Monday, February 13, 2017

Neoconned Again

Lately it seems as if the newspapers have returned to 2014: Stories about fighting in Eastern Ukraine; an incendiary report by Amnesty International alleging Syrian government crimes against humanity; a tendentious article in the Gray Lady which creates the impression that there is smoldering support for ISIS in Sunni Iraq.

Then there is this little gem by Gardiner Harris, "As Ties With U.S. Cool, Europeans Look to Forge Other Alliances," about the EU foreign minister Federica Mogherini's Foggy Bottom sit-down with the Secretary of State from ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson: "On Russian sanctions, she said President Trump’s policy was essentially identical to former President Barack Obama’s and to Europe’s."

It was foolish to expect that a Trump administration would be substantially different from prior ones. Sure, it is welcome news to see that Trump blocked Tillerson's choice of neocon archduke Elliot Abrams for his deputy, but the overall trajectory is still neocon. Robert Parry has lately been calling this out. What we're going to get, and no doubt what the Saudis have been promised (in order to let go of Islamic State), is increasing conflict with Iran; that, and increasing conflict with China. According to this morning's Situation Report:
The Pentagon wants to increase the number of freedom of navigation operations it conducts near man-made Chinese islands in the disputed territory of the South China Sea. Anonymous military officials told Navy Times that the carrier strike group attached to the USS Carl Vinson would carry out the operations if approved by the Trump administration. The operations began under the Obama administration and involve sailing within 12 nautical mile of the islands in order to content Beijing's claims of exclusive territorial sovereignty surrounding them.
The next four years are going to be a real neocon roller coaster.

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