The Sub “Buga-Boo”

Since taking office Pres. Biden (I did not vote for him or the other guy) there have been a couple of major missteps in American foreign policy…..first misstep was the withdrawal from Afghanistan…..the the next was the nuclear sub for Australia….to which France got a bad case of ‘butt hurt’…..

As most people that visit here know that I am a foreign policy fanatic…..so when visiting a fiend’s blog, Doug at The Independent Knight, I read his post on the mash-up between France’s Macron and Biden over a sub for Australia…..

 
(Visit Doug’s site when you can….very interesting reading)
 
For those that did not know the extent of the mash-up with France…..here is a bit of background for clarity….
 
 
So after all the hoopla Biden has come to the conclusion that he may have pissed in his chili….and now he is trying to make nice….
The US and France moved toward making up Wednesday, after Presidents Biden and Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone, but the nations suggested they have a lot of work ahead to rebuild shattered trust. It was the first time the two had spoken since Biden announced a new security alliance with the UK and Australia and France expressed its anger at being surprised by the news and left out of the deal. In the language of diplomacy, ABC reports, the US and France issued a joint statement after the phone call saying, “The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners.”

The statement added, “President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.” France had pointed out last week that that sort of consultation is supposed to be routine among allies. French officials had also warned that their anger would not be fleeting, and all indications are that the rift is not yet healed. Biden and Macron plan to meet in Europe at the end of next month, possibly around the G20 summit in Italy. But they might also meet somewhere else, per the New York Times, to show they’re working on this. France has recalled its ambassador to the US but said Wednesday that Philippe Étienne will return to Washington next week.

He’ll be busy, officials from both administrations said, starting “intensive work with senior U.S, officials.” The presidents will lead the way themselves through “a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence.” The official record shows no mention of an apology, but a French official said “consultations that should have taken place did not,” which he said “poses a question of confidence whose consequences must be reviewed together.” The chastening seems to indicate both sides consider the matter important, per CNN. Macron is up for reelection in about six months.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, has said the Biden administration’s move reminded him of something former President Trump might do, and he wasn’t alone on that point. A Le Monde editorial said, “For any who still doubted it, the Biden administration is no different from the Trump administration on this point: The United States comes first.” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday that he planned to avoid Macron at the UN this week, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson mocked France’s concern in two languages. “I just think it’s time for some of my dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip about this and donnez moi un break,” Johnson said in Washington.

I see Macron got over being ‘butt hurt’…..Apparently this was just a news making event for Macron…..a political ploy since his numbers are not as good as he wants.

As a foreign policy wonk I am not very impressed with the Biden admin…..they are still spread weapons around the world like peanut butter…humanitarian crises are still running rampant…..and the beginnings of a new Cold War….nothing very impressive whatsoever.

Biden has learned nothing from his many decades in government employ…he is nothing but another warmonger in peace-nik clothing.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Word Of Warning

Unfortunately we live in a country and a world that seems to be in constant chaos…..politically, climate, socially….everything seems to be in flux.

We have been warned for many years of most of the problems we have today but as usual we are too damn arrogant to listen the the predictions…..

There is no more warning that we need to hear and hopefully understand….

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has issued a dire warning that the world is moving in the wrong direction and faces “a pivotal moment” where continuing business as usual could lead to a breakdown of global order and a future of perpetual crisis. Changing course could signal a breakthrough to a greener and safer future, he said. The UN chief said the world’s nations and people must reverse today’s dangerous trends and choose “the breakthrough scenario,” the AP reports. The world is under “enormous stress” on almost every front, he said, and the pandemic was a wake-up call demonstrating the failure of nations to come together and take joint decisions to help all people in the face of a global life-threatening emergency.

