Crimes against Humanity: US Sanctions Harm One Third of World’s People

Global Research, December 05, 2019
Workers World 3 December 2019

The most insidious and pervasive form of modern warfare by Wall Street and the Pentagon, acting in coordination, is passing largely unnoticed and unchallenged. This calculated attack is rolling back decades of progress in health care, sanitation, housing, essential infrastructure and industrial development all around the world.

Almost every developing country attempting any level of social programs for its population is being targeted.

U.S. imperialism and its junior partners have refined economic strangulation into a devastating weapon. Sanctions in the hands of the dominant military and economic powers now cause more deaths than bombs or guns. This weapon is stunting the growth of millions of youth and driving desperate migrations, dislocating tens of millions.

‘A crime against humanity’

Sanctions and economic blockades against Venezuela, Cuba and Iran are well known. But the devastating impacts of U.S. sanctions on occupied Palestine — or on already impoverished countries such as Mali, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Fiji, Nicaragua and Laos — are not even on the radar screen of human rights groups.

Most sanctions are intentionally hidden; they don’t generate even a line of news. Some sanctions are quickly passed after a sudden news article about an alleged atrocity. The civilians who will suffer have nothing to do with whatever crime the corporate media use as an excuse. What are never mentioned are the economic or political concessions the U.S. government or corporations are seeking.

Sanctions cannot be posed as an alternative to war. They are in fact the most brutal form of warfare, deliberately targeting the most defenseless civilians — youth, the elderly, sick and disabled people. In a period of human history when hunger and disease are scientifically solvable, depriving hundreds of millions from getting basic necessities is a crime against humanity.

International law and conventions, including the Geneva and Nuremberg Conventions, United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, explicitly prohibit the targeting of defenseless civilians, especially in times of war.

Sanctions draw condemnation

Modern industrial society is built on a fragile web of essential technology. If pumps and sewage lines, elevators and generators can’t function due to lack of simple spare parts, entire cities can be overwhelmed by swamps. If farmers are denied seed, fertilizer, field equipment and storage facilities, and if food, medicine and essential equipment are deliberately denied, an entire country is at risk.

The Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, Samuel Moncada, spoke to the XVIII Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 26. Addressing the 120 countries represented, he denounced the imposition of arbitrary measures, called “sanctions” by the U.S., as “economic terrorism which affects a third of humanity with more than 8,000 measures in 39 countries.”

This terrorism, he said, constitutes a “threat to the entire system of international relations and is the greatest violation of human rights in the world.” (tinyurl.com/uwlm99r)

The Group of 77 and China, an international body based at the U.N. and representing 134 developing countries, called upon “the international community to condemn and reject the imposition of the use of such measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries.”

The Group explained:

“The criminal, anti-human policy of targeting defenseless populations, which is in clear violation of United Nations Charter and international law, has now become the new weapon of choice for these powerful states since they are faced with strong opposition from the majority of their own population to the endless wars of occupation that they are already involved in.”

The power of banks

The mechanism and the ability of one country or one vote to destroy a country on the other side of the world are not well understood.

International capital uses the dollar system. All international transactions go through U.S. banks. These banks are in a position to block money transfers for the smallest transaction and to confiscate billions of dollars held by targeted governments and individuals. They are also in a position to demand that every other bank accept sudden restrictions imposed from Washington or face sanctions themselves.

This is similar to how the U.S. Navy can claim the authority to intercept ships and interrupt trade anywhere, or the U.S. Army can target people with drones and invade countries without even asking for a declaration of war.

Sometimes a corporate media outlet, a U.S.-funded “human rights” group or a financial institution issues charges, often unsubstantiated, of human rights violations, or political repression, drug trafficking, terrorist funding, money laundering, cyber-security infractions, corruption or non-compliance with an international financial institution. These charges become the opening wedge for a demand for sanctions as punishment.

Sanctions can be imposed through a U.S. Congressional resolution or Presidential declaration or be authorized by a U.S. government agency, such as the departments of the Treasury, Commerce, State or Defense. The U.S. might apply pressure to get support from the European Union, the U.N. Security Council or one of countless U.S.-established regional security organizations, such as the Organization of American States.

A U.S. corporate body that wants a more favorable trade deal is able to influence numerous agencies or politicians to act on its behalf. Deep-state secret agencies, military contractors, nongovernmental organizations funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, and numerous corporate-funded foundations maneuver to create economic dislocation and pressure resource-rich countries.

Even sanctions that appear mild and limited can have a devastating impact. U.S. officials will claim that some sanctions are only military sanctions, needed to block weapons sales. But under the category of possible “dual use,” the bans include chlorine needed to purify water, pesticides, fertilizers, medical equipment, simple batteries and spare parts of any kind.

Another subterfuge is sanctions that supposedly apply only to government officials or specific agencies. But in fact any and every transaction they carry out can be blocked while endless inquiries are held. Anonymous bank officials can freeze all transactions in progress and scrutinize all accounts a country holds. Any form of sanctions, even against individuals, raises the cost and risk level for credit and loans.

There are more than 6,300 names on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List of individuals sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Treasury Department.

The OFAC describes its role this way:

“OFAC administers a number of different sanctions programs. The sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals.”

There is also a Financial Action Task Force list and an International Traffic in Arms Regulations list.

The sanctions weapon has become so extensive that there is now a whole body of law to guide U.S. corporations and banks in navigating sales, credit and loans. It is intended to be opaque, murky and open to interpretation, payoffs and subterfuge. There seems to be no single online site that lists all the different countries and individuals under U.S. sanctions.

