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SYRIZA hypocrisy again exposed as open borders bonanza continues

Over 3,000 residents of the island of Lesvos, which has been inundated with migrants, protested the current state of the island during the recent visit of prime minister Alexis Tsipras. But for SYRIZA, any opposition equates with fascism.

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Just days after a major protest in the island of Lesvos opposing the occupation of the main square of the island’s capital, Mitilini, by over 200 illegal migrants, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras—who once demonstrated that his geography skills are akin to his English-language skills by referring to Lesvos and Mitilini as separate islands—paid a visit to the island for an absurd propaganda speech as part of the 14th North Aegean Regional Conference.

The protests

Protesters attempt to overturn riot police buses while demonstrating against the visit of the prime minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras to Mitilini, the capital of the island of Lesvos, May 3, 2018 (Orestes Panagiotou, APA-MPA).

As Tsipras spoke at the conference, an estimated 3,000 residents of the island of Lesvos protested outside, said to be the largest protest in the island’s history. Protesters attempted to burst past a barricade consisting of 17 riot police buses—the same riot police which Tsipras and company had pledged to abolish prior to their ascent to power in January 2015—to issue a resolution to the prime minister. Some protesters rocked the riot police buses, attempting to topple them.

Among the complaints of the protesters is the elimination of the reduced value-added tax (VAT) rate for Lesvos and other islands—which SYRIZA had once pledged to protect and maintain and which had been put in place to alleviate the cost of shipping necessary goods to far-flung islands—while shops on the island were shuttered in protest of the tax increase. Perhaps even more so, the protests also concerned the daily problems and declining quality of life which the island’s residents face as a result of the migrant influx. Lesvos has, for years been at the front lines of the inflow of migrants, supposedly refugees from Syria, but many of whom—mostly unaccompanied young men—hail from other countries of the Middle East, Asia, and even Africa and… Latin America.

The mayor of Lesvos Spyros Galinos ended up being the one to issue the protesters’ statement to Tsipras. Nevertheless, the demonstrations turned chaotic on at least two occasions, when protesters attempted to break the riot police barricade.

Galinos, speaking to The Guardian, stated: “The people of Lesvos are exhausted. The rhythm of our lives has been shattered by refugees and migrants who now number a third of our population… fear prevails. Women are afraid to leave their homes at night, children are kept locked up indoors because parents are afraid to let them go out and play. No community would put up with this.”

It’s a wonder that Galinos wasn’t immediately branded a hardcore fascist by the open borders-supporting PC police at The Guardian, especially following his statements about women and children on the island and fear prevailing.

SYRIZA’s hypocrisy on display once again

Tsipras, oblivious to everything, filled his speech with talk about “growth” and Greece’s supposed forthcoming “exit” from the “bailout” (loan) agreements.

“When President Juncker speaks of a clean exit from the bailout program in the summer of 2018, when the head of the OECD speaks about the feat of the Greek people and of a country that is leading the way in reforms, what point is there to waste time on pointless disagreements?”

Come again? President Juncker? President of what? It seems Tsipras let the EU surpa-state cat out of the bag unwittingly with this statement.

Tsipras then made lofty claims of eliminating waste in the public health care system, even as his own government has offered patronage plum positions to SYRIZA hacks, such as a tire shop owner being appointed vice president of the public hospital of Santorini. Tsipras then went on a rant against Greece’s oligarchs, which SYRIZA has continuously described as their enemy, as part of the party’s “us versus the world” propaganda. Tsipras stated:

“No matter how many powers one gathers [against us], no matter how many entrenched financial interests, publishing groups and non-governmental power centers, no matter how much black propaganda and fake news [you just knew this would be referenced, following the proud example of Tsipras’ neoliberal bosses in the EU and the United States], reality does not change.”

Reality may not change, but Tsipras did not clarify whether SYRIZA’s reality is the same as that of the majority of the people of Greece. And as Tsipras went on this rant against “black propaganda” and “fake news” and bad oligarchs, his government issued, just last week, five nationwide television licenses to incumbent stations owned by those very oligarchs. Viva la revolucion!

Tsipras then added, referring to the protests regarding the recent migrant occupation of Sappho Square:

“We will not tolerate the murderous, aggressive actions against the refugees, and phenomena such as those of this past Sunday.”

In other words, Tsipras once again uttered the only thing that SYRIZA knows how to express: an “us versus them” mentality, where it is SYRIZA standing alone fighting against some unspecified, dark, “fascist” threat. This plays in to historical divides between the left and right in Greece, dating back to the Greek civil war of 1947-1949 and the military junta which ruled Greece between 1967 and 1974.

Further evidence of this is evident right in Tsipras’ speech, as he attempted to manipulate the emotions of the people of Lesvos and the entire nation, stating:

“The flag of our country was raised high on this land by the grandfathers and grandmothers of many residents of this island, when they arrived here in boats as refugees from Smyrna [and elsewhere] to rebuild their lives, stand on their feet again, and reunite with their lost relatives. The flag of our nation was again raised high by the men and women of EAM [Greek wartime resistance movement against the Nazis] who led the way in the liberation of Lesvos from Nazism.”

What the Smyrna catastrophe of 1922 and the anti-Nazi liberation movement has to do with protesting an out-of-control influx of migrants is something that only Tsipras and other members of SYRIZA can (attempt to) answer. It is clear though that by throwing out the same old buzzwords regarding “fighting fascism” and attempting to draw parallels between the culturally Greek refugees who were forced to flee Asia Minor in 1922 and the so-called “refugees” blowing in to Greece today, Tsipras and other members of SYRIZA are attempting to manipulate emotions and to stifle any dissent, pre-emptively labeling any opponents of mass migration as fascists and racists.

If this seems far-fetched, consider the statements made immediately after Tsipras’ visit to Lesvos by SYRIZA MP Giorgos Pallis, who represents the island of Lesvos, calling the protesters “a small minority of fascists” in a speech before parliament (see video here).

Recently, SYRIZA government ministers even went as far as drawing parallels between residents who choose to defend themselves and their homes from burglars, and “far-right terrorists.”

So for SYRIZA, anyone who disagrees with their politics and with the inflow of so many “refugees” that as much as one-third of the population of the Lesvos now consists of migrants, is a fascist. How very leftist and tolerant!

It is also quite ironic that Tsipras will reference the raising of the Greek flag on the soil of Lesvos by the Greek refugees of Asia Minor in 1922 and by the resistance fighters of EAM during World War II, when it was SYRIZA’s own MP, Dimitris Vettas, speaking on the oligarch-owned and full-on neoliberal radio station Skai 100.3, who described the raising of the Greek flag on uninhabited Aegean islands which Turkey has repeatedly claimed and encroached upon, as “shameful.”

For SYRIZA, patriotism comes a la carte: it is good when it can score SYRIZA cheap political points, but it is fascist if it is used to oppose any of the policies of SYRIZA or, by extension, the EU and the troika.

As stated by Dimitris Karagiannis, President of the Lesvos Agricultural Association:

“How can he [Tsipras] talk about growth, when we are facing this huge migrant problem? They have thousands of refugees and migrants trapped and exhausted here, who are also creating problems for the local community. How can we talk about growth, when Turkish aggression is rising daily?”

Migrant free-for-all in the Aegean

While Tsipras and SYRIZA fling accusations of “fascism” towards any and all who disagree, the migrant influx in the Eastern Aegean continues unabated, despite an EU deal with Turkey which essentially bribes Turkish sultan Tayyip Erdogan in return for, supposedly, stemming the migrant flow towards Europe. The money continues to flow to Erdogan so he can build lavish palaces for himself, but the migrants continue to flow towards Greece and into Europe as well.

One recent report speaks of 350 new migrant arrivals on the islands of Lesvos and Chios in one day earlier this month. Also recently, 223 migrants arrived on Lesvos in one day, traveling on four boats. And just in the month of April, approximately 4,000 migrants entered the northern Greek region of Evros, which neighbors Turkey. It is in Evros where the government is now planning on constructing a new migrant registration and detention center.

As early as 2015, 90,000 migrants had passed through Lesvos — an island with a population of 85,000.

The Greek “justice” system, which the government is supposedly at war with but which never overtly issues decisions that would alter the neoliberal, pro-austerity, open borders status quo, has also gotten into the act. In an April decision by the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, new migrants will be able to reside in any region of Greece that they choose and will be able to move around the country freely.

