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Eric S. Margolis

Articles by Eric S. Margolis

The US and Britain Are Now Getting a Tragic Sample of the Weapons They Unleashed Against Iran

March 28, 2020

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The world is getting sick from the spreading COVID-19 virus.  North Americans and Europeans are now as horrified as Chinese by the invisible killer that has put their hospitals under siege.
They are also getting a grim foretaste of what biological warfare would be like.  Those not cowering in terror in their homes would likely be amazed to learn that some of their governments are still churning out highly toxic chemical and biological agents in hidden factories.
But surely our lily white democracies don’t stoop to making poison gas and germs?
Back in 1990-91, I was based in Baghdad covering the first of the Gulf Wars.  The US was threatening to attack Iraq for daring to invade oil-rich Kuwait, which

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Payback By Mother Earth?

March 21, 2020

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`He who seeks to defend everything, defends nothing.’ King Frederick the Great of Prussia.
This is one of the most important maxims of military history.  Every young officer should have it drilled into his head.
Yet the confused administration of President Donald Trump has been doing just this as it fights an invisible foe no one expected.  Trump, who dodged US military service using phony doctor certificated about his feet, now shamelessly styles himself ‘a war president.’
This new affectation mirrors Trump’s well-known love of ostentatious displays, military parades, and bombastic talk.  When draft-dodgers grow old, they often become flaming warmongers and carriers of the big stick.  Fox-TV watching

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President Trump: End This Stupid War Now!

March 7, 2020

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After 19 years of war, over $1 trillion in spending, 2,400 dead and a torrent of lies, the US may now be facing an end to its longest war.
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.  There were three reasons: 1. to cover up the humiliation of the tough-talking Bush administration for being caught sleeping on guard duty by the 9/11 attacks; 2. To secure oil pipeline routes through Afghanistan from Central Asia down to Pakistan’s sea coast; and 3. To occupy a supposedly empty square on the Asian chessboard before China did.
Since 2001, hardly a word of truth about Afghanistan has come out of Washington.  All wars are accompanied by a bodyguard of lies, as Churchill wrote, but the lies and propaganda about

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Trump Does the Taj

February 29, 2020

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President Donald Trump’s 36-hour whirlwind visit to India this past week was designed to show Americans just how adored abroad their president really is.
Unluckily for Trump, his campaign stop at this behemoth nation of 1.3 or 1.4 billion proved a fiasco.
First came the terrifying Chinese coronavirus that so far has killed less people than the weekly toll on China’s dangerous roads, but the whole world went into a panic.  The US stock market, the underpinning of Trump’s popularity at home, took a crash dive even though the all-knowing president-physician assured Americans that the Wuhan virus was only a cold.
VP Mike Pence, who believes in Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark, was put in charge of combating the

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Bloomberg Flunks Acting School

February 22, 2020

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Good work, Democrats!  In the Las Vegas debate, you blasted every target but Donald Trump.  Instead of quivering in his Gucci loafers, the man who would be king was left dancing on air.
The man who should have been king, newcomer Mike Bloomberg, was left looking like a beaten-up cigar store Indian.  He had not prepped for the debate and failed to dodge the obvious incoming missile attacks on him launched by a hissing Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg.
Many veteran Republicans fear that TV promoter Trump will steamroll Warren, Buttigieg, Biden and Amy Klobuchar.  They may be right.  Trump had to be delighted by the no-prisoners Democratic debate that bloodied his opponents before he could even get to

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Clipping the President’s War Wings

February 15, 2020

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The US Senate, long the lap dog of the man who would be king, President Donald Trump, appears to have finally remembered its proper constitutional role.
Last week, the Senate voted 55/45 for a new bipartisan War Powers Act to constrain military action against Iran.  The Congress voted a similar act.  Both are designed to start returning the right to make war to Congress, as the Constitution clearly intended.  The president is not the Warlord-in-chief in spite of what he thinks.
The Senate has been supine until now, intimidated by an unholy alliance of pro-war Christian evangelists and the Israel lobby, and over $100 million given to the Republican Party by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.  Senators who dare oppose this powerful special

