The Era of Retaliation

BERLIN (Own report) – Germany’s defense minister reaffirmed that Berlin is basically ready to participate in military aggressions, such as the recent western attack on Syria. “We could also fulfill the contribution from the air that Great Britain had made in this case,” said Ursula von der Leyen, but “we weren’t asked this time.” She made this declaration in full knowledge of the fact that the Reference and Research Service of the German Bundestag – like numerous other legal experts – had classified that attack a clear violation of international law. According to the expert assessment of the parliamentary jurists, it was a “retaliation” patterned after military interventions preceding the First World War. Legality was not the justification for those attacks, but rather a subjective political moral legitimation. Claiming “legitimacy,” other countries may also decide to engage in military aggressions, warn experts. Admitting such a change of paradigm would cause “more, rather than less human suffering.”

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U.S. Hints at China Truce as World Warns of Trade-War Threat

Mnuchin speaks during a briefing at the IMF spring meetings April 21. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

 

  • Treasury’s Mnuchin considers China trip amid trade dispute
  • China’s Commerce Ministry confirms U.S. has requested visit

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he’s considering a trip to China amid a trade dispute with Beijing that finance chiefs warn could derail the global economic upswing.

Mnuchin said he’s “cautiously optimistic” of reaching an agreement with China that bridges their differences over trade. Continue reading

Iran Officially Switches From Dollar To Euro

 

Just two weeks after “panic” hit the streets of Tehran as the Iranian government attempted to ‘fix’ the freefall of the Rial against the US Dollar…

Middle East Monitor reports that Iran’s feud with the US is set to get worse after Tehran announced this week that it will start reporting foreign currency amounts in euros rather than US dollars, as part of the country’s effort to reduce its reliance on the American currency due to political tension with Washington. Continue reading

Export World Champion under Pressure

BERLIN (Own report) – With intense shuttle diplomacy, members of the German government are seeking to avert the impending US punitive tariffs on European goods and the loss of access to the important US market. Following Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz’s visit to the US capital yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Washington on Friday. Already in the run up to these visits, Berlin seems ready to envisage a revival of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This strategic decision is accompanied by a clear frontline position against China, as was resolutely demanded by the Trump administration. In addition, German-Russian business relations are increasingly under attack in Washington. At the same time, EU criticism of Germany’s unilateral trade policies is growing. Germany’s export oriented economy is particularly vulnerable to the protectionism that is gaining strength on a global scale. Berlin’s Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Policy could prove a strategic disadvantage under these new global economic conditions. Continue reading

Pentagon: Missile threats increasing

(Photo by: Jacquelyn Martin) John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told lawmakers that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing. (Associated Press/File)

 

Senior Pentagon and military officials this week outlined the growing array of missile threats facing the United States from China, Russia and other states, including maneuvering hypersonic weapons.

John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing.

“The United States, allies and partners confront a security environment that is more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory,” Mr. Rood told the subcommittee on strategic forces, in a likely preview of the Pentagon’s forthcoming Ballistic Missile Review, a major study that will highlight missile threats and the Trump administration’s plan for a multilayered missile defense network to counter them.

Adversaries including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are expanding their missile forces in three ways, Mr. Rood said. They include increasing the capabilities of current missile forces; adding new and unprecedented types of missiles to their arsenals; and better integrating missiles into foreign states’ use of coercive threats, military exercises and war planning.

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America’s “Actual” GDP: The Shocking Truth

 

Saturday last we offended the pieties.

We reckoned that democracies — being shortsighted — tend toward vast accumulations of debt.

In response, reader Tom B. dealt with us as follows:

The committed ignorance of pseudointellectual arrogance and their refusal to take an economics class on the uses of the FIAT dollar is stunning! It’s the reason Warren Buffet [sic] smiles every time “financial experts” demagogue debt!

Congrats, Daily Reckoning, you’re consistently ignorant!

It is with high honor that we accept Tom’s congratulations.

True consistency is a rare feat in this world… even if consistently ignorant. Continue reading

Russia Threatens To Halt Critical Rocket Engine Exports To The U.S.

 

Despite earlier reported hopes that Putin seeks a deal with Trump, as opposed to escalating tensions, it appears Russia is planniong to do just that.

Last Friday (the 13th), just before the US, UK and France launched 105 Tomahawk missiles at Syria, we noted  that as part of Russian countermeasures against US sanctions, it could halt titanium exports to the US, critical for the production of Boeing airplanes, which promptly sent Boeing’s stock lower. Continue reading

Pompeo meets secretly with North Korean leader

US Secretary of State-designate made a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend to meet with its leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump has confirmed. His mission was to lay the groundwork for his future summit with Kim.  Speaking at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday, Trump appeared to allude to Pompeo’s secret mission when he said that the US has had “direct talks” with North Korea “at very high levels.” The president didn’t elaborate, but he did mention June as the possible timeline for his summit with the North Korean leader, rather than May as first cited. Continue reading

China, Russia’s Sophisticated Anti-Satellite Capabilities Alarms US

illustration only

 

Russia and China have developed increasingly sophisticated space countermeasure weapons to destroy US satellites, according to a new report.

