Global conflicts: Contemporary myth or a real danger?

Global conflicts: Contemporary myth or a real danger?

By Dragana Maksimovic

January 28, 2019

The author, MA student at University of Belgrade, become a TFF Associate in 2018. More here.

There is one thing about which many peace researchers disagree and constantly debate: Are we really living in the most peaceful era ever, or are we facing a dangerous era of conflicts and struggles for global supremacy – very often masked as a fight for human rights but which can lead to a global war?

There are those who agree with Steven Pinker when he claims that “today we are living in a most peaceful time in our species’ existence” (1) or with Barack Obama, the 44th president of The United States, who wanted to highlight how “worth it is reminding ourselves of how lucky we are to be living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history.’’ (2)

Trying to validate his claims, Obama also said that: ”It has been decades since a war between major powers. More people live in democracies, more people are linked by technology, across the developing world incomes have gone up, tens of millions of boys and girls are in school, millions of gained access to clean energy, helping to mitigate the treat of climate change. (…) More than one billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty.’’ (3)

But there are also those who disagree, like Sarkees, Wayman and Singer, who argue that we should take with a grain of salt such statements that claim that we are living in the most peaceful era, giving an example of many analysts in Europe who “were writing about the unprecedented era of peace from 1870 to 1914,” (4) while their research shows that the “1890s were the second most war-prone decade, second only to 1970s”. (5)

They also draw a very important conclusion, which, I think, is crucial for people to understand – and not just people in the fields of peace research, psychology, heads of states, leaders etc. but for ordinary people, young and old, workers, students, black and white, but to be quite honest, especially for white Western Christian men: “Perhaps then, as in our time, the scholars were optimistic about peace because war had been displaced away from the rich and into the poor nations.’’ (6)

I agree with the three latter-mentioned authors and ask myself:

Are we too optimistic about war and peace? Are we being egoistic and selfish when claiming that we are living in a peaceful and prosperous era when millions of people are forced to flee their homes, to become refugees, abandon their families, risk their lives, when billions of people live at the edge of, or in, poverty?

Are we really living in such a prosperous era as stated by Obama, or is it prosperous merely for the “richest 1% of US families who possessed a staggering share of 33.8% of total net US national wealth, while the bottom 50% of Americans accounted for only 2.5%.” (7)

The changing nature of wars: Local wars are increasingly internationalized

Pinker states that we are witnessing the decline in interstate wars and wars between global powers (Pinker, page 202). “Zero is the number of any great powers have fought each other since 1954. Zero is the number of interstate wars that have been fought between countries in Western Europe since the end of World War II. Zero is the number of interstate wars that have been fought since 1945 between major developed countries anywhere in the world.” (8)

But can we just not count proxy wars and consider a war between major powers just a direct clash on their territories? In any case, major powers were involved in much of the post World War II wars.

On the other hand, we should also consider that it is the way of waging wars that has changed; civil wars fought on somebody else’s territory have become an instrument for clashes between major powers which do not want to engage in direct conflict considering how dangerous it would be, keeping in mind the weapon technological revolution and international treaties on wars and on human rights.

It is true that there has been an increase in civil, or internal/national, wars and a decrease in inter-national wars after the World War II, but it is also true that much bigger number of civil wars now are in fact “internationalized” civil wars, which means, civil wars fought with interventions by outside system members. (9)

To elaborate my point about this change in warfare, I would like to add these important facts stated by Sarkeese, Wayman and Singer: ‘’Between 1816 and 1997, of the 214 civil wars, only 42, or 19.6 percent, were ‘‘internationalized’’ by the intervention of outside states. Whereas in the period prior to 1960, only 12.4 percent of the 129 civil wars were internationalized; this rose to 30.6 percent of the 85 civil wars in the post 1960 era.” (10)

All the modern wars, mostly civil wars inside the state are very important for the major powers because the outcomes of those wars define a country’s future political orientation.

Now, taking an overall look at these facts, can we really proclaim so unambiguously, as Pinker does, that the world has become a more peaceful place?

The United States had the same goal then as it is pursuing today, a supreme position in a dominant geopolitical region, the Middle East, rich with natural resources, for a very long time.

