This article originally appeared at Strategic Culture Foundation
You have to hand it to the sociopaths running U.S. foreign policy, they are very adept at creating no-win scenarios for their opponents. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was just handed a major defeat at the United Nations Security Council, who voted down a resolution to extend the arms embargo against Iran.
That embargo is set to expire in October as part of the U.S. unilaterally pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known colloquially as the Iran Nuclear Deal.
But Pompeo and President Trump only wanted that vote, in my opinion, to force out into the open their ability to impose the ‘snapback’ sanctions on Iran which is a major component of the JCPOA.
Pompeo and Trump, with this vote, are now, disingenuously clawing their way back into the JCPOA by saying they have the right to invoke those sanctions on all signatories. This tact is unlikely to succeed so what’s the game plan then?
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif cuts to the heart of the matter in a recent article:
The U.S. administration’s disinformation campaign — including false and forged claims regarding a regional consensus … is a ruse to disguise its real, more malevolent motivations: having failed to collapse Resolution 2231 after over two years of the most brutal “maximum pressure” ever imposed on a nation…the U.S. now hopes to abuse its mal-interpretation of the provisions of the same resolution it abandoned in 2018 to finally destroy it. This deeply malicious U.S. behavior is evident throughout the UN, where it seeks to use the UN itself to effectively destroy the world body.
Trump wants the JCPOA gone and he’s willing to blackmail most of the U.N. Security Council to get it. Because if the arms embargo is lifted then he and Pompeo will then use their expanded sanctions capability under CAATSA to cut even more of the world out of the U.S. financial system.
And I’m not talking about little things like cutting Iran and/or Russia out of SWIFT. Those are already on the table and game-planned for by both countries. He’s not stupid enough to cut China out of SWIFT no matter how badly relations deteriorate short of open, kinetic war.
I’m talking about harsh sanctions on European persons and companies akin to what they’ve already done over something as miniscule as the Nordstream 2 pipeline to get the results in the U.N.S.C. they want.
This feeds into Trump’s growing distrust of the EU and a resurgent Angela Merkel in Germany, who he knows is actively working against his re-election. There is zero love lost between these two, since Trump has clearly targeted Merkel as his biggest enemy in Europe.
Now I’m no fan of the U.N. or most of the other post-WWII transnational institutions like the World Bank and the I.M.F. but this push by Trump and Pompeo to break the U.N. now that it no longer acts as a rubber stamp agency on U.S. foreign adventurism is the height of duplicity.
The strategy employed by Trump and Pompeo here is so absurd even the U.N.’s harshest critic, madman John Bolton, thinks they are nuts to go this route.
The reason for this push to extend the arms embargo on Iran is simple, both Russia and China are deep in negotiations with Iran to upgrade both its air and air defense capabilities. China is ready to deploy over $400 billion in Iran while Russia stands ready to ‘sell’ the Iranians new Suhkois and S-400 missile defense systems.
And there’s no way to pressure Iran to the negotiating table and create a new JCPOA to Trump’s liking if it can credibly defend itself from Israeli and U.S. aggression. But this feeds into Trump’s re-election strategy of brokering an historic peace deal between the UAE and Israel while making headlines with troop withdrawals in Afghanistan and Germany.
Now at the same time, Trump and Pompeo have been very active across Europe rewriting the U.S. troop deployment map there to pressure Russia into signing new INF and START treaties under threat of U.S. expanded deployments in Poland.
Is this just more aggressive posturing by Trump? We’ll see. I remain convinced that a lot of his foreign policy ‘blundering,’ as Philip Giraldi called it recently (which I don’t disagree with), is part of his purposefully blowing up the old order between the U.S. and Europe now that it’s clear to me the globalists’ goal of a Great Reset involves destroying the U.S. and moving the center of western power to the European Union.
The recent upheaval in Belarus fits into this thesis perfectly.
