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By Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
Perhaps humanity has not lived through a moment as complicated as the present since the irruption of Adolf Hitler and Nazi fascism in 1933, which led to the worst war conflagration in history between 1939 and 1945. The evidence points in the direction of understanding and accepting that the world is in the hands of a clique of extremist and fundamentalist fanatics who, as in the second decade of the last century, look with desperation at the fact that capitalism has entered into crisis and must save it by any means.
The fundamental difference between one moment and the next is that on that occasion the atomic bomb was used to “formally” end the war and could now be used to “formally” start it.
This is what can be inferred by looking at the draft budget that Trump presented for 2020: it was undoubtedly elaborated on the basis of a war hypothesis. It increased the appropriations for the defence secretariat and national security, while reducing it for health, work, education, the environment and international cooperation. One of its priorities is the construction of the fence on the border with Mexico at an irrational cost of 8,600 million dollars, of which 5,000 million comes from the national security budget and 3,600 million from defense.
The reduction for the State Department and international cooperation is 23%, transport 22%, housing 16.4%, health 12%, education 10%. At the same time, national security rose 7.8%, defence 5%, NASA 1.4% and veterans’ affairs 7.5%.
Trump’s own explanation: “The budget improves military preparedness, prioritizing strategic competition with China and Russia. It also maintains efforts to deter and counter dishonest regimes such as North Korea and Iran and to defeat terrorist threats. These resources will be used to maintain 2.1 million active and reserve military forces, as well as to acquire 12 warships, two large experimental unmanned surface ships and 110 fighter planes.
The U.S. president took note of a November 2018 report by the National Defense Strategy Committee. It is a group of experts created by Congress with bipartisan participation, which reported that the United States is in the middle of a situation of strategic risk of such magnitude that it has no precedent: The US would have lost military superiority over Russia and China.
The report assures that the political and economic model of “prosperity, freedom and security” that the United States built after the Second World War -without counterweights that would make it opposed to its hegemony, especially after the disappearance of the USSR in 1991- has begun to alter visibly after Russia’s return to stellar levels in the international arena and China’s ascent to the status of economic and military power. All of which undermines the maintenance of US supremacy and dominance.
In the course of this year China has dealt two powerful blows in areas in which it supposed infinite superiority to the United States: at the beginning of the year it managed to land a space probe on the hidden side of the moon for the first time in history and then launched 5G technology, -prioritizing the United States that it had arrived first of all at 3G and 4G-, it came to surpass any hint of rational patience in the feverish minds of American leaders.
The surprise was great: last June 12 the Madrid tabloid “El País” had reported:
“The 5G is destined to be an important economic engine of digital societies, but its guts have yet to be defined. By the end of 2018, the first phase of standardisation is expected to be completed and the definition will be completed by December 2019. From then on, all companies will play with the same currency. Until then, each one tries to influence in its own way the creation of the technology.
Just one month earlier, on May 3, the BBC World website said:
“It is a race that China and the United States are fighting side by side, with other competitors such as South Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom in the dispute.
However, China launched that technology before its competitors realized it, taking a substantial step in the technology race. The possible military use of this know-how frightens the United States.
On the political front, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe – during which 29 cooperation agreements worth 20 billion dollars were signed, and China’s strategic “Silk Road and Belt” project – dealt a heavy blow to US hegemony and absolute control over Europe.
In this context, making clear the contradictions within the EU, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, informed at the beginning of February that an agreement had been reached with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This transcendental decision faces threats from the US, which is looking for an outlet for its gas surpluses, and puts pressure on the EU to buy its gas even at prices higher than Russian gas. Nord Stream 2 is an expansion of the Nord Stream pipeline, built from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, and will allow for a doubling of the natural gas supply. At the time, Merkel announced that this agreement had been achieved thanks to the concomitance of criteria between France and Germany to achieve the signing of the agreement.
However, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, cancelled his participation in the Munich Security Conference, held between 15 and 17 February, in which he planned to deliver a joint speech with the German chancellor. It is evident that either one of the two leaders lied, or that US pressure on France had an effect.
To counter the Chinese offensive in the old continent, when Macron received Xi Jinping in Paris, he was accompanied by Merkel and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, trying to show a common front to curb China’s growing presence in the form of investments and expansion of bilateral trade with almost all countries, which irritates the American empire.
The aforementioned report of the US National Strategy Commission considers that actions of this type generate a confrontation with the G-7 and call into question the functionality of NATO by threatening the cohesion of the EU. It also points out that this weakness is caused by the lack of political vision of Republicans and democrats, who established budgetary controls from 2011 onwards, thus curtailing the possibilities of ‘improving’ the country’s defence, generating a security crisis for the US which they classify as a “national emergency”.
The drafters of the document affirm that the situation created modified in a negative way the so-called “regional military balances”, reducing the effectiveness of the “US deterrence against its adversaries”. And they predict that in the event of a military confrontation the US would suffer a great deal of human and material losses, even losing the war if it is unleashed against China or Russia. All the more so if the war were unleashed simultaneously against the two powers, which could add allies such as Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and other countries.
This document explains the unusual increase in U.S. military spending at a time when its economy is facing serious problems, while the trade balance and domestic spending have deficits that point to the rise without showing ways of solution.
All this has given oxygen to the most conservative movement of the US political spectrum grouped around the Tea Party that gathers sectors of both parties of the establishment, placing itself above the traditional US political system. Some of its emblematic figures such as Rand Paul, Marcos Rubio, Mike Pompeo and Sarah Palin have achieved a great protagonism in the political system of the country, managing to “recruit” Donald Trump to carry out his crusade by presenting himself before public opinion as a new right that tries to recover the foundational principles of the USA, in order to make politics in the 21st century.
This movement has promoted the denial of climate change, as well as the repudiation of the political and intellectual elites it accuses of causing the country’s weakness. It also strongly opposes mixed marriages, divorce and abortion, assuming fundamentalist, sectarian and fanatical religious positions.
This group acts in the same way as, in the 1920s, Adolf Hitler, Anton Drexler, Philip Bouhler, Franz Xaver Schwarz and Max Amann, who built from nothing the National Socialist party that brought them to power in 1933 by electoral means, allying with the Catholic Center and the Nationalist party. The rest of the story is known: war, genocide of minorities, concentration camps and death, as an expression of the wake of hatred that was sown by the Nazis throughout Europe.
This is the danger facing humanity. It is not just about the defence of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or Syria. It is about safeguarding a world in which one can live in peace while respecting the political and religious beliefs of all.
The US does not want to allow this. The most backward sectors in the international arena, first and foremost the ultra-right in Europe and Latin America, support this commitment to genocide and war. Responsibility is universal if we want to save the planet for our children and grandchildren.
Translation Pressenza London