by Eric Zuesse
Did U.S. President Barack Obama create the anti-Russia sanctions in order to weaken the EU in its competition against America? If so, the policy has been a huge success — it has enormously damaged the EU’s economy. But, if Russia was the actual target — as Obama claimed — then it’s been a total flop: It has produced $100 billion loss to the EU, thus far — almost twice as much as the $55 billion total hit to Russia, and the hit to Russia might be even less than that, maybe even zero, because the harms to Russia included the harms from the plunging oil-prices, which weren’t at all due to the sanctions. Furthermore, the sanctions strongly helped Russia’s economy, in ways that don’t yet show up in the economic data but that constitute long-delayed reforms whose pay-offs will start only during the years to come. Washington’s economic sanctions against Russia could thus end up producing a net plus for Russia, on a long-term basis.
The deal that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry culminated with King Saud on 11 September 2014 (after his having started those negotiations on 27 June 2014) to flood the market with oil to bring the oil price down and so harm Russia, which is a giant oil&gas-exporter, has hit Russia very hard, costing the Russian economy perhaps all of the $55 billion hit to Russia’s economy, measured thus far.
These figures come from the first-ever comprehensive study of the effects of the sanctions, a study which also estimates the negative effects upon human rights (this Special Reporteur’s chief mandate), but the cost-figures cited here, are entirely economic, not about “rights” at all (which are separately dealt with in the same report).
The study was issued, on September 13th, by the staff of Algeria’s, Idriss Jazairy, who is the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of the Unilateral Coercive Measures. His mandate recognizes economic sanctions as being pre-invasion acts of war, and so as being threats to world peace, an up-ramp toward physical warfare. Mr. Jazairy has Masters degrees from both Oxford and Harvard, and is personally grounded in a democratic national legal tradition: Algeria’s Constitution explicitly is democratic: Its Article 6 is titled “Popular Sovereignty” and unambiguously states, in its Sovereignty Clause, which is the most important clause in any nation’s Constitution: “(1) The People are the source of any power. (2) The national sovereignty belongs exclusively to the People.”
However, the findings by Jazairy’s team have nonetheless produced criticisms against him and his team (not against the methodology or the economic statistics upon which the study was based) by neoconservatives such as Israel’s “U.N. Watch.” The U.S. Government’s “Radio Free Europe,” then cited “U.N. Watch” as an authority against “Russia’s state-controlled Sputnik news agency” for Sputnik’s having reported the findings. U.S. (and its allies’) ‘news’media had been silent about the findings, until Jazairy issued a response on September 15th to those neoconservatives’ objections, by headlining “UN Special Rapporteur rejects accusations of Russian influence on sanctions findings”.
At the time of the report’s release, on September 13th, there were only two news-reports about it, both from Russia: one on Sputnik radio, and another (the only report that was accessible to Western audiences), which appeared at rt-dot-com, which headlined “Anti-Russian sanctions cost Europe $100bn – UN Special Rapporteur”. Other than that news-story at RT, there was no coverage of this U.N. report, at all, in the West.
It should be noted that the U.N.’s own press-operation does everything possible to block the public from having access to the U.N’s reports, so that even when Mr. Jazairy’s office issued that press-release responding to the neoconservatives’ criticisms, and he wrote there “I stand ready to address any questions regarding the legal or factual findings in my report,” that crucial link was to something inaccessible, instead of to the publicly accessible online link to his report.
Until the present moment, there has been no press-report anywhere that links to the publicly accessible web-page, or that quotes more than just a few words from Jazairy’s report; and, so, here that is — the core of his team’s findings (and boldfacing the passages that I consider to be the most important, so that the boldfaced parts constitute a summary of the study’s findings):
Human Rights Council
11-29 September 2017
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, on his mission to the Russian Federation …
49. Most of the cases of unilateral coercive measures investigated by the Special Rapporteur since the mandate was created have involved measures imposed on developing countries. This is the first time that the mandate has addressed unilateral coercive measures targeting such a powerful and strategically important player of the international community. The high level of integration of the Russian Federation in the global economy and the capacity of its economy to react immediately to a changing reality makes this a truly unique case. …
Impact of measures taken
51. Application of the unilateral coercive measures began at the start of 2014, a time when the price of oil fell substantially. Thus, two shocks occurred simultaneously: the “oil shock” and the “sanctions shock”. In view of the complexity of the mix of those causes, it is difficult to determine the discrete impact of the sanctions shock. According to some unofficial estimates provided to the Special Rapporteur in Moscow, they may have caused at most an average reduction of 1 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Russian Federation between 2014 and 2016. It remains that the main adverse impact of the reversal of economic fortunes was attributable to the drop in oil prices.
