IntelliNews headlined and reported on February 14th (boldface emphases added by me),
By Ben Aris in Berlin, February 14, 2019
Sanctions are back. There were four rounds of sanctions in 2018 that clearly did a lot of damage to Russia’s business and investment case, but ultimately they failed to produce their advertised goal: force the Kremlin to change its aggressive ways.
As the year came to an end, there was a hiatus as the last round of new “crushing” sanctions, due at the end of last year, were postponed due to the US mid-term elections. This week the US government has picked up the ball again and is revving up to target more oligarchs and leading Russian companies in retribution for interfering in the 2016 elections and Russian aggression in the Sea of Azov in November.
Five US senators from both parties [U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.] on Wednesday evening [February 13th] announced that they had submitted a bill called the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA). It is intended to increase economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Russia “in response to its interference in democratic processes abroad, its disastrous influence in Syria and aggression against Ukraine, including the incident in the Kerch Strait,” the Senate Foreign Policy Committee said in a press release. …
Ever since the U.S. led the U.N. to impose sanctions against Iraq on 6 August 1990 for having invaded Kuwait, sanctions have been the first phase of most of America’s regime-change wars to impose pro-U.S.-Government rulers — rulers who are acceptable to the controlling owners of U.S.-based international corporations. There was, for example, “UNICEF’s 1999 finding that 500,000 children were killed as a direct result of UN-imposed sanctions on Iraq.”
Ultimately, that policy ended in the U.S. invasion and military occupation of Iraq, which had been based on the excuse that — as George W. Bush put it, on 7 September 2002, regarding a fictitious IAEA ‘report’ allegedly just issued about Iraq — “a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need,” before invading Iraq. So, Bush (and his lapdog the UK’s Prime Minister Blair) invaded, committed mass-murder and destruction there, on the basis of such lies — utter myths (his, because that IAEA ‘report’ had actually existed only in his and Blair’s statement, no one else’s) — and all the rest afterward is not myth, but true history. Ugly and evil history. It’s the reality: the U.S. regime and its allies are the aggressors; Russia is not, but defends itself against them.
But this history starts with the sanctions (instituted by his father), and not with his invasion of Iraq (instituted by himself). (And who says the U.S. isn’t descending into dynastic rule — another common feature of dictatorships, of which the U.S. definitely is one?)
Barely a month prior to Bush’s lie on that occasion, an international study had been issued on 6 August 2002 by 12 leading peace organizations, titled “Iraq Sanctions: Humanitarian Implications and Options for the Future”, and it reported as follows:
“A large majority of Security Council members now oppose the comprehensive sanctions or have serious reservations about them, but they cannot lift them, because vetoes of two Permanent Members, the United States and the United Kingdom, block action.”
“Such secret diplomacy by the major powers shows disregard for the international community and for the lives and well-being of the people of Iraq.”
“The Security Council should not continue to pursue arms control goals with a mechanism that exacts such a high human cost.”
And there’s this, too, there:
Chapter 2 – Comprehensive Economic Sanctions: A Badly-Flawed Policy
When the Security Council first imposed sanctions on Iraq in 1990, many diplomats, scholars and citizens believed that comprehensive economic sanctions were innovative, benign and non-violent. Some believed that sanctions offered an ethical foreign policy tool to combat threats to peace and security without causing unintended suffering. (7)
It is now clear that comprehensive economic sanctions in Iraq have hurt large numbers of innocent civilians not only by limiting the availability of food and medicines, but also by disrupting the whole economy, impoverishing Iraqi citizens and depriving them of essential income, and reducing the national capacity of water treatment, electrical systems and other infrastructure critical for health and life. People in Iraq have died in large numbers. The extent of death, suffering and hardship may have been greater than during the armed hostilities, especially for civilians, as we shall see in more detail below. …
This mass-impoverishment and death resulted largely from the succession of sanctions that, as Wikipedia puts it, “began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait,” and which culminated “with the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1330 in 2000.”
But notice that “When the Security Council first imposed sanctions on Iraq in 1990, many diplomats, scholars and citizens believed that comprehensive economic sanctions were innovative, benign and non-violent. Some believed that sanctions offered an ethical foreign policy tool to combat threats to peace and security without causing unintended suffering.” They had been deceived.
And, so, just about a month prior to this historic lie that George W. Bush made on 7 September 2002, many of the same people whose humanitarian and peace concerns led them to support sanctions had become appalled at the consequences which their naiveté in this matter had produced.
What they had actually fallen for was the new international policy that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush secretly introduced to all major U.S. foreign allies only a few months before the first round of anti-Iraq sanctions became imposed — Bush introduced it only privately on the night of 24 February 1990 — to continue the Cold War against Russia and its friends and allies after the Soviet Union and its communism and its military pact, the Warsaw Pact, all would soon peacefully end in 1991, until all countries are ultimately swept up in the U.S. empire and there truly will be a government of the world by the U.S., instead of by anything that results from the U.N. — a U.S. global dictatorship. The final conquest would be of Russia. If this wasn’t a secret challenge to the U.N., it was a secret coup to overthrow the U.N., and it began on that historic night.
The first of Russia’s friends and allies to be destroyed by the U.S. and its allies was Saddam Hussein, against whom Russia joined with the U.S. in condemning for his invasion of Kuwait. Russia, at that time trusted the U.S. Government, didn’t know that it’s an aristocracy instead of a democracy and that this aristocracy is determined to take over the world.
George H.W. Bush, on that singular occasion, just slightly before Saddam Hussein’s stupid invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990, set the foundation for the planned final elimination of resistance to U.S. global rule. The U.S. regime has tragically and psychopathically continued his policy right up through to the present time, by eliminating the following Governments that had been friendly or allied with Russia and has been replacing them with rulers who are either friendly to the U.S. regime or else outright militarily and diplomatically allied with (are followers of) the American regime, and now customers of American military contractors such as Lockheed Martin (which are controlled by U.S. billionaires). Those contractors now have a greatly expanded global market for their wares, especially because of the expansion of NATO, but also because of the U.S. aristocracy’s alliance with Arab monarchies such as the Sauds (who buy more U.S. weapons than any government except America’s do), and an increasingly at-war and on-fire world (very profitable for those giant U.S. firms):
These countries joined the anti-Russia military alliance, NATO:
Czech Republic 1999
Ukraine was overthrown in February 2014 by a violent U.S.-instituted coup that was covered-over by CIA-organized anti-corruption demonstrations, which started being planned in 2011 by Victoria Nuland (with assistance from Google), Obama’s secret overseer on Ukraine, and the result is a rabidly anti-Russia Ukraine — exactly what Obama had wanted.
Libya was overthrown by CIA-assisted “Arab Spring” ‘revolutions’ in 2011.
Syria was likewise victimized by the U.S. in 2011 right up till the present time, but Russia intervened to prevent America from imposing a Saud-selected ruler upon that country.
Venezuela is now the latest example of the U.S. regime’s take-over attempts. Like so many of America’s other hostile takeovers, the one against Venezuela is preceded by a succession of sanctions-attacks that are ‘justified’ as ‘humanitarian’ and ‘pro-democracy’ even if they’re replacing an elected government by an appointed one that prepares the way for an ‘election’ that the U.S. regime largely controls and which therefore is imperialistic (which is the U.S. regime’s intention to be).
Recollecting “the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1330 in 2000,” it’s important to consider now the impact which that had had upon Iraq: oil-production plunged from 2.5 million barrels per day in 2000 down to 1.3 mbd, around 50%, which it was when the U.S. invaded in 2003. That invasion replaced the sanctions by the direct military slaughter and destruction from the U.S.-and-allied invasion. (The U.N. did nothing but wring its hands, because the U.S. regime was now solidly fascist and is immune to any accountability from the U.N.)
And, then, finally, there was the effective partial privatization of the former Iraq National Oil Company, because privatization is an essential part of any fascist regime — the first was Mussolini’s back in the 1920s, and the second was Hitler’s in the 1930s. Fascist economic theory supposes that private enterprise is always more ‘efficient’ than is anything that’s publicly owned, by the government, or even by the employees. Opening up the control to members of the aristocracy (as privatization does) is assumed to be the most ‘efficient’ way for an economy to function. That’s “free-market theory,” since not only Adam Smith but even prior to him. (The economics profession, especially at the theoretical end, is a racket that’s funded by the aristocracy, via endowed professorships etc.)
An obscure article in the New York Times on 27 February 2007, near the end of the second King Bush’s 8-year reign, headlined, with apparent (and intentional) insignificance, “Iraqi cabinet approves national oil law” and reported briefly the actually momentous news that a bill was passed “opening the door for investment by foreign companies in a country whose oil reserves rank among the world’s three largest.”
The U.S. regime wants to do the same thing to Venezuela. And, ultimately, to Russia.
The problem isn’t only America’s President: almost the entire U.S. Congress (419 to 3 in the House, and at first 97 to 2 in the Senate and then 98 to 2 there) is fascist. And, if you want to see how this plays out in regards to the situation in Venezuela, it seems to be remarkably similar. (You’ll see and hear there the aristocracy’s crocodiles trying to dress themselves verbally as being what they’re definitely not, in order to fool their rubes and/or liberals back home.)
What’s called “neo-liberalism” and “neo-conservatism” and “the Washington Consensus” and “imperialism” is merely the latest version of the dish that the aristocracy have been serving to the public in prior versions for thousands of years: it is neo-feudalism, otherwise known as fascism. Ideologically, Hitler and his allies retroactively have won. Hitler didn’t get to exterminate all Jews as he intended, but the ideology that he shared then with Mussolini and with Hirohito — and with today’s leadership inside Israel, and in many other countries — has reasserted itself with remarkable effectiveness after 24 February 1990. They hope to be soon going in for the kill. I don’t think they’ll be able to do it, but now that almost the entire U.S. Congress (419 to 3 in the House, and at first 97 to 2 in the Senate and then 98 to 2 there) is fascist, they seem determined to do it — to push the President to going even farther to the far-right than he already is on this matter. At least inside the U.S., the victory of anti-Russian nazism — a form of racist facism that focuses against Russians instead of against Jews — holds almost total dominance over the U.S. Government. It doesn’t represent the American public, but they don’t really count in determining U.S. foreign policies. Only America’s billionaires do, and they want the kill. Both houses of Congress represent them, solidly.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.