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The Gulag Was More Murderous Than Hitler’s Camps

February 8, 2020

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Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, we remain fixated on some of its worst crimes.  But only some.  The incessant use of Holocaust remembrance has been cynically used by some on the hard right to justify Israel’s repression of the Palestinian people and the expansion of the Jewish state.
For example, Israel’s rightist government waited until the 75th anniversary celebrations of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp by the Red Army to announce it planned to annex 30% more of the Palestinian West Bank.  Few outside the Mideast took notice.
We rightfully remember the horrors of the Nazi system.  But what about a far larger, more murderous system that has faded from our memory, the Soviet

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Grand Theft Property

February 1, 2020

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In 1916, as World War I raged on, a British diplomat, Mark Sykes, met with his French counterpart from the Quai d’Orsay, Monsieur Picot, and signed an agreement to partition the Ottoman Empire once victory was achieved.
The heart of the Mideast – Palestine, Syria and Iraq – was divided between Britain and France.  Italy and Russia were offered other Ottoman lands: southern Turkey was promised to Italy and Constantinople to Russia.  All this was top secret but was later revealed by the Bolsheviks after their 1917 revolution.
We have not seen such an example of breathtaking cynicism and perfidy until this week when President Donald Trump unveiled his so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ as his final solution to the fate of the long-suffering

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The Plagues From China

January 25, 2020

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Plagues from the east are nothing new.  The Black Death and other epidemics arrived in Europe from China during the 1300’s, killing a large percentage of its population.  Much of this pestilence came from rats that stowed away on merchant ships coming from the east.
At the end of World War I, another pandemic, wrongly called the Spanish flu, killed an estimated 18 to 50 million people in Europe and North America.
Seventeen years after the SARS virus killed some 800 people in China and Canada and terrified the entire world, a new plague threatens the West: the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Officially named 2019-nCoV, the new virus has so far infected over 800 people in China.  This latest plague erupted in the

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I Like Ike

January 18, 2020

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“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.”

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Imperialism 101

January 11, 2020

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What ever happened to Iraq?  Is it not an independent country with a democratic government thanks to the 2003 US invasion?  So says Washington.
The murder of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani suddenly shone a strobe light on ‘independent’ Iraq, and what we saw was not pretty.
Welcome to the new Imperialism 101.
Iraq’s population is estimated around 39 million.  The pre-war Iraq of 2003 was broken into three parts by the US-British invasion:  the Shia majority; Kurds in the north; and Sunnis, with scatterings of other ethnicities.  Iraq remains fragmented into hostile groups.
Its Shia are confusingly allied to the US and Iran.  The killing of Maj. Gen. Soleimani by the Americans has

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France’s Political Hooliganism

January 7, 2020

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France’s favorite sports are striking and street demonstrations.  At heart, most French are revolutionaries and protestors.
In France, the answer to every problem seems to be ‘aux barricades!’ (to the barricades!).  Demonstrations are typically followed by a hearty lunch.
But this time things in the Republique have gone way beyond the usual day off from school frivolity of France’s ubiquitous demos.  They were a form of ritualized Gallic Kabuki in which protesters would make a big fuss and break some windows.  After a lot of huffing and puffing, the government would eventually back down and give the demonstrators much of what they demanded.
France is not highly unionized, but its belligerent trade

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Murder, Inc.

