent lifting of U.S. sanctions against Iran as the bans have led to the flare-up of the deadly virus in the country.
The U.S Treasury imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran on Thursday, targeting construction and maritime sectors.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Friday that the “unprecedented political and economic pressure” on Iran allowed the outbreak to take hold in the country as Tehran is unable to buy medicine and medical equipment due to Washington’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on the Islamic Republic.
“Russia is correct to seek an end to U.S. sanctions on Iran,” Martin said.
“Quite frankly, there should be no sanctions to any country, be it Iran, Venezuela or for that matter Russia during this worldwide pandemic, particularly with regard to Iran who has been just absolutely hit very hard… and [is] now suffering both from economic terrorism by the West and this horrific pandemic.”
Martin added, “The sanctions must end and there should be quick condemnation throughout the world to the fact that Iran continues to suffer both economic sanctions wherein they cannot purchase medical supplies and medical equipment.”
Iran is hit worst by the coronavirus in the Middle East. It just comes after Italy and Spain in Europe. As of Sunday, Covid-19 has killed over 2,600 Iranians and infected about 39,000.
“This is a moral abomination on the part of the United States and should be condemned, and if the United States refuses to heed the moral calls to remove economic sanctions as it is caving in to the wishes of its neocon and Zionist masters, then the world is going to have to come together — both European leaders, leaders in Moscow, leaders in India, leaders in China, and they are going to collectively ignore the U.S. sanctions and come together as a new economic cooperative,” the political analyst underlined.
According to Press TV, the coronavirus outbreak has prompted various international leaders, figures and groups to call for Washington to suspend its sanctions against Iran as well as several other countries.
Earlier this week, eight countries sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, warning about the negative impact of unilateral sanctions on the international anti-coronavirus efforts.
U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – JCPOA - in May 2018, restored the previous sanctions and added new ones. It has even introduced a total ban on Iran’s oil export to strangulate the Iranian economy.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the White House to lift the sanctions it has illegally re-imposed on humanitarian supplies to Iran.
In a post on his Twitter account on Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the world to “stop obeying immoral and illegal U.S. sanctions” on Iran.
Saudi Coalition targets IRGC advisers in Yemen
By News Desk -2020-03-30
BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 P.M) – Colonel Turki al-Maliki, the spokesperson for the Arab Coalition forces, said that the coalition carried out a specific operation to neutralize and destroy military targets belonging to the Ansarallah forces in Yemen.
Al-Maliki said in a statement, published on the website of the official Saudi Press Agency, that it “follows the statement issued by the joint coalition forces command regarding the terrorist Houthi militia’s attacks against civilians, including citizens and residents, on the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening.”
He continued that the operations of Ansarallah “express the brutality of this terrorist militia and those behind it with its grave violations of international humanitarian law, especially in light of the global health situation to confront the coronavirus (Covid-19) and an extension of the responsibility towards protecting citizens and residents on the territory of the Kingdom.”
The coalition spokesman claimed that their forces attacked the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) experts that are currently deployed to Yemen.
“The targets that were destroyed included the advanced sites of the terrorist militia, such as storing, assembling, and installing ballistic missiles and drones, and the whereabouts of experts from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and armories, and military targets were distributed in a number of governorates in areas controlled by the terrorist militia, including one in Al-Hodeidah.
He added that “preventive measures were taken to protect civilians after the Houthi militia took residential neighborhoods as military headquarters and took civilians as human shields.”
US, Israel conduct military exercise with F-35 jets
US propaganda has it that Israel needs to be protected against Iran, but Iran has never attacked Israel, while Israel routinely attacks Iranian installations that are legally located, by invitation, in Syria. Meanwhile, the Israeli fighter jets that launch these missiles that kill Iranians and Syrians both, are invading Lebanese air space. They are illegal invaders.
Yet the US supports the Israeli invaders wholeheartedly.
As stated above, this injustice is due in large part to the unconditional support given by the US and especially Evangelicals, not only to modern Israel but also to its war crimes and genocidal policies against Palestinians.
It is due to a misreading of the Bible by about 80% of Evangelical churches. Anyone who wants to obey the commandment to love ones neighbour as oneself and who therefore cares about the lives of people in the Middle East must start with the churches and educate Christians as to what Zionism really is. You can start with this: