The real reason behind Democrats impeachment of Trump

September 29, 2019

The real reason behind Democrats impeachment of Trump

by Scott Humor,

the Director of Research & Development for the Saker.is

 

The general debate of the General Assembly opened on Tuesday, 24 September at 9:00 a.m. (New York time). This year’s theme was “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”.

The internal properties of the C.I.A. newly revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m.

Thus, at some point on September 24th the C.I.A. decided to move forward with the Operation Impeachment, and uploaded an amended “Disclosure of urgent Concern” form to cover their asses with a fig leaf. They did this in response to something that was said during the day of September 24th at the UNGA and to what was about to be said the following sessions. The C.I.A. decided that Nancy Pelosi’s full statement on launching Trump impeachment inquiry will be sufficient enough scandal to detract the Media and the public from statements being made by the leaders and representatives of many nations. Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24th at noon. So, the C.I.A. posting a revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form four hours later was an afterthought. See the complete story here.

It shows that they had Trump phone conversation with the Kievan mamzer set aside to use when there is a need to create a side-show, but they weren’t completely ready for the UN General Assembly because they didn’t know about the diplomatic demarche and learned about it at the last moment.

Another curious detail is that the impeachment inquiry is officially based on the complaint arising out of a confidential diplomatic communication between the President and a foreign leader and it being used to detract from the diplomatic demarche made by the foreign leaders at the UNGA.

How to detract public attention by offering a fake target

The UN organized a diplomatic demarche. To detract from this international demarche, the globalists conjured a fierce fake target with the cooperation of their Kievan mamzer. Trump, of cause, had to become their main target. Why not to kill two birds with one stone, to detract from the UN members’ diplomatic demarche and to try, once again, to unseat the president and to grab power? The thinking humanity, being totally disoriented by information wars, thundered following this dog and rabbit race without paying the slightest attention to the fact that leaders and representatives of so many world states expressed harsh criticism of Israel’s occupation and murder of Palestinians living in this open air concentration camp and used as live targets by Israelis. Even the Chinese offered Israel to clear off the occupied territories.

Did you hear on your national TVs that the heads of states representing half of the world population loudly and sternly demanded Israel to get out of the occupied lands? No? That’s right you didn’t hear anything because at the end of the first day of the diplomatic demarche in the UNGA, the C.I.A. changed the rules of engagement, and Pelosi made her statement about the impeachment, and from this point on all you could hear were the attacks against Trump, the following day everyone rushed to discuss the Kievan mamzer, then the meeting between Trump and the Kievan mamzer, them the pictures of the mamzer and Trump, next day it was the turn for the mamzer’s wife and her clothes.

On the top of the verbal and visual torrent, came the globalists’ spawn, the face of disdain that the rich and powerful feel towards the rest of us. The code name of the spawn is “the girl Greta,” and she is not to be confused with another similar girl whose code name was the “Kurdish girl,” who gave so called The Nayirah testimonya false testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by the daughter of the Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United States, who has never been to Iraq. She was revealed as a fake Kurdish girl, but after the war that she with so much emotion called for. The truth about the girl’s identity was whispered after Saddam was killed along with hundred thousands Iraqis children, Saddam’s children and grandchildren were killed, then children of the Iraq’s military officers and police officers, Christian children and Muslim children, and children of Iraq’s teachers and scientists. Children are still dying in Iraq long after the war is over, from depleted uranium 4,000,000 pounds of which used in the 2003 invasion.

While the slaughter of the nation was taken place, the Kurdish actors played on camera a talented scripted show of being raped by Saddam personally with fake tears streaming down their lying faces. It was non-stop around the clock tales of ‘rape,’ while real Iraqi women were raped by invading armies of the US and their partners in crime, Israeli proxies, and by Kurds themselves and all mercenaries from around the world that Kurds managed to bring into the country.

The 21st century genocide of Arabs started with the girl in the UN.

The “girl Greta” turned out to be a bit too much even for the trained to listen and obey international audience. She, like similar females prior in history, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Nadezhda Krupskaya, was brought up to be ‘the face of protest’ and the face of European youth. But this face is so terrifying, that European youth is slow to recognize itself in it.

So, here we got not only a detraction from reasonable well-educated men in suits who started their speeches with thanking God and demanded that laws adopted by the international community were observed. We also got the face of the future “genocide from the distance,” We see a girl… she is not killing anyone, no, on the contrary, she asks to protect someone, or something… it’s only with the lapse of time mass murders will commence. These girls, and the fake Kurdish girl and this fake European girl, they were brought to the UN by some evil men as if into some enchanted forest. And when it will be over, this girl will grow up like the one before her, and who would blame them for the tragedies they both caused?

The first act of the drama “girl Greta” has already played, when she also served as distraction from the diplomatic demarche of the leaders and representatives of fifty percent of the world population to stop genocide of Palestine. From the “Girl Greta” point of view, people are not nature. It’s because of two terrifying female dwarfs playing their roles, Nancy and Greta, the world didn’t hear the demands of the world leaders for Israel immediately seize the occupation and to return back within its 1967 border.

The political demarche started with the address by the president of Nigeria.

“An injustice on the global scale”

The UN General Assembly session 74 started on September 24th with the speech of Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria.

(All the following are mine unofficial transcripts.)

Listen starting at 9:15 minute of the video. “The UN has new opportunities to take the lead on issues that continue to cloud the prospect for international peace, prosperity, namely the right of the Palestinian people to have their own country free of occupation. The international community has spoken from Resolution 242 of 1967 to the present day on the right of Palestinian people to have and live in peace on their own land.”

After spoke the president of Turkey. And, what a speech it was!

Stating at 22 minute of his speech Erdogan spoke about the plight of Palestine under Israeli occupation. he said that Palestine has been the most striking place of injustice.

If the images of the innocent Palestinian woman, who was murdered heinously by Israeli security forces on the street just a few days ago will not awake the global conscience, then we are standing at the point where words are not sufficient. I am quite curious, what about this map of Israel? Where is Israel? Where does the land of Israel begin and end? Look at this map. Where was Israel in 1947? And, where is Israel now? Especially between the years, of 1949 and 1967. Where was Israel and where is Israel now? Look, this is 1947. The Land of Palestine. There is seemingly almost no Israeli presence on these lands. The entire territory belongs to the Palestinians. So the map suggests, but in the year of 1947 the Distribution Plan takes place, gets ratified, Palestinian lands start shrinking and Israel starts expending. From 1947 to 1967 Israel is still expending, Israel is still expending and Palestine is still shrinking. And today, the current situation… there is seemingly no Palestinian presence. The entire land belongs to Israel. But would it suffice to Israel? No. Israel is still willing to take over the remaining land. But… what about the United nations Security Council? What about the United Nations? What abut the resolutions? Are those resolutions being activated? Are they being implemented and unforced? No. We have to ask ourselves, what does the UN serve? Under this roof we are producing resolutions without any effect. Where do you think justice can prevail? This is our main suffering. This is where the pain is coming from. the current Israeli government and the administration right to these murders and atrocities is busy interfering and attacking the historical legal status of Jerusalem and call it secret lands and artifacts. As Turkey, we have a very clear stance on this issue: the immediate establishment of the independent Palestinian state with homogeneous territories on the basis of 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital is the only solution. Any other peace plan other than this will never have a chance of being fair and just, and it will never be implemented.

