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Question: Can the world tell Trump to shove it?

 
 
Reply Tue 8 May, 2018 03:13 pm
Trump seems set himself (and I guess us) against the rest of the world including our European allies with sanctions against Iran, and threatened sanctions against anyone who doesn't go along. Can these sanctions stick if no one else goes along?

I am wondering if particularly European allies can just ignore Trump?

As an American, I am rooting for the rest of the world on this one. Lots of us everyday Americans will do what we can.

But, I am really curious about how the global politics play out. If Europe refuses to play along with Trump... is there anything he can do?
 
najmelliw
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2018 03:23 pm
@maxdancona,
I reckon this is why he still has the tariffs on steel and aluminum on hold for Europe. The moment the EU goes against Trump's wishes in the Iran deal, they'll get slapped with the tariffs. I still hope that we(that is, the EU) won't feed Trump's ego and grandstanding by going along with his demands though.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2018 03:30 pm
@najmelliw,
It seems like in Europe there will be pretty wide popular support for standing up to Trump.

It also seems to me the Europe has some leverage; Trump doesn't want trade war, especially not going into the midterm elections. The stock market plunging over the summer sounds like an awfully good thing for the Democrats who had nothing to do with it.

This seems strategically stupid... even for the Trump administration.


0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2018 09:07 pm
It seems to me to be a prelude to bombing, if Iran does not cave to Trump. I don't see how the rest of the world is going to alter anything.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2018 05:53 am
@edgarblythe,
Yeah Edgar, I read an analysis in FP magazine that said the only logical end to this is US military action. If that happens, I will likely join you in protest.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2018 06:00 am
The first thing the Europeans can do is to not reimpose sanctions. Iran doesn't have a lot of business dealings with the US in general but Europe is all over India and the Middle East. The reason the original sanctions were so successful was that lots of countries participated. Without EU support, US sanctions won't have nearly the bite.

I can't see the US taking military action against Iran. There is no scenario where the US gets what it wants in Iran by dropping bombs and the response by our allies would be terrible.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2018 07:57 am
@engineer,
I was reading about this, it seems like because of the reliance of the international banking system, the US can be pretty effective at imposing unilateral sanctions. The way this works is that any international corporation can be excluded from the US banking system to facilitate any transactions in dollars. The US can (in effect) extort international businesses by threatening to disrupt transactions from any corporation that doesn't cooperated. I don't understand this area of economics very well.

In the 1990s Europe enacted "blocking regulations" to shield international corporations from US sanctions. I read in Foreign Policy magazine that the rules have changed since then to make these blocking regulations more difficult.

From my (rather uninformed) reading, it seems that the US does have the ability to impose fairly effective unilateral sanctions that would be very costly for any multinational concern to defy.

If someone knows more... I am very interested.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2018 02:25 pm
@maxdancona,

maxdancona wrote:

From my (rather uninformed) reading, it seems that the US does have the ability to impose fairly effective unilateral sanctions that would be very costly for any multinational concern to defy.

If someone knows more... I am very interested.


I don't know more, but intuitively, but I've got a feeling that it won't work forever.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2018 07:02 pm
Just saw this.

Iranian forces in Syria just fired rockets at Israeli targets in Golan Heights, according to Israel's military

http://www.businessinsider.com/iranian-forces-in-syria-just-fired-rockets-at-israel-idf-2018-5
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2018 04:24 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
I can't see the US taking military action against Iran. There is no scenario where the US gets what it wants in Iran by dropping bombs and the response by our allies would be terrible.

What the US would get from bombing Iranian nuclear facilities is: craters in the places where the nuclear facilities once were.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2018 05:18 pm
@oralloy,
I realize that you have a very simplistic one-sided view of American foreign policy... but can you really not see the downside to this?

The US isn't all-powerful, we need our allies. When the US pisses off the rest of the world (except Israel) Russia and China step in as alternatives.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2018 06:27 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
I realize that you have a very simplistic one-sided view of American foreign policy...

Because I focus on facts and reality?


maxdancona wrote:
but can you really not see the downside to this?

I advise not being downwind of the Uranium Conversion Facility if we conduct airstrikes against Iran's nuclear program. The plume of poisonous gas will not be survivable and the deaths will be gruesome.


maxdancona wrote:
The US isn't all-powerful, we need our allies. When the US pisses off the rest of the world (except Israel) Russia and China step in as alternatives.

Who is going to be upset over the bombing of Iran?
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2018 07:36 pm
@oralloy,
The reason I say that your view of foreign policy is one-sided is obvious. I have never seen you take a position that wasn't obvious. "Facts and Reality" are delusions of a person who never questions anything. If you don't have critical thinking skills, everything you believe becomes a "fact".

Real adult foreign policy involves weighing risks, and understanding that every action you take has consequences. Grownups have realized the often there isn't a simple solution to many of these problems.

I am not asking for a view of foreign policy that uses thinking skills fully understood by middle school kids on a playground. I am challenging you to think a little more deeply.

If you want to argue that Trump's policies offer the best chance of success in spite of the risks, then I would consider that an intelligent contribution provided you are able to discuss the risks (and there are risks).

This overconfident, boisterous, childish sloganeering; bomb Iran, to hell with Europe, America **** yeah! doesn't get us anywhere.

Edit: My son is likely going to be directly involved in mopping up whatever mess Trump makes in the world. I am very aware of the costs.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2018 11:30 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
The reason I say that your view of foreign policy is one-sided is obvious. I have never seen you take a position that wasn't obvious.

Stating the obvious is a service that I provide when people try to deny reality.


maxdancona wrote:
"Facts and Reality" are delusions of a person who never questions anything. If you don't have critical thinking skills, everything you believe becomes a "fact".

