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The Claptrap Propaganda About Guns in America

Eric Zuesse

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In the 2008 five-to-four majority Heller decision defining what the Second Amendment means, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the Amendment’s “prefatory clause,” which stated the Amendment’s “purpose,” is irrelevant to understanding the Amendment, and must therefore be ignored when applying the Amendment to determine whether a given law has been passed which violates this Amendment. That Heller decision reversed 69 years of prior settled U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and it basically ignored the key part of the Second Amendment itself — the Amendment’s very purpose — in order, basically, to promote gun-sales. Heller was the most pro-gun-sales ruling ever by the U.S. Supreme Court, and it blatantly lied about the U.S. Constitution, in order to do that. Here’s how they did it:

The entirety of the Second Amendment is: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Heller decision used the following absurd excuse as its ‘justification’ for ignoring the Amendment’s very purpose:

The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

That prefatory clause (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”) wasn’t actually “a purpose,” but the purpose; and to ignore a law’s stated  purpose is outrageous, and should never be tolerated by any judge — especially a law that’s part of the Constitution itself, and most especially when the nation’s Supreme Court is perpetrating this atrocity against the entire nation, the U.S. Constitution itself, which is an act of the most profound type of treachery to perpetrate. Such judges virtually spit upon the Constitution they are obligated to protect. Instead of the 2nd Amendment’s stated purpose, the Court-majority introduced its own, alleged, purpose, from the majority’s supposed investigation into the Amendment’s history — and they even lied about that. The Heller decision went on to assert that the Amendment’s purpose was a very different one from the stated purpose, and was a purpose which came from the “Antifederalists”: the Heller ruling said 

“The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia.” 

In their view, the Amendment was added so as to arm potential counter-revolutionaries against the newly established Union government: the U.S. federal Government. This supposed other ‘purpose’ — which the five who signed the majority-decision accepted and which was supposedly inferred by them from ‘history’ instead of from the Founders who wrote the Constitution and wrote the 2nd Amendment, with its stated purpose — reigned for them, as if it were the ‘actual’ purpose of that Amendment.

However, only  the Federalists had actually written the U.S. Constitution. They did it during 1787-1791. They were opposed — not supported — by the Antifederalists. The Antifederalists opposed the proposed U.S. Constitution. They were the minority, and so the Constitution became democratically passed as  America’s Constitution, the basic Law of the United States of America. Only after the U.S. Confederacy, of slave-states during the subsequent 1860s U.S. Civil War rebellion against the Federal Government, did the anti-federalist position, of states’ rights being supreme above the authority of the federal Government, become briefly re-established in those rebelling states, and so those rebelling states re-established, but only in these slave-states, much of the pre-American-Revolution system, against which the Founders had fought and won the Revolutionary War, though this time that system, of states’ rights above the federal government, was being applied without specific reliance upon the British monarchy and empire. For the Antifederalists, their rejection of the King’s rule meant transference of his powers directly onto the former colonies themselves — not  onto a new U.S. federal Government, the Union, the federal republic. That’s why they called themselves “antifederalists.” Yet the Heller 5 ruled for  the “Antifederalists,” against  the Federalists. That’s treachery.

Today’s U.S. Government is not the one that was established by America’s Founders, the authors of the U.S. Constitution. Today’s U.S. regime is, instead, mainly the nationwide restoration of the Southern Confederacy, which U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had temporarily defeated during the Civil War and thereby secured the progress of democracy in America, which has since tragically ended. The Southern Confederacy was a local and successful antifederalism, which became defeated by the Union, which restored the federalism that had been established by the Founders. But the Union’s — and the Founders’ — victory in the Civil War has increasingly become reversed, through treacherous actions, such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Heller case. The Heller case is the easiest-to-document case-example of this treachery, and this is the reason why it’s the one that is being discussed here. (I am not interested in guns, but am extremely interested in the U.S. Constitution — far more so than are the U.S. Supreme Court jurists who had won their seats by perjuring themselves in their oaths-of-office.)

Unfortunately, Lincoln’s progressive and democratic victory is being successfully challenged and defeated by today’s American fascists, not only in the White House and Congress, but even on the U.S. Supreme Court itself.

The Heller decision reflects the fundamental position of the Southern Confederacy (a feudalist society) (1861-1865) (to which America is returning in the modernized version, fascism, or as Mussolini sometimes called it “corporationism”), the position rejecting the U.S. Constitution. These modern far-right people have gradually rewritten the U.S. Constitution, to comport more with the views that prevailed in the slaveholding South.