Now, I am asking from the rostrum of the United States General Assembly, where are the borders of Israel? Is it the 1947 borders? The 1967 borders? Or, is there another border that we need to know of? How can the Golan Heights and the West Bank settlements be seized just like other occupied Palestinian territories before the eyes of the world if they are not within the official borders of the state? Is the aim of the initiative promoted as the Deal of the Century to entirely eliminate the presence of the state and the people of Palestine? Do you want another bloodshed? All actors of the international community and particularly the UN should provide a concrete support to the Palestinian people beyond more promises. In this regard it’s very important for the UN relief and aid agencies for Palestinian refugees to continue their work effectively. Turkey will continue to stand by the oppressed people of Palestine as she has always done. “

Curiously, Erdogan’s statement that “words are not sufficient,” weren’t reported in the Western media at all, and they were mis-translated and mis-reported by the Russian-language media. The RT ‘forgot’ to translate this statement, and other media outlets reported this statement by mis-translating it as If the images of the innocent Palestinian woman, who was murdered heinously by Israeli security forces on the street just a few days ago will not awake the global conscience, then the world is standing at the point of global moral collapse.”

Next, the pro-Palestinian diplomatic démarche was continued by the president of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.

Listen starting at 16:20 of the video, ”… the resolution of the protracted crisis that I inherited once is the necessary precondition for any serious efforts aimed at formulating a more effective international system. The most prominent example of this is the longest standing crisis in the Middle East, namely the Palestinian cause. The persistence of this cause without a just solution based on international resolutions calling for independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital doesn’t only mean the continuation of the plight of Palestinian people, but it also entails the continued depletion of resources of the people of the Middle East. And I repeat with the clear conscience what I stated from this podium over the past two years. I say that Arabs are open to the realization of the just and comprehensive peace. The Arab Peace Initiative is still on the table and there are remain an opportunity to launch a new phase in the Middle East. However, we need bold decisions that restore the rights to the Palestinians that would pave the way to the major change in the reality of this region. And I say this without exaggeration, for the entire world this decision would led to the establishment of the security and economic system in the Middle East that is based on peace, security, cooperation and common interest.”

Then the Assembly was addressed by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives

“Despite of the best efforts by the UN and its member states for a number of decades, the question of Palestine remains unresolved. Never before the unalienable rights of the Palestinian people being so acutely and blatantly dismissed by Israel, marginalized and discriminated against, in complete disregard of the international law and the resolutions of both, the General Assembly and the Security Council. We are strongly agree that the lasting peace in the Middle East can only come to fruition through a two state solution, driven by genuine and meaningful dialog between them and between Arab countries and Israel. We call on the United Nations and its member states to undertake every effort to a settlement that would achieve this result. We expressed our unvarying support for the Palestinians to achieve their independence in the 1967 borders.”

Then the world was given to our favorite Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, the victim of an illegal international blockade and extortion.

“Honorable audience, the continuation of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Arab territories in general, and the ensuing unlawful practices, in particular of settlements, judaization of the city of Jerusalem, the unjust and strangling blockade of Gaza strip, intensifying settlement activity of the occupied territories of Syrian Golan Heights and changing its nature, all these practices are happening in defiance of the UN and its resolutions, to the extend that Israel has come to regard the airspace of the countries of the region as opened to it. How long will international legitimacy remain inapt and unable to find anyone who would enforce its respect when it comes to Palestine? It has been proven that settlements based on the imposition of the logic of force will only result in their violation and denial by the logic of force of occupation as well. However, permanent peace is based on justice, which means guarantying the rights of the Palestinian people whose homeland has been usurped. For most of which it means the establishment of the Palestinian state in the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital and the end of Israeli occupation of all occupied Arab lands including the Syrian Golan Heights and the Lebanese occupied territories. Qatar will not stop supporting any efforts in favor of realizing just peace. It will continue to provide political and humanitarian support to the brotherly Palestinian people. “

Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation, didn’t mention Palestine, but offered Geneva for the next UN headquarter.

Next to address the plight of Palestinians was His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He dedicated his excellent speech to the plight of Palestine.

“No crisis has done more global damage than a core conflict in my region, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Neither side has achieved a durable peace that the secure future depends on. The regional and world stability has continued to pay the price. It is a terrible irony that the land holding three faiths, the faiths which shared the great commandment to love one’s neighbor, should ever be a place of conflict. This is the land where prophets walked. The land where generations of Muslims, Christians, and Jews resorted to live in obedience to God’s teaching to share compassion, mercy and respect for others. Segregation, forced displacement, violence and mistrust do not belong in this Holy land. Forty years ago my father his late majesty King Hussein who loved peace stood in this very chamber and decried the occupation and attempts, in his words, “to eradicate from the world memory centuries of history and tradition and spiritual and moral cultural ideas.” It is the global moral tragedy that the occupation continues. But no occupation, no displacements, no acts of force can erase people’s history, hope or rights, or change the true heritage of our shared values that are three monotheistic faiths. And nothing can take away the international rights of the Palestinian people to equality, justice and self-determination. My friends, young people ask me why don’t world stand up for Palestinian rights? Isn’t it time to answer them by showing that global justice and human rights belong to them too? And it begins with respect to the Holy sites, and rejecting all attempts to alter the legal status of East Jerusalem and the authentic historic character of the Holy city of Jerusalem. What lessons do we teach the young people when armed personnel enter Al-Aqsa mosque even when Muslim worshipers gather to pray. As the Hashemite custodian, I am bound by the special duty to protect Jerusalem Islamic and Christian Holy sites. But all of us have a stake and a moral obligation to uphold religious freedom and human rights. Let us to safeguard the Holy city for all humanity as a unifying city of peace. We must also press towards an end to the conflict, and for a just lasting and durable peace through realization of a two-state solution, a solution that is in accord with the international laws and the UN resolution which provides the end to the conflict and creates an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in mutual peace and security. The two-state solution is the only genuine solution. Because what is the alternative? One state? Segregated? With unequal laws? Depending on force to strain the deepest values of the good people on both sides? This is the formula for enduring conflict. It’s not a path to stability, security and peace.”

Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi said,

Starting at 12:50 of this video, ” the Palestinian issue should be pushed on top of the international agenda. What we lack is not a grand design, but the courage to deliver our commitments and the conscience to uphold justice. There should be no more regression from the two-state solution and the line for peace principle, which represents the bottom line of the international justice. For the Palestinian people to establish their own state is their inalienable right. something that should not be used as a bargaining chip.”

On Septenber 27th, the diplomatic demarche continued by Malaysian Prime Minister. Starts at 6 minute of this video.

The president of Burkina Faso addressed the General Debate of the 74th Session with the support of Palestine and two-state solution, starting at 19 minutes of this video.

Statements made by Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia.

During his Q&A session: “It’s a pity that we cannot navigate out of the corner where Palestinian problem is being trapped.”

Sergey Lavrov: “As I said, all the games are around the Palestinian problem: the promise of the “deal of the century”, the offer of $50 billion. in order not to return refugees to Palestine, the attempt to first persuade Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel, and only then to solve the Palestinian problem (which directly contradicts the Arab peace initiative) – all this is currently driving, if not already driven, the Palestinian-Israeli settlement to a standstill.