Once a country is sanctioned, it must then “negotiate” with various U.S. agencies that demand austerity measures, elections that meet Western approval, cuts in social programs, and other political and economic concessions to get sanctions lifted.

Sanctions are an essential part of U.S. regime change operations, designed in the most cynical way to exact maximum human cost. Sudden hyperinflation, economic disruption and unexpected shortages are then hypocritically blamed on the government in office in the sanctioned country. Officials are labeled inept or corrupt.

Agencies carefully monitor the internal crisis they are creating to determine the optimum time to impose regime change or manufacture a color revolution. The State Department and U.S. covert agencies fund numerous NGOs and social organizations that instigate dissent. These tactics have been used in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, Syria, Libya, Zimbabwe, Sudan and many other countries.

A weapon of imperialism in decline

Gone are the days of Marshall Plan-type promises of rebuilding, trade, loans and infrastructure development. They are not even offered in this period of capitalist decay. The sanctions weapon is now such a pervasive instrument that hardly a week goes by without new sanctions, even on past allies.

In October the U.S. threatened harsh sanctions on Turkey, a 70-year member of the U.S.-commanded NATO military alliance.

On Nov. 27, Trump suddenly announced, by presidential decree, harsher sanctions on Nicaragua, calling it a “National Security Threat.” He also declared Mexico a “terrorist” threat and refused to rule out military intervention. Both countries have democratically elected governments.

Other sanctions sail through the U.S. Congress without a roll call vote — just a cheer and a unanimous voice vote, such as the sanctions on Hong Kong in support of U.S.-funded protests.

Why Wall Street can’t be sanctioned 

Is there any possibility that the U.S. could be sanctioned for its endless wars under the same provisions by which it has asserted the right to wreak havoc on other countries?

The Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, in November 2017 asked the Hague-based ICC to open formal investigations of war crimes committed by the Taliban, the Haqqani network, Afghan forces, and the U.S. military and the CIA.

The very idea of the U.S. being charged with war crimes led then White House National Security Advisor John Bolton to threaten judges and other ICC officials with arrest and sanction if they even considered any charge against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

“If the court comes after us, Israel or other U.S. allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said. He noted that the U.S. “is prepared to slap financial sanctions and criminal charges on officials of the court if they proceed against any U.S. personnel. … We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. … We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.” (The Guardian, Sept. 10, 2018)

Bolton also cited a recent move by Palestinian leaders to have Israeli officials prosecuted at the ICC for human rights violations. The ICC judges got the message. They ruled that despite “a reasonable basis” to consider war crimes committed in Afghanistan, there was little chance of a successful prosecution. An investigation “would not serve the interests of justice.”

Chief Prosecutor Bensouda, for proposing an even-handed inquiry, had her U.S. visa revoked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Sanctions are a weapon in the capitalist world order used by the most powerful countries against those that are weaker and developing. One hundred years ago, in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson advocated sanctions as a quiet but lethal weapon that exerts pressure no nation in the modernworld can withstand.

Sanctions demonstrate how capitalist laws protect the right of eight multibillionaires to own more than the population of half the world.

U.N. sanctions demanded by Washington

The U.S., with the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet and 800 military bases, claims — while engaged in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya — that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran are the greatest threats to world peace.

In the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. succeeded in winning harsh new sanctions against Iran and the DPRK by threatening, on the eve of “war games,” that the U.S. would escalate hostilities to an open military attack.

This threat proved sufficient to get other Security Council members to fall in line and either vote for sanctions or abstain.

These strong-arm tactics have succeeded again and again. During the Korean War, when the U.S. military was saturation-bombing Korea, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Warren Austin held up a submachine gun in the Security Council to demand expanded authority in the war from that body.

Throughout the 1990s the U.S. government used sanctions on Iraq as a horrendous social experiment to calculate how to drastically lower caloric intake, destroy crop output and ruin water purification. The impact of these sanctions were widely publicized — as a threat to other countries.

Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, when asked about the half a million children who died as a result of U.S. sanctions on Iraq, replied, “We think the price is worth it.”

The sanctions imposed by the U.S. against Iran are book-length, spanning 40 years since the Iranian Revolution. The blockade and sanctions on Cuba have continued for 60 years.

Sanctions Kill campaign

It is an enormous political challenge to break the media silence and expose this crime. We need to put a human face on the suffering.

Targeted countries cannot be left to struggle by themselves in isolation  — there must be full solidarity with their efforts. The sheer number of countries being starved into compliance via U.S.-imposed sanctions must be dragged into the light of day. And one step in challenging the injustice of capitalist property relations is to attack the criminal role of the banks.

The effort to rally world opinion against sanctions as a war crime is beginning with a call for International Days of Action Against Sanctions & Economic War on March 13-15, 2020. Its slogans are “Sanctions Kill! Sanctions Are War! End Sanctions Now!”

These coordinated international demonstrations are a crucial first step. Research and testimony; resolutions by unions, student groups, cultural workers and community organizations; social media campaigns; and bringing medical supplies and international relief to sanctioned countries can all play a role. Every kind of political campaign to expose the international crime of sanctions is a crucial contribution.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Featured image is from WW

Kurds face stark options after US pullback

Forget an independent Kurdistan: They may have to do a deal with Damascus on sharing their area with Sunni Arab refugees

October 14, 2019

By Pepe Escobar : Posted with Permission

Kurds face stark options after US pullback

Forget an independent Kurdistan: They may have to do a deal with Damascus on sharing their area with Sunni Arab refugees

In the annals of bombastic Trump tweets, this one is simply astonishing: here we have a President of the United States, on the record, unmasking the whole $8-trillion intervention in the Middle East as an endless war based on a “false premise.” No wonder the Pentagon is not amused.
Trump’s tweet bisects the surreal geopolitical spectacle of Turkey attacking a 120-kilometer-long stretch of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates to essentially expel Syrian Kurds. Even after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cleared with Trump the terms of the Orwellian-named “Operation Peace Spring,” Ankara may now face the risk of US economic sanctions.