The five NGO workers, three Spaniards and two Danes, acquitted on charges of human smuggling by a court on the island of Lesvos.

In another recent decision, a court on the island of Lesvos acquitted five foreigners—three Spaniards and two Danes—who were employed by NGOs, for helping smuggle “refugees” into Greece. Representatives of every Spanish political party were said to have attended the trial, Amnesty International condemned the charges against the men, while the interior minister of the Spanish region of Andalucia and the aforementioned SYRIZA MP Giorgos Pallis testified in their defense – despite recommendations by prosecutors that the five men be found guilty. What does this decision, and the “solidarity” the five men enjoyed by Greek and Spanish politicians, tell you?

“Opposition” politicians can also play this game, as evidenced by the case of PASOK’s Thanassis Chimonas, who in a post on Facebook which can no longer be located, called the parents of a school on the island of Chios who “expressed their reservations” about allowing migrant children to attend the school “morons” and their children “bastards.” It’s no wonder SYRIZA and the “new” PASOK are said to be warming to each other recently, eyeing a possible electoral collaboration. Tolerance above all.

The free-for-all, of course, has impacts beyond just Greece’s borders. Illustrating the ease with which a migrant can receive counterfeit official papers, an Albanian woman was recently arrested in Great Britain, who had used a fake Greek identification card to get a £72,000 kidney transplant. Looking at the issue on a global scale, backers of the “open borders” regime recently created a mobile app allowing undocumented migrants to evade federal officials in the United States.

Tension in the Aegean continues

As the Eastern Aegean continues to enjoy the apparent benefits of open borders, tensions with neighboring Turkey have continued. Turkish violations of Greek airspace and maritime waters are a daily reality, and in a recent incident, a Turkish cargo shipped rammed into a Greek warship near Lesvos. This comes just two months after a Turkish military vessel slammed into and damaged a Greek coast guard boat in the Aegean. The Turks also recently claimed that they removed a Greek flag from one of the aforementioned uninhabited islets in the Aegean. Efforts of islanders to place Greek flags on these small islands were the ones Vettas described as “shameful,” though he did not clarify whether Turkish flags, or better yet, EU flags would be preferable.

And while Turkey continues to indefinitely detain two Greek soliders who were captured near the border in the region of Evros, Greek “justice” minister Stavros Kontonis—a dead ringer for President Snow from The Hunger Games and with approximately the same moral compass—rushed to release two Turks captured in the port of Kyllini, just days after another Turkish citizen captured in the Evros region was also released.

On the left, President Snow of the Hunger Games. On the right, Greek justice minister Stavros Kontonis. Can you tell them apart?

It is this same Kontonis, who once “talked tough” against specific oligarchs and football team owners unfavorable to SYRIZA (read: Evaggelos Marinakis of Olympiacos) and threatened to allow “Grexit” (of Greek football teams from international competition, of course, not a Greek departure from the Eurozone, oh noes!) in order to “clean up” football (as exemplified by the pro-SYRIZA gun-toting oligarch Ivan Savvidis). The same Kontonis who recently granted clemency to a convicted drug trafficker and waived his 50,000 euro fine and ten-year prison sentence, allowing him to work in the public or private sector, continue his doctoral studies, and to receive a visa to live abroad. The same Kontonis who is rumored to have such a violent temper (just as long as it isn’t against favorable oligarchs, migrants, or drug dealers) that he sent his mother to the hospital, not once but three times.

Pushback against SYRIZA continues

Opposition continues to grow against an increasingly out-of-control SYRIZA government which is pushing open borders at all costs, while its stance on national issues ranges from apparent inaction (in the case of the Greek soldiers detained in Turkey or the increased aggression of Turkey in the Aegean) to utter treason (through SYRIZA’s “negotiations” with FYROM, where the government is practically begging FYROM to accept the name Macedonia in some form).

In a recent public opinion survey, conducted in April, 54 percent of respondents in Greeks stated their belief that the government’s handles relations with Turkey “wrongly” or “rather wrongly.” And during May Day commemorations in the city of Halkida, organizers demanded that a SYRIZA MP in attendance leave.

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One more step toward COMPLETE de-dollarization

Over the past several months, sitting here in Moscow, it has become increasingly obvious that while the US Dollar is unquestionably the world’s leading and liquid reserve currency, it comes with an ever increasing high price (of sovereignty and FX) if you are not the USA.

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I have opined and written about the trend towards de-dollarization before, but with the latest US –Turkish spat it has hit the wallets, mattresses and markets of a number of countries, be they aligned with Washington or not. One thing they all have in common was that in this recent era of low cost available money, many happily fed at the US dollar trough.

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This serves as a further albeit loud example to many nations for the need to diversify to an extent away from the greenback, or risk being caught up in its volatile, sudden and unpredictably risky increasingly politicized directions.

The Dollar and the geopolitical winds from Washington are today as never before openly being used as policy, which can be called the “carrot and stick”, a distinctly Pavlovian approach. Sadly, few if any can make out where or what the carrot is in this recent US worldview branding.

Tariffs, sanctions, pressured exchange rates, the Federal Reserve loosening or tightening, trade agreements and laws ignored or simply trashed… there is a lot going on which seems to democratically affect America’s allies as well as those on Washington’s politically popular and dramatic “poo-poo” list.

Just now from a press conference in Turkey, I watched Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov say that through the actions shown by the US, the role of the US dollar as a secure global reserve currency for free trade will diminish as more countries switch to national currencies for international trade.

He clearly spoke for many nations when he said; “It will make more and more countries that are not even affected by US sanctions go away from the dollar and rely on more reliable, contractual partners in terms of currency use.” Putting the situation in a nutshell he went on to say “I have already said this about sanctions: they are illegal, they undermine all principles of global trade and principles approved by UN decisions, under which unilateral measures of economic duress are unlawful.”

Turkey, a long-standing NATO ally and a key line of western defense during the long cold war years fully agreed with his Russian counterpart. The Turkish foreign minister Mr. Cavosoglu openly warned that US sanctions or trade embargoes can and are being unilaterally imposed against any country at any time if they do not toe DC’s political line.

He said at the same press conference; “Today, sanctions are imposed on Turkey, and tomorrow they can be used against any other European state. If the United States wants to maintain respect in the international arena, then it is necessary for it to be respectful of the interests of other countries.”

What is happening in Turkey is symptomatic of the developed and emerging markets globally. When trillions of dollars of newly issued lucre was up for grabs, thanks to several developed country central banks, it was comparatively easy for governments and companies just like Turkey’s to borrow funds denominated in dollars and not their national currencies.

Turkey has relied on foreign-currency debt more than most EM’s. Corporate, financial and other debt denominated mostly in dollars, approximates close to 70% of it’s economy. Therefore as the Turkish lira plunges, it is very costly for those companies to repay their dollar-denominated loans, and even now it is patently clear many will not.

The concern rattling around the underbelly of the global markets is what can be reasonably expected for assets and economies that were inflated by cheap debt, the United States included. All this points not so much to a banking crisis as has happened eight years ago, but a systemic financial market crisis.

This is a new one, and I doubt if any QE, QT, NIRPs, or ZIRPs will make much of a difference, despite the rocket-high equity markets the US has been displaying.

One financial trader I spoke to, whom I have known since the early 1980’s (and I thought him ancient then) muttered to me “we’re gettin’ into the ecstasy stage, nothing but the high matters, everything else including the VIX is seen as boring denial, and not the warning tool it is. Better start loading up on gold.”

Meanwhile, de-dollarization is ongoing in Russia and is carefully studied by a host of countries, especially as the Russian government has not yet finished selling off US debt; it still has just a few billion to go. The Russian Finance Minister A. Siluanov said this past Sunday that Russia would continue decreasing holdings of Treasuries in response to sanctions.

The finance minister went on to say that, Russia is also considering distancing itself from using the US dollar for international trade, calling it an unreliable, conditional and hence risky tool for payments.

Between March and May this year, Russia’s US debt holdings were sold down by $81 billion, which is 84% of its total US debt holdings, and while I don’t know the current figure it is certain to be even less.

The latest round of tightening sanctions screws against Russia were imposed by the State Department under a chemical and biological warfare law and should be going into effect on August 22. This in spite of the fact that no proof was ever shown, not under any established national or international law, or with any of several global biochemical conventions, not even in the ever entertaining court of public opinion.

