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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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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

Full story … 

Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 2: Barack Obama Expanded The Presidential War Powers He Once Vowed To Limit

http://i.guim.co.uk/media/w-860/h--/q-95/1eacd6272bf6387a1244162911c7211474a3fc73/336_385_2027_1215/1000.jpg

  • 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. 

Jessica Schulberg, the Huffington Post

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpg01/09/2017 | A little more than halfway through his presidency, Barack Obama visited the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., to give a speech outlining how he would restrict his own power to use drones to target and kill individuals far from traditional battlefields.

Obama acknowledged public concern around drone strikes and announced stricter standards on their use. The new rules, Obama said, codified “clear guidelines, oversight and accountability.” But they were policy, not law. They didn’t bind him and couldn’t bind future presidents. Americans, it seemed, would have to trust that the president and his successors would follow the rules he created.

Jessica Schulberg, Foreign Affairs Reporter, the Huffington Post

Full story … 

Previously in this series:

Part 1: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy Leaves Behind An Uneasy World

 

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