This is neither a secret nor a speculation. As Zbigniew Brzezinski openly wrote, President Roosevelt told Britain’s ambassador to the US, Lord Halifax back in 1943: ‘’Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it is ours.’’ And since then began American painful political involvement in that region. (11)

Nothing has improved with the passing of decades.

There are many theories on when the phenomenon called globalization emerged. Some argue that it started way back in 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered America, but what is certain is that the basic idea underlying it has been around at least since the 18th century when Adam Smith, the Scottish philosopher and economist, wrote his famous (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of) The Wealth of Nations, where he emphasized the importance of free trade. (12)

Along with globalization came the idea of Global governance. I think it is important to separate two terms similar in writing, but with different meaning, governance and government.

Governance is not government. It is the framework of rules, regulations and practices that put a limit to behavior of people, organizations and nations. The American heritage dictionary provides us this definition: gov-er-nance is the act, process of governing. It is the state of being governed. Global governance is a politically correct way to govern the world.

Governance is a broader, more encompassing phenomenon than government, which includes formal authority and informal influence.

Neo-liberalism is an ideology and philosophy based on the principle that human welfare is best promoted by economic growth, which in turn is best enabled by reducing the interference of governments in the private sector. Neo-liberals also support measures that enable trade and finance to have unrestricted movement across national borders.

These policies attempt to “roll back” the state and the role of government, and leave decisions about allocation, production and distribution in the economy to the global market, thereby excluding or limiting measures that restrict or redistribute the wealth of individuals. (13)

Many think that only by by practising global governance will people and societies be able to realize the maximum of their potentials and that cooperation will take place at the highest level, free trade will be much easier, and it will be easier to solve different kinds of issues like political, economic, security etc. (14)

The Treaty of Westphalia, signed in 1648, established the principle of sovereignty. Sovereign states control their own domestic affairs. If global governance became a reality, most of the rights of sovereign states would likely disappear. It is important to remember also that concepts of governance and power are inextricably linked.

As Barnett explained “governance involves the rules, structures and institutions that guide, regulate and control social life, features that are fundamental elements of power.’’ (15) That’s why a few countries now are in the race for global supremacy.

That means that the country that imposes itself as a leader of a globalized and interconnected world, that imposes itself at the very top of the global governance will have tremendous power in its hands, and this is a motive strong enough for starting any kind of war, even one including nuclear weapon and one that historians – if any are left alive – will call World War III.

Since currently, a few states are in the race for power and global domination, the very concept of global governance can be said to be what is going to lead us to self-destruction.

The absence of sovereignty means that there has to be one global leader, or an institution made of different members, but there is always someone on the top.

Not many countries or major powers are ready to accept someone being self-imposing on everybody else in the role of global leader, nor do they want their actions to be determined by someone else. But, ”if power works through the actions of specific actors in shaping the ways and the extent to which other actors exercise control over their own fate, it can have a variety of effects, ranging from directly affecting the behavior of others to setting the term of their very self-understanding.” (16)

The race for supremacy will lead us into a disastrous scenario.

Samuel Huntington’s vision on the future conflicts is interesting. He thinks that is going to be the clash of civilizations. Huntington says that “civilizations are different from each other by history, language, culture, tradition, and, most important, religion. The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man, the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative importance of right and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy.” (17)

This is very simple and also logical, but it seems that those who attempt to establish themselves in a global leader position do not care much about other people’s values.

With the end of the Cold war and the intensified emergence of globalization the aim, as stated previously, is to create global governance.

It is done by violent changes of government (“regimes”) and by the imposition of a Western democratic system. Paradoxically, there is nothing democratic in violence and violent imposition of someone else’s values. By doing so, uniqueness and differences, as well as cultural and local diversities of different nations and civilizations will be lost.

The powers aiming to become the global leader do not have the right to impose its will on other nation states, to impose its criteria of human rights, its values and cultures, because, as Huntington well explained, every civilization is in its core very different.

What needs to be understood is that globalization, progress, or unification of the whole world is not something that should be forced. And if we now have a new notion of a humanitarian intervention/war “which is upheld by the international so-called community and it is not condemned as a criminal act,” (18) when – further – we see that “its main architects are rewarded for their contributions to world peace” (19), then we should stop for a while and ask ourselves: Are we really facing the disastrous future scenario of World War III, because the international community is going down the ‘’path of self-destruction”. (20)

To the extent that the world develops in that direction, I begin to doubt the legitimacy of international institutions which get to participate and which have the right to make decisions.

