Europe Says It’s Ready for a Trade War If Pressured by the U.S. (Source Bloomberg)France’s finance minister said he doesn’t want the European Union to become the latest front in the global trade war, but that the bloc would hit the U.S. with sanctions if a settlement isn’t reached in a long-running dispute over aircraft aid. “We are all aware of the dramatic consequences of this trade war between China and the U.S. on the level of growth,’’ minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters in Luxembourg on Thursday. “Do we really want to add a trade war between the U.S. and Europe to the Chinese and American trade war?’’ The World Trade Organization gave the U.S. the go-ahead as soon as this month to impose tariffs on about $7.5 billion of European exports annually in retaliation for illegal government aid to Airbus SE. The EU has said that it will retaliate against any Airbus-linked tariffs when the WTO rules early next year on a similar dispute over subsidies the U.S. supplied to Boeing Co. And while the EU’s top trade negotiator, Cecilia Malmstrom, said she’s hopeful a settlement can be reached that would avoid a tit-for-tat tariff escalation, the bloc has already published a preliminary list of U.S. goods — from ketchup to video-game consoles — being targeted in a $12 billion plan for retaliatory levies related to the Boeing case. I’m still in favor of a settlement,’’ Le Maire said. “But the American administration must be aware that if there is not a settlement, Europe will not have any other choice but to retaliate and to put sanctions.’’
China Prepares to Blind U.S. Satellites (Source thetrumpet.com) China has been rapidly developing its military capabilities to a level that could threaten the greatest military power in existence today. But beyond the visible land, air and sea forces, it is developing the technology that could devastate the latest military frontier: space. On September 27, the head of United States Space Command warned that China is developing laser weapons that could blind American satellites. “We’re pretty comfortable
that they are developing directed energy weapons—probably building lasers to blind our satellites,” said U.S. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond. “It’s clear that China would plan to use those threats against us in conflict,” he added. Only in recent years has space become a military realm on par with land, sea, air and cyberspace. This fact led President Donald Trump to re-establish the 1985 U.S. Space Command in August, which had been dissolved by George W. Bush in 2002. The force was reestablished in order to put more focus on staying ahead of the threats to this realm.
‘Kill the gays’: Uganda resurrects overturned bill introducing death penalty for homosexuals (source RT) The Ugandan government has announced plans to reintroduce legislation paving the way for the execution of homosexual people, five years after the bill was thrown out by the constitutional court on a technicality. The bill, dubbed ‘Kill the gays’ within Uganda, will be reintroduced within weeks, according to officials. Currently, Ugandans face life imprisonment if convicted of having sex with another person of the same gender. Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said the bill is being reintroduced because of allegedly “massive recruitment of gay people” and current laws are too limited in scope.
The Psychotic Logic of the New US-Russia Arms Race: One Step Closer to Nuclear Confrontation(Source globalresearch.ca)
On October 7th, Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that Russia and the US needed to come to grips with the issue of short-range and intermediate-range missile deployment.
“In case the United States deploy these types of missiles very close to our borders, we will be forced to protect our country, we will be forced to resort to the necessary measures….It is high time for us to sit at the negotiations table, to stop negotiating via media trading accusations; it is high time to meet, perhaps in Geneva, in Vienna, in Washington, in Moscow and to come to grips with these issues,” he said. The United States has no particular reason to come to any agreement with Russia concerning short-range or intermediate-range missiles. The existence of US military bases in Poland, Romania, Japan etc, means that the United States’ strategic nuclear advantage exists on the level of short-range and intermediate-range weapons. The same cannot be said regarding intercontinental ballistic missiles. Therefore, when US officials argue that they would prefer “a more comprehensive agreement,” they are being disingenuous, ignoring the elephant in the room. Everybody in Russia’s political and foreign policy establishment, including Ambassador Antonov, understands this clearly.
To understand the strategic nuclear situation in clear, coldly amoral terms, we must also bear in mind the economic fundamentals which drive it. The world is running out of natural resources very quickly, and Russia is blessed with natural resources. This is the most central factor determining the levels of geo-strategic hostility which the western alliance shows toward Russia. Ultimately, the nations of the western alliance need Russia to become a minerals and hydrocarbons colony, to subsidize their unsustainable models of financialized capitalism. That model has always required subsidization by the natural resources of de facto colonies, and always will.
If we compare the predicament of the United States today to its geo-strategic logic 35 years ago, the Reagan administration were also imperialists, of course. However, the Reagan administration believed that they could afford to play a long-term geo-strategic game. That long-term game is no longer possible – the western economies’ access to cheap natural resources is now dwindling too quickly.
China-Iran Oil Deal Undermines the Dollar (Source thetrumpet.com) Iran struck a major oil deal with China at a meeting in August, reported the Petroleum Economist on September 3. The crude oil will be paid for in Chinese yuan. This is a blow to the United States dollar. China will invest $280 billion into Iran’s oil economy; an extra $120 billion will go toward improving transport infrastructure. The deal is a major step forward in shifting trade away from the American dollar. Using the yuan to conduct crude oil trade with Iran is a way to avoid American sanctions. Even if the deal is half as productive as China says it will be, it could reverse much of what U.S. President Donald Trump’s sanctions campaign sought to achieve. China’s decision may have complicated its trade war with America. But the fact that it is willing to make such bold claims shows its willingness to push the limits of diplomacy. Petroleum Economist also noted that China plans to deploy 5,000 armed guards to Iran to protect crude oil infrastructure. This would be a major leap forward for Chinese involvement in the troubled Middle East. Again, some have speculated that it may not materialize. But China and Iran did sign a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement in 2016. This is the strongest diplomatic agreement in Beijing’s arsenal. The U.S. dollar is often called the petrodollar because the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has conducted business with it since 1973. It has been the global oil trade’s preferred currency since the end of the Second World War. In September 2017, China took a major step away from the dollar by launching an oil futures index denominated in the yuan. For the first time, buyers could convert yuan to gold. This brings extra security and flexibility for nations participating in the index, as they are not forced to use the yuan or the dollar. As the world’s leading oil importer, China’s creation of this futures index dealt a blow to the dollar’s status. Russia, the world’s second-largest oil exporter, also began accepting yuan as payment for oil. Saudi Arabia recently threatened to sell oil in yuan as well. Many of America’s rivals are working around U.S. dominance.
