Time to Get US Forces Out of Europe Before They Can Start WW3.

Time to Get US Forces Out of Europe Before They Can Start WW3

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/11/10/time-to-get-us-forces-out-of-europe-before-they-can-start-ww3/

They’ve been over here for 70 years, but the ‘opaque’ presence of our US allies worries many critics.

[Editors note: I’ll let our US readers in on a little secret – over here in Britain, we really don’t like you and what’s more, we never really have. It’s a most understandable dislike because Yanks that come here have had a nasty habit of the sort of arrogance and disdain for the natives that does not sit well at all with the British. This is something that goes back to WW2, when we were invaded by hordes of Yanks who had too much money, too much arrogance and too few manners, your average Yank simply could not resist complaining about how everything was bigger and better back home and how dismal Britain was. Then there was the rampant racism, the US Army still being a segregated force at that time.

Black US servicemen found that they were far more welcome than their white counterparts as they behaved far better and didn’t emulate the over the top arrogance of their white colleagues. Infact, legion are the tales of groups of white US servicemen getting the holy living snot beaten out of them by British servicemen because the Brits took exception to their blatant racism. It usually went like this: a bunch of white GIs would find their way into a British pub and discover there were already several black GIs there, enjoying the local hospitality. All it then took was one white GI to mutter something about ‘shouldn’t have to drink with niggers’ and it was time for the violence to ensue.

By 1945, Britain had been playing host to these unwanted annoying Yanks for almost three years and we couldn’t wait for them to leave, sadly, they never did, or rather, large numbers remained, US bases were kept open and Britain became a key part of the new US military policy of placing substantial forces in Europe, especially aircraft, including nuclear bombers. Then the US went and stabbed Britain in the back by abruptly terminating the Lend-Lease Agreement and forcing us to sign up for crippling loans that took until 2006 to pay off.

With allies like the US, who needs enemies? The US knew Britain was bankrupt and utterly worn out after fighting so long and so hard, but they still stabbed us in the back, doing all they could to devalue the British currency and cripple Britain’s hopes of post-war rebuilding with the result that it took decades for Britain to recover from the post-war US treachery.

Although Britain has, in the wake of the Cold War, managed to get the US to remove it’s nukes from Britain, we are still host to many US bases and tens of thousands of personnel. The US early warning system is reliant on RAF Menwith Hill and the US needs British airbases for operations in Europe. All of which sits very uneasily with the British people – we want the yanks gone, and gone for good, the ‘special relationship’ never existed outside of the soundbites of politicos and we still don’t like Yanks much at all.

So how do you think Britons feel when we see on TV this bloated orange monstrosity of a man pretending to be US president and doing all he can to destabilise the world and push us ever closer to WW3? I can tell you how we feel – an intense loathing and extreme distaste, we see right through Trump and simply cannot fathom why so may in the US fail to do so too. I guess that stereotype of most Yanks being hopelessly dumb holds a fair bit of water.

Very few in Britain think that remaining in an alliance with the US Evil Empire is desirable, we still collectively remember what it is like to be bombed and to lose large numbers of our young men in futile wars, something the US has yet to experience in anything approaching the same magnitude – perhaps the US needs to see it’s cities burning and it’s young boys thrown into pits, too many to bury properly; to experience the same destruction and warfare that Europe has, then you might wake up and finally do something to get rid of Trump before he starts WW3.

We Europeans will not be holding our breath however….

 

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Latvia Bought Almost All Export Rye From Russia, by Ruslan Ostashko

Via The Saker

October 27, 2018

Translated and captioned by Leo. Make sure to press CC for English captions.

Latvia showed by its own example that the Russophobe only squeaks about the “damned Muscovites” while it still has something to eat. As soon as the food runs dry, he is immediately ready to skip to Russia, buying almost all the export rye.

When the Balts with all their strength struggled to get European integration, and even without handing out cookies and promises to try on lace panties, it was assumed by default that in the European Union it was an earthly paradise.

Right now, after a rather long period, the behavior of the same Latvians who buy rye from Russia looks very strange.

Sputnik news: “Latvia bought almost the entire export volume of Russian rye in the 2018-2019 agricultural year, which began in July. Of the 110.9 thousand tons, 88.99 thousand tons were supplied to the Baltic republic, the Rosselkhoznadzor reports.”

In this blatant step from the point of view of the Latvian “patriots”, Riga was pushed by a record crop failure that befell the local farmers.

“In Latvia this year, due to a long dry period, the rye harvest was significantly lower than the average – by 30-50%. At the same time, in 2018, an anti-record of rye crops was achieved in the last 18 years – only 5% of the total area of grain fields. Such a “double blow” compels Latvian flour millers to buy rye abroad. Due to drought, the grain harvest in Latvia in 2018, compared with 2017, is projected to be 23% less, including 33% less wheat, 30% more barley, oats 47% more, rapeseed 26% less.”

That is, if Russia did not sell grain to Latvia, then rye bread would have to be replaced with oatmeal, because the proud Baltic republic gathered an excess of oats.

A question arises: why did the Latvians, offended by the damned communist regime, decide to buy rye from Russia? After all, they are sitting in the EU, there are no internal customs barriers, the agrarian sector of the European Union, if taken as a whole, blooms and smells good. Then what is wrong? The answer is obvious – in Russia it is cheaper to buy it. European farmers work for a full-fledged euro, whereas our agricultural producers work for cheaper rubles, therefore this is clearly about economics, which as it’s known, should be saving costs.

But then the second question arises: what about political expediency? After all, all the nonsense that the Latvian authorities are doing, starting from the end of the 80s of the last century and up to the present time, is dictated solely by this expediency. What, when it comes to the stomach, the expediency doesn’t really stand in the way? Exactly like that, my friends.

No, I do not say that our farmers sold rye to the Latvians in vain. I support the domestic producers, and, of course, let them earn the money. But here I would put special prices in their place for Latvia. Yes, lower than in the EU, but not by much, but so that the benefit for the Balts would be minimal. They would still buy it anyway.

And also – our people would receive deep moral satisfaction, emphasizing that this price is specifically for those who prohibit the Russian language. But if you don’t want it, don’t take it, we have Arabs and Indians waiting in line. They will rip it from your hands.

You can’t, just can’t sell food to Russophobes at the same price as our normal partners. The Russophobe must be hungry, and he must know that this sucking feeling on an empty stomach was led by the previous tumultuous activity on the basis of hatred of Russia.

By the way, buying rye still won’t save Latvia from extinction. And when the last Latvian dies from alcoholism or goes to Britain for permanent residence in Britain, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if our so-called western “partners” concoct the myth that this cursed Moscow has changed the climate over Latvia, causing crop failures in order to cause the Baltic Holodomor. Seriously, you’ll see. After all, in Ukraine, this had such a success, so why not repeat it in the Baltics?

And the Latvian plumber will sit at his leisure and count the damage that was caused to his extinct republic and to him personally by these terrible Russians. They will next count billions, like the Estonians…

… And next, they will try to fall asleep, feeling an unpleasant movement in an empty stomach.

Palestinians Call on EU to Halt Normalization Programs and End Complicity With israel’s (apartheid state) Violations of Palestinian Rights and International Law

Palestinians Call on EU to Halt Normalization Programs and End Complicity With Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights and International Law

The European Union’s program “Israeli and Palestinian Young Leaders at the European Parliament” cynically aims at reducing 70 years of Palestinian suffering under Israel’s regime of settler-colonialism, military occupation and apartheid to a “conflict” that can be resolved through dialogue.

On the 13th of August 2018, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel sent a letter to Mr. Ralph Tarraf, the Head of the EU delegation in the West Bank and Gaza, among other EU officials, regarding the EU program “Israeli and Palestinian Young Leaders at the European Parliament”. The letter pointed out that the program violates the relevant BDS guidelines agreed upon by the vast majority of Palestinian civil society.

The letter also stated that the EU and its programs are highly complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and international law. This program cynically aims at reducing 70 years of Palestinian suffering under Israel’s regime of settler-colonialism, military occupation and apartheid to a “conflict” that can be resolved through dialogue.

The letter called on the EU to end all forms of complicity and to halt all its normalization programs.

The campaign has received no answer from the EU delegation. We therefore share the letter publicly so that Palestinians and Europeans alike will realize how harmful these EU-funded normalization projects are to the popular Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

PACBI calls on all Palestinian participants to withdraw from this normalization project to avoid becoming themselves complicit in undermining the Palestinian struggle for our inalienable rights under international law.

Subject: Israeli and Palestinian Young Leaders at the European Parliament

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society, would like to point out that your program “Israeli and Palestinian Young Leaders at the European Parliament” to be held in December of this year, as we learned, violates the boycott and anti- normalization guidelines agreed on by the vast majority of Palestinian civil society.

This program aims at bringing together Palestinian and Israeli young leaders on a joint trip to  the EU headquarters, to familiarize them with the mechanisms and different bodies of the Union. The participants will then engage in joint discussions with members and representatives of the EU, encouraging them to share their views on the future of the “conflict” with their Israeli and European counterparts. The reduction of 70 years that Palestinians have suffered under a settler colonial occupation, to a conflict resulting from a psychological barrier that could be eliminated by joint dialogue amongst two equal parties, which this program tries to achieve, falls under the definition of normalization, an act rejected by Palestinian civil society.

These attempts give a false and distorted picture of the Israeli occupation and Apartheid regime, which has recently escalated its ethnic cleansing policies against Palestinians, i.e. what is happening now in Khan Al- Ahmar, the Jordan Valley and Negev.

During a time in which Israel is adopting the racist “Jewish nation-state” law, which turns apartheid’s policy into a constitutional law, and while it continues its crimes against peaceful Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip for the right of return and ending the siege, the EU must stop its disgraceful complicity with these crimes instead of financing projects aimed at covering the face of this colonial and racist system.

The EU maintains a network of military relations, arms research, banking transactions and trade with settlements, and with israeli companies, banks and institutions deeply complicit in human rights violations. For example, the EU imports goods from Israeli settlements with an annual estimated value of $300 million. This is more than 17 times the average annual value of Palestinian goods imported by the EU between 2004 and 2014.

Through its program “Horizon 2020”, the EU has approved more than 200 projects in collaboration with Israeli companies such as Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, accused of deep complicity with Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. The other beneficiary of EU funding is the Technion, a major center for the development of Israeli weapons systems used to commit crimes against Palestinian civilians.

European banks continue their trade relations with Israeli banks, despite the central role played by the latter in financing, providing services, or supporting illegal settlements established by Israel in occupied Palestinian territory (or Syria). A recent report by “Human Rights Watch” concluded that “companies can not fulfill their human rights responsibilities if they continue to carry out activities inside or for the [Israeli] settlements.”

Despite the pressure placed on the EU by hundreds of trade unions, European civil society organizations and more than 60 members of the European Parliament, it still has stubbornly refused to enforce the human rights clause in the FTA with Israel. This continued even after a legal report published by a UN agency last year revealed that Israel had established a system of apartheid against the entire Palestinian people. Apartheid is the second most serious crime against humanity in international law.

The EU continued support for the Israeli occupation and apartheid regime makes it a partner in crime, despite its occasional empty declarations calling for the achievement of a just peace that respects the rules of international law and the principles of human rights. Therefore, we call on the EU to stop all aspects of its complicity with Israel’s occupation and apartheid. We also call on it to stop all similar normalization projects aimed at perpetuating this occupation regime, at a time when the European people are calling for holding it accountable and imposing sanctions on it. Such a call is similar to those imposed on the apartheid regime in South Africa in the past, and on some countries nowadays, for their violations of human rights.

If the EU is indeed concerned with playing a positive role in supporting the march of freedom, justice, equality and human rights of the Palestinian people, then, the time has come for it to end its complicity and double standards

Theresa May Tells American Investors – Brexit Britain Is Up for Grabs (The future of the NHS is included)

Source

By Graham Vanbergen,

Britain will be “unequivocally pro-business” after it leaves the European Union, Theresa May has promised American investors. To neoliberal politicians, this was always the endgame.

The prime minister told the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York that the UK will be the low tax, high-skilled place to invest after Brexit.

Speaking days after EU leaders rejected her plans for future trading relations, Ms May will insist she is “confident” a deal can be reached. One wonders from where does this confidence emanate?

Do you get the feeling that Theresa May is setting up the UK/EU trade deal to fail, having primed American corporations and solicited its President in advance – or that she is using the US as a threat to bludgeon EU negotiators into capitulating to her troubled Chequers plan?

My suspicion is that one way or the other a trade deal will be agreed at the expense of the other. Either way, Theresa May will appear to have won something no matter what. But there’s a problem. Any US/UK trade deal will take years to formally agree and its net effect will be to align almost all standards and regulations to theirs.

Even more alarming is that Theresa May has said that the UK has a plan to create an economy which is appealing to investors across the world, with corporation tax the lowest among leading industrialised nations.

In 1978 corporation tax in the UK was 42%. By 1988 it was 25%, in 2008 it was 21%, is currently 19% and targeted to reach 17% by 2020 – with further reductions strongly hinted at. The current rate in Britain is the lowest in the G20 group of industrialised nations.