52. The following evolution of general living standards has been observed on the basis of the data provided by the Federal State Statistics Service; part of the evolution can clearly be ascribed to the “sanctions shock”, though it is impossible to quantify precisely to what extent:
(a) The trend of overall personal income of the population, which had been increasing at a rate of 4.6 per cent in 2012 and 4 per cent in 2013, was reversed thereafter, falling successively by 0.7, 3.2 and 5.9 per cent for the following years up to and including the first quarter of 2016;
(b) The number of people living below the poverty line (defined to be 10,000 roubles), which had been falling since 1992 with very few exceptions, rose from 15.5 million in 2013 to 19.8 million in 2016, or 13.5 per cent of the total population;
(c) Of those living under the poverty line, some of the most vulnerable population groups — the 7-16 age group, women of working age and pensioners — were reported to have been most affected.
53. In terms of macroeconomic analysis, the combined impact of the two shocks reduced growth from 1.3 per cent in 2013 to 0.7 per cent in 2014 and to – 2.8 per cent in 2015. As a result of adaptation to the post-shock situation, there was a turnaround in economic activity already in the first quarter of 2016, with a negative growth rate of – 0.02 per cent, despite the fact that oil prices remained low. That rate moved back into positive territory in 2017 without any lifting of unilateral coercive measures. Over the past 12 months, the rouble appreciated by 15 per cent against the dollar. This is evidence of a successful adjustment. …
54. While the unemployment rate overall remained around 5.5 to 5.6 per cent, small and medium-sized enterprises lost over 15 per cent of their employees over that period and were incited to reduce investment by the climate of unpredictability resulting from the sanctions.
55. The reasons why the impact of economic sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights was not more severe in the country seem related to the following facts:
(a) The Government applied very effectively a counter-cyclical policy by letting the rouble float and by increasing the share of the State sector to substitute for the sanction-imposed ban on foreign funding for the corporate sector beyond 30 days, by reducing considerably the rate of inflation through conservative management of the economy and by ex-post compensation of inflation losses incurred by pensioners;
(b) The economy demonstrated great resilience and a capacity to adapt to new circumstances through Government-assisted restructuring to promote local funding of projects formerly funded by external sources;
(c) The diversification of the economy away from oil was given new impetus;
(d) Emphasis on research was increased, returning to an earlier stage when, in many sectors, including space technology, the Russian Federation was at the forefront (it should be noted that, according to Russian officials, cooperation with the United States in advanced space technology was maintained, including for the supply of engines for spacecraft, despite the ban on the export of advanced drilling technology by the United States); this enabled the Russian Federation to enhance its oil production in the Arctic by developing its own capacities for horizontal drilling and its production of shale oil, for which it had previously relied on foreign partners;
(e) Effective import substitution technologies were put in place, in particular in agriculture, to dispense with imports from the European Union that were the subject of retaliatory measures;
(f) A policy was quickly introduced to pivot towards other partners in Asia and other regions.
56. As in many other countries targeted by sanctions, there was a “rally around the flag” reaction, which led the population to accept the inconveniences caused by the unilateral coercive measures. …
64. The rough estimate of the adverse impact of the sanctions on the Russian Federation, if disentangled from the oil shock, is an average loss of 1 per cent of GDP. That seems to be a reasonable figure since, after “digesting” the oil shock, the difference between actual and potential GDP for 2017 is of about 0.80 per cent according to the International Monetary Fund.24 That output gap would amount to a direct loss therefore of some $15 billion per annum for the Russian Federation or a total of $55 billion so far.
65. The resulting overall income loss of $155 billion is shared by source and target countries. Although both source and target countries can internalize those losses, it is not clear that any partner is cowed by them or indeed that any rights holder, least of all European smallholder farmers, benefits from them. Meanwhile, business opportunities are forgone, curtailing the right to development of trading partners. Even if direct losses to the Russian Federation from unilateral coercive measures were twice as high as provided in the above estimate, source countries are having to suffer equally or more from the sanctions than the country they target. They may also be more vulnerable as, unlike the Russian Federation, they do not all have a consistent international trade surplus or such high foreign exchange reserves, which, in the case of the Russian Federation, remained consistently above $300 billion since sanctions were applied.25 So, while the sanctions were more political than economic, they have led in the process to a regrettable deterioration of the standard of living of the most vulnerable population groups in the Russian Federation and have also adversely affected smallholder farmers in Europe.
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.
