The US, North Korea, and the Lesser of Two Evils

Most US presidencies are defined by their foreign policies, and most foreign policies are defined by wars – those that were fought and those that weren’t.
Of course, some wars are more significant than others. The Civil War and World War II defined the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt – but then they would have defined the presidencies of anyone occupying the office at those times. Even just the possibility of war can have the same effect. Jimmy Carter learned this through the Iranian hostage crisis and Barack Obama through his evaporating red line in Syria.
The biggest decision an American president faces is whether to send the nation’s soldiers into certain danger to protect and defend the national interest. Donald Trump is fast approaching that point with North Korea, and his decision will define his presidency more than any of his infamous tweets or off-the-cuff remarks.
Mixed Messages
The US has been sending mixed messages for months now. It briefly stationed three carrier battle groups within striking distance of the Korean Peninsula, before relocating them. One minute, the president is threatening to bring fire and fury to Pyongyang. The next minute, the US secretary of defense is saying diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation are working.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on AUGUST 21, 2017.

Can Evil Be Pushed Out Of The US, We Will Soon See – Episode 1360b

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 21, 2017
CNN and the rest of the corporate media are pushing the idea that Trump is mentally ill and needs to be removed under the 25th Amendment. American’s didn’t elect Trump for war, they elected him to stop the wars. What will Trump do will he send more troops or will he stop the war in Afghanistan. USS McCain crashed into an oil tanker and the US has halted sea operations. Russia warns that the drug situation in Afghanistan has gotten worse not better since the US has been involved in this country. Iran wants the US to pay millions for using chemical weapons during the Iraq/Iran war. US paid mercenaries had to fall back on the Jordanian border. Assad says that there is no role in Syria as long as the US supports terrorists.

Iran’s President Tacitly Admits Iran is Cheating on Nuclear Agreement

Countering recent US sanctions and President Trump’s talk of ending the ‘bad’ nuclear agreement with Iran, Iran’s president threatened to restart its nuclear program. If his threat is true as stated, he unwittingly admitted something highly supportive of Trump’s position:
Mr. Rouhani said that a reconstituted nuclear program would be ‘far more advanced,’ a veiled threat that the country could start enriching uranium up to the level of 20 percent…. ‘Iran will definitely revert to a far more advanced situation than it had before the negotiations, not in a matter of weeks or months but in a matter of days or hours.’ (New York Times)
If Iran is capable of ratcheting up its program in a matter of weeks to enrich uranium to 20%, that means it has been purchasing and stockpiling all the equipment it needs to do that because such equipment cannot be built and installed that fast. So, the equipment is ‘stored’ in a manner that is ready to go. That, in itself, probably violates the terms of the agreement (known as the ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’).
HOWEVER, there is only one way Iran can have the capability to ratchet up production to ‘more advanced’ levels than it had before the negotiations ‘in a matter of days or hours.’ While I have no expertise in such equipment, it does not strike me as the kind of production process where you push a button, and you’re up and running with 20% enriched uranium coming out the other end in a matter of hours.
The New York Times seems to have missed that little tidbit.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 16 August 2017.

Iran Threatens Trump With Restart Of Nuclear Program “Within Hours”

One day after Iran announced it was preparing to send a flotilla of warships to the western Atlantic Ocean following the announcement of a massive $500 million investment in war spending, the Iranian regime is fast emerging as the latest potential geopolitical headache for the Trump administration, after it warned on Tuesday that Iran could abandon its 2015 nuclear deal signed with Obama with world powers “within hours” if the United States imposes further sanctions on Tehran, president Hassan Rouhani said in his first address to Iran’s parliament since being sworn in to a second term, and hinted that Iran could quickly boost enrichment up to levels even higher than before it signed the nuclear accord.
“Those who try to return to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past delusions,” Rouhani said in the address. “If they want to go back to that experience, definitely in a short time – not in weeks or months, but within hours or days – we will return to our previous [nuclear] situation very much stronger.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2017.

