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TM, ®, Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.


Articles on the USA published after 2018
Why Kill the Iran Deal Now
How the USA spends your tax money
The #neveragain Movement Misses the Point
The Trump Scandals
The Trump Wars
Congratulations NRA on another well-executed massacre
One year into the Trump-Russia collusion scandal
Where we stand with the Trump-Russia investigation
What's in "Vladimir" Trump's tax returns?
Articles on the USA published before 2018


  • (May 2018) Why Kill the Iran Deal Now
    Trump was reportedly counselled against abandoning the Iranian nuclear deal by secretary of state Rex Tillerson, national security advisor HR McMaster and secretary of defence James Mattis. Opinion polls showed a vast majority of citizens in favor of staying in the deal. But Trump preferred to obey Netanyahu's orders and withdraw. (See The USA is a banana republic). Israel wants a war with Iran for its own reasons: it correctly views Iran as the only country that could potentially become a regional rival, as it was in the old days. See The biggest scam in the Middle East: Israel's war on Iran Netanyahu is paranoid about Iran because he has reasons to be. Since 2001 it has been obvious to any external objective observer that the USA and Iran have enemies in common: Iran was the only country to fight the Taliban before 2001 and Iran was the country that fought a long and bloody war against Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. When the USA attacked those two, the USA was simply following in the footsteps of Iran. No wonder therefore that Iran became the main beneficiary of George W Bush's wars. Bush removed Iran's most dangerous neighbor (Saddam Hussein) and Iran's most serious long-term threat (the Taliban, another Sunni fanatical movement that views Shiites as mortal enemies). When ISIS took over most of Syria and a piece of Iraq, the first country to send soldiers was Iran. Iran fought ISIS for real, while US allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia helped ISIS with money and weapons. No wonder that eventually Iran, under a new president, decided to sit down with the USA and try to negotiate some kind of agreement about its nuclear program. Netanyahu might be honestly worried about Iran's nuclear program (and of course he avoids mentioning that Iran must be worried about Israel's much more advanced nuclear program) but he is probably also worried about the possibility that the USA and Iran become buddies again. Before the revolution that ousted the shah and installed the current Shiite theocracy, Iran was the USA's most reliable ally in the region. When Iran fell, Israel took its place. Israel has made a fortune out of that Shiite revolution in Iran. (See How Israel was born and became a power).

    It must have been alarming for Netanyahu to know that Iraq was about to have free democratic elections. Netanyahu knows well the danger of letting the Arabs vote. Israel is painfully aware that the three major parties are all close to Iran. Just like Israel never recognized the elections in Gaza (won fair and square by Hamas), Israel has no intention of accepting the results of the elections in Iraq (or, for that matter, anywhere else). The Iraqis voted and, sure enough, former militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr won, beating both the party of militia leader Hadi al-Amiri and the party of Iraq's prime minister Haidar al-Abadi. Iran's influence on Iraq is likely to increase.

    Alas, Israel was much happier having ISIS behead thousands of innocents than having Iran defeat ISIS and expand its influence on the region.

    There are also other reasons for why Trump decided to kill the Iranian nuclear deal now.

    One simple reason is precisely because of peace with North Korea. It is no coincidence that the decision to pull out of the Iranian deal came right after North Korea signaled the intention to make peace with the USA. The USA's foreign policy is driven by the military industrial complex (read: Lockheed, Boeing, etc). The military industrial complex is terrified that peace with North Korea would dry up contracts for new expensive military equipment. From the Vietnam war to the Iraqi war, the USA has fought all of its wars as business opportunities for these cynical firms. They need wars in order to manufacture their expensive missiles and bombers. If the North Korean crisis is ending, they desperately need a new crisis.

    A more complex reason lies in Trump's ties with Russia (see Where we stand with the Trump-Russia investigation). Trump's focus on Iran is odd given that that Russia is not complying with a more important nuclear treaty: Russia has deployed nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. Trump's crusade against Iran, a country that has complied with its nuclear deal, distracts the public from the fact that Russia is not complying with a more important nuclear deal (Iran cannot strike the USA, Russia can).

    Canceling the nuclear deal with Iran also contributes to the US split with powerful and important allies (Britain, Germany, France, etc) that Russia loves to exploit. It is unlikely that the European Union, India and China will reimpose sanctions on Iran given that Iran has not violated the agreement. China is now Iran's largest trading partner. Its trade with Iran jumped 30% in the first six months of 2017. China has extended credits to Iran totaling some $35 billion. Trump's renewal of sanctions on Iran will create new tensions with all of these countries, thereby further isolating the USA.

    Meanwhile, Russia will reap the benefits of the certain spike in oil prices: oil is Russia's main export, and any political crisis in the Middle East is likely to send prices surging, thereby making Russia richer. The Business Insider estimates that Russia's revenues from oil could reach $44 billion.

    Trump has just engineered a new economic boom in Russia.

    TM, ®, Text copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (april 2018) How the USA spends your tax money.
    April is tax season in the USA, so it is worth reminding US taxpayers why the government needs their money.
    The USA spends more on its military than the next seven seven nations combined, including Russia and China. If one calculates all the money spent by the USA on its military since the start of the endless Afghanistan war, the USA has spent more than half a trillion dollars each and every year on its military. Yes, that's "trillion": more than the entire GPD of most countries of the world. Trump has just signed an increase in military spending that will bring the yearly expenditure to $756 billion (not my opinion, but Trump's own number). This can only happen if: a) the USA spends less on its own infrastructure (forget the high-speed trains of Asia and Europe, and forget the free health care of Scandinavia and Canada), or b) the USA increases taxes, one way or another (e.g. by eliminating the various deductions, including the popular mortgage deduction), or c) the USA borrows even more money than today from countries like China (which would make it even harder to accuse them of "unfair trade" when in fact they keep the USA from going bankrupt).
    Some may think that this money is well spent because it protects US citizens. Certainly not abroad. The list of countries where US citizens better not travel is increasing every year, and it now includes pretty much every Islamic country. US citizens and businesses abroad are routinely protected by armies of security guards because the number of "terrorists" who would love to blow them up is increasing by the day. The time may come when Europe, China, and countless developing countries will tire of assigning security guards to every US business and tour group, not to mention restaurants and hotels that cater to US citizens.
    That's what your money has achieved in the 25 years since the end of the Cold War.
    Your tax money has also helped the USA prop up the totalitarian Islamic regime of Saudi Arabia, a nation that still considers women as inferior humans, as well as Israel, a nation that has repeatedly violated international law and relies on US weapons to keep violating it.
    Admittedly, your tax money has also helped to defend Japan, Taiwan and South Korea against China and North Korea, although it is not clear how you benefit from that fact.
    Meanwhile, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China have become much modern countries than the USA. When you travel to these Asian countries, or, for that matter, to northern Europe, you feel like you landed on another planet.
    The world knows this because their tourists frequently travel to the USA and return home puzzled by how far behind the USA has fallen. Now they also begin to worry that the country with the largest number of nuclear weapons and the largest military budget in the world is rapidly becoming one of the most backwards with one of the least educated publics, which doesn't sound like a recipe for peace and prosperity.
    TM, ®, Text copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (march 2018) The #neveragain Movement Misses the Point A big crowd convened on Washington for the "March For Our Lives" event. Those are mostly young people protesting against a political class that ignores their most fundamental right: the right to live. The political class, bribed by the NRA, is de facto an accomplice to the massacre of tens of thousands of US citizens, something that no terrorist organization can even dream of.

    The problem with this march and with the whole #neveragain movement is that it misses the point. Were the USA a democratic country, there wouldn't need to be any such march. The thing to protest against is not that the NRA is free to terrorize the nation (and its children in particular). The thing to protest again is that the people are not represented properly in Congress and especially in the White House. The president of the USA is a man who lost the election by three million votes. There is no other country where the person who loses the election becomes president. The mother of all problems is the "electoral college", the silly way in which the USA picks its leader. Two of the last three presidents were elected despite the fact that they lost the election. Both got a tiny minority of the votes of young people. Both will die soon but after shaping the world that young people will have to live in for several more decades. Remove the silly rule that the president is elected by a weird technicality, make the USA a truly democratic (and great) nation, and then no gun-loving politician would ever be elected, because the majority of the country is in favor of gun control.

    The anger that drives these young people (potential future victims of the NRA) will NOT translate into a wave of change in Congress. The reason is very simple: after in 2010 the Tea Party (the radical right-wing gun fanatics of the Republican Party) won several seats in Congress, they quickly proceeded to redraw the borders of electoral districts so that one of them would always win (a tactic eerily reminiscent of how Putin in Russia and others made sure to win elections forever once they won one). The latest poll (see it here) shows that Democrats will win about 9% more votes than Republicans, but that means virtually nothing: gerrymandering guarantees that the same defeated gun-friendly politicians (mostly Republicans) will remain in power. Wake up: your vote literally doesn't count, and that's why they don't care about your marches (and your life).

    The other undemocratic rule that favors your enemies is the rule that each state has two senators, regardless of population. There are two senators for California (population 36 million) and two for Alabama (population 5 million): California has 7 times the population of Alabama, which means that someone from California (which includes Stanford, UC Berkeley, CalTech, UCLA, lots of Nobel Prize winners, plus Google, Apple, Facebook, Intel, and the whole of Silicon Valley) is 7 times less represented in the Senate than someone from Alabama (which includes... hmmm i can't come up with any major university, high-tech company or even news media... does Alabama contribute anything at all to the future of humankind other than obesity-causing drinks?). [Yes, i know, politically incorrect joke: but being politically correct all the time ends up causes the death of thousands of people a year, especially in states like Alabama, so it's about time to tell things as they are, especially in states like Alabama,].

    Give California (and New York and Illinois and Boston and Washington DC and Philadelphia and Houston) equal voice as Alabama (and as Rhode Island and as Connecticut) in the senate (e.g., California gets 7 times more senators than Alabama) and most likely the senate will have the votes to change the constitution and remove the unlimited right to bear guns (and to improve many other things that are currently gridlocked in this most undemocratic congress).

    Your vote doesn't count. And that's the real problem. No politician will listen to what you are saying as long as your vote doesn't count.

    TM, ®, Text copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (march 2018)

    The Trump Scandals

    "Vladimir" Trump is engulfed in more scandals than any other politician in modern history, anywhere in the world.

    First, there are the corruption and the nepotism, to an extent never experienced in the West. For example, Trump met with Novartis' CEO in january 2018, and later the New York Times discovered that Novartis made four payments of about $100,000 to a shadow firm owned by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen. AT&T made four payments to the same firm just when it was waiting for approval of its controversial merger with Time Warner. Several firms that have been punished for polluting the environment have contributed directly to the political campaigns of Scott Angelle, Trump's director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Scott Pruitt, Trump's director of the EPA, has fired or demoted personnel who questioned his extravagant spending. Ronny Jackson, chosen by Trump to run the second largest agency of the US government, is a chronic drunk. White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after allegations of domestic violence. Tom Price, the highest-ranking health official in the Trump administration, resigned after a scandal of high-priced flights on charter and military airplanes. Dozens of Trump administration lawyers working in agencies including the White House, Department of Justice, Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are now in charge of dealing with their own old clients (source: Public Citizen). Senior officials of the Trump administration have been spending taxpayer's money in lavish expenses, including a trip to Fort Knox to witness the solar eclipse, $31,000 dining sets and $139,000 doors. Nepotism has reached a level unheard of in democracies with Jared Kushner and Trump's daughter Ivanka working in the White House. Kushner has reaped hundreds of millions of dollars from the people and states that benefited from Trump's policies (See this Guardian report). A "lawyer" named Brett Talley, who had never tried a case in his career, and who was unanimously deemed "not qualified" by the American Bar Association, was nominated by Trump for a lifetime federal district judgeship. And that was just Trump's fourth judicial nominee who was rated "not qualified" by the bar association.

    In October 2017, ISIS killed four US soldiers in Niger. By all accounts this was a poorly planned botched mission, and one of which almost nobody knew the existence. It was certainly something that should have kept news media busy for a while. Remember the September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi (Libya) that killed four US citizens? There were investigations, discussions and accusations (against Hillary Clinton) for at least two years. But the Niger scandal has rarely surfaced on mainstream news media. Those four soldiers have been rapidly forgotten and nobody has taken responsibility for their death, least of all the commander-in-chief, "Vladimir" Trump, who was busy playing golf and spreading fake news.

