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The Fast Track to Armageddon

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Could President Trump propel a nuclear war in the Middle East?

Louis René Beres, US News 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpg "He's going to get us all killed." --Michael Moore

Feb. 10, 2017 | "Should the enemy make a mistake, our roaring missiles will rain down on them." – IRGC Iran Air Force Commander, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Feb. 4, 2017

When all pertinent factors are taken into account, U.S. President Donald Trump could sometime undertake more-or-less selective military action against Iran. In response, the Islamic Republic – then having absolutely no meaningful option to launching at least certain forms of armed reprisal – would target American military forces in the region and/or carefully chosen Israeli targets. Whatever its precise configuration of selected targets, Tehran's retaliatory blow would be expressly designed so as not to elicit an unacceptably massive (possibly even nuclear) counter-retaliation. With particular regard to Israel, moreover, this sort of retaliation would plausibly include, inter alia, a substantial reliance upon Iran's own surrogate militia forces in Hezbollah.

All such bewildering calculations, of course, must assume perfect rationality on all sides. If, for example, the new American president should cast all caution to the winds with his own first strike (a strike that would be defended by Washington, in law, as an allegedly legitimate expression of international law-enforcement, or "anticipatory self-defense"), the Iranian response, whether rational or irrational, could expectedly be "proportionate" – that is, comparably massive. In that prospectively escalatory case, any contemplated introduction of nuclear weapons into the ensuing conflagration might not necessarily be dismissed out of hand.

Louis René Beres, Contributor, US News

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Democrats back Trump administration’s new sanctions against Iran

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American imperialism, however, has failed to secure its aim of establishing unrivaled domination over the oil-rich region. Now, under Trump, a new and even bloodier chapter is opening.

Joseph Kishore, World Socialist Website

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Mr.%20Fish%20%7C%20US%20Foreign%20Policy.jpgMr. Fish

4 February 2017 | Top Democrats have thrown their support behind new sanctions announced by US President Donald Trump against Iran, part of an aggressive foreign policy shift of the incoming administration.

The sanctions were formally announced on Friday by the US Treasury Department, nominally in response to Iran’s launching of a missile last weekend and its alleged support for Houthi forces targeted by the US-backed Saudi bombardment of Yemen. The sanctions target 13 individuals and 12 companies that have ties to Iran, including one Chinese national.

Joseph Kishore is an American activist and writer. He is the National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (United States) and a writer for the World Socialist Web Site.

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First on the White House agenda – the collapse of the global order. Next, war?

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  • Trump’s allies yearn to wreck alliances that have kept the peace for decades. Progressives must preserve them
  • Related: Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 2: Barack Obama Expanded The Presidential War Powers He Once Vowed To Limit

Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian

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Illustration by Robert G Fresson

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Saturday, 4 February 2017 | Donald Trump doesn’t read books. He leaves that to his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, the man rapidly emerging as the true power behind the gaudy Trump throne. Given Bannon’s influence – he is the innermost member of the president’s inner circle and will have a permanent seat on the National Security Council, a privilege Trump has denied the head of the US military – it’s worth taking a good look at the books on his bedside table.

Close to the top of the pile, according to this week’s Time magazine, is a book called The Fourth Turning, which argues that human history moves in 80- to 100-year cycles, each one climaxing in a violent cataclysm that destroys the old order and replaces it with something new. For the US, there have been three such upheavals: the founding revolutionary war that ended in 1783, the civil war of the 1860s and the second world war of the 1940s. According to the book, America is on the brink of another.

Jonathan Freedland is a weekly columnist and writer for the Guardian <>. He is also a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and presents BBC Radio 4's contemporary history series, The Long View. In 2014 he was awarded the Orwell special prize for journalism. 

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Related: 

Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 2: Barack Obama Expanded The Presidential War Powers He Once Vowed To Limit, Jessica Schulberg, the Huffington Post

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  • Now he's handing them over to Donald Trump.
  • This piece is Part 2 of a series on Obama’s legacy that Evergreene Digest  will be publishing over the next weeks. 

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German Academics Pen Open Letter Slamming Western Interpretation of Syria Crisis

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Called “a statement on the Syrian war,” the declaration was written by the scientific advisory board of the German branch of Attac, an international organization that campaigns for alternatives to globalization.

Biomorphic, Make Wars History

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpgJanuary 28, 2017 | In contrast to the West, which has been intent on destroying Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, Russia and Iran are playing a constructive role in preventing the overthrow of Assad and the formation of a fundamentalist Sunni government in the country, a group of German academics have written in an open letter.

A group of German university professors have penned a joint statement criticizing the mainstream media’s portrayal of the roles of Russia and Iran in regulation of the Syrian conflict, Sputnik Deutschland reported.

Biomorphic: Contributor to Make Wars History

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Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 1: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy Leaves Behind An Uneasy World

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  • Holding firm in his view that the U.S. should do less, the president proved that inaction can have major consequences.
  • This piece is Part 1 of a series on Obama’s legacy that Evergreene Digest  will be publishing over the next weeks. 

Akbar Shahid Ahmed, the Huffington Post

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01/09/2017 | The bombs kept falling after they had destroyed all the hospitals.

They kept coming as international aid agencies warned about the thousands of Syrian children they could hit.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpgThey didn’t pause as temperatures fell below freezing, threatening families with no shelter, or as pro-regime fighters came close enough to civilians to start killing them execution-style, in the streets and in their homes. An “evacuation” was in the offing, the government promised. Residents knew what that meant: abandoning their homes, risking arrest and torture and being shuttled to an unfamiliar region that the regime would eventually target even more brutally.

Akbar Shahid Ahmed, Foreign Affairs Reporter, the Huffington Post

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Related:

A Year Of U.S. Militarism, Marjorie Cohn, Huffington Post

Here is a rundown of U.S. foreign policy in 2016.

A Year Of U.S. Militarism

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Here is a rundown of U.S. foreign policy in 2016.

Marjorie Cohn, Huffington Post

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http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_630_noupscale/58669e751500002f00e9db82.jpeg A AV-8B Harrier II from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit launches from the USS Boxer (LHD 4) during its first day of striking ISIS held positions in Iraq from the Arabia Gulf, June 16, 2016. Hamad I Mohmmed / Reuters 

12/30/2016 | One of the most alarming developments in U.S. foreign policy in 2016 was the ratcheting up of the new iteration of the Cold War. Looking back at U.S. foreign policy in this last year of Barack Obama’s presidential tenure, other weighty developments include the ongoing proxy war in Syria, the U.S.-supported Saudi-led bombing in Yemen, U.S. use of drones and manned bombers in Libya, U.S. bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan, unprecedented U.S. military aid to Israel, U.S. special operations in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen, U.S. saber-rattling against China in the South China Sea, and steps toward normalization of relations with Cuba.

The intensification of Cold War dynamics became particularly apparent in March, when the U.S. government announced it would significantly increase the number of troops stationed in Eastern Europe, a direct provocation of Russia. Reuters called the expanded positioning of NATO troops and military equipment in that region the “biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War.”

Marjorie Cohn: Professor Emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues

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