The road to war has many signposts along the way, even that small sign buried under weeds, squashed down by marching boots, that has scribbled on it, in haste, by a fleeing hand, “the lost path to peace”. But the US-NATO war alliance and its allies litter the road with threatening alarms, proclamations, and edicts, disguising their plans with lies, frightening everyone as they drive the world on to total destruction.
All the while the peoples targeted by their aggression call for dialogue and the peaceful resolution of issues, whether real or feigned. They call for an end to war, to never-ending conflict, and ask simply to be treated with the mutual respect due to each nation from each.
Russia has called for dialogue and peace, China, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Venezuela; there is a never-ending outpouring of pleas for peace from them. But the gangster nation that wants to run the world like a mafia don, the United States of America, rejects them all, and just as Adolf Hitler pulled Germany out of the League of Nations, President Trump has de facto pulled the USA and its war allies out of the obligations imposed upon them by the United Nations Charter to keep the peace.
The United Nations suited American purposes while they were top-dog in the world, but now that their post World War II dominance is weakening the UN is used simply as a vehicle for their propaganda and otherwise ignored while the powers of capital in the USA rely solely on their military machine and their military alliances to achieve their supreme objective; dictatorship of the world. Increasingly, the statements of Jens Stoltenberg, the General Secretary of NATO, of the American president and his flunkies, appear as if statements from a world government, while statements by the UN Secretary General are as obscure as the man’s name.
The control of the western media by state forces directly and indirectly is almost absolute. Independent, objective voices are relegated to small journals which themselves are subject to harassment and attack. Even the social media allowing for fast exchange of information which can spread those voices, is more and more controlled, so that those voices cannot be heard, except by a few. On Facebook, attacks on science and reason are common; they don’t want us to know anything or to think. Attacks on Jews are increasing, and not just about Israeli state policies in the Middle East; Jews are to blame for everything, made scapegoats once again for the crises generated by capitalism and peoples’ disillusionment with it. Muslims, atheists, communists, whoever suits their purpose, a scapegoat can be found. History is rewritten to justify the aggression and those who challenge the rewrites are condemned while the ignorant don’t even notice. Love and fellowship between people, the realisation of our common destiny on the planet, our common interest to work together to save it, as exemplified in the new Chinese movie blockbuster, ‘The Wandering Earth,’ which reflects the concept of a community of mankind with a shared humanistic future, is replaced by a general hatred for everyone; reflecting the suspicion that runs deep in American society that somehow everyone is out to get you, so you better get them first.
The great Canadian theoretician of electronic communications, Marshal McLuhan, once said that the “medium is the message.” Later, he changed it to the “medium is the massage” that is, the machine that washes your mind of original thought and the capacity to reason and leaves it a sponge for false images, false words, hatred and deceit. Instead of producing the informed citizen, the electronic systems that communicate data at light speed, produce the propagandised citizen, the non-thinking being who is reduced to an automaton. To ensure this new being stays an automaton reactionary governments, reactionary journalists and intellectuals, corrupted news presenters, tell us over and again that only the mass media are to be trusted, only the establishment voices are to be listened to.
And so in the campaign by American capital for world domination that began after World War II the general population, fed and fattened on propaganda about “spreading freedom” and “democracy,” not seeing that what is meant by the first is the freedom of capital to exploit them, and, by the second, the crushing of any democracy that fulfils the needs of the people, make themselves parties to crimes they have no comprehension of.
In its January statement, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has kept the Doomsday Clock at 2 minutes to midnight, the time of the apocalypse, citing three reasons, the nuclear threat, the threat of rapid human caused global warming, the threat of propaganda. With regard to the nuclear threat they cite the rapid destruction by the United Stares of treaties designed to limit the use and development of nuclear arms and the desperate measures taken by nations such as Russia, China and North Korea to defend themselves against the increasingly imminent threat to their existence posed by the United States.
Just in the past few days since the US announced its withdrawal from the INF Treaty dealing with intermediate range nuclear missiles, the US has announced that it will place nuclear capable missiles right up against Russia’s borders, shortening the time to target while American generals and admirals talk openly of launching a nuclear first strike on Russia or China. In response the Russians, who correctly see this as the aggression it is, the existential threat it is, the threat of nuclear attack at any time, are placing in position advanced supersonic nuclear weapons systems that cannot be stopped targeting the command and control centers in the United States as was the case in the so-called Cold War.
The obligations imposed on the United States, by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to commence immediate negotiations with other nuclear-armed powers to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, the only way in which the world can approach a state in which war is no longer an available means to achieve political objectives, are ignored by the American leaders and western commentators and governments. Instead the United States builds up its nuclear forces, announces it is prepared to use them in any situation, and with each day increases its provocative actions against the world. It even threatens Europe with retaliation if it continues to buy Russian gas instead of more expensive and less reliable American gas, the old Chicago mob racket; or if they continue to trade with Iran. North Korea, a nation that wants only peace, is threatened with annihilation by the nation that refuses to remove the threat that led them to development nuclear weapons in the first place. But even the scientists and intellectuals that drafted the Doomsday Clock bulletin, sponsored partly by corporations and foundations linked to the American war machine, puts the blame in every one of these scenarios on the smaller nation or makes it appear as if the threats are mutual when the threats come from only one direction.
The threat of world war from the United States grows as their power declines. Their project for the New American Century, for their take over of the world, bogged down in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Russia is no longer subservient. China is the economic dynamo that keeps the system afloat. Even the European “allies,” no longer trusting that the US is on their side, are thwarting its directives wherever they can when their interests are threatened. Germany and France even dream of establishing a European Army to impose European hegemony on the world while the weak and hobbled United Kingdom fantasises about a ‘global Britain” and Canada’s leaders, equally deluded, talk of Canada’s “global backyard,” while Turkey revives memories of its victories over the British at Cannakale and Kut in the First World War, and the glories of the Ottoman past. Some have compared this period in history with the 1930s but it is not a stretch to compare it to the scramble for empire that led to the First World War.
Yet, the failed coup attempt in Venezuela by the US, Canada and allied nations, using the leader of a small far-right party as their tool, to try to topple a popular and democratically elected leader seems to have surprised them. They have been so long corrupted themselves that they have forgotten that not everyone can be bought or intimidated and can’t understand that they are seen not as “liberators” but as a very painful and dangerous condition we’re all seeking the cure for. Still they hold their dark meetings, prepare every intrigue, advance their plans for war; for the more they fail, the more determined they are.
But what, you will ask me, can we do about it? The governments of the west do not listen to the people unless they are forced to. That we have learned time and again. Power only listens to other power. Unless we, and I mean the working class, the majority of us who have to work for a living and are exploited by capital for their wars, their ambition, their enrichment, get on the streets and make it clear to those who have control of the government machinery that we want peace, that we want them to adhere to their legal and moral obligations under the UN Charter, and that they will have no peace from us until they commit to disarmament and peace for the world. So just as they call for mobilisation for war we must call for a peoples’ mobilisation for peace. Do what you can, join local peace groups, as I joined the Canadian Peace Congress, affiliated with the World Peace Council. Write, meet, organise, ask radio stations to play Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance, or Dylan’s Masters of War. It’s up to you. But do something. We have enough to worry about with abrupt man-made climate change. Let’s establish peace and mutual concern for each other as first principles. Until then, my friends, we’re in such grave danger that it cannot be described.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”