Archive for the ‘TRADE WAR WITH CHINA’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: “IT IS A TALE TOLD BY AN IDIOT, FULL OF SOUND AND FURY, SIGNIFYING NOTHING” – AMERICA’S RECENT ACTIONS AGAINST IRAN AND OTHER STATES – TWO DELUSIONS DRIVE AMERICA LIKE AN ENRAGED FANATIC – AND THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THE MANY DANGERS THEY THREATEN   1 comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON AMERICA’S ACTIONS AGAINST IRAN AND OTHER STATES

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

I can’t imagine better words to describe Trump’s actions against Iran – all of them, from tearing-up the working international nuclear treaty to imposing war-like sanctions, which indeed hurt millions of children and poor people, and  to threatening with warships and nuclear-capable bombers, and now to assassinating the second-most important man in the country, a national hero, a vicious act that demands a response.

Is it even possible to conceive of a more passionately destructive set of actions, unprovoked and without reason except to satisfy an urge to tell others what to do? How on earth can a nation call itself “great,” as America so frequently does, when that is how it behaves?

In what way did any of it make any part of the world’s people better off or safer? It added only pain and suffering and fear to a great many lives and created threats of war that hadn’t existed. And it hugely decreased the future capacity of the world’s nations to trust the word and good faith of the United States.

Of course, that set of acts is only the worst of a bad lot. There was the desperate attempt to topple a twice-elected government in Venezuela, going to such extremes as turning off everyone’s electricity a couple of times, blockading the country including its receipt of medical necessities, working to collapse its major industries, and literally stealing many of the country’s assets abroad.

Almost at the same time, another coup, a successful one, was staged in Bolivia, toppling a popular, elected government, one elected multiple times.

New threats and warnings were issued to Nicaragua and Cuba, both countries which have suffered horribly under past American belligerence.

A number of other horrors from the past decade go right on generating death and misery, too – misery in the broken ruins of Libya, once the best place in Africa to live with all public amenities from good water to education supplied free, misery in the never-recovered catastrophe of Iraq, in poor Yemen, and in the beautiful land of Syria plagued by paid outsiders, mercenaries, supplied with many terrible weapons, who kill and destroy on a large scale.

And everyone in Ukraine and in the rest of Europe pays a price for America’s coup there – a civil war has killed thousands, the country’s economy collapsed under an incompetent installed government, its population has seriously declined as people leave for jobs elsewhere, huge sets of war-like sanctions have cut billions in healthy trade between Europe and Russia, regular threatening military displays and large-scale exercises are conducted right on Russia’s border – these last supposedly over a Russian “invasion” of Ukraine which never occurred.

The press and political speeches are filled with threatening rhetoric and demands for big new spending on the means of destruction – all in the face of no threat and indeed a situation in Russia everyone in the West would have deliriously cheered back in the 1970s, a reasonable, temperate government ready to do business with anyone and call them “partner.” But Europe and Russia can’t do so basic and necessary a thing as buy-and-sell a commodity like natural gas without immense pressures being brought against them by the United States.

We have a vicious trade war with China, predicated on no more principle than that “We think you’ve been far too successful in your stunning rise [the rise of China being the greatest and most important human achievement of our age], and we want different arrangements which take some of that success away from you, and we’ll hit you with every sanction and tariff we can think of until you give them to us.”

That marks greatness being displayed by America?

There is not one of those activities that the world would not be better off without. Safer, more prosperous, more secure, happier, holding more optimism for the future – in other words, virtually all of the activity abroad by the United States for years represents a dead-weight loss for humanity and the community of nations. That’s quite an achievement. And the cost in dollars has been colossal.

Of course, I blame Trump, but, as I’ve said before, it certainly is not the work of just Trump, as hopeless and vicious and ignorant as he is. There have been no efforts by other branches of America’s government to halt or hinder the craziness. They are all complicit.

Please note, the candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination, none of them except one unlikely one, even recognize this terrible problem or how to address it. So, for sure, as is usual in the costly stage shows called American elections, when it’s over, no matter which side wins, you will find the same situation prevailing. Just more rude noise and bellowing with Trump, and less without Trump.

America seeks what is not possible given its relative decline in the face of global growth and change and progress. And it seeks it fired by a burning, fanatical belief that it holds an exceptional place in God’s creation.