Russia’s Kaliningrad Territory Is Armed to The Teeth. NATO Wants to Crush It in a War. (Source The National Interest) The Pentagon has a plan for destroying the defenses of Russia’s most heavily-armed European outpost, a top U.S. commander said in September 2019.
The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which lies between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea and is geographically separate from the rest of Russia, practically bristles with S-300 and S-400 air-defense missiles, Oniks anti-ship missiles and Iskander surface-to-surface missiles.
From Kaliningrad, Russia can threaten NATO aircraft, ships and ground forces for hundreds of miles in all directions.
But U.S. forces believe they know how to crack Kaliningrad, Gen Jeff Harrigan, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, told reporters including Breaking Defense’s Sydney Freedberg, Jr. “We train to that,” Harrigian said. “We think through those plans all the time, and… if that would ever come to fruition, we’d be ready to execute.”
“It would be a multi-domain, very timely and effective capability that we would bring to ensure we have the access we need in that environment,” Harrigian added.
“Unsurprisingly, the general didn’t give details on what that plan of attack would be,” Freedberg wrote. “But the unique position of Kaliningrad, nestled between Poland and Lithuania, well away from the rest of Russia, makes it both an excellent advance base and a highly exposed target.”
Moscow in recent years has been beefing up Kaliningrad’s defenses. Ground troops in the exclave are scheduled to receive Iskander-M ballistic missiles in 2019, “completing” the “rearmament of the missile formations of the land forces,” the Kremlin announced on Jan. 1, 2019.
missile brigade possesses more than 50 vehicles, including launchers, command
and maintenance vehicles and other support vehicles, according to the defense
ministry. The new Iskander-M rocket can carry a conventional or nuclear warhead
as far as 300 miles away.
Trump tells reporters border wall is ‘wired’, immediately after army general asks him not to discuss in public (Source The Independent)
Donald Trump touted the robust construction of his border fence on a visit to southern California, but risked the ire of one of his top generals by revealing the barrier would be “wired” to detect attempts to breach it. Flanked by engineers and the border patrol commissioner, the president talked up the steel-and-concrete fence’s technological elements during a press conference in San Diego. He said: “They’re wired, so that we will know if somebody is trying to break through.” Turning to Lt Gen Todd Semonite, chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Mr Trump added: “You may want to discuss that a little bit, general.” But he was told: “Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing it.” To nervous laughter from officials, Mr Trump continued: “Ok. I like that. That was a great answer. I’ll just tell you they’re wired, ok? They’re wired. They’re technologically very
advanced, all set up for cameras any place we want.
Navy SEAL who oversaw the bin Laden raid says China’s massive military buildup is a ‘holy s—‘ moment (Source Yahoo News)
China’s technological strategy and innovation are serious threats to US national security — now, according to retired Adm. William McRaven, the US has reached a ‘holy s—” moment and needs to invest more significantly in technology research and development to keep its edge.
McRaven said that “as we talk about the rise of China, the gap” between American and Chinese innovation “is narrowing.”
In some cases — like with 5G commercialization — China is already beating the US, and its intellectual-property theft of US technology only compounds the rapid pace at which it’s developing new technologies, a report by the Council on Foreign Relations released Wednesday said.
Russia detains shaman on mission to ‘banish Putin’ (Source AFP)
Russian police on Thursday said they had detained a Siberian shaman trekking towards Moscow on a mission to expel “demon” President Vladimir Putin, picking up a crowd of supporters on the way. Police in the eastern Siberian region of Buryatia told Interfax they had detained Alexander Gabyshev, the shaman, on a highway near Lake Baikal and would put him on a flight back to his home region where he is “wanted for committing a crime”. Gabyshev’s eccentric bid to walk from his home city of Yakutsk to Moscow, a distance of some 3,000 miles, has seen a group of followers join him on the way.
His simply expressed statements about Putin captured public attention, prompting opposition protests as well as a sharp response from the authorities and muck-raking reports on pro-Kremlin television. “God said that he’s a demon,” Gabyshev told the TV Rain channel in July. “Nature doesn’t like him. Where he is, there are cataclysms and acts of terror.” “Once he’s gone, there will be a thousand years of calm and prosperity,” he said, wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt and surrounded by supporters at a gathering in Chita. Gabyshev’s supporters on Thursday morning said in online videos that he was snatched from their camp by masked security officers in the night without explanation. The highway was blocked to carry out the detention.
Belgian F-16s scrambled to intercept 2 Russian nuclear-capable supersonic bombers over the Baltic Sea(Source Business Insider) Belgian Air Force F-16s scrambled to intercept two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic, nuclear-capable bombers, accompanied by two Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighters over the Baltic Sea on Tuesday. The Belgian Air Force has been guarding the Baltic airspace since September 3, when it took over the police mission from fellow NATO member Hungary, which was supported by Spain and the UK in its mission. Four Belgian F-16s and at least 60 soldiers have been deployed to protect Baltic airspace from unwelcome incursions, according to the Belgian Ministry of Defense. NATO countries share the mission of protecting Baltic airspace, as the Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — don’t have the infrastructure to protect their own airspace and are considered at risk of destabilization or invasion by Russia.