Paul Craig Roberts: “The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power”

30.07.2018

Written by Paul Craig Roberts; Originally appeared on paulcraigroberts.org

The United States government has never allowed independent governments in Latin America. Every time people elect a government that represents them instead of US economic interests, Washington overthrows the elected government. Marine General Smedley Butler told us this as have many others. There is no doubt about it.

Currently Washington is trying to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua and has bought off the Ecuadorian government with oil purchases and the usual personal bribes. Evo Morales government in Bolivia is also targeted by Washington. The Obama regime succeeded in removing the reform governments in Honduras, Argentina, and Brazil.

Paul Craig Roberts: "The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power"

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 41 prepares for take off from the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean. (David A. Brandenburg/Navy)

Reform governments in Latin America, except for Castro’s Cuba, always leave themselves set-up to be overthrown. They foolishly or impotently permit Washington’s agents, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development, and various so-called NGOs, whose purpose is to maintain Washington’s control and overthrow every government that escapes control, to organize and fund opposition groups and media that work hand-in-hand with Washington to reinstall a Washington-compliant government.

As Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot understood, you cannot overthrow an oppressor class if you leave them unmolested. Whether from weakness or stupidity, Latin American reform governments always leave the electorally defeated oppressor class and its economic and media power unmolested. When Washington reinstalls the oppressor class, the same tolerance is never shown to the overthrown reformers who usually pay with their lives.

All Latin American reform efforts have made the foolsh mistake of leaving the oppressor class with their newspapers and their traitorous connections to Washington in place, including the government of President Ortega in Nicaragua. One would think that Ortega would know better. Washington has been trying to get rid of Ortega and the Sandinistas since the Reagan administration. His government has survived the latest Washington-led coup attempt, but Washington is pouring more money into the effort. Read Kevin Zeese’s report here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49933.htm

Hugo Chavez made the same mistake in Venezuela, and his successor has repeated the mistake. The post-Castro Cuban government is now also falling into the trap of becoming an American vassal as it was under Fulgencio Batista.

The Monroe Doctrine has always been glorified in US textbooks as warning European colonialists away from Latin America. The Americans intended it for themselves and succeeded in keeping Latin America as a colony. The Organization of American States has always been in Washington’s pocket and remains there today. Latin America accepts its colonized existence and does not come to the aid of those democratic governments that Washington targets for overthrow. Latin America is impotent, because its leaders are paid off, blackmailed, or threatened by Washington.

Washington has pretended forever to be the great friend and protector of democracy, but every time an independent government comes into existence in Latin America, Washington overthrows it.

In 2015 President Barack Obama, America’s first Black President and “great friend of the oppressed,” citing “the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by Venezuela,” signed an executive order and imposed sanctions. Obama’s excuse was the Washington-incited violence that led to the arrest of some of those committing acts of violence. Washington quickly termed the criminals Washington had incited “political prisoners” and called for “dialogue” instead of “silencing critics with arrests.” Washington declared the arrests of those commiting acts of violence to be “human rights violations by the Venezuelan government.” http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-declares-venezuela-national-security-threat-imposes-sanctions

In other words, the Venezuelan government was violating Washington’s human rights to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

The presstitutes reported this with a straight face.

A government that has no shame whatsoever in telling the most transparent lies while actively trying to overthrow a democratically elected government is a government that deserves universal condemnation. Yet the world is too well paid off or scared to open its mouth.

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What Was Achieved in Singapore

16-06-2018 | 10:04
All eyes were on Singapore this week where world-class showman and US President Donald Trump took the stage for what was undoubtedly the most important performance of his life.

What Was Achieved in Singapore

In a meeting with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un that lasted just over 40 minutes, Trump reportedly managed to hammer out an agreement to denuclearize the entire Korean peninsula “very quickly”.

He then described his new relationship with Kim as a “special bond” and said that “people are going to be very impressed” by what the pair achieved.

Sure, it’s a far cry from Trump’s “fire and fury” days when he was threatening the North Koreans with total annihilation.

It’s also a departure from suggestions by Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton to apply the not-so quick “Libyan model” in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

But some things have not changed. Sticking to the on-again, off-again approach when it comes to his diplomatic episodes with Pyongyang, Trump told reporters after the summit that he trusts Kim but may later say he “made a mistake”.

