Germany has taken the lead among European Union member states to back Washington’s regime-change agenda for Venezuela. Berlin’s hypocrisy and double-think is quite astounding.
Only a few weeks ago, German politicians and media were up in arms protesting to the Trump administration for interfering in Berlin’s internal affairs. There were even outraged complaints that Washington was seeking “regime change” against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
Those protests were sparked when Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, warned German companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia that they could be hit with American economic sanctions if they go ahead with the Baltic seabed project.
Earlier, Grenell provoked fury among Berlin’s political establishment when he openly gave his backing to opposition party Alternative for Germany. That led to consternation and denunciations of Washington’s perceived backing for regime change in Berlin. They were public calls for Grenell to be expelled over his apparent breach of diplomatic protocols.
Now, however, Germany is shamelessly kowtowing to an even more outrageous American regime-change plot against Venezuela.
Last week, the government of President Nicolas Maduro ordered the expulsion of German ambassador Daniel Kriener after he greeted the US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido on a high-profile occasion. Guaido had just returned from a tour of Latin American countries during which he had openly called for the overthrow of the Maduro government. Arguably a legal case could be made for the arrest of Guaido by the Venezuelan authorities on charges of sedition.
When Guaido returned to Venezuela on March 4 he was greeted at the airport by several foreign diplomats. Among the receiving dignitaries was Germany’s envoy Daniel Kriener.
The opposition figure had declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela on January 23 and was immediately recognized by Washington and several European Union states. The EU has so far not issued an official endorsement of Guaido over incumbent President Maduro. Italy’s objection blocked the EU from adopting a unanimous position.
Nevertheless, as the strongest economy in the 28-member bloc, Germany can be seen as de facto leader of the EU. Its position on Venezuela therefore gives virtual EU gravitas to the geopolitical maneuvering led by Washington towards the South American country.
It was the eleventh, and perhaps the most important meeting between President Putin and PM Netanyahu on 27 February, writes the well-informed journalist, Elijah Magnier: “The Israeli visitor heard clearly from his host that Moscow has no leverage to ask Iran to leave – or, to stop the flow of weapons to Damascus … Moscow [also] informed Tel Aviv about Damascus’s determination to respond to any future bombing; and that Russia doesn’t see itself concerned [i.e. a party to such conflict] ”.
This last sentence requires some further unpacking. What is going on here is the mounting of the next phase of the Chinese-Russian strategy for containing the US policy of seeding hybrid disorder – and of pouring acid in to the region’s ‘open wounds’. Neither China nor Russia wish to enter into a war with the US. President Putin has warned on several occasions that were Russia to be pushed to the brink, it would have no choice but to react – and that the possible consequences go beyond contemplation.
In short, America’s recent wars have clearly demonstrated their political limitations. Yes, they are militarily highly destructive, but they have not yielded their anticipated political dividends; or rather, the political dividends have manifested more as an erosion of US credibility, and of its appeal as a ‘model’ for the world to mimic. There is now no ‘New’ Middle East that is emerging anywhere that casts itself in the American mold.
Trump’s foreign policy-makers are not old-style ‘liberal’ interventionists, seeking to slay the region’s tyrannical monsters’, and promising to implant American values: that wing of US neo-conservatism – perhaps unsurprisingly – has assimilated itself to the Democratic Party and to those European leaders desirous of striking (a supposedly morally ‘virtuous’) pose in contra-distinction to Trump’s (supposedly amoral) transactional approach.
Bolton et al however, are of the neoconservative school that believes that if you have power, you use it, or lose it. They simply do not trouble themselves with all those frills of promising democracy or freedom (and like Carl Schmitt, they see ethics as a matter for theologians, and not a concern for them). And if the US cannot, any longer, directly impose certain political outcomes (on their terms) on the world as it used to,
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo’s quest to scare Hungary away from dealing with Russia and China appears to have turned sour, as Budapest said it’s fed up with lectures about its foreign policy.
Pompeo is on a five-day massive charm offensive in Eastern Europe seeking to “make up” for the time the US “shunned” the nations of the region “in a way that drove them to fill a vacuum with folks who didn’t share our values,” as he himself put it.