Evidence “strongly indicates” that “China has sustained a broad effort to develop a broad range of counter-space capabilities,” the US-based Secure World Foundation said in its April 2018 report. Continue reading

Chinese Banks Are Laundering North Korean Cash

A truck returns over the Friendship Bridge from the North Korean town of Sinuiju to the Chinese border city of Dandong, in China’s northeast Liaoning province. (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

‘The North Korea crisis is a massive distraction from the real threat posed by China and Russia.’

Chinese support of the North Korean government remains firmly in place and vital to the regime’s survival. Revelations emerged on April 12 that two major Chinese banks are providing a key financial lifeline to the nuclear-armed rogue regime of tyrant Kim Jong-un.

Both the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank have been “identified in a 2016 U.S. asset-seizure case as providing accounts for a Chinese trading company that helped North Korea launder its money,” Bloomberg wrote.

The two have been shown to hold and transfer cash entering and leaving Pyongyang, and facilitating its laundering through United States financial institutions.

These two banks, China’s second- and third-largest, each have more assets than JPMorgan Chase & Co., America’s largest bank.

In 2016, the Obama administration declined to enforce money-laundering laws against the banks. The Wall Street Journal noted at the time that this decision sent a signal to Beijing that “Chinese banks aiding North Korea are untouchable.”

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Ex-CIA Chief Says Obama Rejected Cyber Action Against Russia for Election Meddling

John Brennan

John Brennan / Getty Images

 

Obama instead issued veiled warning to Moscow

Despite an unprecedented Russian intelligence operation to influence the 2016 presidential election, former President Barack Obama rejected a plan to conduct retaliatory cyber action against Moscow during the campaign, according to former CIA Director John Brennan.

Brennan disclosed Saturday that Obama opposed a plan to carry out “a cyber event” against the Russians because the former president feared the action would lead to more aggressive interference by Moscow. Continue reading

The Grand Troika: A Chance for a World New Order

 

Back in the late summer of 2017 I wrote an analysis of the state of world affairs and international relations after two seismic geopolitical world events occurred almost simultaneously in 2016 – the UK Referendum result to Leave the European Union and the defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton by Republican Donald Trump for the White House in the US 2016 Presidential Election. Those twin political events were like major earth shaking bombs going off creating all kinds of disturbances and tremors, aftershocks and creating the greatest of shock and bewilderment within the international political order that had held sway since the defeat of Nazism in 1945.

It had become clear to me by the summer of 2017, as I had thought for some time, that politics in Britain – and global geostrategic politics within the broader historical framework of civilizational and human development – had changed profoundly and significantly from were we had been during the 1990s-2012 period, perhaps even from where I started off life in the most intense but ending days of the Cold War in the mid 1980s. Continue reading

Update Brazil – Striking Syria: Is it Good Strategy?

JR Nyquist brings you one of the most analytically accurate assessments of the situation involving the West (America, Great Britain, France) and the Axis powers (Russia, China, Syria, Iran, etc.) and how vulnerable the United States actually is to an attack. The situation is much more complex than Donald Trump being hijacked by the ‘Deep State’. The Russians are involved, but it’s not what you think. America is unwittingly walking itself into a fatal trap.

The video is well worth your time.

5 Things that ‘Come Next’ with Syria

 

The Danger Of World War Is Far From Removed Following The West’s ‘One And Done’ Missile Strikes.

Now that the “one and done” missile barrage against Syria’s purported chemical weapons program following the alleged gas attack in Douma is over, here are five consequences that need to be monitored in the weeks ahead. Continue reading

How Much Longer Can The American Empire Run On Fake Money?

 

Gold rocketed to nearly $1,365 on Wednesday in New York, which is well above the $1,350 that Michael Oliver suggests is when technical price watchers will finally start to head into the yellow metal and related investments like gold stocks. But alas the banking cartel had other ideas and exercised a 100-tonne “pretend gold” smackdown in the gold paper futures markets starting at about noon that day, just to make sure the greatest competition in the world to the dollar didn’t start to lead to a loss of confidence.

This of course is nothing new. The Gold Anti Trust Action Committee (GATA) has been documenting paper market manipulation of the gold markets now for decades. Isn’t it interesting that more virtual gold trades in one day on the LBMA than is mined in an entire year. Continue reading