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"The United States has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests."

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Flags of the US and Russia fly in the garden of the villa La Grange, on the eve of the US - Russia summit in Geneva, on June 15, 2021. / AFP / POOL / PETER KLAUNZER

The United States continues to hurl accusations of human rights abuses, cyber attacks and other criminal activity at Russia, China, and several other players in the Global South.

The United States recently dismissed Syria's presidential elections as undemocratic, having done the same to Bolivia in 2019 and Venezuela the following year.

The United States allows itself to invade countries like Iraq, in the name of democracy, to steal Iran's oil in the name of counter-terrorism and to go so far as to antagonize its own allies for daring to do business with Russia.

Therefore, is it not reasonable to pause and ask whether the United States, itself, practices what it preaches?

Since the aftermath of World War II the United States has attempted to push a rules based international order, proclaiming itself a champion of democracy and human rights.

In the years since, this claim has been proven to be largely misguided at best, and some would say, a false pretense in order to intimidate and control other nations.

On numerous occasions, both under Trump and Biden, the United States committed what can only be described as acts of piracy against Iran.

Venezuela has been under brutal US sanctions for decades, Donald Trump intensified those sanctions causing Venezuela's economic situation to worsen exponentially and infrastructure to deteriorate rapidly.

Although Venezuela sits on the world’s largest known oil reserves, it cannot refine this oil and has a significant fuel shortage. Venezuelan companies have also been cut off from the rest of the world due to targeted sanctions on its banking and oil sectors, and cannot offload or sell any oil in exchange for fuel.

One solution, proposed by Iran, was to trade Venezuelan gold for Iranian fuel. in the summer of 2020 Iran sent its first fuel tankers to Caracas, taking much needed fuel with them to the Bolivarian Republic, with many ships, completing the journey successfully and unhindered.

In August 2020, the United States took control of some vessels and stole the oil. The Trump administration then proceeded to sell this oil, making millions in the process.

To no one's surprise, this practice has continued under the Biden administration, which has chosen to keep virtually all of the imperialist practices of the Trump administration in place.

On May 31, 2021, the Biden administration went ahead and did exactly the same as Trump had done and sold off millions of barrels of Iranian oil, which they had stolen at sea. Just like pirates.

The unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and other countries, continue to undermine international law and inflict enormous suffering on millions of civilians.

Countries under brutal sanctions, naturally, try to find a way to circumvent what is essentially siege warfare to mitigate the economic crisis and suffering, brought upon them.

And how does the United States respond? It engages in further violations resorting to acts of piracy.

Venezuela has been cut off from world markets, so in order to barter it has attempted to use its gold reserves. One of these reserves lies in the Bank of England, in London.

Since 2019, a billion dollars worth of gold belonging to Venezuela has been confiscated by the Bank of England, at the behest of the Americans and the US backed opposition led by Juan Guaido.

A court case in Britain has decided the legitimacy of the Venezuelan government, and to whom the gold rightfully belongs.

Just imagine that, a British court decides who the real government in Venezuela is, having previously completely ignored the fact that Maduro's government was democratically elected, officially recognized by the Venezuelan people, by the United Nations and the international community at large.

This attempt to steal the gold is in order to block Venezuela from being able to circumvent the cruel sanctions that the West has wielded against Venezuela.

More recently, in June 2021, Iran sent additional ships to Latin America, the Biden administration subsequently issued a so called warning to Venezuela and Cuba, not to allow Iranian ships to dock. It has also accused Iran of sending weapons to Venezuela.

And once again we see the barely masked colonial mindset in how the United States speaks to other countries like children who need supervision and ignores their sovereignty and right to self determination.

If Iran and Venezuela want to trade with each other through international waters, this is business between Iran and Venezuela; it is their prerogative as independent, sovereign nations. In any case, Biden has no right to issue warnings to neither Iran, nor Venezuela for docking ships at their own ports.

These are not US colonies, they're not US territories, this is precisely the level of absurdity that one hears from Western governments, and equally from the mainstream media, who continue to think and speak quite brazenly in the same imperialist manner spreading this colonial mindset.

We've also seen Iran sending several fuel tankers to Syria in recent months. Syria is experiencing its own fuel shortages, because, unsurprisingly, the United States is stealing its oil in the northeastern regions of Hafike, and Deir ez-Zur.

Due to the fuel crisis in Syria and the crippling sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, Iran has attempted to mitigate the situation.

However, several tankers have been hit in what appeared to be acts of sabotage attributed to Israel in recent months.

As we can see the United States, steals Syrian oil, steals Iranian oil, and then profits from this act which, whether on land or at sea, can only be described as what it is, piracy.