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His first stop was Hungary, a country that no US State Secretary had visited since 2011. And Budapest has been dangerously leaning towards Moscow and Beijing, according to Washington.
“We must not let [Russian President Vladimir] Putin drive a wedge between friends in NATO,” Pompeo stated passionately, at a joint press conference with the Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, claiming that the US and its allies “know all too well from history” that “that Russia will never be a friend to the freedom and sovereignty of smaller nations.”
He did not focus his attention solely on the Kremlin, though, and promptly warned his Hungarian counterpart about the dangers of working with China, by saying that “Beijing’s handshake comes with strings … that will leave Hungary indebted both economically and politically.”
Szijjarto retorted to Pompeo’s lecturing that “the world is not going to be a better place if some countries spend their time intervening in the internal political affairs of other countries.” He insisted that Budapest can have transparent relations with Moscow and Beijing and the West, and said it was an “enormous hypocrisy” that Hungary is singled out for its ties with Moscow.
“There is a lot of criticism on the surface, and below the surface there is a lot of trade between Europe and Russia in billions of euros,” he said.
“Cooperation with Russia or China that does not harm us,” he added, explaining that any such economic ties do not make Hungary a less reliable NATO partner.
The president says he will bring the troops home from Syria and Afghanistan. Now, because of their pathological hatred of Trump, mainstream Democrats are hysterical in their opposition.
If anyone else were president, the “liberals” would be celebrating. After all, pulling American soldiers out of a couple of failing, endless wars seems like a “win” for progressives. Heck, if Obama did it there might be a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. And there should be. The intervention in Syria is increasingly aimless, dangerous and lacks an end state. Afghanistan is an unwinnable war – America’s longest – and about to end in outright military defeat. Getting out now and salvaging so much national blood and treasure ought to be a progressive dream. There’s only one problem: Donald Trump. Specifically, that it was Trump who gave the order to begin the troop withdrawals.
Lost in the haze of their pathological hatred of President Trump, the majority of mainstream liberal pundits and politicians can’t, for the life of them, see the good sense in extracting the troops from a couple Mideast quagmires. That or they can see the positives, but, in their obsessive compulsion to smear the president, choose politics over country. It’s probably a bit of both. That’s how tribally partisan American political discourse has become. And, how reflexively hawkish and interventionist today’s mainstream Democrats now are. Whither the left-wing antiwar movement? Well, except for a few diehards out there, the movement seems to have been buried long ago with George McGovern.
Make no mistake, the Democrats have been tacking to the right on foreign policy and burgeoning their tough-guy-interventionist credentials for decades now. Terrified of being painted as soft or dovish on martial matters, just about all the “serious” baby-boomer Dems proudly co-opted the militarist line and gladly accepted campaign cash from the corporate arms dealers. Think about it, any Democrat with serious future presidential aspirations back in 2002 voted for the Iraq War – Hillary, Joe Biden, even former peace activist John Kerry! And, in spite of the party base now moving to the left, all these big name hawks – along with current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – are still Democratic stalwarts.
President Donald Trump’s cancellation of his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Buenos Aires G20 is another sign of the now almost certain demise of his declared “America First” agenda – and perhaps of his presidency. Supposedly decided in response to a Ukraine-Russia naval incident in the Kerch Strait, dumping the meeting is universally and correctly seen as a response to the guilty plea of his former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, to lying to Congress (notice that James Clapper isn’t forced to plead to his perjury before the Senate) and Cohen’s disclosure of Trump’s fruitless business dealings in Russia.
Keep in mind that this comes at a time when grand inquisitor Robert Mueller is on thin ice – or would be, if Trump and his team had a clue. Consider: in just the past few days Jerome Corsi, Roger Stone, and belatedly perhaps even Paul Manafort have delivered what amounts to a case against Mueller’s underlings, including subornation of testimony they knew to be false – a felony punishable by five years in the slammer (18 US Code § 1622 – Subornation of perjury). Is Trump or any of his lawyers thinking of having the victims swear out a complaint and instructing the Justice Department actually to prosecute these miscreants? No, of course not, even though at least Corsi appears to be willing.