I also have to disagree with Huntington on one point and say that I do not think that modern wars are and – or will be waged as – so-called civilisational and religious clashes.

On the contrary, I think it can be argued that the main aim of waging modern wars is pure greed and desire for global supremacy. It is true that “differences among civilizations have generated the most prolonged and the most violent conflicts’’ (21) in the world history, but I also agree with Pinker that humans have become less cruel (22), and that technology revolution, new inventions, communication and transportation systems have brought us closer together and taught us to respect differences, to be more compassionate and to understand each other. (Or, at least that there is now a potential for that).

040709-N-0295M-001 Washington, D.C., (July 9, 2004) Ð The American flag waves over the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, located in Washington, D.C. Mr. Felix DeWeldon sculpted the memorial after the famous flag-raising scene at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in the defense of the United States since 1775. U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerÕs Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain (RELEASED) For more information go to: http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/usmc.htm

As long as we do respect each other and our differences, there is no reason for a conflict between civilizations. But if the essential feature of the communication is missing, i.e. respect, then we should start to worry.

It is becoming more unbearable because the desire for domination and, on the other side, the struggle to keep the sovereignty untouched, are going to result in a global conflict, or rather, World War III.

What is important for the US, currently the most influential major power, is “that no Eurasian challenger emerges capable of dominating Eurasia and thus, also challenging America”. (23) “For America the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia, America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.” (24)

Bearing in mind this quotation is made by Zbigniew Brzezinski, US National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981, it’s not that surprising that US military forces and interventions are ever more concentrated to the Middle East.

Now, let’s take a look at the very recent history and America’s relations and involvement in North Africa and the Middle East.


After “9/11” (2001), America started the ‘’Global War on Terror” by attacking Afghanistan on October 7, 2011 (but nobody knows that as “10/7”). Officially, it was a war between competing values and religions, (25) but in reality it was a war for dominance in the Middle East, the region that holds more than 60% of the world’s oil reserves (in comparison to America that has just 2%), (26) – a war that was planned by Pentagon way before it actually started (see above, Wesley Clark). (27)

After that, Iraq was attacked in 2003, allegedly because it was suspected that it had connections with Al Qaeda, but as Wesley Clark, a retired general of the United States Army, openly admitted, it didn’t have anything to do with it. (28) All the wars in the Middle East were planned. The invasion of Iraq was planned long before 2003 it actually commenced.

Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 and from 2001 to 2006, has been so determined to find a rationale for an attack that on 10 separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to the terror attacks of Sept. 11. The intelligence agency repeatedly came back empty-handed. (29)

It is also worth highlighting that many NATO countries and millions of people around the world opposed the invasion on Iraq, but the US did it anyhow and it has not suffered any consequences of that action.

US leaders have not been brought on trial, nor were they held accountable for their criminal acts by the international community, and the major international organizations.

Later on, we have been witnesses of Arab Spring which was a revolutionary wave of mainly peaceful protests, riots, demonstrations with more or less hidden foreign support, in North Africa and the Middle East that began in 2010 in Tunisia.

It seems that these events have resulted in hundreds of thousands killed, 4 governments overthrown, 6 protests leading to self-destructive changes, 5 major protests, 4 minor protests, 2 governments overthrown in the aftermath, and 4 civil wars in the aftermath (Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen). In all of these events the US was more or less involved.

We also had the 2011 NATO-led war on Libya to protect civilians from their government. It could be seen as a strange coincidence that, exactly the country that was on Pentagon’s plan for destabilization one decade earlier, was now in such a “desperate’” need of NATO and US involvement to save the civilians and protect their human rights and lives.

Further, it deserves mention that NATO’s air strikes killed at least 72 civilians, one-third of them children under age 18. (30) And that the war on Libya went much further than the UN Security Council mandate that underpinned it, which was basically about creating a No-Fly Zone.

Last, but not least important, to mention is Syria. Protests in Syria began in Daraa in spring 2011, and since then the situation has developed into a unique catastrophe.

Hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, millions of people who fled their homes, and a completely destroyed country. As Wesley Clark states, the various branches of US Pentagon and State Department planned, long before the actual involvement of the United States in the Middle East, to destabilize it, and their last target would most likely be Iran. (31)

Starting with 28th December 2017, many protests and riots have occurred around Iran opposing a theocratic system in that country. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, didn’t waste time to comment on the situation: “The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!” (32)

“Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!” (33)

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party’s candidate in the 2016 United States presidential election, also used the opportunity to state how important it is for Iranian government to respect human rights: “The Iranian people, especially the young, are protesting for the freedom and future they deserve. I hope their government responds peacefully and supports their hopes.” (34)

The UN also urged the Iranian government to respect the rights of protesters. (35)

Little food, big inflation and no human rights, sound like a Westernized description of the situation in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. So if we continue by the same pattern pattern of thinking, the next step would be “humanitarian intervention” (in the Iranian case, many times even suggested in the past), the overthrow of the ‘’diabolic’’ government which, according to NATO and the US, has zero respect for human rights, complete destabilization of the country, resulting in a change in government, installation of a new leader and privatization of the whole country.

CIA and its British counterpart conducted the first such coup d’etat in Iran in 1953, deposing the first democratically chosen leader, Dr Mossadegh.

Says Michel Chossudovsky of the Centre for Research on Globalization – “When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor, justice and the entire international legal system are turned upside down: pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. Opposing the war becomes a criminal act.” (36)

As usual, the US is using the human right and/or dictatorship argument as pretext against its enemies like with North Korea, Libya and Syria, while there are other Middle East countries, like for instance Saudi Arabia and Qatar, that have even more strict laws, and according to Western standards respect the basic human rights even less, but they have never been a US target and, furthermore, they are US allies and therefore never accused of not respecting human rights.

A full invasion of Iran would be far more costly and more dangerous for the United States than the previous operations in the Middle East. (37)

The Iranians would probably have the support of China, Russia (both nuclear weapons powers) and Turkey in the event of a US and/or Israeli military action on it.

That’s why it is difficult for the US and NATO to start a new invasion and occupation, deploy their troops in one of the very few places in the Middle East where they still do not exercise their power.

What they need in order to start a new military operation is a serious reason, or pretext to do so, they need a strong argument to convince the international community that the best thing to do is to invade Iran. And how are they going to do that? Presumably, by using human rights and democratization as basic arguments.

An Iranian woman stands in front of the painted wall of the former US embassy on November 4, 2014 in Tehran where takes place a demonstration to mark the anniversary of its storming by student protesters that triggered a hostage crisis. Thousands of Iranians shouted “Death to America” during the demonstration, 35 years after Islamist students stormed the embassy compound, holding 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. The painting shows the Statue of Liberty with a skull as a face. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

As stated before, the Middle East is a crucially important geostrategic pivot for America because of its perfect location from where it is possible to monitor Europe and South East Asia, and to keep an eye on other major powers aspiring to the position of world leader, and also, of course, because it is very rich in terms of natural resources.

One scenario, therefore, is that the US may really decide to invade Iran. There is a clear diplomatic-political, economic and media-related campaign going on as a build-up to military action.

It will do no good at all, and it could escalate into a global war which could potentially include all the major powers.

In the event of an attack on Iran it would have to retaliate, militarily and/or by economic means such as closing the Hormuz Strait which would have serious consequences for the oil business as well as the price per barrel.

On the personal level, I find it strange how most of the people who are not very interested in politics began to worry about a war of global proportions and a possible nuclear war just after the Trump’s election in a presidential run in November 2016. I found it strange how many people around the world I have spoken with afterwards, were very disappointed when Hilary Clinton lost the elections. They thought she was going to bring democracy into countries that suppress their citizens and give them their human rights.

That’s one of the reasons why I tried to explain how US foreign policy has lead us into an abyss for many years before anyone even thought Donald Trump could ever become a president.

Fundamentally, the US global game has been the same and consistent for decades. It’s shaped and legitimated by structures that are rather difficult to see and not made visible by the media. Trump, the Clintons, Obama and the Bushes are merely “puppets” appearing to lead the show.

Unfortunately, not many people are aware of that, because they are being taught to believe in everything that the mass media propagates, media (facts, fake, omissions, propaganda and lies, whatever) being a clear dimension of modern warfare.

Few people have the time and energy to investigate such complex international conflicts and the game around them in a deeper manner and thereby judge for themselves. Even though the Internet can help the discerning citizen a lot, it does take time. And you may legitimately ask: Which sources can we actually trust nowadays?

