Calling the bully's bluff

Rep. Ilhan Omar is in trouble again for telling the truth.

"The challenges that face the Venezuelan people today are years and years in the making, long before American sanctions were put in place months and months ago, whether that was putting military individuals in charge of their oil wealth," Pomepeo told conservative radio host Ben Shapiro.

It's laughable that conservatives are outraged at her comment.
After all, if our sanctions aren't making things worse in Venezuela, then what exactly is the point of them? If they aren't causing pain in Venezuela then they aren't effective.

America's assault on Venezuela has been such an obvious failure so far that even Vox noticed.

The Trump administration has been trying for months to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power. So far, they’ve failed miserably.
...It’s just not clear how much else the US really can do short of military intervention. And that’s a bad position to be in.

Venezuela is only one example of painting yourself into a corner by way of trying to bully people who won't back down.
Earlier this week the Trump Administration allowed the waivers on Iran sanctions to expire. Now if a country imports oil from Iran the U.S. must sanction them. No one would dare to defy the U.S., right?

Iran’s biggest likely remaining oil customers, China, Turkey and India, were silent about purchases of Iranian crude Thursday as a total U.S. ban on such trade took effect, leaving their next moves a mystery.

The Trump administration was equally silent about what action it might take if any of the three countries continues to purchase Iranian oil after Thursday, with no statements on the subject issued during the day by the departments of State or Treasury.

Being silent speaks volumes in this case. None of these countries intend to stop buying from Iran, which means that we will be forced to sanction some of our largest trading partners. Or be exposed as bluffing.

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Turkey says it is simply unable to comply.

Turkey says it will not be able to diversify oil imports quickly after the United States ended sanction waivers on purchases from Iran, and Ankara continues to urge Washington to reconsider its decision.

"It does not seem possible for us to diversify the sources of the oil we import in a short time," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on May 2.

China is just as unlikely to comply.
However, the biggest blowback from our sanctions on Iran is that we are pushing India and China together in an alliance.

China and India—two of the world’s largest oil importers and the biggest demand growth centers globally—are close to setting up an oil buyers’ club to have a say in the pricing and sourcing of crude oil amid OPEC’s cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, Indian outlet livemint reports, citing three officials with knowledge of the talks.

This is similar to how U.S. military threats have pushed Russia and China into a semi-alliance.

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The Empire has suffered painful defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, but one has to admit that these are “tough” countries to crack. The Empire also appears to have lost control of Libya, but that is another complex country which is very hard to control. We also saw all the pathetic huffing and puffing with the DPRK. But, let’s be honest, the USA never stood a chance to bully the DPRK into submission, nevermind invading or regime-changing it. Syria was much weaker, but here Russia, Iran and Hezbollah did a world class job of repelling all the AngloZionist attacks, political and military. Besides, I for one will never blame Trump for not listening to Bolton and not triggering WWIII over Syria (yet?)

But Venezuela?!
...
The Empire only *appears* to be strong. In reality it is weak, confused, clueless and, most importantly, run by a sad gang of incompetent thugs who think that they can scare everybody into submission in spite of not having won a single significant war since 1945. The inability to break the will of the people of Venezuela is only the latest symptom of this mind-boggling weakness.

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If you should fall on the Afghan Plain, roll on your rifle and blow out your brain.

Aka "The graveyard of empires"

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

nor did he have any illusions that it was "divinely ordained" or "eternal" or any of that rot. He knew it was the work of men (as in human beings) and would eventually perish as all empires always have. (And, being a very tidy and orderly person, he dreaded the chaos that must follow.)

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven
own barely-18 son killed in WWI.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Just when you think you know where he stands, you'll run into something with a very different, if not completely opposite, viewpoint.

He even experimented with science fiction (though I'm not sure the term had been coined when he did it), assuming that airships were the transportation of the future - but also that the future would be dystopic. At least one of his most controversial poems comes from one of those stories...and the way he framed it shows a certain ambivalence in himself toward it.

(For the record, the stories are "With the Night Mail" and "As Easy as ABC". Watch your outrage-meters if you do read them, though, because he was anything but Politically Correct and sometimes rather blunt.)

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

lotlizard's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness  
which is written in the style and form of a drinking song.

http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_youngbrit.htm

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@lotlizard

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em - you'll swing, on my oath! -
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,

Thanks for the link. I had heard what I posted on XM radio.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

snoopydawg's picture

then where are they getting it from and how much are they paying for it? How much have gas prices risen in the US puppet countries and how long will they continue doing Trump's bidding if their citizens complain about it?

And isn't funny how the media isn't telling people that Russia has helped them by raising their oil production while the Saudis have not?
Just how many times are Americans going to believe what the f'cking government tells them? No WMDs in Iraq. Spain blew up the Maine? ???? Saying that Madura is a dictator and people believing it again just proves what strife delivery said in my sigline...

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

detroitmechworks's picture

Never get involved in Asia... Seven extra armies every go, but you can never hold onto it...
(H/T to Eddie Izzard)

Of course, I tend to think of it as never playing Civilization against other players... Soon as you start making threats everybody gets together to stomp on the the asshole with the big army. Even the Computer AI can beat you when it's ten on one... Unless you have all the of the options set to "Entire rest of world is made of morons."

Personal Theory: Games are how humans understand things they can't really understand. Even CHESS does not reward aggression without thought. Somehow we'v elevated people to positions of decision making who do not understand the most basic principles, and yet are convinced they are masters of the arts of war and diplomacy because they can give money to people with impressive uniforms to do it for them. Uniforms these days are worth exactly what they are made of. Sweatshop Labor.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks
mistaken for bold geniuses, and rewarded accordingly.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

edg's picture

Thanks for posting it.

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Socialprogressive's picture

moron so maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me with climate change/global warming being what it is, does it really matter whose buying oil from who when continued use is fucking up our environment. The focus should be on less use. But I'm just a moron. What would I know?

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When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

Hawkfish's picture

@Socialprogressive

The more sand in the gears of oil extraction, the better our chances of survival.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

dervish's picture

???

Off the top of my head, we've got Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Russia, Syria, Qatar, Lebanon, Iran, Yemen, North Korea, and probably a few that escape me.

How long will it be before countries choose to ignore our arbitrary sanctions, and trade with whomever they please? What will it really cost them? What value do we really provide?

Please continue, John Bolton, and show us how quickly you can burn down the republic.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Hawkfish's picture

Cheeto only cares that his supporters think he is “getting tough” on Iran. Actually enforcing them would raise gas prices.

It’s a win-win from his perspective.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg