With each passing day, drums of war beat louder and the list of countries joining the march to war grows longer. If trend lines drawn since the War on Terror launched by US President George W. Bush following 9/11 are not reversed, World War III will not only be a Top Trend of 2016, it may be the last world war.
What had begun with Bush’s war against Afghanistan in 2001 to “find those evildoers… to smoke them out” was followed by his Iraq War in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein for possessing weapons of mass destruction he did not possess, and ties to Al Qaeda that he did not have.
In 2011, under the guise of a humanitarian mission, US President Barack Obama and his allies launched a war that overthrew Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, leaving what was once the most prosperous nation in Africa in ruin, chaos, despair… a breeding ground for terrrorists.
Following Libya, Obama and his coalition launched another “humanitarian” mission to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria. Although Assad remains in office, Syria has been destroyed by “moderate rebels” armed and funded by the US and its allies. Over 275,000 Syrians have been killed, half of Syria’s population displaced and more than 4 million refugees have fled the bloodshed.
Now, after a 14-year War on Terror spree, with millions killed, entire nations destroyed — and conditions for radicalism and revenge generously fertilized with mass destruction, torture, rampant poverty, desperation and hopelessness — the seeds of hatred sown by foreign invaders are returning to their homelands.
Freedom Fries to French Fries
Like George Bush before him whose plunging popularity surged following 9/11, French President Francois Hollande, whose approval ratings were the worst in the history of the Fifth Republic, saw his soar following the 13 November 2015 terror strike in Paris that left 130 dead. “France is at war,” declared Hollande. As had happened in the US following attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, in France, flag sales skyrocketed, military recruitments spiked, and the military budget expanded, all under the guise of protecting the people while their rights have been abrogated.
Following the Paris attacks, Brussels went on a terror alert, locking down for several days. With tensions building, Germany increased its defense budget and announced it was sending troops to war zones in northern Iraq while sending soldiers to provide “relief to France in the fight against the Islamic State” in Mali, the former French Sudan colony.
In late November, some two months after Russia threw its support behind Syria’s Assad, Turkey, which supports rebel forces against Assad, shot down a Russian jet bomber. That set the stage for retaliation, increased violence and a wider war.
In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron proposed a sharp increase in military spending, and with the approval of Parliament, has thrown Merry Old England into the heart of the US/France/Turkey/Arab League-sponsored war to overthrow the Syrian president under the pretext of destroying ISIS.
Over in civil-war-ravaged Ukraine, while violence has not excessively flared in recent months, tensions are building and war talk is heating up. The US and NATO have increased the training of Ukraine troops and arms shipments to the Kiev government for a pending escalation of war against Russian separatists. Further inflaming tensions, Kiev refused to pay Russia a $3 billion debt due at the end of last year. And now, NATO has announced an aggressive buildup in what the Russian prime minister calls a new Cold War.
Over in the South China Sea, the US has increased its presence and stepped up tensions by sending warships through the 12-nautical-mile zone around islands claimed by China. In anticipation of an escalation of tensions, China is increasing military spending, as are Japan and other US allies in the region.
To reinforce America’s “pivot to Asia,” the Philippine Supreme Court recently ruled that it will again allow the US military to station troops and weapons at bases in the Philippines.
LIES, more lies, damn lies
And just as the pretext for US military intervention in Libya was under the guise of a humanitarian mission and not regime change, the US troop surge into the Philippines is not to aim the barrel of Uncle Sam’s gun at China, but rather an act of mercy in case of a human crisis.
Following the Philippine Supreme Court ruling, US Secretary of Defense John Kerry proclaimed, “And we look forward to implementing this accord, which will increase the interoperability of our armed forces and contribute to modernization and improve our joint capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies.”
Concurrently, as we have repeatedly forecast, social unrest will intensify among poorer resource-rich nations suffering from the collapse of commodity prices, should prices remain low or trend lower. And that unrest will spread across borders in regions of Africa, the Middle East and South America. TJ