We are convinced (as I also said in my statement to the General Assembly) that it is not in the interests of Israel or of anyone else. Because only a two-state solution, only the creation of the Palestinian state promised 70 years ago, can ensure peace and stability in the entire region, alleviate the problem, including dramatically reducing the ability of extremists to recruit young people from the Arab street. We say this openly to the Israelis. Unfortunately, while the American line is to do it yourself, remains in demand.”

In the statement made at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019, Lavrov said:

“The United States set a tough course for abolishing the UN resolutions on international legal framework of the Middle East settlement. It suggests waiting for some “deal of the century”, meanwhile it has taken unilateral decisions on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. A two-state solution to the Palestinian issue – which is essential for satisfying the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and providing security for Israel and the whole region – is under threat.”

Statement made by Syrian Arab Republic Deputy Prime Minister Addresses General Debate, 74th Session

“Instead of working towards peace and stability of the Middle east, Israel has started yet another phase of escalation, heightening regional tensions to unprecedented levels. Israel has not not only occupy Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan, it also continues to violate international humanitarian and human rights laws, and it continues to support terrorism on a daily basis. It has even launched repeated attacks on the Syrian territory, and the territories of neighboring countries under false pretense and in fragrant violation of international law. the UN Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions. This Israeli violations would not continue to escalate would it not for the blind support of certain countries that are fully responsible for the consequences of Israeli actions.

Such support became horrifically evident, when the United States decided to recognize Israe’s alleged and false sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan recognized the occupied city of Jerusalem as a capital of Israel, and to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, not to mention the intensity of efforts to undermine the Palestinian cause. All of these decisions are null and void and represent a complete disregard to international legitimacy. Some must understand that the era of acquisition of land by force has long past. It’s a delusion to think that the crisis in Syria would force us to forfeit our inalienable right to recover the Golan fully to the borders of June 4th of 1967 by using all possible measures under the international law. Moreover, it’s a delusion to think that the decisions of the US administration on the sovereignty over the Golan would alter the historical and geographical facts, or the provisions of international law. The Golan has been and will forever be a part of Syria.

Israel must be compelled to implement relevant United Nations resolutions. Notably the resolution #497 on the occupied Syrian Golan and to seize its repeated attacks on the countries of the region, as well as its settlement activities. Israel must be compelled to allow the Palestinian people to establish their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital along the borders of June 1967, and ensure the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes.”

The UN transcript of all the speeches will be available in months to come, when the 74th UNGA will be a thing of the past. You can search the addresses of the heads of states here on the UN YouTube channel. Maybe, you will understand why this year diplomatic demarche against Israeli occupation and aggression called for such drastic measures of detraction.

 

In conclusion, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Israel as a country is, by all accounts, a hellhole. Israel will be uninhabitable in the next fifty years. Extreme heat, lack of drinking water, vegetables grown in human excrements, militarism, mind control by the police state, poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, desperation, – name a social malady and you can find it there. Most Israelites are poor and depending on the state to provide for them, many still live in kibbutzs. Israel is a state of militant socialism and the ruling theocracy in many regards. Most young people dream of leaving Israel for good and look for every opportunity to move to Europe and the Americas. Two million of Israelites are from the Soviet Union and Russia, and Russia doesn’t want them back considering their loudly proclaimed hatred of Russia, Russian people and the Orthodox Christianity, and considering the genocide of Russian people that the Jewish government of Trotskists-Bolsheviks organized in the 1920s.

Mostly the religious families depending on social payments and other poor people live in the illegal settlements. Forced to move inside the 1967 borders, they would have no place and means to resettle, even if all agricultural lands would be build over. The faith based and state authorities use the UN pressure to create non-stop hysteria and the apocalyptic visions of the ‘war of the world’s nations of Gog and Magog’ against them and the ‘end of their world’ inside the Israeli society.

Using President Putin’s words of ‘not trapping a rat into a corner,’ the UN members should come up with an attractive offer. Those states who claim “friendship” with Israel, like the US and Brazil, should offer to Israelites a part of their territory to create an autonomous Jewish state. New president of Brazil had especially boasted his ‘love’ for Israel and having vast sparsely populated territories where Israelites could create their new better home. Simultaneously, rich Israel’s allies like the Saudis and the UK should pay for people to resettle. When those who want to relocate have new homes, schools and jobs in their new lands, a couple of ocean-liners should be dispatched to take them all to their new new life in Brazil or the US. Then, the UN peacekeepers should be used to secure the 1967 border.

The most devastating war in history, the World War II, was facilitated as a part of the plan to create the state of Israel, To amend this terrible mistake that drains resources and good will of an entire world would take an effort of humanity as a whole, once again.

 

 

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BRICS Needs a Unified Front Against US Intervention in Venezuela

Image result for BRICS Needs a Unified Front Against US Intervention in Venezuela
Ramona Wadi
September 7, 2019

Venezuela’s destabilisation by the US is understood best by the countries that have faced imperialist interference. Cuba’s revolutionary process, for example, has produced consistent political solidarity with Venezuela and is actively urging countries to reconsider their stance as regards the US sanctions which are creating severe humanitarian consequences.

The recent executive order signed by US President Donald Trump encompasses all entities that do business with Venezuela, thus creating an embargo that will further isolate the nation, even as the US moves to open a “Venezuela Affairs Unit” unit in its embassy in Bogota, Colombia. The unit would engage in diplomacy with the US-backed Juan Guaido, who is recognised by the Trump administration and its allies as the purported interim Venezuelan president. Its aim, according to US Special Representative to Venezuela Elliot Abrams, is in anticipation of “the day this regime falls”.

In a report titled “Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela”, it is estimated that 40,000 people have died as a result of the US-imposed sanctions from 2017 to 2018. According to the US, Venezuela poses “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to its national security – unfounded claims as Trump continues with overt attempts to bring down Maduro’s democratically-elected presidency.

Political pressure against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is instigated by the US, yet there is a backdrop of support from its allies in the region and, globally, from countries that spout the democracy line, even if there is nothing democratic about foreign interference.  While mostly in the background in comparison to the US, Canada has facilitated support for the Venezuelan opposition. In Europe, countries which have not explicitly backed Guaido have assumed an allegedly neutral stance which constitutes tacit agreement in terms of opposition support. The EU criticised US sanctions on Venezuela but has also threatened the country with similar punitive measures, as the European Parliament expressed its support for Guaido.

The international community is dominated by discourse that promotes foreign intervention according to the undemocratic agendas of the so-called democratic countries. Venezuela is urgently in need of a unified political strategy that stands in political solidarity against imperialist interests.

BRICS has positioned itself as one such alternative in terms of economic prospects, international security and stability. Russia and China have repeatedly affirmed their support for Maduro. South Africa and India have likewise followed suit. On the other hand, Brazil under President Jair Bolsonaro is preventing BRICS from promoting a political discourse that fully repudiates US interference in Venezuela.

Contrary to the rest of the BRICS countries, Brazil recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president and it has expressed support for the international community to pay heed to “Venezuela’s cries for freedom”. Brazil has also adopting measures in line with the Lima Group, as well as prohibited Maduro and other senior Venezuelan officials from entering Brazil.

At the G20 summit in Japan, BRICS stated it supported dialogue between Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition to reach a solution. Yet the call is marred by the political divide between Brazil and the other BRICS members. This lack of consensus, including the divergence in terms of recognition of who is Venezuela’s legitimate leader, weakens its political diplomacy in the international arena. As Brazil aligns with the US, although reportedly holding back from endorsing military intervention in Venezuela, It is moving away from one of the organisation’s main aims, which is to establish itself in opposition to capitalist and imperialist exploitation.

In a recent interview, former Brazilian President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva expressed his disappointment at BRICS not moving further politically. “BRICS was not created to be an instrument of defence, but to be an instrument of attack.” If this momentum is to be built, BRICS needs to find equilibrium in its politics, rather than allow itself to be swayed into a seemingly neutral position due to the US allegiances of Brazil under Bolsonaro. It is not enough to preach dialogue like the rest of the international community have done while weakening Venezuela’s autonomy. BRICS must evaluate its relevance, especially when it comes to one of its members demonstrating political opportunism that is contrary to the group’s aims.

BRICS was created as a tool of attack: Lula

August 30, 2019

by Pepe Escobar, Curitiba, Brazil – posted with permission

Former Brazilian leader wishes emerging economies were closer, recalls Obama ‘crashing’ Copenhagen climate meet

Former Brazilian leader Lula holds hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao, left, at the BRICS summit in Brasilia on April 15, 2010. Lula wishes his country had a strategic partnership with Beijing. Photo: Dida Sampaio /Agencia Estado

In a wide-ranging, two-hour-plus, exclusive interview from a prison room in Curitiba in southern Brazil, former Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva re-emerged for the first time, after more than 500 days in jail, and sent a clear message to the world.

Amid the 24/7 media frenzy of scripted sound bites and “fake news”, it’s virtually impossible to find a present or former head of state anywhere, in a conversation with journalists, willing to speak deep from his soul, to comment on all current political developments and relish telling stories about the corridors of power. And all that while still in prison.

The first part of this mini-series focused on the Amazon. Here, we will focus on Brazil’s relationship with BRICS and Beijing. BRICS is the grouping of major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – that formed in 2006 and then included South Africa in their annual meetings from 2010.

My first question to Lula was about BRICS and the current geopolitical chessboard, with the US facing a Russia-China strategic partnership. As president, from 2003 to 2010, Lula was instrumental in formatting and expanding the influence of BRICS – in sharp contrast with Brazil’s current President, Jair Bolsonaro, who appears to be convinced that China is a threat.

Lula stressed that Brazil should have been getting closer to China in a mirror process of what occurred between Russia and China: “When there was a BRICS summit here in Ceará state in Brazil, I told comrade Dilma [Rousseff, the former president] that we should organize a pact like the Russia-China pact. A huge pact giving the Chinese part of what they wanted, which was Brazil’s capacity to produce food and energy and also the capacity to have access to technological knowledge. Brazil needed a lot of infrastructure. We needed high-speed rail, many things. But in the end that did not happen.”

Lula defined his top priorities as he supported the creation of BRICS: economic autonomy, and uniting a group of nations capable of helping what the Washington consensus describes as LDCs – least developed countries.

He emphasized: “BRICS was not created to be an instrument of defense, but to be an instrument of attack. So we could create our own currency to become independent from the US dollar in our trade relations; to create a development bank, which we did – but it is still too timid – to create something strong capable of helping the development of the poorest parts of the world.”

Former Brazilian leader Lula speaks from a room in a prison in southern Brazil. Photo: Editora Brasil 247

Lula made an explicit reference to the United States’ fears about a new currency:

“This was the logic behind BRICS, to do something different and not copy anybody. The US was very much afraid when I discussed a new currency and Obama called me, telling me, ‘Are you trying to create a new currency, a new euro?’ I said, ‘No, I’m just trying to get rid of the US dollar. I’m just trying not to be dependent.’”

One can imagine how this went down in Washington.

Obama may have been trying to warn Lula that the US ‘Deep State’ would never allow BRICS to invest in a currency or basket of currencies to bypass the US dollar. Later on, Vladimir Putin and Erdogan would warn President Dilma – before she was impeached – that Brazil would be mercilessly targeted. In the end, the leadership of the Workers’ Party was caught totally unprepared by a conjunction of sophisticated hybrid-war techniques.

One of the largest economies in the world was taken over by hardcore neoliberals, practically without any struggle. Lula confirmed it in the interview, saying: “We should look at where we got it wrong.”

Lula also hit a note of personal disappointment. He expected much more from BRICS.

“I imagined a more aggressive BRICS, more proactive and more creative. ‘The Soviet empire has already fallen; let’s create a democratic empire.’ I think we made some advances, but we advanced slowly. BRICS should be much stronger by now.”

Lula, Obama and China

It’s easy to imagine how what has followed went down in Beijing. That explains to a great extent the immense respect Lula enjoys among the Chinese leadership. And it’s also relevant to the current global debate about what’s happening in the Amazon. Let just Lula tell the story in his own, inimitable, Garcia Marquez-tinged way.

“One thing that the Chinese must remember, a lot of people were angry in Brazil when I recognized China as a market economy. Many of my friends were against it. But I said, ‘No, I want the Chinese at the negotiating table, not outside. Is there any discord? Put them inside the WTO, let’s legalize everything.’ I know that [Chinese President] Hu Jintao was much pleased.

“Another thing we did with China was at the COP-15 [Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change] in Copenhagen in 2009. Let me tell you something: I arrived at COP-15 and there was a list of people requesting audiences with me – Angela Markel, Sarkozy, Gordon Brown; Obama had already called twice – and I didn’t know why I was important. What did they all want? They all wanted us to agree, at COP-15, that China was the prime polluting evil on earth. Sarkozy came to talk to me with a cinematographic assembly line, there were 30 cameras, a real show: Lula accusing China. Then I had a series of meetings and I told them all, ‘Look, I know China is polluting. But who is going to pay for the historical pollution you perpetrated before China polluted? Where is the history commission to analyze English industrialization?’’

“Then something fantastic happened. An agreement was not in sight, I wanted Sarkozy to talk to Ahmadinejad – later I’ll tell you this thing about Iran [he did, later in the interview]. Ahmadinejad did not go to our dinner, so there was no meeting. But then, we were discussing, discussing, and I told Celso [Amorim, Brazil’s Foreign Minister], ‘Look,  Celso, there’s a problem, this meeting will end without an agreement, and they are going to blame Brazil, China, India, Russia. We need to find a solution.’ Then I proposed that Celso call the Chinese and set up a parallel meeting. That was between Brazil, China, India and perhaps South Africa. Russia, I think, was not there. And in this meeting, imagine our surprise when Hillary Clinton finds out about it and tries to get inside the meeting. The Chinese didn’t let her. All these Chinese, so nervous behind the door, and then comes Obama. Obama wanted to get in and the Chinese didn’t let him. China was being represented by Jiabao [Wen Jiabao, the prime minister].

Lula and US President Barack Obama, on left, attend a meeting with Chinese and other leaders in Copenhagen in December 2009 at the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference. AFP / Jewel Samad

“Then we let Obama in, Obama said, ‘I’m gonna sit down beside my friend Lula so I won’t be attacked here.’ So he sat by my side and started to talk about the agreement, and we said there is no agreement. And then there was this Chinese, a negotiator, he was so angry at Obama, he was standing up, speaking in Mandarin, nobody understood anything, we asked for a translation, Jiabao did not allow it, but the impression, by his gesticulation, was that the Chinese was hurling all sorts of names at Obama, he talked aggressively, pointing his finger, and Obama said, ‘He is angry.’ The Brazilian ambassador, who said she understood a little bit of Mandarin – she said he used some pretty heavy words.