The Heller decision is one of an uncounted number of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court which have authorized the U.S. Government as imposing a dictatorship (such as America’s Founders had rebelled against and overthrown and replaced, by their instituting, through a Revolution, a limited democracy).

In fact, the Second Amendment makes very clear what its sole and exclusive purpose is: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.” It’s stated clearly, right there. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ‘interpretation’ is instead their insertion of a lie, which they claim to be based upon their own examination of ‘history’, from which they supposedly infer a different or another ‘purpose’ for the Amendment. Only a fool can respect such judges as they. As a matter of historical fact, the actual debate, when that Amendment was being considered for addition to the U.S. Constitution, was itself based upon the implicit understanding that everyone had, regarding what the then-clear meaning was, of “a well regulated militia.” That then-universally-recognized meaning was: all physically capable adult males who are organized under the laws of the individual states and operating under their state’s laws as a military reserve force to be called up only in an emergency for battle, in case the U.S. Congress, which is within the national (not in any state’s) Government, declares war, so as to defend the entire nation against a threatening aggressive foreign nation (such as, certainly, Britain then was, and still remained).

The meaning of “a well regulated militia” was, then, the exact opposite of what the fascist judge who wrote the Heller decision said: “to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms.” The 2nd Amendment had nothing to do with protecting the American people from an evil Congress. It was instituted instead to enable the entire federal Government to raise an army in a national emergency.

All existing state militias at that time were organized under the laws of the then-existing British colonies, which had just recently become states within the newly established U.S. federation. In no instance were the militia’s individuals organized only under their own personal authority. And now that the U.S. Constitution existed, those armed men were subordinate ultimately to the U.S. federal Government, and not only to their respective state governments (such as prior to the U.S. Constitution’s being passed into effect).

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller ruling represented a dramatic reversal of the Court’s previous interpretation of the Second Amendment. The Heller Court virtually, and entirely arbitrarily, defecated upon the tradition and principle of “stare decisis,” or of respect for settled Constitutional law as established via a prior definitive U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In the 1939 United States v. Miller case, the Court had stated, in a unanimous decision (which was arbitrarily being overturned by the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court’s 5 fascists in the Heller case), that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” the state militia, and that the Amendment “must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.” No other end, no other purpose, but only the stated one. This precedent wasn’t merely a bare majority of the Supreme Court speaking in the Miller case and to future American history; it was, instead, everyone on the Supreme Court, who were subsequently being reversed and nullified by the Heller decision’s bare majority in 2008. 

Here was the Miller decision’s key passage:

The Constitution as originally adopted granted to the Congress power: ‘To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.’ U.S.C.A.Const. art. 1, 8. With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces, the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.

The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they [307 U.S. 174, 179] were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies

[such as today’s U.S. Department of ‘Defense’ provides, unConstitutionally]

; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia: civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.

The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.

As is clear there, the purpose of the state militias was not only the “defense” against foreign invasions, but the state militias were organized also in order to put down “Insurrections,” such as the 2008 fascist U.S. Supreme Court majority, in the Heller case, sought actually to encourage and assist (“Insurrection”). The Miller decision said — to the exact contrary, and with documentation that the Heller judges simply ignored — that the Founders’ reason for the Second Amendment was to enable “calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” The Heller fascists, to the exact contrary of the Founders, wanted instead the encouragement of such far-right “Insurrections.” The Heller 5 were, actually, boldly raping the U.S. Constitution. They were raping America’s Founders. And, apparently, no one has noticed.

The Heller decision simply ignored the reason why state militias actually existed; the Heller decision said:

The adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.

It actually implied and meant a great deal more than that. The 5 Heller judges simply ignored the power and authority under which the state militias operated, and to which the militias answered. Insofar as those 5 judges were concerned, these militias were self-organized, and maybe fighting together against the Government — an “Insurrection,” which is one of the two things that the militias were intended to protect the Union against — and certainly not to facilitate.

