US lawmakers criticize AMLO militarization


United States Democratic Legislators on Thursday asked Joe Biden’s administration to review part of the security aid to Mexico, considering that militarization under the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has resulted in abuses of human rights without succeeding in weakening the drug cartels.

In a letter addressed to the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, 19 Democratic congressmen expressed concern about the use of the Army for tasks of domestic order in Mexico and because of the statements of President López Obrador, “attacking human rights defenders and journalists.”

“The deterioration The security situation should make us rethink certain aspects of the United States’ security assistance to Mexico “, indicates the letter, signed among others by legislators with Mexican roots Joaquín Castro, Raúl Grijalva, Jesús” Chuy “García, Grace Napolitano and Juan Vargas.

Democrats see approach that does not reduce violence

They argued that “the excessive focus on arresting drug lords of the cartels, sometimes promoted by the United States, has not effectively reduced violence “, but rather” could have favored a greater split “of those groups,” making it more difficult to stop them. “

Furthermore, “the increased deployment of the Mexican military to combat crime has predictably resulted in serious human rights violations and has failed to weaken the cartels of drugs or reduce crime, “they alleged.

“We observe with concern that, for the moment, the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has deepened the participation of the Army in surveillance at the national level, while deploying his new National Guard (…) for tasks related to immigration and other functions of domestic security “, they affirmed.

Therefore, they asked Blinken to identify “ways to encourage” the López Obrador government to “fulfill its commitment to withdraw the military from police work by 2024,” in addition to tackling “near-total levels of impunity” for the “record levels of violence in the last two years” in Mexico.

They also expressed their “concern over López Obrador’s statements attacking human rights defenders and journalists,” and urged the Secretary of State to “constantly raise concerns” about this issue with the Mexican government.

The congressmen trusted that the Biden government will place human rights “at the heart of policy towards Mexico”, and that it will support investigations into forced disappearances in the country, to “punish those responsible and prevent the repetition of these crimes.” .

The main author of the letter is the legislator Alan Lowenthal, que representa a California; Congressmen Albio Sires, David Cicilline, Steve Cohen, Jim Costa, Adriano Espaillat, Jared Huffman, Hank Johnson Jr., James McGovern, Seth Moulton, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ilhan Omar, Mark Pocan and Norma Torres also signed the letter.

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Eighty congressmen ask Biden to renew dialogue with Cuba

A group of eighty Democratic congressmen have sent a letter to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, in which they request that he reverse the “cruel” restriction policies imposed on Cuba by the Administration of former President Donald Trump.

The text, which calls for renewing the “productive” dialogue with the Cuban Government, has reminded the president that “with a stroke of a pen he can help Cuban families in difficulties and promote a more constructive approach by quickly returning to the policy of commitment and normalization of relations ”.

Congressmen Bobby Rush of Illinois, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, and Barbara Lee of California are among the main signers of the letter, according to information from the Bloomberg news agency. Rush, for his part, has presented a bill aimed at opening relations and markets between Americans and Cubans.

The letter comes after Biden ordered a review of Trump’s policies toward Cuba. This analysis is led by the National Security Agency. In addition, during his campaign, Biden assured that he would lift some of the restrictions on travel and trade between the two countries and that he would renew diplomatic talks.

However, this could meet with the rejection of strong sectors in Congress. Democratic congressmen, for their part, have insisted on humanitarian and economic terms and have pointed out that “executive orders implemented by the Trump Administration tightened sanctions to levels not seen in decades.”

These restrictions, they explained, occurred at a time when “Cubans were facing a serious shortage of food and medicine exacerbated by their preventive economic closure, something that has helped limit the spread of the coronavirus.”

Thus, they have stated that they support a “more comprehensive effort to deepen the commitment and normalization, which includes restarting the diplomatic commitment directly with the Cuban Government, both at higher levels and through the reorganization of the Embassies in the two countries.” .

“This includes restarting the diplomatic engagement directly with the Cuban government, both at higher levels and through the reorganization of the respective embassies of each country,” they said.

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Joe Biden bombed the democrats – Newspaper Kommersant No. 34 (6996) from 01.03.2021

American strikes on targets of Shiite pro-Iranian groups in Syria (see Kommersant on February 27) drew condemnation of legislators, mainly political allies of President Joe Biden – Democrats. They demanded from the administration to explain on what legal basis the attack was carried out on targets in the territory of another country. But many political opponents of the US president, Republicans, supported his actions.