McCain in America was fully expecting sanctions to destroy the Russian economy. He expressed surprise shortly after they started that there was still electricity in Russia. This may not be quite so ludicrous as it sounds – this was probably the US intention. It was hoped that the tripod of sanctions, attack on the rouble (not mentioned), and the artificially depressed oil price, would cause havoc. If they had been able to, the US would have caused as much suffering as they have done in other targeted countries, like Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, where people have died as a result. In Iraq sanctions caused the deaths of half a million children under 5 from 1991-2003. They would have inflicted the same on Russia if they had been able to. This should be borne in mind in any dealings with America. “We are at war with Russia,” as they fondly proclaim. The US is an absolutely vile, utterly implacable, hate filled enemy intent on the complete destruction of Russia. If they were able to starve millions of Russian children, they would joyfully do so without losing a moment’s sleep.
“….to destroy theRussian economy…..”
Not sure about: may be they did on purpose to destroy the European economy!!!!
Interesting points, @mark.
In the first place, I’m grinning that the Saudi empire shot themselves in the foot. The oil prices stay low (demand stays low), and their economy is based on the assumption of an oil price. The Russian assumption was way lower, that saved them.
Second, the European industry was hit hard by the sanctions. It’s rather cynical that e.g.the German machine industry encountered a 30% downfall in orders, and the US industry just shrugged its shoulders (and anticipated in Arctic drillings).
The German industry howled frantic (ok, politely, it’s Germany) at Mutti, but she knowes who pays her. She’s the lapdog of Washington and Soros.
Finally, measurements/punishments (aks sanctions) to subjugate people, is truly colonical. That’s exactly how the USA sees the world. We are disposable peons for their filthy rich holy masters who will not blink an eye to waste millions of people to get even more filthy rich.
We are remembered often about the Holocaust, and we should. However, there are many similar massive exterminations in the modern history that are shaded, the Iraqi disaster is only one (just to see the clinical and indifferent reaction of State Department minister Madeleine Albright on this when confronted, see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM0uvgHKZe8 )
The USA just took over smoothly the colonical empire of the British (who are still heavily involved).
Do people know that 4 million people in India died in WW2 because Churchill ordered to take away their food because his British troops needed it?
Churchill later responded on this with a remark like ‘oh well, they’re just stupid Indians’.
How much I appreciate a lot that this man has written and said, I appreciate as well that despite the still large admiration around, Ramin Mazaheri had the courage to say in one of his articles that he was a racist. He was indeed, and deserves praise but also disapproval.
I’m doubting about that. A destroyed Europe is not a reliable ally anymore, is it?
Maybe they started the old plans, and did think that everything would work out the same?
Remember, the stated US strategy towards the rest of the world is to prevent any other countries or combination of countries from obtaining enough power to challenge the US and its commands/dictates.
Thus, while I’d believe that the original target was Russia, if someone brought up in a meeting the fact that the EU would also be harmed, that would have gotten a reaction of “so what?”
The dude spoketh the truth. It is very Murican thing to attack the report’s author personally and directly since you can’t fault his facts and you have no argument. Try finding some patriotic Murican post on Facebook and commenting negatively on it. You will immediately be threatened and attacked personally, since they can’t counter your argument. It happens all the time.
Sanctions are helpful to Russian agriculture, I’ve seen a report of a cattle farmer near Moscow who went from 60 cows at his farm to 300 thanks to a loan from a Russian bank. He said he was scared at first, but then he started planning to double the number yet again. He was smiling and optimistic, and he mentioned “I hope the sanctions remain for another few years”. Russia has become world’s largest producer of wheat last year, it’s likely they will increase production this year, and the next, and the next… Sanctions have forced them to become self-sufficient, and that is a good thing for Russia.
The absolute stupidity and arrogance of the west is obvious if you listen to what they say about sanctions: they were introduced and will remain in place until Russia complies with the terms of the Minsk 2 agreement. Which spells out the obligations of Ukraine Government and the Donbass rebels. It DOES NOT oblige Russia to do anything, as it is not a party to the agreement, just a guarantor as part of “Normandy Four”. You can read it for yourself, it’s on Wikipedia, all 11 pages of it. The west is insane. And in trouble. Remember how Russian officials do not discuss sanctions? And how that Italian dope Mario Draghi was asking Putin last year if he could relax the counter-sanctions? That tells volumes of who is in trouble, and who has a future.
…wheat … they will increase production this year, and the next …
Weat is needed for Syria and Venezuela as well.