Venezuelan gold in England was being stolen at the behest of the Americans, this is not only morally reprehensible, but very clearly a brazen disregard for international law and maritime rules.

Lebanon has been suffering its own economic crisis for many years, the inflation coupled with the lack of foreign currency reserves, and the fuel crisis, have resulted in a severe blow to living standards. Recently, in June of 2021, Hezbollah's leader Seyyed Hassan Nassrollah, gave a televised speech to commemorate the 30 year anniversary of Al-ManarTV.

During the speech he spoke of the ills that the Lebanese people are suffering and facing, and he issued a striking proposition.

He said that if the Lebanese Government cannot contend with the economic crisis that Hezbollah, will negotiate with Iran to import fuel directly, and just dare the Lebanese authorities try and stop this.

This was met with praise by many who see the now defunct Lebanese Government as unable to handle, but also responsible for, the economic woes they face, and some rival MPs in Lebanon, of course, retorted with fears that this would bring on sanctions from the west.

Now, funnily enough, very shortly thereafter it was revealed that the US backed government in Iraq would be doubling its oil supply to Lebanon, from 500,000 to 1 million tons a year.

Some suggested that it was Nassrollah's speech that resulted in the Americans and Iraqis being so scared that they took such action.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to underscore how much of a hand the United States, how much of a hand the West, has in destabilizing countries around the world and in particular in the Middle East.

As we've seen, time and time again, even when it comes to matters of negotiation, such as the talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA, we see again that there's no respect for international agreements.

Signed in 2015, the deal, The JCPOA did not even last the length of one presidential term, and was ripped up by Donald Trump in 2018.

It seems; unfortunately, that the idea of principles, of respecting ones own word, these concepts, no longer carry any meaning.

The Biden administration promised to re enter the agreement, but still beats around the bush when it comes to re-implementation, and has only wasted time thus far.

Now, one would think that the United States would be more lenient on its own allies, but this often is not the case. The United States is very effective at pressuring, even its own allies, into abdicating their own sovereignty. A perfect example of this is Germany.

In 2003 when the United States kidnapped and tortured, a German citizen, Khalid Al Masri, who was wrongfully accused of being a terrorist. Germany demanded that the CIA agents involved be extradited to face justice.

Diplomatic cables, later published by WikiLeaks, revealed extensive evidence of how the United States successfully pressured the German government not to pursue the case against the 13 CIA agents responsible for the kidnapping and torture of Al Masri.

Germany succumbed to US pressure and threw one of its own citizens under the bus, allowing the United States to get away with such heinous acts.

In 2013 due to the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, it became known that the United States was spying on the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This caused a scandal, but ultimately resulted in nothing more than a scandal when a media frenzy and essentially a slap on the wrist.

In May 2021 It was revealed that Denmark was also implicated in this affair, having aided the United States in bugging the German Chancellor's phone in late 2020.

 Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went on a tour of Europe, and he specifically left Germany out of this tour, and instead he visited only its neighboring countries, signaling the United States discontent with Germany's work on Russia's Nord Stream two pipeline.

Pompeo went to countries like Austria and Poland giving speeches about how evil Iran and China are, and he openly discouraged those European governments from importing Chinese products, like from Huawei and warned them not to cooperate with Russia on the Nord Stream two pipeline.

Pompeo accused the Chinese Communist Party of controlling the tech giant Huawei and putting spyware on its devices, which, given the revelations about NSA surveillance and spying and the cooperation of Silicon Valley companies like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, with the United States national security apparatus, it is so hypocritical, that it becomes hilarious.

The United States does not want anyone to participate in the construction, or use of Russia's Nord Stream two pipeline, because the Americans do not want Russia to cement a dominant market share in European gas.

Instead, they want this for their ally Ukraine or maybe even Qatar and other countries close to them, to get the upper hand.

The gist of it is pretty clear, when it comes to business, the United States doesn't care about what is good for its so called allies, nor does it care about their sovereignty, the United States wants its big tech companies in Silicon Valley, to maintain their monopoly over the tech industry, and it wants its allies, and oil and gas partners to maintain theirs over their respective industries.

Anyone who stands in the way, will be cut off, or given the cold shoulder.

Another remarkable event that was  when Donald Trump claimed that Germany wasn't paying its bills to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, which subsequently caused a diplomatic row.

NATO was created in 1949 as a military alliance between the United States and other Western European countries to counter the Soviet Union. Another way of looking at it, especially post cold war; it’s a protection racket.

