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5 reasons American foreign policy is insanely dangerous and dangerously insane

US foreign policy is so detached from reality that it has become literally insane to a worrying degree.

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The United States is starting to live up to the ancient Greek stereotypes about the Achaemenid Persian Empire, namely that in spite of its strength, its rulers are brash, unrefined, thirsty for blood and tactically unsophisticated.

This stereotype, largely taken from the words of the historian Herodotus was never fully true, but from a philosophical standpoint, the idea that the Greeks and the Athenians in particular were a more refined society than their Persian enemy can readily be applied to the dichotomy between  Russia and China on one hand and America on the other. This is in no way meant to be an insult to modern Iran which is clearly on the side of civilisation against the forces of western barbarism.

In foreign relations the United States has largely invented its own gods and shibboleths, it adheres to its own mythical conception of reality as though it was divine truth and operates on the principle that can increasingly be defined as “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength”.

In this sense, modern America is one part Herodotus’s conception of the ancient Achaemenid Persians and one part George Orwell’s bleak view of a distopian future.

Under the Donald Trump administration, America’s foreign policy has retained the smug exceptionalism of the Obama years while it has adopted a patronising and condescending tone towards other powerful nations, including the other super-powers of the world. While the tone is grating, the over-all conclusion as well as the means of America’s foreign policy making are looking not only barbaric but also insane in a literal sense. They are detached from reality so much so that one could summarise US foreign policy by imagining a doctor proscribing full leg amputation to a patient diagnosed with a broken finger when in reality the patient’s only ailment is that the doctor himself has hit the patient’s hand with a sledgehammer.

Before moving on, it is necessary to say that I am a Trump supporter. In domestic affairs and in terms of his personality, I admire the man and his accomplishments. But in terms of the foreign policy which has transpired under his administration, I am deeply sickened. My wish is not for Trump to be discarded but for him to understand why in terms of foreign policy his country has lost the plot entirely. Whether he can actually do anything about it is another matter.

Here are five examples of just how dangerously insane and insanely dangerous US policy has become:

1.  Sanctions are an act of war and an act of brutality 

Just as chemical weapons, including mustard gas were banned after the First World War, something even Adolf Hitler acknowledged and adhered to, it is high time to internationally ban the use of  sanctions, the uncontrollable killer of the current age.

One need only to look at the US led sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s to realise that sanctions are not a means of preserving a difficult peace, but instead a means of conducting atrocities without having to waste bullets.

The sanctions on Iraq during the 1990s led to the death of more Iraqi children than any war in the 20th century history of Iraq. Only the 2003 illegal US-UK war on Iraq killed more. The sanctions crippled a wealthy state leading to hunger where there was never hunger, a lack of medicine in a nation that could easily afford the world’s best medicines and suffering where even at the height of the dreadfully ill-advised (western advised) Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Iraqis continued to live normally by comparison to the 1990s.

Today in Syria, the real humanitarian crisis is caused less by al-Qaeda, FSA and ISIS, bad though these jihadist groups are, than that which is being caused by US imposed sanctions. Syria can, even now, afford medicines and food, but much of this is out of reach only because of US sanctions.

No geo-political goal can justify these crimes against humanity and as it is, the US goal of replacing a secular, tolerant, pluralist government in Syria with one led by Salafist barbarians is far from a noble goal to say the least. The fact that such a regime change is against international law is simply extra-credit on the exam of morality that the US has clearly flunked.

But not content with having sanctioned Iraq and sanctioning Syria, now the United States wants to sanction and starve North Korea.

Ironically, according to the US, North Korea is already starving, a factually untrue statement, but by sanctioning North Korea further, the US could in fact begin to starve North Korea. This is one of the reasons that Russia and China oppose sanctions, it is about morality as much as it is about respectful diplomacy for a country which hasn’t engaged in a single active armed conflict during an era when the United States has engaged aggressively in over 10.

2. Using the UN to enshrine global Apartheid

The Charter of the United Nations remains one of the noblest documents written in the modern age. The aims and goals of the document are to prevent war and ensure the best possible peace for all men, women and children and for all nations.

The fact of the matter is that the United States and its increasingly small number of allies have turned the UN into a body that can either rubber stamp America’s singular vision of world dominance or else be permanently paralysed.

When America is able to force one-sided resolutions through the UN, the US hides behind these resolutions even when they justify American violence rather than any objective understanding of peace. When the US does not get its way, the US says the UN has no credibility. Shame clearly isn’t a word that American ‘diplomats’ are familiar with.

In her recent remarks on North Korea, America’s Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley spoke of the UN’s credibility being in jeopardy if it does not act on North Korea. When Haley says ‘act on North Korea’ she means rubber stamp American imposed sanctions with the additional threat of war against a country that does not objectively threaten anyone. Of the two competing states on the Korean peninsula, only one allows a country with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several hundred times over to place weapons of mass destruction on its soil (the THAAD missile system) and that country is not North Korea.

That being said, South Korea is not stupid enough to reignite the Korean War and nor is North Korea. America by the admission of Nikki Haley is stupid enough to take military action on the Korean peninsula, something which would de-facto mean the end of the ceasefire in Korea which has held since 1953.

