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US Builds New Air Base in Syria

A militant from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands guard at the entrance of the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, on March 13, 2020. (Photo by AFP)


The United States has built a new military base, including an airport for military aircraft, for its occupying forces in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Local sources told Syria’s state news agency SANA on Wednesday that the new base and its airport had been established in Jazira Region, located between Um Kahif Village and Tal Alu silos.

The sources said the American forces, along with the US-sponsored so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), brought in equipment and logistic materials and set up buildings there. Furthermore, they constructed an asphalt road leading to the silos.

According to the report, the SDF, which is mainly composed of Kurdish militants, is tightly guarding the area surrounding the silos.

US military convoy enters Hasakah in northeast Syria from Iraq: SANA

Since late October 2019, the US has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of American President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims the move aims to “protect” the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group. But Trump himself has said Washington pursues economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

A military coalition, led by the US, has been conducting purported airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations (UN) mandate.

US Builds New Air Base in Syria

A militant from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands guard at the entrance of the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, on March 13, 2020. (Photo by AFP)


The United States has built a new military base, including an airport for military aircraft, for its occupying forces in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Local sources told Syria’s state news agency SANA on Wednesday that the new base and its airport had been established in Jazira Region, located between Um Kahif Village and Tal Alu silos.

The sources said the American forces, along with the US-sponsored so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), brought in equipment and logistic materials and set up buildings there. Furthermore, they constructed an asphalt road leading to the silos.

According to the report, the SDF, which is mainly composed of Kurdish militants, is tightly guarding the area surrounding the silos.

US military convoy enters Hasakah in northeast Syria from Iraq: SANA

Since late October 2019, the US has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of American President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims the move aims to “protect” the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group. But Trump himself has said Washington pursues economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

A military coalition, led by the US, has been conducting purported airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations (UN) mandate.

The Endless Cruelty of US Sanctions: The US Interception of Chinese Medical Supply to Cuba

Enhanced transcript on an interview with PressTV

Background

Cuba complained recently that a shipment of test kits, masks and respirators, donated by the Chinese Alibaba group, didn’t arrive because the American company tasked with transportation feared breaching U-S sanction rules. Washington imposed an embargo on Cuba in 1962 after the island nation nationalized its oil industry. The measures have been denounced by the United Nations 28 years in a row.

PressTV:  What are your views on this?

Peter Koenig:  First, there are no words to describe the cruelty of this and many other similar acts by the United States, to utilize this pandemic to tighten the screws even more on sanctioned countries like Cuba and Venezuela and Iran, and many others, by blocking vital medical supplies from reaching these countries’ medical staff and hospitals to treat patents. The blockage of this medical supply may cause even more deaths from a virus that most likely originated in the US.

But did you know that this worldwide pandemic was planned for years, and its last step before it was launched was Event 201, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (created and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation), by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Economic Forum, the club of the ultra-oligarchs that meet every January in Davos, Switzerland.

The event took place on October 18, 2019, in New York City and produced a number of pandemic simulations, exactly with a corona virus which, for the simulation strangely and coincidentally, was called 2019-nCoV. Later the name was changed by WHO into COVID-19. The result of the simulation produced 65 million deaths in 18 months, a stock market collapse of more than 30% and an insane number of unemployment and bankruptcies. What we are living now is exactly that; in fact, we are seeing just the tiny top of the iceberg.

This was a planned worldwide destruction of the socioeconomic fabric and all that depends on it. It was an attempt of the few powerful on top of the pyramid — the Dark Deep State — to plunge the bulk of the world population into a never before seen misery, and, of course, as always, it will affect poor countries more than the rich.

Having said this, the illegal US blockage of Cuba for almost 60 years, which we all know is inhuman and cruel and against all international laws and standards.

The UN has voted against this illegitimate blockade against Cuba for almost 30 years in a row. Of the 193 UN members, 191 voted against the continuation of the blockade. The exceptions were the US and Israel.