This is very similar to how the mafia operates; the mafia says pay us money, or we will beat you up. People pay the mafia to be protected from the mafia itself. A similar parallel can be drawn between such protection rackets and NATO.

In June 2020 Trump called Germany "delinquent" with its payments, and the disgruntled President of the United States promptly withdrew thousands of US troops stationed there. And even then, Germany still remains home to the largest contingent of US troops in all of Europe.

Alex, you know, oftentimes, we see the United States talk about human rights abuses in other countries, you know they point the finger at China and they slander them with allegations of human rights abuses, they do the same to Russia, to Iran, to China,, and they're also pushing this lab leak theory now with China.

And it's not just the US government doing this, it's the entire mainstream media apparatus, which is equally geared towards repeating these claims.

Why is there not much criticism of the United States human rights record, and undemocratic practices in the mainstream media?

Well, we have to understand the media as an extension of the US Empire, and you know a lot of what fuels Media reports on this kind of thing is like the NGO industrial complex and the think tanks.

These organizations that are highly funded by you know defense contractors or billionaires, billionaire foundations, because they have the resources to actually devote, you know investigative power into, into, you know, these kinds of allegations, whether they're true or not, they're the ones that are able to, you know furnish the statistics for the media to report on. So, you know, the NGO industrial complex, the think tanks in the media are all just really an extension of the US Empire.

That's why it's important to have outlets like Press TV and others that push back on this kind of thing. So, I mean there's just not, there's just not money for, for, you know, that kind of information that would really expose the US crimes abroad, which are committed, you know, just about everywhere if you, you know, look at the world map, you know you're going to see just about every country is being meddled in, in one way or another, even, even allies, you know, because God forbid that they have a leftist or social democratic person, ascend to power there, that would be very bad because the United States needs its clients complying.

Alex Rubenstein, Investigative Journalist

When it comes to allies, much like the Trump administration, the Biden administration is very much against the Nord Stream two pipeline being built by Russia and Germany.

What do you think the goal of the United States is when it recently decided to sanction Russia, but not Germany?

Well I think that the United States might be on thin ice with Germany especially considering what the Obama administration did, spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel's phones. So, you know, obviously, they want Germany to remain powerful as a bulwark against any kind of, you know, spread of an economic ideology that is different from neoliberalism, you know, which is something that they've been fighting in that area since you know World War II.

And they continue to do and like Belarus for example, you know, big part of this.

The reason that the United States is taking such aggressive measures against Belarus and issuing sanctions and such, is because they have a different economic model, is because they're allied with Russia. So, you know its part of that.

Alex Rubenstein, Investigative Journalist

So what else is in the toolbox for the United States to whip its allies into shape when they misbehave, what does the US resort to with its allies in contrast to Iran and Syria, both of which it treats with complete animosity?

Right, well I mean I think globally, whether they're allies or not, the thing is that the military option is not in the toolbox right. …the world is becoming increasingly multipolar, and the United States can't compete militarily.

So, what, what they do use is all these economic incentives, you know, we have to understand that the IMF, the World Bank, these are, these are also extensions of the US Empire. They're controlled by the US, they're based in Washington and the US has veto power over any major policy in those organizations.

So, economics is really the leverage and information so it's, you know, it's people say oh Trump didn't start anything but he's been continuing and expanding and he created hybrid war, which is really the modus operandi of the US government at this point.

As I said, because the military option is off the table, because … the United States can't afford to go to war, so they are resorting to these dirty tricks, these economic measures.

Sabotage is a big part of the playbook, whether that be, setting an Iranian ship on fire, and recently we saw piracy enter the scene with the seizure of $110 million worth of Iranian crude oil.

We see the same thing in Syria, where the United States is occupying, illegally, Syrian oil fields and, and what the Bank of England did to Venezuela; seizing its gold. This is all part of the agenda here.

Alex Rubenstein, Investigative Journalist

Why is it that the United States, Britain and the West have such an issue grasping the concept of sovereignty, when it comes to Iran, when it comes to Syria, and of course, the global south in general?

Well because they don't do everything the United States tells them to, because they exercise their sovereignty.

A country like Germany might have some veneer of sovereignty, but they do whatever the US tells them to do, pretty much, I mean there are exceptions, (like) Nord Stream II, but you know it's their exercise of their sovereignty, you know.

We want to do a regime change in Venezuela, we want to do a regime change in Iran, and we want to do one in China.

So of course the fact that they're trading is frightening to the United States government, because even though it's well within their rights to trade, to pick their trading partners, and pick who they want to sell to and who they want to buy from, and who they want to, I mean, in the case of China, who they want to invest in.

