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Title: Germany Playing Kissy-Face With IranÂ’s Mullahs Is Going To Cost German Companies Plenty
Source: RedState
URL Source: https://www.redstate.com/streiff/20 ... -cost-german-companies-plenty/
Published: May 25, 2018
Author: streiff
Post Date: 2018-05-26 01:30:35 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 588
Comments: 23

I’ve posted a few times on the efforts on the part of some European countries, Germany, in particular, to continue to trade with Iran despite US sanctions (see here | here). This, of course, is nonsense. German, and European, companies that are hit with sanctions are cut off from US markets and, more importantly, their bankers are subject to sanctions, too. Two important things happened today that, hopefully, will hammer home to Europe that their plan to resist US sanctions on Iran won’t work.

First, we have Ambassador Richard Grennell. Grennell, you’ll recall, is the guy who gave the Washington Post a brief bout of fecal incontinence when he tweeted, shortly after confirmation:
As @realDonaldTrump said, US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.

— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) May 8, 2018

Tonight Grennell was on Fox and he reiterated that warning, only in much more stark terms:
The awesome Amb. Richard Grenell lays down the law: Companies can either "choose to do business with the United States, or they can choose to do business with Iran; but they're not going to be able to do both." pic.twitter.com/Cx0plpYJad

— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) May 25, 2018

Also today, Saudi Arabia declared that German firms are ineligible for government contracts:
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered that no more government contracts be awarded to German companies, in a sign of continued irritation over Berlin’s foreign policy in the Middle East, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

Citing no sources, it said the move was likely to hit major companies such as Siemens (SIEGn.DE), Bayer (BAYGn.DE) and Boehringer Ingelheim as well as carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE).

Relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia have been strained, and Saudi Arabia last year summoned its ambassador in Germany home for consultations over comments by then-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel about the political crisis in Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia is a significant trade partner for Germany, generating 2017 exports worth 6.6 billion euros ($7.7 billion), according to Germany’s statistics office.

Siemens last year won an order worth around $400 million to deliver five gas turbines for a combined heat and power plant being built in Saudi Arabia. Daimler soon after secured an order for 600 Mercedes‑Benz Citaro buses from Saudi bus operator SAPTCO.

A senior German businessman in Saudi Arabia, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters on Friday that especially the healthcare sector was currently feeling added scrutiny when applying for Saudi tenders.

“They have even been asking: Where are the products coming from? Are they made in Germany? Do you have other manufacturing sites? And as soon as this is made in Germany, they have been rejecting any German applications for tender,” the person said.

This is a tightening of screws on the EU. Not only will companies be cut off from US markets but the Saudi market will be off limits as well. Unless they are willing to accept Iran as their only trading partner, they have to fall in line.

Poster Comment:

LF's contingent of America-haters and EUroweenies will be inconsolable.

If the Saudis are onboard for a German boycott, so are the rest of the Gulf oil states (other than Qatar).

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#1. To: Tooconservative (#0)

Interesting development.

The way this game will play out is fairly clear.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-26   6:37:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

I liked how Grenell presented it as a choice for companies to make.     : )

The Dems ought to love this. They're always going on and on about a right to choose. Now Trump is granting German and other EUroweenie countries the right to choose.

I suppose even that won't make the Dems/EUrocrats happy though. Donald tries so hard but no one appreciates him.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-26   6:57:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Vicomte13, Tooconservative, Pinguinite, sneakypete, Vicomte13, Deckard (#1) (Edited)

Interesting development.

Plot thickens.

Iran lists demands for staying in nuclear deal :

"Iran has said it will decide in the next few weeks whether to pull out of the nuclear deal signed in 2015 and start enriching uranium capable of making a nuclear bomb."

"Tehran officials said the EU would need to present a credible compensation package by the end of the month to make up for the loss of income to Iran caused by the US sanctions."

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-26   7:45:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: Too Conservative (#1)

Germany wants to trade with Iran, and so does France. Whereas before Obama made the deal with Iran, the Germans and French somewhat glumly stayed out of making deals with the Iranians, once the US authorized that they went in big, similar to the way that France was very heavily invested in Saddam's oil industry.