Furthermore: the very idea that, as the Heller ruling said, a Constitutional provision’s “purpose … does not limit or expand the scope of … the operative clause,” is, itself, a blatant lie, which even people of low intelligence can easily recognize: its falseness is blatant enough so that the clearly fascist intent — of the 5 jurists who agreed there in asserting it — was flamingly obvious and outrageous. Nothing can be more obvious than the fact that a law’s purpose needs to be adhered-to by the entire legal system that is enforcing the law. (Otherwise, for what reason does the law even exist?) The law’s purpose is supposed to be the supreme guide to the law’s interpretation, application, and enforcement. But today’s U.S. Supreme Court is instead dominated by outright traitors, who baldly deny this obvious and blatant fact. They did it right there. They don’t want the actual intent of the Founders to rule in this country. Judges such as this are termites at the very foundations of the American republic. Toleration of such judges is unacceptable in any democracy. This has been tolerated far too long.

Only in a dictatorship can brazen lying, like that, from the nation’s highest court, be tolerated so much so that none of the national press were pointing out each one of that decision’s brazen falsehoods (as is now being done here). The United States has thus been descending into a fantasyland, in which only fascist myths are publishable and publicly accepted as being more than the lies they are, by the ‘news’ media, and by the ‘expert’ juridical commentators (such as this one), all of whom in 2008 and afterward should be laughing-stocks today, for accepting that ruling. Because, if they are not being ridiculed, then what hope is there that a Constitution will be adhered to, and honored, in anything like the sense that it was written for, and intended? Laughing-stocks, indeed! They either are that, or else there can’t even be a hope for democracy — not any, at all. How can there be hope for democracy if judges such as that are tolerated and their decisions thus come gradually to accumulate and so to eat away at the very fabric of a democracy, its very Constitution?

With blazing boldness, the U.S. Supreme Court in Heller overthrew the Founders, and reasserted the Southern Confederacy, more than a century after the South’s defeat in the Civil War. But that’s merely one of the many ways in which they’ve done this. And, apparently, nobody even cares.

PS: A reader of this at Washingtonsblog objected that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” means that the purpose is theirs and not that of any (not limited by any) “well regulated militia.” I responded that: “They lied that the stated purpose ‘does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.’ That stated purpose very much did ‘limit’ the ‘operative clause’ to be referring ONLY to the use of those weapons either to repel a foreign invasion or to defeat an ‘insurrection.’ All existing militias at that time were operated by the government, for those two purposes. And all of those weapons were held by ‘the people.’ Furthermore, any unauthorized usage of those weapons, for any other than those two purposes, was not covered in this Amendment. Those were 100% government-purposes, and nothing else. But the purchase and ownership and maintenance of the guns were obligations by the individuals, as part of their citizenship. Of course, you’re not advocating that today there is an obligation for every adult American male to keep at least one gun at home? See this.”

Author’s note: first posted at strategic-culture.org

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

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Future of BRICS: BRAXIT or ‘Power Next’?

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The club of emerging political and economic powers of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa in response to new global challenges is famously known as BRICS. Since its inception in 2006, it has been a platform to highlight the prominence of multi-polar world order challenging the collision of G-7 members. These five countries account for 20 percent of world GDP and 40% of the world population. Further, they hold 40 percent of gold and hard currency reserves. Being collectively the largest market, their cumulative GDP has tripled in the last ten years.

With the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro on 28th October 2018, many are skeptical about the future of the BRICS as he comes from the far-rightwing camp which seems to be antagonistic to the BRICS. Brazil is the most populous nation in South America with the world’s eighth-largest economy of the world. Bolsonaro wants Brazil to be great as Trump wants America to be great. Even during Bolsonaro’s campaign period, he has reiterated that his foreign policy would be changed from his precursor. Further, he is a follower of conservative Christianity who profoundly believes in restoring Judeo-Christian tradition against communism.

With this scenario, the future of BRICS has been subjected to controversial as to Jair Bolsonaro would lead Brazil to exit the BRICS moving towards the pro-western camp. Another argues that this collision would last long due to their close trade relations. 

The Origin of BRICS

In 2001 the term BRIC was firstly coined by Jim O’Neill, a British economist in a paper written for ‘Global Economic Paper’ of Goldman Sachs using the acronym stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The first summit was held in 2009 at Yekaterinburg, Russia emphasizing the need of reformations to be made to the international financial institutions. In 2011, South Africa became a member of this group at the third Summit held at Sanaya, China making BRIC into BRICS. The primary purpose of BRICS is to broaden the cooperation among members and enhances the support for multipolar world order. It is mainly an indication of the movement of world power from the west to the South.  Since the inception BRICS conducts its annual summit of heads of the states to youth forums though the members don’t have their own permanent executive body or a secretariat.

