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Eric Zuesse

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America Declares Economic War Against Europe

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On Friday night, July 28, US President Donald Trump said that he would sign into law the 
increased economic sanctions (passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House) against any business that is declared to have "knowingly provided goods or services... for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines."

Russia is the largest energy-supplier to the world’s largest energy-market, which is Europe, or the EU. The biggest proportion of that trade is in Europe’s main source of energy, which is gas, which is pipelined into Europe from Russia. So: those pipelines are vitally important not only to Russia’s economy but to Europe’s.

President Trump had gotten Congress to agree to limit the application of this provision only to "The President, in coordination with allies of the United States, may impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, makes an investment described in subsection (b) or sells, leases, or provides to the Russian Federation, for the construction of Russian energy export pipelines, goods, services, technology, information, or support."

But the new law still does include "SEC. 232. SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PIPELINES IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION." That Section punishes "Goods, services, technology, information, or support described in this subsection are goods, services, technology, information, or support that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of the construction, modernization, or repair of energy export pipelines by the Russian Federation." That includes the crucial Nord Stream pipeline, which is maintained by Russian and German companies to transport gas from Russia to the EU.

US firms have thus now gotten their stooges in Congress to punish European and Russian companies that will be determined by "The President, in coordination with allies of the United States," to be working together in these ways, to get Russia’s gas to Europe’s markets.
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The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

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

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

It goes on to observe: "Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today, it is not uncontested on theoretical and empirical grounds. … Empirical evidence appears to generally support the idea that increasing bilateral trade reduces the risk of bilateral conflicts. But studies can be found that support either side of the argument, predicting both a negative and positive relationship between trade and war."
World War III, too — a nuclear war — could be built upon alliances, which are now even more complex and unpredictable than ever. But that’s not the only danger.
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9/11: Bush's Guilt and the 28 Pages

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On Friday July15th, as the national news media were either on vacation or preparing for the opening of the Trump National Convention on Monday the 18th, the long-awaited release of the ‘missing’ 28 pages from the US Senate’s 9/11 report (“DECEMBER 2002: JOINT INQUIRY INTO INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES BEFORE AND AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”) occurred. The official title of this document is “PART FOUR – FINDING, DISCUSSION AND NARRATIVE REGARDING CERTAIN SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS”, and it constitutes pages 6-34 of a pdf. (Some writers mistakenly call it “29 pages”.)

It ”was kept secret from the public on the orders of former President George W. Bush”, and remained secret under Bush’s successor Barack Obama, until that Friday night late in Obama’s Second Administration, right before a week of Republican National Convention news would be dominating the news (along with any racial incidents, which would be sure to distract the public even more from any indication of Bush’s guilt).

The pdf was of a picture-file so as to be non-searchable by journalists and thus slow to interpret, and thus would impede press-coverage of it. The file was also of a very degraded picture of the pages, so as to make the reading of it even more uninviting and difficult. Well, that was a skillful news-release-and-coverup operation! The Federal Government had plenty of time to do this right, but they evidently had plenty of incentive to do it wrong. They’re not incompetent; the reasonable explanation is something worse than that. (After all, this information has been hidden from the public for all of the 13+ years since that report was published without the 28 pages at the end of 2002.)
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Why Brookings Institution and Establishment Love Wars

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Washington’s public relations operations for the military contracting firms that surround the US Capitol aren’t by for-profit PR firms, so much as they're by "non-profit" foundations and think tanks, which present that "non-profit" cover for their sales-promotion campaigns on behalf of the real beneficiaries: owners and top executives of these gigantic defense contracting corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen Hamilton.


Among the leading propagandists for invading Iraq back in 2002 were Ken Pollack and Michael O’Hanlon, both with the Brookings Institution; and both propagandists still are frequently interviewed by American news media as being “experts” on international relations, when all they ever really have been is salesmen for US invasions, such as that 2003 invasion, which destroyed Iraq and cost US taxpayers $3 trillion+ or $4.4 trillion – benefiting only the few beneficiaries and their agents, such as the top executives of these “non-profits,” which receive a small portion of the take, as servants usually do.

More recently, Brookings’s Shadi Hamid headlined on 14 September 2013, “The US-Russian Deal on Syria: A Victory for Assad,” and the PR-servant there, Dr Hamid, argued that:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is effectively being rewarded for the use of chemical weapons, rather than 'punished' as originally planned… Assad and his Russian backers played on Obama's most evident weakness, exploiting his desire to find a way – any way – out of military action… One might be forgiven for thinking that this was Assad's plan all along, to use chemical weapons as bait, to agree to inspections after using them, and then to return to conventional killing.
Three weeks after that Brookings “expert” had issued it, the great investigative journalist Christof Lehmann, on 7 October 2014, headlined and offered facts to the exact contrary at his nsnbc news site, “Top US and Saudi Officials Responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria,” and he opened by summarizing his extensive case: “Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia´s Interior Ministry.” 
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