HENRY KISSINGER JUST MADE A STUNNING ADMISSION ABOUT ISIS AND IRAN

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a man who dares not travel in many parts of the globe due to fears of arrest, just made one of the most stunning admissions of his career to date.
In an article for CapX, a British online news website founded by the Centre for Policy Studies, Kissinger warned against defeating ISIS because doing so could lead to an ‘Iranian radical empire.’ He warned:
‘In these circumstances, the traditional adage that the enemy of your enemy can be regarded as your friend no longer applies. In the contemporary Middle East, the enemy of your enemy may also be your enemy. The Middle East affects the world by the volatility of its ideologies as much as by its specific actions.’
Unsurprisingly, Kissinger, a documented war criminal, displayed a complete disregard for international law while expressing his major concerns. Kissinger said:
‘The outside world’s war with Isis can serve as an illustration. Most non-Isis powers – including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states – agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran?’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 15, 2017.

Is Trump Gearing Up To End The Iran Nuclear Deal?

Jack Thompson and Oliver Thrnert argue that President Trumps administration is laying the groundwork for the U. S. to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. However, they suggest that if the U. S. were to end its participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, it would severely damage transatlantic relations and the nuclear non-proliferation regime. As a result, Thompson and Thrnert urge European governments to talk with Trump’s most influential advisers and convince them that a unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA will leave the U. S. isolated.
***
U. S. President Trump seems determined to kill the nuclear deal with Iran. European leaders should strive to prevent this, as it would severely damage transatlantic relations and the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Key Points The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015, which would have been impossible without close transatlantic cooperation, brought Iran back into compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
U. S. President Trump and some of his political advisors are preparing to end participation in the JCPOA, possibly as early as October 2017. Iran is gaining ever more influence in the Middle East, they contend, which is why sanctions need to be reinforced, not lifted.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2017.

ATTACK VENEZUELA? TRUMP CAN’T BE SERIOUS!

There is something unsettling about how President Trump has surrounded himself with generals. From his defense secretary to his national security advisor to his White House chief of staff, Trump looks to senior military officers to fill key positions that have been customarily filled by civilians. He’s surrounded by generals and threatens war at the drop of a hat.
President Trump began last week by threatening ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea. He continued through the week claiming, falsely, that Iran is violating the terms of the nuclear deal. He finally ended the week by threatening a US military attack on Venezuela.
He told reporters on Friday that, ‘We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary. … We have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying.’
Venezuela’s defense minister called Trump’s threat ‘an act of craziness.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 14, 2017.

Russia-gate’s Fatally Flawed Logic

By pushing the Russia-gate ‘scandal’ and neutering President Trump’s ability to conduct diplomacy, Democrats and Congress have encouraged his war-making side on North Korea…
There was always a logical flaw in pushing Russia-gate as an excuse for Hillary Clinton’s defeat – besides the fact that it was based on a dubious ‘assessment’ by a small team of ‘hand-picked’ U. S. intelligence analysts. The flaw was that it poked the thin-skinned Donald Trump over one of his few inclinations toward diplomacy.
We’re now seeing the results play out in a very dangerous way in Trump’s bluster about North Korea, which was included in an aggressive economic sanctions bill – along with Russia and Iran – that Congress passed nearly unanimously, without a single Democratic no vote.
Democrats and Official Washington’s dominant neocons celebrated the bill as a vote of no-confidence in Trump’s presidencybut it only constrained him in possible peacemaking, not war-making.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2017.

Empire Strikes Back: Destructive, Dishonest Neocolonialism Targets Venezuela

21st Century Wire says…
It’s no longer any secret that the US have planned and orchestrated ‘regime change’ in dozens of developing countries over the last century.
Washington’s primary tool is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which has ousted democratically elected governments like Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1982), Haiti (2006), Honduras (2009), Libya (2011), Ukraine (2014) and still working on Syria (2011-present), to name only a few.
Next is Venezuela.

So why is this level of ‘meddling’ justified by the US media and most of its public?
This month sees some significant anniversaries in the struggle against old-style colonialism. The trouble is that colonialism didn’t go away after countries in the developing world formally achieved their independence from Europe’s ‘Great Powers.’
It was replaced by a new form which proved to be more destructive and immeasurably more dishonest than what went before.
At least the British Empire – which at its peak covered almost a quarter of the world’s land surface, acknowledged it was an Empire.
Today’s more shadowy Empire of Globalized Monopoly Finance-Capital does no such thing. Entire countries, such as Yugoslavia, Libya, and Iraq, are destroyed for not toeing the line, while those which continue to defy the neocon/neoliberal elites, such as Venezuela, are under a state of permanent siege.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on AUGUST 9, 2017.