Alex Rubenstein, Investigative Journalist

Return to normalcy a fallacy

The media, and a plethora of politicians believe that Biden is a return to normalcy, that he's going to go meet Putin very soon, and he's going to teach Putin a lesson, and lecture him about human rights issues and cyber attacks.

Do you think Joe Biden, or the United States, is in a position to be lecturing others on human rights issues?

Well, it's totally hypocritical, I mean like, you know, Joe Biden did a regime change in Ukraine, and he did it in the name of fighting corruption. Months later after the coup, his son got, you know $50,000 a month to do basically nothing for a strategically important, nationally strategically important oil and gas company.

So, you know you want to talk about corruption; there you go. The return to normalcy is a return of what we're seeing now, piracy, of breaking international law.

… they're going to talk to Putin about human rights, while forbidding Israel to be tried in the International Criminal Court? It's absurd, and I think that the world is realizing just how absurd it is and we're starting to see, with Biden, who is … letting all the alumni from the Obama administration kind of take charge.

I think with that kind of weak figurehead the world is realizing that the United States is not going to be able to lead, and it's going to be up to countries like China, who have a competent leader and the more actually humanitarian approach to foreign policy to, to show us the way of going forward.

Alex Rubenstein, Investigative Journalist

European leaders traumatized by Trump presidency

There was a reporter in the White House briefing room who was asking about the scars that the European leaders sustained, and how they were traumatized, by the Trump presidency.

What do you think of the view that Trump was just an anomaly?

Yeah, I mean, of course he was, he was a bit of an anomaly, because it's not so common for US presidents to actually say truthful things, and he did. ...he's kind of like Kissinger, where he was like you know this is actually how it is, you know like the intelligence community cannot be trusted.

And that's not to say that Trump was a good president.

He wasn't, but he did show the face of the empire very explicitly and, you know, making a fool out of himself, really reflected how the United States acts on the international stage.

So I will give him credit for that. But in terms of actual policy, we see that all his worst policies, all of Trump's worst policies are being continued by the Biden administration, and in some cases made worse.

Alex Rubenstein, Investigative Journalist

Apparently, in the West, it's acceptable for the United States and Britain to behave like pirates, not only through violent means, sending the armed forces to bomb, kill and occupy other countries, but of course to impose sanctions, to starve people to death and then steal Venezuelan gold, steal oil from Iran, from Syria, and behave like bandits.

This is state piracy, organized crime at the state level; the imperialist nations are nothing more than international gangsters and criminals. They call themselves democratic and talk about freedom and rules based international order, but there is nothing democratic, nor free, nor orderly about any of their actions.

For all their talk of protecting human rights, there's no respect for human rights, nor for international law, treaties and agreements.

Through their war on terror the Americans and their allies have violated the Geneva and Hague Conventions innumerable times, the Rome Statute, has not even been fully ratified by the UK and was never even adopted by the US.

When it comes to the nuclear talks, the United States tore up the JCPOA yet accuses Iran of not following the deal.

The world has turned upside down. The Biden administration continues to beat around the bush, stalling and making excuses, wasting time, refusing to rejoin the deal, and then gives lectures about international law as it continues to impose crippling sanctions.

When sovereign nations like Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela attempt to engage in mutual trade and partnership and cooperation, the West speaks about them as if they are children.

Again, it appears that Joe Biden, much like his predecessors, has a very tough time grasping the concept of sovereignty.

Iran, Venezuela, Syria, do not need permission from the United States to trade with each other; they are not US colonies.

They are sovereign nations and have the right to engage in mutual trade, partnership and cooperation of their own accord.

The fact that one must explain the basic concept of sovereignty is a testament to how awful the Western mainstream media is and how it brainwashes people with a colonial mindset and makes them accept this imperialist mentality and accept these imperialist actions perpetuated by their governments as being morally, legally and ethically acceptable.

It is precisely because Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and others in the Global South exercise their sovereignty that the United States, tries to rob them of it and target them for regime change.

Countries which do not do as they're told by Uncle Sam will be called undemocratic and illegitimate and accused of the most nefarious crimes in order to justify foreign intervention.

As for the so called allies of the United States, they have long since abdicated their sovereignty and free will to Washington and remain in the good graces of the US only because they do not step out of line and do as they're told.

The United States will even brazenly kidnap and torture European citizens and get away with it because European countries have no backbone and won't stand up to the United States, even when it comes to defending and protecting their own citizens.

The United States does not even respect its own allies, and they do not respect themselves or they would not be allowing the US to treat them in such a manner.

 As Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State so famously once said, The United States has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.

 


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