Bernie’s 2020 Long Game – Modern Diplomacy

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The wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and threats and violence against Latin
America, and imposition of sanctions on various nations, all can deface the United
States and its unpopular policy in the international community, set to protect
U.S. financial institutions.

Although the U.S. empire has already begun to crumble, U.S. President
Donald Trump’s policy has sped the process. The wrong policy of the U.S. administrations
has brought the nations to stand against the U.S. led-world order.

The U.S. has turned into the biggest threat to world peace with its duel
policies, violence in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and support for Saudi
Arabia and Israel. Obviously, the “regime change” in Venezuela, on the pretext
of democracy, is nothing but a cover-up in the U.S. policy to seize Venezuela’s
oil reserves.

 American democracy means supporting U.S. foreign policy,
privatization of public infrastructure, non-compliance with domestic laws and
compliance with U.S.-dominated global institutions. Decades of war and U.S.
military intervention, have brought nothing but violence, killing, and
destruction on planet earth.  

To the U.S., a country is considered democratic that follows its
leadership such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, otherwise, that country is
non-democratic and a foe. This policy is challenged by states like Iran,
Russia, China, Venezuela and others which don’t bow down to Washington’s policy
and seek to defend their own national interest.

Any international control system requires the rule of law to mediate in
the world challenges.  However, U.S. diplomacy contradicts international
law. The American diplomats claim their better judgment on the world allows
other nations to adopt a more prosperous lifestyle, and they don’t allow the
intervention of international laws in the U.S. policy and diplomatic
system. 

The U.S. has the “power of veto” in the United Nations that enables
Washington to prevent the adoption of any “substantive” resolution. In the
World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), they can easily veto any
policy or loan. Without such powers, no international organization will join
the United States.

Without having the power of veto, the U.S. doesn’t recognize the verdict
of and authorities in the international court of Justice. If sentences issued
by The Hague Court oppose the U.S. policy, they will be considered inadmissible
to the U.S. For example, the verdicts issued on U.S. war crimes in Iran and
Afghanistan, human rights abuse, and illegal sanctions are not recognized by
Washington. 

In September of last year, Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton,
a hawkish politician, strongly criticized the International Criminal Court and
said, “The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens
and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”

Senior judge Christoph Flugge from Germany resigned from one of the UN’s
international courts in The Hague in objection to the U.S. that had threatened
judges after moves were made to examine the conduct of U.S. soldiers in
Afghanistan. 

Bolton vowed that the United States would retaliate by banning ICC
judges and prosecutors from entering the U.S., imposing sanctions on any funds
they had in the States and prosecuting them in the American court system. “If
the court comes after us, Israel, or other U.S. allies we will not sit
quietly,” he said, also threatening to impose the same sanctions on any country
that aided the investigation. Bolton held a speech last September in which he
wished death on the international criminal court. “We will let the ICC die on
its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead.”

The central banks of states have long maintained their gold and other
monetary reserves in the U.S. and UK. Perhaps the approach seemed logical in
1945; however, the U.S. and UK orchestrated 1953 coup d’état against Mohammad
Mosaddegh, Iran’s prime minister, who nationalized Iran’s oil, and the Iranian
revolution of 1979 which led to overthrow of the Shah, the American courts
blocked Iran’s assets in the U.S. The movements showed that the IMF is an arm
of the U.S. Department of State and the Pentagon. In today’s global politics,
international finance and foreign investment have become leverage against
nations who won’t bow down to U..S policies.

Lately, foreign countries are apprehensive about their gold holdings in
the U.S. They know full well that their assets can be blocked unilaterally by
the U.S. if Washington’s interests are threatened. That is why in 2017, Germany
decided to repatriate half of its gold reserves from the U.S. The U.S.
authorities have considered the act an insult to their own civilized
state. 

Now, it’s Venezuela’s turn. The country called on the Bank of England to
return $1.2 billion of its reserved gold to repair the economy, which has been
hurting by the American sanctions.

The Bank of England, however, froze Venezuelan gold asset following Mike
Pompeo United States Secretary of State and Bolton’s instruction. Bloomberg
wrote that the U.S. handed control of Venezuela’s bank accounts in the U.S. to
the opposition leader Juan Guaido to have a better chance to control the
self-claimed government. 

In late January, a rumor broke out that a Russian Boeing 777 that had
landed in Caracas to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the
country’s central bank, amounting to $840 million in return for food and
medicine. Although Moscow rejected the report, the Nicolás Maduro government
has the right to purchase food for the Venezuelans who are under brutal U.S.
sanctions by the country’s gold reserve. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio called the
act “stealing money” as if Maduro is a criminal for trying to reduce the
pressure of U.S. unfair sanctions against his people.  

The European countries, too, have to abide by the U.S. policy,
otherwise, they will be threatened to sanctions. For instance, if the European
Union wishes to remain committed to the Iran deal, it will have to surrender to
the U.S. pressure and sanctions. European states have realized that Bolton and
Pompeo’s threats can lead to confiscation of their assets by the U.S.  

The U.S. threats are not merely military but a cyber-attack is a way of
confronting an enemy and crashing its economy. The main cyber money transfer is
led by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)
which is based in Belgium. Some countries are developing an alternative money
transfer system to protect themselves against U.S. threats.
 
In late January, Germany, France, and England launched INSTEX, a trade tool to
counter U.S. sanctions in support of trade with Iran and other countries.
Although for Iran, INSTEX is nothing but a similar U.S. humanitarian aid to
Venezuela, for Europe it may be a way out of U.S. opposition to transporting
Russian gas from Nord Stream to the European continent.

The U.S. energy official warned European official of the risk posed by
relying too heavily on Russia’s cheap gas and offered plans to sell America’s
liquid natural gas (LNG) at a higher price to Europe through ports, which don’t
exist for high volume yet. Trump stresses The North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) members spend two percent of its gross domestic product (GDP)
on weapons, preferably from the U.S. and not German or French.
 
It seems the IMF is administered from the Pentagon in Washington. Undoubtedly,
Europe is aware of losing its international financial ties.
At the funeral of George H. W. Bush, EU diplomats were at the bottom of the
list of candidates to sit in their seats; the United States no longer considers
the European Union as a credible entity.
 In December, Mike Pompeo delivered a speech on Europe in Brussels, in
which he admired the virtues of nationalism, criticized multilateralism and the
European Union, and said that “international institutions” that dominated
national sovereignty “must be corrected or deleted. 

On Twitter, Pompeo says with a mockery: “Europe was an enemy of Europe.
But it was Germany in World Wars 1 and 2. How did that work out for France?
They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for
NATO or not!”
The idea of creating a European army has been discussed in the European Union.
The initial offer was from Germany, and then Macron in the commemoration of the
centennial of the end of the First World War in France.

Sigmar Gabriel, former foreign minister of Germany, said in February
2018 at the Foreign Policy Forum in Berlin “that it’s time for Germany and
Europe to put their agenda on the agenda because the United States no longer
sees the world as a global community or shared interests.

French President Charles de Gaulle long ago believed that no nation
could be considered an independent state and ordered the withdrawal of France
from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1996.

Europe is at risk and knows it too, but it doesn’t have many options
ahead. It has to choose either to use the historic opportunity to gain
political, and economic independence, or give in to U.S. policy while it awaits
the fall of U.S. which will jeopardize its economic and political future. 

First published in our partner Tehran
Times



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