The predominant Western narrative credits the Syrian Democratic Forces, mostly Kurdish, for fighting and defeating Islamic State, also known as Daesh. The SDF is essentially a collection of mercenaries working for the Pentagon against Damascus. But many Syrian citizens argue that ISIS was in fact defeated by the Syrian Arab Army, Russian aerial and technical expertise plus advisers and special forces from Iran and Hezbollah.

As much as Ankara may regard the YPG Kurds – the “People’s protection units” – and the PKK as mere “terrorists” (in the PKK’s case aligned with Washington), Operation Peace Spring has in principle nothing to do with a massacre of Kurds.

Facts on the ground will reveal whether ethnic cleansing is inbuilt in the Turkish offensive. A century ago few Kurds lived in these parts, which were populated mostly by Arabs, Armenians and Assyrians. So this won’t qualify as ethnic cleansing on ancestral lands. But if the town of Afrin is anything to go by the consequences could be severe.

Into this heady mix, enter a possible, uneasy pacifier: Russia. Moscow previously encouraged the Syrian Kurds to talk to Damascus to prevent a Turkish campaign – to no avail. But Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov never gives up. He has now said: “Moscow will ask for the start of talks between Damascus and Ankara.” Diplomatic ties between Syria and Turkey have been severed for seven years now.

With Peace Spring rolling virtually unopposed, Kurdish Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi did raise the stakes, telling the Americans he will have to make a deal with Moscow for a no-fly zone to protect Kurdish towns and villages against the Turkish Armed Forces. Russian diplomats, off the record, say this is not going to happen. For Moscow, Peace Spring is regarded as “Turkey’s right to ensure its security,” in the words of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. As long as it does not turn into a humanitarian disaster.

No independent Kurdistan

From Washington’s perspective, everything happening in the volatile Iran-Iraq-Syria-Turkey spectrum is subject to two imperatives: 1) geopolitically, breaking what is regionally regarded as the axis of resistance: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah; and 2) geostrategically, breaking the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative from being incorporated in both Iraq and Syria, not to mention Turkey.

When Erdogan remarked that the trilateral Ankara summit last month was “productive,” he was essentially saying that the Kurdish question was settled by an agreement among Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Diplomats confirmed that the Syrian Constitutional Committee will work hard towards implementing a federation – implying that the Kurds will have to go back to the Damascus fold. Tehran may even play a role to smooth things over, as Iranian Kurds have also become very active in the YPG command.

The bottom line: there will be no independent Kurdistan – as detailed in a map previously published by the Anadolu news agency.

From Ankara’s point of view, the objective of Operation Peace Spring follows what Erdogan had already announced to the Turkish Parliament – that is, organizing the repatriation of no fewer than two million Syrian refugees to a collection of villages and towns spread over a 30km-wide security zone supervised by the Turkish army.

Yet there has been no word about what happens to an extra, alleged 1.6 million refugees also in Turkey.

Kurdish threats to release control of 50 jails holding at least 11,000 ISIS/Daesh jihadis are just that. The same applies to the al-Hol detention camp, holding a staggering 80,000 ISIS family members. If let loose, these jihadis would go after the Kurds in a flash.

Veteran war correspondent and risk analyst Elijah Magnier provides an excellent summary of the Kurds’ wishful thinking, compared with the priorities of Damascus, Tehran and Moscow:

The Kurds have asked Damascus, in the presence of Russian and Iranian negotiators, to allow them to retain control over the very rich oil and gas fields they occupy in a bit less than a quarter of Syrian territory. Furthermore, the Kurds have asked that they be given full control of the enclave on the borders with Turkey without any Syrian Army presence or activity. Damascus doesn’t want to act as border control guards and would like to regain control of all Syrian territory. The Syrian government wants to end the accommodations the Kurds are offering to the US and Israel, similar to what happened with the Kurds of Iraq.

The options for the YPG Kurds are stark. They are slowly realizing they were used by the Pentagon as mercenaries. Either they become a part of the Syrian federation, giving up some autonomy and their hyper-nationalist dreams, or they will have to share the region they live in with at least two million Sunni Arab refugees relocated under Turkish Army protection.

The end of the dream is nigh. On Sunday, Moscow brokered a deal according to which the key, Kurdish-dominated border towns of Manbij and Kobane go back under the control of Damascus. So Turkish forces will have to back off, otherwise, they will be directly facing the Syrian Arab Army. The game-changing deal should be interpreted as the first step towards the whole of northeast Syria eventually reverting to state control.

The geopolitical bottom line does expose a serious rift within the Ankara agreement. Tehran and Moscow – not to mention Damascus – will not accept Turkish occupation of nearly a quarter of sovereign, energy-rich Syrian territory, replacing what was a de facto American occupation. Diplomats confirm Putin has repeatedly emphasized to Erdogan the imperative of Syrian territorial integrity. SANA’s Syrian news agency slammed Peace Spring as “an act of aggression.”