The two other leading economies of the EU alongside Britain do not compete on corporation tax.  In France, corporation tax is charged at 33.3% and Germany it is 32.9%. Other struggling member states like Italy charge 27.9% and Spain 25%. Only countries like Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia and Lithuania within the EU charge less. That is of course excepting tax havens such as Ireland that can only survive by charging 12.5% on corporate profits through PO Box addresses – that employs no-one.

Most economic experts agree that tax havens and very low tax countries cause unjust laws, political turmoil, increased inequality and discrimination. The reason tax havens are rich countries is simply because very little money is distributed to the rest of the economy – or in neoliberal speak – nothing ‘trickles down.’ In addition, low tax regimes also attract the wrong type of investment and have demonstrably shown historically to be little more than a race to the bottom.

Ms May said:

My message today is that a post-Brexit Britain will be an unequivocally pro-business Britain” stating that Britain will do the “most dynamic and ambitious free trade agreements with old friends and new allies alike.” 

“Crucially we also have a plan to deliver an economy that is knowledge-rich, highly innovative, highly skilled and high quality but with low tax and smart regulation. So let me say this bit very clearly. Whatever your business, investing in a post-Brexit Britain will give you the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G20.”

“You will access service industries and a financial centre in London that are the envy of the world, the best universities, strong institutions, a sound approach to public finance and a consistent and dependable approach to high standards but intelligent regulation.”

This is the language of a Prime Minister that is selling out on Britain as a country. Britain is up for sale to the highest bidder. These are either desperate measures or deliberate actions to prepare corporate America for the deregulation festival that will be on offer come April 2019.

Ms May was dealt a humiliating blow at a summit of EU leaders in Salzburg last week when they rejected her Chequers blueprint for post-Brexit relations. Was this plan designed to fail or was it designed to threaten?

Craig Murray, ex British ambassador commented:

The humiliation of Salzburg occurred because there was never a chance of any sympathy from EU member states for an attempt to dishonour the agreement (backstop” on North/South Ireland relations) of nine months ago. There is no way out of that conundrum. The government has belatedly remembered the existence of the FCO as a potential tool in international relations, and ambassadors in our Embassies in EU countries are currently staring in bafflement at dense and complex instructions urging them to convince their hosts that black is white.”

Ms May went further:

“Our relationship with the EU will change with Brexit. This is why I am confident we can reach a deal about our future relationship that is built in this spirit.”

Ms May attended the United Nations General Assembly, where she met with Donald Trump on Wednesday evening to push for a post-Brexit trade deal. Put on the table was a desire for a “big and ambitious” post-EU trade deal with America.

The Independent reports that

“such a trade deal is considered an important way for Ms May to help offset the economic impact of leaving the EU in March next year. It was high on the agenda when the prime minister ensured she was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump in Washington following his inauguration last year. Support from the US president could boost Ms May’s struggle to win over her critics, who have argued her exit plan is unworkable.”*

 

Featured image is from the author.

EU Announces Plan to Sidestep US Sanctions on Iran

EU's foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini

European Union announced plans for a legal framework to preserve business with Tehran and evade new US sanctions.

After talks Monday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the Europeans would set up a “legal entity” for businesses to transfer money without coming under Washington’s scanner.

Mogherini’s announcement came after a meeting with foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“In practical terms this will mean that EU member states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world,” she told reporters after the closed-door meeting.

The EU, along with Russia and China, said in a joint statement that the so-called “Special Purpose Vehicle” will “assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran”.

The statement added that the six countries signatory to the 2015 nuclear agreement “reconfirmed their commitment to its full and effective implementation in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere”.

Source: Agencies

Trump’s stupidity pushes the USA into isolation

World upside down as EU and Russia unite against US

Donald Trump’s policies betrayed ‘weakness of intellect’, Iran’s Hassan Rohani said (Photo: un.org)

By

The UN general assembly in New York, the world’s largest diplomatic event, turned into a show of EU solidarity with Russia and China against the US on Tuesday (25 September).

The development, which came about over Iran, symbolised a world-turned-upside-down by US leader Donald Trump’s unilateralism.

  • EU refused to be ‘pushed around by the unilateral decisions of our US allies’, France’s Emmanuel Macron said (Photo: Consilium)

It left Mike Pompeo, Trump’s foreign policy chief, “disturbed and indeed deeply disappointed”.

“This is one of the of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security,” he told press, after seven decades in which the US and EU had stood together against common adversaries, such as Russia, in the so-called “transatlantic relationship”.