The current situation in the Middle East, whose geostrategic location would represent the greatest risk of provoking a global conflict, is developing according to a pattern, a pattern of intervention that has been prevalent for about 100 years. Analyzing its recent history, it is not very difficult to predict the future.

One likely scenario I would advance based upon that pattern – some would call it negative but I would call it rather realistic – is that the next step would be that the US increasingly highlight how Iran not only continues to violate human rights but also refuses to cooperate. Combined with other long-term build up of pressures and demonisation, this should be a good enough reason for the international community to approve some kind of US humanitarian intervention.

This intervention would aim to change the regime and convert the country into a democratic one (in the Western liberal sense), make it economically highly dependent on IMF and The World Bank, which are very much US-dominated. (38) In doing so, the country’s traditions, values, history and culture would not be respected.

And even though Iran has been a non-nuclear weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (the NPT) since 1970, (39) it will be suspected that Iran attempts to acquire nuclear weapons and thus anyhow “cheats” on its commitments embedded in the JCPOA – Joint comprehensive Plan Of Action – or Iran nuclear deal of July 2015. (The one which the US under Trump’s leadership has withdrawn from).

Iran is likely to have the support of the nuclear-weapons state, Russia, which knows what would be at stake and the likely consequences of Washington’s invasion of Iran, a crucial geostrategic actor in the Middle East. Russia is well aware that if that happens, the US will be able to control even more of the Middle East and, implicitly, more of the world.

China, as one of the fastest growing major powers that is even aspiring to soon surpass the US in terms of global economic leader, would also not want to allow this potential scenario. So, if Washington really decides to start a military operation in Iran, Russia and China would hardly hesitate to help Iran.

Even though Turkey is the second largest military member of NATO, it is rather possible that it would take sides with Iranian because Turkey is very angry with the US support of the Kurdish fighters in Syria and now also with US economic sanctions and other issues.

In this possible situation, India could also feel threatened because of its geographical proximity with Iran. Conflicts and warfare could spill over from Iran into Pakistan which would really jeopardize India having in mind its unstable situation with Pakistan.

In summary, a US-Iran conflict could ignite the Middle East as a whole and risk having effects throughout the world – such as on oil prices. A US military action on Iran may also turn out to be as bad an idea as the other US interventions we’ve seen – indeed, could spell the end of the US Empire and global dominance.

Numerous countries around the world would distance themselves from a US intervention in Iran. Even NATO allies in Europe who may soon witness that more refugees knock on Europe’s doors from yet another war in the Middle East.

Greed – human greed for power and systems’ greed for resources and profits – remains a very important root cause of conflicts and many are capable of doing horrible things in order to achieve their goals.
Maybe it’s time to really reconsider now: Are we really living in the most peaceful era in human history? Or are there conflicts and tensions all around the globe with the potential to escalate into a global war with terrible human and environmental consequences?

Perhaps we Westerners should ask ourselves whether we are really that lucky to live in such “peaceful” times or we are just lucky not to be born in the Middle East, the stage of the struggle for supremacy and domination?
And last but definitely not least, perhaps we should seriously reconsider the legitimacy of the very existence of the nuclear-based NATO alliance? Because, we don’t want to see the world as we know it end in another World War.

H. L. Mencken, one of the most influencing American journalists, scholars and writers of the 20th century, in his book “Minority Report” says “the urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it,” and at this moment I can just agree with him.

I want to highlight how crucial it is for us to understand the importance of cooperation, compassion and resolution of conflict in a peaceful way.
Thus, it is relevant to remind ourselves of what Charlie Chaplin says in his famous speech in the movie The Great Dictator:

“We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another… The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed… let us fight to free the world. To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance, let us fight for a world of reason…” (40)

Not much has improved since he said it in 1941. The world was in war then, and so it is now.

So let’s take a moment and reflect: Is that the reason human beings were created? To wage wars, to kill people who are pursuing some other goals and other dreams and can we, really, build a world community with so much greed and selfishness? I for one do not believe we can.

I have traveled a lot, and I have met many people in my life. Mexicans, for instance, taught me how to be humble and grateful, Asians taught me how to appreciate the nature and Indians taught me how to be respectful towards the other.

