Stories We’re Watching
US Calls on EU to Implement Iran Sanctions, as EU Seeks to Challenge Dollar Dominance
Yesterday the US special representative for Iran urged the EU to impose sanctions on Iran over its ballistic-missile program. The call comes amid the reinstatement of US sanctions on Iran. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Iran of testing of a medium-range ballistic missile capable of striking Europe. The Iranian military insists its missiles are defensive and has vowed to continue with tests despite US rebukes. The EU is already developing “a full range of trustworthy interest rate benchmarks” to challenge the “exorbitant privilege” of the US dollar. Many European fiscal policy experts believe that dollar dominance has allowed the US to forcefully compel global compliance with its foreign policy goals.
- Bloomberg: Here’s How Europe Plans to Challenge the Dollar’s Dominance
- RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty: US Urges EU Sanctions On Iran Over ‘Escalating Missile Threat’
- Foreign Policy: How Europe Could Blunt U.S. Iran Sanctions Without Washington
- Military Times: US condemns Iranian missile launch, pushes Europe to impose sanctions
Venezuelan President Arrives in Moscow after Meeting with Erdogan
Yesterday Venezuelan President Maduro tweeted that he was on his way to Moscow for an “important meeting” with President Putin. President Maduro had met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday, and the two held a joint press conference where Erdogan criticized sanctions and vowed to strengthen trade ties amid the two countries’ fraught relations with the US. Maduro visited Russia last year, and President Putin has been a key supporter of Venezuela’s sovereignty. The visit comes amid increasingly tense rhetoric from US National Security Advisor John Bolton. Last week, before Buenos Aires’ G20 Summit, Bolton met with Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to discuss further pressure on Venezuela.
- Deutsche Welle: Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro to meet Vladimir Putin in Russia
- PRESSTV: Erdogan decries sanctions against Venezuela, vows to bolster ties
- Newsweek: Will US Launch Coup in Venezuela? Mattis Says Maduro ‘Will Have to Go’ But Venezuelans Should Do It
- Reuters: Trump adviser Bolton hones ties with Brazil’s far-right leader
Representatives from almost all nations gathered in an old coal mine in Poland yesterday for the start of the COP24 summit, where they are set to negotiate an action plan to achieve the targets of the 2015 Paris climate accord. During the two-week summit leaders will also discuss further climate mitigation targets. COP24 comes amid dire climate science reports which warn that current efforts are insufficient to prevent climate-related catastrophes. Poland is the EU’s biggest producer of hard coal, and coal power provides nearly 80% of Poland’s electricity. Experts worry that coal might begin to look more attractive throughout the EU as US sanctions against Iran are reinstated.
- Popular Science: Here’s what you need to know about the global climate summit happening right now
- Phys.org: At-risk nations plead for ‘justice’ at UN climate summit
- World Health Organization: WHO statement for COP24
- The Independent: COP24 climate summit – live: Negotiations begin
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Pompeo Celebrates WWI Armistice Centenary in Europe with a Return to State-centric World Order & Explains Trump’s ‘Worldview’
In a speech earlier today, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the Trump administration’s nationalist ‘MAGA’ agenda and attempted to explain the president’s worldview by sorting multilateral institutions and countries into ‘good groups’ and ‘bad groups’. In the former group were NATO, the Proliferation Security Initiative, and Swift (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) messaging service. Relegated to the latter category were the United Nations, European Union, Organization of American States, and African Union as well as“bad actors” like Russia, China and Iran. Mr. Pompeo said President Trump was shifting his focus to a pre WWII state-centric system and called on attendees “to build a new liberal order”. As Mr. Pompeo warned of further US withdrawals from treaties, he delivered a 60-day ultimatum to Russia to address long standing violations of the INF treaty.
- Council on Foreign Relations: Tilting at Straw Men: Secretary Pompeo’s Ridiculous Brussels Speech
- Voice of America: US Takes Aim at China, Iran, Russia Over Treaty Violations
- Reuters: US gives Russia 60 days to comply with nuclear treaty: Pompeo
- NBCNews: Pompeo takes aim at treaties, bureaucrats on European trip
- New York Times: Pompeo Questions the Value of International Groups Like UN and EU
Targeting China, Bolton Calls for Tougher Stance on IP Theft, Echoing Kudlow’s Incoherent Trade Policy
Earlier today US national security adviser John Bolton called for legislation to bar imports generated from US intellectual property theft. The call comes amid an increased US focus on China’s cyber attacks, corporate espionage, and forced technology transfers. In a White House press briefing before last week’s G20 summit, Larry Kudlow (former television host and current Director of the National Economic Council) spoke of President Trump’s trade goals: “We want a world, ideally, of zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies”. Economists have expressed concern over a lack of coherency in many of the Trump administration’s stated trade policies. Political analysts have also expressed worry over the murky details of President Trump and Xi’s dinner on Saturday.
- Rolling Stone: Larry Kudlow and John Bolton Tried to Defend Trump at the Podium. It Didn’t Go Well
- Asia Times: The China trade reality show
- Wall Street Journal: John Bolton Calls for Tougher Stance on Intellectual Property Theft
- White House: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Director of the NEC
OPEC to Negotiate Cuts after Saudi-Russia Deal
Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to further supply-side cooperation in oil markets, but have not yet officially confirmed any cuts. Industry analysts expect this week’s Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) discussions to center around the details of future supply cuts. The cartel’s advisory board has recommended cutting 1.3 million barrels a day. Economists expect the reinstatement of US sanctions on Iran to help offset losses but warn of OPEC’s further decreased market power.
- Bloomberg: OPEC Negotiates Cuts After Saudi-Russia Deal
- Investor’s Business Daily: Saudis Face ‘A Pretty Awful Set Of Bad Choices’ At G20, OPEC Meetings
- Market Watch: Oil wavers after recent rally in lead-up to expected Saudi-Russia
From Deep State Radio
PODCAST: DON’T YOU WISH TONY SOPRANO WERE PRESIDENT?
Tony liked ducks. He was introspective enough to enter therapy. He loved his family. He had a code of ethics. He even drank every so often. He had a soul. He was likable. In short, he was everything our president is not. But would you really prefer him as president to the current Gangster-in-Chief who tampers with witnesses in the open, praises the guts of lying co-conspirators and, well, has his own considerable history with the mob? Edward Luce of the FT, attorney Katie Phang and host of Deep State Radio’s “Washington for Beautiful People” Emily Brandwin discuss. (And spoiler alert: They all prefer Tony.) Tune in!
EARLY ACCESS PODCAST: WHAT DOES THE LIFE OF GEORGE H.W. BUSH TELL US ABOUT OUR CURRENT MOMENT?
We can debate the policy and personal successes and failures of George H.W. Bush but there is no question that his example stands in stark contrast to that of America’s current president and many in the generation of political leaders around him. The question is: Was Bush the last of a breed? Did something change a quarter century ago when he left the presidency? Did it change even earlier? And are those changes–many that have produced today’s disfunction–permanent or can our system reverse them? Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law, Ed Luce of the Financial Times, attorney and former prosecutor Katie Phang and former CIA operative Emily Brandwin discuss. Join us.
ICYMI DEEP STATE RADIO BOOK GROUP: THE 2020 COMMISSION REPORT ON THE NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR ATTACKS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY JEFFREY LEWIS
The recent rapprochement between Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump at their summit in June this year and the strange (and unsettling) declaration from Donald Trump that the two leaders ‘fell in love’ after Kim Jong-Un sent Trump ‘beautiful letters’, highlights one of the central planks of concern in the book group’s read for October – the difference between perception and reality and how this leads to poor decision making. Continue