And the main thing is no Monsanto involvement.
no links but i remember a few days ago, (maybe a week) that a russian ship
arrived in venezuela loaded with wheat as part of a ten year contract,
in exchange for crude.
what puzzles me is russia buying oil, when they have massive reserves
of their own to sell and apparently more in the artic.
could be ‘helping brics peoples out when in need’ i suppose.
anybody know something definite about this idea?
I did not yet search for this particular topic.
Nevertheless, in international trade it is advisable to keep exports and imports in balance. For example, if Russia would export wheat without corresponding imports of other goods or usage of other services, the trade imbalance would result in a net loss to Russia. This loss would occur because of the appreciation of Russia’s currency versus Venezuela’s in case of a persistent trade imbalance. As a result, Russia would never receive equally valuable benefits in return. In this case, it would be more honest to give the wheat away for free.
Clearly, it is much preferable to collect the benefits immediately. Buying oil might sound ridiculous for an oil-rich country like Russia. However, why use up one’s own reserves if you can get it as cheap elsewhere? As oil is not renewable, it will be gone forever once its reserves are depleted. So, one could say “better save than sorry” in analogy to a bodyguard slogan.
I think Russian oil companies just trade it internationally, refine it, market it. Russian oil companies even own refineries in the US.
Russia also barters oil from Iran, and others, and resells it in various markets. It’s a way of trading that circumvents sanctions. More here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-28/russia-and-iran-sign-oil-goods-barter-deal-escape-petrodollar
“U.N.’s own press-operation does everything possible to block the public from having access to the U.N’s reports” — standard PR media strategy for government agencies with less than good news and under heavy lobbyist influence.
Russia’s wheat crop looks good this year as well.
It’s on wards and upwards, barring chem-trail trials, poor weather before harvest … and nuclear fallout from NK region.
Non-GMO strategy is a good, imo. Glyphosate free hopefully — keep it simple and healthy etc.
EU and US only speed up thier decline. Even German think tanks admit thier failure.
“All in all, the Russian foreign policy had “probably completed the year 2016 with a high”, says the Russian analyzes.  The Science and Politics Foundation (SWP) has recently expressed similar opinions. “Today, Russia has a greater influence on international crises than has been the case in the past 25 years,” the analyst said. “The country has fundamentally changed its mode of action and significantly broadened its radius of action.” [ 6] It is now shown “as an actor who can decisively shape conflicts beyond his borders in his own interest”, and it has become “from the weak Krisennavigator to the active designer” of global politics: “This trend is likely to continue in the future. “”
“German think tanks are diagnosing the beginnings of the decline of Europe and the USA’s global policy. Europe “remains the world’s largest economic area,” but is suffering a “creeping loss of economic significance,” according to a recent analysis of the government-financed German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).”
Target of the sanctions against Russia has been from the beginning Europe as well. Europe is a serious competitor to the US, and from the the D-day onwards, they used every dirty trick available to keep it in a subordinate vasall status, and to prevent any reapproachment of Europe with Russia. Europe has to be aware that Washington is trying hard to provoke a war in Europe since it is its last chance for retaining global dominance. Otherwise the upcoming dollar crash and the visible impotence of the empire will reduce it to a regional power. Beware of collaborators and traitors lodged in key positions of the security and military apparatus, and in the EU administration.
That is typical. It is surprising that so few people notice or remark on a fundamental inconsistency in US ideology. Simultaneously, they:
1. Claim to be in favour of universal human rights, democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and the material benefits of free-market capitalism for all human beings everywhere.
2. When pressed, freely admit that their policies are intended solely to benefit Americans and to preserve the huge and unfair discrepancy between their average standard of living and resource consumption and those of foreigners. (They might try to cobble together some lame argument about how there is to equality of opportunity, but this will always favour Americans because they are so much cleverer, harder-working, creative, etc.)
Those two aims are obviously, and glaringly, incompatible. Yet they keep on playing those two notes, depending on the audience and the requirements of opportunistic selfishness.
A typical Gemini pattern. Works for both sides because most people hear only claims they like.
This discrepancy (or, to put it honestly, hypocrisy) is symptomatic of a warped ideology called American Exceptionalism that defines American national identity.
Simply put, Americans are the indispensable nation, the exceptional people.
The United States alone has the right to live beyond its means and extract wealth from the rest of the world to sustain the precious American Way of LIfe(tm)–through the Almighty Dollar reserve currency, for example.
The rhetoric about championing “universal human rights, democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and the material benefits of free-market capitalism for all human beings everywhere” is merely the ideologically mask that this more predatory American agenda hides behind.