In substance, the summit communiqué is equally ambiguous. It is little more than a list of very generalized commitments and nothing that Pyongyang has not already agreed to over the past thirty years.

It offers no timetable or a definition of denuclearization – a term that was previously characterized by North Korea and the US in very dissimilar ways.

The National Director at the ANSWER Coalition Brian Becker, who attended the Singapore summit, believes that Pyongyang is “prepared to carry out the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but only in exchange for a new policy from the United States.”

“Right now the world sees that North Korea was willing to make many efforts – four unilateral concessions in a row, including a moratorium on these nuclear missile technology tests. They are now waiting for reciprocation from the United States,” Becker adds.

Although the vague declaration does in theory pave the way for further negotiations, any long-term settlement between Washington and Pyongyang requires a painstaking years-long process.

That process would have to address a long list of issues, including the reunification of the two Koreas and the withdrawal of tens of thousands of American troops from the region.

To what extent Trump, his administration or anyone in Washington is truly willing to broach such matters is pure speculation.

But tensions along the Korean Peninsula are a prefect example of a decades-long geopolitical problem that cannot be solved without the participation of all key players including China and Russia.

Washington’s escalating trade war with China and growing tensions with Russia suggest that the Americans are not interested in any such overtures.

The dishonest broker

Unlike the vague pledges in Singapore, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was the product of 18 months of negotiations between seven nations and included specifics on denuclearization and verification.

Both were ‘historic’ events, and both played out before the lenses of the world media.

Unfortunately for all involved, Washington’s nuclear deals never last longer than one presidential term.

Trump ripped-up Barack Obama’s Iran deal. Obama killed Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who signed a nuclear disarmament deal with his predecessor George W. Bush. And Bush brings us back to North Korea, tearing up Bill Clinton’s nuclear deal with Kim Jong-un’s late father.

Journalist and political commentator Shobhan Saxena says that the “North Koreans have to be careful”.

“They should know whom they are dealing with because the Americans have proven again and again that they are not honest brokers of peace and they have failed time and again to keep their word,” Saxena explains.

In essence, all these agreements were little more than short-term strategies in Washington’s quest for hegemony.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal and ratchet up tensions with Tehran also implies that the Americans will have to direct more recourses towards the Middle East.

As such, a temporary easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula would certainly go a long way in guaranteeing that the US avoids a struggle on two fronts at a time when its power and influence are on the decline.

The domestic angle

The optics of the Singapore summit feed the narrative of a major diplomatic victory for the Trump Administration.

Trump, who desperately needs a win, will undoubtedly use the Kim meeting for domestic consumption.

His Republican Party is preparing for midterm elections, and the president needs them to retain their majority in Congress or he risks increasing his chances of being impeached.

Naturally, while waiting for the dust to settle, Trump will also be eyeing a second term in office.

With every White House policy decision being scrutinized, the incumbent will have his work cut out.

And having talking points about a ‘historic’ meeting – the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader – certainly helps.

Source: Al-Ahed News

See also: قمة ترامب كيم

Iran – Trump’s Broken Deal – Maneuver to War?

The Saker

May 11, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker BlogIran – Trump’s Broken Deal – Maneuver to War?

Trump’s “Broken Deal”, his irrational decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, or simply called Iran’s Nuclear Deal, has hardly any other motives than again launching a provocation for war. The decision goes against all reason. Let’s not forget, that deal took 9 years of diplomatic efforts, a negotiation called “5 + 1” for the UN Security Council Members, plus Germany – and, of course, Iran. It was finally signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015.

A quick background: From the very beginning, way into Trump’s Presidential Campaign, he was against the deal. It was a bad deal, “the worst Obama could have made” – he always repeated himself, without ever saying what was bad about it, nor did he reveal who was the “bad-deal whisperer”, who for once didn’t get across to Obama with his unreasonable requests.

My guess is, Trump didn’t know, and he still doesn’t know, what was / is bad about the deal. Any deal that denuclearizes a country, is a deal for Peace, therefore a good deal, lest you forget the profit motive for war. The reasons Trump recently gave, when announcing stepping out of the Nuclear Agreement – Iran could not be trusted, Iran was a terrorist nation supporting Al-Qaeda and other terror groups, Iran’s ballistic missile system – and-and-and… were ludicrous, they were lies, contradictory and had nothing to do with the substance of the Deal – which frankly and sadly, Trump to this day probably doesn’t quite grasp in its full and long-range amplitude.