This entire world body voting against the US sanctions represents more than 99% of the world population. Yet, it does nothing against the US and its sanctions and embargos on Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, China, Russia, North Korea – and many more. Currently about 30% of the world population are affected in one way or another by US sanctions. Why doesn’t the entire world collectively sanction the US?

I know, this is a pipe dream. But it’s a possibility. Especially now that the world economy is about to collapse because of the draconian measures almost every government of the globe has taken to fight the corona virus. We have literally created “planet lockdown”. Now that we may enter into an entire new socioeconomic paradigm, is the time for the 99.9% of the population, to apply the shock doctrine in reverse. It would be the moment for the 191 countries of the UN body to take control and start sanctioning the US, until the ruthless empire becomes a normal respectable nation.

PressTV Question:  In December 2014 Obama initiated the “Cuban Thaw” and in July 2015 reestablished diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana. What happened after that?

PK:  First, I think we have to see this new “overture” by Obama like many other initiatives he took — a dishonest move. It foremost was to put officially US spies and US propaganda agents into the newly reopened US Embassy, because the loosening of the embargo was never part of the deal. There was not even a plan when that might happen.

Then came Trump, a ferocious anti-socialist, anti-everything-that-is-not capitalist fanatic. He also immensely dislikes Obama and wanted to undo as much as possible of what Obama managed in his eight years at the helm in Washington. So, instead of talking about the next steps of loosening the embargo, as the Cubans rightly expected, Trump tightened the screws on the sanctions invoking the strengthening of the Helms-Burton act. This US federal law is a mere strengthening of the sanctions and embargo against Cuba.

Then under a ridiculous pretext that Cuba poisoned US embassy staff with an unidentifiable hearing disease, Washington withdrew almost all staff from the Embassy. But the official Cuban Washington relation is still on the records, and the Embassies nominally in place.

Since then, Trump and his various advisors and spokespeople have repeatedly declared that President Trump will not tolerate any socialism in the world, and especially not in “his” Hemisphere; that he will eradicate Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as we know them. That has so far not happened. We’ll see. These countries’ resistance is much stronger than the Trump ideologues are capable of imagining.  So much for the Obama “opening” to Cuba.

Syria:  The Launch of a Constitutional Committee a Sign of Hope for Syrian People

29 October 2019

Peter Koenig

Transcript of a PressTV Interview following a live press Conference by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey at the UN Geneva, Switzerland

Background

GENEVA, October 28 (Xinhua) — The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said here on Monday that the Constitutional Committee’s launch should be a sign of hope for the long-suffering Syrian people.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Pedersen said that the creation of the Constitutional Committee is a shared promise to the Syrian people to try in earnest to agree on new constitutional arrangements for Syria’s future.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have stressed that Syrian constitutional committee must work independently from any foreign intervention to gain maximum support from the people in the Arab country.

Sergey Lavrov was reading a joint statement made by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara ahead of a meeting of Syria’s constitutional committee in Geneva. Lavrov also highlighted the importance of Syria’s unity and territorial integrity. He expressed the readiness of Russia, Iran and Turkey to cooperate with the United Nation’s special envoy for Syria to facilitate the work of the constitutional committee. Lavrov urged the volunteer and safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. The Russian foreign minister also described the presence of the U-S troops in Syrian oil fields as illegal.

*****

PressTV:  How would you assess the Launch of the Syrian Constitutional Committee and the conclusion of the press conference?

Peter Koenig:  The Constitutional Committee is a good initiative, of course.  And as Mr. Pederson says, “Syrians, not outsiders, will draft the constitution. And the Syrian people must popularly approve it.”  This is an absolute must.

But we should not forget, and I do not think this is a coincidence, that President Trump just decided to leave troops in Syria, under whatever pretext is unimportant.

And I do not think that he wants to either protect nor steal Syrian oil.  What he wants is remaining with a sizable – and flexible – military presence in Syria.

Let’s backtrack to 2008 and then 2011 when the CIA first recruited, trained, funded and armed the terror groups in 2008 up to 2011, when they launched the so-called “civil war” as part of the Arab Spring which, as we all know, has nothing to do with a civil war, but it’s a US mercenary war against the legitimate Syrian Government.

