In most evolved countries, war is considered a problem rather than a solution. In the event of a war, this is usually a last resort rather than a first. Take for example the current dispute between India and China over Doklam/Donglang. As recently as today, China has said that war is a last resort. The fact that China has shown restraint in the face of Indian encroachment on Chinese territory is a sign that for a nuclear super-power like China, even what it sees as India’s grievous violation of sovereignty, isn’t an automatic trigger for war with a fellow nuclear power, though a considerably less potent one.
For the United States however, it seems that war is often a first option. Take for example the illegal 1999 war on Yugoslavia that Bill Clinton launched to try and remove his concubine Monica Lewinsky from the headlines. While most Americans knew more of the details regarding the Lewinsky scandal than they did about the history of the Balkans, any distraction was a good one and for the US media, war is the biggest weapon of mass distraction that money can buy.
Donald Trump is currently in a uniquely precarious position. Unlike most modern US Presidents, Trump ran and won on a platform largely centred around peace. However, due to becoming embroiled in Congressional and mainstream media attempts to undermine his presidency and possibly remove him from office, he is boxed into a policy making corner on multiple fronts.
War is often the solution for American leaders in such a position. Many, including myself have explored the very real possibility of armed civil conflict in the United States should Trump be removed from office.
Trump and those around him (certainly those who he counts as personal friends) will doubtlessly be aware of the threat of civil war should he be removed from office. The question that remains is: what kind of war will Trump launch to prevent this?
1. Information War
This far, the war that Trump has waged and continues to wage, even before becoming President has been the information war. His Twitter account has allowed alternative narratives to that of the liberal mainstream media to become highly pervasive throughout the US and the world.
Whether one agrees with Trump, the MSM or neither of the two narratives is a separate issue, the point is that Trump has broken into the mundane unilateral MSM narrative and offered an alternative view that because of his stature can neither be suppressed nor ignored.
Trump could continue to fight the information war and indeed gather a team of lawyers to take it to the courts while simultaneously fighting his public case on Twitter and his new ‘Real News’ video platform.
This would be the most peaceful option but would it be enough to stop his domestic would be political assassins?
2. War on North Korea
North Korea is perversely the most dangerous option for the world and the safest option from a media point of view. A war on North Korea would be highly digestible for a notoriously under informed US public.
This is true for the following reasons
Between 1950 and 1953, the United States fought in the Korean War, America’s first military loss of the Cold War era. In the insuring decades, the US has built North Korea up as a consummate villain which ticks many boxes in the collective American psyche.
North Korea is nuclear armed, has a strong highly disciplined military, is anti-American imperialism, is communistic, is non-Christian, is oriental. All of this sells like hotcakes in the US mainstream media.
From decades old news reports to the film Team America: World Police, everyone in America knows the Kims and knows North Korea, even if they can’t find it on a map.
America has worked hard to make North Korea a villain starting from the time that Saddam Hussein was a child. America is in other words, unambiguous about its hatred of North Korea. While America’s activities in the Middle East have become a stalemate due to the changing political alliances in the region and with many in the US public feeling a kind of ‘Muslim fatigue’ ever since Islam was outrageously declared enemy number one after 911, a good old fashioned war against ‘godless Asian commies’ might just wake Americans up from their war fatigue.
However, the problem of practicability then comes in. North Korea has nuclear weapons and far more advanced weapons systems than did Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya or Syria. Even more importantly, the world’s other two super-powers both border North Korea and both Russia and China are totally opposed to any military action on their doorstep. Furthermore, many people in South Korea and Japan are paralysed in fear over the prospect of nuclear war that could harm their countries. Even further away, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has said that such a war would be a disaster for the countries of South East Asia. Is America willing to risk harming not only its foes but also its supposed friends?
In this sense, a war with North Korea could be a nuclear world war. Not a safe option.
3. War on Venezuela
From a propaganda angle, a so-called regime change war on Venezuela would be far less impactful than one on North Korea. Fewer Americans see Venezuela as a cartoon villain vis-a-vis North Korea and furthermore, much of the US based Latin American community would resent a war against a smaller Latin American country, especially a war waged by Donald Trump who has terrible PR among Latin Americans.
From a military point of view as well as a political perspective, it would however be a safe option. Venezuela’s armed forces cannot complete with those of the US and since Russia closed its base in Cuba in the year 2002, Latin America is from a military point of view, an American peninsula, even though politically the United States has lost tremendous amounts of clout over the last decades as many far-right dictatorships across Latin America have fallen to democratic socialist governments.
While Russia and China would likely condemn such a war, they would not participate in the conflict as they might do in Korea.
4. War on Iran
In many ways, Iran is the worst of both worlds for Donald Trump. Like North Korea, Iran has a highly professional and well disciplined army. While Iran does not have nuclear weapons, Iran could easily bring tends of thousands of volunteers from around the world into its ranks should America declare war, many of whom are battled hardened from fighting in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and even Yemen.
No other regional power would come to America’s aid. Saudi Arabia is both weak and useless in this sense, Egypt would not want to get involved in any case and if recent history is an example, Israel is far happier with the US fighting its wars than actively participating in them.
While Iran still has a lot of bad PR in the US, this is changing because of alt-media which has exposed to America, Iran’s role in fighting terrorism in the form of its war against ISIS and al-Qaeda in places like Syria. The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is one such organisation based in the US which has countered a great deal of anti-Iranian propaganda.
Likewise, the Iranian community in America, even those who opposed the Islamic Revolution, are dead-set against a war on Iran and many of these individuals are wealthy, especially when compared with individual leaders and families in the larger Latin American community.
Furthermore, Russia would be extremely opposed to such a war. As Russia’s influence continues to grow in the Middle East, any war on Iran would be automatically a resumption of a partial if not a full-on Cold War between Russia and the US, more so than that which exists presently.
Finally, Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of rejecting further Middle East quagmires. For those who think that George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s wars in the Middle East were a disaster, Iran would be exponentially worse.
The choice for a sane Donald Trump would therefore be between a domestic information war and a war on Venezuela. The calculated logic of American aggression dictates nothing else.
Therefore, if Trump refrains from going to war with Venezuela one can say that he has, by American standards, exercised restraint. If he goes to war with North Korea, he has doomed the entire world. At this point it is also necessary to rule out a Balkan war. America has successfully honed puppet governments in both Macedonia and Montenegro. Albania has been a US puppet state for some time. Serbia remains the biggest obstacle to US hegemony in the Balkans, but the current Serbian government looks to be bending to the breaking point rather than standing up to US bullying.
Some may have noticed that I did not mention morality or international law in this discussion. The answer as to why is simple: the United States cares about neither.