Showing posts with label Sanctions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sanctions. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Colonial media practices: The blatant double standards will mark the fall of the "free world" discourse on previously-universalized values

    Wednesday, July 26, 2023   No comments

Western governments have used the pillars of their modern civilization to shame and intimidate other communities to submit their systems of dominance. Human rights, free press, free speech, individual rights were all used as universal values that legitimized western interventionism. It worked because many thinkers and leaders in the Global south communities actually bought into this discourse. However, with new technologies that enabled impoverished communities to build their own institutions, and enjoy a degree of autonomy, the Western discourse revealed its superficial commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Sanctions and bans became a favorite instrument in the hands of Western states to punish speech they did not like. Suddenly freedom of speech became limited; they just needed to find the context for banning it. That is now creating a problem for the so-called free world.

Foreign Policy: The US obsession with sanctions will be the cause of its downfall

In an article published in Foreign Policy, Christopher Sabatini, a senior Latin America researcher at Chatham House, addressed the failure of US sanctions imposed by Washington on countries around the world.

This issue was covered by several American newspapers, especially after the success of Russia, China and Iran in bypassing these sanctions.

"Sanctions have become, in the past two decades, the foreign policy tool of Western governments, led by the United States," he said.

The Foreign Policy article stated, according to a database maintained by Columbia University, that "six countries, namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Venezuela, were subject to comprehensive US sanctions, which means that the majority of commercial and financial transactions with entities and individuals in those countries are prohibited by US law."

However, according to the article, "17 other countries are subject to various sanctions, while seven other countries are subject to export controls," according to the Princeton University database.

"This already long list does not even include targeted sanctions imposed on individuals and companies in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Paraguay, or sanctions imposed on regions such as Hong Kong, the Balkans, Crimea, and Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine," the Foreign Policy article noted.

The article stated, "By 2021, the United States had imposed sanctions on more than 9,000 individuals, companies, and sectors of the economies of the targeted countries. In 2021, President Joe Biden's first year in office, his administration added 765 new names to sanctions, worldwide, including 173 human rights-related decisions."

Taken together, countries subject to some form of US sanctions account for just over a fifth of global GDP, and China accounts for 80% of that group.

The article concluded, "As in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, sanctions do not lead to the desired quick result of regime change, but instead strengthen alliances among the regimes targeted by sanctions over time."

And he believed that "US policy makers must understand that sanctions do not work in some cases, and that they undermine US interests, in many cases."

Banning Yemeni media in the context of US sanctions... flagrant double standards

“Measures aimed at punishing autocrats are eroding the Western system that they were supposed to maintain,” said Christopher Sabatini, a senior Latin America researcher at Chatham House, in an article in Foreign Policy yesterday, titled “America’s love for sanctions will be the cause of its downfall.”

In the past two decades, sanctions have become the foreign policy tool of choice for Western governments, particularly the United States. In addition, any serious disagreement of any government in the world with Washington's policies towards a certain issue puts it in the black lists that Washington is keen to revise and update on an almost weekly basis.

While some consider economic sanctions to be the most prominent weapon in the list of new US tools of war, media sanctions, bans and access restrictions are among the harshest types of punishment. Not only because it attempts to erase the point of view of the punished from existence, but also because it infringes on freedom of opinion and expression, which is supposed to be safeguarded in all human rights legislation and decisions, especially those approved by the United Nations and approved by "Western democracies".

According to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

For Western "democracies", this issue historically acquires a very sensitive dimension, as "freedom of expression" is considered a pivotal issue that is almost tantamount to "the sacred", because it is linked to the liberal state's identity, its social contract and its political system.

However, the title of "freedom of expression" in the West has collided in recent years, and increasingly, with major problems that have emerged in terms of double standards in the actual application of these principles, which have raised levels of doubt about the credibility of the democratic basis of Western political systems to record levels.

The last repercussions of this duplicity were the closure of the American "YouTube" platform, of several channels affiliated with the Sana'a government and the Yemeni army forces, including the Yemeni war media channels, the "Ansar Allah" band, the artistic and documentary production unit, and others.

colonial media practices

Daniel Yagic, a researcher in media issues and university professor, confirms, in an interview with Al-Mayadeen Net, that research on politically biased Western media sanctions should not be isolated from a long historical context of media colonial practices.

