It seems, so report several news outlets, The Wall Street Journal was first, that the US is now threatening Iraq with losing its access to its own central bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York should it dare to expel the US troops from Iraq. Certainly, US President Donald J Trump did threaten: “We have a very extraordinarily expensive airbase that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it. We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.” The other threat by the Trump Administration against Iraq for daring to become normal, that is without thousands of unwanted trigger-happy US troops is to refuse waivers on non-UN mandated (illegal under international law) US sanctions on Iranian gas. That will cripple the Iraqi electrical grid causing enormous distress and harm to the civilian population (yet another war crime). The Iraqi Wars already cost hundreds of thousands their lives and trillions of US taxpayer money. In fact, whenever hostilities increase, so do the US Merchants of Death stock prices – it is easy to see the pattern. All of this came after the murder (there is no legal justification – see my previous blogs) of Iranian General Soleimani and others, Iraqis, next to Baghdad Airport on 3 January 2020. The Iraqi Parliament convened and asked their Cabinet to have the US & NATO troops removed after 17 years of occupation. The occupation itself, as we know today, was based on a CIA/MI6 Weapons of Mass Destruction lie/bullshit. There is also no doubt that the USA (the USA in my books always includes the lapdog NATO nations and Australia) supported ISIS factions against Syria. This is enabling terrorism, nothing more, nothing less. But let us look at the US diplomatic blunders: -
“The United States pursues, develops sustainable growth that bolsters institutions, strengthens rule of law, and builds the capacity of African countries to stand on their own two feet. This stands in stark contrast to China’s approach, which encourages dependency using opaque contracts, predatory loan practices, and corrupt deals that mire nations in debt and undercut their sovereignty.” Rex Tillerson, speaking at George Mason University ahead of a trip that would take him to Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad, and Nigeria in 2018. He got fired as Secretary of State before completing his tour to the above countries. Pompous Mike Pompeo arrived to replace him – a man that is do deluded of reality that he is a joke and an embarrassment to the world.
What Tillerson was speaking about is called “debt-trap diplomacy” which is what the US accused and is accusing China of doing. It is a clear pattern in US diplomatic thinking. They keep on warning about it.
Mike Pence, the US Vice President, then warned countries at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) not to accept assistance from China. This was on November 16, 2018: “Projects they support are often unsustainable and of poor quality. And too often, they come with strings attached and lead to staggering debt.” Contrasting the US to China, Pence presented the US as the “better option” to create economic prosperity in the region, a partner that does not “drown our partners in a sea of debt.” Okay, so the US does not do “debt traps.” Three days before he was even more brave or stupid, depending on where your admiration levels are: “Chinese President Xi Jinping is also expected to make a pledge to change Beijing’s economic, military, and political behaviour during his meeting with US President Donald Trump on the side-lines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on November 30. If Washington is not satisfied, there will be ‘an all-out Cold War.’ The US had no intention of ceding influence in Asia to China and will not back down if Beijing choses to continue its current policies. Then so be it. We are here to stay.”
I doubt if the US will stay against a similar power since it only attacks weak ones unable to retaliate. Even with Iran, within hours of the Soleimani attack, the Swiss Embassy had to deliver a pleading letter from Mr Trump not to retaliate too strongly. Apparently, he even offered the life of a similar figure as Soleimani in return. Ironically, in this case, it would be Mike Pence. It does not take much intellect to see the glaringly obvious point here – that the US has Iraq in a debt trap and will abuse that debt trap to stay on forever. It seems that the US is the “debt trap” originator and not China despite the pointing of fingers.
I assure you, many countries will take very good note of the above diplomatic fiasco in the making. It is costing the US dearly in goodwill. The lies are exposed once again. But there is something else happening not mentioned in polite society. The Iraqis are so fed up with the US presence that they stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad, trying to burn it down. The Iraqi Forces were supposed to protect the embassy and failed to do so. The US had to fly in Marines to help safeguard the place. That is where the Trump Whitehouse went into shock mode and attacked Soleimani whom they believe was the mastermind behind the attacks (without any known evidence). But why is that? What is it about that embassy that caused this overreaction risking an all-out war with Iran and being thrown out of Iraq? In my book, VOICES – War Crimes USA, I looked at the embassy under discussion: “The embassy is six times larger than UN headquarters in New York, the largest US Embassy in the world at 104 acres. There was at one stage an astonishing 16,000 people there if you included the diplomats and employees. But what is it exporting around the world?
Will Sillitoe, Helsinki Times, “What does the US embassy in Baghdad exports to Finland and dozens of other countries? More than a million kilograms (2.2 million lbs) of cargo were shipped from Baghdad to different parts of the world, reveal US embassies procurement documents.”
So did Wikileaks, the exposés clearly show that Baghdad as a postal and shipping center for tonnes of freight to Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, Africa, as well as Europe. In May 2018 alone, 540 tonnes of cargo went to the USA, 120 tonnes of freight to Europe, and 24 tonnes to South Africa, South America and Central Africa respectively. What are they transporting under armed guard and in secret because you cannot trust any cargo manifest to tell you the real story. And why, I ask, to the US? What can you possibly reroute through the Iraq Embassy to the US of all places? It is a secret pipeline without any scrutiny by law enforcement, the ideal way to hide drugs. Besides the countries mentioned, cargoes are sent and travel from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Kosovo via that Embassy.” (Taken from VOICES – War Crimes USA.)
Let me say that the US Embassy in Iraq is almost certainly the drug/weapon smuggling hub for the entire US covert effort across the world. There is no way that the US can let it go without causing ripple effects. Thus, it will be protected and kept operational at any cost, and thus the threats to destroy Iraqi financially if it is under threat. It is that simple until proven wrong. The attack on that embassy caused the panic. Worse, the escalated tensions caused by the US act of war (a war crime) against Soleimani directly led to the downing of a Ukrainian Boeing 737 civilian liner by Iran. 176 humans died, something which Iran officially apologised for and no doubt will make financial amends. I expect the culprits to be arrested and put to trial before being punished. The air defense plan will also be re-written to prevent similar mistakes. Let us contrast this with what happened in 1988 when the USS Vincennes downed an Iranian Airbus with the loss of 276 lives. The US guided-missile cruiser thought it was an Iranian F-14 Tomcat coming to attack them. Since the aircraft was flying high and steady, alone, in other words, not in an aggressive way or what would be expected during an attack (low and fast), it is beyond logical explanation why they launched besides their usual incompetence. One of Rogers’ own officers said the downing was due to Captain Rogers being “overly aggressive.” Arrogance followed: US President George HW Bush “I will never apologize for the United States - I don't care what the facts are. ... I'm not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.” Only in 1996 did the US and Iran reach a settlement with the USA still refusing to admit legal liability or to formally apologize for the lives lost. A measly US$61.8 million was grudgingly paid out on an ex gratia basis. The USS Vincennes commander, Captain Rogers was awarded the Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ... from April 1987 to May 1989.” That time frame included the downing of the Iranian Airbus civilian liner which is not mentioned in his ill-gotten reward. He was officially awarded for downing a civilian airliner and retired in 1991 with full benefits. Only in America. It is pathetic. Therefore the contempt is spilling over even from friends. It is not hard to recognise the Second Beast of the Book of Revelation marked clearly by its actions.