January 4, 2020

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The US drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and a senior leader of Iraq’s Shia militia, has set the Mideast on fire.  The Trump administration, which authorized the assassination, called it a ’pre-emptive’ strike.  Iran branded it ‘outright murder.’
Soleimani was Iran’s second most powerful figure and a national icon.  He headed up the Quds Force, the elite branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a key player in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the Gulf region.   Soleimani was also the most capable, intelligent and effective military leader in a region of third rate generals.
The 62-year-old general distinguished himself in the long Iraq-Iran War, the dirty

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The Afghanistan War Has Been a Tissue of Lies

December 14, 2019

“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”.Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
This week, the venerable Washington Post newspaper revealed a bombshell, 2,000 page, secret Pentagon report detailing the astounding failure of US war strategy in Afghanistan, America’s longest war.
Americans have been fed a steady stream of lies about the Afghan War, concluded the Post.  So asserted this writer in ‘American Conservative’ magazine in 2003 when the US invaded Afghanistan.
`We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking,’ admitted three star General Douglas Lute who commanded US forces in Afghanistan under Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.
Arrogance and ignorance, backed by mammoth

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Frenchmen. To Arms!

December 7, 2019

Citizens of France. To arms! Man the ramparts. The American barbarians are coming. They shall not pass!
Le Trump’s threat to France’s splendid wines and Roquefort cheese are the gravest menace France has faced since the Germans invaded this fair land in 1914.  Burgundy wines and France’s 300 fromages form the very soul of la Belle France.
Trump does not know or care that France saved America from British mis-rule.  He wants revenge because France – which taxes nearly everything – seeks to tax US IT firms like Google and Amazon.  Trump considers this a personal affront.  Besides, he dislikes wine and lives on desiccated burgers made with petrochemical cheese, washed down by acidic Diet Cokes.
On top of this outrage comes the

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Save the Koala Bears

November 30, 2019

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Two tragedies just happened in Romania and Australia that have left this hardened war correspondent shaken and horrified.
An old tub of a cargo ship named the Queen Hind (likely Indian-owned but convenience flagged), packed with 14,600 live sheep, capsized at its dock on Romania’s Black Sea coast due to overcrowding and improper load balancing.  At least 14,000 of the terrified sheep drowned in the icy waters and darkness of the overturned death ship.  Imagine their plight.
Maybe the dead were the lucky ones: the sheep were consigned for Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s leading importers of live animals.  The Saudis like their lamb freshly killed.  So instead of importing frozen lamb from Australia and

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Iraq: All Is in Ruins and Mourning

November 16, 2019

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Victor Hugo said of the devastated Balkans in the 19th century:  ‘The Turks have passed by here. All is in ruins or mourning.’
Welcome to modern Iraq.
The British were always masters of efficient imperialism.  In the 19th century, they managed to rule a quarter of the Earth’s surface with only a relatively small army supported by a great fleet.
Many of their imperial subjects were so overawed by the pomp and circumstance of British rule that they often willingly cooperated, or at least bent the knee.
Call it colonialism 101.  Ardent students of Roman history, the British early on adopted the Roman strategy of ‘divide et impera’, divide and conquer.  The application of this strategy allowed the British

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How We Betrayed Russia

November 9, 2019

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Where did all the time go?  Thirty years ago this week the Berlin Wall fell.  Then Soviet chairman Mikhail Gorbachev freed the Baltic states and allowed divided Germany to reunite.  It was a geopolitical earthquake of historic proportions – and a major miracle of our times.
The once mighty Soviet Union had become exhausted by its long military/economic/political struggle to keep up with the much wealthier United States and its rich allies.  Moscow had 40,000 tanks, but its economic infrastructure, crippled by Marxist ideology, was an empty shell.
A senior KGB general in Moscow told me that, a decade earlier, the renowned Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov had warned the Politburo that failure by Soviet

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Spain: Let the Dead Sleep

October 28, 2019

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In 1936, as Spain’s brutal civil war was raging, Republican-leftist forces were besieging Toledo’s fortress, the Alcazar.  They took hostage the 16-year old son Luis of the citadel’s commander, Col. Moscardo.
`Surrender the Alcazar or we will shoot him,’ threatened the leftists.  Moscardo replied, ‘put him on the phone.’  When his terrified son came on, Col. Moscardo told him, ‘son, stand to attention, cry out Viva Espana, and die like a man.’
Spain’s Valley of the Fallen is a grim spooky place.  A gigantic mausoleum carved into a rocky hill outside Madrid, the monument houses the remains of tens of thousands killed in Spain’s brutal civil war, 1936-1939.
I visited this vast necropolis soon after it

