Tag Archives: Europe

Iran Counters EU Threat Of Snapback Sanctions, by Moon of Alabama

There is no chance the Trump administration will get what it wants from Iran. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to destroy the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has threatened the EU-3 poodles in Germany, Britain and France with a 25% tariff on their car exports to the U.S. unless they end their role in the JCPOA deal.

In their usual gutlessness the Europeans gave in to the blackmail. They triggered the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the deal. The mechanism foresees two 15 day periods of negotiations and a five day decision period after which any of the involved countries can escalate the issues to the UN Security Council. The reference to the UNSC would then lead to an automatic reactivation or “snapback” of those UN sanction against Iran that existed before the nuclear deal was signed.

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What’s the Point of NATO If You Are Not Prepared to Use It Against Iran? by Philip Giraldi

Once the Soviet Union dissolved, NATO had to branch out if it was to survive, and it has, into things like the Global War on Terror. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance commits all members to participate in the defense of any single member that is attacked. An attack on one is an attack on all. Forged in the early stages of the cold war, the alliance originally included most of the leading non-communist states in Western Europe, as well as Turkey. It was intended to deter any attacks orchestrated by the Soviet Union and was defensive in nature.

Currently NATO is an anachronism as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but the desire to continue to play soldier on an international stage has granted it a measure of life support. Indeed, the alliance is regularly auditioning for new members. Its latest addition is Montenegro, which has a military consisting of 2,000 men and women, roughly one brigade. If Montenegro should be attacked, the United States is obligated to come to its assistance.

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Misreading Victory: US After the Cold War, by Andrew Bacevich

The fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union turned out not to be hugely positive for the US, as so many US policymakers thought it would be at the time. From Andrew Bacevich at consortiumnews.com:

Andrew Bacevich highlights some of the world-shaping developments that Washington policy elites overlooked back in 1989, when the U.S. was intoxicated by a belief in its own omnipotence.

President George H.W. Bush “jamming” with campaign strategist Lee Atwater during inaugural festivities on Jan. 21, 1989.

Thirty years ago this month, President George H.W. Bush appeared before a joint session of Congress to deliver his first State of the Union Address, the first post-Cold War observance of this annual ritual. Just weeks before, the Berlin Wall had fallen. That event, the president declared, “marks the beginning of a new era in the world’s affairs.” The Cold War, that “long twilight struggle” (as President John F. Kennedy so famously described it), had just come to an abrupt end. A new day was dawning. Bush seized the opportunity to explain just what that dawning signified.

“There are singular moments in history, dates that divide all that goes before from all that comes after,” the president said. The end of World War II had been just such a moment. In the decades that followed, 1945 provided “the common frame of reference, the compass points of the postwar era we’ve relied upon to understand ourselves.” Yet the hopeful developments of the year just concluded — Bush referred to them collectively as “the Revolution of ’89” — had initiated “a new era in the world’s affairs.”

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After Soleimani Killing Suddenly the U.S. is Alone, by Tom Luongo

Nobody is buying the US’s explanation for murdering Qassem Soleiman. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

dollar-tide-apes-trump

The silence is deafening. The lack of response from U.S. allies around the world to President Trump’s assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani tells you things have fundamentally changed.

Normally when something like this happens the U.S. has all of its allies lined up and ready with statements at the ready. A gaggle of the usual suspects behind lecterns pledging support replete with the requisite hand-wringing and virtue signaling.

That didn’t happen this time. Only arm-twisting by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cajoled a few lukewarm responses from European allies stunned by Trump’s violations of International Law and escalation of hostilities.

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Our Real Existential Crisis — Extinction, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Demographics can be destiny, and the demographics of the peoples responsible for much of Western Civilization portend a bleak future. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Our Real Existential Crisis -- Extinction

If Western elites were asked to name the greatest crisis facing mankind, climate change would win in a walk.

Thus did Time magazine pass over every world leader to name a Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, its person of the year.

On New Year’s Day, the headline over yet another story in The Washington Post admonished us anew: “A Lost Decade for Climate Action: We Can’t Afford A Repeat, Scientists Warn.”

“By the final year of the decade,” said the Post, “the planet had surpassed its 2010 temperature record five times.

“Hurricanes devastated New Jersey and Puerto Rico, and floods damaged the Midwest and Bangladesh. Southern Africa was gripped by a deadly drought. Australia and the Amazon are ablaze.”

On it went, echoing the endless reports on the perils of climate change to the planet we all inhabit.

Yet, from the inaction of the carbon-emitting countries like India, China, Russia and the USA, the gravity with which Western elites view the crisis is not shared by the peoples for whom they profess to speak.

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An End to the World as We Know It? by Philip Giraldi

There’s no end to the foreign policy stupidity coming out of Washington, especially policies designed to antagonize Russia. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

Congress and the White House compete in year-end stupidity sweepstakes

At the end of the nineteenth century, Lord Palmerston stated what he thought was obvious, that “England has no eternal friends, England has no perpetual enemies, England has only eternal and perpetual interests.” Palmerston was saying that national interests should drive the relationships with foreigners. A nation will have amicable relations most of the time with some countries and difficult relations with some others, but the bottom line should always be what is beneficial for one’s own country and people.

If Palmerston were alive today and observing the relationship of the United States of America with the rest of the world, he might well find Washington to be an exception to his rule. The U.S., to be sure, has been adept at turning adversaries into enemies and disappointing friends, and it is all done with a glib assurance that doing so will somehow bring democracy and freedom to all. Indeed, either neoliberal democracy promotion or the neoconservative version of the same have been seen as an overriding and compelling interest during the past twenty years even though the policies themselves have been disastrous and have only damaged the real interests of the American people.

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Nordstream Sanctions a Sad Coda to U.S. Foreign Policy, by Tom Luongo

The US’s European satrapies are rebelling. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

The U.S. crossed the Rubicon this week. And I’m not talking about the ridiculous impeachment of President Trump for doing his job.

I’m talking about passing the NDAA with provisions to sanction ‘from hell’ anyone associated with completion of the Nordstream 2 pipeline. The U.S. is now openly dismissive as a matter of law any ally or partner who engages in economic activity it disapproves of.

We do this all the time with countries we consider rivals or who have committed ‘human rights abuses’ or contravened international laws or societal norms.

But this is about a simple commercial transaction. Yes, it has geopolitical implications, but those are secondary. No one will be harmed by Nordstream 2, The real harm is to the U.S.’s ability to bring political pressure on European countries to adopt its anti-Russian policies.

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