02:28 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Trump Faces ‘Enormous Pressure’ from US Ruling Class to ‘Up the Ante’ Against Adversaries at UN

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    US President Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly Tuesday, during which he criticized China, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Iran, reveals he is under “enormous pressure” to adopt “hawkish” policies against foreign countries, Dr. Gerald Horne, author and professor of history at the University of Houston, told Sputnik’s Loud & Clear.

    During his remarks, Trump slammed China, claiming that “not only has China declined to adopt promised reforms, it has embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers and the theft of intellectual property and also trade secrets on a grand scale.” 

    However, Horne said he’s not surprised Trump “hits hard” against China during his speech.

    Horne said the US-China trade war is “an issue that unites the class that he represents. In some ways, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi is more hawkish on Beijing than Mr. Trump. I think that there is a growing feeling amongst a certain sector of the US ruling class that China is in the passing lane, particularly with regard to emerging technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, green energy, robotics, and it’s felt, within that class, that if something is not done sooner rather than later, the US will be chanting ‘We are number two’ as China continues to soar and ascend,” Horne told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Tuesday.

    “At the same time, there is pressure on Mr. Trump. Keep in kind that Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gambling tycoon, has many of his interests tied up in Macau, which is a former Portuguese colony now under the administration of Beijing, not unlike Hong Kong, which as you can see, the US is trying to stir up a ruckus [in]. So, it’s reported that Adelson is pressuring Mr. Trump to back down from his hawkish posture toward China, and if Trump is not careful, he’ll wind up like Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, who has also had a falling out with Adelson and is now being ushered out of office,” Horne added.

    According to Horne, there is “enormous pressure” on Trump to adopt aggressive policies, especially towards Iran. During his UN speech, Trump called Iran a “repressive regime” and a “security threat” to “peace-loving nations.”

    “Keep in mind, he [Trump] has alienated many of the hawks [with] his attacks on the late Senator John McCain, by his sacking of John Bolton, the hawkish national security adviser, and I dare say there will be enormous pressure on him going forward to try to launch some war of aggression against Iran,” Horne noted.

    US-Iran relations are more sour than usual following the September 14 attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, resulting in a cut in oil production totaling 5.7 million barrels per day — about half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil output. The US has blamed the attack on Iran, even though the Yemeni Houthi movement has claimed responsibility, Sputnik reported.

    “First of all, as noted, Mr. Trump is under enormous pressure from the hawks in Washington to launch a war of aggression against Iran. It’s apparent that Mr. Trump wants to up the ante, and I’m afraid to say the Europeans have not been very helpful … the EU punches below its weight when it comes to foreign policy and is willing to knuckle under when it comes to Washington, even though that is clearly against their material interest,” Horne explained.

    Trump also slammed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in his speech, calling him a “dictator” and a “Cuban puppet protected by Cuban bodyguards, hiding from his own people while Cuba plunders Venezuela's oil wealth to sustain its own corrupt, communist rule.” He further criticized countries like Cuba and Nicaragua, which recognize Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

    “Well, that’s straight from the playbook of John Bolton. Recall that he talked [about] the so-called troika of tyranny, speaking of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua,” Horne said.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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