When the Iraq war came, the French did not join the coalition of the willing, because W Bush would not vouchsafe their oil interests after the fall of Saddam. That was the French price for alliance, but of course the oilmen running the White House at the time intended those spoils for their cronies, and were willing to alienate the French at the time.

So the US went into Iraq in the "coalition of the willing", but without a UN mandate, because France would not consent, and of course the Russians did not either.

Now, back then, Merkel was standing atop a Germany at its postwar height. Germany did not uncouple from France - that would be the end of Europe. But the Germans did distance themeselves, in doing so, emerged as the putative "leaders" of the EU, in the sense that they are the largest economy.

And so it came to pass, in the 'Naughties, that France and Germany were somewhat apart, newly expanded Europe was feeling dynamic, and Germany was feeling cocky. The East was where the future lay, and Germany is at the threshold of the East. Germany did not thumb her nose at France, rather, it was akin to it being Friday night and France was left waiting at home without a date, because Germany was off sowing some wild oats.

It felt great to be a Francophobe then - even the Senate cafeteria was serving "Freedom Fries".

But then some shit went down.

First off, the French turned out to be dead right about Iraq. It was a quagmire, Saddam didn't have WMD, and the fall of Baghdad turned out to be as much of a victory for the US as the fall of Moscow was to Napoleon in 1812. Napoleon slept in the Kremlin, waiting for the Russians to capitulate. Instead, they burnt their own capital.

Likewise, Iraq exploded into an insurrection and terrorist guerilla that went on, and on, and on. Iran was greatly strengthened, as the new, sullen, Shi'ite Republic of Iraq grew up. And this new Iraq was no friend of the USA at all. Cheney's pals never got the oil concessions. The Americans ended up spending a trillion dollars to create an Iranian satellite, and deeply alienated France and Russia.

Then the financial crisis hit, and everywhere was staggering from that, which caused Greece to go tits up, and all of a sudden Germany found the bloom off its rose. Merkel tried to brazen it out with the tough "We are the dominant economy in Europe" schtick, but it failed. The Germans did not succeed in imposing their economic sanctions on Greece. Instead, the German taxpayers bankrolled the Greek relief.

Meanwhile, Merkel pressed German and European interests forward, and coupled with America to break the Ukraine, which resulted in the Russian invasion of the Crimea.

The War on Terror in the Middle East continued to pay interest, as both Sunni terror and Iranian=sponsored insurrection spread through Iraq into Syria, provoking a flood of refugees into Turkey, and thence, Germany. Merkel once again played a bad hand, open the doors, and alienated the Eastern Europeans.

At the other end of Europe the British chose Brexit.

And so now, a sort of replay is about to happen as happened in Iraq with French interests back in 2002. Of course, back then, the French and Russians weren't supposed to be there - Iraq was a paraiah state.

But THIS time, France and GErmany, and Russia, are all legitimately in Iran, with billions of dollars at stake, through a legitimate UN agreement, from which the USA has decided to unilaterally withdraw.

I'm not here to argue the merits or demerits of the US position on Iran. My point is to convey "What next" from the other side.

Three nations, two of them under the same leaders that experienced all of the above, are facing substantial loss. A fourth nation is also facing loss, has experienced a change of government, and has itself become estranged from the rest.

With Brexit, the UK has turned away from Europe. But with the unilateral Iranian deal nixing by the USA, the British are on the same losing side as Germany, France and Russia.

They have taken themselves out of the game, antagonized the Germans in particular, oppose Trump on Iran (and personally insulted him with their withdrawal of the official state visit of the Trumps, because of British animus towards the President on a personal level). Britain's influence in Europe is at a nadir, the Germans and French are aligned against them regarding Europe, but the "Special Friendship" with the USA has been scotched, by the British themselves, because of pique at Trump.

England has folded its cards and no longer has a seat at the table. And as BREXIT nears, another vote may happen in Scotland and in Northern Ireland, that sees the United Kingdom break up, as Scotland chooses Europe over isolation as England's junior partner. A much longer shot is that Northern Ireland, which likewise benefits dramatically from the EU, decides that its economic interests are better served in a federal structure with Eire, in Europe, than as an appendage of an isolated and sinking and increasingly nationalist England.

