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Who is attacking oil tankers in the Gulf between Oman and Iran? So far, the answer is still a mystery. The US, of course, accuses Iran. Iran says it’s the US or its local allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Magnetic mines are blamed for the damage, though there have been claims of torpedo use. Last month, four moored tankers were slightly damaged, though none seriously. This time the attacks were more damaging but apparently not lethal.

A few cynics have even suggested Israel may be behind the tanker attack in order to provoke war between Iran and the United States – a key Israeli goal. Or maybe it’s the Saudis whose goal is similar. The Gulf is an ideal venue for false flag attacks.

One thing appears certain. President Donald and his coterie of neocon advisers have been pressing for a major conflict with Iran for months. The US is literally trying to strangle Iran economically and strategically. By now, Israel’s hard right wing dominates US Mideast policy and appears to often call the shots at the White House and Congress.

However, this latest Iran `crisis’ is totally contrived by the Trump administration to punish the Islamic Republic for refusing to follow American tutelage, supporting the Palestinians, and menacing Saudi Arabia. Most important, the Gulf fracas is diverting public attention from Trump’s war with the lynch mob of House Democrats and personal scandals.

Many Americans love small wars. They serve as an alternative to football. Mussolini’s popularity in Italy soared after he invaded primitive Ethiopia. Americans cheered the invasions of Grenada, Haiti and Panama. However, supposed ‘cake-walk’ Iraq was not such a popular success. Memories of the fake Gulf of Tonkin clash used to drive the US into the Vietnam War are strong; so too all the lies about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Curiously, Trump’s undeclared war against Iran has had unanticipated effects. Japan, which relies on Iranian oil, is furious at Washington. Last week, Japan’s very popular prime minister, Shinzo Abe, flew to Tehran to try to head off a US-Iranian confrontation and assure his nation’s oil supply – the very same reason Japan attacked the US in 1941. Abe warned an accidental war may be close.

Canada used to have warm relations with China. They are now in shambles. Canada ‘kidnapped’ Chinese bigwig Meng Wanzhou, the crown princess of technology giant Huawei, at Vancouver airport while changing planes on a US arrest warrant for allegedly trading with…wait for it…Iran. Canada foolishly arrested Meng on a flimsy extradition warrant from the US.

ORDER IT NOW

This was an incredibly amateurish blunder by Ottawa’s foreign affairs leaders. If they had been smarter, they would have simply told Washington that Meng had already left Canada, or they could not find her. Now Canada’s relations with Beijing are rock bottom, Canada has suffered very heavy trade punishment and the world’s biggest nation is angry as a wet cat at Canada, a nation whose state religion is to be liked by everyone.

Now, Japan’s energy freedom is under serious threat. China mutters about executing the two Canadians it arrested for alleged espionage. Meanwhile, US-China relations have hit their nadir as Trump’s efforts to use tariffs to bully China into buying more US soya beans and to trim its non-trade commerce barriers have caused a trade war.

The US-China trade war is badly damaging the economies of both countries. President Trump still does not seem to understand that tariffs are paid by American consumers, not Chinese sellers. Trump’s nincompoop foreign policy advisers don’t understand how much damage they are doing to US interests. Putting gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson in charge of US foreign and trade policy is not such a good idea.

A good way to end this growing mess is to fire war-lover and Iran-hater John Bolton, send Mike Pompeo back to bible school, and tell Iran and Saudi Arabia to bury the hatchet now. Instead, the White House is talking about providing nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia, one of our world’s most backwards and unpleasant nations. Maybe Trump will make a hell of a ‘deal’ and have North Korea sell nukes to Saudis.

And now we wait the all-time bad joke, the so-called ‘Deal of the Century,’ which Trump and his boys hope will get rich Arabs to buy off poor Palestinians in exchange for giving up lots more land to Israel. It’s hard to think of a bigger or more shameful betrayal by Arabs of fellow Arabs, or a more stupid policy by the US. But, of course, it’s not a made-in-the-USA policy at all.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Just as Trump needs to fire John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, Justin Trudeau needs to fire the irritating, preening, cloying Chrystia Freeland, and release the Huawei CFO who clearly has been taken hostage for geopolitical reasons and ransom.

    There’s not really much hope of that happening though, since Justin Trudeau is, as Trump bluntly but accurately put it, weak and dishonest, so Canadian voters will need to fire Freeland for him, or fire Freeland and Trudeau, in our elections in about four months.

    The hypocrisy of Trudeau’s dishonest claims of rule of law and political non-interference have been made clear through his relentless political interference to let SNC-Lavalin off the hook by avoiding trial for corporate corruption.