Whatever Russia may continue to do in its relationship with US debt or the dollar, the fact of the matter is that Russia is not a heavyweight in this particular financial arena, and the direct effects of Russia’s responses are negligible. However, the indirect effects are huge as they reflect what many countries (allied or unallied with the US) see as Washington’s overbearing and more than slightly unipolar trade and geopolitical advantage quests, be they Mexico, Canada, the EU, or anyone else on any hemisphere of this globe.

Some of the potential indirect effects over time may be a similar sell-off or even gradual reduction of US debt exposure from China or any one of several dozens of countries deciding to reduce their exposure to US debt by reducing their purchases and waiting for existing Treasuries to mature. In either case, the trend is there and is not going away anytime soon.

When Russia clears its books of US dollarized debt, then who will be next in actively diversifying their US debt risk? Then what might be the fate of the US Dollar, and what value then will be the international infusions to finance America’s continually growing debt, or fuel the funds needed for further market growth? Value and the energy of money has no politics, it ultimately trends towards areas where there is a secure business dynamic. That being said, looks like we are now and will be living through the most interesting of disruptive times.

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The End Of The US Unipolar Moment Is Irreversible

The United States is in the terminal phase of its unipolar moment.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The past weeks have shown how part of the American establishment is weighing the pros and cons of the Trump administration’s strategies around the world. I have a strong feeling that in the coming weeks we will see the destabilizing effects of American politics, especially towards its closest allies.

A disastrous flip of events appears to be on its way, in case Trump were to lose the November midterm elections (the House and Senate elections). If this were to happen, the Trump administration would probably exploit the Russia gate conspiracy claiming that Moscow had now acted in favour of Democrats. Trump could argue that Moscow was disappointed by the lack of progress in softening US sanctions against Russia; indeed, by Trump’s measures against Russia (expulsions, sanctions, property seizures) and its allies (China, Iran and Syria).

Trump would not hesitate to claim Russian interference in the midterms to aid the Democrats, citing intelligence reports. He would say that Russia aims to create chaos in the US by placing roadblocks in the way of attempts to “Make America Great Again” and handing the House and Senate to the Democrats. He would use the electoral defeat to blame his accusers of getting aid from Russia. In doing so, he would be accelerating the implosion of his administration in an all-out war with the establishment. The mainstream media would dismiss Trump’s accusations against the Democrats of collusion with Russia as a conspiracy theory of an unravelling presidency. All this, summed up, would lead to the Democrats having majority in both houses, easily proceeding to the impeachment of Trump.

Italy is piggybacking on the US, operating side by side with Washington to expand its role in North Africa, especially in Libya. However, Rome will have to offer something in return to please Trump. Evidence points to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the quid pro quo, the US encouraging Italy to complete it in order to put pressure on Germany’s North Stream II project and undermine Russian gas deliveries to the EU. I have the impression that the only card available for Italy to play (and which interests Trump) is an endorsement of Washington’s positions on Iran, given that Italy already shares in common with Washington differences with Paris and Berlin on many issues. In this sense, Conte’s words about US intelligence info on the JCPOA paves the way for further decisions:

“”I didn’t take a specific stand. I said we are willing to evaluate the necessity to take more rigorous stances if the (nuclear) accord is shown to be ineffective. We are waiting to have elements of intelligence, Italy would like to evaluate it with its EU partners”

As evidence of Washington’s failed strategy towards Iran, India continues to buy crude oil from Iran, increasing the amount in the last month by 52%. China is also increasing its importation from Iran. Meanwhile, Iran is working with other countries to circumvent the US dollar in order to sustain their mutual trade within a new framework of agreements. Washington is especially disappointment with New Delhi, with American officials continuing to reiterate that India’s intentions align with Washington’s. Since November, with the imposition of counter-sanctions on countries that continue to work with Iran, Washington’s bluff will become evident to everybody, much to the disappointment of the Trump administration.

In the meantime, relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia have almost completely broken down on account of human rights. Ambassadors have been expelled and there is a continuing war of words, with trade between the two countries being brought to a stop. This is the latest example of the divisions manifesting themselves within the Western elites, with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration being in opposition to the likes of France, Germany and Canada.