England is facing internal issues and is off the table of the international game.

Germany, France and Russia all are on the same side of the Iranian issue, Germany badly wants gas deals with Russia, and France has the same interests as ever.

Germany's star has sunk. Putin needs allies. France was right about the War on Terror, and has been very constant and consistent throughout the time.

The French are not hellbent on a fight with the USA. Never were. It's not about that. France has permanent interests, and those interests center on a strong and unified Western Europe that follows French economic structures, because those structures have emerged from French domestic policies.

So, the EU is as it is because that's the way that the French electorate wants to live, and the EU began as an alliance between a politically isolated and desperate Germany and a marginalized France after World War II.

The French have not changed their minds about anything, and have consistently built their country following the model they believe, and it has worked, over time, better than what the British decided to do, or the Germans.

Russia is isolated, in part because of what the Germans stirred up in Ukraine in Merkel's days of incompetent diplomacy on the world stage. The Americans always pursue their own interests, and occupy the field wherever they go. So France is always obliged to seek its opportunities in places America isn't. The Americans go into Israel and the Gulf states, so France had to seek its fortune in Iran and Iraq, just as, back in the day, the British went into India, so the French went into Indochina, or the British dominated East Africa, so the French dominated West Africa.

Germany has blown itself up through a series of incompetent actions - in Greece, in Ukraine, in throwing open their doors to Muslim immigration. The Germans are out of answers, and being scraped out of Iran - at the loss of billions - like shit off a boot.

Britain has blown itself up.

Russia is weak and is not able to manage a robust economy because the Russian autocratic mind simply cannot let entrepreneurialism strive: the political leaders are too dictatorial, and the "entrepreneurs" are gangsters, not honest businessmen.

France is doing pretty well, and hasn't made any bad mistakes in decades. With Macron, they shucked off ineffective leadership, and Macron is practical enough not to get into a direct pissing contest with Trump. Sure, France's interests are in many places diametrically opposed to the USAs - precisely because the French seek opportunities where the Americans are not - but Macron is much more diplomatic than Britain's May - the British do not disguise their contempt for Trump, and that's a mistake because he takes it personally. The Germans have alienated everybody and are weak and divided, but France is still there, steady as a rock, still sharing an economy, in stronger shape across the board.

It's just not hard to see what will happen. France, Germany and Russia are aligned in interest regarding Iran. The USA is threatening Russia and Germany outright, but Macron has decent relations with Trump. Macron and Trump are playing the game with each other. What that means is that Trump does not have a public beef with Macron and France. Germany and the British, in different ways, have insulted or challenged him, but France plays the diplomatic game.

Germany wants energy deals with Russia.

Putin wants to break out of his isolation.

France, Germany and Russia all have interests in Iran, and Germany and Russia have different reasons to want to break out of their isolation.

France's interest is this: that the continent should be militarily secure, that the EU should be structured on French legal norms, that the Americans should fade from the continent leaving France as the dominant local military power that ensures the peace through its own nuclear umbrella, that Britain's influence in the EU be reduced to zero, allowing it to much more fully and consistently follow the French norms, that Germany remain an economic powerhouse that can be taxed to provide the chief form of transfer payments that the EU's VAT system provides (agricultural subsidies, the bulk of which go to France), that Eastern Europe be economically firmly within the EU orbit, and unable to play off the EU and the US over security issues.

France wants calm relations with the Muslim world, with a lot of trade and development opportunities.

All of this seems likely to go France's way. The British and Germans have bloviated and beaver-dicked themselves into isolated and crappy circumstances, France and Russia have no natural points of friction - France is the least threatening Western power to Russian interests, and the French style of doing business ignores the moralizing that causes tensions with Russia.

The US population is sick of Europe. Who would miss us in Europe? The British would. The Eastern Europeans definitely would - and our fading and departure there would not simply increase their anxieties vis a vis Russia, but would also vastly increase their dependency on France as the primary nuclear umbrella vouchsafing their security. The French, for their part, always like to make joint military units and alliances within Europe, and are people with whom the Eastern Europeans can reasonably deal. They fear the Russians, and they dislike the Germans. Historically, Eastern Europe looked to France many times to protect them. Before the age of nuclear weapons, that was hard for France to do, but today, "protection" really means a nuclear deterrent to keep the Russians out, and France not only IS capable of doing that (especially given that the Russians have no intention to invade Europe anyway), but would relish the role.

The Germans are conflicted over anything that has to do with force, and nobody wants to be under a German nuclear umbrella (least of all the Germans!). But France? It's not currently on the mind, outside of Paris, but it COULD be.

That's the point. Europe has come to a dead end, and about to have billions of dollars stripped from it, again, in the Middle East, because of a unilateral American action. The Americans are focused on forcing Germany, in particular, to publicly knuckle under, and the Germans will too, because in the short term they have no choice.

But with France, they DO have a choice. So do the Russians. And with the British out of the EU and no longer at the decision-taking table going forward, with the French economy and population both growing at a steady pace, with the Russians looking for a way out of their isolation, and the Germans having lost their confidence and having no way forward under their own steam, the only alternative is to knuckle under to Trump in the short term, and in the long term, and to continue to eat shit, or to knuckle under to Trump in the short term, but seek a way out of the trap in the longer term. And the way out is pretty clear. For Germany, and for Putin, France is the key to the whole thing. For Trump too. Want to get out of Europe? It can't fall apart more - because then we can't leave. Germany cannot lead anything. Britain can't either. Italy? God. They can't govern themselves. That leaves France, and that's not such a bad thing, because France is the least-offensive of all of the options to everybody. They're ANNOYING to us, but never dangerous. They're not a military threat to anybody outside of Africa, but they are economically much stronger than Russia, and they have the nuclear arsenal to wipe the Russians just as extinct as we do. And the Russians don't hate or fear the French, so there's no instant allergic reaction from them when the French do something. The French don't hate or fear the Russians either. France is, first and foremost, interested in amorally making money. That's the French thing: comfort, luxury, art - in peace. NATO was needed to keep the peace against the USSR. But the USSR is gone, and NATO is way too expensive and intrusive for the real threat.

Europe needs to revert to "normal", and the norm for European history since the fall of Rome has been that France is the most important country. Everybody in Europe goes on vacation in France, just like everybody else, and the French don't have the dark reputation. Also, they're really not interested in aggressive action and posturing. Like the Dutch, the French really just want to make money, and are not very discriminating about who their counterparties are. But they do believe in the rule of law and of contracts, which makes them better governors than the Italians.

So, that's the endgame of all of this. Trump gets his way in the short term. The Germans lose their interests and are mad. The Russians stay sullen and disengaged. The British dither in their own internal nonsense. The Italians steal from each other. The Spanish play. And the French work with the Dutch, Belgians, Luxembourgis, Swiss, Germans, Irish and everybody else, to make all of Europe look like a French administrative state, publicly agree with sanctions on bad actors and privately cheat...and reproduce. Above all that. And gradually the continent continues its 16-Centuries-and-counting trajectory of slowly turning into a a bunch of poor copies of France.

Thus has it been since Clovis, and thus shall it be until Christ comes back. And then at final judgment there will be two lines - the "Anglo-Saxons" and the "French". To the Anglo-Saxons, he will say: "You were pretty continent, but you did not love the poor." And to the French, he will say: "You were pretty good to the poor, but Me-o-Petes you didn't even TRY to keep it in your pants, did you?"

Hard cases.

Between then and there, things in Europe will drift messily without clear resolution, as they always do. But for now, Germany and Russia will drift closer to France, the Germans and Russians will bear the brunt of American opprobrium, while the French will cheat and pretty much get away with it. Same old, same old.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-26   8:16:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Vicomte13 (#4)

Between then and there, things in Europe will drift messily without clear resolution, as they always do. But for now, Germany and Russia will drift closer to France, the Germans and Russians will bear the brunt of American opprobrium, while the French will cheat and pretty much get away with it. Same old, same old.

I think you underestimate the pain of sanctions to France. Germany won't be alone in its suffering. You are right that Trump is out to humiliate Merkel, has done so several times already including at her WH visit. And setting Germany up for NATO-wide humiliation when they try to lead NATO's great rapid-response force (upcoming) is easy to predict.