While I’m sure the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko wasn’t as overwhelming as the official polls suggest, I don’t for a second believe he actually lost the election.
That said, what is happening in Minsk is similar to what happened in Kiev in 2014, Venezuela in 2019, and what’s happening in the U.S. against Trump himself, a manufactured color revolution that can only reach the levels we’ve seen if the government itself wasn’t fundamentally corrupt.
It’s a color revolution nonetheless and the hypocritical responses from the U.S., France and Germany over the ‘violence’ in Minsk verges on the cartoonish, especially given the level of civil unrest at home in all of those places.
Things have progressed to the point in Belarus where Russian President Vladimir Putin also has no good options in the near term. Opposition to Lukashenko is strong enough, because he is a terrible leader, that Putin can’t openly support him while at the same time he can’t wait too long to make a move lest Lukashenko be ousted from power, bringing a U.S. puppet, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, to power.
For his part, Lukashenko has finally seen the light. Caught trying, as The Saker so trenchantly put it, “to sit between two chairs.” Lukashenko has only himself to blame for this coup attempt.
He’s the one that courted the West, inviting Pompeo to reopen the U.S. embassy, thinking he could blackmail Putin into giving him more treasure from Russia’s coffers. And he has resisted for nearly two decades Putin’s offers of a Union State where Belarus and Russia would be far more integrated partners than they are now.
And now, after being set up by Pompeo, Lukashenko sees things clearly and is ready to cave to Putin immediately on everything because if he doesn’t Belarus will become another failed state just like Ukraine is today.
It’s touch and go right now as to whether Lukashenko can hold onto power long enough to get this done but he’s already offered to leave office and reform the constitution, which is the only path he has left. From a report at TASS:
Meanwhile the incumbent president vowed readiness to redistribute power through a constitutional process. “Of course, I will go away someday. In a year or two. But we can’t give up the constitution to some nobody. Because it will be a disaster. This is what I am afraid of the most,” Lukashenko pointed out, as cited by the BelTA news agency.
Reiterating readiness to “share” powers, the incumbent head of state was clear though that this would never happen under pressure. “We need a new constitution. I’ve been proposed two variants, but rejected both of them, because they barely differ from the current one. The work on the third variant is underway. Come, let’s sit and work on the constitution and put it to a referendum. And I will relegate my powers to you by the constitution. But not under pressure and not through the streets,” he said.
Trump will happily go along with this regime change operation in Belarus to get Russia to the bargaining table over energy, security and everything else. He won’t meet with Putin between now and the election because there is no upside to it for him politically.
Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron want the situation in Belarus because it feeds the narrative that NATO is still necessary to ‘contain Russian aggression’ and counter Trump’s criticisms. Poland and the Baltic whiners love this as well.
The EU would love to poach Belarus for the European Union.
NATO itself wants this conflict for the same reasons.
The problem is that Belarus is not Ukraine. There isn’t the same kind of ethnic division, there is a single language and long, historical ties to Russia. And this color revolution can be countered easily with swift negotiations of the Union State proposal and outlining a path for Lukashenko to leave office peacefully.
The longer he stays in power the more likely the situation will defuse itself. The same goes for Iran and the JCPOA. The longer Iran does nothing in the face of Israeli and U.S. aggression the more likely the outcome moves in their favor. Pushing Iran today carries no weight after the events surrounding the assassination of General Soleimani in January.
Everyone knows Trump is not going to war with Iran unless one of his rogue underlings, like Pompeo or a general, force his hand. This is not out of the question, especially if it looks like he’ll win re-election.
That’s why I see these moves in the U.N. as being more directed against the EU than Iran itself. Trump has a bigger problem on his hands, however. The chaos he’s unleashed in his quest to remake European and U.S. relations is something his State Dept. under Pompeo can’t control either. And he won’t be in any position to do anything more than what he’s doing now, win short-term victories and lose the long-term war while global capital abandons the U.S. and moves east.