“The concrete fact is that in this meeting we amassed a great deal of credibility, because we refused to blame the Chinese. I remember a plenary session where Sarkozy, Obama and myself were scheduled to speak. I was the last speaker. When I arrived at the plenary there was nothing, not a thing written on a piece of paper. I told one of my aides, please go out, prepare a few talking points for me, and when he left the room they called me to speak; they had inverted the schedule. I was very nervous. But that day I made a good speech. It got a standing ovation. I don’t know what kind of nonsense I said [laughs]. Then Obama started speaking. He didn’t have anything to say. So there was this mounting rumor in the plenary: He ended up making a speech that no one noticed. And then with Sarkozy, the same thing.

“What I had spoken about was the role of Brazil in the environmental question. I’ll get someone from the Workers’ Party to find this speech for you. The new trend in Brazil is to try to compare policies between myself and Bolsonaro. You cannot accept his line that NGOs are setting fire to the Amazon. Those burning the Amazon are his voters, businessmen, people with very bad blood, people who want to kill indigenous tribes, people who want to kill the poor.”

 

Lula tells world he’s back in the game from jail

Meanwhile, fires rage in the Amazon and Brazilian President Bolsonaro has become a target of global indignation.

By Pepe Escobar from Brazil – posted with permission

Former president Lula speaks with reporters from a prison room in Curitiba in southern Brazil. Photo: Editora Brasil 247

Brazil has always been a land of superlatives. Yet nothing beats the current, perverse configuration: a world statesman lingers in jail while a clownish thug is in power, his antics now considered a threat to the whole planet.

In a wide-ranging, two-hour, world exclusive interview out of a prison room at the Federal Police building in Curitiba, southern Brazil, former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva not only made the case to global public opinion for his innocence in the whole Car Wash corruption saga, confirmed by the bombshell leaks revealed by The Intercept, but also repositioned himself to resume his status as a global leader. Arguably sooner rather than later – depending on a fateful, upcoming decision by the Brazilian Supreme Court, for which Justice is not exactly blind.

The request for the interview was entered five months ago. Lula talked to journalists Mauro Lopes, Paulo Moreira Leite and myself, representing in all three cases the website Brasil247 and in my case Asia Times. A rough cut, with only one camera focusing on Lula, was released this past Thursday, the day of the interview. A full, edited version, with English subtitles, targeting global public opinion, should be released by the end of the week.

Asia Times writer Pepe Escobar, front left with scarf, meets Lula in prison. Photo: Editora Brazil 247

Lula is a visible embodiment of Nietzsche’s maxim: whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Fully fit (he hits the treadmill at least two hours a day), sharp, with plenty of time to read (his most recent was an essay on Alexander von Humboldt), he exhibited his trademark breadth, reach and command of multiple issues – sometimes rolled out as if part of a Garcia Marquez fantastic realism narrative.

The former president lives in a three-by-three-meter cell, with no bars, with the door open but always two Federal policemen outside, with no access to the internet or cable TV. One of his aides dutifully brings him a pen drive every day crammed with political news, and departs with myriad messages and letters.

The interview is even more astonishing when placed in the literally incendiary context of current Brazilian politics, actively flirting with a hybrid form of semi-dictatorship. While Lula talks essentials and is clearly recovering his voice, even in jail, President Jair Bolsonaro has framed himself as a target of global indignation, widely regarded as a threat to humanity that must be contained.

It’s all about the Day of Fire

Cut to the G7 in Biarritz: at best a sideshow, a talk-shop where the presumably liberal West basks in its lavish impotence to deal with serious global issues without the presence of leaders from the Global South.

And that brings us to the literally burning issue of Amazon forest fires. In our interview, Lula went straight to the point: by noting the absolute responsibility of Bolsonaro’s voter base.

The G7 did nothing but echo Lula’s words, with French President Emmanuel Macron stressing how NGOs and multiple judicial actors, for years, have been raising the question of defining an international statute for the Amazon – which Bolsonaro’s policies, single-handedly, have propelled to the top of the global agenda.

Yet the G7’s offer of an immediate $20 million aid package to help Amazon nations to fight wildfires and then launch a global initiative to protect the giant forest barely amounts to a raindrop.

[Brazil, after this article was written, rejected the proffered aid from G7 countries, with a top official telling France’s President Macron on Monday to take care of “his home and his colonies,” AFP reported. “Maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,” Onyx Lorenzoni, Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, told the G1 news website. “Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a World Heritage site. What does he intend to teach our country?” He was referring to the fire in April that devastated the Notre-Dame Cathedral. “Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron,” Lorenzoni said. -eds.]

A fire burns out of control after spreading onto a farm in Nova Santa Helena in northern Mato Grosso State, in the southern Amazon basin in Brazil, on August 23, 2019. Photo: Joao Laet / AFP

Significantly, US President Donald Trump did not even attend the G7 session that covered climate change, attacks on the biodiversity and oceans – and Amazon deforestation. No wonder Paris simply gave up issuing a joint statement at the end of the summit.

In our interview, Lula stressed his landmark role at the Conference of Parties (COP-15) climate change summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Not only that, he told the inside story of how the negotiations proceeded, and how he intervened to defend China from US accusations of being the world’s largest polluter.

At the time Lula said: “It’s not necessary to fell a single tree in the Amazon to grow soybeans or for cattle grazing. If anyone is doing it, that is a crime – and a crime against the Brazilian economy.”

COP-15 was supposed to advance the targets established by the Kyoto Protocol, which were expiring in 2010. But the summit failed after the US – and the EU – refused to raise their projections of CO2 reduction while blaming Global South actors.

In a sharp contrast with Lula, Bolsonaro’s project actually amounts to a non-creative destruction of Brazilian assets such as the Amazon for the interests he represents.

Now the Bolsonaro clan is blaming the government’s own Cabinet of Institutional Security (GSI, in Portuguese) – the equivalent of the National Security Council – led by General Augusto Heleno, for failing to evaluate the scope and gravity of the current Amazon forest fires.

Heleno, incidentally, is on record defending a life sentence for Lula.

A Brazilian protests in Curitiba on August 23, 2019, against the spate of forest fires in the Amazon, with images of the people he blames: US President Trump and Brazilian President Bolsonaro. Photo: Henry Milleo / dpa

Still, that does not tell the whole story – even as Bolsonaro himself also kept blaming “NGOs” for the fires.

The real story confirms what Lula said in the interview. On August 10, a group of 70 wealthy farmers, all Bolsonaro voters, organized on WhatsApp a “Day of Fire” in the Altamira region in the vast state of Pará.

This happens to be the region with the highest number of wildfires in Brazil – infested with aggressive rural developers who are devoted to massive, hardcore deforestation; they’re invested in land occupation and a no-quarter war against landless peasants and small agricultural producers. “Day of Fire” was supposed to support Bolsonaro’s drive to finish off with official monitoring and erase fines over one of the “Bs” of the BBB lobby that elected him (Beef, Bullet, Bible).

