Never let a good opportunity to conduct deranged foreign policy when the world is preoccupied with a crisis go to waste. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
The Trump administration is reacting to the pandemic stress by lashing out at perceived internal and external enemies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leading the external onslaught.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for an “immediate global ceasefire” to focus on fighting Covid-19. He has appealed for the “waiving of sanctions that can undermine countries’ capacity to respond to the pandemic.”
But Washington is not listening.
Requests from Venezuela and Iran for emergency IMF loans to buy medical supplies were blocked by U.S. interventions.
Just a month ago Pompeo announced an increase of sanctions against Iran. The sanctions block money transfers. They make it impossible for Iran to import the medical equipment it urgently needs to counter the epidemic.
While the U.S. renewed the sanction waiver which allows Iraq to import electricity and gas from Iran the waiver is now limited to only 30 days. One third of Iraq’s electricity depends on those imports from Iran and, if the waiver is not renewed, its hospitals will go dark just when the epidemic will reach its zenith.
Parts of the Trump administration are even pressing for a wider war against alleged Iranian proxy forces in Iraq:
The Pentagon has ordered military commanders to plan for an escalation of American combat in Iraq, issuing a directive last week to prepare a campaign to destroy an Iranian-backed militia group that has threatened more attacks against American troops.But the United States’ top commander in Iraq has warned that such a campaign could be bloody and counterproductive and risks war with Iran.
Some top officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser, have been pushing for aggressive new action against Iran and its proxy forces — and see an opportunity to try to destroy Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq as leaders in Iran are distracted by the pandemic crisis in their country.
Military leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been wary of a sharp military escalation, warning it could further destabilize the Middle East at a time when President Trump has said he hopes to reduce the number of American troops in the region.
So much for the US’s would-be puppet in Venezuela, Juan Guaido. From Daniel McAdams at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Remember Juan Guaido? Just a year ago the Venezuelan politician, unknown even in his own country, was tapped by the US government to lead a coup against the elected government of Nicolas Maduro. In a phone call with no less than Vice President Mike Pence himself, Guaido was told that if he declared himself president the US would back him. So…he did.
Guaido hadn’t received a single vote to be president in Venezuela’s election – in fact he never even ran for the office – but such absurdity has never stopped the US government from backing military coups overseas. All done in the name of “democracy,” to be sure.
News of US recognition of Guaido as the lawful president of Venezuela led to an avalanche of lies meant to bolster Washington’s claim that Maduro must be overthrown because he was making war on his own people. The claim that the elections were invalid because of fraud were the product of the Foggy Bottom foghorn, amplified by US government funded entities like the Organization of American States instead of any actual evidence or investigation.
Is there method to President Trump’s madness? That’s a question people have been asking for the last three years. Sylvain LaForest claims there is. From LaForest at orientalreview.org:
The timing is right for everyone to understand what Donald Trump is doing, and try to decrypt the ambiguity of how he is is doing it. The controversial President has a much clearer agenda than anyone can imagine on both foreign policy and internal affairs, but since he has to stay in power or even stay alive to achieve his objectives, his strategy is so refined and subtle that next to no one can see it. His overall objective is so ambitious that he has to follow random elliptic courses to get from point A to point B, using patterns that throw people off on their comprehension of the man. That includes most independent journalists and so-called alternative analysts, as much as Western mainstream fake-news publishers and a large majority of the population.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Intelligence, Media, Military, Politics
Tagged Banks, Israel, Kim Jong Un, North Korea, President Trump, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, Vladimir Putin
Some things just cannot be taken for granted. From J.G. Martinez D. at theorganicprepper.com:
Hello again fellows.
It’s has been a while since our last interaction.
Some health issues have knocked me down on my back, literally, this last week, but here I am again. Stress seems to be charging a toll on me.
Let’s go straight to the topic now. I know this is not something I usually do, you’re right.
If there is something that looks like SHTF, it is the extreme change of the situation we faced. I will elaborate a small prelude for those readers unaware of our story. I had a good life back there in Venezuela, until 3 or 4 years ago. Living in an already paid for house, in a good subdivision, a city the exact size not too big not too small..good medical care, good salary, a great job. In less than one year (a few months, indeed) all of that is gone. Couple relationship, everything. A total extension, all of a sudden, life reset. And a bugout getting through two foreign countries, now becoming increasingly violent against us migrants.
How empires fail, from Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
Years ago, Doug Casey mentioned in a correspondence to me, “Empires fall from grace with alarming speed.”
Every now and then, you receive a comment that, although it may have been stated casually, has a lasting effect, as it offers uncommon insight. For me, this was one of those and it’s one that I’ve kept handy at my desk since that time, as a reminder.
I’m from a British family, one that left the UK just as the British Empire was about to begin its decline. They expatriated to the “New World” to seek promise for the future.
As I’ve spent most of my life centred in a British colony – the Cayman Islands – I’ve had the opportunity to observe many British contract professionals who left the UK seeking advancement, which they almost invariably find in Cayman. Curiously, though, most returned to the UK after a contract or two, in the belief that the UK would bounce back from its decline, and they wanted to be on board when Britain “came back.”
This, of course, never happened. The US replaced the UK as the world’s foremost empire, and although the UK has had its ups and downs over the ensuing decades, it hasn’t returned to its former glory.
And it never will.
Without much success, the US government keeps ramping up sanctions to bend other nations to its bidding. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Sanctions are economic warfare, pure and simple. As an alternative to a direct military attack on a country that is deemed to be misbehaving they are certainly preferable, but no one should be under any illusions regarding what they actually represent. They are war by other means and they are also illegal unless authorized by a supra-national authority like the United Nations Security Council, which was set up after World War II to create a framework that inter alia would enable putting pressure on a rogue regime without going to war. At least that was the idea, but the sanctions regimes recently put in place unilaterally and without any international authority by the United States have had a remarkable tendency to escalate several conflicts rather than providing the type of pressure that would lead to some kind of agreement.
The most dangerous bit of theater involving sanctions initiated by the Trump administration continues to focus on Iran. Last week, the White House elevated its extreme pressure on the Iranians by engaging in a completely irrational sanctioning of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The sanctions will have no effect whatsoever and they completely contradict Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that he is seeking diplomacy to resolving the conflict with Iran. One doesn’t accomplish that by sanctioning the opposition’s Foreign Minister. Also, the Iranians have received the message loud and clear that the threats coming from Washington have nothing to do with nuclear programs. The White House began its sanctions regime over a year ago when it withdrew from the JCPOA and they have been steadily increasing since that time even though Iran has continued to be fully compliant with the agreement. Recently, the US took the unprecedented step of sanctioning the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is part of the nation’s military.
Posted in banking, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Trade
Tagged China, Iran, Russia, Sanctions, Venezuela