But what he does understand are his very close ties to Israel, or better to his buddy Bibi Netanyahu. And this not least, thanks to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who has long-standing business connections to Israel and is also close to Netanyahu. Even the mainstream media are not blind to this fact. But this is merely an added weight in Trump’s bias towards Israel, as the deep dark state that calls the shots on US Foreign Policy, is composed by the likes of Netanyahu. Survival, political or otherwise, Trump knows, depends on how well you follow their orders.

But back to reality: First, the Atomic Commission in Vienna has confirmed up to the last minute that Iran has no intention to start a nuclear arms program. They have confirmed their attestation 8 times since the signing of the deal. Second, the European allies – speak vassals – have so far strongly expressed their disagreement with Trump’s decision, especially the three “M’s” – May, Merkel and Macron. Their less noble reasons for doing so, may have to do with economic interests, as they have already signed billions worth of trade and technology-exchange contracts with Iran. Thirdly, even the more moderate and diplomatic Foreign Minister of the European Union, Ms. Federica Mogherini, said in no unclear tones – that there was no justification to abandon the Deal, and that the EU will stick to it. However, given past history, the EU has rather demonstrated having no backbone. – Have they now suddenly decided – for business reasons – that they will grow a backbone? – Would be nice, but so far, it’s merely a dream.

Of course, Russia and China, will stick to the Deal. After all, an international agreement is an international agreement. The only rogue country of this globe, and self-nominated exceptional nation, feels like doing otherwise. Literally, at every turn of a corner, if they so please. And like in this case, it doesn’t even make sense for the United States to withdraw. To the contrary. In theory, Iran could now immediately start their nuclear program and in a couple of years or sooner, they would be ready and equipped with nuclear arms.

But Iran is a smart and civilized nation. They have signed the Non-Proliferation pact and, at least for now, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, has already pledged to stick to it. That could of course change, depending on how the Europeans will behave in the future. Will they eventually cave in to US pressure, or will they finally claim back their sovereignty and become an independent autonomous European Unit, able and willing to enter business relations with whomever they want and with whomever they deem is right, irrespective of illegal US sanctions. That would mean, of course, Iran, and normalizing relations with Russia, their natural partner for hundreds of years before the ascent of the exceptional nation. – Time will tell, whether this is a mere pipedream, or what.

What is it then that Trump and his handlers expect form this illegal decision of rescinding an international agreement? – A move towards “Regime Change”? – Hardly. They must know that with this undiplomatic decision, they are driving President Rouhani into the camp of the hardliners, this large fraction of Iranians who from the very beginning were against this Deal in the first place.

This decision is also a blow to the Atlantists or the “Fifth Column” which is quite strong in Iran. They see themselves abandoned by the west, as it is clear now, that Iran will accelerate the course they have already started, a move towards the East, becoming a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and formalizing their special status vis-à-vis the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), by becoming a regular member. Both are headed by Russia and China.

Plus, not to forget, President Xi Jinping was crystal clear when he recently said that Iran will be a crucial and vital link within the New Silk Road, or the BRI – Belt and Road Initiative, a Chinese socio-economic and cultural enterprise that will likely dominate the next few hundred years with trillions of investments in transport, industrial manufacturing, education, research and cultural infrastructure, connecting Asia from the very east with western Europe, Africa, the Middle East and even South America. The BRI is also being included in the Chinese Constitution.

There is a good reason why this gigantic Chinese Program is hardly mentioned in the western mainstream media. – The corporate oligarchs who control these media don’t want the world to know that the western fraudulent economy, built on debt and a pyramid monetary system (a large Ponzi scheme) is gradually declining, leaving all those that cling to it eventually abandoned and in misery.

Well, as in Chinese peaceful Tao tradition, President Xi is offering the world’s nations, to join this great socio-economic initiative – no pressure – just an offer. Many have already accepted, including Iran, India, Turkey, Greece … and pressure from business and politicians in Europe to become part of this tremendous project is mounting. The BRI is an unstoppable train.

What good will US-western sanctions do to an Iran detached from the west? And ever more detached from the western economy and monetary system? – None. As Mr. Rouhani said, Iran will hurt for a short while, but then “we will have recovered for good”. It’s only by hanging between east and west – a line that President Rouhani attempted to pursue, that western sanctions have any meaning. From that point of view, one can easily say, Trump shot himself in the foot.

But there is the other branch of the deep state – the military-security industrial complex – the multitrillion-dollar war machine – an apparatus which feeds largely on itself: It produces to destroy and needs to destroy ever more to guarantee its survival. That would explain how Obama inherited two wars and ended his Presidency with seven wars – which he passed on to Trump, who does his best to keep them going. But that’s not enough, he needs new ones to feed the bottomless war monster – which has become just about synonymous with the US economy, i.e. without war, the economy collapses.

Wars also make Wall Street live. War, like the housing market, is debt-financed. Except, war-funding is a national debt that will never be paid back – hence, the Ponzi scheme. New money, new debt, generated from hot air refinances old debt and will accumulated to debt never to be paid back. In 2008, what the General Accounting Office (GAO) calls “unmet obligations”, or “unfunded liabilities”, projected debt over the next five years, amounted to about US$ 48 trillion, or about 3.2 times GDP. In April 2018, GDP stood at about US$ 22 trillion as compared to unfunded liabilities of about US$ 140 trillion, nearly 6.5 times GDP. Ponzi would turn in his grave with a huge smile.

Since Washington’s foreign policy is written by Zionist thinktanks, it follows logic that more wars are needed. A big candidate is Iran. But why? Iran does no harm to anybody, the same as Syria – no harm to anybody, nor did Iraq, or Libya for that matter. Yet,
there is a distinct group of people who wants these countries destroyed. It’s the tiny little tail that wags the monster dog – for the resources and for greater Israel – as unofficial maps already indicate – stretching from Euphrates across the Red Sea all the way to the Nile and absorbing in between parts of Syria, Iraq, all of Palestine, of course, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt.

Resultado de imagen para map of greater israel
(source: globalsecurity.org)

Those who control the US thinktanks make sure that this target is enshrined in the minds of US decision makers. It would count as a major achievement in the course of global hegemony by the Chosen People (not to confound with the ‘exceptional nation’). Although, Iran is not within this picture, Iran would be the most serious and formidable opponent – enemy – of such a scheme.

By breaking the Nuclear Deal, Trump and his masters, especially Netanyahu, may have assumed a harsh reaction, now or later, by Iran. Or in the absence of such a reaction, launch a false flag – say a rocket lands in Israel, they claim it comes from Iran – and bingo, the brainwashed western populace buys it, and there is a reason to go to direct confrontation between Israel and Iran – of course, backed by Washington. This would make for war number 8, since Obama took over in early 2009. And it could account for a lot of killing and destruction – and most probably would involve also Russia and China — and – would that stay simply as a conventional war within the confines of the Middle East? – Or would it spread around the globe as a nuclear WWIII? – Would the commanding elite want to risk their own lives? You never know. Life in bunkers is not as nice as in luxury villas and on luxury boats. They know that.

That’s the dilemma most of those who stand behind the Trump decision probably haven’t quite thought through. Granted, it is difficult to think straight and especially think a bit ahead, when blinded by greed and instant profit – as the western neoliberal / neofascist doctrine dictates.

My hunch is, don’t hold me to it though, that this Trump decision, to “Break the Deal”, is the beginning of a disastrous and yet, ever accelerating decline of the western Global Hegemony Project.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

SYRIA & IRAN PROVE THERE’S NO CHANCE FOR NORTH KOREAN PEACE

South Front

03.05.2018

Syria & Iran Prove There's No Chance For North Korean Peace

(Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)

Written by Brandon Smith; Originally appeared on alt-market.com

There is a saying in geopolitics that peace summits are generally a perfect time to prepare for war. This thinking stems from the military philosophy of Sun Tzu, who believed that when a nation is weak it is important to appear strong, and when a nation is at its most dangerous it is important to appear weak or “diplomatic.” Sun Tzu also often praised the virtues of distraction and sleight of hand, not only in war, but in politics as well.

I would note that Sun Tzu and the Eastern “sleight of hand” methodology is not only a mainstay of Chinese as well as North Korean thought, but also required reading for Western covert intelligence agencies. It is important to fully understand this methodology when examining the East vs. West paradigm, because almost everything you see and hear when it comes to relations with countries like China and North Korea is theater. Their governments have hidden schemes, our governments have hidden schemes and the globalists manipulating both sides have plans that trump everything else.

Keep all of this in mind when you hear about the sudden and almost inexplicable announcements of peace summits with North Korea in May or June between Pyongyang and the Trump administration.

Looking at the scenario purely from the perspective of political motive, it’s difficult to discern why Trump has been so obsessed with North Korea since he first entered office. North Korea has always had nuclear capability as well as the ability to deploy those nukes in one form or another against the U.S. North Korea has also always been involved in further nuclear testing and missile testing. The idea that such testing today is somehow a “violation” of arbitrary international standards and etiquette is absurd. Almost every nation in the world is engaged in military expansion and development.

Then again, if one only looks at surface rhetoric and policy, it is difficult to discern why the Trump White House is equally obsessed with Syria and the Assad regime. One of the primary driving forces behind the Trump election campaign was the idea that this was a candidate that would break from establishment elites in the tradition of perpetual war. Trump’s criticisms of past presidents and their handling of Iraq and the Middle East was supposed to represent a sea change in American policies of aggression. Instead, his cabinet is now laced with the cancers of neo-conservative warhawks (fake conservatives) and globalist banking proponents.

The U.S. was supposedly mere months away from completely removing its military presence from Syria. Yet a well timed “chemical attack” on a Damascus suburb, blamed on Assad, gave Trump a perfect rationale for keeping troops in the region as well as escalating the use of force through missile bombardment. The original claim under President Obama was that we were in Syria because of the growing threat of ISIS (a terrorist movement supported by western covert intelligence). Now, the new enemy is the target globalists always intended — the Syrian government itself.

When I see news of North Korea abruptly embracing peace talks just after meetings with China and not long after wild threats were tossed around of impending nuclear conflict, I wonder about the true nature behind the abnormal shift in rhetoric. When I see Trump suddenly speaking of Kim Jong-un as “very honorable” after months of trading character attacks on social media, I have to wonder when the next false flag event similar to the Damascus farce will take place?

There are already clear signs that all is not as it seems when it comes to a potential North Korean peace agreement.

North Korea’s offer to halt nuclear testing in exchange for a truce with the U.S. rings a bit hollow when one realizes Pyongyang’s primary nuclear testing site has recently collapsed in on itself from overuse. Any halt on testing by North Korea is likely temporary as secondary sites are prepared.

It also should come as no surprise that North Korea is willing to enter into diplomatic talks only months after achieving successful tests on their first ICBMs capable of reaching the eastern seaboard of the US. Again, as Sun Tzu taught, when you are most dangerous it is important to appear weak to your enemies.

Trump’s newest National Security Adviser and neo-con warmonger, John Bolton, expressed “doubts” in interviews that North Korea will “give up” its nuclear armaments. Bolton and other globalists know full well that North Korea has no intention of disarming, and if this is going to be a prerequisite to any peace agreement then I would expect talks to fall apart before they ever begin.

During initial talks to engineer “peace” in Syria under the Obama administration, the establishment argument was that Assad would have to step down as president of Syria in order for diplomacy to move forward. Of course, as noted above, western covert agencies created ISIS out of thin air just as they created the Syrian civil war out of thin air. They caused an extreme civilian genocide through their ISIS proxies, blamed the Assad regime for the instability in the region and then, when their color revolution failed to unseat Assad, they ask him to relinquish power as a good will offering towards the peace process. See how that works?

Obviously, globalists knew Assad was never going to step down. Why would he when he knows that this was the goal behind the creation of ISIS from the very beginning? And so, Syria remains a useful point of chaos in the globalist arsenal as a larger war is an ever present possibility. It is a perpetual powder keg that could be set off anytime the globalists choose.

Iran is also an excellent example of the fraudulent nature of establishment peace agreements.  The initial agreement arrived at in 2015, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), listed a drastic reduction in Iran’s Uranium stockpile and enrichment facilities.  Iran seems to have complied with this request according to initial reports, and has complied with IAEA requests for inspections.  However, globalist peace deals are never fixed – they can be changed at a moment’s notice to facilitate a breakdown in the agreement.

