The “Impose Sanctions and Conquer” Doctrine of USA

Americas Summit Panama

 

Also published in: Reader Supported News/Writing for Godot

Within a time of days, since the start of April, two countries have come very close to get rid of the long imposed sanctions by USA.
First Iran and then Cuba have reached in a good point of amelioration of relationships with their foe and are close to an ending of the imposed sanctions.
“Disfavor” and “punishment” have started 50 years ago in Cuba, during Cold War, and soon after the Islamic revolution of 1979, in Iran. In both cases, the sanctions followed the revolutions and the change of regimes, non capitalist policies, nationalization of oil (in Iran), of companies, services and country’s wealth. Also in both cases, before the revolutions, US had deeply involved in internal affairs and had secured conformity of the governments.
After revolutions they never stopped attempting the overturn of regimes – their endearing practice worldwide. Cases of US espionage in Cuba as well as attempts to organize dissident movements (according to the successful “arab spring” standards) reveal until recently.

In Iran, as Juan Cole in Informed Comment reminds us: “It is worth pointing out that one of the reasons Obama has difficulty in his negotiations with Iran is that its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, distrusts Washington because of its long history of intervention in Iran. The US along with its WWII allies invaded and occupied Iran in the 1940s; the allies overthrew the ruler, Reza Shah Pahlevi in 1941. In 1953 the CIA conducted a coup against popular Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh because he led the nationalization of Iranian oil.
After the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the US allied with Saddam Hussein of Iraq, who had invaded Iran in a wanton act of naked aggression in 1980. When Saddam used chemical weapons against Iranian troops, the US ran interference for Baghdad at the UN Security Council, ensuring that Baathist Iraq was not sanctioned for its war crimes against Iran.
So maybe Obama needs a sidebar with Khamenei to reassure him that Washington is not trying to overthrow him, either.”

Timing, capitalism and profit

The question which arises after the recent developments is “why now?” Although the two “cases” are completely different, a first insufficient answer is the attempt of President Barack Obama to ensure his own and Democratic Party’s legacy during the last year of his presidency.
It is not a totally satisfying answer, even if Obama might actually be “an honest man”, as Cuban President Raoul Castro said. Apart from honest though, Obama still is the President of the almighty USA.

As “peace” and conciliatory policies are not typical of US, a more realistic version could be the need to close any “unnecessary” open fronts worldwide despite pressures from neocon Republicans and jingoes of NRA.
On the other hand, progressives within the country are demanding less aggressive policies, as longstanding wars have not only proved ineffective and costly but have also showed their wrongful and detrimental motivations.
Furthermore, the dominant principle in US (i.e. in capitalism) is profit. Sanctions burden American economy, not only that of the “punished” countries and don’t give earnings from sales of weaponry.

So sanctions, especially long-standing ones, have political cost apart from economic and reach a crucial point, when it becomes necessary to lift them.
American companies are going to seek profits from Cuba and it is Cuba’s responsibility to manage and control hawks’ involvement in national affairs (a danger that EU is close to suffer if they sign TTIP neglecting people’s objections).
There is also strong possibility that US will use normalization of relationships with Cuba as a means to succeed closer approach to other South American countries.

US has opened a huge front against Russia, under their own crafted pretext of Ukraine, and until their own and EU pressures pay back, they simply lose profits while they do not have the anticipated gains of their expansionism.
They also continue sanctions as well as attempts to overturn government in Venezuela* and, additionally, they have to “pay” the cost of past nourishing of fighters who became the core of ISIS.

Imperialism behind human rights

“Axis of evil” has shrunk significantly since Iraq became a conquered country, after Libya was destroyed and after Syria entered the US-crafted and non ending war. It is also going to further weaken as soon as a final deal will be signed with Iran. A large part of “destruction policies” could be attributed to the former Secretary of the State and new candidate for US presidency, Hilary Clinton. As far as it concerns the remaining North Korea, Japan could be the first frontier if necessary.

However, military threat is not the only reason which US invoke when it comes to sanctions. Human rights and their strictly American interpretation often form a pretext for imposing sanctions. Never mind if human rights are violated by numerous “allies” and within US.
It makes no difference if a society is functional despite whatever problems.
If a country doesn’t follow a certain model of life, if its government does not conform to Western standards, if strategic considerations or intelligence want them to “reform”, either a war or sanctions will be the consequences.
The internal administration and the sovereignty of any such country, surely threaten “democracy” and therefore, US have to take initiative. In case that propaganda by NGOs and press and attempts of erosion and/or overturning of government do not succeed, intelligence takes control and isolation follows.
Venezuela is a representative sample of this doctrine. That is why after several attempts of coups in collaboration with opposition have been made and failed, Obama issued an executive order on 9th March with which declared the country an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security”.*
On the eve of Summit of the Americas in Panama, where Castro and Obama met, People’s Summit of the Americas, issued a document, which was approved by more than 2,000 representatives and condemned what it called, “military aggression and threats by the United States and their strategic allies carried out through the establishment of military bases in the region” according to teleSUR information.

Aggressiveness and domination

The case of Russia does not follow above rule of “safeguarding” human rights. Russia has a record of human rights violations which didn’t bother in the slightest the “democratic” West. The manufactured rising in Ukraine ended with outrage and autonomy of pro-Russian Crimean regions and with a war induced by NATO.
If Russia had retracted, if Putin had succumbed without acting, a large part of population would have been led into EU’s and NATO’s “embrace” and no sanctions would have been imposed.
Alternatively, another way of isolating Russia would have been induced.
In the same time, propaganda would persuade the world that rising in Ukraine was spontaneous and that people’s future is in their hands.
In the meantime, the “compliant” EU loads an extra weight on the backs of its people by imposing sanctions and suffering the consequences.

Though world changes (even Tayyip Erdogan visited Iran), let’s not fool ourselves and let’s hope that neither Iranian and Cuban people nor their governments fool themselves by believing that the “war” has ended.

* South American countries back Venezuela and UNASUR, the Non-Alignement Movement, CELAC and the G77+China, condemned Obama’s Executive Order. 

Relative from the web:
Hope on the Horizon and It Comes from Greece – Paul Craig Roberts

Neocon ‘Chaos Promotion’ in the Mideast – Consortiumnews.com

 

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Agreement between Iran and the P5+1: History is written in Lausanne

Nuclear Iran Talks in Lausanne, Switzerland

A historic and long awaited agreement has been reached, against all odds, especially of those fearing such a deal, and a couple of days after the expiration of the deadline of end of March.
On 2nd April, a framework agreement has been reached in
Lausanne, Switzerland between Iran and the P5+1 (US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany).

The framework agreement reached, calls for the removal of UN imposed sanctions against Iran while the issue of other sanctions will be discussed within bilateral formats, e.g. Iran – USA.

“I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final compromise deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer,” US president Barack Obama said on Thursday.

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said on Friday: “I, hereby, declare in a straightforward manner now that enrichment and all nuclear-related technologies are only aimed at Iran’s development and will not be used against any other countries and the world has acknowledged very well today that Iran is seeking peaceful purposes.”
Both president Rouhani and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that the sanctions will be lifted after a final deal will be reached. However, there seem to be a difference of interpret of the framework, as Iranian president said that all the UN and economic, financial and banking sanctions against Iran will be annuled the moment a final nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers goes into effect while John Kerry stressed that the removal of the sanctions will come in phases.
Drafting of the deal will start soon to prepare the Joint Plan of Action by the July 1 deadline.

Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, at a joint press conference with the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said :
“The European Union will terminate implementation of all nuclear related economic and financial sanctions. And the United States will cease the application of all nuclear related economic and financial sanctions simultaneously either IAEA verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.”
Agreements on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue would be endorsed by a new UN Security Council resolution.
According to The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) parameters as published in the Fact Sheet released by State Department, Iran has agreed on various adjustments and reductions of its nuclear program and inspections of IAEA.

Opposition to the agreement

Not all the western officials consider that the agreement is a victory of sober diplomacy and beneficial for peace.
On the opposite side of the porgressive public opinion in the whole world where the deal is considered historic and decisive for the desired peace, balance and stability in the region of the larger Middle East area, there are the ultra-conservatives in US and their protégé Netanyahu.
They have already delivered rhetoric of subversion; they present the framework as a “triumph” of Iran against American allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) and characterize “theater” the statement of president Obama.
A provocative statement was made on Tuesday by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter who said that even if a deal was reached, the US reserves the right to bomb Iran.
Senator McCain (R-Az), also expressed his “concerns”: “President Obama is hailing this framework as something that could enhance the prospects for peace in the Middle East. For those of us who have looked forward to bombing Iran for some time now, that would be a doomsday scenario.” (…)

No one mentions the recent release of Pentagon’s declassified reports of 1987 which admit that Israeli scientists were capable of producing a hydrogen bomb by that time. The declassification is named by israeli media “Obama’s revenge” for the speech of Netanyahu against Iran in Congress where he was invited by Republicans.

Although trust is difficult to be established after more than 35 years of mutual “demonisation”, Iran is expected to play an important role in the -always- troubled region of Middle East and its contribution (diplomatically and politically) will be valuable both for the West and for the neighbor countries.
US have multiple open fronts worldwide militarily, economically and politically (Russia, Venezuela, ISIS, Ukraine) and the period until the, hopefully, final deal will probably offer them a “breath”.

What is most important after this great step is the problem of the global nuclear energy as a whole and as a danger for humanity, especially in the face of the threat by ISIS and their branches in many countries.