Feigning Interest in Arms Control To Kill New START

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

See if you can spot the flaw in the Trump administration’s new arms control initiative:

President Trump is sending a high-level delegation to meet with Russian counterparts in Geneva this week to pursue an arms control treaty that for the first time would cap the nuclear arsenals of not just the two largest powers, but China as well.

Mr. Trump broached the idea with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia during their meeting in Osaka, Japan, last month and has also signaled his ambition for such a three-way accord to President Xi Jinping of China, administration officials said on Monday. Russia has expressed interest; China has not [bold mine-DL].

China has no interest in being part of a trilateral arms control agreement. Their nuclear arsenal is much smaller, and they would have no reason to take part in negotiations that have traditionally been between the U.S. and Russia. China also sees the administration’s decision to quit the INF Treaty as an additional reason not to negotiate with the US:

Chinese officials have categorically rejected the idea regardless of how it is negotiated, citing, among other things, Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the I.N.F. treaty as evidence that the United States cannot be trusted.

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Showdown! Trump Takes On Turkey Over Russian Missile Purchase

Turkey’s decision to purchase a Russian-made missile defense system has led the Trump Administration to cancel its planned sale of 100 F-35 fighters to Turkey. Also under a 2017 law to punish Russia for “meddling” in US elections, Trump will be obligated to apply sanctions to Turkey – a NATO ally! On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

MSM Lies About Iran Deal and Repeats Unfound State Department Claims

Iran announced last week they will be enriching uranium to 5% which is over the 3.67% limit set by the Joint Comprehension Plan of Action signed in 2015 under the Obama administration. Iran has every right to go over that cap, since the US pulled out of the deal over a year ago and reinstated crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

But if you look at headlines in the mainstream media, you would never know Iran was exercising its right as per the JCPOA.

Reuters July 7, 2019: Iran ratchets up tensions with higher enrichment, draws warnings

BBC July 7, 2019: Iran nuclear deal: Government announces enrichment breach

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Forever Wars! House Republicans Furious Over Iraq War Authorization Repeal

House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told Fox News over the weekend that the repeal of the 2001 war authorization after 9/11 and the 2002 war authorization for Iraq would “illegalize” the entire war on terror. Are we in a time warp? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Driving Venezuela Towards Famine

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

Warnings of famine are increasing in Venezuela, and U.S. sanctions are responsible for driving the country over the edge:

In a new study, Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodriguez at New York brokerage Torino Capital set out evidence that US financial sanctions are associated with a 797,000 b/d drop in oil production, worth about $16.9bn a year. He warned of disastrous consequences in a country which grows barely a third of the food it needs.

“We’re going to see a famine in Venezuela,” Mr. Rodriguez said [bold mine-DL]. “Total imports in April were only $303m and around half of those were oil-related. That is just 8 per cent of the 2012 figure… even if all the imports were of food, it would still be far off the amount needed to feed the country.”

Rodriguez has been warning for months that sanctions could cause a famine in Venezuela. It was clear months ago that strangling Venezuela’s oil sector would have devastating consequences for the population, which relies on the imports paid for by the government’s oil revenue. Rodriguez and Jeffrey Sachs warned back in February:

By commandeering Venezuela’s only lifeline to food supplies and oil field equipment, the United States has lit the fuse. By the Trump administration’s own estimates, sanctions will cost Venezuela’s economy $11 billion in lost oil revenue in the next year, which is equal to 94 percent of what the country spent last year in goods imports. The result is likely to be an economic and humanitarian catastrophe of a dimension never seen in our hemisphere.

US sanctions are supposed to strike at the Venezuelan government, but they have predictably bludgeoned the people as they always do. Modern famines are typically man-made, and this one would certainly qualify as that. Famines today are created by governments and other political actors that choose to put their agenda ahead of the welfare of suffering people. If there is mass starvation in Venezuela, it will be because the people have been made to starve.

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