Monday, May 13, 2019

Mr. Pompeo Doesn't Go to Sochi and Moscow.

Alrighty, then. So Pompeo cancels his visit to Russia and rushes to Brussles to convince, to twist hands and threaten that is, US European "allies" that quitting the Iran Deal is a good thing. 
Obviously, Iran's "threats" are a normal reaction to very real threats and unilateral destruction of practical and working arrangements by the United States, but all this is merely a confirmation of a pattern of the US breaking her treaties' obligations and then blaming it on someone else. There is, of course, a personal issue here, with Trump destroying probably the only foreign policy success Obama Administration achieved in controlling Iran's nuclear program. Well, what do ya know--this one is dead. Per Europeans, they will be lined up and will do as ordered. 

Pompeo still will get to Sochi on Tuesday but Moscow is, actually, smiling (sarcastically, I may add) at these busy-body moves, especially when one considers a huge "success" Trump's trade wars are. 
I, honestly, do not even know how to comment on that. The only thing which comes to mind is the scene of "secret" meeting from 12 Chairs in Elena Stanislavovna's house, where Ostap Bender delivered one of the most important speeches in history of fraud:
“Citizens," said Ostap, opening the meeting, "life dictates its own laws, 
its own cruel laws. I am not going to talk about the aim of our gathering-you 
all know it. Our aim is sacred. From everywhere we hear cries. From every 
corner of our huge country people are calling for help. We must extend a 
helping hand and we will do so. Some of you have work and eat bread and 
butter; others earn on the side and eat caviar sandwiches. All of you sleep in
 your own beds and wrap yourselves in warm blankets. It is only the young 
children, the waifs and strays, who are not looked after. These flowers of the 
street, or, as the white-collar proletarians call them, 'flowers in asphalt', 
deserve a better lot. We must help them, gentlemen of the jury, and, gentlemen
of the jury, we will do so."  
   The smooth operator's speech caused different reactions among the 
Polesov could not understand his young friend, the guards officer. 
"What children?" he wondered. "Why children?"

The similarity is uncanny, to put it mildly. Especially when one considers what is not really reported in US media--the fact that China is not really backing down. She still may, of course, at some point of time but so far--no cigar.
Beijing has retaliated against Washington’s recent tariffs by imposing export levies targeting $60 billion worth of US goods, effective June 1, China’s Ministry of Finance announced on Monday.The tariff hike of up to 25 percent will affect more than 5,000 items imported from the US to China.The step comes in response to the latest hike of export duties the Trump administration implemented on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products. Last week, the White House increased American tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent, previously.
I am damn sure Kremlin is enjoying the show. While Daniel Larison reformulated the Newton's Third Law: ‘Maximum Pressure’ Provokes Unyielding Resistance. As Larison writes about Iran specifically, it applies equally to everyone.
A new generation that experienced neither revolution nor war is forced to endure an economic war being waged upon them for no good reason. That cannot help but inspire feelings of resentment against the foreign government doing these things to them and greater willingness to support their own government. Any nation would react to unwarranted bullying with resistance, and the same goes for Iranians in spades. Vaez refers to a famous 16th century defeat of the Safavids by the Ottomans at Chaldiran (1514) as an example of how Iranians have remembered a crushing defeat as proof of courageous defiance. Many nations have similar interpretations of their great military losses. The point of reimagining these defeats as something more than a loss is to emphasize the survival and defiance in the face of greater power. To survive in the face of the determined animosity of the world’s sole superpower is itself a kind of victory, and that is why the Iranian government won’t give in.
There is, of course, one teeny-weeny issue with Larison's statement--the United States is long ago not "world's sole superpower", but here Larison exhibits symptoms of strictly American ailment, of which I wrote two books and continue to write for years--lack of knowledge of the outside world and lack of self-awareness. Other than that, he is correct.    

UPDATE: Now, suddenly, Washington requests a summit--in accordance to Russia's very own uber-liberal Kommersant (in Russian) with high positioned people in State Dept. confirming such a request. So, Pompeo, most likely will focus on details of this summit while in Sochi on Tuesday. At issue--to discuss what? Trump needs Russia to deal with China, Russia is no go on that, period. Nobody in Russia, with the exception of mindless "liberals" believes in any Grand Bargain with the US, not to mention the fact that the moment for such a bargain is long in the past and is not worth even discussing. Exchange of pleasantries? Sure. This will do for an agenda. Russia is always open to talks, Russians hate confrontation, not to speak of war. But what will Trump do when Russia asks for this proverbial move: "Show me the money!" I reiterate, the United States doesn't have anymore a geopolitical currency to "buy" Russia--she is out of a price range for the US. If one thinks otherwise--take a look at Ukraine and Russia's dramatic change of posture, including her lack of any desire to pay for Ukrainian mess and being content with Donbass coming home. This is a geopolitical master stroke by Moscow by refusing to take on balance a hostile economic black hole which would drain Russia's resources. US and EU wanted Ukraine? They can have her with one caveat--no military bases, other than that let EU and the US pay for this mad house.   

UPDATE 2: Well, looks like Kommersant, yet again, soiled itself. Kremlin debunked their info about summit (in Russian) and stated that it didn't receive any request yet (in Russian). Ghee-whiz, dealing with Russian liberal news outlets is akin to dealing with US MSM--a lot of BS and fake news. As I said, I also cannot see what, other than some arms limitations issues, can Russia and US possibly substantively talk about?  

President Donald Trump has said he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at next month’s G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.Trump announced the pair of meetings to reporters in the Oval office on Monday afternoon.“I’ll be meeting with him directly, President Xi. Yes, I will be meeting with President Putin also,” he said. Earlier that morning, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that Washington had requested a meeting with Putin, and was awaiting the Kremlin’s response. A Kremlin spokesman responded to Trump’s statement on Monday by saying no preparations were underway for such a meeting.
OK then. There are still 12 hours left per PST in this day.    

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