Functions of BRICS

Two main functions of the BRICS are, to 1) liaise with meetings and international organizations such as IMF and G-20 Grouping and to 2) design a framework for BRICS members for multi-sectoral cooperation. Today it covers more than 30 sectors including agriculture, science and technology, culture, outer space, think tanks, Internet governance and security, social welfare, intellectual property, health, and tourism.  The forum called BRICS Business Council promotes and strengthens business, trade and investment ties amongst the business communities of the members. Think Tank Council formulates long term economic strategies of the members.

Further initiatives have been made for establishing New Development Bank (NDB) to finance the infrastructure projects in emerging economies and developing countries and also for entering into Contingent Reserves Arrangement (CRA) to promote mutual support among the members in situations of instability in the balance of payments. Demands have also been made to reformulate the IMF but, they were not yet successive because of the resistance caused by the Western power. Moreover, the BRICS are open to cooperation and constructive engagement with other countries, as well as open with international and regional organizations in dealing with current global issues.

Despite this, one of the vital political demands that the BRICS has made to the United Nations Organization is to expand the number of members of the Security Council covering the BRICS members and making decisions of the UNO more democratic and accountable. This shows the importance of BRICS to balance the prevailing world order and also to voice for the global south in international relations.

Challenges Ahead

However, as it is mentioned the foreign policy of Bolsonaro is opposite to the leftist approach which was a blessing to accelerate the activities of BRICS. It is more similar to the protectionist approach followed by the US President, Trump. Once, Bolsonaro said at a press conference as “It is about aiming for a great Brazil like that – the way Trump wants America to be great”. This approach is contrary to the joint statement made at the 2nd summit of the heads of the states held at Brazil where the members pledged to resist all forms of protectionism and fight disguised restrictions on trade. Further, criticisms made concerning multilateralism and pulling out Brazil from Global Compact for Migration also support Bolsonaro’s protectionist approach. With respect to the crisis in Venezuela, Bolsonaro supporting the USA rejects Nicolas Maduro as the duly elected President, while all other BRICS members accept Maduro as democratically elected president.
Moreover, distant relations between China and Brazil also a reason to make BRICS in a more controversial position.  With the Xi Jinping’s rise in China from 2013, China took the leadership of the BRICS group and proposals were made at the Fortaleza Summit in 2014 to establish NDB to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies, as well as in developing countries. However, Bolsonaro’s far right and anti-communist ideology is contrary to fundamental policies of China. His early visit to Taiwan and South Korea and China’s reaction on his visit has greatly influenced on assuming Bolsonaro would choose between BRICS and OECD members.

 Nonetheless, since 2009 China is the top trading partner of Brazil and on the other hand export of soy to China from Brazil is as crucial as the arrival of Chinese investment into Brazil. According to a recent study carried by the Started Charted Bank, China will become the largest economy of the world in 2020. Hence, though there is much ideological dissimilarity, both the countries are dependent on each other concerning their trade relations.

Conclusion

If Bolsonaro is more driven by his far-right ideology than by pragmatism, he will not deal closely with the BRICS members. However, it is difficult to assume that he will abandon this BRICS group as Brazil is highly dependent on Chinese imports. It would be challenging for him to dramatically shift in his trade relations having with China and also with Russia. More importantly, in the middle of this year, it is Brazil’s turn to host the BRICS summit of 2019. Though there are no valid reasons for BRAXIT, i.e. for Brazil to exit from BRICS, Brazil would not be an active player in BRICS making BRICS into the most powerful allies of the South as it happened during LuizInácio Lula da Silva’s tenure. Skepticism arose even when Narendra Modi appointed as Prime-Minister in India coming from the far right wing that how BRICS is going to maintain cooperation among members with the rivalry between India and Russia. Further, Brazil was not prominent in BRICS during his predecessors Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer’s period. Conversely, it’s not only stance of Brazil has been changed even China doesn’t seem to be willing to invest much on the BRICS as in the past. As Lord Palmerston once stated, “in international relations, there is no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies. Only the interests are eternal and perpetual”. Hence, BRAXIT seems to be far away than we assume.

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Sanders will criticize Trump

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Of course, during the upcoming presidential elections in the United States, there will be a lot of criticism from the White House and the U.S. president. This is a matter of great concern to Donald Trump. On the other hand, Democratic Party elections will begin shortly. The common point of all candidates for this election is criticism of Trump’s policies.

