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While seeking relief from Trump’s tariffs, EU considers sanctions on Venezuela

But this course of action didn’t work out quite so well with the Iran deal

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Following Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord and reimposition of economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern country, the EU has been on a mission to find ways to work around or diametrically against those sanctions, citing the economic harm that would befall European firms who conduct business with or within Iran.

In this situation, one can see both how following America’s foreign policy, that America doesn’t particularly employ its policy in a manner that legitimately benefits the international community, but rather seeks solely after its own interests, which, in Venezuela, happen to deal with oil. Europe has been slamming the US for this, as of late, declaring that America cannot be perceived as ‘reliable’.

Additionally, the logic that the US employed for justifying its actions in withdrawing from the nuclear proliferation agreement with Iran, brokered under the Obama administration, didn’t truly hold water, and were patently false, especially with regards to the allegations that Iran was violating its role in the deal, which was utterly contradicted by the reports from the international organization which observes and polices Iran’s nuclear enrichment program on a very stringent basis.

This, together with the many other international actions and sanctions programs that America has engaged in have a long history of not being above board, and causing serious collateral damage to the livelihood and safety of millions of people in countries across the globe.

One may consider the Iraq wars, for example, which were embarked upon on the basis that Saddam was developing, and was in possession of, weapons of mass destruction; claims which were proven false, while the war further destabilized the Middle East and has led to untold death, destruction, suffering, and poverty.

Moreover, these actions, which Europe was more than happy to participate in, while cuddling up to Washington, have led to very serious problems for the European bloc, not the least of which is the migration crisis that followed them.

But apparently, Europe hasn’t learned its lesson from all of this, as Europe now proceeds to follow Washington’s lead and foreign policy relative to Venezuela, echoing allegations that Sunday’s presidential elections were illegitimate, despite the fact that over 150 international elections observers, including a former Spanish president, are declaring otherwise.

France24 reports:

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that “the EU and its member states will consider the adoption of adequate measures” as a result of the vote.

The elections took place “without complying with the minimum international standards for a credible process, not respecting political pluralism, democracy, transparency and rule of law,” the statement said.

It also cited “major obstacles” to the Venezuelan opposition taking part, adding that “numerous reported irregularities during the election day, including vote buying, stood in the way of fair and equitable elections”.

The reaction from Brussels came after President Donald Trump ratcheted up the pressure on Maduro following what the United States called a “sham” election by tightening American sanctions on Caracas.

Probably the best explanation for the EU’s thinking on this issue is that Europe is intending to use its solidarity with Washington’s perspective on Venezuela as a potential leverage while they attempt to negotiate with the Trump administration in a bid for a reprieve against Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, which also considers opening up Europe to American natural gas, as well as a limited trade deal, in much the same manner as was extended to the Chinese. The natural gas component, of course, is considered at a time while a cooperation with Russia to complete the North Stream 2 project is underway with Germany being the main European partner, providing another pipeline of Russian LNG to Europe.

The AFP reports:

The EU’s top trade official warned Tuesday that the bloc’s last-ditch bid to persuade US President Donald Trump to back off from stiff tariffs on metals imports from Europe was likely insufficient, as divisions emerged on how to face Washington.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom spoke as the EU’s 28 trade ministers met in Brussels to discuss an attempt to win a similar reprieve to the one handed to China, in time for a June 1 deadline.

They discussed a plan laid out by EU leaders last week for concessions including a limited EU-US trade deal as well as opening up the European market to US natural gas — if the exemption is granted.

“Is this going to be enough? I’m not sure frankly,” Malmstrom told a press conference after the talks.

Europe was hit by the shock steel and aluminium tariffs in March, part of the protectionist president’s threat of an “America First” trade war with Washington’s closest partners, including Canada, Mexico and Japan.

The US has twice suspended the duties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminium as talks with key allies continued.

“If we are exempted, then we are willing to engage in talks and see how we can facilitate trade relations,” said Malmstrom ahead of a closed door session of which very few details emerged.

