Amid the global lockdowns of nations, the slow and anguishing spread of Covid-19, the clamour for more PPE, Personal Protective Equipment and the clarion call to medical scientists worldwide to find a vaccine for a virus for the first time in human history, lies buried under the tons of global news, information and opinions, a potential war that will change the nature of how we fight this frightening pandemic.
The Fortune, the Forest, the Petunia, the Faxon and the Clavel, so what do these innocuous names have to do with the war you may ask? Let’s start by saying, the United States of America has so comprehensive a regime of sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, most commentators and human rights organisations characterise them as “genocidal.” Other than the Russian Federation and to a lesser degree the People’s Republic of China, no two countries have been so heavily bullied by Washington post the “oil for food” sanctions instituted against the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. It has near destroyed an oil-dependent Venezuelan economy and left the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro vulnerable to “regime change” by the “dirty tricks” CIA and the assortment of mercenaries on their books.
The Fortune, the Forest, the Petunia, the Faxon and the Clavel are Iranian oil tankers despatched from Teheran to aid the ailing Venezuelan people with crude oil and other fuel and other based products, Caracas so desperately needs since the United States engineered crash of its economy. When Washington got wind of the trade between its tow foes it threatened to intercept the vessels on the high seas, either arrest them or force them to turn back. Iran retaliated by correctly claiming that this would be tantamount to piracy and an act of war. Undeterred, Washington has been blustering about the “legality” of the trade between Iran and Venezuela as if it is illegal for common enemies of America to engage in free trade. But, let’s bear in mind that the Trump regime has committed a strategic blunder with their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, turning the richest country in human history into the epicentre of the plague with roughly 101 000 deaths and counting?
With the Presidential elections coming up in November of this year, and it could not have come at a worse time for Trump. The collapse of the indigenous fracking/shale oil industry has precipitated a Federal Reserve bailout to the tune of $1 trillion and counting, near murderously low oil prices because of both an oil glut as a result of the “oil wars” between Russia and the Saudis and because of the near-total collapse of global demand because of the global lockdown. American Presidents are notorious for starting wars to divert attention away from their problems back home, particularly if it’s the economy, and that’s exactly where Donald G. Trump finds himself right now. It has been estimated that almost 30% of the American population is technically unemployed leading to economic conditions eerily near to the Great Depression of 1928/33.
This must be an extremely tough year for the Trump regime and so he may quite correctly go down in history, not only as the worst President of the United States but perhaps the most reviled public servant in U.S. history. Meanwhile, the first three Iranian vessels, the Fortune, the Forest and the Petunia docked safely in the Venezuelan ports with the Bolivarian navy giving them safe passage just in case. It is likely the other two will arrive in the next few days, closing the potential brief window period for yet another American military scuffle with yet another sovereign country.