Lula was evidently well informed: “You just need to look at the satellite photos, know who’s the landowner and go after him to know who’s burning. If the landowner did not complain, did not go to the police to tell them his land was burning, that’s because he’s responsible.”

On the road with the Pope

A vicious, post-truth, hybrid-war strategy may be at play in Brazil. Two days after the Lula interview, a fateful paella took place in Brasilia at the vice-presidential palace, with Bolsonaro meeting all the top generals including Vice President Hamilton Mourao. Independent analysts are seriously considering a working hypothesis of the sell-out of Brazil using global concern about the Amazon, the whole process veiled by fake nationalist rhetoric.

That would fit the recent pattern of selling the national aviation champion Embraer, privatizing large blocks of pre-salt reserves and leasing the Alcantara satellite-launching base to the United States. Brazilian sovereignty over the Amazon is definitely hanging in the balance.

Considering the wealth of information in Lula’s interview, not to mention his storytelling of how the corridors of power really work, Asia Times will publish further specific stories featuring Pope Francis, the BRICS, Bush and Obama, Iran, the UN and global governance. This was Lula’s first interview in jail where he has felt relaxed enough to relish telling stories about international relations.

What was clear is that Lula is Brazil’s only possible factor of stability. He’s ready, has an agenda not only for the nation but the world. He said that as soon as he leaves, he’ll hit the streets – and cash in frequent flyer miles: he wants to embark alongside Pope Francis on a global campaign against hunger, neoliberal destruction and the rise of neo-fascism.

Now compare a true statesman in jail with an incendiary thug roaming his own labyrinth.

Amazonia in Flames – Brazil’s Bolsonaro is a World Criminal – Encouraging Jungle Burning for Private Exploitation of Freed Land

August 25, 2019

Amazonia in Flames – Brazil’s Bolsonaro is a World Criminal – Encouraging Jungle Burning for Private Exploitation of Freed Land

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

On 28 October 2018, Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil with 55.1% of the vote – and with a gigantic help from Cambridge Analytica.

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2019 in Davos Switzerland, Bolsonaro made a sumptuous presentation, “We Are Building a New Brazil”. He outlined a program that put literally Brazil up for sale, and especially the Brazilian part of Amazonia. He was talking particularly about Brazil’s water resources, the world’s largest, and the rain forest – offering a huge potential for agricultural development and mining.

None of the world leaders present at the WEF, precisely those that regularly meet pretending to save the planet, reacted to Bolsonaro’s statement on the Amazon region. They all new who Bolsonaro was and is – they knew that the man had no scruples and would destroy – literally – the world’s lungs. They did nothing. They stayed silent in words and deeds, applauding the neonazi for his openness to international business and globalization.

Today, on the occasion of another similar world event, the meeting of the G7 in Biarritz, France, French President Macron accused Bolsonaro of lying when he talked and pledged environmental consciousness after taking office, about protecting the Amazon area. Macron was joined by Germany in threatening Brazil with canceling the trade agreement with Mercosur, if he would not immediately undertake to stop the “wildfires”. They have most likely nothing to do with ‘wild’ – as they according to all circumstantial evidence were planted in a concerted effort to rid the rich Amazon territory of the life-sustaining jungle, so as to make the newly gained flame-deforested land accessible for private agri-business and mining.

Mind you, the G7 is another self-appointed totally illegal group of industrialized, rich countries (similar to the G20); illegal, because they have been approved by nobody, not by the UN or any international body. They became rich mostly on the back of poor developing nations that were and are still colonized for hundreds of years. The G7 count today about 10% of the world population and are controlling 40% of the globe’s GDP.

Despite the fact that nobody, other than themselves ratified their existence and their machinations, they believe they can call the shots of how the world should turn and function. They have no official backing by anybody, especially not the people across the globe, who, with a vast majority are fighting globalization. It’s a useless structure – RT refers to them as “The Unbearable Pointlessness of G7” – but their power lays in the rest of the world’s silence – their silent acceptance of the G7’s arrogant wielding of the scepter of power.

So, would Bolsonaro take them seriously, knowing that he is one of them and they are fully sharing his ideology of profit first, shoving environmental and social values down the muddy waters of the Amazon River? Hardly. He knows they are hypocrites. He knows that they make a bit of noise, because they have to. It makes for good public relation and propaganda – so people don’t go on the barricades. He knows that starting this coming Monday, 26 August, when the G7 summit will be history, that anything the Macrons of this world so impressively said, will fade away. The media will concentrate on other ‘news’ – and the forest fires will burn the life stream of Amazonia away – to make room for corporate profit making by the elite few.

Never mind the Constitutional protection of indigenous people and their land, Bolsonaro backed by evangelists and his military junta will rapidly dismantle any remaining protection for the ecosystem and native communities. His argument goes that the native people’s land is sitting on huge reserves of natural resources that belong to Brazil and may be concessioned to private corporations for mining, exploitation of agriculture and lumber.

The indigenous folks are people who have for thousands of years made a peaceful living in the Amazon. They are the gatekeepers of Amazonia; they are the people who may carry our genes from the present killer civilization to the next, hopefully less of a killer one, when mankind has finally managed to destroy itself. It will not destroy the planet. Never. The planet will just get rid of the nefarious elements of annihilation – mankind – and renew itself. As has happened many times in the past – a new civilization will eventually be born – and, yes, the world’s indigenous people, the likely only survivors, may carry on our DNA, possibly to the next attempt at humanity.

—-

The fires have so far in about 20 days since they were discovered, consumed at least 74,000 ha of tropical rain forest. The smoke is already trespassing the border to Argentina and affecting the provinces of Formosa, Jujuy, Corrientes, Catamarca, La Rioja, Santa Fe and may have already reached Buenos Aires. NASA reports that about 3.2 million square kilometers of South America are covered by smoke.

The flames are massive and are devastating the jungle at a rapid pace. Amazonia comprises one of the world’s largest rainforests, also known as Mother Earth’s lungs – without which humanity – and fauna and flora might not survive.

According to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the fires increased by 83% – almost double – from what they were last year, and, not coincidentally, at least 68% of protected areas have been affected. The Brazilian Space Research spotted 72,000 fires, of which 9,000 last week alone. The Amazon is home to 34 million people, including over 350 indigenous groups.

At the onset of the G7 conference, Mr. Macron twittered: “Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!”

The destruction of the Amazon is indeed a crime of first degree. Accordingly, there are protests around the world against Bolsonaro’s “free for all” mining, lumbering, land and water grabbing policies. The eco-warriors Extinction Rebellion (XR) organize widespread protests, and in front of London’s Brazilian Embassy protesters chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Bolsonaro’s got to go!”.

While the Brazil fires catch world attention, there are jungle fires even larger than those in Amazonia burning down other parts of the world’s oxygen-generating lungs. Bloomberg cites NASA data, according to which last Thursday and Friday, 22 an 23 August – in two days alone – more than 6,900 fires were recorded in Angola and about 3,400 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), about 5 times as many as in the same two days in the Brazilian Amazon region. The destruction of the jungle in Africa progresses virtually unnoticed and is hardly reported in western media. Bloomberg is an exception. Whys is that?

