US Imperial Hard Ball
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
All nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to US interests are on its target list for regime change.
Tactics include preemptive wars, color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, economic terrorism, and other hostile actions.
The US long ago abandoned international and its own constitutional law, operating by its own rules exclusively, inventing them to serve its interests.
Imperial hard ball isn't pretty — abandoning cooperative relations with other countries, demanding everything, giving nothing in return.
The US is waging war by other means on Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and other sovereign independent states — risking things turning hot on any of the above nations by accident or design.
The problem with America isn't Trump. It's the dirty system he sits atop as the nominal head of the snake.
Dark forces run the US. No senior official from either wing of the one-party state in the executive branch or Congress bucks the system.
That's why Trump and congressional leaders support endless wars, other imperial actions, corporate favoritism, and police state harshness on dissenters at the expense of the public welfare.
The system is fundamentally flawed, weakening over time, doomed to fail longterm like all other empires in history.
Given the power of US super-weapons and rage to control planet earth, its resources, and populations, what happens between now and later on matters crucially — notably the threat of possible nuclear war to enforce its will.
Things may worsen ahead, notably the US bubble economy imploding. When the going gets tough for the empire, the response may be greater war to divert attention from dire homeland conditions.
The congressionally passed FY 2020 militarism and war budget bill includes the so-called "Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act of 2019."
It imposes illegal US sanctions on companies involved in Nord Stream 2 construction if they continue working on the project.
The measure has nothing to do with energy security of any nations, everything to do with wanting expensive US liquified natural gas (LNG) replacing 30% cheaper, readily available Russian gas — delivered by Nord Stream pipelines to European markets, notably near-completed Nord Stream 2.
Hostile US legislation won't stop its completion or becoming operational in 2020.
Economic powerhouse Germany notably values Russia as a supplier of cost-effective natural gas.
Chancellor Angela Merkel called hostile US legislation a "clear declaration of war." According to the German broadsheet Bild, she "will not tolerate the United States continuing to undermine the gas pipeline project, which enjoys her government's support," adding:
Nord Stream 2 is too close to completion to be stopped. Merkel and her government oppose "extraterritorial sanctions."
"European energy policy is decided in Europe, not the US," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stressed.
Last week, the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce said Nord Stream 2 is essential for European energy needs. It called for retaliatory sanctions on the US. Some Bundestag MPs urge tariffs on US LNG.
The latest on Nord Stream 2 construction is that 2,100 km are completed, 300 km still to go.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the project will be completed. He slammed hostile US legislation, saying the following:
"The hostile and un-competitive attitude of the US to this exclusively economic project is well-known, this is not news," adding:
"We are aware that we're dealing with attempts at unprincipled competition, and sometimes using actions that amount to racketeering or asset-grabbing on the international arena."
A senior Uniper official whose company is involved in the project said:
Its financing was contracted for before "any sanctions legislation in the US."
At his yearend press conference, Vladimir Putin said Russia "will respond (to US sanctions) based on the principle of reciprocity," the hostile action by Washington to affect bilateral relations.
On Friday, the US Treasury Department said the following:
"Upon signature by the president on December 20, 2019, the provisions of Section 7503 of the NDAA immediately became effective," adding:
"In order to comply with the wind-down provisions of Section 7503(d) of the NDAA, involved parties that have knowingly sold, leased, or provided vessels that are engaged in pipe laying at depths of 100 feet or more below sea level for the construction of Nord Stream 2 or Turkstream must ensure that such vessels immediately cease construction-related activity."
Allseas involved in the project announced suspension of its "pipelay activities."
Turkish President Erdogan said "(n)ow (the US) say(s) 'we will impose sanctions on TurkStream (that will deliver gas to southern Europe)."
"This is a complete violation of our rights." Erdogan promised to retaliate if US sanctions on the pipeline are imposed.
US efforts to undermine Nord Stream and TurkStream won't halt their completion and becoming operational next year.
What's going on is one of countless examples of what the scourge of US imperialism is all about.
US adversarial relations toward Russia shows the futility of the Kremlin's view of Washington as a partner.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."