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From 'freedom gas' to violating deals 'before they exist': Five baffling statements from Washington

From 'freedom gas' to violating deals 'before they exist': Five baffling statements from Washington
US officials are no strangers to making sweeping statements that provoke eye-rolls and raised eyebrows in other parts of the world, but Washington does seem to be on a roll in recent months.

With tensions rising over Iran, a trade and tech war raging with China and immigration trouble on its southern border, the bombastic statements from Washington seem to be coming thick and fast.

‘Freedom gas’

It’s no big surprise to hear US officials harp on about spreading “freedom and democracy” around the world — but US undersecretary of energy Mark Menezes took that concept to the extreme in May with an attempt to rebrand the country’s energy experts as “freedom gas."

Another official built on the idea and decided to term US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports as “molecules of US freedom.” That’s certainly one way to try and increase energy exports to Europe — just maybe not the most convincing one, if the instant online ridicule was anything to go by.

Also on rt.com Shhh. It's not fracking, it's freedom gas.

New weapons to ‘never use’

No one ever accused the US of being frugal when it comes to spending on its war machines, but just in case anyone thought it had gotten stingy, Trump reassured Americans last week that he would increase the country’s military budget (yet again) to ensure it has “the most and the best in the world” when it comes to weaponry.

"Brand new nuclear weapons" are on the shopping list, but don’t worry, Trump “never” plans to use them, so it’s all good. One could be forgiven for asking why bother even manufacturing them in that case? There are probably a few other things Americans would like him to sort out first… like healthcare, for example.

Iran deal ‘violated before it existed’

Washington has thrown plenty of accusations Tehran's way lately, but the oddest yet might be… time travel. The White House this week claimed Iran had been violating the 2015 nuclear deal "even before its existence” — a complaint which was met with derision on Twitter. How do you violate a deal that doesn’t exist yet?

It wasn’t the first time US officials sparked skepticism with sketchy denunciations of Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo probably expected a better reaction when he said Tehran was “almost certainly” responsible for attacks on two oil tankers last month, but the finger-pointing prompted more of a collective international eye roll than the outrage Pompeo anticipated.

Also on rt.com Tehran time travel? US accuses Iran of violating nuclear deal 'even before its existence'

China deal must be ‘better for us’

All good negotiators know that the best way to strike a deal that suits all parties is to announce at the outset that the final arrangement must be better for your side than theirs. 

Well okay, maybe not. Yet, that’s how Trump has recently framed his efforts to strike a new trade deal with China. The deal must be “better for us than for them” and “tilted to [US] advantage” since they (allegedly) previously had “advantages” that the underprivileged US did not have.

Anyway, China should probably watch out. Even if Beijing does sign a new trade deal with the US, Trump could later ditch it on the grounds that it had been unacceptably violated in an alternate universe...or something.

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