Why is it important to remember this?

Because Washington has made it its goal to ultimately control Syria. Syria is part of the list countries mentioning in the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century) that must fall in order for the US to reach full global hegemony. To reach that goal, the Middle East is a key square on the geopolitical Chess Board.

This should always remain in the back of the heads of those who negotiate and draft the new Constitution. The idea of new Constitution is good, but even if all parties agree, it will only be possible to apply it when the US leaves Syria. That is a must.

So, while the negotiations and drafting of the Constitution goes on, observed by Russia, Iran, and Turkey and, of course, the UN, it is extremely important that the US leaves Syria letting Syria take full and sovereign control of her territory.

PressTV: It is an important part of the validity of the new Constitution that Syria gains full sovereignty over her territories. What if the US won’t leave?

PK:  That is precisely the point. The US is not likely to leave voluntarily as we just have vivid proof. They stay under any pretext as it is and remains their goal to achieve regime change in Syria and dominate this crucial pivotal Middle East country called Syria.

And more so, as the US does not even have an observer role in the drafting of the new Constitution unlike Russia, Iran and Turkey and, of course, the UN, Washington could easily disrupt the process by launching again a false flag attack, by re-mobilizing the ISIS / Al Qaeda terror, or by calling NATO to “secure and protect” the Syrian oil fields. There is no shortage of potential interference by the US.

This is not to put a negative spell on the process of the Constitutional Committee, but let’s be conscious of the dangers while this worthwhile initiative is moving forward.

The designated observers’ awareness and constant presence in Geneva and in Syria is, therefore, of utmost importance. Let it also be reminded, Russia and Iran are invited in Syria by President Assad. The presence of the US is illegitimate. Peace can be secured only once the US leaves Syria, be that by diplomatic or economic pressure. For the America, leaving Syria is like stepping back from their objective of Middle East and world hegemony. And that does not come voluntarily.

Impact on Yemeni Attack on Saudi ARAMCO Oil Facilities

PressTV Interview with Peter Koenig
15 September 2019

Enhanced and partial transcript of a PressTV Interview

Background

Saudi Arabia says the recent drone attacks on the state-run oil company Aramco led to a temporary closure of its facilities and disrupted the kingdom’s oil production and exports.

[Saudi] Energy Minister, Abdulaziz bin Salman said the attacks led to the interruption in production of an estimated five-point-seven million barrels of crude per day. The amount is equivalent to five percent of the daily global supply of crude oil. Meanwhile, Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, said his country is willing and able to deal with Saturday’s drone strikes. Also, the U-S secretary of state has accused Iran of being behind the recent attacks. Mike Pompeo claimed there is no evidence to prove that the attacks were launched from Yemen. He was actually adamant about blaming Iran for the attack, without any shred of proof. This is while Yemen’s Ansarullah movement [the Houthis] has claimed responsibility for the drone strikes.

Saudi stocks dropped dramatically following drone strikes on two Aramco facilities by Yemeni forces; an attack that halved the kingdom’s crude production.

Saudi shares have dropped three percent after Yemeni drone attacks on two major state-run Aramco oil facilities knocked out more than half the kingdom’s production.

Saudi Energy Minister, Abdulaziz bin Salman said the attacks led to the interruption in production of an estimated five-point-seven million barrels of crude per day. The amount is equivalent to five percent of the daily global supply of crude oil. Yemeni forces launched the massive drone attack in response to the Saudi-led coalition war that has lasted for more than 4 years on the impoverished nation on Saturday.

PressTV:  Could you please comment on the consequence of this reduction in the oil supply by Saudi Arabia?

Peter Koenig:  First, let’s make one thing crystal clear.  Mr. Pompeo is a flagrant liar, has been in the past with everything he says against his own fabricated enemies, and he will very unlikely change, as the type of his hawkish aggressive warrior character will not change. Therefore, everything Pompeo says and pretends with such assurance that most people realize it’s a fabricated lie as he did not – and never does – provide any evidence. Therefore, whatever he says and pretends to be the truth without evidence has to be taken with more than a grain of salt.