Yagic recalled the Western media coverage of the military operations carried out by the United States and European countries in the "southern countries".

He pointed to the media justification for "occupation, targeting, killing, kidnapping and repeated arrest operations, which were carried out by Western military forces, in Iraq, Syria, Mali, Libya, Yemen and even Lebanon, under pretexts related to the security of the United States and Europe, and in the face of what the West calls terrorism."

However, he commented by saying that the West "has never defined clear rules for who is qualified as a terrorist," which has become a liquid concept attached to whom the West wants to demonize because of its failure to comply with its political agendas.

Yagic adds that the West "always uses a language of justification for Western actions, and always presents its actions in a humanitarian context, while the same logic is not used when dealing with other parties, such as the Russian military operation in Ukraine, or armed resistance against America's allies in the world, most notably, of course, the resistance movements against "Israel" and its proxies, in Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq and Syria."

The fall of the "free world" discourse: the blatant double standards

On World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the US President issued a statement titled "Journalism Is Not a Crime," in which he affirmed that journalism is "essential to a free society."

In it, he declared honoring "all journalists, reporters, and media workers who bravely pursue the truth," and said he renewed his pledge to "hold accountable" all those who seek to "silence these voices essential to transparent and trustworthy governance."

The US President was not satisfied with that, but continued that "a free press is the pillar of democracy because it allows our government and society to self-criticize and correct itself," stressing that "the First Amendment to our Constitution does not allow Congress to pass any law that limits freedom of expression or freedom of the press."

Of course, this talk is considered discredited, by many observers, regarding the status of media freedoms in the world, and the relationship of the United States to the extent to which the press enjoys strength, protection, and independence.

US government requests to ban and block accounts

Early this year, the new CEO of Twitter (newly X), Elon Musk, announced that the US administration itself "demanded the company to suspend hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts, including press accounts and others belonging to Canadian and Chinese officials."

And the US administration has already blocked the “TikTok” application, owned by a Chinese company, in more than 30 states, since last June, under the pretext that its use may involve leaking sensitive information related to US citizens to foreign governments.

This, of course, is happening in the opposite direction continuously and without any fuss, as hundreds of millions of users use American applications.

US military and security practices against journalists and the press

The United States, through its judicial institutions or even its military forces, has previously practiced violent practices against journalists, against the background of their journalistic work, most notably the famous journalist Julian Assange, who revealed the American targeting of a group of journalists in Iraq in July 2007, with an air raid on the National Press Club in Baghdad, and he was tried under the pretext of espionage, through a law dating back to the First World War.

It also prosecuted others because of their work in revealing information to the press, most notably Edward Snowden, the informatics expert contracting with the US National Security Agency, and Chelsea Manning, the former contractor with the Pentagon in Iraq, who leaked information about crimes committed by US forces, and they were prosecuted and prosecuted for that.

The American judicial institutions also ignored the crimes of its close ally, the Israeli occupation, documented in Palestine against the press and journalists, which, since 2001, have claimed the lives of at least 20 journalists at the hands of Israeli forces, 18 of whom are Palestinians, and 2 of them are European foreign correspondents, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Khashoggi case exposes Biden

In parallel, Washington presented itself on several occasions as a sponsor of freedom of expression in the world, as current President Joe Biden relied in his election campaign against his predecessor Donald Trump on the issue of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and the former president's insistence on good relations with Saudi Arabia, whose Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was accused of being involved in the assassination of the famous opposition journalist.

Biden presented himself as a president who could not accept normal relations with the Saudi regime, which is known for suppressing media freedoms in his country, and is the main suspect of responsibility for the killing of the Saudi journalist in Turkey.>

In the 2019 debate, he said, "In fact, we will make them (Saudi Arabia) pay the price for what they did (the killing of Khashoggi), and we will, in fact, make them pariahs."