IF AMERICA WAS TRYING TO START A WORLD WAR, THIS IS HOW IT WOULD HAPPEN

Last Wednesday, U. S. President Donald Trump signed new sanctions into law against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The legislation was supported so overwhelmingly in Congress that President Trump’s ability to veto the legislation was rendered completely ineffective.
Even anti-interventionist Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted in favor of the bill, once again proving that Republicans and Democrats always find common ground when it comes to beating the drums of war against sovereign nations who have taken very little unwarranted hostile action – if any – towards the United States.
But these are just sanctions, not acts of war, right? There’s nothing wrong with economically bullying other countries into submission over non-compliance with the current global order, right?
Not quite.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 9, 2017.

Iranian Drone Flies Within 100 Feet Of U.S. F-18 In Persian Gulf

While the US government is busy deciding how to tag and track the millions of drones flying over populated areas, potentially jeopardizing aircraft as they take off and land, the US military just had a close encounter in the Persian Gulf, where Reuters reports that an Iranian drone came within 100 feet of a U. S. Navy warplane as it prepared to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier off the coast of Iran in the Gulf. The officials said the drone forced the US aircraft to take evasive action.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 8, 2017.

U.S. SANCTIONS BILL ADDS MORE TARGETS TO THE LIST; U.S. SET TO SANCTION ITSELF INTO ISOLATION

With the new U. S. sanctions bill having been passed by a united Congress and signed by a President allegedly opposed to it, U. S. sanctions are now all over the news. But the sanctions bill was not just a step toward a second Cold War with Russia, the bill was also aimed at North Korea, Iran, China, and even Europe. In his excellent study of the bill, ‘U. S. Sanctions: A ‘Loony Tunes’ Bad Remake; ‘Irreversible Decline Of The U. S. As A Global Superpower,’ F. William Engdahl described the legislation as being a ‘nuclear barrel bomb with sanctions flying in all directions.’ Sadly, Engdahl is right.
Without going into a detailed analysis of the bill, suffice it to say that it is aimed directly at Russia, Iran, and North Korea but that it threatens anyone and any country that does business with specific elements of the Iranian, North Korean, or Russian economy. This means that China, Germany, and the European Union as a whole have been put on notice that business as usual will subject them to United States sanctions, ‘allies’ or not.
Once again, the United States is declaring to the world that it is the emperor of the planet and any country (save for Israel) who acts in opposition to its whims is in danger of sanctions or worse.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 8, 2017.

US Preparing For Airstrikes Against ISIS In The Philippines

Now that ISIS – the perpetual scapegoat for US intervention in the Syrian proxy war – is no longer viable, with the Qatar, Saudi-funded and Pentagon-equipped terrorist organization scattered and on the run, and there is no longer an imperative to remove Assad from power as the Qatar natgas pipeline to Europe is mothballed indefinitely while Russia and Iran are the de facto undisputed rulers of Syria, it is time to focus popular anger against ISIS elsewhere… like in the Philippines. And not wasting any time, NBC reports that the Pentagon is considering a plan allowing the U. S. military to conduct airstrikes on ISIS in the Philippines.
Unlike in Syria where the US arrived (and is now on its way out) to wage war against the Assad regime ISIS uninvited, the authority to strike ISIS targets as part of collective self-defense could be granted as part of an official military operation that may be named as early as Tuesday, said the anonymous officials who spoke to NBC. The strikes would likely be conducted by armed drones.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Jatras: “Isolated Trump Flails Helplessly, Bows To Irrational Policies On Russia & Europe Imposed By Congress”

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
President Donald Trump has signed the sanctions bill against Russia, North Korea, and Iran. With the near-unanimous, veto-proof margin by which the so-called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act was passed by both the House and the Senate, Trump was in a lose-lose position.
In the signing statement issued by the White House, Trump and his advisers tried to put a brave face on what can only be seen as a humiliating defeat. Despite some cosmetic changes –
– the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.
Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary. [Emphasis added]
To suggest this absurd, dangerous, and unconstitutional law can be characterized as representing a desire to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the US is the opposite of the truth.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.

Russian PM: “The U.S. Just Declared Full-Scale Trade War On Russia”

Surreal headline of the day pic.twitter.com/CsIMNBI49O
— Gap Spotter (@GotfrydKarol) August 2, 2017

Several hours after President Trump officially signed the new Russian sanctions into law – despite his reservations and his statement that while he favors “tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed” – Russia responded when moments ago Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on his FaceBook page that any hopes of improving Russian relations with the new US administration are dead, that the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence by transferring executive power to Congress “in the most humiliating manner”, and most notably, that the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia.
From Medvedev’s facebook page:
The signing of new sanctions against Russia into law by the US president leads to several consequences. First, any hope of improving our relations with the new US administration is over. Second, the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia. Third, the Trump administration demonstrated it is utterly powerless, and in the most humiliating manner transferred executive powers to Congress. This shifts the alignment of forces in US political circles.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 2, 2017.

