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The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

July 17th, 2017


Eric Zuesse

Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at all. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn't even built on trading-blocs.

In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said:

In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties.17 After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States19, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly.20

It goes on to observe: "Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today,119 it is not uncontested on theoretical and empirical grounds. Empirical evidence appears to generally support the idea that increasing bilateral trade reduces the risk of bilateral conflicts.122 But studies can be found that support either side of the argument, predicting both a negative and positive relationship between trade and war.123"

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Putin and Trump Meet at G20

July 13th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

It took nearly six months after Trump’s ascension to power for both leaders to meet face-to-face for the first time.

Will a full-fledged summit follow in a mutually agreed on location? Having one won’t improve bilateral relations as long as neocons make policy in Washington, but at least it might foster a spirit of good will, hopefully to build on at a later time.

If past is prologue, odds against it are long, yet without trying, improved bilateral relations will remain unattainable. Putin and Trump met on the sidelines of the Hamburg, Germany G20 summit. Sergey Lavrov and Rex Tillerson participated in the talks. No one else was involved except translators for both leaders.

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US to Act Alone on North Korea

July 13th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Decades of US hostility toward Pyongyang could be resolved by America saying let’s talk, followed by officials of both countries meeting face-to-face for good faith discussions - something neocons infesting Washington reject.

Instead, the Trump administration intends instituting tougher anti-DPRK measures than already - stiffer sanctions and whatever else it has in mind.

Trump officials signaled policies coming to try strangling Pyongyang economically and financially, including more sanctions on China for failure to observe Washington rules.

The tougher US policies get, the more determined the DPRK becomes to strengthen its nuclear and ballistic missile deterrents, its best defense against possible US aggression.

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The Latest Trump/Russia Non-Scandal

July 13th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Another day, another bogus anti-Trump/Russia accusation.

The latest one comes from the disreputable NYT - gratuitous mudslinging its speciality, especially anything about Trump team and Russia.

On July 9, it claimed Donald Trump Jr. met with “Kremlin-connected lawyer (Natalya Veselnitskaya) for “promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign” - according three unnamed sources, another Times specialty.

Allegedly Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign manager at the time Paul Manafort were involved in the meeting. The Times cited unverified “confidential government documents” - perhaps nonexistent ones.

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Trump Chooses Confrontation Over Diplomacy with North Korea

July 13th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

America is a warrior state, naked aggression its main strategy of choice. Its deplorable record speaks for itself.

Under Republican and Democrat administrations, it doesn’t negotiate. It demands, using pressure, bullying and threats of naked aggression to enforce its will.

It’s how imperial powers operate, none more ruthless and dangerous globally than the USA. Its reckless agenda for unchallenged global dominance risks unthinkable nuclear war - humanity’s survival up for grabs if launched.

The Trump administration rejected the only way to ease Korean peninsula tensions. Jointly proposed by Russia and China, it calls for Washington and Pyongyang stepping back from the brink, categorically rejecting force, provocative moves, and bellicose rhetoric.

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Impeachment of President Trump Now Much More Likely The Trump-Qatar Scandal that Could End His Presidency

July 13th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

On the morning of Monday July 10th, broke online from three reporters at The Intercept — Ryan Grim, Ben Walsh, and Clayton Swisher — the headline, “Jared Kushner Tried and Failed to Get a Half-Billion Dollar Bailout from Qatar”, recounting events which could also have been titled (perhaps more interestingly) “Evidence Trump Sparked Saud Boycott of Qatar to Salvage His Fortune and that of Daughter Ivanka”. Here are key portions of that narrative, which will be introduced and accompanied by other details of this case, which add even more to the picture of the U.S. President’s using his political position so as to protect, and add to, the wealth of Donald Trump and, even more, of Ivanka Trump.

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Police State Tactics at G20

July 12th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Assembling and protesting against deplorable policies are universal rights.

Not in Hamburg, Germany at the G20. On Thursday, as leaders were arriving for July 7 and 8 talks, tens of thousands of largely peaceful demonstrators took to the streets.

Things weren’t calm for long. Police blocked them from marching through the city as planned. Violence its ranks provoked erupted, turning Hamburg into a battleground, using tear gas, water cannons and batons as weapons. Numerous arrests and injuries were reported. Under the slogan “Welcome to Hell,” dozens more protests are planned on Friday and Saturday.

Demonstrators oppose what G20 leaders support, including predatory capitalism, globalization adversing affecting billions worldwide, neoliberal harshness, ecocide, and endless wars of aggression, among other issues.

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NATO Chief Calls for Removing Nonexistent Russian Forces from Ukraine

July 12th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

On Monday, US-appointed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed “unwavering support” for the illegitimate, US-installed putschist regime - while visiting Kiev.

During a joint press conference with US-anointed, illegitimate president Petro Poroshenko, he voiced concern about continued hostilities in Donbass - irresponsibly blaming Russia, ignoring Kiev regime high crimes.

Addressing illegitimate parliamentarians, he said the only way to resolve ongoing conflict is for Russia to withdraw its “thousands of troops” from eastern Ukraine.

Where are they? No one can find them. How can “thousands” of Russian forces stay concealed? It’s easy when when they’re nowhere on Ukrainian territory - not now or earlier.

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The Big Lie Claiming Russia Aided Trump’s Candidacy Persists

July 12th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Lies repeated often enough get most people to believe them, especially when regularly featured in so-called news reports.

From the time Trump announced his candidacy in mid-June 2015, The NYT has been his lead antagonist, providing press agent services to Hillary throughout the campaign.

Its relentless attacks on Trump continued post-election and inauguration without letup. Daily reports blast him no matter what he does or doesn’t do.

There’s ample just cause to criticize his agenda, red meat material on his imperial wars, the harm they’ve inflicted on countless millions abroad, along with domestic policies serving wealth and power interests exclusively, ignoring the general welfare while falsely claiming otherwise. A similar campaign targets Russia, featuring a steady drumbeat of disinformation claims, notably alleged US election hacking and improper or illegal ties to Trump’s team.

The common Russia/Trumpgate media-mongering thread is disinformation viciousness to denigrate, weaken and remove him from office, along with preventing efforts to improve US/Russia relations.

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Putin/Trump Cybersecurity Cooperation?

July 12th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Following their meeting in Hamburg, Germany, Vladimir Putin said both leaders agreed to “create a working group and work together on how to jointly monitor security in cyberspace.”

Trump tweeted: “Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..”

“...We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!” A follow-up tweet said: “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!”

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