Which brings us to Idlib. Idlib is a poor, rural province crammed with ultra-hardcore Salafi jihadis – most linked in myriad levels with successive incarnations of Jabhat al-Nusra, or al-Qaeda in Syria. Eventually, Damascus, backed by Russian airpower, will clear what is in effect the Idlib cauldron, generating an extra wave of refugees. As much as he’s investing in his Syrian Kurdistan safe zone, what Erdogan is trying to prevent is an extra exodus of potentially 3.5 million mostly hardcore Sunnis to Turkey.

Turkish historian Cam Erimtan told me, as he argues in this essay, that it’s all about the clash between the post-Marxist “libertarian municipalism” of the Turkish-Syrian PKK/PYD/YPG/YPJ axis and the brand of Islam defended by Erdogan’s AKP party: “The heady fusion of Islamism and Turkish nationalism that has become the AKP’s hallmark and common currency in the New Turkey, results in the fact that as a social group the Kurds in Syria have now been universally identified as the enemies of Islam.” Thus, Erimtan adds, “the ‘Kurds’ have now taken the place of ‘Assad’ as providing a godless enemy that needs to be defeated next door.”

Geopolitically, the crucial point remains that Erdogan cannot afford to alienate Moscow for a series of strategic and economic reasons, ranging from the Turk Stream gas pipeline to Ankara’s interest in being an active node of the Belt & Road as well as the Eurasia Economic Union and becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, all geared towards Eurasian integration.

‘Win-win’

And as Syria boils, Iraq simmers down.

Iraqi Kurdistan lives a world apart, and was not touched by the Iraqi protests, which were motivated by genuine grievances against the swamp of corrupt-to-the-core Baghdad politics. Subsequent hijacking for a specific geopolitical agenda was inevitable. The government says Iraqi security forces did not shoot at protesters. That was the work of snipers.

Gunmen in balaclavas did attack the offices of plenty of TV stations in Baghdad, destroying equipment and broadcast facilities. Additionally, Iraqi sources told me, armed groups targeted vital infrastructure, as in electricity grids and plants especially in Diwaniyah in the south. This would have plunged the whole of southern Iraq, all the way to Basra, into darkness, thus sparking more protests.

Pakistani analyst Hassan Abbas spent 12 days in Baghdad, Najaf and Karbala. He said heavily militarized police dealt with the protests, “opting for the use of force from the word go – a poor strategy.” He added: “There are 11 different law enforcement forces in Baghdad with various uniforms – coordination between them is extremely poor under normal circumstances.”

But most of all, Abbas stressed: “Many people I talked to in Karbala think this is the American response to the Iraqi tilt towards China.”

That totally fits with this comprehensive analysis.

Iraq did not follow the – illegal – Trump administration sanctions on Iran. In fact it continues to buy electricity from Iran. Baghdad finally opened the crucial Iraq-Syria border post of al-Qaem. Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi wants to buy S-400 missile systems from Russia.

He also explicitly declared Israel responsible for the bombing of five warehouses belonging to the Hashd al-Shaabi, the people mobilization units. And he not only rejected the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” between Israel and Palestine but also has been trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

And then there’s – what else? – China. On a state visit to Beijing on September 23, Mahdi clinched a proverbial win-win deal: plenty of oil supplies traded with investment in rebuilding infrastructure. And Iraq will be a certified Belt & Road node, with President Xi Jinping extolling a new “China-Iraq strategic partnership”. China is also looking to do post-reconstruction work in Syria to make it a key node in the New Silk Roads.

It ain’t over till the fat (Chinese) lady sings while doing deals. Meanwhile, Erdogan can always sing about sending 3.6 million refugees to Europe.

What’s happening is a quadruple win. The US performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO alley Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive.  And Syria will eventually regain control of its oilfields and the entire northeast.

The U.S. Department of Terrorism

Global Research, September 23, 2019

The State Department—under the leadership of the Zionist fellow traveler, former CIA boss and tank commander Mike Pompeo—has tweeted out the following propaganda produced with your tax dollars (or debt spending that will be passed on to your children). 

Department of State

@StateDept

The Iranian regime is the most destabilizing force in the Middle East and the world’s top sponsor of terrorism. That’s why the U.S. launched a campaign of maximum pressure. It’s producing maximum results.

Embedded video

1,254 people are talking about this
This Big Lie production about Iran’s alleged malevolence toward its neighbors has dramatic music and graphics to support an obvious falsehood—Iran is the number one terror state in the world. 

In fact, that designation is reserved for the United States government and its junior partner, Israel.

History is replete with examples—from both world wars to dozens of imperialist ignited brush fires including Vietnam and Iraq. As for Israel, it has been at war with its Arab neighbors for well over 70 years. 

The State Department is the grand choreographer of conflict and murder in the name of a corporatist and bankster neoliberal order now crumbling. It is the largest and worst terrorist on the planet. Most recently, it installed Nazi throwbacks in Ukraine, reduced Libya to a failed state, and armed Wahhabi fanatics in Syria. 

The above video is essentially an advertisement for the cruel torture of the Iranian people through economic warfare in addition to the US-Israel assassination of scientists, malware attacks on Iranian infrastructure, and various terror attacks, including the 2017 attack on the Iranian parliament.

This latter incident was blamed on the Islamic State, a Pentagon fabricated terror group. If you believe a genuine Islamic (Sunni-Wahhabi) terror group was responsible for this attack and a simultaneous one on the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, you may be interested in a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. 