Bernie Sanders, the old American senator, and one of Democratic nominees for the 2020 presidential election, continues to oppose U.S. President Donald Trump. This confrontation started at the time Trump entered the White House (by early 2017). Sanders called for an end to Washington’s support for Riyadh in the Yemeni war. Sanders also condemned Trump’s stance on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. At any rate, Sanders’s recent position against Trump has led to the U.S. President’s concerns.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says it would be an “impeachable offense” if President Trump were to fire Robert Mueller the special counsel leading the federal probe into ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

“I’ve been very reluctant to talk about impeachment until we have all the information coming in from the investigation. But that would be a major, major, major obstruction of justice. That would be an impeachable offense in my view,” Sanders said in an interview for The Intercept’s newly launched podcast “Deconstructed” released Friday.

In his tweet, Sanders was referring Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Justice Minister, and his forced resignation. Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, replacing him with a loyalist who has echoed the president’s complaints about the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and will now take charge of the inquiry.

Among all Democrat candidates, Sanders has a lot of motivation to challenge the trump!The fact is, according to polls conducted in 2016, Sanders had a much greater chance of winning the U.S. presidential elections. Many Democratic voters believed that Sanders could have an important role in regulating power in America as a symbol of change in the United States. Although such an idea was wrong due to the political structure in the U.S., it was, however, strongly accepted by some Democrat supporters.

 On the other hand, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate who was supported by her husband, Bill Clinton, and many influential figures in the party, managed to defeat Sanders with her secret lobbies, and went to fight Trump as Democrats’ final candidate. Anyhow, if Sanders were to reach the final round of the 2016 presidential competitions, he could have defeated Trump and enter the White House. Sanders, however, was the victim of Democrat leaders and Hillary Clinton’s secret lobbies. It was not without a reason that many Sanders advocates voted for Hillary Clinton’s rival, Donald Trump!

Ultimately, the tensions between Trump and Sanders in the U.S. presidential election of 2020 will be of great interest to many Americans. If the Sanders win in the Democratic Party, this conflict will become more intense and more serious. A topic that the president of the United States and his entourage are scared of.

First published in our partner Tehran Times

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The collapse of American empire is a warning to Europe

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The wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and threats and violence against Latin America, and imposition of sanctions on various nations, all can deface the United States and its unpopular policy in the international community, set to protect U.S. financial institutions.

Although the U.S. empire has already begun to crumble, U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy has sped the process. The wrong policy of the U.S. administrations has brought the nations to stand against the U.S. led-world order.

The U.S. has turned into the biggest threat to world peace with its duel policies, violence in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and support for Saudi Arabia and Israel. Obviously, the “regime change” in Venezuela, on the pretext of democracy, is nothing but a cover-up in the U.S. policy to seize Venezuela’s oil reserves.

 American democracy means supporting U.S. foreign policy, privatization of public infrastructure, non-compliance with domestic laws and compliance with U.S.-dominated global institutions. Decades of war and U.S. military intervention, have brought nothing but violence, killing, and destruction on planet earth.  

To the U.S., a country is considered democratic that follows its leadership such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, otherwise, that country is non-democratic and a foe. This policy is challenged by states like Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela and others which don’t bow down to Washington’s policy and seek to defend their own national interest.

Any international control system requires the rule of law to mediate in the world challenges.  However, U.S. diplomacy contradicts international law. The American diplomats claim their better judgment on the world allows other nations to adopt a more prosperous lifestyle, and they don’t allow the intervention of international laws in the U.S. policy and diplomatic system. 

The U.S. has the “power of veto” in the United Nations that enables Washington to prevent the adoption of any “substantive” resolution. In the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), they can easily veto any policy or loan. Without such powers, no international organization will join the United States.

Without having the power of veto, the U.S. doesn’t recognize the verdict of and authorities in the international court of Justice. If sentences issued by The Hague Court oppose the U.S. policy, they will be considered inadmissible to the U.S. For example, the verdicts issued on U.S. war crimes in Iran and Afghanistan, human rights abuse, and illegal sanctions are not recognized by Washington. 

In September of last year, Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton, a hawkish politician, strongly criticized the International Criminal Court and said, “The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”

Senior judge Christoph Flugge from Germany resigned from one of the UN’s international courts in The Hague in objection to the U.S. that had threatened judges after moves were made to examine the conduct of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. 

Bolton vowed that the United States would retaliate by banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the U.S., imposing sanctions on any funds they had in the States and prosecuting them in the American court system. “If the court comes after us, Israel, or other U.S. allies we will not sit quietly,” he said, also threatening to impose the same sanctions on any country that aided the investigation. Bolton held a speech last September in which he wished death on the international criminal court. “We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead.”

The central banks of states have long maintained their gold and other monetary reserves in the U.S. and UK. Perhaps the approach seemed logical in 1945; however, the U.S. and UK orchestrated 1953 coup d’état against Mohammad Mosaddegh, Iran’s prime minister, who nationalized Iran’s oil, and the Iranian revolution of 1979 which led to overthrow of the Shah, the American courts blocked Iran’s assets in the U.S. The movements showed that the IMF is an arm of the U.S. Department of State and the Pentagon. In today’s global politics, international finance and foreign investment have become leverage against nations who won’t bow down to U..S policies.

Lately, foreign countries are apprehensive about their gold holdings in the U.S. They know full well that their assets can be blocked unilaterally by the U.S. if Washington’s interests are threatened. That is why in 2017, Germany decided to repatriate half of its gold reserves from the U.S. The U.S. authorities have considered the act an insult to their own civilized state. 

Now, it’s Venezuela’s turn. The country called on the Bank of England to return $1.2 billion of its reserved gold to repair the economy, which has been hurting by the American sanctions.

The Bank of England, however, froze Venezuelan gold asset following Mike Pompeo United States Secretary of State and Bolton’s instruction. Bloomberg wrote that the U.S. handed control of Venezuela’s bank accounts in the U.S. to the opposition leader Juan Guaido to have a better chance to control the self-claimed government. 

In late January, a rumor broke out that a Russian Boeing 777 that had landed in Caracas to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the country’s central bank, amounting to $840 million in return for food and medicine. Although Moscow rejected the report, the Nicolás Maduro government has the right to purchase food for the Venezuelans who are under brutal U.S. sanctions by the country’s gold reserve. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio called the act “stealing money” as if Maduro is a criminal for trying to reduce the pressure of U.S. unfair sanctions against his people.  

The European countries, too, have to abide by the U.S. policy, otherwise, they will be threatened to sanctions. For instance, if the European Union wishes to remain committed to the Iran deal, it will have to surrender to the U.S. pressure and sanctions. European states have realized that Bolton and Pompeo’s threats can lead to confiscation of their assets by the U.S.  

The U.S. threats are not merely military but a cyber-attack is a way of confronting an enemy and crashing its economy. The main cyber money transfer is led by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) which is based in Belgium. Some countries are developing an alternative money transfer system to protect themselves against U.S. threats.
 
In late January, Germany, France, and England launched INSTEX, a trade tool to counter U.S. sanctions in support of trade with Iran and other countries. Although for Iran, INSTEX is nothing but a similar U.S. humanitarian aid to Venezuela, for Europe it may be a way out of U.S. opposition to transporting Russian gas from Nord Stream to the European continent.

The U.S. energy official warned European official of the risk posed by relying too heavily on Russia’s cheap gas and offered plans to sell America’s liquid natural gas (LNG) at a higher price to Europe through ports, which don’t exist for high volume yet. Trump stresses The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members spend two percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on weapons, preferably from the U.S. and not German or French.
 
It seems the IMF is administered from the Pentagon in Washington. Undoubtedly, Europe is aware of losing its international financial ties.
At the funeral of George H. W. Bush, EU diplomats were at the bottom of the list of candidates to sit in their seats; the United States no longer considers the European Union as a credible entity.
 In December, Mike Pompeo delivered a speech on Europe in Brussels, in which he admired the virtues of nationalism, criticized multilateralism and the European Union, and said that “international institutions” that dominated national sovereignty “must be corrected or deleted. 

On Twitter, Pompeo says with a mockery: “Europe was an enemy of Europe. But it was Germany in World Wars 1 and 2. How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”
The idea of creating a European army has been discussed in the European Union. The initial offer was from Germany, and then Macron in the commemoration of the centennial of the end of the First World War in France.

Sigmar Gabriel, former foreign minister of Germany, said in February 2018 at the Foreign Policy Forum in Berlin “that it’s time for Germany and Europe to put their agenda on the agenda because the United States no longer sees the world as a global community or shared interests.

French President Charles de Gaulle long ago believed that no nation could be considered an independent state and ordered the withdrawal of France from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1996.

Europe is at risk and knows it too, but it doesn’t have many options ahead. It has to choose either to use the historic opportunity to gain political, and economic independence, or give in to U.S. policy while it awaits the fall of U.S. which will jeopardize its economic and political future. 

First published in our partner Tehran Times

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