Could it be that the same globalized corporations interested in Brazil’s natural resources underlaying the Amazon forests, are also interested in those enormous reserves of minerals and hydrocarbon resources of Central Africa? Have they – DRC, Angola and possibly others been encouraged tacitly or directly by Bolsonaro and his clan to let the jungle burn? There are plenty of Brazilian corporations which have a vivid interest in Angola, another former Portuguese colony.

Despite the G7 apparent concern to protect the world’s lungs in Amazonia, they seem to be oblivious about the Central African rain forest devastation. The massive African fires too advance rapidly and extinguish another part of the world’s lungs. But these fires are not on the G7 radar, or agenda for discussion, and nobody is threatened with sanctioning if the respective governments remain hapless onlookers.

In 2008, a so-called Amazon Fund, the first UN REDD+ initiative for the protection, preservation and monitoring of the Amazon region was created (UN REDD+ = reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks).

Germany and Norway – and others – have accused Brazil for not having properly invested their contribution into the Fund. Norway has recently blocked a payment of US$ 30 million destined for the Fund. Germany had blocked already in early August the equivalent of US$ 39 million for different Amazon protection programs to be financed by the Fund. But Bolsonaro, in a nonchalant manner dismissed the blocked payments, suggesting that Germany should use the funds for reforestation of Germany.

In the case of Brazil, the threats by the Macron-Merkel duo – and others – seem to have had at least at the outset the effect that Bolsonaro is mobilizing the military to help extinguish the fires. Will he succeed? – Does he want to succeed? – In any case will the media continue reporting on progress once the G7 have gone home? – Will the world’s outcry be loud enough to force a concerted effort, possibly UN led – to fight and extinguish these fires that are menacing not only to destroy a key oxygen generator for life on mother earth, but also a UNESCO protected world heritage?

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 Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); 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.  Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Macron screams ‘fire!’ on a crowded planet as burning Amazon serves as ultimate G7 smokescreen

Image result for Macron screams ‘fire!’ on a crowded planet as burning Amazon serves as ultimate G7 smokescreen

Robert Bridge
August 24, 2019

Any chance of the seven most industrialized eco-trashers preventing the Amazon from going up in smoke is a bit like hoping Hollywood executives will find a way to stop sex and violence from appearing on the big screen. It’s probably not going to happen. The G7 wants to keep filling the seats for a show called ‘Capitalism’ and come next week few will remember the French president’s fiery, self-serving outburst.

For those dozen or so people who still have not been shunned, shadow-banned or otherwise disappeared from Twitter, you may have heard about Emmanuel Macron’s latest Napoleon impersonation on the global soap box.

“Our house is burning. Literally,” the former Rothschild investment banker warned in a tweet that carried the disturbing photo of a lush chunk of rainforest being engulfed in an inferno. “The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!”

Emmanuel Macron

@EmmanuelMacron

Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!

View image on Twitter
87.7K people are talking about this
Once again, the French leader’s arrogance – he once told an unemployed man he could find work if he “crossed the street,” and referred to Paris protesters as “slackers” – is exceeded only by his stellar stupidity. By way of example, notice how his apocalyptic tweet didn’t begin with a diplomatic, ‘Dear Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, we really need to talk.’ Instead, Macron completely ignored the leader of the world’s fifth most-populated country, directing his ‘Brazil is burning’ meme to the G7 (Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US). And make no mistake about it, there is cause for concern.

Satellite data released by the National Institute for Space research (Inpe) shows an increase of 85 percent this year in fires across Brazil, the majority in the Amazon region, which is crucial for absorbing a hefty part of consumer society’s massive carbon footprint. Such information will not play well with a public already feeling the effects of climate change.

Unfortunately, however, Macron’s very undiplomatic approach to a very serious problem caused the horses to stumble right out of the gates. In keeping with the technological tendencies of the times, Bolsonaro immediately fired up his own Twitter account, responding to Macron in equally coarse fashion.

“I regret that President Macron seeks to instrumentalize an internal issue of Brazil and other Amazonian countries for personal political gain,” the Brazilian leader wrote. “The sensationalist tone with which he refers to the Amazon (appealing even to fake photos) does nothing to solve the problem.”

Bolsonaro even saw in Macron’s flatfooted remark a modern form of colonialism, which Brazil knows about firsthand.

“The French President’s suggestion that Amazonian issues be discussed at the G7 without the participation of the countries of the region evokes a misplaced colonialist mindset in the 21st century,” he wrote with some justification.

Macron, despite being infected with an elitist lack of self-awareness, probably knew what he was doing anyways.  By ignoring Brazil’s voice in a matter intimately connected to its own sovereignty, Macron managed to make a somewhat aggressive overture to BRICS, the economic powerhouse comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Presently, there is fierce competition between the G7 and BRICS for a shrinking slab of global pie that is not often discussed in polite society. Suffice it to mention the deepening trade war unfolding between China and the United States, as well as the reckless, politically motivated Western sanctions slapped on Russian companies.

At the same time, Emmanuel Macron, picking up where so many other French leaders before him have left off, is revisiting the dream of turning France into some sort of regional political power that somehow always looks more like a bed and breakfast boutique. Just this week, Macron hosted Vladimir Putin at Fort de Bregancon, the official residence of the French president, followed up with a meeting with newly elected UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the question of Brexit. Now, with Macron set to play host to the G7 this week in Biarritz, he probably felt sufficiently empowered to jostle Brazil.

Jair M. Bolsonaro

@jairbolsonaro

– Lamento que o presidente Macron busque instrumentalizar uma questão interna do Brasil e de outros países amazônicos p/ ganhos políticos pessoais. O tom sensacionalista com que se refere à Amazônia (apelando até p/ fotos falsas) não contribui em nada para a solução do problema.

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Jair M. Bolsonaro

@jairbolsonaro

– Lamento que o presidente Macron busque instrumentalizar uma questão interna do Brasil e de outros países amazônicos p/ ganhos políticos pessoais. O tom sensacionalista com que se refere à Amazônia (apelando até p/ fotos falsas) não contribui em nada para a solução do problema.

Jair M. Bolsonaro

@jairbolsonaro

– O Governo brasileiro segue aberto ao diálogo, com base em dados objetivos e no respeito mútuo. A sugestão do presidente francês, de que assuntos amazônicos sejam discutidos no G7 sem a participação dos países da região, evoca mentalidade colonialista descabida no século XXI.

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As such, Macron missed a golden opportunity – if he really sought one in the first place – to mediate on a global issue of truly significant import. After all, it is hard to underestimate the necessity of protecting the world’s largest tropical rainforest. In addition to serving as the ‘lungs of the planet,’ the Amazon, through its immense biodiversity, is the fountainhead of medical remedies, many of which remain undiscovered. Only a fool would be unmoved by the wanton destruction of this life-supporting ecosystem.

Macron could have achieved something truly historic – hammering out a global initiative for protecting the Amazon – by inviting Jair Bolsonaro to the G7 as guest of honor. The Brazilian leader, overwhelmed by the outpouring of international attention and respect, would have been much more likely to agree to some immediate plan of action, like an international assembly of firefighters. After all, Bolsonaro has already admitted that Brazil lacks the necessary resources to protect the Amazon, which exceeds Europe in sheer size.

Instead, Macron behaved once again with supreme arrogance, humiliating Bolsonaro instead of placating him, thereby creating a schism between the international community and Brasilia that will further complicate any future effort at saving the Amazon, and even the planet.