She has spearheaded a series of talks with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a stalwart of Trump’s hardball tactics.

– ‘Allies, not vassals’ –

Europeans have struggled to align on how to respond to the Trump threat, with export powerhouse Germany calling for patience and France and the Netherlands urging a tougher line.

“We are allies but we are not vassals. Today is a moment of truth for the EU,” said French trade minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

But German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier warned of the dangers of souring ties with Europe’s closest ally.

“With an escalation not only on steel, but also other products, and also with regard to problems with Iran, Russia, we risk a lot more then just economic repercussions,” said Altmaier, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

To bridge the positions, the European Commission, the EU trade arm, has said it will refuse all trade talks with the United States unless Washington grants a permanent exemption from the tariffs at the end of the month.

But it is also discussing the concessions that the EU leaders agreed at a summit in Sofia last week.

Europe’s incentives come with a threat to retaliate against the US with European tariffs on American imports, including iconic items such as Harley-Davidson motorbikes and bourbon whiskey.

These counter-measures will officially become enforceable on June 20, but Germany is urging not to use them as long as talks with the US are ongoing.

– ‘Limited’ deal –

Any attempt to negotiate a trade deal, no matter how small, requires a mandate from member states.

The “limited” deal on offer would focus in particular on cars, a strategic sector that Trump has brought sharp attention to in several tweets that specifically targeted Germany — an auto powerhouse on its own.

EU leaders insist that there is no chance of relaunching the very unpopular TTIP talks, the major EU-US trade agreement torpedoed by Trump when he entered office last year.

At the request of the United States, Europeans are also ready to “deepen relations” in energy matters, in particular in the field of liquefied natural gas.

As a result of the shale gas boom, the US is avidly seeking new export markets and wants to compete with Russia and Norway, the EU’s current main gas suppliers.

The Europeans had a sort of diarrhea of the mouth last week as they reeled from Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, with all kinds of nasty things being said about Trump and his foreign policy. So now, the Europeans want a deal, and they are willing to compromise, as well as show forth their resolve by possibly sanctioning Venezuela. But that didn’t work out so well with the JCPOA.

Heads of State from Britain, France, and Germany, travelled to Washington to schmooze Trump into sticking with the Iran nuclear agreement, and Britain and France even showed just how good of a friend they were by joining in on a coordinated illegal military strike on Syria. But despite their pleas, and despite their now once again proven solidarity with Washington’s interests, Trump still went ahead and pulled out of the multilateral agreement.

With an immediate history of snubbing Europe’s interests, and a willingness to contravene them, is it really all that likely that Trump will compromise with Europe on the trade tariffs? But then, he just did something of the like with China. But China hasn’t been one of those partners in crime with America, and doesn’t have the same geopolitical interests that America has, so by cutting a compromise with Beijing, Washington technically has more ground to be gained by working with them, as well as averting a trade war that would severely impact the American economy.

Europe, on the other hand, can’t say the same, and their situation is a little bit different. Europe has a history of caving in to Washington, hence, there is no fear of loss for the Americans, as they’re pretty confident that they’ve got Europe in their hip pocket, and that they can dangle along Europe as far as they wish, regardless of how much they complain.

Therefore, the Europeans don’t have as much bargaining power, no trump cards to be played. China had the power to do real damage to the American economy, while the Europeans have far less clout, and a far weaker position at the table of international affairs relative to the USA, so it may not be as likely that the Europeans will get the answer they’re looking for, unless the USA thinks that it can use this as part of an arrangement to strike out at Russia’s North Stream project. Even if so, Washington likely won’t fondly consider that they had to go through all of this just to get Europe to capitulate on the matter, as the Europeans are supposed to be asking how high Washington wants them to jump, instead of trying to negotiate the action altogether.

 

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Euclides de oliveira pinto net

Covardes !!! São vassalos, não aliados !!! Confrontar Venezuela é prova da submissão da Europa !! Apoiar sionistas khazarians, que querem se apossar do petróleo venezuelano. Cambada de filhos da puta !!!

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

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1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

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Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

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