  2. willem1 says:

    You said: “President Trump still does not seem to understand that tariffs are paid by American consumers, not Chinese sellers.”…

    …but the result still hits the bottom lines of Chinese sellers because the resulting higher prices cause price-sensitive buyers to cut back on their purchases.

    …and any time such an import can be replaced by a US-produced equivalent, even at a higher price, it means that somewhere an American is working and getting paid for doing so.

    Your throw-away line has been repeated ad infinitum, oversimplifying a very complex process.

    • Agree: Carroll Price
  3. Alistair says:
    @willem1

    Tariffs are Taxes on Imported Products, Tariffs have the effect of increasing prices to the end consumers at the retail stores. as such, consumers may be discouraged purchasing the products,
    Tariffs affects retail businesses and at the national level will reduce the consumption of the imported products, therefore, they will eventually affect America’s GDP.

    For instance: If the original Price was $100 x state tax rate 5% = $ 105 paid at the counter.
    with a Tariff of 10%, price $100 x 1.10% = $110 x state tax rate 5% = $115.50 to pay at the counter,
    Therefore, 115.50 – 105 = $10.50 increase in price to be paid by American consumers in the USA.

    Tariffs are Taxes on Imported Products, they lower American’s purchasing power in USA.

    • Replies: @willem1
  4. willem1 says:
    @Alistair

    My point is that the increased cost of the product is only part of the equation. Your discussion fails to account for the fact that when the replacement of these imported products by US-produced products occurs, consumption of US-produced goods rises, and some of those same consumers also benefit because they are put to work producing things that were formerly produced overseas.

  5. Alistair says:

    Iranians are under the US siege, therefore, sooner or later something will have to give in.
    Trump Administration has cornered itself by imposing a medieval style siege on Iranians; they cannot import or export anything, so a nation of 82 millions is left with no revenue, and shortages of basic food and medications, and their customers are threatened by the US if they buy the Iranian Oil — Iran is under siege from all sides, yet so far, they stayed within the international diplomatic community, they didn’t retaliate, nothing rash happened yet !

    But obviously, such a situation is unsustainable, especially vis-a-vis Iranians – a well educated open society who knows its way around the world, and they are not alone in this; new alliances are being formed. Though, Iranians people will certainly blame their own government for the sanctions, but first, they deal with the instigators who are interfering with their internal matters; as such, Trump Administration and its unholy alliance who have instigated the siege; the Saudis, Israelis, UAE, and all the rest of the despots – they should all expect something nasty to happen if this is not resolved in a timely and honorable manner.

    Trump Administration has cornered itself by imposing a medieval style siege on Persians, an enduring old nation with a long history of resistance – hopefully something good comes out of this mess !

    • Replies: @OldBlue
  6. HEREDOT says:

    Usa will be the loser if it opens war on Iran. Iran will carry this war to the entire Middle East, This war is an economic and geopolitical frenzy

    • Replies: @Moi
  7. Alistair says:
    @willem1

    I understood your point, however, imposition of Tariff is a wrong strategy because every country can impose its own retaliatory tariffs, and that will put an end to the international trade.

    We went through that in the 19th and 20th centuries which had led to WW1, and WW2, because every major empire wanted to keep its own market and its colonial marke for itself, but Germany and Italy didn’t have colonies, but wanted to access the French and British colonies in Africa and Asia, but those markets were closed to them either by excessif tariffs or other trade barriers which would have effectively closed those market to German and Italian manufacturers. as such, in 1914 and 1939, Germany and Italy went to war against the British and French to break their empires for the sake of access to their colonial markets in Africa and Asia,…. and the rest is the history.

    Ironically, most high value added products imported from China are the US owned Brands, they’re American companies who have chosen to set up manufacturing in China because of lower costs, companies like Apple, Motorola, HP, Thomson, GE along with a long list of European firms, if these companies wanted to come back to the US, the opportunity must justify the extra labour cost at home. it’s their choice.

    At any rate, Tariff is a wrong strategy, it increase the costs for both the producers and consumers, only the government makes a lot of money on the back of its own citizens, tariff is really a tax on consumptions.

  8. Paul says:

    “President Trump still does not seem to understand that tariffs are paid by American consumers, not Chinese sellers.”

    Donald Trump has a business degree from one of the top business schools in the country. It is you who does not understand economics. If the Chinese raise prices somewhat (which they probable would), they will have fewer sales. However, fewer sales is somewhat of a brake on their ability to raise prices. The reality is both consumers and the Chinese are likely to bear some of the cost of tariffs.

    Tariff money would help reduce the U.S. budget deficit. Americans can also decide to buy American or buy from another foreign country. The Democrats have no plan whatsoever to deal with trade deficits or the deindustrialization of the Rust Belt. Take at least one economics class.

    • Replies: @Alistair
  9. Paul says:

    I should add to my previous comment that we are already in a trade war with China and are losing it badly — huge trade deficits year after year. That is how you deindustrialize a country.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  10. @Canadian Cents

    Even Trudeau’s worst enemies have conceded that he did nothing illegal. All that interference that you refer to is otherwise known as politics at work; neither dishonest nor hypocritical, and SNC-Lavalin is going to trial. Prime Minister Trudeau has Canada’s interests at heart and has done a far better job of keeping Canada out of the hands of the Conservatives/Globalists alliance. If President Trump is as patriotic as Trudeau, he would not be dragging his countrymen into more costly wars in the Middle East, South America, and elsewhere. His campaign promise of no costly foreign wars got him elected to the presidency. Chrystia Freeland is as you describe, and I do agree that Huawei CFO should be released immediately.

    • Replies: @george Archers
  11. Kaki58 says:
    @willem1

    Ha ha… except you fail to consider the cost of production in the United States. An American made cell phone would right now cost about $2000 (but above that, the infrastructure for these types of electronics was never in the US to begin with, so the concept of bringing it back would actually involve building from scratch the entire manufacturing network that has grown in Asia over the last few decades.) Do you want to talk about blue jeans and sneakers and TVs?

  12. Well, Eric, call me a cynic, because Israel is the #1 suspect in my view. I suspect that there are more than a few cynics like me who take that view, though.

  13. @willem1

    That might be the case if there was still a manufacturing base in the US, willem1. For the most part, few Chinese manufacturers still have American counterparts. Tariffs should only be used to raise revenues, not to twist the arms of producers in other countries, who may just be the only sources for some manufactured goods.

  14. @Paul

    No, you deindustrialize a country by overregulating manufacturing and by allowing regulations to become so onerous that entire industries move operations out of the country. Imposing tariffs after the fact won’t bring manufacturers back.

  15. Greg S. says:

    > President Trump still does not seem to understand that tariffs are paid by American consumers, not Chinese sellers. Trump’s nincompoop foreign policy advisers don’t understand how much damage they are doing to US interests.

    Let’s say the author gets what he wishes for: no more tariffs and reversal back to how things were going: nothing is made in America anymore, all the manufacturing, engineering, and R&D is offshored to China and Mexico. The American wealth is slowly milked out until the American people are destitute and can no longer afford the foreign made products. At which point, the parasitic corporations will move onto other countries to fleece. America devolves into tribalism and war. Current day Venezuela would be an accurate image of the future to come.

    Or will someone make the argument that life in America has been getting better over the past 20 years under globalism?

  16. Biff says:
    @willem1

    …but the result still hits the bottom lines of Chinese sellers because the resulting higher prices cause price-sensitive buyers to cut back on their purchases.

    I guess some people need to be reminded that outside of the U.S.A. there is this thing called the rest of the planet that the Chinese can sell too.

    Made In China now spans the earth and the moon, and good luck trying to change that with cornball tariffs into one country.

    A mandatory reminder on the topic at hand:
    It was the Americans who shipped the manufacturing out of America – not the Chinese.

  17. Nations pursue what’s in their ‘national interest’. They are buoyed up by the successes of ‘small wars’. Interest (ie power) creates a bulwark against defeat. Unfortunately, history shows every nation/civilization eventually gets the war it seeks to avoid – destruction.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  18. @willem1

    “…but the result still hits the bottom lines of Chinese sellers because the resulting higher prices cause price-sensitive buyers to cut back on their purchases.”

    Only a jew would say something so stupid. Idiot, practically everything for sale at places like Wal-Mart, Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Best Buy etc., is made in China. Yeah, let’s deprive Joe and Jill Sixpack of things like basic tools, housewares, electronics, low-end furniture, etc. They can show their “patriotism” to “America” by eating with plastic utensils and furnishing their apartments with cardboard boxes. That’ll “make ‘America’ great again” by teaching the Chinese to stop trying to be successful.

    “…and any time such an import can be replaced by a US-produced equivalent, even at a higher price, it means that somewhere an American is working and getting paid for doing so.”

    LOL! Show me one example where a tariff has caused a new U.S. based manufacturing industry to spring up.

    • Replies: @JamesD
  19. Alistair says:
    @Paul

    President Trump used to won his own “Trump University” too, and for the right price he would have sold you a Master degree, or a Ph.D…….. LOL …

    Globalization must reflect the interests of average working Americans, not just Large Corporations.

    The problem with Globalization is that it’s implemented from perspectives of large corporations; these large firms are often too close to governments, so they get the trade agreements to suit their own business interests without any regard for the working Americans whom might lose their jobs to the low cost labour market in China, India, Vietnam, or Mexico.

    Globalization must reflect the interests of average working class of America, not just the Corporate America.

    • Replies: @Rabbitnexus
  20. @Canadian Cents

    Canada needs to fire the traitor Trudeau.

  21. Anon[132] • Disclaimer says:
    @willem1

    The US-China trade war is badly damaging the economies of both countries. President Trump still does not seem to understand that tariffs are paid by American consumers, not Chinese sellers.

    Just read the previous sentence. Margolis, to be sure, is a very rare example of someone speaking about both sides of the coin (= talking about the issue in good faith and an at least partly objective manner).

  22. @Alistair

    Tariffs are a wrong headed answer I agree. Their effects tend to harm everyone and they are messy when the consumer ends up being the deciding factor and they will pay either way, many imported products are made by overseas based US companies and they can be answered with tariffs on US imports as well. Instead since I think it is the bigger problem anyway I believe the companies off shoring should be targeted as the main issue. International trade is fine but when a country loses its manufacturing base it becomes weakened economically over the long term and that economy can no longer afford anything but cheap imports anyway. I’d introduce taxes on American products manufactured offshore. Give tax concessions to local manufacturers and tax the ones who offshore. This is also a morally justifiable plan as it ensures your government is governing/pressuring its own citizens and not putting pressure on other nations directly.

  23. @Alistair

    Globalisation is desirable if it is made to happen by people via discussion and democratic input from the ground up. If instead it is made to happen via corporate interests even where as now most governments serve corporate interests then it will be a nightmare future.

  24. Moi says:
    @HEREDOT

    Like I’ve said before: we live in a theater of the absurd ruled by a confederacy of dunces.

    • Replies: @HEREDOT
  25. @RealAmerican

    —Poster is : More like a RealAmerican Goof

  26. @Alistair

    Germany and Italy went to war against the British and French to break their empires for the sake of access to their colonial markets in Africa and Asia,…. and the rest is the history.

    …straight out of US Propaganda 101.

    England and the US went to war with Germany (both times) for the persific purpose of preventing advanced German science and technology from dominating the world. As early as the late 1800s, Germany was already light-years ahead of England and the US in scientific knowledge and precision engineering. How else do you suppose Germany was able to develope jet engine propulsion, rocket technology, liquified coal technology etc. that England and the US were unable to duplicate until the late 1960s, even with the assistance of kidnapped German scientist and stolen German documents?

    • Replies: @Alistair
  27. Alistair says:
    @Carroll Price

    That’s exactly my point; in early 1930’s Germany and Italy were equally advanced economies that needed market expansion, but lucked in continental Europe, because British and French didn’t want them to access their Colonial Markets, therefore, Germany and Italy went to war against British and French to break their monopoly over their colonial possessions.

  28. JamesD says:

    On tariffs raising prices, keep in mind that Trump slashed the corporate income tax rate. So follow me here: lower prices from lower corporate tax, higher price due to tariffs means it’s a wash. Except now there is more of an advantage for US based production.

    Free Trade is like a religion. Ask yourself, would you trade a 0% corporate tax for a 10% flat tariff? If your answer is no, you are drinking the Kool aide.

    On China, I know it makes you feel sophisticated to bash Trump, however China is the biggest threat the U.S. has. In fact many people who are in favor of closer relations with Russia point to this threat. Russia has more to fear than the U.S. due to geography, so we have a natural alliance with them.

    China also is guilty of ripping off our patents are industrial espionage on a huge level. Trump is correct to go after China. His big failing is his policy on Russia, likely due to Israel being pissed about Syria.

  29. HEREDOT says:
    @Moi

    Are the people of the USA aware of living in dystopia? The price is very very heavy.

  30. OldBlue says:
    @Alistair

    I was under the impression that economic sanctions are acts of war, just as blockades and ‘sieges’ are. The medieval tactic was horrific and the modern version seems able to imitate it. Hope you’re right about the ultimate outcome.

  31. @Alistair

    “International trade” has put Americans out of work and driven up the number of homeless. Therefore the way it has worked for the last fifty years has been only to make the rich and the Chinese and Mexicans richer but it has only made working Americans poorer, much poorer. So “international trade” is just another lie that professional paid liers lie about.

  32. Truth3 says:

    Eric Margolis is a Treasure. Best Brain in Canada.

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