Unless the EU wants to corrode its own sanctions on Russia, they can't cooperate much with Russia on this. And American Treasury officials are pretty knowledgeable about tracing transshipments via third-party countris and closing them down.

Frankly, I expect more trouble over Iran sanctions from Asians than Europeans with China at the head of the list.

We should find out by May 31 what the EU will do. That is the deadline Iran gave them for a guarantee that they would violate U.S. sanctions or Iran would withdraw from JCPOA and return to nuclear enrichment.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-26   8:32:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: A Pole, Vicomte13 (#3)

"Tehran officials said the EU would need to present a credible compensation package by the end of the month to make up for the loss of income to Iran caused by the US sanctions."

That's pretty funny.

Iran's diplomats are in a total panic.

Iran is overextended across the Mideast, trying to establish their Persian Crescent to reach from Af/Pak to the Mediterranean.

The EUroweenies are rushing about, badmouthing that oaf Trump and fuming along with Kerry but they know already that they have no real alternatives.


. . .

Since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States this month, calling the agreement deeply flawed, European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal.

But this has proven difficult with many European firms alarmed at the specter of far-reaching U.S. financial penalties.

Nations that remain in the deal—Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia—held a formal meeting on Friday without the United States for the first time since Trump's announcement, but diplomats saw limited scope for salvaging the agreement.

"To be honest with you, we are not confident," a senior Iranian official told reporters shortly before the talks between senior officials aimed at fleshing out the package of measures to keep oil and investments flowing.

Those measures include banning EU-based firms from complying with the reimposed U.S. sanctions, and urging governments to make transfers to Iran‘s central bank to avoid fines.

"We expect the (economic) package to be given to us by the end of May," the Iranian official said. "I'm sorry to say that we haven't (seen) the Plan B yet. The Plan B has just started to be figured out."

He said European measures would need to ensure that oil exports did not halt, and that Iran would still have access to the SWIFT international bank payments messaging system.

After Friday's meeting, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters discussions would continue.


Washington has not only reimposed sanctions but started to make them even tighter. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened Iran on Monday with "the strongest sanctions in history" if it did not change its behavior in the Middle East.

"Pompeo was like taking a cold shower," said a European diplomat. "We'll try to cling to the deal, but … we're under no illusions."

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei set out conditions on Wednesday for Iran to stay in the deal: unless Europe guarantees Iran‘s oil sales will not suffer, Tehran would resume enrichment activities that are currently prohibited. The deal lets Iran enrich but under tight restrictions.

Khamenei also rejected any new negotiations over Iran‘s missile program, which was not covered by the nuclear deal .

Iran has so far benefited less from the accord than it had initially hoped, partly because of remaining U.S. sanctions that have deterred major Western investors from doing business with Tehran. Some Western companies have already quit Iran or said they may have to leave because of the new U.S. sanctions.

Trump denounced the accord, completed under his predecessor Barack Obama, partly because it did not cover Iran‘s ballistic missile development program, its role in Middle East conflicts, or what happens after the deal begins to expire in 2025.

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to complement the nuclear deal with negotiations involving all sides over other issues, an idea cautiously received by Russian President Vladimir Putin during talks in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-26   8:38:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#7. To: Tooconservative (#5)

France doesn't want sanctions with Russia. It was the Germans and Americans and British who are still hellbent on punishing Russia over the Ukraine. The French recognized the need to make a beau geste: one cannot simply have countries grabbing pieces of Europe without there being much public concern and clicking and clucking. A price must be visibly paid.

But that's done. The French don't care that Crimea is Russia. Why should they anyway? It IS part of Russia, has been since the Russians took it from the Turks. The AMERICANS care, because we get earnest about these things. The Germans cared, more, because Merkel had illusions of Germany emerging as a great power, leading the East. To get the right answer in Iran, now, the French would be more than willing to end sanctions on Russia - they made the point they were intended to make back then: "Don't do that, it annoys us."

Americans will impose the sanctions on Germany visibly, but the French will do what they always do - fade into the background. Companies in the Cote d'Ivoire will take over the roles, and France proper won't be implicated. Also, the French will give good intel in other hotspots, and the Americans will turn the blind eye to the money flowing through other countries to France and not make a stink of it.