In fact, immediately blaming Iran for the drone attack on ARAMCO is without any foundation; it is an outright lie, just to put more dirt on Iran, to further denigrate Iran. It is very clear to me – who have worked for 7 years in Yemen – that the Houthis have the capacity to develop their own drones.  They have a flying range potential of at least 1,000 km.

It is very simple and very logical. The Houthis are gradually getting their strength back and are revenging themselves for the horrendous aggression launched for more than 4 years by the Saudis against their country — of course, with staunch support from the US, UK and the French.

Let’s just remind ourselves that inhuman abhorrent aggression has cost tens of thousands of Yemeni lives — most of them children, women and the elderly and weak — from direct bomb attacks, from famine, and from cholera and other sanitation-related diseases. Today still a million people are at risk of a cholera epidemic.

Having said this, the consequences or impact of a 5% oil output reduction due to the burning ARAMCO wells is insignificant. Of course, speculators – the Goldman Sachs type, who are the chief manipulators behind oil prices – would like you to believe that this is ample ground for hefty fuel price increases.  In reality not at all.

Of course, in our predatory capitalist world, the stock market wheelers and dealers may try to cash-in on this event – which in reality has – or should have – zero impact on the world oil supply.

This shortfall could easily be made up by lifting sanctions on Iranian and Venezuelan oil sales… so it’s just a question of logics and foremost of justice, international law and Human Rights.

PressTV:  What about the fragility of the Saudis military power?

PK:  Of course, the Saudi military power is nothing without the full support and guidance, by weapons and technical and strategic advice directly from the Pentagon, CIA, and the European vassals, and, of course, from weapon manufacturers and weapon sales sharks in the UK and in France.

The Saudis from day one – in October 2015 – were just launching a proxy war for the US against Yemen. Yemen has a key strategic location in the Gulf and Middle East, and also off-shore deep hydrocarbon deposits, and god forbid, may not be ruled by a people-friendly — a socialist leaning government. For the last 50-some years Yemen was ruled by a US puppet, or puppets, which was okay for the US, but once people got tired of injustice and corruption, they decided to dispose their nefarious regime and replace it with the popular Houthi movement.

When the Saudis agreed in the early 1970’s as head of OPEC and on behalf of OPEC, to sell crude only in US-dollars, the US Administration offered them in turn “forever” military protection in the form of multiple military bases in the Saudi territories. Without this protection, the Saudis would not have survived as long as they did with their horrendous discriminatory and corrupt government and, of course, without that protection, OPEC may not have stuck to the “dollar-only” rule to trade hydrocarbons.  We might be in another world today, but we really don’t know how dynamics might have worked out.

Iran: A Club of Sanctioned Countries in Solidarity Against US Economic Terrorism

PressTV Interview – transcript

Background links:
https://ifpnews.com/iranian-mps-propose-formation-of-club-of-sanctioned-countries
https://www.newsweek.com/russia-china-iran-fight-sanctions-1458096

Excerpts:

An Iranian parliamentary faction has come up with the idea of establishing a club of sanctioned countries for concerted action against the US economic terrorism.

The chairman of the Parliament’s faction on countering sanctions, Poormokhtar, gave a report on the formation of the faction and its activities, as well as the ongoing efforts to establish the club of sanctioned countries. Iran’s FM, Zaraf, said this would be enhancing the already existing alliance of Russia, China, Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela against US economic terrorism.

PressTV:  Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela are among the nations that have come out against the United States’ use of sanctions to enforce its foreign policy around the world. In what ways can they fight these US sanctions as a group?

Peter Koenig: Brilliant idea!  Solidarity makes stronger and eventually will attract other countries who are sick and tired of the US sanction regime, and since they have the backing of Russia and China, that’s a very strong alliance, especially an economic alliance. The sanction regime can only be broken through economics, meaning decoupling from the western monetary system. I said this before and say it again, at the risk of repeating myself.