“The American people deserve an explanation from the administration about these attacks and legal justification without consulting Congress. Offensive military action without the approval of Congress is unconstitutional in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. ”This is how Democratic Senator Tim Kane, a member of the Upper House Armed Services and International Affairs Committees, reacted to the news of the airstrike on Syrian territory. According to him, the administration should immediately report to the legislators for this action.

His colleague Chris Murphy, who also sits on the international affairs committee, agreed with him. “Retaliation strikes, that is, those that are not intended to prevent an imminent threat, should be attributed to the jurisdiction of Congress within its mandate to approve the use of military force,” it said in a statement issued by it.

According to Mr. Murphy, lawmakers should impose the same requirements on the current administration as on the previous one, that is, require a legal justification for any military action, especially in countries like Syria, where there was no congressional approval of military action.

Tim Caine and Chris Murphy have long been known as proponents of repealing two statutes – Law 107-40, known as the Authorization to Use Military Force Against Those Responsible for Recent Attacks against the United States, which gives the President the power to use “all necessary and reasonable force” against the culprits. the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and Law 107-243, which allowed Washington to launch a military operation in Iraq in 2003. It is these legal grounds that are used by the American administrations to strike at the countries of the Middle East.

Senators Chris Murphy and Tim Kane

Фото: Caroline Brehman / Pool via REUTERS

“The attacks on Syria underscore the need to sit down at the negotiating table with Iran and revive the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,“ Nuclear Deal. ”- “B”). In addition, they emphasize the need to abolish carte blanche for endless wars – the authorizations of 2001 and 2002, which are almost 20 years old, ”said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, once the only legislator to vote against Law 107-40. She added that it is not about which president occupies the White House, but about returning to Congress the right to declare war, as stipulated by the US constitution.

It is Mrs. Lee, by the way, who leads a kind of group of five high-ranking Democrats, which calls on Joe Biden to unite in order to abolish two “indulgences” issued in 2001 and 2002 – at the time when Joe Biden was still a senator, Osama bin Laden is a terrorist number alone, and Saddam Hussein led Iraq. In January, a group of the five Democrats (including the chairmen of the foreign affairs and intelligence committees) sent a letter to the president urging that two laws be replaced with a new one, so that it clearly identifies the enemy, the country of operation, and the challenges facing armed forces. In addition, according to lawmakers, it is necessary to provide for the timing of the operation in order to allow Congress to regularly engage in the formulation of the country’s military policy. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who was still a candidate for the post at the time the letter appeared, said the president agrees with the message.

The voice of Democratic Congressman Roh Hannah also joined the chorus. “We need to leave the Middle East, not exacerbate the situation. The President should not take such action without seeking clear approval (from Congress – “B”), but only relying on vague and outdated permits, ”he said, noting that Joe Biden became the seventh US president in a row to order attacks on targets in the Middle East.

Consequences of the American strike in Syria

Consequences of the American strike in Syria

Photo: Reuters

The administration responded to worried lawmakers: A National Security Council spokesman said in a statement that the Pentagon held a briefing for congressional leaders on Thursday evening, February 25, and the president was acting in his own right – he has the right to self-defense.

«We have conducted a thorough legal assessment of the impacts. They were necessary to respond to the threat and were commensurate with the attacks that took place, ”the statement said.

In addition, the Joe Biden administration has pledged to hold a private briefing for lawmakers early in the first week of March.

It is noteworthy that many Republicans supported the strike against Syria. Their leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said that the president acted within his powers, but expressed a desire to learn information about the effectiveness of the strikes and the consequences for relations with Iran. Senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee Jim Inhof, praising Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, said they continue to adhere to Donald Trump’s approaches. “The attacks were the correct, proportionate response to protect American lives. I am waiting for further information about the rebuff that the administration is giving to the Iranian aggression, ”the statement issued by it reads.

Alexey Naumov

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It is the one who is running our country. …

It is the one who is running our country. #wakeup #foryou #cnn #fox #fyp #donaldtrump #foryoupage #democrats #republicans #news #blacklivesmatter

@dukeofalabama

This is who is running our country. #wakeup #foryou #cnn #fox #fyp #donaldtrump #foryoupage #democrats #republicans #news #blacklivesmatter

♬ original sound – Hunter Mathis

Prosecutors denounce Trump as an “chief instigator”

Washington With previously unpublished videos, the prosecutors in the impeachment proceedings against ex-US President Donald Trump have reinforced their allegations. On Wednesday, the first full day of arguments in the historical trial, they presented material from surveillance cameras, social networks and audio recordings to the police.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski called the Democratic prosecutors’ arguments against Trump “quite incriminating.” She couldn’t imagine how the ex-president could be re-elected to the White House like this.

