(May 24, 2020) — By early April, the US Army’s health system is stressed. Even at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the largest military hospital in Europe. “Every time I call the Landstuhl appointment line, I get a busy signal,” an exasperated caller complains.
As covid cases strike the Little Rock Air Force Base, more than 150 other US military bases, and all but one nuclear installation, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley declares on April 10: “We’re still capable and we’re still ready no matter what the threat.”
Except for COVID-19, of course. “You can’t get social distancing in a submarine or even in a tank,” worries Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
“Troops have always been extremely vulnerable to respiratory pathogens,” writes former weapons inspector and marine intel officer, Scott Ritter.
The crowded living and working conditions associated with military service, combined with stressful working environments, put its members at a higher risk of exposure to infectious disease than their civilian counterparts.
The misnamed Fort Riley “Spanish” Flu outbreak in 1918 killed 45,000 American soldiers, Ritter reminds us. “The US military has a massive presence spread out around nearly every corner of the world, making the task of monitoring deployed forces difficult, and dealing with potential exposure cases equally challenging,” Ritter remarks.
Today, more than 800 overseas US military bases are securing more than 170 foreign-based military golf courses from unexpended bullets and the irate local citizenry banging on their gates.
“Rarely does anyone wonder how we would feel if China, Russia, or Iran built even a single base anywhere near our borders, let alone in the United States,” suggests David Vine.
“Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld,” Chalmers Johnson picks up, “one can’t begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.”
“Our overseas bases have made us all less secure, harming everyone from US military personnel and their families to locals living near the bases to those of us whose taxes pay for the way our government garrisons the globe,” Vine volleys back.
At the same time, US foreign bases fomenting perpetual turmoil “have all too often generated grievances, protest, and antagonistic relationships,” while turning a host country “into an explicit target for foreign powers or militants.”
“Just as the war on terror only seems to spread terror, the creation of new US bases to protect against imagined future Chinese or Russian threats … may ultimately help create the very threat they are supposedly designed to protect against. Far from making the world a safer place, US bases can actually make war more likely and the country less secure.”
On April 18, Admiral Craig Faller declares that the biggest US fleet build-up in the Caribbean since the 1989 invasion of Panama aimed at removing President Maduro from power is not aimed at removing President Maduro from power.
US ESCALATES SAVAGE AIR WAR AGAINST SOMALIS DURING PANDEMIC
On April 22, the UN Secretary-General renews his appeals for a global ceasefire amid the Covid-19 crisis. Dozens of nations — including America’s European allies — agree.
Under the cover of Covid’s distraction at home, the US response is a massive escalation of its undeclared war on Somalia. Since the beginning of the year, AFRICOM boasts of bombing dirt-poor, starving Somalis 39 times. According to the UK-based airstrike monitoring group, Airwars, “civilian fatalities may exceed official Pentagon estimates by as much as 6,800%.”
America’s escalating US air strikes in Africa are spiking alongside COVID-19 cases. Among the survivors, “tens of thousands of Somalis have fled areas that the US regularly bombs, filtering into already overcrowded refugee camps outside of the capital of Mogadishu,” protests retired US Army Maj. Danny Sjursen.
Corporate Washington’s self-sabotage is directed at a terrorist/resistance tar-baby called al-Shabaab, whose “recruits, expertise, and grievances are mainly local” and “fueled, in part, by the US war against it,” notes the Costs of War Project.
“Coronavirus cases have risen rapidly in Somalia — a country with no public health system to speak of,” Maj. Sjursen reports. “Some 2.6 million internally displaced persons are so vulnerable in pandemic-petri-dish camps, one mother of seven described feeling ‘like we are waiting for death to come’.”
In late April, Pentagon paper-pushers override recommendations from senior military officers to halt training for 30 days. COVID-19 hits the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego hard, when nearly four dozen recruits tested positive for an actual enemy.
ANOTHER ATTEMPTED US COUP IN VENEZUELA FAILS
Even by US standards of losing conflicts, Washington’s latest disaster in Venezuela on April 30 is “painfully humiliating,” The Saker comments. Russian Special Operators help the Venezuelans capture the clueless American mercenaries and their cohorts. So far, an estimated 40,000 Venezuelans have died in 2017 and 2018 from the US/Canada sanctions.
Hermetically-sealed “Christian” leaders in D.C. and Ottawa have apparently never considered that their nations will reap what they sow.
On May 7, the UN Secretary General and the European Union call for a suspension of economic warfare that is deliberately denying food, medicines and medical equipment to comfortably distant non-white families already suffering and dying from an equally merciless pandemic.
Ignoring this plea from the UN’s highest official, the United States and its Canadian sidekick continue their brutal sanctions against 20 covid-clobbered nations — including Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Venezuela, Libya, Somalia, Nicaragua and Yemen and five others. “Canada, in the spirit of the international togetherness, rebuffs Cuban doctors, ignores the UN and imposes sanctions on some of the world’s poorest nations,” writes Linda McQuaig in The Toronto Star.
On May 12, the WHO — which considers heavily-bombed Yemen as “one country, one people” — says it “is operating under the assumption that full blown transmission is now occurring” across the wreckage called Yemen.
Billed by the UN as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the conflict over Houthi independence has killed more than 100,000 since 2015, leaving some 24 million Yemenis — or 80% of the population — reliant on aid.
With sanitation systems deliberately targeted by US-armed and directed Saudi fighter-bombers, cholera and covid-imitating dengue fever are rife. Some 10 million persons — mostly children — are starving amidst the ongoing disease outbreaks.
SCALED-DOWN NATO EXERCISE
Still in the grip of COVID-19, the USA and Poland plan to practice defeating the “enemy” on NATO’s eastern flank. If they aren’t routed first by COVID-19.
As late as May 14, not even the coronavirus pandemic killing people in the United States, Poland and the rest of Europe will stop the US Army from holding large-scale drills with its Polish proxy, which has declared COVID-preoccupied Russia a “mortal threat” by staging “large-scale military exercises” to counter NATO’s large-scale military exercises.
Counting some 4,000 American and 2,000 Polish GIs, the scaled-down Allied Spirit exercise is set to launch on June 5 and run for two weeks, instead of two months.
These latest wargames will see US troop convoys moving through German towns, after covid and unpopular sentiment forced the Pentagon to reconsider their original Deranged Defender’s startlingly inappropriate grandiosity.
The US military, which reportedly has over 5,400 covid cases among its ranks, cannot explain the rationale behind holding drills amidst a pandemic. But its European command absolutely promises “to ensure the health and protection of participating armed forces and the local population” — from troops drawing on 1.4 million infected Americans back home and another 17,000 covid patients in Polish hospitals. Except for 6,000 possibly infectious troops charging across its territory, Warsaw’s borders will remain closed until June 12.
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