Geopolitical Notes From India
M D Nalapat
ON August 7, 1964 the US Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, that authorised President Lyndon Baines Johnson to adopt “all possible means” to ensure the defeat of North Vietnamese forces that were seeking to take over South Vietnam through their proxies. The resolution was passed in the heat of anger over a (fake) report that the North Vietnamese had twice attacked a US naval vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin. There is a lot of hullabaloo about fake news these days, mainly by those unreconciled to the reality of Hillary Clinton being defeated by the candidate her handlers saw as giving her a walkover.
Their calculation was that a Clinton victory was certain once Donald Trump got nominated as the Republican candidate. The Clinton machine is similar to NATO headquarters, in that both refuse to accept that they have made any mistake. Hence the blame has been cast not on the candidate herself but on the Kremlin. The Democratic Party,is still controlled by the Clinton machine, with former President Obama serving in an associate capacity and Senator Bernie Sanders neutralised. The Clinton machine has joined hands with anti-Trump elements in the Republican Party to hardsell the myth that the 2016 US Presidential election was stolen on behalf of Donald John Trump by Vladimir Putin.
In times past, George W Bush had similarly pushed the fake news about Saddam Hussein holding on to vast sticks of Weapons of Mass Destruction, while the Obama administration – especially when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State – worked overtime to disseminate the false news that it was the Assad regime in Syria and not the “moderate” fighters that NATO was backing that was slaughtering Christians, Druze and Shia in Syria. The Christians of Iraq and Syria in particular have been forgotten by the US and the EU just as the wartime alliance against Adolf Hitler ignored the increasing evidence that the German Fuehrer was systematically annihilating both Jews in all the countries that the Wehrmacht had occupied.
The Jews of Europe were left to their fate then, just as the Christians of Iraq and Syria have been since the 2003 occupation of Iraq and the effort by Hillary Clinton, Cameron and Hollande since 2011 to eliminate Bashar Assad, a program of action that led to the refugee crisis in Europe and the rise of extremist groups in the Middle East. To claim, therefore, that the Trump campaign or Presidency has the patent on Fake News is to indulge in that very crime against the right of the public to expect the truth from the politicians they elect, a right seldom enjoyed in the pervasive culture of greed and dissimulation that comprises the muddy field of politics. In 1964, fake news of a North Vietnamese attack led to the Tonkin Gulf Resolution and to the loss of blood and treasure in a war that the US eventually lost to the North Vietnamese.
The Sanctions Resolution just passed the US House of Representatives by as overwhelming a majority as the Tonkin Gulf Resolution is on course to ensure that the US gets embroiled in a new war, this time in the Middle East and perhaps Europe as well, with Iran and Russia. The Resolution also sanctions North Korea, thereby further strengthening the already prevalent view in Pyongyang that the only way to ensure the survival of the North Korean regime is to possess nuclear weapons and delivery systems capable of reaching the US coast. At a time when the US and the EU need the help of both Moscow as well as Teheran to eliminate Daesh nests in the Middle East, what may be termed the Second Tonkin Gulf Resolution is designed to ensure a split into at least two hostile segments within the anti-ISIS coalition.
Unlike in 1964, when President Johnson connived at spreading false reports about a North Vietnamese series of attacks that never took place, in 2017 President Trump is himself a victim of the fake news that it was Moscow and not Hillary Clinton herself who caused her defeat. The Atlanticist lobby is working at speed to ensure that a reset is avoided that would replace the thinking of a never to return past with a construct suiting current realties. This would replace the centrality of the Atlantic Ocean with the Indo-Pacific as well as Germany and France with Japan and India as the key US allies on the Eurasian continent. The US House and Senate are lagging behind the White House in understanding such a change in circumstances.
There were those who, in 1939 and to an extent even in 1941, wanted Franklin Roosevelt to attack the USSR rather than Germany. Were the present US House of Representatives and Senate been there during that time, this is what would have happened, to glee from Adolf Hitler. It is very likely that agencies in Russia sought out information on the US Presidential poll in 2016, but so would several other intelligence agencies of other countries. Indeed, more than a few would have backed Hillary Clinton. It is astonishing that there a Special Prosecutor has been appointed to probe any links between the Trump organisation and Russian entities, but none to examine the funding received by the Clinton Foundation and correlating this flow with the diplomatic stance of the US during the period these moneys entered the coffers of a foundation that has within a short while become among the largest in the US.
Overall, while his tweeting may have been of value to Reality Television Star Donald Trump, they are a perceptorial downsizing of President Trump. The 45th US President needs to understand that his current avatar is of an entirely a different level from all his past avatars put together, and act and react accordingly. The new sanctions against Russia form part of a presumably unintended gift by the US Congress to China. The new measures will drive both Iran and Russia closer to Beijing, a country whose troops and warships are already at the doors of Europe via the alliance with Moscow. And as for North Korea, while they will be of zero value in stopping the nuclear and missile program of Supreme Leader Kim, they too will ensure a closer tilt towards China. Overall, it is China that will gain the most from the war being waged by the Atlanticists against President Trump.
—The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.
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Geopolitical Notes From India