Guterres said this paralysis extends far beyond COVID-19 to the failures to tackle the climate crisis and “our suicidal war on nature and the collapse of biodiversity,” the inequality undermining the cohesion of societies, and technology’s advances “without guardrails to protect us from its unforeseen consequences.” In other signs of a more chaotic and insecure world, he pointed to rising poverty, hunger, and gender inequality after decades of decline, the extreme risk to human life and the planet from nuclear war and a climate breakdown, and the inequality, discrimination, and injustice bringing people into the streets to protest “while conspiracy theories and lies fuel deep divisions within societies.”

In a horizon-scanning report presented to the General Assembly and at a press conference Friday, Guterres said his vision for the “breakthrough scenario” to a greener and safer world is driven by “the principle of working together, recognizing that we are bound to each other and that no community or country, however powerful, can solve its challenges alone.” The report—”Our Common Agenda”—is a response to last year’s declaration by world leaders on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and the request from the assembly’s 193 member nations for the UN chief to make recommendations to address the challenges for global governance. In today’s world, Guterres said, “Global decision-making is fixed on immediate gain, ignoring the long-term consequences of decisions—or indecision.”

Something we should be concerned about….but instead we spend all our energy on mundane wedge issues….and all the while the world slips further down the rabbit hole.

So sad!  So pathetic!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Please, Return Sanity To Foreign Policy

The problem with our foreign policy is that the government is no longer in charge of directing the direction….

“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,” Goldberg wrote, quoting Ledeen.

Those like Ledeen, the neoconservative intellectual henchman type, often get away with this kind of provocative rhetoric for various reasons. American intelligentsias, especially those who are close to the center of power in Washington DC, perceive war and military intervention as the foundation and baseline of their foreign policy analysis. The utterances of such statements are usually conveyed within friendly media and intellectual platforms, where equally hawkish, belligerent audiences cheer and laugh at the war-mongering muses. In the case of Ledeen, the receptive audience was the hardline, neoconservative, pro-Israel American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Predictably, AEI was one of the loudest voices urging for a war and invasion of Iraq prior to that calamitous decision by the George W. Bush Administration, which was enacted in March 2003.

US Foreign Policy Adrift: Why Washington is No Longer Calling the Shots

For too long the US has pursued a policy on the international stage of intervention….diplomacy has taken a back seat to the use of force thanks to the influence of the war industry on our foreign policy…..time for that to change….time to return to the days where diplomacy was the first reaction and not the use of extreme force.

The group Win Without War has some fine points that would go about returning sanity to our foreign policy….

. Our foreign policy is intimately interlinked with our domestic policy, so we must apply our shared values to the United States’ engagement abroad just as we do at home. The militarization of our foreign policy is intertwined with the militarization of our own society, whether in policing, incarceration and deportation, mass surveillance, or the rise of hateful ideologies like anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism. At home and abroad, we must commit to advance policies of liberation and work to dismantle policies that subjugate Black, brown, and other disenfranchised communities. Our foreign policy must fulfill the same values of human rights, justice, and self-determination we seek at home by reinforcing intersectional grassroots movements to win real change.

People in the United States have the right to personal safety – as do peoples all around the globe. Endless wars, the empowerment of autocrats and human rights abusers, and the pursuit of the interests of the few at the expense of the many will not keep us safe. The United States’ safety depends on building security for all people around the world, not simply on the might of our military. Only by helping to make others secure will we ourselves become more secure.

. For too long we have applied the use of military force to a variety of security challenges that do not have military solutions, with disastrous results. Most security challenges do not have a military solution, nor does every security challenge present an existential threat to the United States. We believe that the U.S. must reorient its national security framework to be based on conflict prevention, locally-led development, democratic governance reform, accountability, and peacebuilding, and avoid policies that foment more conflict.

Principles of a Progressive Foreign Policy for the United States

I find their approach is something I can support…..and in 2024 I will be looking for a candidate that embraces a more sane foreign policy.

It maybe is just wishful thinking for as long as money and donations drive the politics in this country I will once again not vote for a winner.

But once again I can say that while I voted for a loser I have not compromised my principles that I have held for 50 years.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time For The US To Reassess

It is the 21st century and the US needs to reassess so many policies that have been in effect for over a century…..we need to reassess so many issues and so little time.

But for this post I will be talking about one of our allies….an ally that pays dearly for political control of the government and the media, the two sectors that control our thinking…..

This time it is Israel……

Israeli has issued a threat to the world….

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday said Israel “reserves the right” to act against Iran to stop it from obtaining nuclear weapons if the rest of the world doesn’t take action.

“The world needs to stop Iran from getting a nuclear capability, no matter the price. If the world doesn’t do it, Israel reserves the right to act,” Lapid said in Moscow while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Israel is constantly claiming that Iran is racing to develop a nuclear bomb when that is not the case. Iran’s current nuclear activity includes enriching uranium at 60 percent, the highest level Iran has ever attempted. But this is still well below the 90 percent needed for weapons-grade uranium, and it is only being done in response to Israeli covert attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.

Like other Israeli officials, Lapid pretends Israel doesn’t have nuclear weapons and claimed if Iran obtains a nuclear bomb, it would “lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”

(antiwar.com)

Who do these little piss ant holy rollers think they are?

And why would the US who many thinks is the most powerful country on the planet take these threats seriously?

Then they issue a warning to the US….

This time Israel was cautioned the US over criticisms…..

According to a report from The Times of Israel, Israeli officials have cautioned their counterparts in the Biden administration against heavily criticizing Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Israeli concern is that if the US puts too much pressure on the Arab nations, they will become more friendly with Tehran.

An Israeli source told the Times that while Israel is mainly concerned with the Arab nations forming friendly ties with Iran, they also fear US pressure could make them more reliant on Russia and China.

While Israel has had diplomatic ties with Egypt for decades and doesn’t have formal relations with Saudi Arabia, a major aspect of the recent US push for normalization between Israel and Arab states was to isolate Iran. Trump administration officials frequently cited Iran as a reason to broker the Abraham Accords, which normalized ties between Israel and several countries, including the UAE and Bahrain.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

We have been cautioned?

To that I say ‘bite me’….who is Israel to caution anyone?

Time for us to reassess our relationship with Israel….

In April 1996, Israeli artillery shells rained down on a United Nations compound where hundreds of civilians were taking refuge. As the shells exploded and the building collapsed, 106 civilians died and another 116 were injured.

The attack, now known as the Qana Massacre, was part of a larger Israeli offensive known as Operation Grapes of Wrath, a 16-day campaign of aggression in southern Lebanon.

The United Nations investigated the Qana Massacre and determined the Israeli shelling was deliberate. Then-UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghani condemned the attack, writing it was “all the more serious because civilians, including women and children, had sought refuge” in the compound the Israelis destroyed.

The commander of the unit that launched the assault was a man named Naftali Bennett, who’d go on to boast, “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.”

Bennett, of course, is now Israel’s prime minister. And on August 25, he arrived for a visit at the White House.

It’s Time To Reassess Our Relationship With Israel

This bloodthirsty lot does not deserve and quarter until they start acting like a responsible member of the world society….this ‘David vs Goliath’ bullshit is archaic and does NOT deserve any support from any nation.

But sadly the cash that flows into politician’s wallets will determine the outcome of this proposal……allowing Israel to be held to a lower standard than other countries the US criticizes…..

Their cash buys a lot of ‘looking the other way’….and their media friends do all possible to make Israel look like a victim….

I have been calling for this reassessment since the murderous attack by Israel on a US unarmed ship, USS Liberty, an attack that killed 34 American sailors and injured 171….and Israel has NEVER been held accountability for this cowardly attack…..they are murderers.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Those Unwinnable Wars

Some of have asked for many years just how this country is so terrible at winning wars after such a success in WW2.

Think not?

What was the last won by the US in the last 80 years?

….Pause here for further thought….