Back in 2014, I wrote: 

According to a Reuters report today, the sanctions imposed on Iran are resulting in the country having problems buying rice, cooking oil and other staples to feed its 74 million people.

It is not simply oil the sanctions target, but all kinds of imports, according to commodities traders…

Before long they will engage in even more barbarous war crimes after Israel bombs Iran’s suspected nuclear sites and the United States follows up with a general bombardment of the country’s civilian infrastructure not dissimilar from the bombardment of Iraq and Yugoslavia, both Nuremberg level war crimes.

Since that time, the situation has grown far worse for ordinary Iranians. 

In 2014, Israel and the US didn’t bomb “suspected nuclear sites” in Iran, mostly because Obama, while carrying out the globalist agenda in Democrat fashion, stepped back from annihilating the country at the pestering insistence of Bibi Netanyahu. 

That wasn’t the case with Libya. It didn’t have the ability to fight back, not like Iran, which does. 

John Bolton tried to get a bombing raid going but failed due to Trump’s fear an invasion—which would turn into a large regional conflict—will ruin his chance at re-election. Trump the Schizoid Man flits back forth between violent rhetoric aimed at Iran (and Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Syria) and saying we don’t need another expensive war in the Middle East. 

Donald Trump is a miracle—on one hand, a proclaimed noninterventionist and MAGA poster boy, and on the other a neocon enraptured with the apartheid regime in Israel. His personality disorder is on display 24/7. After showing Bolton the door, he hired a more acceptable and less abrasive neocon to be his national security adviser. 

The latest kerfuffle in Saudi Arabia has resulted in Trump pumping troops into that medieval nation, a message to Iran it will not be permitted to resist and respond to the economic destruction. 

I initially figured the attack on Saudi oil facilities was a false flag to get a war going. I now believe Iran is responsible for the attack. It warned months ago that the embargo of its oil will result in the Wahhabi emirates suffering a likewise fate. Iran is living up to that threat and responding in kind. 

For the indispensable ruling elite, self-defense is impermissible, lest you desire mountains of rotting dead bodies, typhus, cholera, cancer from depleted uranium and other military toxins, malnutrition, and endless sectarian conflict to keep the vassals from going after the real culprits. Syria, Libya, and Yemen are only the latest examples. 

Iran has the ability to resist this neoliberal death-head onslaught. It was decided that war and its horrific consequence is far more honorable than the humiliation of starvation and disease, which is the ultimate message of the State Department’s absurd propaganda video. 

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from the author

G7: An Obsolete, Useless Talking Shop

Image result for G7: An Obsolete, Useless Talking Shop
Finian Cunningham
August 23, 2019

The Group of Seven (G7) self-declared advanced nations meet this weekend in France for their 45th annual summit. US President Donald Trump caused a stir ahead of the gathering in Biarritz when he remarked that Russia should be included in the format, thereby making it a G8 summit.

“Russia should be at the negotiating table,” said Trump, in a rare moment of lucidity.

His view of including Moscow appears to be shared by France’s President Emmanuel Macron who hosted Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in southern France earlier this week, only days before the G7 summit.

Of course, Russia should be at the table to discuss resolving global economic problems. Not just Russia, but China, India and a few others as well.

Since the G7 club was created in 1975 during the Gerald Ford administration the world has undergone transformative changes from the days when the US, (West) Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan were deemed then to be the most powerful national economies.

Today, China is second to the US in terms of its economic size. The top 10 national economies have various ranking iterations, depending on which yardstick is used to compare.

In nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measurement, the top 10 nations, according to the International Monetary Fund, are: US, China, Japan, Germany, India, France, Britain, Italy, Brazil, Canada. In this ranking, Russia is 12th listed after South Korea.

But if national economies are rated by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which takes currency exchange factors into consideration, then the top 10 national economies are: China, US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Britain, France.

In other words the present G7 line-up is an arbitrary listing. Indeed, its exclusivity is something of an anachronism in today’s world. It’s a throwback to a bygone era when Western nations were more dominant (save for Japan’s inclusion in the original club). The contours of the world have become more multilateral and multipolar. The exclusion of China from the G7 is perhaps the most glaring anomaly.

In a tacit admission of the changed global reality that’s why there is the larger format of the G20 (formed in 1999) which in addition to the G7 includes China, India, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others.

The so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is another sign of changed times, as are numerous other economic fora such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Eurasian Economic Union (EEA), and the Latin American bloc Mercosur.

Given that the G7 is supposed to be a forum for coordinating macroeconomic policies to enhance global economic growth, one would think that the logical requirement would therefore be for inclusion of more nations in order to more effectively address the ostensible purpose.

As it stands, the limited G7 club is a rather clapped-out vehicle. It’s a bit like a broken down auto with flat tires, a blown gasket and crankshaft missing. Does anyone seriously think that Italy in its present political meltdown is in a position to boost the world economy?

It’s also incongruous that the biggest member of the club, the United States, has no interest in coordinating policy with anyone else. President Trump’s trade war with China, the Europeans and the rest of the world is more akin to the 1930s practice of go-it-alone mercantilism and predatory capitalism. We know how disastrous that turned out with global depression and world war.

Trump’s reckless gung-ho “America First” policy (and to hell with everyone else) is casting a dark cloud on the world economy from China’s output slumping and Germany’s exports plummeting. Ironically, “business genius” Trump seems to be dimly realizing that the inevitable repercussions are rebounding like a boomerang with harmful impact on the US economy. Yet he says he’s not letting up on his America First drive to the abyss.