What kind of world is one living in when one country and its few lackeys can turn a body designed to preserve the peace into one designed to rubber stamp war and savage sanctions? This is not world government as some on the American anti-war right say but nor is it peaceful diplomacy. It is American led global Apartheid where there is one rule for the US and its allies and another for everyone else. For those on the American anti-war right complaining about how much the US pays to the UN, if paying to get what you want is how one measures a good deal, America ought to be happier than a pig swimming in excreta.

3. Speaking down to fellow-superpowers 

While most US foreign policies have remained the same under Trump as they were under Obama, one thing has changed and it is not an improvement. America now patronises and condescends to the other two world superpowers more so than under the Obama regime and that is really saying something.

Donald Trump’s Tweets demanding China fix the ‘North Korea problem’ and on America’s terms no less, fail to acknowledge that both China and North Korea are sovereign states, neither of whom share each other’s vision for the world let alone America’s vision for the world.

China is rightly incensed by this attitude as any nation would be.

To add insult to injury, now US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated that Russia has a “special responsibility” to insure peace in Syria.

This is not only an insult to Syria’s sovereignty and to Syria and Russia’s partner Iran, but it is an insult to Russia. Russia’s responsibility is only to Russia and her voluntary partnership with Syria is a matter of bilateral security, not America’s perverse metaphysical vision for the universes.

What is this, kindergarten? “Johnny, because Billy is mentally retarded you have a special responsibility to make sure he doesn’t make a mess in the school lavatory”.

This is not a way to speak to a sovereign nation, let alone a nuclear superpower.

Making things more awkward, Tillerson actually believes that the US and Russia could create a joint no-fly zone. Of course, America’s conception of a no fly zone is one in which only American an allied planes would be allowed to fly. If America and Russia were to create this mythical no-fly zone, whose planes would be grounded? Would Syrian planes by grounded in Syria at the insistence of a Syrian partner? Would Russia also work with the US to ground the planes of its Iranian partner in the war against terrorism in Syria? What about the only planes currently flying in Syrian airspace illegally, those of the US, its allies and the unilateral air movements of Turkish and Israeli jets, who would ground them?

This idea of a joint Russian-US no fly zone is not only patronising and insulting to Russia and her allies, it is downright absurd.

When Donald Trump said he wanted to work with Russia, if he meant Russia submitting to America’s increasingly preposterous terms, he was simply deluded, perhaps a victim of bad advice or a victim of lack of experience in foreign affairs.

4. God complex meets Orwell complex 

The increasingly unhinged Nikki Haley has repeated that threatening North Korea with sanctions and war will help the North Korea people.

In what world has war ever helped anyone? War is a necessary evil to be used only in self-defence. The UN itself was created and its charter written after the biggest war in human history in order to prevent such suffering.

Russia could constantly take a position of moral superiority because it did the lion’s share of fighting against the fascist aggressor during the Great Patriotic War, but Russian diplomats do not do this. They honour their history but when it comes to foreign policy making and diplomatic engagement they live in the present.

What makes the United States feel that war is somehow a way to help people? This is literally insane. If a common criminal went before a judge and said, “I killed half of someone’s family in order to help the family”, the judge would transfer the man from a regular prison to a prison for the criminally insane.

The lesson of the Second World War/Great Patriotic War is that international mechanisms must be in place to foster cooperation and respect between nations in order to avoid mass murder on a global scale. Instead, the lessons that the United States takes is that preemptive war is somehow a magical solution to solving disasters which have not yet happened. Only Israel and some of America’s western European allies share such a delusional view of the lessons of history.

War is not peace, war is hell and this seems to be where America wants to send any country that doesn’t march to the rhythm of its war drum.

5. The power of positive thinking 

The American Protestant Minister Norman Vincent Peale once wrote a self-help book called ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, which argued that a positive attitude can overcome depression and material despair.

The reality is that in modern America, there exists an attitude which suggests that realism is somehow negative thinking and that positive thinking is carte blanche allowing the positive thinker to do whatever the hell he or she wants.

This is not only deeply dangerous but it is un-Christian. Christianity teaches compassion for the weak, not violence towards the defenceless. Christianity is about fearing God, not having the confidence to play God. Christianity is about loving one’s neighbour, not bombing one’s neighbour. The idea that anything which gets in the way of one’s positive view of one’s self should be cast aside is more akin to the fascist conception of a master race than to Christ’s teachings of humility before God and Christ’s teachings of charity for one’s fellow man. Yet America thinks it has a monopoly on its own very perverse version of violent, intolerant Christianity too….how dreadfully pessimistic indeed.

America seeks to humble the world, but it is the US which ought to learn humility. Positive thinking has its limits. When one is behaving violently, irrationally and insanely, one cannot justify this using the power of optimism. One needs a thorough self-examination, something America looks increasingly incapable of.

Through all of this, America has become everything it was supposed to hate, a global imperial power whose own people are taxed to death in order to fund a violent war machine.

This piece is not an anti-American argument, it is the opposite. America is in a fortunate position in that by changing its barbaric foreign policy, it could help bring peace to the world and prosperity back to its own people. Far from being an unusual concept, it is one of the things Donald Trump campaigned on.

I still believe Donald Trump is a good man, but he is surrounded by idiots, bandits, lunatics and criminals. He ought to remember his famous catch phrase and say ‘You’re fired’ to such people. America needs to step back from its position of barbarism, it needs to act more like the Greeks as portrayed by Herodotus, rather than in the manner of their enemies.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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