What is also clear is that the issue of energy is central to Washington’s strategy. Between criticism of the German Nord Stream II and invitations to Italy to finish the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, it is clear that both the Trump administration and the policy makers of the deep state are strongly concerned about what actions allies and enemies could take to overcome the pressure brought to bear by Washington on the issues of energy, Iran, and sanctions. This shows that the US is very fearful of de-dollarization, especially coming from its allies.

Bypassing sanctions with currencies other than US dollar, or creating creative finance structures that bypass the SWIFT payment system, are the only means of maintaining relations between countries in spite of Washington’s sanctions. The US strategy is limited in the short term and certainly harmful in the long term for US Dollar financial hegemony.

That Washington’s allies are even entertaining such possibilities places US financial hegemony at great risk in the long run. This worries the American deep state a great deal, even without Trump, who in any case will not be in charge past 2024 (should he be re-elected in 2020).

One of the points of greatest tension is precisely this strategic difference between the Trump administration and the policy makers in the deep state (AKA Langley and Foggy Bottom). While the former can increase the pressure on allies (through NATO, the JCPOA, TTIP and TPP) to obtain immediate solutions and benefits, the latter must above all consider the effects in the medium and long term, which are often harmful for US interests. The imposition of sanctions on Iran, and the obligation of European allies to comply with this directive, is a prime example.

Another of Washington’s strategies revolves around the price of oil. The United States would have no problem seeing the price of crude oil skyrocket. Secretly, many in the administration hope that Iran will take the first false step by closing the Strait of Hormuz (Teheran will not make this move as things stand now); some even hope that the crisis between Canada and Saudi Arabia will have some impact on the cost of crude oil.

Even trade war and tariffs should be seen as part of Trump’s short-term strategy to demonstrate to his base that something is being done against countries that he thinks are taking advantage of the United States. In reality, Trump knows, or should know, that there is no way of stopping China’s growth, a result of globalization that has been the engine of free-market capitalism, making the western elite richer than ever before. Trump deceives his base with trade wars and tariffs, but in the long run the costs will be borne by American consumers, many of whom are Trump’s voters.

Trump thinks in the very short term, constantly aiming to present himself before his electors with a list of ticked boxes ( Peter Lavelle of Crosstalk gets trademark of this definition), confirming that he is fulfilling his electoral promises. In this way he hopes to win the midterms in November. To succeed in this endeavor, the economy must pick up to a gallop (for now this is happening thanks to a series of tax cuts and the continuous pumping of easy money from the Fed) and he must put pressure on his allies as well as aggressively confront Iran, Russia and China through sanctions, cutting energy supplies and forcing Tehran to negotiate once again the nuclear agreement.

What many analysts struggle with when trying to analyse Donald Trump is that there is no overarching strategy uniting his actions into a coherent policy. Trump acts extemporaneously, often with a very short strategic outlook and for internal political motivations.

Nevertheless, if there is something that worries the deep state, it is the long-term impact of tariffs, trade war, sanctions and impositions on allies; or, to put it most simply, de-dollarization. If there is anything that scares the Trump administration, it is remaining entangled in a destabilizing war with Iran that would lead to the early end of the Trump presidency and destroying its legacy, as Bush’s legacy was destroyed by Iraq.

In all this uncoordinated and inconsistent behaviour, there is the hope of a major rise in the price of oil that would help slow down China’s growth and transform the US shale-gas industry into an ultra-profitable business, further boosting the US economy and allowing Trump to present further evidence to his base of his ability to improve their lives.

The United States is in the terminal phase of its unipolar moment and is struggling to come to terms with the downsizing of its role in the world. Its ruling elite cannot accept the prospect of sharing power, preferring to oppose by all means possible the transition to a world order involving more powers. If this situation is already complex for any superpower enough to manage, a president has been elected who has little regard for compromise and mediation.

Ultimately, in addition to an obvious problem in defining Washington’s role in the world over the next few years, the United States finds itself with a president who is in almost open warfare with an important part of the US establishment. The deep state is still living on the hope of impeaching Trump to halt the loss of US influence, deluding themselves that things can return to how they were at the height of the unipolar moment in the 1990s.