The US has recently made demands for the IAEA to inspect not only Iran’s nuclear facilities but also its military sites, which were not under the original IAEA purview.  Iran, of course, is not too happy about the idea of having its military bases subject to foreign inspections.  US officials have also claimed Iran is not following the “spirit of the agreement”; not because of any supposed nuclear development, but because of Iran’s support for the Assad regime in Syria.

On top of this, the US is seeking to change the original JCPOA while refusing to label the changes a “renegotiation”.  Officials have called for a “supplementary deal”, which to my mind is in fact a renegotiation of the original deal.  This is clearly meant to cause a collapse in the JCPOA, as Iran is unlikely to ever accept a renegotiation.

Finally, Israel is now claiming that Iran has broken the JCPOA by secretly developing nuclear technology.  Once again, like WMDs in Iraq and chemical weapons attacks in Syria, no hard evidence whatsoever has been produced to support this claim.  But, that might not matter at all as Israel has already initiated strikes against Iranian targets in Syria (Syria and Iran have a mutual defense pact), and they may very well attack Iran directly within the next year.

Globalists do not care about peace, they only care about timing their wars properly.  The same reality applies to North Korea. Here is how this situation is probably going to play out…

The Trump administration will enter into peace talks with outlandish demands of complete nuclear disarmament. North Korea has so far offered a freeze on testing, but again, this is probably due to the collapse of their main testing site. A freeze on testing is not the same as total disarmament.

North Korea will of course refuse disarmament. The establishment will push harder, causing North Korea to pull back from the talks, to reschedule talks multiple time or to abandon talks altogether. Then, the establishment will say North Korea is not serious about peace, therefore, the force of action may be justified. They will say they gave North Korea a chance to do things the easy way, but now the hard way is necessary.

North Korea missile tests will continue, and new nuke facilities will open. Trump will call for the kinetic termination of such sites.

People who actually believe that globalists will abandon one of its best geopolitical Pandora’s boxes in North Korea have still not learned their lesson from the Syrian debacle, or from Iran. These regions represent a gold mine of potential international chaos which can be used as cover for all sorts of misdeeds as well as continued economic decline.

As I have noted in past articles, it is rather convenient for the banking elites at the Federal Reserve that every time they make an announcement of further cuts to their balance sheet as well as continued interest rate hikes a new geopolitical crisis involving Donald Trump simultaneously erupts. Is this mere coincidence, or should we view it as a discernible trend?

If it is a trend, then I would expect further crisis events involving Syria. Iran and North Korea in May and June as the Fed is set to increase the size of its balance sheet reductions thereby pulling the plug on its long time policy of artificially supporting markets. More strikes in Syria as well as destabilizing relations with Iran are likely. A collapse in talks with North Korea should be expected, followed by more plunges in stocks and other assets.

Trump and Tehran: This Is Not 2003 and Iran Is Not Iraq

Iran’s strategic alliances are extensive and deep, and US regional allies today look increasingly fragile and erratic

Global Research, March 27, 2018
Middle East Eye 26 March 2018

Narrative-building is an art and former US President Barack Obamawas a master charmer. Hence, maintaining the image of the United States as the exceptional and indispensable nation that promotes freedom and equality, particularly after eight long years of George W Bush (since rehabilitated by the liberal media), was not the most challenging of labours.

The Western corporate media – and state-owned outlets – had the somewhat undemanding task of “Making America Feel Good Again”. No more Bushisms, Dick Cheneys, Abu Ghraibs, John Boltons, CIA black sites, Princes of Darkness, extraordinary renditions, fake dossiers, and Guantanamo Bays, among other things.

This was the post-racial America, where black lives mattered and where the president received a Nobel peace prize – like Yitzhak Rabin, FW de Klerk, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Aung San Suu Kyi, Shimon Peres, and other “luminaries” – even though he had barely entered the Oval Office.

The Obama era

True, Guantanamo Bay remained open for business, drone strikes were all the rage, Libya was shattered, Obama funded “moderates” in Syria (which Biden said were non-existent)“managed” the Islamic State (IS) advance on Damascus, helped Saudi Arabia starve out Yemen, facilitated the siege on Gaza, imposed “crippling” sanctions on ordinary Iranians, and justified the Saudi occupation of Bahrain, among other reprehensible deeds.

