The eight nations are a mix of Eurasian powers: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.
Apart from the trademark toxic cocktail of hubris, illegality, arrogance/ignorance and geopolitical/geo–economic infantilism inbuilt in this foreign policy decision, the notion that Washington can decide who’s allowed to be an energy provider to emerging superpower China does not even qualify as laughable. Much more alarming is the fact that imposing a total embargo of Iranian oil exports is no less than an act of war.
Ultimate Neocon Wet Dream
Those subscribing to the ultimate U.S, neocon and Zionist wet dream – regime change in Iran – may rejoice at this declaration of war. But as Professor Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran has elegantly argued, “If the Trump regime miscalculates, the house can easily come crashing down on its head.”
Reflecting the fact Tehran seems to have no illusions regarding the utter folly ahead, the Iranian leadership — if provoked to a point of no return, Marandi additionally told me — can get as far as “destroying everything on the other side of the Persian Gulf and chasing the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan. When the U.S. escalates, Iran escalates. Now it depends on the U.S. how far things go.”
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This red alert from a sensible academic perfectly dovetails with what’s happening with the structure of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — recently branded a “terrorist organization” by the United States. In perfect symmetry, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council also branded the U.S. Central Command — CENTCOM — and “all the forces connected to it” as a terrorist group.
The new IRGC commander-in-chief is Brigadier General Hossein Salami, 58. Since 2009 he was the deputy of previous commander Mohamamd al-Jafari, a soft spoken but tough as nails gentleman I met in Tehran two years ago. Salami, as well as Jafari, is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war; that is, he has actual combat experience. And Tehran sources assure me that he can be even tougher than Jafari.
Vast swathes of the ruling classes across the West seem to be oblivious to the reality that if Hormuz is shut down, the result will be an absolutely cataclysmic global economic depression.
Warren Buffett, among other investors, has routinely qualified the 2.5 quadrillion derivatives market as a weapon of financial mass destruction. As it stands, these derivatives are used — illegally — to drain no less than a trillion U.S. dollars a year out of the market in manipulated profits.
Considering historical precedents, Washington may eventually be able to set up a Persian Gulf of Tonkin false flag. But what next?
If Tehran were totally cornered by Washington, with no way out, the de facto nuclear option of shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would instantly cut off 25 percent of the global oil supply. Oil prices could rise to over $500 a barrel, to even $1000 a barrel. The 2.5 quadrillion of derivatives would start a chain reaction of destruction.
Unlike the shortage of credit during the 2008 financial crisis, the shortage of oil could not be made up by fiat instruments. Simply because the oil is not there. Not even Russia would be able to re-stabilize the market.
It’s an open secret in private conversations at the Harvard Club – or at Pentagon war-games for that matter – that in case of a war on Iran, the U.S. Navy would not be able to keep the Strait of Hormuz open.
Russian SS-NX-26 Yakhont missiles — with a top speed of Mach 2.9 — are lining up the Iranian northern shore of the Strait of Hormuz. There’s no way U.S. aircraft carriers can defend a barrage of Yakhont missiles.
Then there are the SS-N-22 Sunburn supersonic anti-ship missiles — already exported to China and India — flying ultra-low at 1,500 miles an hour with dodging capacity, and extremely mobile; they can be fired from a flatbed truck, and were designed to defeat the U.S. Aegis radar defense system.
What Will China Do?
The full–frontal attack on Iran reveals how the Trump administration bets on breaking Eurasia integration via what would be its weakeast node; the three key nodes are China, Russia and Iran. These three actors interconnect the whole spectrum; Belt and Road Initiative; the Eurasia Economic Union; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization; the International North-South Transportation Corridor; the expansion of BRICSPlus.
So there’s no question the Russia-China strategic partnership will be watching Iran’s back. It’s no accident that the trio is among the top existential “threats” to the U.S., according to the Pentagon. Beijing knows how the U.S. Navy is able to cut it off from its energy sources. And that’s why Beijing is strategically increasing imports of oil and natural gas from Russia; engineering the “escape from Malacca” also must take into account a hypothetical U.S. takeover of the Strait of Hormuz.
Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.
At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.
This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.
The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.
I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.
And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.
Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
Nationalization of Yukos.
The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.
Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.
In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.
It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.
That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.
They are now done with Trump.
He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.
And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.
And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.
It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”
If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.
This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.
None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.
Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.
Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.
Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.
Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.
There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.
But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”
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