Can’t think of one?

Why is that?

Washington’s attempts to back pro-U.S. foreign movements against incumbent regimes have amassed a similar dismal track record. Under the so-called Reagan Doctrine in the 1980s, the United States funded and equipped a number of anti-communist rebel organizations that were trying to oust left-wing regimes in the Third World. The most prominent cases included the Contras in Nicaragua and Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA faction in Angola. Both of those insurgencies ultimately failed to take power. In only one case was Washington’s support for an insurgency successful during that era – backing the mujahidin against the Soviet Union’s occupation forces in Afghanistan. However, that outcome was especially ironic, since many of the mujahidin alumni later showed up in the Taliban. Moreover, the collapse of Moscow’s client regime in Afghanistan foreshadowed what would happen to America’s client in that country. In both cases, a government that a foreign power helped install and prop-up eventually collapsed because of a lack of meaningful domestic roots.

Why US Foreign Clients Collapse – and Collapse Fast

Further thoughts on this is an article from 2018 that tries to explain the reasoning…….

“When I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say we never lost a war,” Trump told a group of US governors last February. “Now, we never win a war.”

Dominic Tierney, a professor at Swarthmore College and the author of multiple books about how America wages war, may know the reason why.

He believes the US can still successfully fight the wars of yesteryear — World War-style conflicts — but hasn’t yet mastered how to win wars against insurgents, which are smaller fights against groups within countries. The problem is the US continues to involve itself in those kinds of fights.

“We’re still stuck in this view that war is like the Super Bowl: We meet on the field, both sides have uniforms, we score points, someone wins, and when the game ends you go home,” he told me. “That’s not what war is like now.”

The US military is currently mired in conflicts in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. It’s hard to see any end in sight — especially an end where the United States is the victor, however that’s defined.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

https://www.vox.com/2018/2/15/17007678/syria-trump-war-win-interview

Let’s be honest wars of today are not really about saving the world, the rhetoric is but reality is that it is more about making cash out of destruction and death……the plans maybe about the end game but when since 1954 has it ever worked out?

Disappointing experiences should create an indelible lesson for future US policymakers. The United States usually cannot successfully identify and install capable governments in foreign countries. That point is especially true in societies that are vastly different from American culture in nearly every aspect. We can’t fully comprehend such key factors as their unique histories, religions, economics, and politics. In short, we don’t understand such alien cultures and cannot even begin to shape them effectively to serve Washington’s foreign policy objectives. US leaders keep choosing clients who make statements that echo American values. Even in the rare cases when such clients are sincere, they typically have little domestic support and even less ability to organize their faction effectively. The Afghanistan fiasco is just the latest confirmation of that reality.

War has become an extension to the term “business as usual”…..that needs to change and change NOW!

But as long as the corporations can own a representative then they are guaranteed a steady income for generations.

The people no longer have a vote in war….corporate owned media sees to that and in doing so mutes the voice and the will of the people.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Ten Days in August

After the expenditure of trillions…. Cost of Afghan War: $2.3 trillion on a single war for 20 years the US is pulling out of Afghanistan…..

As they pull their troops the Taleban has started slowly taking control of various parts of the country.

A Return To 1990?

In just 10 days the Taleban has gone from pockets of guerilla fighters to control of the country.

The Afghan president splits the country as the Taleban takes control of the nation….and the Taleban sets about a new government…..

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is being reported as likely president of the new Taliban government, though conflicting reports say former Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali would head a transitional government.

Baradar has been presented as a relatively moderate figure in the Taliban for years, and this likely will make him more palatable than some other hardliners for the world. Baradar also served as a chief negotiator for the Taliban in Doha.

Taliban officials are openly announcing the reestablishment of Afghanistan as an Islamic Emirate and trying to reassure the public about the fate of Kabul.

(antiwar.com)

Kabul has fallen (a great name for an action film) and chaos reins…..

Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Sunday fell to the Taliban, completing the militant group’s takeover of the country so quickly even the Taliban’s co-founder admitted in an evening video statement that the group was surprised at the speed. Hours earlier, the Taliban had entered Kabul as Afghanistan’s president fled. The militants quickly seized the presidential palace, the BBC reports, claiming victory as the government collapsed after the two-decade-long presence of a US-led coalition in the country ended. “The war is over,” a spokesperson declared. More:

  • Chaos: The word is being used in numerous articles about the state of Afghanistan, with residents and foreigners alike reportedly trying to get out; some people reportedly abandoned their cars and fled for the border on foot. A witness at Kabul’s international airport says people were scrambling to get on planes and airport staffers had fled their posts.

Is this just another Vietnam?

SecState Blinken made it clear that it was not….

Blinken claimed “this is manifestly not Saigon.” The secretary of state continued to insist that the U.S. accomplished the goals from when it went into Afghanistan 20 years ago, and he echoed Biden’s statement by saying they were working “with a deadline established by the previous administration to get them out by May 1st.”

Think about that statement for a moment.

He Lied!

20 years…..AQ attacked the US and after about 5 years it had been neutered….so why the next 15 years?

Plus sorry dude but it looks a lot like a repeat of 1975 to me.

Now think about the Afghan army….U.S. military commanders have assured the public they are making progress on the cornerstone of their war strategy: to build a strong Afghan army and police force that can defend the country on their own.

And the manure spreading continued…..“The Afghan forces are better than we thought they were,” Marine Gen. John Allen told Congress in 2012. “The Afghan national security forces are winning,” Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson told reporters in 2014.

What about all that optimism and the cash spent to prepare the Afghans…..

The vast majority of spending in Afghanistan has come from the US.

Between 2010 to 2012, when the US for a time had more than 100,000 soldiers in the country, the cost of the war grew to almost $100bn a year, according to US government figures.

And yet all that cash and training and the Afghan military lasted just 9 days against the onslaught of the Taleban.

So was all that money well spent?

Over the last 20 years, we’ve heard dozens of rationales, justifications and excuses for the US occupation of Afghanistan, all of them now exposed as hollow (or worse). There’s been no “nation-building,” the status of women has not been elevated or protected, the army and security forces have not been “trained” and “modernized,” opium poppy production has not been eradicated, militant groups have not been eliminated, sectarian strife has not lessened, the influence of Pakistan’s ISI has not been blunted. But American contractors and weapons makers have made tens of billions, year after year, for two decades, on long-term, no-bid contracts, many of the companies run by retired officials from the Pentagon and CIA, with little to no oversight or accountability. The Afghan war and occupation was one of history’s longest gravy trains, feeding govt. guaranteed profits to some of the most unsavory operators in the country, as 1000s of Afghans perished, and every time someone tried to stop it, they were shouted down with one word: “terrorism.”

The manure was spread and we now see that it was all BS….so now is the time for some actions as punishment for the LIES spread and the deceptions taken…..

If, after the horrors of this week in Afghanistan, the 4-Starry-eyed generals responsible for this 20-year March of Folly are not held accountable, there will be still worse to come. None were held accountable for the disasters of Vietnam or Iraq, and now the allegedly smart 4-Star Generals and Admirals are – get this – preparing for war with China and Russia.

Hold the Generals Accountable This Time

This war has been a boom for the defense industries….and that is the true story of 20myears in Afghanistan.

Time for answers to all those questions that were lied about in the past…..time for accountability…..and time for this sort of nation-building BS to end and money spent where it is needed…in this COUNTRY!

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Return To 1990?

Once again in Afghanistan an occupying force pulls out and the Taleban expands its muscle…..that was the story in 1990 after the USSR decided to pull out of the country….and now it is happening all over again.

As the US pulls its troops from Afghanistan the Taleban jumps on the vacuum created to exert its dominance once again…..