After all, China is the world’s largest and strongest economy in Purchasing Power GDP measures which is the only comparison that really counts. I believe this solidarity alliance against US sanctions is certainly worth a trial.

And personally, I think it will be a successful trial, as more countries will join, possibly even non-sanctioned ones, out of solidarity against a common tyrant.

The countries in solidarity against sanctions, in addition to ignoring them — and the more they ignore them, the more other countries will follow-suit — that’s logical as fear disappears and solidarity grows.

For example, Iran and Venezuela, oil exporting countries, could accompany their tankers by war ships. Yes, it’s an extra cost, but think of it as temporary and as a long-term gain. Would “Grace I” have been accompanied by an Iranian war ship the Brits would not have dared confiscating it. That’s for sure.

PressTV: Many of the US sanctions have led to death of civilians in those particular countries. At the same time, sanctions have also led to the improvement of these countries to the point where domestic production in various fields advanced. Don’t sanctions become country-productive to US aims?’

PK:  Of course, the sanctions are counter-productive. They have helped Russia to become food-self-sufficient, for example. That was not Washington’s intention and less so the intention of the EU, who followed Washington’s dictate like puppets.

Sanctions are like a last effort before the fall of the empire, to cause as much human damage as possible, to pull other nations down with the dying beast. It has always been like that  starting with the Romans through the Ottoman’s. They realize their time has come but can’t see a world living in peace. So they must plant as much unrest and misery as possible before they disappear

That’s precisely what’s happening with the US.

Intimidation, building more and more military bases, all with fake money, as we know the dollar is worth nothing – FIAT money – that the world still accepts but less and less so, therefore military bases, deadly sanctions, and trade wars. Trump knows that a trade war against China is a lost cause. Still, he can intimidate other countries by insisting on a trade war with China or that’s what he thinks.

PressTV: The more countries US sanctions, illegally, more people turn against the US: doesn’t that defeat the US so-called fight against terrorism and violence?

PK: Well, US sanction and the entire scheme of US aggression has nothing to do with fighting terrorism, as you know. It’s nothing but expanding US hegemony over the world, and if needed, and more often than not, the US finances terrorism to fight proxy wars against their so-called enemies, meaning anybody not conforming to their wishes and not wanting to submit to their orders and not letting them exploit – or rather steal – their natural resources.

Syria is a case in point. ISIL is funded and armed by the Pentagon, who buys Serbian produced weapon to channel them through the Mid-East allies to Syrian terrorists, the ISIL or similar kinds with different names — just to confuse.

Venezuela too – the opposition consist basically of US trained, financed and armed opposition “leaders” – who do not want to participate in totally democratic elections – order of the US – boycott them. But as we have seen as of this day, the various coup attempts by the US against their legitimate and democratically elected President, Nicolás Maduro, have failed bitterly, and this despite the most severe sanctions regime South American has known, except for Cuba, against whom the US crime has been perpetuated for 60 years.

So, nobody should have the illusion that Washington’s wars are against terrorism. Washington is THE terrorist regime that fights for world hegemony.

Is a Rouhani-Trump Meeting Imminent?

PressTV Interview Transcript
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qsp1UcXqEo&feature=youtu.be

Peter Koenig
29 August 2019


Background

Tehran and Washington have been locked in a dispute since last year when the US unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear agreement and re-imposed crippling sanctions on Iran. On Monday, President Donald Trump said he is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani within weeks after a G-7 leaders’ summit. The idea was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron who was hosting the summit. But Rouhani said Washington must first lift sanctions imposed since its withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

*****

PressTV: Could you comment on Mr. Rouhani’s conditions for talks with President Trump?

Peter Koenig: Mr. Rouhani is right asking for lifting of sanctions as a principle, because Iran has never bypassed or violated the rules of the Nuclear Deal. The sanctions are a groundless punishment by Washington because Iran wants – and should – remain a sovereign country, not bowing to Washington.

It’s sheer economic terrorism.

However, let’s be realistic. The US, especially Trump who is dancing to the tunes of Netanyahu, will not just lift the sanctions. It would, in my opinion, be more constructive if Mr. Rouhani would ask for lifting of the most hurting sanctions – for example, the ban on importing crucial medication and medical equipment and other vital goods.

We know the US will not change behavior, especially under Trump, as long as they still feel they are the exceptional Nation, the undisturbed Empire. Never mind that the empire is rapidly declining. As long as they have a stranglehold, literally, on the western monetary system, that will not change.

That’s why I keep suggesting that Iran gradually but firmly and ever faster detach from the western economy and financial system, western banks, the use of dollars and euros – and shift to the East, becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as quickly as possible, and trade in Chinese yuan.

Yes, Mr. Macron initiated the talks with Mr. Trump.

But, how shall I say this?  Macron is not trustworthy. He does what he thinks can serve himself, not even the French people, but him, his image as King Macron.

He wants to be the go-between, be friends with Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi, but also be friends with Trump. Whatever serves his megalo-image.

When something doesn’t go his way, doesn’t bolster his image, he will step back.

So better Iran goes her own way in direction East, where the future is.

And again with as little as possible dealing with the west.  As long as the US is in the driver’s seat, and as long as the US controls the western money flow, anybody not liked by the Master is vulnerable for sanctions. We see it all over the world.

Therefore, asking for partial lifting of sanctions, namely for vital goods, those that cause most harm to the Iranian people, like medical imports, may be a good initial strategy. Who knows, perhaps Trump goes along. And if not, Mr. Rouhani has at least tried, and a rejection by Trump would further tarnish his presidency.

Provoking the Bear and the Dragon and Hoping for the Best?

Peter Koenig, PressTV Interview Transcript
19 June 2019

Background

Moscow, June 18, 2019 (AFP)

Russia on Tuesday called for restraint to avoid escalation in the Middle East after the US said it was deploying additional troops due to heightened tensions with Iran.

“We are urging all the sides to show restraint,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in response to a question on the deployment. “We would prefer not to see any steps that could introduce additional tensions in the already unstable region.”

The United States said Monday it has approved the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the troops were being sent “for defensive purposes” as the US has blamed Iran for last week’s attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday that US plans to increase its troop presence in the Middle East were aimed at provoking armed conflict. Such actions “cannot be seen otherwise than as a deliberate course to provoke war,” Ryabkov told journalists, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency. He said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while visiting in Russia last month had stated that US troops were in the region not to start war but prevent it.

Pompeo said at a news conference with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on May 14 that “we fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran.”

“If that’s the case, the US should refrain from further reinforcement of its presence and from other steps, including dragging and pushing its allies in various parts of the world into stepping up pressure on Iran,” Ryabkov said. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated since the US last year quit a multi-nation nuclear deal with Iran, a close ally of Russia.

Peskov said Tuesday that “our starting point is still that Iran will remain within the framework of the nuclear deal and will maintain adherence to its obligations.”

PressTV: Could you please comment on this?

Peter Koeing: What Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday that US plans to increase its troop presence in the Middle East were aimed at provoking armed conflict – is very true; and is very important to take note of.

To me it looks like the commando behind Trump has decided to put Venezuela on the backburner, that, for now, Iran is more important.

Controlling Iran, means basically controlling not only the entire Middle East with all its riches, but it’s also contributing to the Chosen People’s – Israel, the Zionists’ – overall goal to exert hegemony over the world’s finances – controlling the globe’s economy.

Domination of people by military power and domination of the economy by financial power, go hand in hand.

Let’s face it, to engage in war – or provoke war – were also the two ‘false flag’ attacks on the Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Only an absolute moron, or someone who has never lived on planet earth, would not understand that these were two flagrant “false flags”; and Pompeo’s immediate accusations without a shred of proof, were the usual “Pompeoisms” – lying, deceiving, stealing, – or as he said literally what they did at the CIA, “We lied, we cheated, we stole”. Well, these people do not change.

By engaging Iran in a war, Washington knows they would also engage Russia and China – and that’s what they want. The two super powers are their last stronghold to conquer.

And people who are narcissistic and full of themselves, as are the characteristics of neoliberals and neofascists, who want to run the show, they do not see their own limits – they see only their own power with impunity.

