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John Chuckman


The Real Reason for Sanctions? Stubborn Russia Won’t Surrender Its Sovereignty

Yes, and the regular resort to sanctions is surely a sign of criminal mentality, a form of mental illness.

In private life, if you are unhappy with the politics or attitudes of a neighbor or fellow worker, no sensible person would agree that you are entitled to sabotage their economic welfare, much less the welfare of all those living with or associated with that person.

This becomes even more true when we are dealing with millions of people in another land, most of whom have nothing to do with the imposing government’s demands.

Political arguments between countries should have nothing to do with the economy and trade. To get at the decisions of one or two or a dozen people you don’t like, you don’t decide to hurt millions, unless your thinking is criminal.

Note how the greatest use of economic sanctions is by the United States, the world’s most aggressive and demanding state, a state, which in virtually all of its international relations, tries to impose its way of looking at things, bend previously-negotiated rules to its own advantage, and just generally makes every effort to squeeze extra advantages or gains from its sheer size and power – a pattern which in everyday life we call bullying.

The greatest use of economic sanctions by a small country is likely that of Israel, America’s unofficial colony in the Middle East. The attitudes and motives behind their use are the same as those for its colossus mother country, to get your own way over others and having nothing to do with fairness or principles. In other words, bullying.

The act of imposing economic sanctions is simply a form of aggression, nothing else. They involve no ethics or morals or principles despite the advertising claims made for them. They do not serve democratic values or human rights or even demonstrate the simplest respect for other people and their institutions. They are used by the United States and Israel to force compliance from others without resorting to open warfare, something itself so extensively used by both countries that they stand in danger of revolting the world’s people.

In addition, sanctions just make the world a poorer place by shrinking trade and jobs. They are the opposite of free trade agreements. And today’s world already is regarded by many observers as being near the edge of a deep economic pit, so it hardly needs anti-trade and prosperity measures.

But the US has long indulged itself in using these measures against any country it doesn’t like, paying no attention to the consequences or to rational argument. Such is the distorting force on thought of mumbo-jumbo ideology and great wealth and power with no effective opposition.

Of course, the only possible exception to this way of looking at sanctions is when they are used to oppose genuine tyranny or abuse. That is virtually never the case with America’s many regular uses of them, but even in the case of tyranny or abuse, sanctions inevitably hurt many innocent people.

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