I fear that deadly combination of American delusions has the potential to do far greater harm than it already has.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S SHAMEFUL TREATMENT OF IRAN AND THE SHAMEFUL REASONS BEHIND IT – BUT EFFORTS TO STRANGLE IRAN’S ECONOMY AND THREATEN A LAW-ABIDING NATION WITH WAR ARE ONLY PART OF THE RECKLESS GLOBAL BEHAVIOR WE SEE FROM AMERICA TODAY – THE LIKELY CONSEQUENCES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DANIEL LARISON IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” Blows Up in His Droopy Face

“If Iranians are ever going to talk to the US again they have to restore their leverage first”

 

Yes, who negotiates with a gun to his head? Only someone who is defenseless, but that certainly does not characterize Iran.

By what degradation of language are such proposals as America’s even called “negotiation”?

What we see is an effort to conduct international relations along the lines of the age-old Mafia protection racket: pay-up or something really bad is going to happen to you. That is world leadership in the twenty-first century?

It sets a terrible precedent, just as Trump’s tearing-up a valid, working treaty did. A treaty which involved the interests of a number of other states, none of whom agreed with Trump. The interests of five permanent members of the Security Council plus those of Germany and the EU are involved.

Yet Trump felt entitled just to ride roughshod over all of them?

Imagine a businessman suddenly ripping-up a written, multi-party contract, one already in force and operating smoothly for about four years? Here we see precisely that situation, except the international sphere lacks the courts and law enforcement which protect contracts in any advanced country.

Who can trust the United States? What is its word worth? Very little apparently, which of course only compounds the current situation with Iran, just as it does the one with North Korea. Ultimately, the question arises, who will want to do business with the United States? Given America’s relative economic decline in the world, that is just the opposite of what it should communicate to the world’s people to foster investment and trade.

The attitude which should prevail is the one, ironically, we see in Russia: open for business, reasonable, “right this way, partners.” I say “ironically” because not all that many years ago, Russia was a country understood as understanding none of those things.

Now, it very much is the United States of Donald Trump which understands none of those things.

The author’s points are valid, but there are yet more.

The mob running the White House wants Iran to “throw the kitchen sink” into a new deal. What was a clear nuclear-upgrading treaty should become a “and a number of other things” treaty.

At the very least, they want Iran’s missile technology degraded or removed.

A ridiculous expectation in today’s world of missile defense and satellite launching and ultimately all kinds of important projects in space. Much of future scientific work and even manufacturing will be done in space.

Iran has a lot of smart young educated people who want to pursue careers in science or technology and build companies. Why should they be arbitrarily excluded?

Of course, all the grotesque pressure comes ultimately from Israel, by way of American oligarchs who make massive campaign contributions when their terms are met, and through the dedicated efforts of government-service apparatchiks like Bolton and Pompeo.

Israel has worked tirelessly to hurt Iran as a rival for influence in the region. It has nothing to do with genuine security, as Israel pretends. Non-nuclear countries do not attack nuclear ones, and Iran has committed no aggression of any kind in its modern history.

The only kind of security involved is Israel’s sense of security in doing whatever it pleases to anyone anywhere in the region without effective objection, a miniature replica of America’s global behavior.

In a bitter irony, the invasion and destruction of Iraq, done largely at the behest of Israel (Ariel Sharon was a long and fervent advocate) in a terribly bloody war with at least a million deaths, actually increased Iran’s relative influence in the region. So much for the foresight of those who play with the lives of others as though they were game pieces.

What a way for America to run a country and try running the world – almost rabid efforts at destroying someone’s economy accompanied by grotesque threats and terrible displays of war machines, all reflecting no more worthy purpose than securing campaign contributions and political allies back home. And it comes at the same time America conducts a massive trade war with China and a huge campaign of vilifying Russia and hurting its interests. Then there are the smaller destructive works underway such as those in Venezuela. And all the vast and impetuous mass of sanctions and tariffs involved affect everyone else of consequence too.

The whole crisis further highlights America’s relative decline. The country’s leadership – and it’s not just Trump, although he is by far the loudest and most uncouth – has become openly arbitrary and demanding in efforts to counteract its decline, and no one responds well to that. Iran will certainly resist, assisted, hopefully, by such powerful associates as China and Russia and even India.

But Europe, too, is feeling the unwarranted pressure and the unfairness, the effort to skew the entire planet’s affairs in America’s favor. It is undoubtedly thinking hard about future relations with the United States.

If Trump’s efforts do not lead to war, they may very well lead to international economic collapse with all the tariffs and sanctions and reduced volumes of trade plus the threat to oil transport. But if, somehow, we avoid either of those outcomes, I think there can be no question this impossibly arrogant and ignorant President has effectively “greased the rails” for the emerging multi-polar world, one which effectively will end America’s privileged and much-abused authority.

Trump’s legacy will not have been to “make America great again,” whatever that slogan is supposed to mean, but to speed the very changes in the world to which the slogan was a response

 

Posted July 4, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,