It’s like a drug for them. They act under addiction… addiction for power and dominance. They are even ready to destroy themselves for power and dominance.

If we analyze one particular incident on this globe, like the announcement to deploy a 1000 more troops to the Middle East – have they said where? – not that I know – then we always have to see the entire picture.

It’s part of a Chess game – a Chess game they – the US and the international handlers behind them – only are allowed to win. That’s why they never give up an objective. They may put it on the backburner for a while, like what they are likely doing with Venezuela, but in the long run, as the they see the Big Picture only, Full Spectrum Dominance, they will continue – until their collapse.

And why is the collapse the logical outcome? – Because such a war cannot be won. By nobody.

Weaponizing the World Bank and IMF

This is a transcript of the full interview with PressTV for their Program “Economic Divide”, of which sections were aired in this broadcast – “U.S. military use of IMF, World Bank”

Background

Wikileaks revelation

The U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.”

PressTV: Are these so-called financial institutions guilty of that, and how do they do it? If so, this would point to the fact that these organizations are NOT independent.

Peter Koenig:  Let me start with the fact that indeed these organizations are not independent at all.

The World Bank and IMF are fully controlled by the US. The US has a de facto veto power, since it possesses about 17% of the votes, and it takes 85% to overrule the veto – impossible.

OECD is an organization of some 34 so-called industrialized countries, also dominated by the US and her mostly vassal states of the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand — so of course, they are controlled by the US, or simply, the West.

You could add to these organizations also WTO – the World Trade Organization, also dominated by the US and Europe to the detriment of developing countries, especially since the latter are too weak in general to impose their trade conditions, or even simply get a fair deal.

And yes, these institutions, WB and IMF, can and have used in the past, financial means as “weapons” – for example, the World Bank’s use of structural type adjustment loans, or so-called “rescue packages” by the IMF – a glaring example is Greece, and lately Argentina. These loans come with strong austerity conditions attached, meaning privatization of public properties, of natural resources – all to the benefit of foreign corporations – and to the detriment of the countries and local populations concerned. At home, in Greece and Argentina – there are growing tariffs for all services, reduction of pensions, education and health services are being privatized and unemployment is rampant, leading to poverty.

In the case of Argentina, in 2015 in November, just a month before the neoliberal Macri was pushed in by Washington as Argentina’s new President – the Kirchner regimes were able to reduce poverty from close to 70% in 2001/2002, when Argentina’s economy collapsed, then also as a result of the IMF, they, the Kirchner Governments, managed to reduce it to about 14%. Today Argentina’s poverty rate is above 35% — and rising, especially with the largest ever IMF loan made in the history of the IMF, granted to Argentina late last year, of US$ 57 billion.

So yes, lending instruments of these organizations can and are being weaponized. Imagine, Argentinians cannot take it any longer and resort to a civil war — I don’t even want to think about it.

PressTV:  It is said the US is not only using this against Venezuela, but it has also exercised this on countries, like Ecuador and Argentina. Isn’t the sovereignty of these countries being violated, and aren’t the economic rights of its citizens also violated due to the actions of the government, like exercising austerity and budget cuts?

Peter Koenig:  Yes, very clearly the sovereignty of these nations is being violated. Not only that, interfering in another nations economic affair is an international crime. However, all international courts of justice in The Hague and elsewhere are bought by Washington. A recent statement by US Foreign Secretary Pompeo, couldn’t have been blunter; he threatened any judge of the ICC with sanctions or harsh actions, if they would dare pursue any US or Israeli citizens, adding that this would apply to other allies too.

The US has not used the IMF and the World Bank in Venezuela, simply because Venezuela under Chavez has exited both Institutions and they are not a member of OECD. However, they have used another – let’s say “money tool” to attempt bringing Venezuela to her knees – economic and financial sanctions. Sanctions can only be imposed to countries that are linked to the dollar-based western monetary system, that also includes the Euro and currencies in Canada, Australia NZ, Japan. But no longer Russia and China and much of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) countries.