In short, America is a parasite on the global economy–but a parasite that has profound sense of entitlement and deceives itself and others that it is defender of freedom and democracy no less!
This unfavourable “boomerang” or “blowback” effect of forcing US sanctions on the EU economy was predicted by Pepe Escobar as soon as those anti-Russian economic boycotts were mooted. Likewise he predicted the US “boomerang” effect of bankrupting Saudi Arabia by inducing that “oil company masquerading as an Arab kingdom” to lower its oil prices in a cut throat “race to the bottom” against Russia.
It shows there are people in this world who can predict the results of recent EUSA policy better than our leaders can; which bodes ill for our future – unless we can rid ourselves of these venal idiots who have gained in power over the past 30 years. Firstly, by asking: Cui bono? Who is really profiting by these attempts to bankrupt Russia and Western Europe? Is it the USA as a whole, or only those leaders who do not foresee (or pretend not to foresee) the likely “blowback” of their policies?
Cui bono? The poor, both in EU and in Russia got hit the hardest, according to this:
54. While the unemployment rate overall remained around 5.5 to 5.6 per cent, small and medium-sized enterprises lost over 15 per cent of their employees over that period. …
65. … while the sanctions were more political than economic, they have led in the process to a regrettable deterioration of the standard of living of the most vulnerable population groups in the Russian Federation and have also adversely affected smallholder farmers in Europe.
This means that relatively speaking, big corporations and the stockholders of big corporations gained at the expense of small (“mom and pop”) ones, so that wealth-inequality (which has been a particularly bad problem ever since Harvard’s economics department took over Russia’s economy in the 1990s) is increasing even further in Russia, but is also getting worse in the EU, from these sanctions. However, Russia’s leading export sector, which is oil and gas, has been shrinking because of the oil-price plunge; so, the growth has been occurring in Russia’s other industries, which is a great thing, long-term, for the Russian economy.
To ask “Cui bono?” assumes that these changes had been planned by Obama and were part of what motivated him to seize Ukraine (via a 2014 coup). But I don’t think that he anticipated these changes. I am inclined to think that instead, Obama, like “McCain in America was fully expecting sanctions to destroy the Russian economy” (to quote from Mark’s comment). I think that Obama was just a closeted anti-Russian bigot who held off until he was re-elected before he would go public about it. I agree with Wayne Madsen, that Obama, through his mother, and her boss Peter Geithner at the Ford Foundation, was raised as a sleeper-agent of the CIA and surrounded by the ideology of world-conquest and by respect for the skills of deceit.
Obama was an Ivy Leaguer who was trained to be a servant to those with power and money. And Obama fully accepted and lived that role, all the way to becoming a millionaire who now plays golf all day.
I can’t remember seeing or hearing any direct hatred from Obama to the Russian people. But if the people with money and power told him to do something, then he did it and didn’t complain about it nor ask any inconvenient questions.
Obama was never direct or blunt about his hatreds. But just about the most direct he ever has been, was against Russia. For example, at
I discussed his saying, as I excerpted it:
“Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking.” All of that is blatantly false.
And I documented its falsity.
I said the following, indicating that Obama hates Russia:
U.S. President Barack Obama’s just-issued National Security Strategy 2015 uses the term “aggression” precisely 18 times, all but one of which are either explicitly, or else possibly, referring to Russia, as allegedly doing the alleged “aggression” — never the U.S., and on only one occasion is he identifying North Korea with that term of opprobrium. Presumably, he thinks that Russia is by far the most “aggressive” country.
“The first comprehensive study of anti-Russia sanctions shows they hit EU much more than Russia…”
Which bothers the Americans not a whit. It’s all good to them. Just as long as the good ol’ US of A comes out ahead, and someone… anyone… everyone else loses.
Those days are coming to an end. When Russia and China introduce gold backed rubles and yuans, and when the dollar loses its status as the world reserve currency, then Americans are going to get the shock of their lives.
Russian agriculture thrives as sanctions close off imports
Sep 3, 2017
Russia is forecast to produce more than 130m tonnes of grain
this year, according to Moscow-based agriculture consultancy ProZerno,
surpassing the record achieved by the Soviet Union in 1978,
during a period of heavy investment in state-run collective farms.
Nobody in the EU parliament can read so I am sure nothing will change. The populous is now fully indoctrinated and embraces the anti-Russia mantra. The EU is so stupid they will be willing to go to war for the US, after all, we are their serfs. Elections like Macron and Merkel sealed the deal of total doom.
Europe thought it wise to hook their future up with a fading empire. I think the average US citizen is more awake then the EU ones. The full blow of poverty is surely coming fast for the EU citizens as it allready is for the US citizens.