So, sure, if there were a genuine commitment to improve global economic outlook and uplift the wellbeing of ordinary people around the world then the leading nations should be working together in a collegiate planned fashion, and with as much outreach to others as possible.

Thus, without doubt, the leaders of China, Russia, India and others should be in attendance at the summit in France this weekend. Then it would supposedly turn into a forum not unlike the G20. Which makes the point: why is the G7 even continuing to exist?

There is an analogy with the US-led NATO military alliance. That organization was formed in a very different geopolitical world compared with the present. Why does NATO continue to exist? It’s putative security function is redundant.

So too it could be argued is the United Nations Security Council redundant with its five permanent members of US, Russia, China, France and Britain. Surely that forum should be overhauled too reflect a contemporary multipolar world. In short, the world, like history changes, and so too should mechanisms of governance.

Arguably, however, the G7 is not an economic forum, despite its public image. It’s an arbitrary political clique aimed at reinforcing a presumed Western dominance. A sign of this caprice was when the Russian Federation was admitted to the G7 in 1997 which was then renamed the G8. The admission of former President Boris Yeltsin was permitted because he was feckless towards Western strategic demands. Russia remained a G8 member for 17 years until the Ukraine conflict erupted and President Vladimir Putin was accused of “invading” that country and “annexing” Crimea. Those Western allegations are easily countered with evidence of NATO subversion of the elected government in Kiev in order to prize the former Soviet republic away from Moscow’s orbit.

Russia’s exclusion from the G8, which then reverted back to the G7, has been a political punishment to bolster a propaganda narrative for undermining and isolating Russia internationally. This is again why the G7 is no longer a viable forum for its stated purpose of advancing the global economy. It’s a useless talking shop in an utterly changed world.

See Also

Rouhani: War on Iran is The Mother of All Wars, Iran to Emerge Victorious Sooner or Later

By Staff

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that a possible war against Iran is “a mother of all wars”, while peace with Tehran is “the mother of all peace”.

In a speech broadcast live on state-run TV on Tuesday, Rouhani also reiterated Tehran’s readiness to sit down with Washington if it scraps all the sanctions against Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran favors talks and negotiations and, if the US really wants to talk, before anything else it should lift all sanctions”, he underscored.

The Iranian President further highlighted: “We are always ready for negotiation. I tell you this hour and this moment to abandon bullying and lift the sanctions and return to logic and wisdom. We are ready.”

He added that Iran had shifted its approach from “strategic patience” to “reciprocal action” and would respond in kind to any of Washington’s steps related to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

According to Rouhani: “Certain parties in the nuclear deal have violated commitments to deprive Iran of economic benefits.”

“Zionists, reactionary states, and US hardliners sought to destroy JCPOA from the beginning,” Rouhani stated, noting that “Only certain US cronies support [US President Donald] Trump’s decision to withdraw from The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].”

In parallel, he underscored that Iran took calculated step to scale back certain commitments under JCPOA. “Our reduction to nuclear commitments is not a burden on us.”

“All US sanctions against Iran have proved to be its own detriment,” Rouhani stressed, pointing out that “The Americans have proved that their words are far from truth.”

In a clear message to the US and regional rivals, the Iranian President warned: “No one can target our security and seeks peace for himself.”

“Iran to emerge victorious from US restrictions sooner or later,” he concluded.

Related Videos

حزب الله وأنصار الله يضعان «إسرائيل» في ضائقة أمنية؟

يوليو 22, 2019

د. عصام نعمان

مَن يتابع وسائل الإعلام العبري يخرج بانطباع يراوح بين السخرية والشماتة مفاده انّ الله تعالى لا ينصر بني صهيون. لماذا؟ لأنّ حزب الله في لبنان وأنصار الله في اليمن وضعوا كيانها المأزوم في ضائقة أمنية واستراتيجية لا فكاك منها، أقلّه في المستقبل المنظور. كيف؟

صحيفة «هآرتس» 2019/7/17 قالت إنّ الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله أكّد في سياق مقابلة متلفزة لمناسبة ذكرى مرور 13 عاماً على حرب 2006 انّ «إسرائيل كلها باتت تحت مدى صواريخنا»، وانه كرّر تهديده بأنّ «حزب الله لا يحتاج الى سلاح نووي بل يكفي ان يطلق صاروخاً واحداً بإتجاه مخزن الأمونيا في حيفا كي يتسبّب بسقوط عشرات الآف القتلى والجرحى».

صحيفة «يديعوت احرونوت» 2019/7/18 كشفت انّ اعتزام الإمارات العربية المتحدة سحب قواتها المشاركة في الحرب على أنصار الله الحوثيين وحلفائهم في اليمن يشكّل هزيمة للسعودية وتالياً لـِ «إسرائيل» لأنه يُجهض مسار التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني الذي تقوده الرياض ويعطل إمكانية قيام حلف دفاعي بين «إسرائيل» وبعض دول الخليج.

ليس أدلّ على الضائقة الأمنية بل التحدي الاستراتيجي البالغ الخطورة الذي تكشّفت عنه تهديدات نصرالله الأخيرة من انّ قيادة الجبهة الداخلية في الجيش الإسرائيلي قرّرت، بحسب «هآرتس» وبإجازة لنشرها من الرقابة العسكرية، «تحصين 20 موقعاً في «إسرائيل» من الهجمات الصاروخية تحسّباً من إقدام حزب الله على استهدافها بصواريخ دقيقة في أيّ مواجهة عسكرية بينه وبين «إسرائيل» في المستقبل». وكشفت «هآرتس» انّ قائد قيادة الجبهة الداخلية أكد خلال نقاش داخلي جرى في الكنيست أنّ مليونين ونصف المليون مستوطن في «إسرائيل» لا يتمتعون بحماية مناسبة نظراً الى كون أكثر من 700,000 منزل غير محصّنين من الهجمات الصاروخية.