In the impeachment proceedings, Trump is charged with incitement to riot. He is accused of inciting supporters on January 6, before they forcibly stormed the US Capitol. Five people were killed in the chaos and violence.

In the previously unpublished footage, House prosecutors showed how close the rioters got to members of Congress and government earlier this year. According to the indictment, for example, they got up to 30 meters from then Vice President Mike Pence.

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Capitol cop Eugene Goodman helped lure the rioters away from the area where Pence was hiding. These chanted, among other things, “Hang Mike Pence!” In addition, the Democratic MP and Prosecutor Stacey Plaskett concluded: “You can hear the mob demanding the death of the Vice President of the United States.”

Dramatic moments captured on video

Videos of the siege of the Congress building have been circulating on the Internet since the day it happened. But the composition of the indictment now gave a broader picture, virtually from moment to moment. A dramatic moment captured on video shows the police shooting at the crowd through a broken window and hit a woman. It was also recorded how a police officer is overrun by the mob.

Internationally renowned Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he cried when he saw a video of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman. The recordings were eerily shocking and emotional. Goodman led Romney away from the violent mob on January 6th.

Prosecutor Stacey Plaskett MP said the mob had been hunting down individual politicians, including Pence and the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Plaskett stressed that if the attackers found Pelosi, they would have killed her.

Nancy Pelosi

Prosecutor Plaskett stressed that if the attackers found Pelosi, they would have killed her.

(Photo: AFP)

Romney and his colleague Murkowski had joined Democratic senators and voted for the impeachment process against Trump to be constitutional. In addition to the Democrats in the Senate, it would take 17 Republicans to vote for impeachment – and that seems unlikely at this point in time.

On Wednesday, for example, Republican Senator Josh Hawley criticized the prosecution’s arguments as “predictable” and said the information was already publicly available. His counterpart Jim Inhofe said the Democrats had put together a good team. But he does not believe that what has been said will change anything in terms of the proportion of votes on both sides.

Not only is it the first impeachment proceedings against a US president after his term has ended, but Trump is also the first president to face such proceedings twice. Trump was acquitted in 2020 of the allegation that during a telephone call he had put Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi under pressure to collect incriminating material against his then rival for the presidency, US President Joe Biden.

Jamie Raskin

The chief prosecutor speaks in the US Capitol.

(Photo: dpa)

At the start of Wednesday, the Senate’s chief prosecutor, Democratic MP Jamie Raskin, announced evidence that Trump was not an “innocent bystander”. Rather, as the “inciter in chief”, he was largely responsible for it. “To us it may have felt like chaos and madness, but behind the madness that day was method.”

Before the riots on January 6, Trump had urged his supporters to fight “like the devil” for him. In the previous weeks, he had repeatedly denounced election fraud, although there is no evidence to back it up.

The prosecutors in the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump see the former US president fully responsible for the violent attack on the Capitol. “Donald Trump has committed a grave crime against our Constitution and our people,” said House Democratic chief prosecutor Jamie Raskin on Wednesday at the Senate trial. “He has to be condemned by the US Senate.” Trump was “not an uninvolved bystander,” as the defense would have us believe. “He started this attack.”

The then president sent his supporters to the protests in early January, encouraged violence in advance and “put the crowd in a frenzy on the day of the attack,” said Raskin. He then followed the riot with enthusiasm. “He watched it on TV like a reality show.”

Trump failed to protect Congress and stop the violence. In doing so, he violated his constitutional obligations. Immediately after the attack, he did not condemn the violence, but again spread lies about alleged electoral fraud and praised the rioters.

Necessary two-thirds majority not foreseeable

Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6th. Congress met there to certify the election victory of Trump’s successor in office, Joe Biden. Five people were killed on the brink of the riot, including a police officer. Trump had recently incited his supporters at a rally by claiming that his election victory had been stolen.

The Democrats accuse him of “inciting a riot” and have initiated impeachment proceedings against him in the House of Representatives – supported by ten Republican MPs. This procedure is managed and decided in the Senate. The Congress Chamber takes on the role of a court.

The Democrats want to hold Trump accountable even after leaving the White House and at the same time achieve that he is banned from future offices at the federal level. The prerequisite would be that the Republican is convicted in the impeachment process. The necessary two-thirds majority in the Senate is currently not foreseeable.

More: The US Congress has a duty to hold the ex-president accountable. For the clarification, it is irrelevant whether Trump is sitting in the Oval Office or playing golf in Florida.

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Nord Stream 2: USA conditions for possible sanction waiver

Berlin The stalled dispute over Nord Stream 2 is moving: For the first time, the US is signaling that it is ready to start talks on an end to the US sanctions against the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline from Russia to Germany. The Americans, however, expect the German side to move too and submit a proposal.

“The Germans have to put a package solution on the table,” a US official involved in the talks told Handelsblatt. “Otherwise we will not be able to get the issue of Nord Stream 2 out of the way” – a clear sign that Washington wants to resolve the conflict over the gas pipeline. The US wants to prevent Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas from growing further and Ukraine from being decoupled from the European gas infrastructure.

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Nord Stream 2: USA conditions for possible sanction waiver

Berlin The stalled dispute over Nord Stream 2 is moving: For the first time, the US is signaling that it is ready to start talks about an end to the US sanctions against the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline from Russia to Germany. The Americans, however, expect the German side to move too and submit a proposal.

“The Germans have to put a package solution on the table,” a US official involved in the talks told Handelsblatt. “Otherwise we will not be able to get the issue of Nord Stream 2 out of the way” – a clear sign that Washington wants to resolve the conflict over the gas pipeline. The US wants to prevent Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas from growing further and Ukraine from being decoupled from the European gas infrastructure.

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Joe Biden’s climate turnaround opens a new front against China

Joe Biden

The US President is taking a new course in climate policy.

(Photo: AFP)

Peking, Washington, New York When Barack Obama and China’s head of state and party Xi Jinping appeared in Beijing in the fall of 2014, they surprised the world. Both sides agreed on a reduction in greenhouse gases. “We are the largest industrialized nations, so we have a special responsibility to combat climate change,” said the then US President Obama. The alliance gave other countries confidence that a U-turn can be achieved and paved the way for the 2015 Paris Climate Pact.

A lot has happened since then, but both countries are still the front runners when it comes to pollution – China emits 27 percent of global CO2 emissions, the USA follows with 13 percent.

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Trump’s importance is overestimated – Republicans propose alternative stimulus packages

Former US President Barack Obama doesn’t think much of Donald Trump’s political legacy. The importance of his successor is overestimated, said the 59-year-old in an interview published on Sunday by the ZDF “heute journal”. For example, Trump did not have the better access to one introduced by the Democrats, as announced Health insurance can destroy. And also in the Climate protection policy The new government under Joe Biden could quickly build on the previous course and rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

Regarding the strength of the Trump-led conservative camp and its effectiveness, Obama said, In the end, Trump was not re-elected – unlike himself in 2012.

Trump’s election victory in 2016 has its cause on the one hand in societal conflicts, some of which are centuries old, in the USA, but also in the 2008/09 financial crisis, said Obama. The economic turmoil at the time had created instability and worry. Many people feared that there might be setbacks for them personally.

In this situation it is very often that politics relies on strong men, on power. In addition be right-wing social Media came in combination with television channels like Fox News. These fed people with information “completely detached from reality,” he criticized. “If you feed people with lies, distortions, conspiracy theories, and if politicians try to take advantage of this for the sake of their own advantage, then over time social trust can break down and the whole thing can lead to tragedy. Like the ones we saw here in the Capitol. “

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Europe is putting its values ​​to the test in relation to China

Game theory is the scientific discipline of strategic interaction, which makes it possible to better understand the strategies of actors, for example in an economic or political context, and to derive recommendations for action from them. It is therefore an essential skill of game theorists to be able to abstract from details and see the larger context, the “big picture”.

I am convinced that we in Germany and Europe have lost this ability – especially with regard to America and the global power competition that continues to rage between the USA and China even after the end of the Trump era.

It all began in 2017 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a few days after Donald Trump’s inauguration. China’s President Xi Jinping was hailed as the savior of free trade because, contrary to Trump’s messages, his rhetoric sounded very trade-friendly.