    Then there are the sex stories. Trump has always boasted of his sex adventures and some of them are coming back to haunt him. Apparently, he had a hot affair with porn stars Stormy Daniels. She was silenced with hush money paid by Trump's lawyer. Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, was silenced in an elegant manner: her story was purchased by the magazine National Enquirer that promised to publish it: instead Trump's associates paid this company to kill the story. In april 2018 the New Yorker reported that in 2015 David Pecker, the publisher of the magazine National Enquirer, a close friend of Trump, bought a story from Dino Sajudin, a former doorman at Trump World Tower in Manhattan, and then buried it. The story was about Trump having a love affair with an employee in the late 1980s that resulted in an illegitimate daughter. The story has been corroborated by six former employees of the National Enquirer, who also revealed the name of the woman. Sajudin has passed a lie-detector test during which he testified that he learned the story directly from Trump's head of security Matthew Calamari and other members of Trump's entourage. Later a former senior editor who worked for this David Pecker, Jerry George, told CNN that this was just one of many stories that Pecker silenced with money on behalf of his friend Trump. In the past, at least 16 women have come forward accuse Trump of sexual harassment. One, Summer Zervos, is now suing the president for defamation (Trump called her "a liar", he of all people...). And buried in the noise is a lawsuit dropped in November 2016 according to which Trump raped a 13-year-old in 1994 (see for example this Guardian article). Her attorney Lisa Bloom wrote that her client "received numerous threats as have all the Trump accusers that I have represented."

    Then there's the Russia-collusion scandal. Read it here.

    You can also add the "Great Trump Purges" (paraphrasing the great Stalin purges of the 1930s). His contempt for the rule of law has caused many to resign. Others had been fired for refusing to accept the actions of a corrupt and incompetent boss as he proceeded to smear honorable people of the FBI and all other agencies, people who, unlike him, served the country with honor, decency and honesty.

    And finally there's Trump's tax returns, which we have never seen, and by now everybody guessed why. Read it here.

    One could add many other scandals. These are scandals that would ruin the career of any politician, but Trump has ammassed so many, and so much bigger, that these pale. Think of the fact that he called Africa "a shithole" (he denied it, as usual, but in April the former director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the White House, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, confirmed that he did indeed say it). Think of the fact that Trump dictated the health certificate that his doctor Harold Bornstein signed, the famous note about the "healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency" (this was admitted by the doctor in April 2018): this is clearly a sign of mental instability. Then there are the countless lies and exaggerations. And the obsession with claiming that his inauguration crowd was the biggest ever or that he lost the popular vote because of voter fraud. Any of these grotesque incidents involving a sitting politician (any politician, even a congresswoman in a rural district) would normally cause nationwide outrage.

    Trump has so far survived them because he, his associates and his mouthpieces (Fox News) have used a strategy of silencing the witnesses (usually, buying their silence, sometimes bullying them to silence), distracting the public (usually, by inventing fake scandals somewhere else) and by smearing and accusing the accusers (typically, of being politically motivated).

    There is at least one thing that makes Trump truly the best in the world: his ability to survive multiple scandals each of which would have easily brought down just about anybody else.

    The big mystery is not whether these scandals are true (you must be very naive if you still believe a word that comes out of Trump's mouth), but whether his wife Melania and his daughter Ivanka have been duped all these years or knowingly sided with a husband and a father whom most of us would disown and be ashamed of.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (march 2018) The Trump Wars.
    George W Bush, who became president despite losing the November 2000 elections, ended up starting two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, that, more than a decade later, are still raging and killing innocents at a total cost to the USA of $3 trillion (according to estimates calculated by the economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes) and to Iraq and Afghanistan of untold billions of dollars.

    Now another president who was not elected democratically, "Vladimir" Trump, threatens to start not one but multiple wars. Firstly, Trump wants to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal that was signed by Obama to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. The other countries signing the deal were Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China. It is unlikely that Iran will accept to renounce nuclear weapons in return of nothing. It will probably resume its nuclear program. This will trigger an escalation of tension with Israel (that considers Iran its main enemy) and Saudi Arabia (ditto). Both will try to stop Iran with force. The USA will be drawn into the conflict, one way or another. Britain, France and Germany are strong supporters of the original deal, and for a simple reason: so far it has worked. They are unlikely to side with the USA in a war against Iran. The USA will be even more lonely than it was in the (lost) war against Iraq.

    Secondly, Trump has naively accepted an invitation to meet North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un, a 34-year-old inexperience leader who wasn't even respected in his own country but who can now boast to have established North Korea as one of the powers of the world, a peer of the USA. So far Kim Jong-un got everything he wanted. See The North Korean Crisis: A Tale of Two Madmen (or just one?) . Unlike the irrational and impulsive Trump, Kim has proven to rational and calm: one step at a time, he has turned the tables on both the USA and China, and now can blackmail both. If Trump thinks that Kim will ever accept to destroy his nuclear weapons, he is even more incompetent than we thought. The whole world, not only Kim, has learned the lesson of what happens to dictators who surrender their weapons of mass destruction: Saddam Hussein did it, and he is dead; Qaddafi did it, and he is dead. Trump is going to be humiliated one way or another: either Kim declines to meet with him, or Kim meets with him and then does nothing of what Trump demands. Either way Trump will have only one way to save his face: bomb North Korea and start a war.

    Thirdly, Trump just started a trade war with China, which in itself could be more dangerous than military wars. China is the world's second economy and soon to be the first one. China has built economic alliances that extend from Latin America to Europe and from Africa to Russia at the same time that Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have been the biggest economic alliance in history. For about 70 years the USA has been the world leader in free trade. In fact, it is routinely assumed that the USA forced free trade on the rest of the world: the World Bank, the IMF, etc were all US inventions, that the rest of the world was forced to accept in order to trade with the USA. If the USA, of all countries, reneges on free trade and starts a trade war with China and anyone else, it will have few allies. Trump has been successful in depicting the USA as an importer of goods. The truth is very different. Here are the leading exporters in the world: 1. China 2,098 billion dollars; 2. United States 1,454 billion dollars; 3. Germany 1,339 billion dollars. A trade war is risking the jobs of all the people producing those 1.454 billion dollars of "American" goods, and will cost dearly to all the consumers who buy goods made abroad. Trump tweeted: "Trade wars are good, and easy to win". That's true for his personal business: real estate, casinos, golf courses and so on are not affected as much as the household goods that the middle class buys.

    Finally, there's the rest of the world. Kori Schake, who worked for George W Bush, wrote: "I worry that President Trump could lead to war on the Korean Peninsula or against Iran, or by miscalculation in a number of other places where adversaries misread his intent. The president considers his unpredictability advantageous, when it is more likely to have explosive consequences."

    But don't blame only Trump and his mouthpiece Fox News. A poll by the Pew Center http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/19/iraq-war-continues-to-divide-u-s-public-15-years-after-it-began/ 43% of US citizens still think that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a good idea. These are very likely to side with Trump on any war against North Korea, Iran, China and any other imaginary enemy as long as Fox News demonizes it.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (february 2018) Congratulations NRA on another well-executed massacre.

    See the 2012 article Congratulations NRA: another successful massacre! and its 2015 revision Congratulations NRA on another well-executed massacre and especially The end of the USA , but also What is wrong with White Anglosaxon Christians?
  • (january 2018)
    Trump vs Kim

  • (january 2018)
    One year into the Trump-Russia collusion scandal, Russia has benefited enormously from the decisions made by Trump.
    Coincidence or not, in November 2017 Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed on a conference to decide the borders of postwar Syria, and in December 2017 Egypt granted Russia the right to use its airbases; two events that Trump tacitly approved and that marked the replacement of the USA with Russia as the main power broker in the Middle East. Trump also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, so that the USA can no longer play a role in the peace process, another gift to Russia. This move has brought condemnation on the USA by all traditional allies in the region, including British prime minister Theresa May, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron... but not from Russia's president Putin: the USA is now as isolated as Hitler's Germany was in 1939. Thomas Friedman has written: "In nearly 30 years of covering United States foreign policy, I've never seen a president give up so much to so many for so little, starting with China and Israel." And that's on top of killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade deal, that would have created a 12-nation economic bloc controlling 40% of the world economy led by the USA. No US president has ever given Russia so many gifts. Russia comes out of Trump's first year in office as a world power with much more leverage than the USA, which is now a marginalized regional power. A German minister said that Germany is now more worried about the USA than North Korea...
    Trump's circle has repeatedly attacked the research firm Fusion GPS that prepared the famous "Steele dossier", the dossier that details the collusion between Trump and Putin, a dossier in which so far nobody has found anything false and, in fact, many of its assertions are now proven to be true. Christopher Steele, a well-respected former British secret agent, has never discussed it with the media. Fusion GPS finally responded to Trump's attacks in a New York Times article. We now learn that the FBI already knew of collusions before Fusion GPS provided them with the Steele dossier. I feel vindicated: Fusion suggests that investigators should look into "the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump's businesses". See my lengthy investigation: What's in "Vladimir" Trump's tax returns? where i said the same things one year ago. Quote: "We told Congress that from Manhattan to Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and from Toronto to Panama, we found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering.". And then concludes with the obvious question that Trump never answered: "Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?"
    See my full report here.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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