هواجس «إسرائيل»، ألى أين من هنا؟

ليست التحديات المشعّة من حزب الله، والتداعيات الناجمة عن تقدّم أنصار الله في اليمن هي وحدها ما يؤرق بنيامين نتنياهو في هذه الآونة. ثمة تحدٍّ أكبر تمثله إيران بما لها من ثقل عسكري قد يقترن بامتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً ونفوذاً سياسياً متزايداً من شأنه ان يلفّ منطقة غرب آسيا برمتها. الى ذلك، ثمة تحدٍّ آخر شديد الأهمية هو ما يمكن ان يقوم به، او لا يقوم به، حليفه دونالد ترامب حيال كلّ هذه التحديات.

ظاهرُ الحال يؤشّر الى انّ نتنياهو قرّر مواجهة هذه التحديات بما يؤمّن، في ظنّه، حماية «إسرائيل» ودعم مصالحه السياسية الشخصية وذلك بالتعاون مع ترامب في ثلاثة ميادين: تصنيف حزب الله تنظيماً إرهابياً، تطويق إيران بإبعادها ميدانياً عن سورية، وإعلان «حلف دفاعي» بين الولايات المتحدة و»إسرائيل» كخطوة رمزية تساعده على الفوز في الانتخابات البرلمانية في شهر أيلول/ سبتمبر المقبل، وتساعد ترامب على الفوز بولاية رئاسية ثانية في العام القادم.

ففي مواجهة حزب الله الذي أضحى قوة إقليمية دعا نتنياهو، خلال لقاء عقده في القدس المحتلة مع نواب كبار في البرلمان الفرنسي، فرنسا والدول الأوروبية الأخرى إلى أنّ تقوم بما قامت به الأرجنتين وهو تصنيف حزب الله تنظيماً إرهابياً بدعوى

«أنه بات التنظيم الإرهابي الرئيس الذي يعمل في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وفي العالم، وهو يقوم بتوجيه الإرهابيين داخل الأراضي الأوروبية» صحيفة «يسرائيل هيوم» 2019/7/18 .

في مواجهة إيران، يتبنّى نتنياهو كلّ ما يقوم به حليفه ترامب ضدّ إيران من حصار وعقوبات اقتصادية، وضغوط دولية واستخباراتية لتعطيل قدرتها على إنتاج صواريخ بالستية بعيدة المدى بات مداها يصل الى «إسرائيل» وحتى الى أوروبا، وعمليات تخريبية بالتعاون مع جماعات إرهابية تستهدف مواقع ومرافق إيرانية على الحدود مع باكستان وأفغانستان. غير أنّ آخر وأخطر أنشطة نتنياهو على هذا الصعيد، لا سيما خلال اللقاء الأمني الثلاثي الذي عُقد في القدس المحتلة الشهر الماضي بين كلٍّ من مستشاري الأمن القومي الروسي نيكولاي بتروشيف، والأميركي جون بولتون، والإسرائيلي مئير بن شبات، قيامه بالتفاهم مع ترامب على مطالبة روسيا بضرورة ان يشمل ايّ اتفاق مستقبلي بشأن سورية انسحاباً عسكرياً إيرانياً منها كما من لبنان والعراق صحيفة «معاريف» 2019/7/18 .

في جهوده المحمومة للفوز في الانتخابات البرلمانية المقبلة، يتحادث نتنياهو وترامب بشأن إعلان «حلف دفاعي» هو عبارة عن تعهّد علني من جانب الولايات المتحدة بتقديم مساعدة محدّدة الى «إسرائيل» لمواجهة تهديدين أساسيين تتعرّض لهما: سلاح نووي وسلاح صاروخي، كما تنطوي على تبادل وثيق للمعلومات بصورة يومية، ومناورات مشتركة يقوم بها الجيشان، ومساعدة أميركية لاعتراض الصواريخ والقذائف، ودعم لوجستي عاجل في زمن الحرب. ويقول المحلل العسكري رون بن يشاي في موقع «Ynet» 2019/7/13 «إنّ التأثير الحقيقي لمثل هذا الإعلان سيكون تعزيز فرص إعادة انتخاب نتنياهو وتأكيد مواهبه كسياسي عالمي، كما تعزيز فرص ترامب في إعادة انتخابه رئيساً للولايات المتحدة بمساعدة من الإنجيليين من مؤيدي «إسرائيل» الذين يشكّلون مكوّناً مهماً في قاعدة الدعم السياسي له».

غير انّ جميع ما يسعى نتنياهو الى الحصول عليه من الولايات المتحدة لا يشكّل قفزة نوعية استراتيجية بالمقارنة مع ما حصلت وتحصل عليه «إسرائيل» من أمها الرؤوم. ذلك انّ أحدث وأفتك ما لدى أميركا من أسلحة برية وجوية وبحرية قد جرى تزويد «إسرائيل» به، هذا فضلاً عن مخزون أسلحة وعتاد وأجهزة تحتفظ به واشنطن في مستودعات خاصة في «إسرائيل» مع ترخيص دائم للقيادة الصهيونية العليا باستعماله اذا ما اقتضت الضرورة.