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Syria: What a Tangled Web We Wove

October 19, 2019

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What a mess.  The imperial cooks in Washington have turned poor Syria into a poison pit of warring factions, with disastrous results for all.
Henry Kissinger once quipped that it is more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy.  A good example is how Washington used the Kurds in Syria to fight ISIS and then ditched them to face the wrath of the mighty Turkish military alone.
A great hue and cry has gone up from the US corporate media and Congress that the Kurds are being betrayed.  The evangelical far right and Israel’s supporters are leading this charge.  Israel has secretly been arming and aiding Kurds in Iraq, Iran and Syria since 1975 as a dandy way of splintering the fragile Arab Mideast.

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More ‘Stupid War’ in Syria

October 12, 2019

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More war in wretched Syria.  Half the population are now refugees; entire cities lie shattered by bombing; bands of crazed gunmen run rampant; US, French, Israeli and Russian warplanes bomb widely.
Now, adding to the chaos, President Donald Trump has finally given Turkey, NATO’s second military power, the green light to invade parts of northeastern Syria after he apparently ordered a token force of US troops there to withdraw.
This, of course, puts the Turks in a growing confrontation with the region’s Kurds, who have occupied large swaths of the area during Syria’s civil war.  The Kurdish militia, known as YPG (confusingly part of the so-called Free Syrian Army), is armed, lavishly financed and

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Beware Awakening China

October 5, 2019

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“China is a sleeping giant.  Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.”  Napoleon
France’s future emperor never saw China, but he was wise enough to understand its immense latent strength and future importance.  Two centuries after making this prediction, China has proved the Corsican correct.
Last week, China feted the 70th anniversary of the Communist takeover of the mainland.  It was a gala demonstration of the nation’s military and social power.  I recall watching the 60th anniversary celebration in Hong Kong and wondering at how amazingly far China had come since I first went there in the early 1980’s.
At that time, China was a vastness filled with poverty, suffering and primitive

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Off With Trump’s Head?

September 28, 2019

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A crime worthy of impeachment?  Not really, just another unethical, improper, crass act by President Donald Trump.
Many Democrats are cock-a-hoop over the idea of impeaching Trump.  They would bed down with the Devil just to get rid of the boor in the White House.  But unless really damning information emerges regarding Trump’s efforts to dig up dirt on his presumptive presidential rival, Joe Biden, it looks so far as if Trump may survive this latest scandal.  Unless, of course, the mounting pressure on him seriously affects his health.  He is showing clear signs of stress.
In a recorded 25 July phone call, Trump, a former reality TV star, asked Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, a former TV

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The Saudis Get a Taste of Their Own Medicine

September 21, 2019

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The Mideast has its own variety of crazy humor.  The Saudis have been blasting and bombing wretched Yemen, one of this world’s poorest nations, since 2015.
These US-supported attacks and a naval blockade of Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia and its sidekick ally, the United Arab Emirates, have caused mass starvation.  No one knows how many Yemenis have died or are currently starving.  Estimates run from 250,000 to one million.
The black humor?  The Saudis just claimed they were victims of Iranian `aggression’ this past week after the kingdom’s leading oil treatment facility at Abqaiq was hit by a flight of armed drones or cruise missiles.  The usual American militarists, now led by State Secretary Mike

