Sanctions! Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts!

Every president that I recall during my many years of age have used the tried and true penalty of sanctions against nations that has pissed the US off.

Sanctions?

Let’s look at just what this entails……https://lobotero.com/2019/03/04/those-inevitable-sanctions/

The reason I touching on this is that our president has decided to hit Iran with more sanctions as a punishment….these are directed at the so-called nuke program that Iran is supposedly developing…..

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), together with the U.S. Department of State, designated 14 individuals and 17 entities today in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), which has provided support to designated Iranian defense entities and whose key personnel played a central role in the Iranian regime’s past nuclear weapons effort.  This action targets current SPND subordinate groups, supporters, front companies, and associated officials.

“The U.S. government is taking decisive action against actors at all levels in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) who have supported the Iranian regime’s defense sector,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “The United States will continue applying maximum pressure to the Iranian regime, using all economic tools to prevent Iran from developing weapons of mass destruction. Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation.”

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm634

And then there are the sanctions against North Korea (a country that has a nuke capability)……

President is reversing his administration’s decision to slap new sanctions on North Korea and ordering them withdrawn. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump “likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” per the AP. Trump himself addressed the move on Twitter: “It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” he wrote. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about which sanctions Trump was referring to. However, his administration on Thursday sanctioned two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions—the first targeted actions taken against Pyongyang since Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi last month. The Hill sees it as “remarkable” that Trump would publicly rebuke his own Treasury Department, especially after national security adviser John Bolton praised the sanctions announced on Thursday. The Washington Post describes the move as an “apparent effort to salvage nuclear negotiations.”

This illustrates just how moronic Trump’s foreign policy truly is…..he emboldens the nation that has a capability and punishes a nation that does not…..

His Neocon cronies….Pompeo and Bolton…..are leading Trump down the primrose path and his lack of comprehension is hurting the US at every turn…..and he, Trump, is too ignorant to see it.

 

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Venezuela: Ocean Of Lies

Venezuela is still brewing and the MSM wants you to believe the lies spread by the Neocons and the Neo-liberal twats….

Venezuela Lies #1: The Venezuelan People Have No Food and the Shelves Are Bare

In these videos (here and here) on the ground in Caracas, Max Blumenthal exposed one of the lies about Venezuela that is constantly repeated, i.e. that the people have no food and the supermarket shelves are bare.

(read on….the lies snowball from here)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/8-venezuela-lies/5670534

The summit between our Beloved Leader and the Beloved Leader in North Korea has sucked all the energy out of the situation in Venezuela…..the US is still pretending to care about the people of the country and trying to sell the idea that Maduro (Tell me…does Trump’s buddy Calamari look like Maduro?) is driving the country to ruin.

The US Neocon-led strategy is increasingly clear: establish a ‘beach-head’ on the Colombian-Venezuelan (and Venezuelan-Brazilian) border under the guise of providing humanitarian aid. Use the aid to get Venezuelans on the border to welcome the US proxy forces to cross over. Set up political and military structures thereafter just inside the Venezuelan borders with Colombia and Brazil, from which to launch further similar efforts deeper into Venezuela. Repeat this province by province, step by step, penetrating Venezuela space until enough local units of the Venezuelan military change sides and convince one or more of the Venezuelan military hierarchy to join them. Establish a dual state and government within and along the border of the Venezuelan state this way. A breakaway State and dual power within the country. Make it appear, by manipulating the media, that the Venezuelan people are rising up against the Maduro government, when in fact it is US proxy forces invading and using opportunist local politicians, military, and others in the ‘conquered’ zones, as the media covers for their invasion.

The main ideological justification being used for the invasion and regime change is that the Maduro government has grossly mismanaged the Venezuelan economy and driven its people into poverty. With Democrats now joining Trump and Republicans in support of invasion, the liberal mainstream US media, as well as the rightwing alternative media, are both pushing the same line, to blunt US opposition to invasion and yet another war before the final military assault is launched. Somehow the democratic elections less than a year ago, which returned the Maduro government to power, did not represent the ‘will of the people’. Explanations how they did not are thin and unconvincing, moreover. Nor is any explanation given how US policies and actions have played the central role in destroying Venezuela’s currency and economy. And the financial measures used to destabilize the economy are especially opaque.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/05/financial-imperialism-the-case-of-venezuela/

The typical case is being made by Neocons…..similar to the case made to invade Iraq in 2003…..how long will the American people continue to support such crap?

With that said……

If you repeat your own lies enough—so goes the apocryphal Goebbels quote—you start to believe them yourself. For two decades, the Venezuelan opposition and its supporters in Washington have smeared Hugo Chávez and now his successor, Nicolás Maduro, as despotic strongmen kept in power solely through military force and paltry payouts to the poor. So it’s no surprise that they are once again underestimating both Chavismo and the resilience of its supporters today.

https://inthesetimes.com/article/21785/venezuela-guaido-maduro-lima-group-pence-trump-coup-chavista-opposition

Don’t believe the crap that the MSM passes off as fact…..in most cases they are just propagandist for the system….

Those Inevitable Sanctions

Sanctions seems to be the word of the Trump administration…..we have imposed sanctions on Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela and several others…..sanctions are the only diplomatic tactic the president and his band of slow thinking slugs have in their book of “things to do”…..

Recently the Trump admin has issued more sanctions against Venezuela….because they are subverting democracy (at least that is the excuse….this time)……

Personally I do not believe that these sanctions will work without covert action by one of our shadowy groups…sanctions do not work as a sole penalty…..they are basically a feel good attempt to control another nation.

Economic sanctions are the penalties of choice for the start of hostilities with any given nation…..the US uses this penalty liberally (that is with a small “L”)……in recent history sanctions have been imposed in Iraq, Iran, Venezuela (most recently) and in all that time what has it accomplished?

Good question, right?

But what is included in “sanctions”?

The Council on Foreign Relations defines sanctions as “a lower-cost, lower-risk, middle course of action between diplomacy and war.” Money is that middle course, and economic sanctions are the means. Some of the most common punitive financial measures include:

  • Tariffs: Surcharges on imported goods, often imposed to aid domestic industries and markets.
  • Quotas: Limits on the number of goods that may be imported or exported. 
  • Embargoes: Restrictions on or cessation of trading with a nation or bloc of nations. These can include limiting or banning travel by individuals to and from nations.
  • Non-tariff barriers: These are designed to make foreign goods more expensive by complying with onerous regulatory requirements.
  • Asset seizure/freeze: Capturing or holding the financial assets of nations, citizens, or preventing the sale or moving of those assets. 

If the US is honest then they would also state that sanctions only work about 30% of the time…..that is not a good chance for success.

If the reader would like more info on what sanctions are about………https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-are-economic-sanctions

I am opposed to these types of punitive action because they seldom have the intended result of punishing the elites and leadership of any given nation instead the average person suffers far more than the intended targets.

Economic sanctions have long been used as a foreign policy tool, sometimes perceived as the tool of choice for nations where diplomacy has failed to yield desired results. Yet as widely used as they are, and despite the fact that some sanctions may remain in place for years, they generally fail to achieve their objectives. One of the most definitive studies on the effectiveness of sanctions — covering the period from 1915 to 2006 — has shown that comprehensive sanctions are effective at best 30 percent of the time, and that the more comprehensive the level of sanctions, the lower their degree of success. In spite of this, sanctions remain one of the few internationally accepted means (short of military conflict) of attempting to change the behavior of national leaders.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-wagner/do-sanctions-work_b_7191464.html

Again the people of the targeted nation suffer far more than the elites…..so the conclusion is that economic sanctions have a dismal record of success…….of course the establishment will point to the success of sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s…..they will ignore the failures like Iraq in the 1990s, Iran since 1979……

In short economic sanctions, in my opinion, are a worthless exercise that punish NO one but the people to the targeted nation……diplomacy is more effective (at least it was prior to the Trump presidency)……

SANCTIONS!

Trump has picked a new “enemy” and he will use a tried and true tactic…..sanctions!

But ask yourself just how effective are sanctions?

Plus what is meant by economic sanctions?

These are……

restrictions, i.e., a form of punishment, which a country or group of countries impose on another nation. The sanctions aim to persuade it to change policy.

The most common economic sanctions include trade barriers and refusing visas. Governments may also restrict financial activities.

An embargo may be placed on just one product, as occurred in the 1970s when OPEC imposed an oil embargo.

And here is the telling part of the Trump policy…..The country initiating economic sanctions may not necessarily have noble motives. It could well be using its economic might to coerce another nation into doing what it wants

With that said and defined….the BBC did an excellent analysis of the policy of economic sanctions….

Professor Adam Roberts is a research fellow at Oxford University – one of the great British figures in the study of international relations.

“There are very few cases where you can definitely identify sanctions as having had a success, except sometimes in combination with other factors,” he says.

“Arguably they contributed something to the change in white minority Rhodesia that led to black majority rule; arguably the sanctions against South Africa were one factor that contributed to change there.”

But, he insists, sanctions were only one factor among many, including guerrilla opposition in the country itself.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-10742109

Then the Brookings released a report on sanctions…..

Economic sanctions are increasingly being used to promote the full range of American foreign policy objectives. Yet all too often sanctions turn out to be little more than expressions of U.S. preferences that hurt American economic interests without changing the target’s behavior for the better. As a rule, sanctions need to be less unilateral and more focused on the problem at hand. Congress and the executive branch need to institute far more rigorous oversight of sanctions, both prior to adopting them and regularly thereafter, to ensure that the expected benefits outweigh likely costs and that sanctions accomplish more than alternative foreign policy tools.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/economic-sanctions-too-much-of-a-bad-thing/

Sanctions are a great slogan but do very little to change things….one good example was Iraq of the 1990s…they faced sanctions but the only thing it did was make things worse for the Iraqi people…..

In August of 1990, Saddam Hussein sent Iraqi troops into Kuwait, Iraq’s oil-rich neighbor, mistakenly assuming that other Arab countries in the region and the United States would offer no support to Kuwait. The United Nations reacted immediately and, at the urging of the US and the UK, put in place economic sanctions through Resolution 661 along with a naval blockade to enforce the sanctions with Resolution 665. In November, the UN passed Resolution 668 giving Iraq until January 15, 1991, to withdraw or face military consequences from United Nations troops.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/31/memories-of-iraq-sanctions-are-still-raw/

There are so many things wrong with sanctions…..

Challenging United States hegemony is never an easy course. A county need not be socialist — it is enough to either voice aspirations toward socialism, or merely demonstrate a pattern of not doing as Washington dictates.

So here we go again, this time with Venezuela. Ironically for a country that the corporate media insistently claims has been ruled by two “dictators” (remember that Hugo Chávez was routinely denounced in the same ways that Nicolás Maduro is today) it would be difficult to find a country with more opportunities for grassroots democracy and for everyday people to participate in the decisions that affect their lives and neighborhoods. There has been backtracking on some of this, and there are legitimate complaints about the top-down manner in which the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is run. The U.S. government is in no position to point fingers, however, given its history in Latin America and the widespread voter suppression that is a regular feature of U.S. elections.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/01/sorting-through-the-lies-about-venezuela/

Socialist is a great theme to prey of the fears of idiots…use it liberally and the people will accept anything….not matter how stupid it is…….

Since you have become more educated on the economic sanctions things we move on to call it something different….a form of WMD.

American economic sanctions have been the worst crime against humanity since World War Two. America’s economic sanctions have killed more innocent people than all of the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons ever used in the history of mankind.

The fact that for America the issue in Venezuela is oil, not democracy, will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves on the planet.

America seeks control of Venezuela because it sits atop the strategic intersection of the Caribbean, South and Central American worlds. Control of the nation, has always been a remarkably effective way to project power into these three regions and beyond.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/01/sanctions-of-mass-destruction-americas-war-on-venezuela/

Time to watch the Hawks in the country, Bolton, Pompeo and a president that cannot move beyond some political symbol like a “wall”……if this continues then it could not end well for all involved.

Iran: Here We Go Again

Voting has ended and we await the result…….The midterms were all consuming for the media…there were events on the international stage that flew under the MSM radar……

1979–Iranian rebels storm and occupy the American embassy in Tehran……and began 40 years of diplomatic bullsh*t….under Obama there was a deal struck by what is called the P5+1 that would limit and end Iranian search for nukes……but then we elected a “deal maker” and nothing is good enough…..

The Trump administration on Friday announced the reimposition of all US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. The sanctions will take effect Monday and cover Iran’s shipping, financial, and energy sectors, the AP reports. It’s the second batch of penalties the administration has reimposed since President Trump withdrew from the landmark deal in May. With limited exceptions, the sanctions will penalize countries that don’t stop importing Iranian oil and foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including Iran’s central bank, a number of private financial institutions, and state-run port and shipping companies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who released a list of 12 demands Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted, said they’re “aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The sanctions include ending support for terrorism, ending military engagement in Syria, and completely halting its nuclear and ballistic missile development. “Maximum pressure means maximum pressure,” Pompeo said. Pompeo said eight nations, which other officials identified as US allies such as Italy, India, Japan, and South Korea, will receive temporary waivers allowing them to continue to import Iranian petroleum products for a limited period as long as they end such imports entirely. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said 700 more Iranian companies and people would be added to the sanctions lists under the reimposed sanctions. Pompeo and Mnuchin both said the sanctions will have exceptions for humanitarian purchases. (Hawks in Congress want to get tougher on Iran.)

Yep under Trump we have gone back in time to the days of protests and hard feelings toward the US by Iranians…..

What’s new? A 40-year analysis of Iran’s economic performance and regional policy reveals little to no correlation between the two, as Tehran has continued to pursue policies it deems central to its national security no matter its degree of economic wellbeing at home.

Why does it matter? The Trump administration hopes that sanctions will force Iran to curb its regional activities. But data shows that outcome is uncertain as changes in Iran’s wealth have had little impact on the direction or capabilities of its regional policy. Sanctions risk empowering harder-line officials in the Islamic Republic and prompting them to lash out, exacerbating regional tensions.

What should be done? The U.S. optimally should leverage its sanctions to de-escalate regional tensions. That requires acknowledging Iran’s legitimate security concerns as long as Iran acknowledges those of its regional rivals. However unlikely at this time, the U.S., Iran and Gulf Arab states should take steps to build a more stable regional security architecture.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/b64-illogic-us-sanctions-snapback-iran

There are many setbacks that these sanctions could aggravate….

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/regional-risks-rising-us-iran-rivalry

https://www.globalresearch.ca/new-iran-sanctions-risk-long-term-us-isolation/5658745

Pompeo has stated that these sanctions will not hurt the Iranian people….

As the Trump Administration reimposes all nuclear sanctions on Iran beginning Monday, there is a substantial difference between the narrative of “toughest ever” sanctions and the reality that most of the world has no intention of complying with US demands this time.

This has Secretary of State Mike Pompeo trying to argue that Iran knows how decisive these sanctions are, and further emphasizing that some countries need “a little bit more time” to stop buying Iranian oil.

Pompeo is also trying to defend the humanitarian issues of these sanctions, saying that they will not hurt the ordinary Iranian. This is clearly untrue, as the sanctions are hurting aid groups importing medicine, and forcing the public to be increasingly dependent on the Iranian government, the only group with the size, and money, to weather the immediate attempts to halt banking contacts.

This is a typical Neocon LIE!  Sanctions always hurt the people of the sanctioned country.

As the reader can see there are few that see any upside to re-imposing of crippling sanctions…….there is NO upside……

The next round of economic sanctions on Iran, which will start going into effect on Nov.4, will mainly target the country’s oil and gas industries. These sanctions were eased after the 2015 signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, but are being phased back in following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the accord six months ago.

Trump’s goal in reinstituting the sanctions is to kill the nuclear deal, to bring Iran’s economy to the point of total collapse, to contain Iran’s regional involvement in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and, in spite of Washington’s denials, presumably to celebrate the collapse of Iran’s ruling regime. The White House’s official position is that, by increasing economic and political pressure, it aims to bring Iran back to the negotiating table in order to replace the JCPOA with a new deal that bears Trump’s name.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mousavian-iran-commentary/commentary-five-reasons-why-trumps-iran-sanctions-will-fail-idUSKCN1N42QY

AS I have written there are few that see any upside to these sanctions…..and some even think that it will bite the US in the ass in the long run…..

Me?  I cannot say for certain….it does not look good…..

Those Russian Sanctions

Sanctions have been in place against Russia since Obama’s days….part of the problem, legal problems, with the 2016 election is that Trump organization may have been working to throw out the sanctions…….and then once everyone, except Trump, agreed that Russia interfered with the 2016 elections more sanctions were imposed.

But first a working definition of sanctions…..Sanctions are an important tool of governance in the global financial industry. Most countries have used sanctions or had sanctions placed against either them or their citizens. States increasingly use sanctions to fight economically, rather than physically, and as such, sanctions have become a common tool in foreign relations, peacekeeping and conflict resolution. Given their prevalence, everybody in the financial industry should have a good understanding of what sanctions are, how they work, and why they are used.

https://complyadvantage.com/knowledgebase/sanctions/

This is all information that most international relations wonks know….but now I would like to know…just what these sanctions are actually doing?

On September 20, Washington’s announced new sanctions on 33 Russian individuals or entities for election interference. In addition, America’s November deadline is approaching for Russia to meet Washington’s demands for international inspections and guarantees that Moscow will never use chemical weapons again. Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh warned during testimony to Congress on September 13, that without compliance a “severe” “second tranche of sanctions” will be imposed. It is not clear what sanctions are meant to accomplish or whether they are working.

For instance, the September 20 sanctions were a part of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). They are meant “to impose costs on Russia in response to its interference in the United States election process, its unacceptable behavior in eastern Ukraine, and other malign activities.” Also, the November deadline and demands were made on August 27 after Russia used the Novichok nerve agent in an attempted assassination of former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, in the United Kingdom. In that case, U.S. anti-biochemical weapons law required a response.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/09/26/what_is_the_purpose_of_us_sanctions_on_russia_113837.html

I am still working on just what these sanctions do.

Are they, the sanctions, working?  What damage are they actually doing?  Were they really intended to do any damage to Russia or was it just a show of force…a toothless attempt.

Dear Leader’s Sanctions

Our Dear Leader met with Vlad the Putin in Helsinki and the media went bat crap crazy……speculation ran like wine in the street…..but let’s be honest….Trump has attempted to put all this criticism to bed (pun was not intended….but now that I wrote it…maybe it was)

To put the speculation about the the voter tampering on the back page of the newspaper……

The White House is crafting on an executive order that would give President Trump the authority to sanction foreigners who interfere in U.S. elections, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The news outlet obtained an eight-page draft of the order, which allows the president to impose sanctions on “10 of the 30 largest businesses” in a country whose government has interfered in the U.S. electoral process.

Those penalties would only be imposed mandatorily if foreigners are found to have meddled, the Post reported. Similar sanctions already have been implemented against Russians determined to have interfered in the 2016 election.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/401012-white-house-working-on-executive-order-to-allow-trump-to-punish

Then there was the news about the Russian poisoning in the UK…..Dear Leader will weigh in on this also……

Months after Britain alleged that the Russian government carried out nerve-agent attacks in Salisbury, the Trump Administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, aimed to punish them for the incident.

The Novichuk poisoning incident was claimed by Britain’s government, but contested by Russia. There was never conclusive evidence to support the claims Russia was behind it. At the time, the US expelled a number of Russian diplomats, that too nominally over the poisonings.

(antiwar.com)

The problem for me with this is story……the US has never answered the question of how it decided to accept Britain’s allegations without evidence. It’s also not clear why the US decided to wait five months after the expulsions to impose the sanctions. Still, sanctioning Russia happens so often the US doesn’t often need much excuse on timing or pretext.

The White House is trying to silence some of the criticism by these moves…..but now the question is….will it work?  NOT!

Then there is another way of looking into sanctions…….

It’s embarrassing enough to have Donald Trump as president. But now American citizens have to endure the additional pain of the sanctions that other countries are imposing on the United States. Doesn’t the world realize that we’re suffering enough as it is? That seems so grossly unfair.

Oh, but wait: that’s how sanctions work.

https://theantimedia.com/impose-sanctions-on-donald-trump/

So I Have Written!

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