meanwhile, the demagogs invite you to watch melania swatting donald’s hand away as many times as you can

Germany threatens retaliation if Pindo sanctions harm firms
Gernot Heller, Alissa de Carbonnel, Reuters, Jun 16 2017

BERLIN/BRUSSELS – Germany threatened on Friday to retaliate against Pindostan if new sanctions on Russia being proposed by the Pindosi Senate end up penalizing German firms. The Senate bill, approved on Thursday by a margin of 98-2, includes new sanctions against Russia and Iran. Crucially, it foresees punitive measures against entities that provide material support to Russia in building energy export pipelines. Berlin fears that could pave the way for fines against German and European firms involved in Nord Stream 2, a project to build a pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic. Among the European companies involved in the project are German oil and gas group Wintershall, German energy trading firm Uniper, Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie. The part of the Senate bill that targets Russia was introduced by some of the president’s top critics, including Walnuts McCain, who are intent on limiting his ability to forge warmer ties with Russia. Under Obama, Pindostan & Eurostan coordinated closely as they ramped up sanctions against Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Crimea, but the dialogue has broken down under Trump, who considered easing sanctions against Russia when he first came into office. Merkel spox Steffen Seibert described the Senate bill, which must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by Pres Trump before it becomes law, as “a peculiar move.” He said:

It’s strange that sanctions intended to punish Russia for alleged interference in the Pindosi elections could also trigger penalties against European companies. That must not happen. I regret that the joint approach of Eurostan & Pindostan on Russia and sanctions has been undermined and abandoned in this way.

In an interview with Reuters, German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said:

If [Trump backs the plan], we’ll have to consider what we are going to do against it.

France and the European Commission also urged Pindostan to coordinate with its partners on such matters. A French foreign ministry spox told reporters:

For several years, we have underlined to Pindostan the difficulties that extraterritorial legislation spark.

The House of Representatives is expected to debate the Senate bill in the coming weeks but it is unclear whether it will come up for a final vote before the stinking critturs leave Faschingstein at the end of July for their summer recess.

Kremlin takes dim view of proposed new sanctions
Dmitry Solovyov, Reuters, Jun 16 2017

The Kremlin takes an extremely negative view of the proposed new sanctions against Russia and believes that they can harm other countries that have to adhere to these sanctions, Kremlin spox Dmitri Peskov said on Friday. The Pindosi Senate voted nearly unanimously on Thursday for legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia and force Pres Trump to get Congressional approval before easing any existing sanctions on Russia.

Germany issues stinging rebuke of Pindo sanctions against Russia
Johannes Stern, WSWS, Jun 17 2017

Germany’s Foreign Ministry published a sharply-worded press release Thursday from Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern (SPÖ) denouncing Pindostan’s foreign and economic policies. Thugs and Demagogs agreed by 97 votes to 2 to impose new sanctions on Russia in the Senate on Wednesday, justifying the measure as a punishment for Moscow’s alleged meddling in their election, its annexation of Crimea and its support for Assad. The bipartisan bill was “the package of sanctions the Kremlin deserves for its actions,” said Jeanne Shaheen. Gabriel and Kern brusquely reject the measure as really about “the sale of Pindosi LNG and the sidelining of Russian gas supplies in the European market.” That emerges from the text “particularly explicitly.” The goal is “to secure jobs in the Pindosi oil and gas industries.” They wrote:

Since 2014, Pindostan & Eurostan have answered side by side and in close joint consultation Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which is illegal under international law, and its actions in eastern Ukraine. … But the threat to impose extra-territorial sanctions which violate international law on European companies participating in the expansion of European energy supplies is intolerable. Europe’s energy provision is a European affair, and not one for the Untied Snakes of Pindostan! Instruments of political sanctions should not be connected with economic interests. Threatening European companies in US markets with punishments would introduce an entirely new and extremely negative quality to Pindo-European relations.

Angela Merkel explicitly backed her Foreign Minister on Friday. Her spox Stefan Seibert said:

(I can express) very strong agreement in terms of content with Gabriel’s statement. This is an unconventional action by the Pindosi Senate, to put it mildly.

The German government is working systematically to expand its global political and economic relations. After Chinese PM Li Keqiang and Indian PM Narendra Modi visited Berlin at the beginning of the month, and Merkel visited Argentina and Mexico last week, the government organised a major conference on Africa in Berlin earlier this week. As Berlin moves to fulfil Gabriel’s pledge to “use the spaces vacated by Pindostan,” the tensions with Faschingstein are rising. Last week, Gabriel criticised the Pindo-backed action taken by the Toads against Qatar, which is aimed above all at Iran. In a statement, Gabriel defended the Emirate and warned against a “Trumpification” of relations in the region, saying:

The latest gigantic arms deals between Pres Trump and the Gulf monarchies intensify the danger of a new arms race. This is a completely wrong policy, and certainly not Germany’s policy.

Gabriel’s statements against Pindostan have nothing to do with pacifism. He is not concerned with “peace” but with the enforcement of German imperialist interests, which are increasingly at odds with those of Pindostan, which under Trump is ever more openly heading in the direction of war with Iran. The German government is striving for a further opening up of Iran’s economy to secure new markets for German corporations in the Middle East and new investment opportunities for German capital. The same applies to Russia. Although the German government supported the coup against Yanukovitch in Ukraine in 2014, and stationed troops on the Russian border, it opposed open conflict with Russia over Ukraine. In his new book “Remeasurements,” Gabriel boasts:

With the Minsk Accord, France and Germany, on behalf of Europe, while not resolving an escalating conflict, curbed it significantly for the first time, without Pindostan, which was close to supplying weapons to Ukraine, with the cynical idea that although Russia could not be defeated militarily, it would be pressurised into peace talks more rapidly if it paid a high price in blood. The war in Ukraine would have become a war over Ukraine. But Europe was grown-up enough to foresee this, and to let Germany and France negotiate.

Following Brexit and the elections of Trump and Macron, Berlin seemingly feels it is grown-up enough to increasingly distance itself from Pindostan and to press ahead with the construction of a Euro army under German leadership. Gabriel wrote in his book:

Europe’s security is Europe’s own responsibility. We must become capable of acting strategically in foreign and security policy, because we don’t do so enough. That includes us defining our European interests and articulating them independently of Pindostan. This obstinacy requires to some extent an emancipation from the direction adopted in Faschingstein. Whoever has their own goals also should develop their capabilities to achieve them. The EU needs to see itself as a greater security policy power. Our defence budgets must be adjusted accordingly. The armaments of the European armies need to be modernised, made operationally deployable and reoriented to military tasks. The issue is not just to buy new weapons. It is about integrating the arms industry more in Europe and pooling forces. It is about creating a joint European security identity, which opens the way to a European army through ever more closely integrated structures.

Gabriel’s declared goal is the building of a veritable European combat power capable of enforcing its global imperialist interests independently of NATO and Pindostan and if necessary against them. This policy, which is supported by all of Germany’s parties from the CDU/CSU to the SPD, Greens and Left Party, has an irresistible logic. As in the first half of the 20th century, the deepening rivalries between the imperialist powers over raw materials, markets and geostrategic influence are leading once again to a war between the great powers, unless the working class intervenes on the basis of its own socialist strategy.

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