It is almost as if Emmanuel Macron, who has been hounded by endless weeks of demonstrations by Yellow Vest protesters, who plan to convene on Bairritz during the G7, used the Amazon fires as a convenient smokescreen to conceal more burning issues closer to home. In that sense, Macron’s effort to politicize Brazil’s raging rainforest fires when the world’s attention will be focused on France is understandable, yet no less deplorable.

PEPE ESCOBAR: US and Iran Stuck on Negotiation Ground Zero

July 27, 2019

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Consortium News – by special agreement with the author)

PEPE ESCOBAR: US and Iran Stuck on Negotiation Ground Zero

All bets are off in the geopolitical insanity stakes when we have the President of the United States (POTUS) glibly announcing he could launch a nuclear first strike to end the war in Afghanistan and wipe it “off the face of the earth” in one week. But he’d rather not, so he doesn’t have to kill 10 million people.

Apart from the fact that not even a nuclear strike would subdue the legendary fighting spirit of Afghan Pashtuns, the same warped logic – ordering a nuclear first strike as one orders a cheeseburger – could apply to Iran instead of Afghanistan.

Trump once again flip-flopped by declaring that the prospect of a potential war in the Persian Gulf “could go either way, and I’m OK either way it goes,” much to the delight of Beltway-related psychopaths who peddle the notion that Iran is begging to be bombed.

No wonder the whole Global South – not to mention the Russia-China strategic partnership – simply cannot trust anything coming from Trump’s mouth or tweets, a non-stop firefight deployed as intimidation tactics.

At least Trump’s impotence facing such a determined adversary as Iran is now clear: “It’s getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran.” What remains are empty clichés, such as Iran “behaving very badly” and “the number one state of terror in the world” – the marching order mantra emanating from Tel Aviv.

Even the – illegal – all-out economic war and total blockade against Tehran seems not to be enough. Trump has announced extra sanctions on China because Beijing is “accepting crude oil” from Iran. Chinese companies will simply ignore them.

Okay With ‘OK Either Way’

“OK either way” is exactly the kind of response expected by the leadership in Tehran. Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran confirmed to me that Tehran did not offer Trump a “renegotiation” of the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, in exchange for the end of sanctions: “It’s not a renegotiation. Iran offered to move forward ratification of additional protocols if Congress removes all sanctions. That would be a big win for Iran. But the US will never accept it.”

Dehghan: U.S. bases would be targeted. (Wikimedia Commons)

Marandi also confirmed “there is nothing big going on” between Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and tentative Trump administration negotiator Sen. Rand Paul: “Bolton and Pompeo remain in charge.”

The crucial fact is that Tehran rejects a new negotiation with the White House “under any circumstances,” as expressed by Hossein Dehghan, the top military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Dehghan once again made it very clear that in case of any sort of military adventure, every single base of the U.S. Empire of Bases across Southwest Asia will be targeted.

This neatly ties in with Iran’s by now consolidated new rules of engagement, duly detailed by correspondent Elijah Magnier. We are well into “an-eye-for-an-eye” territory.

And that brings us to the alarming expansion of the sanctions dementia, represented by two Iranian ships loaded with corn stranded off the coast of southern Brazil because energy giant Petrobras, afraid of U.S. sanctions, refuses to refuel them.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a fervent Trump groupie, has turned the country into a tropical U.S. neo-colony in less than seven months. On U.S. sanctions, Bolsonaro said, “We are aligned to their policies. So we do what we have to.” Tehran for its part has threatened to cut its imports of corn, soybeans and meat from Brazil – $2 billion worth of trade a year – unless the refueling is allowed.

This is an extremely serious development. Food is not supposed to be — illegally — sanctioned by the Trump administration. Iran now has to use mostly barter to obtain food — as Tehran cannot remit through the CHIPS-SWIFT banking clearinghouse. If food supplies are also blocked that means that sooner rather than later the Strait of Hormuz may be blocked as well.

Beltway sources confirmed that the highest level of the U.S. government gave the order for Brasilia to stop this food shipment.

Tehran knows it well – as this is part of the “maximum pressure” campaign, whose goal is ultimately to starve the Iranian population to death in a harrowing game of chicken.

Chokepoint: The Strait of Hormuz. (Flickr)

How this may end is described by an ominous quote I already used in some of my previous columns, from a Goldman Sachs derivatives specialist:

“If the Strait of Hormuz is closed, the price of oil will rise to a thousand dollars a barrel representing over 45 percent of global GDP, crashing the $2.5 quadrillion derivatives market and creating a world depression of unprecedented proportions.”

At least the Pentagon seems to understand that a war on Iran will collapse the world economy.

And Now for Something Completely Different

But then, last but not least, there’s the tanker war.

Dutch analyst Maarten van Mourik has noted significant discrepancies involving the UK piracy episode in Gibraltar – the origin of the tanker war. The Grace 1 tanker “was pirated by the Royal Marines in international waters. Gibraltar Straits is an international passage, like the Strait of Hormuz. There is only 3 nautical miles of territorial water around Gibraltar, and even that is disputed.”

Mourik adds, “The size of the Grace 1 ship is 300,000 MT of crude oil, it has a maximum draught of about 22.2 meters and the latest draught via AIS indicated that she was at 22.1 meters, or fully laden. Now, the port of Banyas in Syria, which is where the offshore oil port is, has a maximum draft of 15 meters. So, in no way could the Grace 1 go there, without first having to offload elsewhere. Probably a very large quantity to get within max draught limitations.”

Zarif (r.) negotiating nuclear deal with then US Secretary of State John Kerry in July, 2015. (Wikimedia Common)

That ties in with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif refusing on the record to say where Grace 1 was actually heading to, while not confirming the destination was Syria.

The tit-for-tat Iranian response, with the seizure of the Stena Impero navigating under the British flag, is now evolving into Britain calling for a “European-led maritime protection mission” in the Persian Gulf, purportedly to protect ships from Iranian “state piracy.”

Observers may be excused for mistaking it for a Monty Python sketch. Here we have the Ministry of Silly Seizures, which is exiting the EU, begging the EU to embark on a “mission” that is not the same mission of the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign. And on top of it the mission should not undermine Britain’s commitment to keep the JCPOA in place.

As European nations never recede on a chance to flaunt their dwindling “power” across the Global South, Britain, Germany and France now seem bent on their “mission” to “observe maritime security in the Gulf,” in the words of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. At least this won’t be a deployment of joint naval forces – as London insisted. Brussels diplomats confirmed the initial muscular request came from London, but then it was diluted: the EU, NATO and the U.S. should not be involved – at least not directly.

Now compare this with the phone call last week between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and French President Emmanuel Macron, with Tehran expressing the determination to “keep all doors open” for the JCPOA. Well, certainly not open to the Monty Python sketch.

That was duly confirmed by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, who said Iran will “not allow disturbance in shipping in this sensitive area,” while Iranian vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri rejected the notion of a “joint European task force” protecting international shipping: “These kinds of coalitions and the presence of foreigners in the region by itself creates insecurity.”

Iran has always been perfectly capable, historically, of protecting that Pentagonese Holy Grail – “freedom of navigation” – in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran certainly doesn’t need former colonial powers to enforce it. It’s so easy to lose the plot; the current, alarming escalation is only taking place because of the “art of the deal” obsession on imposing an illegal, total economic war on Iran.

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