The Bad Guys Believe They Have The Upper Hand, Wait For It… – Episode 1347b

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 2, 2017
The corporate media is now blaming Trump for the rise of Obamacare premiums, this is completely false because the premiums have been rising the last couple of years. Ben Rhodes is now a person of interest in regard to unmasking. Trump signs the Russian sanctions pushing Russia and Europe closer together. US launches an ICBM. China officially opens their military base in Djibouti . Trump and Tillerson are now playing good cop bad cop. Tillerson is looking to have diplomatic relations with NK, Iran and Russia. Syrian forces are pushing the paid mercenaries out of Syria, more terrorists have switched to the government side.

Trump Signs Russia Sanctions Bill, Slams It As “Flawed”

After several days of delays, which prompted speculation among politicians and the media why the White House is dragging its feet on the issue and was the topic of several questions during Rex Tillerson’s Tuesday media press conference, moments ago the Donald Trump officially signed into law new Russian sanctions that prevent the president from acting unilaterally to remove certain sanctions on Russia and adds sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
“While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed,” Trump said in a statement announcing the signing.
Trump said he was concerned about the sanctions’ effect on work with European allies, and on American business. “My administration … expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies,” he said.
There were conflicting signals from the administration in recent days about the sanctions, with Rex Tillerson telling reporters on Tuesday that he and Trump did not believe they would “be helpful to our efforts” on diplomacy with Russia. Mike Pence said that the bill showed Trump and Congress were speaking “with a unified voice.”
However, as Bloomberg also adds, the administration said it will carry out the law but “with reservations” about its impact and the constitutionality of some provisions.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 2, 2017.

Trump Signs Russia Sanctions Bill “With Reservations”

After several days of delays, which prompted speculation among politicians and the media why the White House is dragging its feet on the issue and was the topic of several questions during Rex Tillerson’s Tuesday media press conference, moments ago the Donald Trump officially signed into law new Russian sanctions that prevent the president from acting unilaterally to remove certain sanctions on Russia and adds sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
There were conflicting signals from the administration in recent days about the sanctions, with Rex Tillerson telling reporters on Tuesday that he and Trump did not believe they would “be helpful to our efforts” on diplomacy with Russia. Mike Pence said that the bill showed Trump and Congress were speaking “with a unified voice.”
However, as Bloomberg also adds, the administration said it will carry out the law but “with reservations” about its impact and the constitutionality of some provisions.
The so-called signing statement, obtained by Bloomberg, lays out Trump’s concerns about the legislation, including that it encroaches on presidential authority and may hurt U. S. ability to work with allies. Some more details on Trump’s reservations: Trump’s statement doesn’t signal any intent to bypass or circumvent aspects of the law. Instead, the president indicates he intends for his administration to carry out the law in a way consistent with his constitutional authority, language that leaves open some room for interpretation of how the law is executed.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 2, 2017.

AS SENATE MOVES FORWARD ON SANCTIONS, TRUMP SAYS HE MAY SCRAP IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL IN SEPTEMBER

President Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last Thursday, said he expects Iran to be non-compliant with the terms of the JCPOA nuclear deal by next September, despite his admission that the Islamic Republic has not violated the deal to date.
‘We’ve been extremely nice to them in saying they were compliant,’ Trump told the Journal. ‘Personally, I have great respect for my people, but if it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago,’ adding ‘We’ll talk about the subject in 90 days but I would be surprised if they were in compliance.’
The nuclear deal, signed by the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the U. S., plus Germany) in Vienna in July 2015, put Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program under the strictest inspections and safeguards regime to ever exist, cut Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent and reduced the number of Iranian gas centrifuges by about two-thirds, among many other things. Those Iranian concessions were supposed to be met with the waiving of American, European Union and UN sanctions and the recovery of about $100 billion in Iranian assets.
Every 90 days, the U. S. must declare whether or not Iran is abiding by the terms of the agreement and determine if waived sanctions should be reimposed or remain lifted.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 31, 2017.