Yet somehow, Obama was TV gold. He was great with teleprompters, seduced talk show audiences nationwide, did an awesome mic drop, and even agreed to a nuclear deal with Iran. He was like Teflon Tony before Tony lost his Teflon.

For many it was the same old America, but under Obama, US soft power reached new heights. Coalition building was no longer the coalition of the willing. The European Union conformed to his will, while a rising China and re-emerging Russia worked to avoid any serious confrontation.

Capitalising on unfounded allegations of electoral fraud in 2009, Obama stealthily enhanced Iranophobia, securitised Iran, and manufactured a sense of crisis and urgency – despite Iran’s adherence to International Atomic Energy Agency regulations. Life was not easy for Iranian strategists and foreign policymakers, as sanctions continued to stack up on an unprepared Iranian public.

Seismic shifts

Then came Trump, who aligned himself with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – a veritable Three Stooges in the world of Mideast geopolitics. One was an unsavoury prime minister who enforces apartheid, is disliked by allies and faces corruption charges at home.

The other was heralded as a true reformer – albeit one who kidnaps Lebanese prime ministers, supports coups, imposes sieges on old allies, starves children, funds Wahhabi extremists, arrests and tortures family members, and spends billions on yachts, portraits, foreign castles and chateaus.

Trump attacked minorities, Africans, Latinos, China, Muslims, the European Union, neighbouring countries and exited the Paris Climate Accord – all while his political opponents did their best to wreck American-Russian relations.

At times, even Trump-skeptical Iranian diplomats must have secretly felt overwhelmed by the abundance of gifts the US president was presenting to them.

While from the get-go Obama, the Treasury Department and the US Congress repeatedly violated the terms of the JCPOA, the former president’s constant public and verbal commitment to the JCPOA lulled much of the international community and drowned out Iranian protests that their commitments had not been reciprocated.

Almost immediately after his inauguration, Trump ramped up the violations – and began threatening to exit the nuclear agreement altogether.

Suddenly the tables were turned, as even close US allies felt belittled and insulted that, by ignoring US international commitments, Trump was also exposing Germany, Britain, and France as geopolitical lightweights who have little impact on major international agreements.

Russia and China increasingly viewed the United States as an unreliable partner, thus accelerating their strategic interest in their relationship with the Islamic Republic. Unreliability and unpredictability, combined with a host of new tariffs, sanctions, dubious alliances and military threats, are creating seismic shifts that push Washington toward deeper isolation.

Extreme and irrational

In the absence of Saruman’s or King Salman’s orb, it is unwise to make predictions of the future. However, it seems clear that by firing Secretary of State Tillerson and installing John Bolton as national security advisor, Trump has reinforced the widespread belief that the United States is growing more extreme and irrational and becoming increasingly antagonistic toward the rest of the world.

The spectacle of domestic US political strife combined with the emergence of Trump’s fanatical foreign policy team has demolished US soft power capabilities and made the United States under George W Bush look utopian.

Nevertheless, the US government must realise that Iran is not Iraq and this is not 2003. Iran’s strategic alliances are extensive and deep, and US regional allies today look increasingly fragile and erratic.

Moreover, Iran’s interests increasingly converge with global powers such as Russia and China, while the appointment of Bolton alarms even America’s staunchest allies. The extensive violations of the JCPOA has left most of the sanctions regime intact, thus limiting Iran’s losses subsequent to a potential US withdrawal from the agreement.

At home and abroad, Iran’s leaders will be vindicated for their skepticism of US intentions, and the Iranian public will expect an immediate normalisation of its peaceful nuclear programme.

Despite his well-founded skepticism, Ayatollah Khamenei once stated that if the US changes its behaviour regarding the nuclear dossier, the two sides may be able to negotiate over other matters as well.

When the US cannot be trusted over existing agreements, further negotiations are simply a fool’s quest.

Samuel Johnson once said:

“A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting drunk.”

The emperor has no clothes and has revealed himself to be clueless about the Art of the Deal.

*

Seyed Mohammad Marandi is a Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran.


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The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

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The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-6-0
Year: 2015
Pages: 240 Pages

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