The Germans are neither subtle nor corrupt, which is why the sanctions will hurt them. The French made plenty of money in Iraq during the sanctions, and will continue to make plenty of money in Iran. Wherever there are sanctions, the French profit, because a sanctions regime creates a more profitable black market.

The Germans and the Anglos would consider such evasion corruption, but the French don't, because the French don't believe that other nations, such as the USA, really have any business imposing rules on France. The French recognize that the US, UN, etc. have the POWER to do it, and they have to play along, but in war and the intelligence game, deception is perfectly moral, and the French view their economic activities overseas to be a matter of national interest, and therefore believe that lies, cheats, deceptions are perfectly legitimate ways to evade the wrongful impositions by foreign states. It's only "corruption", in the French view, if what is done is intended to evade the French rules with regards to the French themselves. In other words, it is perfectly normal and natural to evade a US sanctions regime, and lies and deception are perfectly moral actions: the US has acted immorally by imposing on France what the US has no legitimate right to do. They impose by force, which is not legitimate, and so the French evade through deception, a legitimate tactic in international struggle.

The sanctions regime will cost the French some money as they retool and shift things around, but the French will not be leaving Iran. And the US will not be exposing the French subterfuge to the public in order to actually STOP it, because that WOULD cost the French billions, and the French would then retaliate by not providing intelligence, things like that. In the big game, the public posturing is sufficient to deal with a Germany or a Japan, because they are economic city states, not great powers. Great powers like France, or Britain, or Israel, have very strong and deep intelligence forces, and know what is going on in places that are vital - and THOSE relationships are a lot more important than public relations posturing. The French will stay in Iran and keep making money there. They will shift things around so that it is not publicly obvious. The US will know full well what they are doing, and really hammer the Germans or Dutch who try to do the same thing. But the US won't actually try to really STOP the French, because that would hurt the French in a real way, and then the French would retaliate by hurting us in a very real way - by withholding information. And then American agents somewhere would die horribly. This never happens, because the Americans never actually go after the clandestine ties of our allies.

Remember the USS Liberty? That was pretty bad stuff. That's what happens when you actually strongarm an ally on something vital. The French are among the very best and most trustworthy allies we have at the very deep state level, precisely because they are not boy scouts and don't get all ideologically fired up at the deep professional level.

The sanctions threats at Germany are real, because Germany is not a great power and not a vital ally at the deep state level.

The sanctions threats against France are real too, if they French were to publicly resist the USA to make a statement. Which the French never do on anything IMPORTANT. They may make a show of it (French politicians have to get elected too). The Germans will lose money, and feel the need to work cloer with Macron. The French will adjust to hide what they are doing from the regular public, they'll keep making money in secret, and the US will do nothing.

Remember, when the French are in there doing business and making money, they are also spying on the Iranians. WE can't do that. And the Germans are not a power in that regard. The Russians are adversaries. We NEED a "rogue" on our side to break our rules a bit, and get inside the other camp.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-26   8:59:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#8. To: Vicomte13 (#4)

France wants calm relations with the Muslim world, with a lot of trade and development opportunities.

Then the French are not only stinky but stupid.

France will be a musilm country we will have to nuke someday.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-05-26   9:03:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#9. To: Vicomte13 (#7)

Americans will impose the sanctions on Germany visibly, but the French will do what they always do - fade into the background. Companies in the Cote d'Ivoire will take over the roles, and France proper won't be implicated. Also, the French will give good intel in other hotspots, and the Americans will turn the blind eye to the money flowing through other countries to France and not make a stink of it.

International banking and the U.S. control of it have only solidified since the post-9/11 crackdowns.

In particular, the banking secrecy is mostly gone now, at least it is quite transparent to the American treasury if not to everyone else.

The final parts of this system were put in place when America bailed out the EU banks back in 2009. Even the Swiss finally knuckled under.

And France can't hide when French goods show up in Iran. Mossad would rat them out as it is very clear Mossad has a lot of intel sources there. That big document grab that Mossad made last month, the "discovery" of the ongoing work at the secret desert rocket base, these are largely products of Mossad work in-country.