I dread the day when the EU has to elect a EU president in a democracy pretend full of facists.
I don’t know about everyone as there is all kinds everywhere, but i can assure you most europeans will not take arms against their fellow man.
War is a racket, we all know that…
I would only take arms as a last resort to defend my family and neighbours from foreign agression, and hope my neighbours feel the same.
“I think the average US citizen is more awake then the EU ones”. I doubt it. The folks in USA who read Saker is a tiny, tiny, tiny minority – the rest of them are utterly oblivious of the reality. The live in a pseudo world, fed by the most sophisticated propaganda machine ever created in human history.
In the last election, enough American voters rebelled against everything they are officially told and instead voted to elect Trump. In fact, the President before Trump was chosen because he claimed to be anti-war and he promised Change and Hope.
One poll revealed that a common factor among Trump supporters was that they distrusted and disbelieved the media.
The one thing I find in America is that almost anyone agrees that things are badly wrong. The two-party fake democracy tries to divert this by getting the partisans of one party to somehow blame the politicians of the opposing party, even though there is little serious difference between the two parties. Yet it is very, very easy to find and talk to Americans who will tell you that things are badly wrong.
In the last election, it was said that these were the two most unpopular Presidential candidates in history. Both had large segments of the population who hated them and disliked and distrusted them. Many voters cast votes of opposition against the other candidate as opposed to feeling strongly supportive of the candidate they voted for.
None of this is indicative of a population that is happily dreaming away awash in propaganda. The same US bankers and corporate leaders who rape the rest of the world have not neglected Americans, and any American who’s not in the 1% will tell you how life keeps getting harder and more unfair.
I consider the anti-war movement of the previous decade to be the most successful anti-war movement in history. Polls show that 50-60% of the population is opposed to these wars, which is an almost unheard of level of opposition to war.
The problem is that America is not a democracy, and America’s policies do not represent what the American people want. The problem is not that Americans don’t see that things are very, very wrong. The problem is that Americans do not see any realistic way to change this. The first 9 months of Trump have simply shown that the US state pays zero attention to what the people want in an election.
My guess is that if the American people ever do get a bit of hope that they can change things, then they will erupt and things will change very quickly. Which is why the state goes to great lengths to keep the American people divided and make sure that they never get any real hope that things can change.
The degradation of living standards in the RF is directly attributable to the gross incompetence of the economic leadership part of RF’s government (Nabi, Medved and other idiots). Consult the work of Glasiev and Katasanov for details. I can only say чудеса other чудеса concerning the liberal econ gov work.
Having a 1/3 of all the planets resources, millions of working age people and an abundance of energy, the liberal gang elevated economic incompetence into an higher art form.
There is a plus though, despite all of this, the capatilist system of the West has succeeded in retarding and atomizing their population so it no longer has a decent educational system, sense of self or nation and esp. public institutions over bazaar level, which still only function through inertia (esp. in the EU). Neoclassical capitalist economic “thinking” has achieved, what no Russian army, division ever could, esp. the EU has so much degraded its foundations, that it’s not even able to get some law and order in its capital cities from Paris to Berlin. Isis nests and large immigrant ghettos are all over the place. Growing up in the Cologne area has teached me, that there is no “German” nation, there is just a big German speaking bazaar in which people trade themselves for money (yeah, Russia is not better in this regard right now, but it has still large parts of its population, who can think of an alternative – it is easier for EUans to think of the Apocalypse than for example of a different economic order).
Circling back to Russia, there is still hope for Russia, because of large parts of its population still have a sense of self and nationhood. What an ironic joke of history that my forefathers were lured to the Ukraine, deported to Central Asia, lured back to Germany (tried to proof that they were more German than the indigenous Germans at that time – like prohibiting their children to speak Russian) and now the some of the younger Generation are thinking about moving back to Russia.
Another article by Eric Zuesse with which I cannot fully agree, if at all. The figures which he mentions are presented by sources which he chose to pick, and the mentioned figures are highly questionable. For example, Zuesse states that due to sanctions, the EU lost 100 billion dollars so far, which is 100 % Incorrect. The EU in fact lost 100 billion EUROS by mid 2016, and since then EU politicians have been screaming for sanctions to be lifted (Germany alone lost some 40 billion euros in trade by approximately mid 2016). Yes, sanctions did harm Russia, but Nowhere near as they harmed the EU. The moment sanctions were introduced, Russia turned to China, Asia, Latin America and Africa, creating new trading partners. Russia further turned towards improving its infrastructure, industry and agriculture. This year Russian agriculture saw a record wheat harvest, and Russian agricultural products are now the latest fashion on world markets, as they are non-GMO. They are highly popular. It does not need mentioning to what extent Russian and Chinese political and economic cooperation has been increased. In Vladivostok we recently had an international economic summit. How many billions of dollars in trade agreements were signed just there ?
The sanctions which the US introduced were a perfidious geopolitical maneuver, where the intent was not just to destroy Russia financially, but also to breakup the Russian-Chinese economic relationship and, even more, to prevent the old bankers nightmare of happening, namely the creation of a Russian-German economic alliance, as advocated by Bismarck in the 19th century and ruthlessly opposed by the British Government, inspired by the writings of the British geographer Halford Mackinder, who warned of all the dangers of a Russian-German alliance (in fact Brzezinski used Mackinders writings to do some writings of his own).
We can conclude that sanctions not only did tremendous economic damage to the EU, but they did immense political damage to the US, which created a self image of an imperial power gone insane. When additional sanctions were introduced against Russia, Washington had the audacity to also target European firms which were constructing the Nord Stream – 2 gas pipeline, to the utter astonishment of European countries, as the US started dictating to Europe with whom it had the right to trade, contrary to basic principles of international law. Europe now has more confidence in Moscow than it does in Washington, something the elite in the US still has to grasp, and I have my doubts if it ever will.
As for Russia, sanctions were a God send. Russia turned to new trading partners (something the EU has still to regret), it improved its infrastructure, and it started buying up all available gold with its sales of oil and gas. Analysts have calculated that Russia and China have more than 25.000 tonnes of gold Each, and it’s only a matter of time before they introduce gold backed rubles and yuans, which will spell the end of the US dollar as a reserve world currency. When that happens, the US will never again be the same.
The introduction of sanctions by the US were as stupid as the State Departments financing of that coup d’etat in Kiev in 2014, when 5 billion dollars was spent. What happened ? The US, NATO and the EU grabbed Kiev and Putin grabbed back the Crimea. I am still laughing.
In addition to everything said,
the low oil price hit Saudi Arabia hard, as well as the fracking industry in the US.
The Saudis were running deficits for the first time in 2016, and the
US fracking industry has had losses above a trillion $. Wrap your head around this one.
The US FED & Granny Yellen are printing overtime. This is why there isn’t any talk
about the debt ceiling anymore, the US is way past 20+ trillion $ in debt.
That 20 trillion pertains to foreign debt, money the US has borrowed from foreign banks and governments. It does NOT pertain to the domestic debt, which is many, many times greater, and few Americans even know that such a thing exists at all.
Early Dec of this year.
Trump made a deal with the Democrats in Congress. The deal was that the government would spend billions, probably $20 billion in total, to try to give relief to the victims and repair the damage from the hurricanes. A part of that deal was that the debt ceiling would be raised high enough to cover this and to give the government enough money to operate until early Dec.
Thus, they kicked the can a few more months down the road. The legal debt ceiling still remains. Although, Trump at the time suggested that the concept be permanently removed. Speaker Ryan immediately objected to this citing the Constitutional provisions that Congress and especially the House must pass bills that give the government money to spend.
You are disagreeing with Idriss Jazairi, his study, not with me (as you pretend — and I have not performed any such study at all). If you really do disagree with his study, then you should be critiquing his sources, his footnotes and the allegations they make, or else critiquing his calculations, instead of saying, for example, “Zuesse states that due to sanctions, the EU lost 100 billion dollars so far, which is 100 % INCORRECT …”
Apologies Eric for the shouting caps by the commenter which have been amended. Mod
The name bellow the title stands as Eric Zuesse. I was under the impression you were responsible for the article and that you support the given figures. If I am incorrect, then you have my apologies.
The pathetic attempt to start a colour revolution in Russia through the imposition of sanctions has had exactly the opposite effect of uniting the Russian people behind their leadership. Moreover, these same sanctions are causing increasing instability in Europe which the Petainist/Quisling elites are struggling to contain. A colour revolution now seems more likely in Europe than in Russia. Ah, the vicissitudes of history/politics.
Over here where I live we have a saying: “He who digs a grave for someone else ends up falling into that very same grave”.
It really didn’t take much thought to see, by all common sense, that the sanctions regime were targeted not only at disrupting what had been growing EU-RF trade, but specifically at hurting the EU. The EU was always viewed as a dangerous competitor to the US, and the socialistic countries in particular, as they further threatened “the American Way” by having the audacity to remind the world that there were economic systems that were providing far more for their average citizens than the gamed and financialized capitalism of the US. After all, that was truly the Soviet Union’s greatest sin, and the reason it had to be destroyed at all costs. It is, however, interesting to see an actual study give proof to what common sense dictated (though as B.F. noted, the study is likely actually conservative). Probably also why the US used its lapdog Britain to encourage the EU to take on all those eastern basket cases, only to want to bail out of the EU once that was accomplished.
A couple of other notes: First, I fear that the same heartless, greedy bastards that are running the show of “helping the EU to stand up to Russian Aggression (TM),” are the ones who are suddenly so keen on “helping Japan and S Korea to stand up to N Korean Aggression.” If I were them, I’d be shaking in my boots, not buying more THAADs. I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that these assholes would lose not a minute’s sleep to nuke NK (who isn’t actually threatening anyone) for the primary purpose of wiping out SK and severely damaging Japan, just to get rid of competition like they did for the EU. Being able to base offensive missile systems on China’s and Russia’s border is actually just icing on the cake.
Secondly, I think that the way sanctions as a way of life has been sold to Trump, who now seems fully on board, is that the way the sanctions are being targeted and applied, they actually amount to the kind of protectionist tariffs that he supported, only better. Rather than import restrictions on all imported steel, for example, you can just restrict imports from countries who won’t play ball by actively letting US multinationals rape their natural resources for a song, while continuing full exploitation of those countries (and continuing profits for US multinationals) where the US owns the local government. What a concept!! That’s why Trump suddenly was all gung ho for sanctions, which are always carefully crafted gaming of the so-called free market for the unfair advantage of US multinationals. Just like Olympic doping restrictions don’t apply to US stars like the Williams sisters, who get away with a shocking array of clearly banned substances, including opioids, while Sharapova gets shanked even though she had a doctor’s prescription for a heart drug that wasn’t clearly performance enhancing, and had only been banned right before her test (which in itself makes one say “hmmm”).
Very perceptive of you to point out the double-edge behind US foreign policies/interventions, themselves the repetition of similar English policies/interventions in the continental affairs throughout history. Typically, they are planned in a manner that, whichever way they turn out, the instigator always wins. Examples abound from the War of Spanish Succession, Thirty-Years War, European Blockade (Napoleonic Wars), Crimean War, WWI+II, creation of NATO, etc. Think how Germany was helped and directed to become the bastion against Russia/USSR, exactly the two powers that were threatening the economic and military dominance of UK-US. Regardless of the outcome of the confrontation the UK-US would emerge as the winners at an enormous cost to the main belligerents, although Churchill’s megalomania blinded him to the fact that the UK’s ally would inherit its empire.
The ultimate success was the post-WWII political configuration where the US, with very little pain to itself, under the pretext of protecting the “free world” managed to enslave it. Lord Ismay, first secretary-general of Nato put it succinctly: “Nato is to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down”. A German-Russian rapprochement was a nightmare for the UK and remains a nightmare for the US.
Many years ago (Putin had just about got his first pairs of short pants) my teachers in the Danish red brick school I went to told us why Obama’s sanctions were the greatest gift Putin and Russia could possibly get.The Book was written in the 1830’ties by a German.
Those interested can get it gratis here:
Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy
You can also get it from Amazon, but that costs money and the book wil only be in Amazon’s MOBI format.
List was busy not just in Germany but also in the United States. But of course American politicians, economists and historians cannot be expected to know their own history.
Friedrich list was influenced by Alexander Hamilton. The father of the American system.
I think you forgot to add…
“…. Hamilton..himself a Brit and educated in the finer traditions of English imperial education”.
Excellent article. I am glad the plunge in oil prices was linked to Russia-phobia The invasion of the Ukraine and these sanctions are primary due to the child king Obama’s anger, when Putin offered Snowden asylum. After his tantrum, Obama perfectly served the McCarthyite war mongers.
Thanks for publicly liking the article, but your attribution of “the invasion of Ukraine” to Snowden’s going to Russia is false, because Obama started planning the coup no later than 2011, and it wasn’t until two years afterwards, on 23 June 2013 to be precise, that Snowden landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. The coup started being organized inside the Kiev Embassy by no later than 1 March 2013, which was a few months before Snowden even was to arrive in Moscow. I just wanted to clarify the timeline there.
Russia is set for succes ’cause is followin’ teachings of FRIEDRICH LIST. He was mastermind of unification of germany, german economy, nazis (wikipd: ECONOMICS OF FASCISM) and his ideas make European Union.
Is it too early or too late to quarantine the USA and Israel?