Fighting across northern Afghanistan continued after massive weekend losses,with a sixth provincial capital having fallen to the Taliban. This time, the small town of Aybak, capital of Samangan, fell Monday afternoon.

It’s not as big of a lost like cities like Sar-e Pul and Kunduz, but shows that the Taliban’s huge weekend offensive did not necessarily end at the end of the weekend. This continues a trend that could rapidly leave the north of Afghanistan in Taliban hands.

In addition to those cities, the Taliban also took Sheberghan, Taloqan, and the southwestern capital of Nimruz. The Afghan government is focusing on a new propaganda push, focusing on selling the idea that losing five capitals in two days isn’t that big a deal.

Losing all these cities, including Kunduz and the already fallen Lashkar Gah, is already a big deal, and with the Taliban pushing on places like Herat, more could be lost. Afghan forces are off-balance and the Taliban is showing surprising confidence.

The loss of Aybak is another blow to the situation, doubly so because MPs say it fell without a fight. It’s not a big city, but given all the territory losses it would be strange for the government to not at least try to muster a defense.

The Taliban issued a statement later Sunday saying there had been no deal on a ceasefire yet, and warning the US against trying any further intervention. The Biden Administration has ordered B-52 bombers into the mix, and past comments suggest they’re going to continue to intervene to prevent a total Taliban victory.

(antiwar.com)

The more things change the more they remain the same.

Just like when the USSR pulled out the Taleban has swiftly taken control……

Major territory losses over the weekend were an ominous sign for the Afghan government. Five provincial capitals fell, suggesting a costly new stage in the war. A sixth capital fell Monday, and on Tuesday, two more.

Tuesday’s losses include the Baghlan capital of Pul-e Khumri and Farah, cutting deeper into territory in northern Afghanistan and the west. The Taliban also contested Mazar-e Sharif, though the military has so far managed to repel them.

EU officials are estimating that the Taliban now control some 65% of Afghanistan. Afghan officials had previously downplayed the percentages, arguing that the government controlled almost all of the cities. After the past few days, that’s plainly no longer the case.

The Pul-e Khumri loss followed one of the more disturbing trends for the Afghan military: the city fell without a major battle. The troops fled into the desert, and are headed to a nearby military base.

On top of all of this, Mazar-e Sharif is still on the table, as is Herat. Kandahar, one of the biggest cities of all, is also contested. These are some potentially big losses that could easily happen on top of what’s already happened.

(antiwar.com)

Not to worry the US will continue airstrikes that kill without mercy or distinction….

Every bomb dropped is money in the defense industry’s bank account….so this will continue unmercifully….and civilians will pay the ultimate price.

I Read, I Write, you Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Global Minimum Tax

Biden’s Sec Treasury recently proposed a policy that I can get on-board with (there are some few that I can support)…….

Now it appears that more and more countries are signing on to this policy…..
Some 130 countries have backed a global minimum tax as part of a worldwide effort to keep multinational firms from dodging taxes by shifting their profits to countries with low rates. The agreement announced Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development also provides for taxing the largest global companies in countries where they earn profits through online businesses but may have no physical presence. The agreement followed a proposal from President Biden for at least a 15% rate, an initiative that propelled the talks toward meeting a deadline for a deal by the middle of this year. The deal now will be discussed by the Group of 20 countries at meetings later this year, the AP reports, in hopes of finishing the details in October and implementing the agreement in 2023.
 
Under the deal, countries could tax their companies’ foreign earnings if they go untaxed through subsidiaries in other countries. That would remove the incentive to use accounting and legal schemes to shift profits to low-rate countries, since the profits would be taxed at home anyway. Not all of the 139 countries that joined the talks signed on to the deal. The proposal to tax countries where they have sales but no physical presence, which would require countries to sign up for a multilateral convention, excluded extractive companies such as oil and mining and regulated banks. The deal now faces more technical work and review by the Group of 20 countries. In the US, Biden has proposed a 21% minimum rate on overseas earnings of big US companies to deter them from shifting profits to tax havens. Biden’s US tax would need to be approved by Congress.
Like I said….I believe this is a much needed tax policy….
 