France will get hit just as hard as Germany on major tech exports, the ones Iran wants the most. Luxury goods like wines and cheeses, well, those probably can still be sold so France still won't get hit as hard as Germany and some others.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-26   9:06:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#10. To: A K A Stone, Vicomte13 (#8) (Edited)

Then the French are not only stinky but stupid.

They are quite stinky.

Mais alors when life gives you lemons, make some champagne.

You may recall that the Russians were very unhappy when France cancelled the sale of two of its dishy Mistral littoral combat ships to Russia. These were helicopter carriers, very nice. France imposed sanctions and refunded Russia's money. So France tried to sell them. They were hopeful that Brazil and others would buy them but that fell through. However, they did find a buyer.

On 7 August 2015, a French diplomatic source confirmed that President Hollande discussed the matter with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during his visit to Egypt during the inauguration of the New Suez Canal in Ismailia.[90][91] Subsequently, Egypt and France concluded the deal to acquire two former Russian Mistral for roughly 950 million euros, including the costs of training Egyptian crews.[92][93] Speaking on RMC Radio, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Defence Minister, said that Egypt had already paid the whole price for the helicopter carriers.[94] Egypt also purchased the Russian helicopters that were planned for the ships.

ENS Anwar El Sadat

France had to give a 25% discount and toss in free training for crew in France. OTOH, they did not sign any technology transfer agreements for Egypt to build their own which was a part of the previous deal with Russia who badly wanted the tech transfer to build their own copies.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-26   9:28:16 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#11. To: A K A StoneVicomte13 (#8)

French are not only stinky but stupid.

Should I understand, that you Stone are fragrant like honeysuckle and wise like King Solomon?

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-26   9:29:50 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#12. To: A Pole (#11)

I kill honeysuckle when I see it.

I smell like Axe or Old Spice.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-05-26   9:44:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#13. To: Tooconservative (#9)

We’ll see what happens.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-26   9:44:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#14. To: A Pole (#3)

There's a limit to how far countries can be pushed to do things they don't want to do, and Putin will do whatever he can to exploit that sentiment. Germany may find they have a better friend in Russia than they do in the USA.

Pinguinite  posted on  2018-05-26   11:22:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#15. To: Pinguinite (#14)

Germany may find they have a better friend in Russia than they do in the USA.

Yea Germany should do business with Russia instead of the U.S.A.. They will get rich doing that. I mean Russia's economy is so much more important.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-05-26   12:50:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#16. To: A K A Stone (#15)

Yea Germany should do business with Russia instead of the U.S.A.

It's China that Frau Merkel has her eye on. 11 trips there in 12 years. She was just there this week, talking again about how they've drawn closer due to U.S. belligerence (Paris accords on climate, withdrawal from Iran agreement, etc.).

HotGas, today: Merkel: The US pushes us closer to China

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-26   16:31:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#17. To: Tooconservative (#16) (Edited)

Merkel: The US pushes us closer to China

The economical foundation of Germany is huge industry and value added exports (that allow high wages and quality).

Without cheap resources from Russia and Iran, this industry might become less competitive. And German economy is the engine of Europe.

Trade in Euro and yuan might open big financial opportunities for EU.

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-26   16:44:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#18. To: A Pole (#17)

Germany is as wary as we are about how China requires every company to partner with a Chinese firm and share trade secrets. Then they just steal the IP and make their own stuff.

German companies don't like that any better than American companies.

China is not like Western countries, however Merkel wants to pretend otherwise. Recall when she used to be considered the "Vlad whisperer", able to talk Putin into behaving as the EU wanted? Well, Merkel is just as mistaken about China.

Merkel's reached that stage in her career where's she's wondering "what is my legacy?". And the answer is, not much really. Other than the migrant problems she's imported.

Sometimes pols are at their most dangerous when they panic over their lack of accomplishments and go into "legacy mode". It happens more than you'd think.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-26   16:50:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#19. To: A K A Stone (#15)

Yea Germany should do business with Russia instead of the U.S.A.. They will get rich doing that. I mean Russia's economy is so much more important.

Certainly Russia's economy is not huge, but they do have heating oil which Germany needs. The main point is though that where there's a will, there's a way, and by pissing off allies like Germany, by trying to strong arm them into doing something they don't want to do, the US is providing that will. And it's not just Russia on the other end of the playing field. It's any and every country that the US has an adversarial relationship with.

I do think it's pathetic when people start cheering on a bullying country only because they happen to be a proud member of it. There is strong, and there is weak, and there is right and there is wrong. And forcing other countries to do something they don't want to do is wrong, in spite of whatever power one has to do it.

The huge national debt of the USA makes its economy fragile, and Congress by it's very nature is unable to reverse it's growth.

Pinguinite  posted on  2018-05-26   20:50:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#20. To: Pinguinite (#19)

There is strong, and there is weak, and there is right and there is wrong.

People who set up a government based on a pedophile psychopath rantings are always going to be wrong and worthy of destruction.

The Muslim religion is evil and everyone who truly believes it should be destroyed.

While I don't agree with Hindus or other cult religions either. I don't have the same opinion about them being needed to be destroyed. Just the evil muslim pieces of pig shit.

The world would be a much more peaceful place.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-05-26   21:17:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#21. To: Pinguinite (#19)

The huge national debt of the USA makes its economy fragile,

All of the other world economies are even more fragile.

We should pay off the Chinese in blue money then cancel the blue currency. Or at least make it only redeemable in the USA by the original receiver of the blue money. Anyone else tries to spend it and it is void.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-05-26   21:19:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#22. To: A K A Stone (#21)

All of the other world economies are even more fragile.

I would disagree with that with little consideration. But perhaps "fragile" should be defined.

There are strong economies, and there are weak economies. The strength or weakness of an economy is basically a measurement of how much people trade with each other. A place where everyone produces their own food, clothing and shelter and never trades would be a place where there is no economy at all. Call it 0%. On the other hand, a country where every person singularly produces a certain unique product or service that is used by all others in the country (such that if anything happened to that person, the entire country would then be devoid of that thing) it would have 100% economic efficiency.

Between these two hypothetical economies, the one that is stronger is also the one more fragile, as if something happens to 5% of the population, the entire country takes a hit, especially as in a complex economy, those 5% that disappeared provide goods & services that other segments of the population depend on to produce their goods. So killing off 5% of that economy could actually cause an extreme disruption for everyone.

On the other hand, in the weaker society that has no economy because everyone is self reliant, if you kill of 5% of that population, the 95% that remain wouldn't even feel it as they don't depend on others at all.

In this scenario, the stronger economy is the more fragile economy. It's a case of the more sophisticated something is, the easier it is to break. Simple (3rd world) economies, while not very efficient (economic) are much more robust and can survive a global crash much better that a sophisticated economy like the US, which is much more subject to a cascading collapse in domino fashion in the event any single segment of the system fails.

Adding in the fact that the US national debt is about 120% of GDP, compared to Russia's 7%, I would say we are quite vulnerable, and it's virtually guaranteed that the national debt will not be paid down and will not remain the same. It will continue to go up. Our congressional system or representation by state pretty much guarantees that the reps there will always be incentivized to vote for pork of other states as long as the other state reps return the favor.

So no, the US economy is in fact the most fragile in the world, and having the huge debt makes that fragile economy vulnerable.

We should pay off the Chinese in blue money then cancel the blue currency. Or at least make it only redeemable in the USA by the original receiver of the blue money. Anyone else tries to spend it and it is void.

Depriving countries of their rightful wealth has historically been a cause of war, and understandably so. China came to own as much US debt as they do because of US undisciplined trade policy, granted in the face of Chinese control of the value of their currency. We've been all to happy to export printed cash in exchange for goods. The USA has essentially been on international welfare for the last 80 years, with the same results we typically see in individuals that over indulge in handouts.

Pinguinite  posted on  2018-05-27   1:57:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#23. To: A K A Stone (#20)

The Muslim religion is evil and everyone who truly believes it should be destroyed.

Maybe these guys took that advice:

The world would be a much more peaceful place.

Somehow, I don't think so. Empires and wars predate the creation of Islam.

Pinguinite  posted on  2018-05-27   2:01:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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