Under this western system any monetary transaction has to go through a transfer scheme, called SWIFT, and it is automatically channeled through a US, usually Wall Street bank, in either New York or London. Therefore, every transaction is being subject to control and can be blocked and funds can even be confiscated. In the case of Venezuela, the US Government has practically confiscated US$ 35 billion in US banks, and through CITGO – the Venezuela gasoline corporation in the US, from whom profit and cash flows were blocked in US banks.

That’s how the US is punishing Venezuela for not giving it free reign to steal its natural resources, the largest known oil reserves in the world, and for being a socialist country.

On top of it, the US propaganda is such that the majority of the people around the world believe that Venezuela is mismanaged, is suffering from hunger and needs regime change. All of this is a flagrant lie. Fortunately, this is now changing, since about 60 nations, including China, Russia and India in the UN have expressed their disgust with this coercive US policy and stand firmly behind Venezuela – that means more than 50% of the world population supports the current, freely and fully democratically elected Venezuelan Government, headed by Nicolás Maduro.

But the US has used the IMF and the World Bank’s “Money Weapons” in Argentina and also to some extent on Ecuador. The case of Argentina I described earlier, and in an example of Ecuador, the government proposed a motion at the UN, preferring breast feeding over artificial milk, à la Nestlé. The US – followed by her European vassals – threatened Ecuador with trade sanctions, if they would not withdraw their motion – so, they did. And that’s only one example.

PressTV:  Another point of interest is that these financial weapons are largely governed by the National Security Council (NSC), which is currently headed by the US national security advisor John Bolton. The document notes that the NSC “has primary responsibility for the integration of the economic and military instruments of national power abroad.” John Bolton is an avid advocate of regime change, like in Iran: why has he been given these broad powers?

Peter Koenig: John Bolton has been known since the Bush Administration and even earlier as a ruthless character that finds hardly a match among the many ruthless politicians the US has in stock. So they let him lose because his pathological psychopathic behavior is intimidating to many countries.

First you bring down countries by intimidation, once that has been achieved, it is easier to put other coercive measures in place, like more sanctions, as in the case of Iran. And finally, if nothing works, they threaten and demonstrate US/NATO military intervention by putting the weapons at a country’s doorstep. Like in the case of Russia. However, I doubt very much that the US really intends to intervene militarily in Russia and Iran – or in Venezuela for that matter. There is too much at risk. Washington knows that the Russian modern missiles – that can fly at speeds in excess of 20 Mach – and the S-400 missile defense systems, are far superior to anything the US has in store.

In addition to a big-mouth, Bolton is a very good sable-rattler.

PressTV:  It appears that countries who counter US policies can be economically pressured in order to have financial assistance, and if they don’t walk Washington’s line, then these financial instruments can be used against them to bring about regime change: Is this an accurate scenario? Are many countries forced to be financially weak to then be subservient to the US?

Peter Koenig: Yes, this is a plausible scenario, especially in the case of a country that has natural resources, like oil, and especially, if the country does not have a corrupt leader that easily bends to the wishes of Washington. There are reasons invented to punish the country with “sanctions” – case in point is Iran – the negation of the Nuclear Deal for no good reason whatsoever, other than to weaken Iran’s economy – and once the country is weak enough, the IMF and WB come in and offer “help” in the form of bail-out loans, or structural adjustments as they were called in the 80’s and 90’s.

If the government falls for these loans – often the ministry of finance in such countries are infiltrated by “Fifth Columnists” or Atlantists – the IMF and World Bank come in with large loans, i.e. huge debt, that at the end leaves the country totally enslaved to the masters of Washington – ready for privatization of all public goods, natural resources. – Iran has a lot of oil and gas – and other resources.

If that doesn’t work, the Fifth Columnists create civil unrest in the hope of bringing about regime change – which then would allow Washington to put in a puppet regime and come in to steal what it wants to steal, and control a country’s strategic position – like in the case of Iran. So, Iran beware. – I think Iran is fully aware of the game – and the departure of Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Javad Zarif, may just be the beginning.