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America’s Lengthening Enemies List

17th years in Afghanistan and America’s list of enemies continues to grow.

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick J. Buchanan


Friday, deep into the 17th year of America’s longest war, Taliban forces overran Ghazni, a provincial capital that sits on the highway from Kabul to Kandahar.

The ferocity of the Taliban offensive brought U.S. advisers along with U.S. air power, including a B-1 bomber, into the battle.

“As the casualty toll in Ghazni appeared to soar on Sunday,” The Wall Street Journal reported, “hospitals were spilling over with dead bodies, corpses lay in Ghazni’s streets, and gunfire and shelling were preventing relatives from reaching cemeteries to bury their dead.”

In Yemen Monday, a funeral was held in the town square of Saada for 40 children massacred in an air strike on a school bus by Saudis or the UAE, using U.S.-provided planes and bombs.

“A crime by America and its allies against the children of Yemen,” said a Houthi rebel leader.

Yemen is among the worst humanitarian situations in the world, and in creating that human-rights tragedy, America has played an indispensable role.

The U.S. also has 2,000 troops in Syria. Our control, with our Kurd allies, of that quadrant of Syria east of the Euphrates is almost certain to bring us into eventual conflict with a regime and army insisting that we get out of their country.

As for our relations with Turkey, they have never been worse.

President Erdogan regards our Kurd allies in Syria as collaborators of his own Kurdish-terrorist PKK. He sees us as providing sanctuary for exile cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan says was behind the attempted coup in 2016 in which he and his family were targeted for assassination.

Last week, when the Turkish currency, the lira, went into a tailspin, President Trump piled on, ratcheting up U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel. If the lira collapses and Turkey cannot meet its debt obligations, Erdogan will lay the blame at the feet of the Americans and Trump.

Which raises a question: How many quarrels, conflicts and wars, and with how many adversaries, can even the mighty United States sustain?

In November, the most severe of U.S. sanctions will be imposed on Iran. Among the purposes of this policy: Force as many nations as possible to boycott Iranian oil and gas, sink its economy, bring down the regime.

Iran has signaled a possible response to its oil and gas being denied access to world markets. This August, Iranian gunboats exercised in the Strait of Hormuz, backing up a regime warning that if Iranian oil cannot get out of the Gulf, the oil of Arab OPEC nations may be bottled up inside as well. Last week, Iran test-fired an anti-ship ballistic missile.

Iran has rejected Trump’s offer of unconditional face-to-face talks, unless the U.S. first lifts the sanctions imposed after withdrawing from the nuclear deal.

With no talks, a U.S. propaganda offensive underway, the Iranian rial sinking and the economy sputtering, regular demonstrations against the regime, and new sanctions scheduled for November, it is hard to see how a U.S. collision with Tehran can be avoided.

This holds true as well for Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Last week, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Russia for its alleged role in the nerve-agent poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British town of Salisbury.

Though the U.S. had already expelled 60 Russian diplomats for the poisoning, and Russia vehemently denies responsibility — and conclusive evidence has not been made public and the victims have not been heard from — far more severe sanctions are to be added in November.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is warning that such a U.S. move would cross a red line: “If … a ban on bank operations or currency use follows, it will amount to a declaration of economic war. … And it will warrant a response with economic means, political means and, if necessary, other means.”

That the sanctions are biting is undeniable. Like the Turkish lira and Iranian rial, the Russian ruble has been falling and the Russian people are feeling the pain.

Last week also, a U.S. Poseidon reconnaissance plane, observing China’s construction of militarized islets in the South China Sea, was told to “leave immediately and keep out.”

China claims the sea as its national territory.

And North Korea’s Kim Jong Un apparently intends to hold onto his arsenal of nuclear weapons.

“We’re waiting for the North Koreans to begin the process of denuclearization, which they committed to in Singapore and which they’ve not yet done,” John Bolton told CNN last week.

A list of America’s adversaries here would contain the Taliban, the Houthis of Yemen, Bashar Assad of Syria, Erdogan’s Turkey, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China — a pretty full plate.

Are we prepared to see these confrontations through, to assure the capitulation of our adversaries? What do we do if they continue to defy us?

And if it comes to a fight, how many allies will we have in the battles and wars that follow?

Was this the foreign policy America voted for?

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