Likewise Trump threatens to declassify “a wide swath of ‘devastating’ documents related to the Mueller probe, which he had initially planned to do in September before changing his mind” on the beseeching of British Prime Minister Theresa May. Britain’s worst prime minister ever is desperate to hide the fact that at its root there’s nothing Russian about “Russiagate” but there’s lots and lots of British MI6, GCHQ, and other Five Eyes skullduggery aimed at subverting the 2016 US election and preventing any possible rapprochement between Washington and Moscow. With respect to both goals this massive PSYOP and political warfare campaign by the US-UK Deep State has been a smashing success.
Trump has the goods on them but just sits on his hands and threatens.
It wasn’t too long ago that Hillary Clinton famously celebrated the intervention that turned Libya into a failed state and hotbed for terrorism. Now she’s telling Europe to ‘curb’ immigration from North Africa and Middle East.
Speaking to the Guardian as part of a series of interviews with “senior centrist political figures” about the rise of right-wing populism, Clinton mused that Europe “needs to get a handle on migration” because the influx of refugees from the Middle East and Africa in recent years is “what lit the flame” of support for anti-immigration political figures.
Harrowing scenes of boats full of refugees, many of them from Libya, have caught the world’s attention in recent years, as hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have tried to make their way to Europe. Neither Clinton or the Guardian article, however, mention the fact that they are coming in droves from countries which the United States has relentless bombed and destabilized with failed military interventions.
The NATO-led ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya — a decision which Clinton herself was instrumental in making — turned what was once the richest country in Africa, into a failed state and hotbed for terrorism and the slave trade. “We came, we saw, he died!” Clinton exclaimed cheerfully upon hearing the news of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal death, during which he was sodomized with a bayonet by rebels.
Clinton:“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration b/c that is what lit the flame”
Yes, people fleeing indiscriminate US/Euro bombing of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Somali, & Yemen “lit the flames”—not the mass murder of brown ppl😑https://t.co/wvi5i677DJ
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) November 22, 2018
Clinton said she admires the “very generous and compassionate approaches” that were taken toward the crisis by leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but now Europe “must send a very clear message” that it is “not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support” because doing so would continue to “roil the body politic.”
Clinton’s comments aren’t likely to go down well with progressives in her own country,
By now all international media resources; newspapers, magazines, TV channels, and internet social media, are busy reporting the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi; a Saudi reporter, who was loyal to the regime until he turned against Muhamad bin Salman (MBS) and his suppressive policies.
Once MBS was announced crowned prince in 2015 and started his war against Yemen, critic Khashoggi found it safer for himself to leave Saudi Arabia. He moved first to UK and later to USA. In his writings Khashoggi harshly criticized the policies of the young prince. Eventually he was lured to the Saudi consulate in Turkey, where he was reported murdered and butchered into small pieces that were buried in different parts of Turkey’s wilderness.
Understanding Saudi culture and the practices of the Saudi royal family, one will come to the logical conclusion, supported by the events and evidences, that MBS has ordered the murder of Khashoggi. The Saudi royal family is notorious in assassination and sentencing to death all alleged criminals and political activists, who dare to criticize their policies. The streets of capital Riyadh have been the witness of so many public gruesome beheadings; 158 in 2015, 154 in 2016, 146 in 2017 and 73 in 2018 as of July 17.
Although the royal family denied any involvement or knowledge of Khashoggi’s murder and had promised to conduct an investigation in the murder, in investigation led by the prime suspect; MBS himself, the Saudi Kingdom was met with harsh condemnations and calls for punishment. Saudi Arabia started to feel the repercussions of such calls when international banks, corporations, investors, major media outlets and world leaders started to pull out of the Saudi Future Investment Initiative (FII); a massive economic conference colloquially known as “Davos in the Desert”, hosted by MBS himself on October 23-25. The initiative is part of MBS’ ambitious “2030 Programme” to make the Saudi kingdom less reliant on oil.
Jim Yong-kim of World Bank, Christine Lagarde of International Monetary fund, Stacey Cunningham president of New York Stock Exchange, John Flint CEO of HSBC, as well as Credit Suisse, and Standard Chartered decided not to attend at Davos. Investment companies such as Uber, Mastercard, Virgin Group, JPMorgan Chase,