The measures Pompeo referred to were the creation of a “Special Purpose Vehicle [SPV]” to enable the EU and others to buy Iranian oil in a way that skirted Trump’s new sanctions on Iran.

“Everything that Ms Mogherini has said is extremely positive,” Vladimir Yermakov, a senior Russian diplomat, told press, referring to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

He spoke after Mogherini chaired a meeting with the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Iran, France, Germany, and the UK in New York earlier the same day.

“EU member states will set up a legal entity [the SPV] to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world,” she told press alongside Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in the margins of the UN assembly.

EU technical experts would shortly meet to flesh out details, she said.

“Do you have any better alternative than talks in times of conflict and crisis in the world? Is there a better alternative than diplomacy and dialogue? Is war a better alternative?”, she told US broadcaster CNN in an interview on Tuesday.

The EU, Russia, and China “deeply regret” Trump’s decision, they added in a statement.

His sanctions went against “multilateral diplomacy endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council,” they added.

The EU-led group, called the “E3+2 and Iran”, had, together with the pre-Trump US administration in 2015, when it used to be called the “E3+3 and Iran”, agreed to lift sanctions on Tehran in return for its freeze of uranium enrichment.

But Trump, in May, tore up the accord on grounds it was not strong enough.

The threat of US sanctions has seen EU firms such as French and German car makers Daimler, Peugeot, and Renault, German engineering company Siemens, and French energy firm Total walk away from new ventures in Iran.

But “we [the EU] cannot accept that the US decided the regions with which European companies can or cannot do business,” Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said after meeting Iranian president Hassan Rohani in New York.

“We’re working hard on this [the SPV] with our European partners,” German foreign minister Heiko Maas said.

EU-US rift

The EU-US rift on Iran comes after Trump started a trade war with Europe and China, threatened to pull the US out of Nato, and pulled America out of a global deal on climate change – the Paris accord.

It comes after he also threatened to fine Austrian, Dutch, German, and French firms if they co-financed a new Russia-Germany gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2.

The French leader, Emmanuel Macron, attacked Trump for fomenting “nationalism” and “protectionism” in his UN speech on Tuesday.

“We’re being pushed around by the unilateral decisions of our US allies,” in an approach that led to “isolation and conflict … to the detriment of everyone”, Macron said.

“Even those who contest the reality” of climate change “are suffering its consequences like everyone else,” he added.

For his part, Trump, in his UN speech, threatened Iran with military force and redoubled his attack on Nord Stream 2.

“Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course,” he said.

He also praised Poland for “standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty” one day after the European Commission, on Monday, took Poland to the EU’s highest court for political meddling in its judiciary in violation of EU values and laws.

Laughing at Trump

Trump’s speech prompted laughter in the UN chamber when he claimed he had achieved more in the past two years than any other US president in history.

“I didn’t expect that,” he said.

“Confronting multilateralism is not a sign of strength,” Iran’s Rohani told the UN in his speech.

“Rather, it’s a symptom of weakness of intellect. It betrays an inability in understanding a complex and interconnected world,” Rohani said.

Spain to push for European recognition of Palestine: We may go it alone if that fails

Spain to Push for European Recognition of Palestine: We May Go It Alone if That Fails

Spain’s foreign minister said he will launch an ‘intensive’ consultation process with his EU counterparts to set a timetable for achieving a common position on recognizing Palestine

Noa Landau

The Spanish government will promote a European move to recognize Palestine as an independent state, Spain’s foreign minister said Thursday, adding that if the move fails the government will consider a Spain-only recognition.

If “the EU is not able to reach unanimous decision – each to their own,” Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said at a conference of European Union leaders in Austria Tuesday. He added the last option of individual recognition of Palestine is “on the table.”

Borrell also said that he will launch an “intensive” consultation process with his counterparts to set a timetable for achieving a common position on the subject.

>> Opinion: Why a Big Wave of European Countries Recognizing Palestine Is Fast Approaching

According to the Palestinian Authority, there are now 139 countries that recognize Palestine. The European Union has disagreements over a unilateral move of this kind. The EU official position supports a two-state solution, the details of which will be achieved through negotiations between the sides.

It has recently been reported that left-wing parties in Spain are exerting heavy pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to recognize a Palestinian state. According to those reports, opponents in Spain claim that such a step could lead Israel to recognize an independent Catalonia.

In 2017, the Spanish government in Madrid requested that Israel officially announce that it will not recognize Catalonia. Israel declined to support either side, calling the conflict an “internal European issue.”

In January, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

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