May 20, 2018
American foreign policy seems to be designed to infuriate everyone, friend and foe alike, though we realise the word “friend” is a euphemism for “useful for American interests.” In a futile attempt to reassert its world hegemony the American ruling class has ripped up or is forcing changes to, free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, with the EU and Pacific nations, ignores the World Trade Organisation rules, has reneged on the agreement it forced down Iran’s throat at the point of a gun with regard to a supposed nuclear weapons development, imposed economic blockades on Iran and Russia that also hurt the interests of its “friends’ in the EU, imposed tariffs on Chinese goods and European steel, flirts with Taiwan, moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, encouraged Israel to attack Syria and to shoot down unarmed Palestinians en masse protesting the illegal occupation of their own land and shot itself in the head with respect to North Korea with all the chest pounding idiocy and bragging of a bullying teenager hopped up on crack surprised when he’s told he’s not welcome to the party because he’s an insulting jerk.
With respect to North Korea, the insults thrown at the North Koreans since John Bolton arrived on the scene can be put down to the psychopathology of that particular man and his contemptuous attitude to everyone and about whom the North Koreans said,
“We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him.”
But the American press were quick to denounce North Korea’s objections to American bullying as a return to “their old behavior” to try to escape the blame for the fiasco they have created in the Korea-US negotiations. Some commentators have even suggested that Bolton and Pompeo are trying to deliberately sabotage the negotiations with their wild talk but the stunned silence from the White House, Bolton and Pompeo indicates that it was not deliberate but a direct result of their arrogance and stupidity.
An opportunity for peace in Korea is being thrown away because of the personal crudeness and barbarity of these people but they are the “in your face” face of American capital; the lieutenants of capital prepared to commit every crime to serve and protect their bosses interests. That the face of American capital has become even uglier lately reflects the steady weakening of their position in the world.
On May 16 Donald Tusk the President of the European Council stated in relation to Iran, Gaza, and other issues that,
“Looking at the latest decisions of Trump someone could even think that with friends like that that who needs enemies. Thanks to him, we got rid of all our illusions.”
Tusk went on to say that Europe wants to ‘protect the transatlantic bond but is prepared to act on its own,” as it proves with its 9 point plan to try to shore up the Iran nuclear deal and counteract the reimposition of the US economic war on Iran, though what that plan is difficult to determine since only the intention has been stated not the 9 points of “the plan.” But the importance of the EU position is put by the British foreign Minister Boris Johnson who said in Brussels on the 15th at a meeting between Iran, Britain, Germany and France that,
“The UK and our European partners continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it.”
A day later Jean Claude Juncker president of the European Commission stated that the European Commission will activate a law that prohibits European companies from complying with the American “sanctions” against Iran. The problem is that it is not very effective but the point is made that the EU regards the American sabotage of the Iran deal as an attack on its companies, a form of economic warfare that it does not appear to be willing to tolerate. The law was first used to counter American sanctions against Cuba but has never really been used. Nevertheless the European Commission has pulled another arrow from its quiver and stated that the European Investment Bank will be used to assist European companies investing in Iran to counter the loss of US financing.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German government representatives have repeated their willingness to openly oppose the United States in its Iran policy. Referring to the Trump administration’s breach of the nuclear deal, Merkel said, “if everyone does what he likes, it would be bad news for the world.”
Defying the US will not be easy since most European companies have more trade with the US than with Iran and do not want to risk losing all that business. However, if they kowtow to the US they risk losing out to China which will quickly fill the gap if US sanctions force Europe’s companies to withdraw from Iran which has the prospect of becoming the most lucrative market in the entire Middle East. In fact, Chinese companies have already announced plans to expand their activities in Iran. Just a few days ago, a freight train set out from the People’s Republic of China to inaugurate a new transport link from China to Iran within the framework of the New Silk Road.
The US has also lost influence in Iraq as a coalition of the Shia nationalist Muqtada al-Sadr, secularists and the Iraqi Communist Party won the elections and will have to form a coalition government that could force out the remaining 10,000 American soldiers and other mercenaries still in the country which would be the final act in the biggest defeat inflicted on the Americans since they were kicked out of Vietnam.
The defeat in Iraq, the defeat of US proxy forces in Syria, and the recent failure of the mass missile attack by the US, France and Britain on Syria are linked to the decision by the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem in an attempt to weaken the Palestinians and to strengthen Israel politically at the same time encouraging Israeli brutality and war crimes no matter what the world reaction may be. Lives mean nothing to them when brutality is all they have left to try to escape the hole they have dug themselves into. The massacres in Gaza are so cruel and outrageous they can be considered a deliberate provocation against Iran, which sees itself as a protector of Muslims in the Middle East. Meanwhile the split between the US and Turkey grows as Turkey also denounced the Israeli crimes and recalled its ambassador.
Meanwhile Russia has passed legislation imposing sanctions on the US in retaliation for US sanctions against Russia, continues with the Astana talks with Iran, China and Syria about the war in Syria, continues its peace initiative in Afghanistan and continues to upgrade its superior weapons systems while China continues to modernize its armed forces, expands it navy and has flown its fighter and bomber aircraft over Taiwan in defiance of US attempts to undermine Chinese sovereignty over the island.
Yet, while American capital expends vast sums of money on armaments and wars that return it nothing its people continue to suffer a rapid degradation of their conditions. On the 17th of May it was reported by the United Way that nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone. That’s 43% of households in the United States. This is the country that Mike Pompeo, the new US foreign minister, bragged was “going to rebuild North Korea.” More like North Korea needs to rebuild America. But this is how out of touch with reality these people are in the American leadership, bankrupt of ideas, ignorant of the world and history, locked into an economic system that cannot provide for even the basic the needs of its working people and without a functioning democratic system for the necessary changes to take place. And what is the result of all this but yet more war and so more war we will have as the collapse of American society accelerates.
*Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”