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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

So I Have Written!

Turn The Page!


They were the subject of much lip service a few months ago and now we have  little that the MSM will use on air…..until Dear Leader takes to Twitter using all Caps……

After we pulled out of the nuke deal the Iran situation has taken backseat to North Korea and Helsinki……but FYI  Iran is still there and still going to become a problem eventually……

Our Dear Leader full expects Iran to come crawling to hum for a new deal…..

 In comments on Thursday, President Trump revealed that he believes that having withdrawn from the P5+1 nuclear deal and started imposing new sanctions means Iranians are “feeling a lot of pain right now.” He predicted they would have to call him and ask for a deal.

Trump withdrew from the deal in May, and claims now Iranians are “treating the US with a lot more respect.” Iran has mostly focused public efforts on continuing to keep its commerce flowing worldwide, since the US wasn’t honoring much of the deal in the first place. Iranian officials say the priority is to sell as much oil as possible.

Despite Trump making much of the moves being about forcing Iran to renegotiate the deal, he has been very vague on what he actually wants out of Iran that is different from the existing P5+1 deal.

Now that Trump has met with his better half could Iran be in the cross hairs now?

They were right to be worried. Within hours of arriving in Europe, Donald Trump was busy insulting America’s closest friends and threatening to dismember Nato. He publicly humiliated Theresa May and did his importunate best to force regime change in Westminster, before halfheartedly apologising. Now he takes his ugly brand of rogue-male politics to Helsinki for a meeting with his best buddy, prominent campaign supporter and fellow narcissist, Russia’s Vladimir Putin. This is an ominous, possibly watershed moment for Europe, full of fear and loathing.

All of which invites the question: how far will Trump be allowed to go before leaders of the western democracies finally draw the line? How long until they recognise him as an antagonist, not an ally, contemptuous of their countries’ values and interests – and act accordingly? Germany’s Angela Merkel tried firmness. May tried flattery. The EU has tried fulmination and retaliatory trade tariffs. Others, wishfully, dismiss Trumpism as an aberration, not a strategic shift. But nothing stops him as he rampages on, malignly flattening all in his path.

In response to some of the sanctions that is being applied Iran has hit back…

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if its oil sales are blocked because of the pressure from the US.

“The most transparent, complete and prompt response was given by Mr [Hassan] Rouhani, the Iranian president, in his last trip to Europe. The response was clear: if Iran cannot export oil through the Persian Gulf, no-one will do this,” Iranian Supreme Leader’s senior adviser for international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati said, speaking at the Valdai discussion club in Russia. “Either everyone will export, or no-one.”

Velayati’s remarks are a clear response to the repeated US attempts to cut off Iran’s oil exports after Washington had pulled out of the landmark nuclear agreement between Teheran and other powers.

The Strait of Hormuz is a vital artery for oil coming from the Middle East. Most of oil export from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq passes through the strait

More info……

There are some dire predictions about what effect the sanctions will have on the Iranian economy……

Turbulent developments in the past few months on the foreign exchange and gold markets in Iran and the government’s failure to manage runaway prices has compelled some economists to start using the term “bubble economy.”

The interrelationship among various markets within the country’s economy was explained in a June 14 Al-Monitor piece. In this article, however, we will focus on the root causes and complexities of behaviors by economic players. Regardless of whether these acts are driven by economic, psychological or political factors, they are damaging to the economy as a whole and compound the government’s challenges in managing the economy. At the same time, it is clear that a continuation of the current conditions will increase the likelihood of an economic crisis with unprecedented social and political consequences. The current wave of strikes and demonstrations by traders and other economic actors is an example of how the problem will be amplified if the authorities do not develop proper responses.

America may be trying hard to put the squeeze on Iran but its economy has a bit of a lifeline thanx to some of the EU members…..

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that international parties remaining in the Iran nuclear deal have kickstarted practical measures ensuring banking relations and the resumption of Iranian oil sales, two weeks ahead of the first phase of US sanctions.

The three European countries (Germany, Britain and France) may restore banking activities of the Central Bank of Iran in European banks to find a channel to preserve financial ties before the return of US sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

In a meeting with foreign diplomats and economic activists, Zarif said that the three European countries, China and Russia pledged to compensate Iran’s losses resulting from the US’ unilateral exit from the agreement.

After that bit of info…..does Dear Leader still think that Iran will come crawling?

And do not forget Iraq…that is Iraq with a “Q”…..why?

The aftermath of the Iraqi elections on 12 May confirmed the country’s troubled political cycle. Although the polls reflected the Iraqis’ desire for political change, the dire realities of Iraqi politics provided the usual set of obstacles to the fulfillment of this choice. On 3 July, a manual recounting of the votes began, while acts of sabotage toward the ballot boxes and the electoral machinery.

But what of Iran in Syria?

There is so far no sign that Russia has begun to use its influence to restrain Iran from occupying certain areas of Syria close to Israel. Quite the contrary, Iranian and Russian forces are currently fighting side-by-side in southern Syria on al-Assad’s behalf. Nevertheless, Russia has called for foreign troops to leave Syria, and there have been recorded (though not in the Russian press) cases of friction between Russian and Iranian forces (, July 14). Russia’s demand that Iranian troops leave Syria after the war ends, together with rumors of a deal between Israel and the Sunni forces represented by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, has clearly rattled Iran, whose media has published numerous stories either decrying Russian infidelity or denying that there is a problem (PressTV, July 1314). At the same time, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has walked back the call for non-Syrian forces to leave Syria, although that is the ultimate objective (, July 4).

A lot of info but well worth reading if one would like to know what could be the future of this situation.

Closing Thought–28Feb18


Those tactics that is used in foreign policy to punish those interlopers on the world stage.

The news last week is that the US has issued strong sanctions against the regime in North Korea…..

The Trump administration is hitting more than 50 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses with sanctions in the latest bid to turn up the pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program, a senior administration official said Friday. President Trump was set to announce the action at the Conservative Political Action Conference in a Friday morning speech, followed by a public announcement from the Treasury Department, reports the AP. “Today I am announcing that we are launching the largest ever set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime,” Trump said in advance excerpts of his speech provided by the White House, per the Washington Post.

The 56 vessels and related businesses have conducted trade banned under UN sanctions, according to the White House. The announcement comes as South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics, an occasion the two Koreas have used as an opportunity to ease tensions and restart talks, though the move is not a huge surprise: It comes two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the Olympics opening, promised the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions against North Korea.

I am sure that most Americans will agree with this action…..NK has been trying to acquire the means to nuke its neighbors….something that is not acceptable to the world at large….

If the US has decided to sanction NK and the president has used it as some sort of win for the US….what happened to the sanctions against Russia?

President Trump signed legislation on Wednesday imposing sanctions on Russia and limiting his own authority to lift them, but asserted that the measure included “clearly unconstitutional provisions” and left open the possibility that he might choose not to enforce them as lawmakers intended.

(NY Times)

Monday’s deadline to release those reports was seen as a test of Trump’s willingness to clamp down on Russia. Critics blasted him for failing to announce any sanctions.

“The State Department claims that the mere threat of sanctions will deter Russia’s aggressive behavior. How do you deter an attack that happened two years ago, and another that’s already underway? It just doesn’t make sense,” said Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

“I’m fed up waiting for this Administration to protect our country and our elections,” he said in a statement.

It has been proven that Russia has interfered with our election process….confirmed by multiple agencies….then why is it not happening as quickly as those against North Korea?  Why is the president so reluctant?

Today and tomorrow are my days with the doctors and the nurses……I may not be as active as I am most times….you know how doctors are…”Hurry up and wait”…..

I must bow out….Be well, be safe…..until the morrow…….chuq

A Realistic Western Response to North Korea

Almost hourly these days our news stations are airing some story on North Korea…..and with each of these stories the calls for the US and its allies to do something gets louder.

But what to do is where this whole thing falls apart.

We have a wide array of suggestions….from “nuke ’em” to “be patient”

There are good solutions and really horrible ones…..

To understand the logic behind North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons requires some knowledge of its political origins and the state of its economy.

The international media is full of the new confrontation between the U.S. and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (‘DPRK’) in which the DPRK is continuing with its efforts to produce nuclear weapons and, simultaneously, build intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver the nuclear warheads to targets which would include the continental U.S. Some progress has been made by the DPRK in the last ten years in the production of nuclear weapons; five underground tests have been conducted (two successfully). There has also been a gradual progress by the DPRK in building missiles which are increasing in payload and range. This program goes on and has precipitated an elevated response from the U.S. as the prime guarantor of peace in South Asia and in South Korea, its immediate neighbour and prime target.

Despite the rhetoric of diplomacy in the United Nations and efforts at diplomacy between the U.S. and China, the progress and determination of the DPRK goals has not diminished. The stationing of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) carrier strike group and the SSGN 727 Michigan, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine loaded with nuclear missiles offshore Korea has had little apparent effect in dampening the DPRK determination to press ahead with the development and testing of its weapons and delivery systems.

Source: A Realistic Western Response to North Korea

There are no bad solutions with the exception of “nuke ’em” to this problem…..but all is reallyu needed is a think fest and a view of all possible solutions.

I believe we have people in place that can handle this situation….what we do NOT need is a knee jerk solution or one devised on Twitter.

It’s Sanctions Time Again

The US has always used economic sanctions liberally….Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and most recently Venezuela.

But what does the term “economic sanctions” actually mean?

Economic sanctions are defined as the withdrawal of customary trade and financial relations for foreign and security policy purposes. They may be comprehensive, prohibiting commercial activity with regard to an entire country, like the long-standing U.S. embargo of Cuba, or they may be targeted, blocking transactions of and with particular businesses, groups, or individuals.

(Learn more)…….

Source: What Are Economic Sanctions? | Council on Foreign Relations

Now what to ask is….just how effective sanctions are as a punishment for perceived misbehaving?

Well let’s see…Cuba is still there……Iran is still there…..North Korea is still up and running….Russia will continue on and as well will Venezuela.

Next question would be…..why bother if every one is still plowing along as usual?

There is always some sort of retaliation against the US by effected countries…..take the Russian sanctions……where could this lead?

A few articles that can answer the question for you…..

Washington Pushes Harder Against Russia

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, July 31, 2017

On July 30 Russian President Putin finally responded to the Obama regime’s orchestrated expulsion of Russian diplomats from Washington last Christmas and illegal seizure of Russian government properties in the Washington area by evicting 750 “American diplomats,” in reality agents working to undermine the Russian government. Putin could just as well have arrested them. It only took 7 months for Russia to respond to Washington’s hostile actions against Russian diplomats.

Sabotaging Russia-US Relations for Good

By Federico Pieraccini, July 31, 2017

The Senate has overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions, the primary purpose of which is to deny the US President the ability to end sanctions on Russia without Moscow first demonstrating good will to resolve points of friction between the two countries.

Sanctions against China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. Part of a Global Military Agenda. Pentagon’s World War III Scenario

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, July 29, 2017

The Congressional bill invoked respectively Tehran’s support of terrorism, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, and North Korea’s ICBM missile tests.

Breaking: Russia Suspends Use of US Embassy Property in Moscow

By Adam Garrie, July 29, 2017

Russian retaliation against US sanctions and the prolonged diplomatic property crisis caused by Barack Obama and prolonged under the current administration, has commenced.

Breaking: Senate Passes Russia, Iran, North Korea Sanctions Bill, 98-2!

By Daniel McAdams, July 29, 2017

The House and Senate passed “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” now goes to President Trump’s desk, where he faces a damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t scenario. A veto would certainly be over-ridden, handing the president a bitter bi-partisan blow that would likely end whatever aspirations he may retain to keep his campaign promises to get along better with Russia.

Is the US Trying to Start a Hot War with Russia?

By Steven MacMillan, July 27, 2017

Tensions between Russia and the US have reached a level not seen since the height of the Cold War, with some even arguing that we have surpassed this point by now. The US is continually provoking Russia, as the hawks in Washington cannot stand the fact that Moscow has stood up to the neocons in Syria.

Finally, if these sanctions could lead to a more dangerous situation then why impose them?

Just how effective are sanctions anyway?

Israel: Boycott, Divest and Sanctions

Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) is a movement to punish Israel for its neglect and punishment of the Palestinian people……but wait!  What is BDS?

In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli Apartheid is rapidly emerging in response to this call.

Learn more
Read the 2005 call in full
What should I boycott?

I am old and cannot get around as I did in my younger days……so I boycott anything Israeli….just my small part……

Sodstream….that cutesy little expensive machine that turns water into some form of soda…..the factory is in the Occupied Territories and is own by an Israeli and the factory uses Palestinians to work the plant at “slave” wages….recent the BDS has done some harm to their bottom line….job well done.

Next is Scarlett Johannson…..she resigned from a humanitarian organization within the UN to become spokesperson for Sodastream……..,I will not watch her movies or anything she does…..tome she is a douche!

Now….if you watch TV you have seen the real estate ads for ReMax…I believe there is a balloon or something featured in the ad…….time for Americans to boycott ReMax……

The Colorado-based real estate firm RE/MAX is profiting from Israel’s relentless theft of Palestinian land.

Active in the Israeli market since 1995, RE/MAX sells and rents houses and apartments in colonies reserved exclusively for Jews in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Much of that work is coordinated in an office that the Israeli subsidiary of RE/MAX runs in Maale Adumim, a major settlement in the West Bank.

A United Nations report published last year suggested that the firm’s parent company in the US could be “held accountable” for assisting Israel’s crimes. RE/MAX International, which is headquartered in Denver, “has constant interaction and influence” over its franchises around the world. The company also provides “brand name affiliation,” training and other services, according to Richard Falk, the report’s author, who was then the UN special rapporteur for the West Bank and Gaza.

Screen grab from Re/Max site………

DO NOT let these a/holes profit from the theft of Palestinian land!

There are many other situations that are part of BDS….check them pit and do yopur part to see that the Palestinian people get the justice they deserve.

MH17: How long?

How long is the media going to keep their news circus going?

MH17 is very similar as the other Malaysian flight……not the action that caused it but rather the media and its handling of the tragedy.  Both disasters had very little info to report but yet the MSM kept the missing plane and now the shot down plane in the news with so much filler that it is becoming nauseating.

Do not get me wrong……there is nothing routine about the deaths of so many people……what is disgusting is how long they, MSM, can keep the world focused on the fact that they have NO real facts to go on.

MH17….it has been a week of he said she said….accusations and limited amount of facts…….conspiracies should be flying……it was US fault…..then it was Russia’s fault…..then it was the separatists fault and then the Ukrainians were to blame…….and in all this time they facts they have are sparse…..people died, plane crashed and a rocket was fired……debris is scattered over 10 miles and it is not secure….there are the facts and we have heard the same ones over and over…the redundancy is getting sickening.

The US has issued report after report that it was a missile that brought the plane down….and the question is who fired it?

(Newser) – Senior US intelligence officials said today that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the US had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

The officials briefed reporters today under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week’s air disaster, which killed 298 people. The plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the intelligence officials said, citing intercepts, satellite photos, and social media postings by separatists, some of which have been authenticated by US experts. But the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. (See who Russia blames for the horrific crash.)

Okay, Russia did not fire the missile….then why the sanctions?

Is it because that Russia has sent military hardware to the separatists and it was possibly used to cause death?

Keeping with that moronic logic should not the US be sanctioned for the military hardware we send to Israel that is used to cause so many deaths?

Help me out here.

Beyond all that…the media needs to let the people mourn and only report when there is actual new information that needs to be put out there.

Here is another thought to contemplate……..we know how much McCain and his band of lunatics has railed about sending weapons to the Syrian rebels…..could MH17 be a warning?  MH17 is an example of what could go wrong while arming militants.

The Isolation Game

Inkwell Institute

Eurasian Desk

Today I would like to write about the popular technique used to handle our problem states in the world….sanctions.

In the beginning there was Russia and Ukraine……..after much provocation violence broke out…..a referendum was voted on…….and the world got its panties in a twist.  The US could not stand by and let Russia dictate the future of Ukraine.

We began with our typical response to a growing situation……..we threatened and then set about putting sanctions into place that would necessarily isolate Russia for not acting like a good guy on the world stage.  We then set about convincing Europe to join in our efforts…..did not work out the way we had planned……you see Europe gets about 80% of its natural gas from Russia… our European friends were not so quick to jump on the US sanctions bandwagon.

While our sanctions set about making Russia pay for their actions….they, Russia, signed a $400 billion agreement with China for natural gas….oops, that should make our sanctions a little less effective.

You see we employed a tactic from the 19th century to isolate Russia and force them to toe the line……a naive attempt at best.  Why?

Russia knew exactly what our response would be to their aggression…..tit is our go to tactic to any type of aggression, anywhere in the world…….our lame attempt at sanctions was just a worthless endeavor… see Russia had been trying to cut a deal with China for 10 years and it just made it necessary to ward off the sanctions that the US was trying to impose.

The isolation game we tried was destined to fail…..Russia had all its bases covered and a solution for each problem that US would throw at them.

The US needs to spend some time and find a new more up to date strategy for handling aggression in the 21st century………if not then our foreign policy will remain as impotent as it is today.

UN Sanctions Approved

Opinion from the desk of the Editor

First, I would like to ask all my readers to take a moment to remember all those brave Americans that gave their lives in defense of their nation………they gave more than was asked of them…..and to a country that is not noted for its thanks…..please remember and reflect….it is the least we can do………

It is evident if one reads my posts that I am NOT a supporter of sanctions.  Yes, they work on some level but as a whole they are just a fart in the wind in today’s world.  I point to the sanctions that were announced aimed at Russia because of the Ukraine situation…….I ask….at what point were they effective?

Russia accomplished what they set out to do….they kept Ukraine from entering into an association with NATO……..sanctions would have made difference of the outcome.

I bring up this because of the kidnapping of those girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram…….it seems the answer to the problem, at least from the UN is to impose sanctions against Boko Haram.  The UN has issued a statement on these sanctions………”What will the practical impact of that be? Hard to say but it’s an essential step we had to take,” said Australian U.N. Ambassador Gary Quinlan, al Qaeda sanctions committee chair, adding that the aim was to “dry up support” for the group.

“We will work to try and make sure that anybody supplying any material assistance to Boko Haram – whether funding or arms – will in fact be stopped, will be deterred by the fact they too will be eligible for listing on the sanctions list,” he said.

This is just laughable to me……….BH is financed by bank robbery, extortion and all around violence……weapons are obtained using those same tactics… where will sanctions change anything in that area?

Sanctions on BH are a worthless waste of energy…….sanctions are nothing but a feel good device to make the world think something is being done to control the situation… will accomplish very little and will certainly NOT rescue the girls in question.

BH is laughing their butts off….they see it for what it is…….NOTHING!

Once again it is the world employing outdated tactics to handle a very modern problem.  They cannot think outside the box because they cannot find the box.