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New Year Status 2022

In past New Year’s status, I expressed concern about what Trump might do if he lost the election. I was not the only one who was worried.

The chief of U.S. Armed Forces, Mark Milley, repeatedly telephoned the Chinese Army Commander-in-Chief Li Zuocheng and assured him that the United States would not attack. The first call took place on October 30, 2020, four days before the election. The last was on January 8, 2021, two days after Trump supporters had sought to prevent the approval of the election in Congress. According to the Washington Post, Mark Milley said, “General Li, I want to assure you that the United States Government is stable. Everything is fine. But democracy can sometimes be a bit messy.”

General Milley, believed that Trump was mentally unstable. A view he passed on to the head of Congress, Nancy Pelosi in a phone call on January 8. He also assured Nancy Pelosi that measures had been taken to prevent Trump from initiating military action or ordering nuclear attacks. The revelations of Milley’s phone calls have sparked outrage among members of the Republican Party. Trump himself, accuses Milley of high treason by going behind the back of the president and communicating American politics to foreign opponents. The new president Joe Biden, on the other hand, expressed the view that Milley acted correctly.

Looking back on the events of the 6th of January, it is surprising that Trump got away with urging his supporters to storm Congress to prevent the approval of the election. There was no majority for a lawsuit. Despite his behavior, Trump still has power over the Republican Party and a strong base in a huge part of the population who believe more in his parallel universe than reality.

Why mention this anecdote? I think it is shown how divided and confused the ruling class in the US is. Another sign of loss of direction and leadership was the panicked withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Taliban’s small and ill-equipped army caused the world’s largest military power to withdraw. Not even NATO’s closest allies were involved in the decision, which they were quite outraged about.

The third example of the political crisis in the United States is Joe Biden’s plan to renovate the country’s infrastructure, roads, bridges, railways, and ports for no less than $2,000 billion. A project that aims to create new jobs and strengthen the United States’ global competitiveness. The project is similar to Roosevelt’s “New Deal” of 1933, which pulled the United States out of the economic crisis triggered by the stock market crash of 1929. However, recently, a Democratic senator said “no” to the proposal and Biden needs all Democratic votes to get the plan adopted.

Biden also tries to rebuild the United States as the only global superpower. What the United States can no longer do on the economic front it can still do using its military machine. It may be that the Pentagon would not risk a confrontation with China under the unstable President Trump, but that does not rule out future confrontation. In September 2021, Australia, the UK, and the United States entered into the so-called AUKUS military pact. Australia will build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines supplied by the United States. The purpose of AUKUS is “to contain China”. However, China has no territorial claims other than reunification with Taiwan. It is the United States that has 700 military bases in 150 countries and a Marine Corps whose motto is: “No beach out of reach”. The United States is also establishing long-range missile systems on a chain of islands around China: Taiwan, Okinawa in Japan, and the Philippines. One only has to imagine what would happen if China was tried to place a missile system along the coast of the US to understand, who the aggressor is. Or remember what happened when the Soviet Union tried to ship missiles to Cuba, after the American invasion attempt in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in 1962. The world was on the brink of a nuclear war.

As part of this new “cold war”, stories of China’s repression of democracy and freedom are constantly emerging in the media, in an effort to manipulate the world to be so afraid of China, that they will accept any agenda, no matter how dangerous. A dying empire is dangerous, especially one with nuclear weapons. The fact that the United States is stepping up a propaganda campaign is worrying. So, no matter how you look at China – then go against this belligerent attitude.

The EU countries are standing behind the US, not least Denmark, one of the most loyal NATO allies. In May 2021, the media was able to reveal that the American National Security Agency (NSA) was collaborated with the Danish Intelligence Service (FET) to monitor and tap the traffic on Danish internet cables going in and out of Denmark. NSA thereby spied on telephones and computers of state leaders and top politicians in Germany, Sweden, Norway, and France, including Angela Merkel. The US has for example used the information to secure contracts on jet-fighters and submarines ahead of France.

In general, the United States’ espionage against “old friends” must be seen in the light of growing disagreements between the United States and especially Germany and France. The UK, the most trusted friend of the US, is no longer a member of the EU, Germany and France want the EU to be more militarily and politically independent of the United States. The EU gets much of its energy supply through gas pipes from Russia and oil from Iran. They do not need the United States’ growing conflict with these countries and with China, which has become a major trading partner of the EU.

How important China has become, became visible when a container ship stuck aground in the Suez Canal in April 2021 and literally blocked world trade for a week. For months, consumers in Europe lacked electronics. In general, the global supply chains have been under pressure in 2021. The closure of factories and container ports in Asia because of the pandemic has resulted in a shortage of chips and other electronic components used in everything from cars to refrigerators and washing machines.

The Suez Canal is the gateway between Asia’s manufacturing centers and Western consumers, and the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz are the gateway to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states’ oil wells. That is why the Middle East has been a conflict zone for decades, from the wars in Iraq to the ongoing war in Syria and the lurking confrontation between the United States and its allies Saudi Arabia and Iran. In May 2021, another bloody conflict broke out between Israel and the Palestinians in the “world’s largest open prison” on the Gaza strip. The Palestinian conflict may immediately seem of minor importance. A small geographical area without raw materials or significant economic significance. But make no mistake. Israel is the region’s most important military power, equipped with sophisticated weapons and surveillance systems, and if it should be – nuclear weapons to back up. Israel is the United States land-based “battleship” located a few hundred kilometers from Suez and the Red Sea.

Behind these international tensions, climate problems are growing, despite global conference after conference. In 2021, it was COP26 in Glasgow. The text of the agreement after the two weeks of negotiations was far from enough to satisfy neither Greta Thunberg nor the UN. The logic of capital and the growing global rivalry prevents the necessary measures that can reverse the dangerous development.

At the moment, all of these contradictions are hidden by the mists of the pandemic. The healthcare sector is under pressure and everyone is demanding compensation for losses. Governments around the world continue to pump out huge sums of money to keep the wheels turning. Money that has no background in the production of goods or services, but is based on loans, issuance of government bonds, or simply printing more notes. The global loan “bubble” has never been bigger. If it burst, it will bring the world economy to its knees.

Here in “the butter hole” of Demark, we had municipal elections in November 2021. The most left-wing party in parliament “Enhedslisten” the Unity List became the largest party in the city of Copenhagen and on the island Bornholm in the Baltic sea. The Unity List was formed in 1989 as a collaboration between the Danish Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party, a revolutionary Trotskyist party member of the Fourth International, and the Left socialist, a revolutionary New left party from 1968. At first glance, one would think this cocktail was dangerous for the capital. However, it seems that neither capital nor the voter of Unity List expects revolutionary changes either in Copenhagen or in Bornholm. It seems as if it will be “business as usual”. The revolutionary left has lost much of its steam as it has accommodated to parliamentary politics and the pursuit of more votes.

Torkil Lauesen
In the 1970s and 80s, Torkil Lauesen was a member of a clandestine communist cell which carried out a series of robberies in Denmark, netting very large sums which were then sent on to various national liberation movements in the Third World. Following their capture in 1989, Torkil would spend six years in prison. In 2016, Lauesen’s book Det Globale Perspektiv was released in Denmark. In it, he explains how he sees the world political situation today, and his thoughts about the future.

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