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.
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:
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.
The House passed two amendments to the defense authorization bill yesterday related to the war on Yemen. The first prohibited the administration from using funds to support the Saudi coalition:
But the most consequential amendments on Thursday continued Congress’s months-long effort to intervene in the Yemen conflict and punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of the dissident Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Lawmakers voted 236 to 193 to prohibit the administration from using funds to support the Saudi-led military operations – either with munitions or with intelligence – against the Houthis in Yemen, a conflict that has killed thousands of civilians and resulted in a widespread famine in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs recently released the results of a new survey on U.S. public opinion on arms sales and the U.S.-Saudi relationship:
As Congress weighs the decision by the Trump Administration to sell additional weapons to Saudi Arabia, a newly completed survey of US public opinion finds that most Americans oppose the US sale of weapons in general, and they are fairly divided on whether the US relationship with Riyadh makes a positive or negative contribution to US national security.
The survey found that a large majority of Americans (70%) believes that arms sales to other governments makes the US less safe, and 50% believe that the relationship with the Saudis weakens US national security. Somewhat surprisingly, there were large majorities that said arms sales made the US less safe regardless of political affiliation. Republicans were a little less likely to give that answer and Democrats were a little more likely, but there is broad consensus among Americans that arms sales are bad for US security.