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Dead Men Tell No Tales

September 14, 2019

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A large number of Americans still don’t believe the official version of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.  I am one of them.
The government and tame media version – that crazed Muslims directed by Osama bin Laden  attacked New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon because they hated ‘our freedoms’ and our religions – is wearing very thin as contrary evidence piles up.
Ever since the attacks, I’ve held the belief that neither bin Laden nor Afghanistan’s Taliban were involved, though bin Laden did applaud the attacks after the fact and remains a key suspect.  Unfortunately, he was murdered by a US hit squad instead of being brought to the US to stand trial.  Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, was

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Fool’s War Over Trade

September 7, 2019

According to the great military thinker, Maj. Gen. J.F.C. Fuller, ‘the object of war is not victory.  It is to achieve political goals.’
Too bad President Donald Trump does not read books.  He has started economic wars against China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela without any clear strategic objective beyond inflating his ego as the world’s premier warlord and punishing them for disobedience.
Trump’s wars are economic.  They deploy the huge economic and financial might of the United States to steamroll other nations that fail to comply with orders from Washington.  Washington’s motto is ‘obey me or else!’  Economic wars are not bloodless.  Imperial Germany and the Central Powers were starved into surrender in 1918 by a crushing

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Beware the Vengeance of the Afghans

August 31, 2019

After 18 years of war in Afghanistan– America’s longest – US and Taliban negotiators are said to be close to an agreement that may see the withdrawal of many of the 14,000 US soldiers in that remote nation.
That’s the official version.  President Donald Trump keeps changing his mind about the number of US troops to be withdrawn.  The latest version from the White House has 5,000 US troops remaining in Afghanistan as a permanent garrison to guard the major air bases at Bagram and Kandahar and protect the US-installed puppet Afghan government in Kabul.
Without US troops to defend it, the Afghan regime of Ashraf Ghani would be swept away in days.  Even Trump has admitted this.  Keeping the Ghani regime safe in Kabul would at least

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Brazil’s Insane War Against Trees

August 28, 2019

Cut down the trees.  Kill the wild animals.  Burn the bush.  Pollute the rivers.   Pave over the grass.  Raise more beef, pigs and poultry in cages.
That’s the credo of the new right.  Hatred of Nature is an integral part of its politics.  President Donald Trump is the high priest of such environmental vandalism.  In his narrow land-developer mind, Nature is a left-wing liberal conspiracy.
Trump’s Brazilian wannabe, President Jair Bolsonaro, is now doing his mentor one better:  he encouraged Brazilian farmers, loggers and miners, all key Bolsonaro constituencies, to accelerate their destruction of the Amazon rain forest, which provides 20% of the Earth’s oxygen.
The farmers, miners and loggers responded to his call by burning the

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China Is Getting Ready To Crush Hong Kong

August 17, 2019

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Time was when flying to Hong Kong was a really big thrill – or maybe scare would be a better term.  Its old airport, Kai Tak, was right in the middle of bustling downtown Hong Kong.  Flying into Kai Tak used up 11 of one’s 12 lives.
The wide-bodied jumbo aircraft would drop down into a long fjord that was usually shrouded in fog or mist.  The nervous passenger would see nothing but cloud.  Suddenly, the aircraft would break out of the thick cloud cover right over the airport.
To the left and right were apartment buildings festooned with drying laundry at the same height as one’s plane.  The big 747 airliner landed with a huge thud and screaming tires right in front of another bunch of apartment

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Risk of Nuclear Conflict in Asia Grows

August 10, 2019

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Two of the world’s most important powers, India and Pakistan, are locked into an extremely dangerous confrontation over the bitterly disputed Himalayan mountain state of Kashmir.  Both are nuclear armed.
Kashmir has been a flashpoint since Imperial Britain divided India in 1947.  India and Pakistan have fought numerous wars and conflicts over majority Muslim Kashmir.  China controls a big chunk of northern Kashmir known as Aksai Chin.
In 1949, the UN mandated a referendum to determine if Kashmiris wanted to join Pakistan or India.  Not surprisingly, India refused to hold the vote.  But there are some Kashmiris who want an independent state, though a majority seek to join Pakistan.
India claims that

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