I’ve met people who had nothing but they were happy and grateful as if they had it all. I also met those who had almost all but they were still modest remembering were they came from.

Working my way through this thesis, I’ve come to realize that, in spite of all, there is still hope.

We, Western people, don’t necessary have to follow the path of self-destruction of the human and other species. There is still a chance to try to understand what the real values worth living for are. Everything can be done through collaboration and mutual understanding and there is no need for wars and violence as a way of solving problems.

It is time for us to open our eyes and – most importantly – we need to choose not to ignore this question. It is not an issue that concerns only politicians and men and women in power. We cannot just let others decide. The future of the world is a concern and a responsibility of us all.

Notes

  1. Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why violence has declined (New York: Viking Penguin, 2011), p 10.
  2. Jessica Chasmar, “Obama: We’re living in ‘most peaceful’ era in human history,” The Washington Times, April 26, 2016.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Meredith R. Sarkees, Frank W. Wayman, and J. David Singer, “Inter-State, Intra-State, and Extra-State Wars: A Comprehensive Look at Their Distribution over Time, 1816-1997, ” International Studies Quarterly, 47 (2003): 62.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision: America and the crisis of global power (New York: Basic books, 2012), part 2, chap. 2.
  8. Pinker, The Better Angels Of Our Nature, p. 202.
  9. Sarkeese, Wayman, and Singer, “Inter-State, Intra-State, and Extra-State Wars,” p. 62.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Brzezinski, op.cit, Part 1, chapter 1.
  12. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations – originally published by W. Strahan and T. Cadell, Scotland, in 1776.
  13. Steven Slaughter, “Global Governance Against World Government?”, World government research network, August 15, 2015, accessed on November 06, 2018.
  14. Michael Barnett, and Raymond Duvall, eds., Power in Global Governance, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 1. Cambridge.
  15. Ibid., p. 2.
  16. Ibid., p. 10.
  17. Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Foreign Affairs 72, no. 3, Summer 1993, p. 25.
  18. Michel Chossudovsky, Towards A World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research Publishers, Montreal 2011, p. 12.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Huntington, op.cit., p. 25.
  22. Pinker, op.cit.
  23. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, Basic Books, 1998, New York, in the introduction.
  24. Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, chaper 2.
  25. Chossudovsky, op.cit., Scenario 8.
  26. Ibid., p. 39.
  27. Paul Thompson, ‘’US preparing for a war with Afghanistan before 9/11, increasing control of Asia before and since,’’ 9/11 Timeline, chap. September 9, 2001 (F), (accessed on October 8, 2018).
  28. FacelesswithEyesOpen, General Wesley Clark, Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years, posted September 11, 2011.
  29. Daniel Eisenberg, “His war on Iraq may be delayed, but Bush still vows to remove Saddam. Here’s a look at White House plans,” CNN.com’s Insidepolitics, May 6, 2002.
  30. Human Rights Watch, “Unacknowledged Deaths: Civilian Casualties in NATO’s Air Campaign in Libya,” last modified March 13, 2012.
  31. FacelesswithEyesOpen, op.cit.
  32. Donald J. Trump, Twitter post on January 2, 2018.
  33. Ibid., January 1, 2018.
  34. Hillary Clinton, Twitter post on December 30, 2017.
  35. United Nations, “Security Council Discusses Deadly Protests Across Iran amid Accusations of Abusing Entity’s Platform to Meddle in States’ Internal Affair,” United Nations, accessed February 21, 2018.
  36. Chossudovsky, Towards A World War III Scenario, p 74.
  37. William Hartung, “Regime change in Iran could cost the US trillions,” CNN, May 24, 2018.
  38. Brzezinsky, The Grand Chessboard, chapter 1.
  39. NTI Building a Safer World, “Iran” – accessed on February 21, 2018.
  40. The Great Dictator, movie directed by Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin Production, 1941, United States. The mentioned speech which comes at the end of the movie can also be viewed on The Transnational in the right-hand column of this article.

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Edward Kienholz’ “Portable War Memorial” 1968

Some of the photos in this article, including the one on top, depict American artists Edward Kienholz’ iconic “Portable War Memorial” from 1968. It’s historic origin is Iwo Jima. Read more about it in this excellent analysis by Ruth Lipschitz.

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