لا غلوّ في القول، والحالة هذه، إنّ «إسرائيل» عسكرياً هي أميركا الصغرى. ومع ذلك، يبقى ثمة سؤال: هل حمتها وتحميها هذه الأسلحة والترتيبات والتحالفات من المخاطر والتحديات التي واجهتها والأخرى التي تواجهها في قابل الأيام…؟

وزير سابق

Related Videos

Related Articles

 

هرمز مقابل جبل طارق… ومثله

يوليو 22, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لا نعلم إذا كان البريطانيون قد انتبهوا أم لم ينتبهوا إلى أهمية ما وفروه لإيران في معركتها التاريخية حول السيادة والقوة في مضيق هرمز، الذي يمثل مفصل الاستراتيجية الإيرانية في الإفادة من ميزات الجغرافيا الدولية الاقتصادية والعسكرية التي تعرف كيف تدير معادلاتها. فالخطوة الرعناء لبريطانيا في إيقاف الناقلة الإيرانية في مضيق جبل طارق، لا تستقيم إلا إذا تصرفت لندن على أساس أن الدولة التي تملك السيادة البرية على طرف المضيق تملك الحق بتفتيش السفن التي تتجاوزه وفقاً لمفهوم المرور العابر قانونياً، أي المرور باتجاه مقصد نهائي آخر، دون التوغل في المياه الداخلية للدولة المشاطئة، بينما المواجهة التي تخوضها واشنطن مع إيران حول المرور العابر في مضيق هرمز تنطلق من إنكار أي حقوق للدول المشاطئة للمضيق في التعامل مع «المرور العابر».

– الخطوة الإيرانية التي استهدفت الناقلة البريطانية أخذت وقتاً قبل أن تعتمد إيران تنفيذها رغم السهولة التكتيكية لعملية التنفيذ، لأن إيران كانت تحسب المداخل والمخارج للعملية. فالأصل بالنسبة للأميركي عندما ورط بريطانيا في عملية السيطرة على الناقلة الإيرانية، كان وضع إيران أمام موقف محرج، بين ردّ يتضمن المخاطرة بخسارة وقوف بريطانيا ضمن ثلاثي أوروبي مساند للاتفاق النووي، يضم بريطانيا وفرنسا وألمانيا، وهو ما لا تريده إيران رغم عدم رضاها عن حدود الاستجابة الأوروبية لموجبات الاتفاق النووي تجارياً ومالياً، ورغم إدراكها لكون بريطانيا تشكل أضعف الحلقات الأوروبية في التمسك بالاتفاق، لكن طهران تدرك الخطة الأميركية التي تنطلق من استشعار الفشل بعزل إيران، ومن الشعور بالضيق لكون واشنطن لا تزال وحدها خارج الاتفاق، من أصل الخمسة زائداً واحداً، وتسعى عبر إخراج بريطانيا، أن تخطو الخطوة الأولى قبل الانتقال للتركيز على شريك آخر، صولاً لإسقاط الشركاء الأوروبيين، ووضع إيران أمام معادلة تضعها طهران في حسابها كاحتمال وارد طالما قررت البدء بخطوات إجرائية للخروج من الاتفاق النووي، لكنها لا تسعى لتقديمها خدمة مجانية لواشنطن.

– بالمقابل تدرك طهران أن ترك التصرف البريطاني دون ردّ رادع سيعني فتح الباب للتمادي في التعامل مع إيران من موقع التطاول على حقوقها القانونية، في ميادين كثيرة من مجالات التجارة العالمية، لذلك رسمت طهران معادلة مبتكرة لتعاملها مع بريطانيا، فتركت لندن تخوض المعركة السياسية والقانونية والدبلوماسية لتأكيد أن عملية إيقاف الناقلة الإيرانية عمل قانوني، استناداً إلى بدء سيادة الدولة المشاطئة للمضيق، وبعدما اكتملت المرحلة قامت إيران بما يترجم هذا المبدأ من موقعها على مضيق هرمز، بحجز الناقلة البرطانية، وهو شأن مختلف عن تهديدات إيران السابقة بإقفال المضيق، وطورت إيران المفهوم القانوني بالإعلان عبر مجلس الشورى عزمها عن فرض رسوم مرور في مضيق هرمز، والأمر ليس بالعائد المالي للمرور، وهو في كل حال ليس بسيطاً، بل في كون تسديد الرسوم سيعني التوقف عند نقطة جمارك إيرانية بما يعنيه ذلك من حق التفتيش، والتحقيق وربما التوقيف، وما يعنيه عموماً من تثبيت حق الإمساك بالعبور من المضيق.

– لم تتأخر إيران بعد ذلك عن منح بريطانيا الجواب الإيجابي على قبول مساعٍ عمانية للوساطة من أجل حل النزاع، وما قد يتضمنه من صيغة لمقايضة الناقلتين الإيرانية والبريطانية، وضمان متبادل لحرية عبور الناقلات البريطانية في مضيق هرمز مقابل حرية عبور الناقلات الإيرانية في مضيق جبل طارق، ويكون على واشنطن بذلك البحث عن طرق أخرى لمواجهة إيران، طرق لا تمنح إيران فرص تحويل التحدي إلى فرصة، كما قالت أغلب الطرق الأميركية حتى الآن، فمعادلة هرمز مقابل جبل طارق ومثله، لم تكن ورادة في الحسابات الإيرانية الذكية لو لم تقدّمها لها الحسابات الأميركية الغبية.

Related Videos

Related Articles

 

%d bloggers like this: