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Russia, China, and Iran, have a right to protect their nations against America’s constant illegal aggressions.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Eric Zuesse

Aggressions can occur in many different forms; and, though Russia’s 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine — which was Russia’s response to the U.S. and NATO having refused to negotiate with Russia about Russia’s demand that America not be allowed to place its missiles in Ukraine a mere 317 miles or 511 km. away from The Kremlin (close enough for a surprise blitz-annihilation of Russia’s central command) — is hypocritically called by the U.S. and its allies “Russian aggression,” it was instead required (by that U.S.-and-allied aggression against Russia of trying to get Ukraine into NATO). It was necessary self-defense by Russia against U.S.-&-NATO aggression (of trying to get Ukraine into NATO). Then, the U.S. sanctions against Russia, after Russia did that necessary invasion of its nearest-of-all countries (other than Belarus, which is an ally of Russia and so poses no threat), are an excellent example of yet more U.S.-&-allied aggression against Russia. Russia has not only a right, but a national-defense duty, to do what it did, to prevent there ever being U.S. missiles stationed on the nearest hostile border to Moscow. Furthermore, the U.S.-and-allied sanctions are, themselves (from an international-law standpoint), illegal aggression — U.S.-NATO aggression on top of  U.S.-NATO aggression.

As Nicholas Mulder’s 2022 THE ECONOMIC WEAPON: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War, says in its Introduction:

“The original impulse for a system of economic sanctions came at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference from the British delegate, Lord Robert Cecil, and his French counterpart, Leon Bourgeois. … Both Cecil and Bourgeois agreed that the League [of Nations] could and should be equipped with a powerful enforcement instrument. They envisioned deploying the same techniques of economic pressure used on the Central Powers [their now-vanquished enemies] against future challengers of the Versailles [U.S.-and-allied imposed] Versailles [Treaty] order. Such recalcitrant countries [the victims of WW I’s victors] would be labelled ‘aggressors’ — a new, morally loaded, legal category — and be subjected to economic isolation by the entire League. The methods of economic warfare were thus repurposed and refined for use outside a formally declared state of war. … This coercive exclusion would take place in peacetime.”

In other words: Wilson’s League of Nations, working in conjunction with imperialistic England, legitimized such “coercive exclusion … in peacetime” — NOT as being a defensive response, but as a legalized aggression in a time of peace. However, the League’s post-WW-II replacement, which is the United Nations (the basis of all international laws) never did any such thing — it instead OUTLAWS “acts of aggression.” These sanctions by the U.S. and its allies (being NOT sanctions by the U.N.) are “aggression,” NOT defensive; and they therefore fail to meet the legal requirement for international sanctions, which is (Article 41 of the U.N. Charter) that they must first be approved (in accord with its Article 27) by a unanimous vote of the five Permanent Members of the U.N. Security Council (U.N.S.C.), and by at least four of the U.N.S.C.’s nine non-permanent members. In short: only sanctions that are against minor nations and that are endorsed by all of the major nations, can be legal (not “acts of aggression”). The reason for this is that sanctions (Article 41) were implicitly recognized as being threats to world peace, and as being “acts of aggression,” unless no major nation opposed them. After all: the U.N. was established in order to PREVENT any WW III. World War Three would be a war between major powers. That’s what the U.N. was, above all, supposed to prevent.

The U.N.’s Charter opens with “Article 1: The Purposes of the United Nations are:”, and its Number One Purpose there is stated to be: “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.” So: the U.S.-and-allied sanctions against Russia, failing to meet the requirements of Article 41 in accord with Article 27, constitute “acts of aggression,” and therefore violate the Number One Purpose for which the U.N. was created.

The same is true of all of America’s primary sanctions (such as against Iran) that it is backing up by secondary sanctions against countries that are violating those primary U.S. sanctions-laws. They’re all “acts of aggression” by the U.S. Government. (They also are illegal under the U.S. Constitution itself: For example: the U.S. Constitution’s declaration-of-war clause became essentially irrelevant starting in 1919, by this surreptitious method of starting a war. One leg of the Founders’ Constitutional superstructure to prevent there ever being any American empire was then just yanked off and cast into the trash. This Anglo-American international subterfuge ripped asunder America’s Constitution.)

In other words: America’s economic sanctions are instruments of aggressive war (initiating war) that are used by U.S.-and-allied hypocrites to fool their own publics to believe that those hypocrites are NOT, themselves, “aggressors” (they’re doing it for some ‘higher purpose’). Then, if and when the given victim-nation strikes back against those hypocrites (against the nations that started the war, by means of illegal sanctions or otherwise) — then the hypocritically-ruled aggressor countries call their victim-country (now become an actual attacker) an “aggressor”-nation (though it’s actually the defending nation); and the cycle, of endlessly repeating revenges by the hypocrites against their takeover-targets and followed by those targets’ defense, can produce yet-another round of international war, perhaps now WW III — even more horrific than all of those which had preceded it.

Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations was born from such hypocrisies as that; and, so, it (by blaming WW I on ONLY the vanquished nation, Germany, when in that instance, WW I, both sides had exhibited approximately the same amount of evil) produced the injustices, and the rages, and the outrages, that subsequently brought to power, in Germany, Adolf Hitler, and, finally, World War II, which was the most barbaric war that ever-yet has been, though not so barbaric as a WW III, which might yet come as a result of America’s actions starting almost immediately after WW II.

U.S. President FDR was determined — ever since August 1941, before America officially joined WW II — to terminate that psychopathic insanity of revenge-upon-revenge (which had been perpetrated by Wilson, and brought Hitler in its train), and to put into place in the world, something that FDR referred to as the United Nations, which was to be empowered with a monopoly on all strategic weaponry, and to possess the sole authority to create and enforce international laws (the laws between nations instead of within nations). FDR’s immediate successor, Harry S. Truman, became convinced, by his hero, Dwight Eisenhower, to trash FDR’s dream, and to replace it, with America itself, instead, becoming the world’s first-ever globally hegemonic empire, above all other nations, the empire to end all competing empires, the empire that would dictatorially impose peace, upon the entire world — the first-ever all-encompassing global dictatorship — the supreme supremacy, allegedly so as to prevent a WW III, but heading things actually into the next World War.

And, so, here we are, today, reaching more perilously close to a hot WW III than ever before, even than was the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 (when the issue was whether the Soviet Union might become enabled to blitz-nuke Washington DC within just 15 minutes from Cuba — not the U.S. to blitz-nuke The Kremlin within just 5 minutes from Ukraine) to today’s Ukraine-in-NATO (when the issue is whether America might become enabled to blitz-nuke Moscow within just 5 minutes from Ukraine).

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and the U.S. Congress formally declared war against Germany on 2 April 1917. Sanctions started as America’s ‘peaceful’ tool for America’s coming imperialism, after the U.S.-and-allied victory against Germany, when Wilson, in his 4 September 1919 “Address at the Coliseum at the State Fair Grounds in Indianapolis, Indiana”, blossomed forth with the outrageously counterfactual assertion that: “I want you to realize that this war was won not only by the armies of the world. It was won by economic means as well. Without the economic means the war would have been much longer continued. What happened was that Germany was shut off from the economic resources of the rest of the globe and she could not stand it. A nation that is boycotted is a nation that is in sight of surrender. Apply this economic, peaceful, silent, deadly remedy and there will be no need for force [Could he really have been so stupid as to believe that this wasn’t “force”?]. It is a terrible remedy. It does not cost a life outside the nation boycotted, but it brings a pressure upon that nation which, in my judgment, no modern nation could resist.”

He was at least as much of a hypocrite as subsequently were the exquisite liars Dwight Eisenhower and Barack Obama. Of course, once that war, WW I, had started, both sides were “boycotting” each other. But that didn’t make them right, or (according to international law) legal. Anyone who asserts that a given nation’s imposing sanctions (mandated-by-law boycotts) against another nation is not a tacit declaration of war against them is either an ignoramus (like Wilson) or else a liar. Wilson was saying that some (and he never identified what) “boycott” against Germany had significantly precipitated Germany’s defeat in World War I. “Apply this economic, peaceful, silent, deadly remedy and there will be no need for force.” It’s just that easy, is it? Really? Boycotts by means of enforced national legal sanctions are instruments for maintaining peace? Hardly. In fact, imposing sanctions constitutes a lot more than merely “fighting words,” or mere insults. But it’s done because the given nation’s aristocracy wants to stir hatred and war against the nation that they are targeting for conquest, and so want to boycott it, and perhaps economically exploit it, by means of legally enforced sanctions (which actually aren’t legal, internationally).

Article 16 of the Covenant of the League of Nations was the historical start of international sanctions: it required all member-nations to enforce the types of boycotts that had previously been only voluntarily applied against Germany, or else the offending nation would be expelled from the League and treated thenceforth as an enemy of the League. This Covenant (which on 8 September 1926 finally accepted Germany as being a Member) continued World War One against Germany; and, so, naturally, Hitler withdrew Germany from the League of Nations on 14 October 1933, and then promptly started violating it by commencing his nation’s re-armament. Effectively, from that moment on, all of what Robert Cecil, John Foster Dulles, Woodrow Wilson, and the other authors of the Versailles ‘Peace’ Settlement and League of Nations Covenant had written, should have gone into the trash. But nothing of the sort happened. Barely a year prior to Germany’s withdrawal, Dulles headlined in the July 1932 issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, “Should Economic Sanctions Be Applied in International Disputes?” and he, of course, eagerly answered yes, arguing that the only alternatives were some undefined “resorts to force” (as-if sanctions aren’t that) or else some undefined but presumably ineffective “moral pressure.” And, yet, he subsequently became the U.S. Secretary of State under President Eisenhower, when he and his brother Allen Dulles jointly ran numerous coups, such as in Iran and Guatemala, for U.S. billionaires. And most of the public don’t know the difference between sanctions and boycotts; so, it’s easy for the billionaires’ news-media to continue this absence of accountability at the nation’s very top. Virtually the only people who do pay attention to what’s important that’s being done are the billionaires themselves, who, to a large extent, have grown their fortunes by betting on it (with their inevitable insider’s knowledge of what it actually is — not just what their ‘news’-media have reported about it).

Though boycotts may be imposed for authentically ethical reasons, sanctions never can be ethical, because sanctions are ONLY boycotts that have been imposed by means of laws. For example, any person who opposes what Israel routinely does to Palestinians has a right to impose his/her OWN boycott against everything that Israel produces — but this IS NOT a SANCTION. The ONLY form of a boycott that IS a sanction is one which is being imposed by law, and it is an act of war, and an inducement to further war, if not the initial step toward a hot war. ONLY if the U.N. is the source of the sanction can it be legal in international law (regardless of its being imposed in accord with a given nation’s law — which has force only within that nation).

On 23 October 1997, the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) addressed the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee with “Evidence on the Costs and Benefits of Economic Sanctions”, and opened with an attack upon that statement by Woodrow Wilson, as having been false:

The reality, alas, has been far different from what President Wilson envisioned. The global, comprehensive, and vigorously enforced sanctions against Iraq and the former Yugoslavia have produced at best limited and tenuous results. Unilateral sanctions — even when imposed by the largest economy in the world — face far more difficult challenges, especially in an increasingly integrated international economy. Even against such small and vulnerable targets as Haiti and Panama, military force eventually was required to achieve American goals.

Extensive empirical research on the effectiveness of economic sanctions throughout this century suggests that these two cases are not unusual. Since 1970, unilateral US sanctions have achieved foreign policy goals in only 13 percent of the cases where they have been imposed. In addition to whatever effect repeated failure may have on the credibility of US leadership, other recent research suggests that economic sanctions are costing the United States $15 billion to $19 billion annually in potential exports. This, in turn, translates into 200,000 or more jobs lost in the relatively highly compensated export sector.2

This PIIE speech ignored the costs that sanctions imposed upon the targeted country — and upon countries which were trading with it. Is such psychopathy universal amongst America’s aristocracy? (In fact, right now, the U.N. itself is, yet again, outright invading Haiti — the two dissenters, Russia and China, instead abstained, in order not to offend their own supporters.)

Mulder’s 2022 book has, as one of its central points, that “up to 400,000 people died of blockade-induced malnutrition in Central Europe in the First World War, plus 500,000 in the Ottoman Middle East.” How does that fact fit with President Wilson’s “It does not cost a life outside the nation boycotted”? The liars extend at least from then, till now.

In November 2020, the European Union issued a study, “Extraterritorial sanctions on trade and investments and European responses”, which considered retaliatory measures against U.S. sanctions, and which also included a survey of the actual effects that sanctions had had, as-of around 2016, against the targeted countries: “Trade sanctions have a larger and more long-lasting effect with the drop in GDP growth rate peaking at on average at minus 12 pp in the second year after sanctions introduction and fading away towards the fifth year. In both cases, there is a slight recovery of GDP around the sixth year following the imposition of the sanctions but it is a fraction of the GDP lost over the sanction years.” Furthermore: “Next, we check if sanctions improve the probability of regime change towards democracy. The results show that, on average, sanctions lower that probability of shifting towards democracy, albeit to a limited extent (-2 pp).” The study avoided discussing, or even mentioning, the costs that America’s sanctions had imposed upon non-target countries such as, especially, nations in the EU. In other words: though they nominally considered sanctioning the U.S. for its sanctions — which U.S. sanctions the study called “illegal” — they studiously avoided even to mention the costs that those sanctions indirectly imposed upon European nations. Nominally, the report said that such costs might be a basis for taking international legal actions against the United States; but, actually, the report ignored what those costs were. It was typical EU double-speak. And, thus, U.S. President Wilson’s dubious assertion that “It does not cost a life outside the nation boycotted” continued being officially uncontested. (Certainly, it costs billions to the countries that violate the sanctions and continue trading with the target-country, but no study has been done on whether, or the extent to which, those economic costs entail any added deaths in any of those countries. Does nobody even care?)

Sanctions that have not been imposed by the United Nations are acts of war, illegal aggressions against the sanctioned countries. Sanctions are allowed in international law only if imposed by the U.N. Security Council. The reason for this is that ONLY when agreement exists amongst the major powers (which are represented there) can sanctions be actions by the U.N. (the sole authenticator of international laws), instead of being merely actions by whichever nation(s) impose those sanctions — which then are aggressions against the targeted country. The U.N. exists in order to prevent another World War, another war BETWEEN MAJOR WORLD POWERS. This is the reason why sanctions that are not being imposed by the U.N. are aggressive sanctions, NEVER defensive. Sanctions are the sanctimonious form of aggression to precipitate an ensuing hot war.

Because non-members of the U.N. Security Council became disturbed by deceits which the U.S. and its allies had employed in order to obtain international support for their sanctions against Iraq in 1991, especially the “Nayirah testimony” that the U.S. regime had presented on 10 October 1990 in order to ‘justify’ its war for Kuwait in the Iraq-Kuwait war, and because “The First Iraq War Was Also Sold to the Public Based on a Pack of Lies”, the U.N. General Assembly became more skittish about cooperating with sanctions than formerly had been the case, prior to the regime of the odious George W. Bush (son of the lying GHW Bush) in the U.S.

Such hypocrisies led to the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize going to Barack Obama, who then sanctioned Russia and couped Ukraine, both actions being perhaps the triggers to a WW III. And the Nobel Committee never even apologized for that. As-of 2021, Obama (the person who had created the wars in Ukraine, Libya, and Syria) was the world’s most-admired person.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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penrose
penrose
October 4, 2023

I think any attempt by the dying American Empire to put the squeeze on Russia or China would lead to a sorry end. And I don’t think Russia and China would stand idly by and let America destroy Iran.

The American (Neocon) Dream of chaos in the Middle East and a Greater Israel is over.

Last edited 1 month ago by penrose

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