In fact, at this point in time and afterwards, foreign companies complained about the lack of protection of intellectual property in China and the need to cooperate with Chinese companies when entering the market. The Trump administration, which no longer wanted to accept this asymmetrical world trade, was the bad guy.

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Four years later, just in time for Joe Biden’s inauguration, Xi Jinping is once again the star guest of the virtual business forum. Once again, host Karl Schwab rolls out the red carpet for him, but this time not literally, and again Xi skillfully plays the verbal and political keyboard. Despite the obvious breach of all agreements in Hong Kong, he continues to speak of international law, multilateralism and the opening of his own markets.

It’s just cynical. From a European perspective, however, this public perception is so important because the USA, even under Biden, sees the People’s Republic of China as the greatest threat to the western social order and its prosperity. This is where Republicans and Democrats in the United States are not that different.

At least Europe is no longer seen by the Biden administration as an adversary, but is to be won as an ally for a global alliance against China – but an ally from whom an appropriate contribution is also required to push back Chinese dominance.

China’s strategic move

While the transatlantic relationship cooled noticeably over the course of the Trump administration, China used the time to draw closer to Europe. Once again, the political strategists in Beijing have used a power vacuum, as they did with the “New Silk Road” project.

A few weeks after Biden’s election, but before he took office, China signed an investment agreement with the EU – a development that annoys the Americans, because it may bind the EU much closer to China, thus further decoupling Europe from the USA Ahead.

The meaning, purpose and morals of such an agreement with the authoritarian state remain open. Ultimately, the investment agreement and the coordinated trade policy with regard to China that the USA is pushing will be the ultimate test for Europe: Does Europe really want to tackle the major problems such as climate change and fair trade together with the USA, or does it prefer to maintain its almost defiant independence alongside the two superpowers and depending on the situation looking for bilateral solutions?

If the EU actually strives for a coordinated trade policy with the Biden administration, then it needs a strategy in order not to be the loser in the end, but possibly even to get significantly more from a joint action with the USA against China than the investment agreement today promises.

The Europeans’ bargaining chip

The nucleus of a global alliance and coordinated trade policy would always be the cooperation between the EU and the USA. In this scenario, the investment agreement that has not yet been ratified would even be a valuable bargaining chip for Europeans. Because: The Biden administration knows very well that Europe cannot do without military support and trade relations with the USA for the foreseeable future.

It will therefore act vigorously to further bind the EU to America and to push it into a US-led alliance against China. The USA will therefore increasingly give Europe the choice between maintaining security and economic relations with America or strengthening Europe’s ties to China.

Should the EU (want to) make a clear commitment to the Americans and possibly still be ready to crush the investment agreement, then this would be the opportunity to demand sacrifices from the USA for joint action as well.

The alliance that the USA is striving for can and must be even larger than the United States plus Europe in order to be able to throw maximum weight into the balance in future negotiations with China. NAFTA, the EU and their closest allies account for almost 50 percent of global value added. It’s an incredibly powerful trading bloc.

Choice of extremes threatens

From a negotiating strategy perspective, I would recommend that the USA and Europe not seek a direct confrontation with China as a first step, but first force necessary allies besides the USA and Europe in the NAFTA area and Asia into an alliance. As a negotiator, I would suggest winning these countries sequentially, one after the other, for the common line vis-à-vis China.

Lukewarm strategies and appeals will not help much; China’s trade ties, especially with its neighbors, are too great for that. For example, China is currently circumventing the tariffs introduced by Trump by sending its products for final assembly to Vietnam or Thailand – actually very China-critical states – and thus increasing the dependence of these countries on China.

Given only the extreme choice of either going along with Western trade policy or being treated like China itself, some of these countries will join an alliance.

However, it is uncertain whether Europe will have the courage to side with the US in the global power competition and to abandon the strategy of a neutral middle ground between the superpowers. In Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” it is loosely translated: “A special place in limbo is reserved for those lukewarms who remain neutral in times of crisis”. If we are unwilling to pay a price, we are worthless as allies and if we are unwilling to fight for our values, we will lose them anyway.

More: We have to learn from the Trump method, otherwise the four years were in vain.

Marcus Schreiber is a founding partner and Chief Executive Officer at TWS Partners. He has many years of experience in strategic purchasing and broad industry know-how. His focus is on strategic purchasing, applied industrial economics and market design. He also supports companies in applying game theory knowledge in complex awarding decisions.

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