We will see just how effective it truly is or is this just a tactic to quell some larger issues.
 
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Biden-Putin Gab Fest

Yesterday the leaders of Russia and the US had a couple of talks….and they went something like this…..

President Biden spoke to the media after meeting Vladimir Putin in Geneva Wednesday—and he said he had assured the Russian leader that his agenda “is not against Russia or anybody else. It’s for the American people.” Putin, who held the first press conference, said Biden was “very different from Trump.” Highlights from Biden’s conference:

  • “Human rights will always be on the table.” Biden said he had raised human rights issues including Alexei Navalny and the cases of Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, two former Marines now in Russian prisons, the Guardian reports. “Human rights will always be on the table,” Biden said.
  • Action on cyberattacks. Biden said he agreed with Putin to have more discussions on cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks, the AP reports. He said 16 kinds of critical infrastructure, including energy and water systems, should be considered off-limits to cyberattacks “period.” “I pointed out, if they violate basic norms, we will respond,” Biden said.
  • “I did what I came to do.” Biden described the overall tone of the summit as “positive” and said much was achieved, the Guardian reports. “I did what I came to do,” he said.
  • “Devastating” consequences if Navalny dies. Biden told reporters that Russia is “desperately trying to maintain its standing” as a major world power and losing this status would be among the consequences Moscow could face it if continues to interfere in elections—or if Navalny dies in prison. “I made it clear to him the consequences would be devastating,” Biden said.
  • “There were no threats.” Biden said no “threats” were made during the summit, “just simple assertions made.” He said the coming months will be a test of whether progress can be made. “It was … somewhat colloquial, and we talked about basic, basic fundamental things,” he said, per CNN. “I think the last thing he wants now is a cold war,” he said of Putin.
  • Capitol comparison “ridiculous.” Biden said Putin’s comparison of Russia’s jailing—or worse—of political opponents to charges against Capitol rioters was “ridiculous.”
  • “This isn’t about trust.” ABC reports that when Biden was asked if he thought he could now trust Putin, he said the summit wasn’t about trust. “This is about self-interest and verification of self-interest,” he said. Biden put his sunglasses on and started walking away from the podium after a reporter asked he if had reconsidered his 2011 remarks that Putin has no soul, the Guardian reports.
  • One last exchange. Biden had a testy exchange with reporters after walking away from the podium, the BBC notes. He told a reporter that his remarks did not mean that he was confident Putin would change his behavior. “If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business,” he said when asked by CNN’s Kaitlin Collins how he could consider the summit a success when Putin came out of it still denying responsibility for cyberattacks and other actions.
  • An apology. The AP reports that Biden tried to make peace with reporters before boarding Air Force One. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with the last answer I gave,” he said, expressing regret for being “short” with Collins.

And Putin rattled on…..this is the short version of his ramblings…..

Vladimir Putin gave the first press conference following his talks with President Biden, and it stretched nearly an hour. Highlights:

  • He was asked about which topics were discussed in detail, and he said Ukraine was not one of them.
  • The Guardian reports Putin said he and Biden agreed their ambassadors—the Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, and the US ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan—will resume their posts and diplomatic duties. The two have for months been at home in their respective countries over friction.
  • CNN asked if the tone of the meeting was hostile or friendly, and whether Russia committed to stopping cyberattacks on US. Per CNN’s translation, Putin said, “I don’t think there was any kind of hostility … I think many of our positions are divergent but … I think it was very constructive.”
  • On the cybersecurity front, he said both sides agreed to begin negotiations on the issue. The BBC reports Putin said Russia has “provided exhaustive information” to the US regarding alleged cyber attacks and has received no response.

When asked about Alexei Navalny, Putin declined to speak his name, but said, “This person knew that he violated the law that exists in Russia and he is a repeated offender. He knew full well that he was wanted but nevertheless he came back to Russia and he deliberately wanted to be arrested. He did what he wanted to do.”

  • Putin characterized the talks as “efficient, substantive, specific, and aimed at achieving results.”
  • Putin issued what the BBC terms “a rare compliment,” calling Biden an “experienced statesman” and saying that they had detailed discussions for two hours, which he would not be able to do with most politicians. “He is very different from President Trump,” Putin said.
  • He said he was offered no invitation to the White House and extended no invite to Biden, and that the “right conditions” would be needed to get to that stage.

My biggest problem was with Biden’s piece of fecal matter on human rights…..those rights are violated by our so-called allies and we praise their democracy….this is my biggest problem with Biden and his gang of slugs.

The only thing this chin wag did was provide a photo op for the two leaders…..chest thumping at its best.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Iranian Sanctions

Since 1979 there has been sanctions imposed on Iran by the US…..those and more continue until today…..some say there are “hundreds” of sanctions in place to punish Iran for various transgressions…..

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said even if the US rejoins the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, “hundreds” of sanctions would still remain on Iran, including Trump-era measures.

“I would anticipate that, even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration,” Blinken told a Senate hearing.

Blinken’s remarks are just his latest bad faith comment about the indirect negotiations between the US and Iran that have been ongoing since April. Because the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions, the talks are being dragged out.

Blinken and other Biden officials justify their refusal to lift all of Trump’s sanctions by claiming they will only lift measures that are “consistent” with the economic relief Iran expects from the JCPOA. “If they are not inconsistent with the JCPOA, they will remain unless and until Iran’s behavior changes,” Blinken said.

The Trump administration imposed an enormous number of sanctions on Iran. Some were implemented over Tehran’s nuclear program, while others were put in place over claims of “terrorism” and alleged human rights violations. From the start of negotiations, the Biden administration has been clear that it is not going to lift all human rights and terror sanctions.

Since the US is the party that violated the JCPOA in the first place, and Iran is still technically in compliance, Tehran is calling on Biden to lift all of Trump’s sanctions if he is serious about reviving the deal. The fact that Iran is negotiating at all is a major concession. But if the talks don’t go anywhere due to the US’s refusal to lift enough sanctions, the Biden administration will undoubtedly blame it on Iran.

(antiwar.com)

Forty plus years of sanctions and what has it accomplished?

Very little to be honest.

I do not believe that sanctions are an effective tool in most cases….my thoughts here…..https://lobotero.com/2019/10/03/sanctions-and-tariffs/ and here……https://lobotero.com/2020/10/14/sanctions-what-are-they-good-for/

Sanctions hurt people that they say would help their lives get better…..instead it punishes civilians for the stuff their leaders do…..

Not the best way to win friends and influence people while they are struggling under the weight of sanctions.

So yes our Iran policy is seriously flawed…..

U.S. Iran policy is marred by many flaws, and some of the worst are threat inflation, imperial arrogance, and hypocrisy. Alarmist media reporting routinely overstates the threat that Iran poses to the US and the world, and hawkish politicians and pundits are only too eager to use this alarmism to agitate for more aggressive policies and to scuttle ongoing diplomacy. Even when Iran behaves like a normal state and abides by international law, their actions are spun as being somehow menacing and challenging to the United States. At the same time, the US tramples on the rules of the system that it claims to uphold so that it can pursue its economic war against Iran. The economic war itself is an illegitimate policy of collective punishment that the US has been waging for the last three years in a vain bid to compel deeper concessions from their government, and after almost half a year Biden has done nothing to change that policy. If we are ever going to have a peaceful and sane policy towards Iran, all of these flaws need to be rooted out.

Flaws in US Iran Policy

Flaws that NO one is willing to change or even review.

After 40+ years and nothing has changed in Iran….so what part of those sanctions are successful?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”