If you think I'm wrong about any facts, feel free to challenge me on them.


maxdancona wrote:
Real adult foreign policy involves weighing risks, and understanding that every action you take has consequences. Grownups have realized the often there isn't a simple solution to many of these problems.

So can you explain who would be upset if the US Air Force were to bomb Iran's nuclear sites?


maxdancona wrote:
I am not asking for a view of foreign policy that uses thinking skills fully understood by middle school kids on a playground. I am challenging you to think a little more deeply.

It sounds to me like you are asking me to ignore reality.


maxdancona wrote:
If you want to argue that Trump's policies offer the best chance of success in spite of the risks, then I would consider that an intelligent contribution provided you are able to discuss the risks (and there are risks).

All I want to do at the moment is question what the supposed backlash would be if the US or Israel were to bomb Iran's nuclear sites.


maxdancona wrote:
This overconfident, boisterous, childish sloganeering; bomb Iran, to hell with Europe, America **** yeah! doesn't get us anywhere.

It might get us the destruction of Iran's nuclear sites.


maxdancona wrote:
Edit: My son is likely going to be directly involved in mopping up whatever mess Trump makes in the world. I am very aware of the costs.

Make sure he isn't downwind of the Uranium Conversion Facility if we destroy it.
najmelliw
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2018 01:53 am
@oralloy,
I'm pretty sure environmentalists would be quite upset if the US decides to throw bombs on places where nuclear material is handled... Not to mention humanitarians, if people are exposed to radiation damage.

But, who am I kidding? Your rhetoric makes it pretty obvious you would probably be cackling with glee if the Iranians were to die to due to radiation exposure caused by U.S. bombings. After all, they're 'just muslims', right?

Whether or not Iranian is indeed continuing to develop nuclear arms in secret is an issue that merits thorough scrutiny. The Israeli's make claims and seem to substantiate those, but I at least seem to recognize that Israel is anything but a neutral bystander in this entire little drama: having the west declare war on Iran would be in their best interest.

What is reality and fact here needs to be thoroughly researched, I think, rather than charging in and starting yet another war in a region that hasn't seen a decade of peace since the, what? 1950's or so?
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2018 02:09 am
@najmelliw,
najmelliw wrote:
I'm pretty sure environmentalists would be quite upset if the US decides to throw bombs on places where nuclear material is handled... Not to mention humanitarians, if people are exposed to radiation damage.

But, who am I kidding? Your rhetoric makes it pretty obvious you would probably be cackling with glee if the Iranians were to die to due to radiation exposure caused by U.S. bombings. After all, they're 'just muslims', right?

There wouldn't be any radiation problems unless we bombed an operating nuclear reactor. In that case, having all the cooling and control systems destroyed by bombs will lead to a result far worse than Chernobyl. But we would surely bomb any reactors before they became operational, so this isn't something to worry about.

The main problem will be the destruction of the Uranium Conversion Facility where very large quantities of hydrogen fluoride gas are stored.

When HF gas is released it combines with moisture in the air to form hydrofluoric acid vapor. Hydrofluoric acid is a devastating poison that is absorbed directly through the skin. It also dissolves glass (along with everything that ordinary acid would dissolve).

A massive fog of hydrofluoric acid vapor rolling across the Iranian countryside will make Bhopal seem like a walk in the park.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2018 07:00 am
@najmelliw,
I was looking for something more in depth with this thread that Oralloy saying "Horray for war" and people responding "War is bad". Both sides of this argument are predictably boring and we have been having this argument since before Vietnam (which Oralloy likely still thinks was winnable... but that is a topic for another thread).

My real question on this thread was about Europe's options in response to American sanctions.

- Europe will want to ignore American Sanctions.
- The US has ways of unilaterally punishing European companies and banks that break the sanctions.
- Europe has ways of punishing the US back in response.

It is the third point that interests me the most. How much leverage does Europe have to stand up to US pressure? How does this effect the US economy?

I am looking for something more thoughtful than bumper sticker slogans.


maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2018 07:05 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Le Maire said: “At the end of May I will meet with the British and German finance ministers and the three of us will look at what we can do.”

He disclosed that he had called the US treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, on Wednesday, urging him to allow exemptions for French companies or a delay in implementing the sanctions, while admitting he had “few illusions” about the likely response.

Le Maire pointed to the possibility of reinstating EU “blocking regulations”, dating back to 1996, which were used to counter US sanctions that targeted third countries doing business with Libya.

The statute permitted European companies to ignore the US sanctions and said that any decisions by foreign courts based on the sanctions would not be upheld in Europe. The US backed down before any sanctions were implemented.

“We want to reinforce this regulation and incorporate the recent decisions taken by the United States,” Le Maire said.

The second avenue is looking at Europe’s financial independence – what can we do to give Europe more financial tools allowing it to be independent from the United States?” One proposal is to set up a purely European finance house to oversee euro-denominated transactions with Iran.


This is the type of discussion that interests me. It seems to me that the US loses if Europe sets up an independent financial system.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/11/europe-prepares-countermeasures-against-us-iran-sanctions
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2018 07:11 am
I just read that there is a new direct rail line between China and Iran.

China is investing in Iran (as they are in Africa). This is almost certainly good for Chinese long range goals.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2018 07:34 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Oralloy saying "Horray for war"

You are reading WAY more into my post than is there.

All I did was question what you think anyone will do in response if the US were to bomb Iran's nuclear sites.

I think it is pretty clear that no one would respond substantively in any way.
0 Replies
 
 

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