However, Biden returned to opening a new page with Saudi Arabia, under the title "The Supreme American Interest", and visited Saudi Arabia last year, which made many American parties accuse him of using the discourse of freedoms for a misleading purpose, aimed at mobilizing popular support only.

The US administration continues to block the Russian media, and the West follows suit

Immediately after the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the US administration blocked websites and accounts linked to the Russian media.

It also cracked down on accounts that are not officially linked to the Russian media, and that adopt the Russian point of view regarding the battle, its causes and facts, and it continues to do so in a large and increasing manner to this day.

This shocked some international circles, which clearly witnessed one of the fiercest repressive campaigns against freedom of expression in modern history, prompting many American researchers and writers themselves to declare the end of the era of "United States leadership in the free world." And that what Washington is prosecuting the world on the basis of restricting freedoms and censoring political discourse, it is committing it publicly and flagrantly.

The fierce censorship and ban campaign against Russia came after a similar campaign against Iranian media and websites and accounts linked to resistance movements in Arab countries over the past decade, which included blocking channels from using satellite broadcasting, blocking their broadcasts from the Internet, and closing their offices in Western countries.

It seems, by following Western criticism of government censorship, that the Western public is becoming more aware, day after day, of the seriousness of the danger that threatens it by suppressing its right to access information, and seeing different angles of approach to facts and events.

Especially since this suppression of views related to foreign policy has recently and blatantly entered American domestic politics, after Donald Trump's account was banned based on government recommendations, which prompted him to launch his own platform.

What is the size of the Yemeni media threat to Riyadh and Washington?

The US administration is entering the harbingers of the last year of Biden's term, ahead of presidential elections that are still unclear to this day. The accumulated problems of the Biden administration at the level of foreign policies raise great concern among them, which is not hidden by the statements of its officials and the results of the poll centers.

The most prominent of these problems is the crisis of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Ukraine crisis, which has turned into a drain on potentials and bets, and crises related to the tense relationship with China, and its internal and external repercussions.

Likewise, the Yemeni crisis, with its political and humanitarian parts, comes to add to the record of American failure in foreign policies, which is naturally expected to invest in the campaign against Biden internally, and increase pressure on him, in terms of the aggression’s failure to achieve its goals in Yemen, despite the massive American support at the level of weapons, ammunition, information, and political cover.

Of course, the fingers of accusation reach the Saudi regime, which is most affected by the content published by these channels and accounts, which is likely to be largely involved in the restrictions, bans and blocking operations that the Yemeni media was subjected to throughout the period of aggression, due to the great embarrassment that was created by the published scenes of its captured and killed soldiers in the qualitative operations of the Yemeni forces, as well as the scenes of the humanitarian crisis caused by its siege and aggression on Yemen.

It can be said that the Western propaganda machine and its media tools were built on being an essential arm of the foreign policy of states, and a main supporter of the Western war machine, wherever it is heavy in the world, and it continues to perform its function.

Victory and defeat, in any war or battle that bears cultural and civilizational connotations, most notably the Yemen war, ultimately belong to the one who writes and narrates history.

The media today is the history book that future generations will inherit in order to understand the foundations of their reality. Experience indicates that the Yemenis, who turned the aggression against them into an opportunity for steadfastness, building, strengthening capabilities and accumulating strength cards, will not find it difficult for them to convey the image of the Yemeni reality, using innovative methods and alternatives, no matter how severe the restrictions imposed by their enemies.

A "weapon loses its effectiveness".. Are we witnessing the end of the era of US sanctions?

The American magazine "Foreign Affairs" published an article that spoke at length about "the end of the era of sanctions, how did the enemies of the United States protect themselves from it?", and discusses the "excessive use of sanctions" by the United States, and explains how this led to the loss of this weapon of its value and effectiveness on the international level, expecting that "the golden days of American sanctions may end soon."

With Washington increasingly reliant on sanctions, a number of countries violating its policies have begun to immunize their economies against these measures, and three events in the past decade have convinced these countries of the need to act against any possible US sanctions.

Iran, Russia and China

Writer Agathe Damaris enumerates the three most prominent stations that proved the importance of having plans to confront Washington's sanctions. In 2012, the United States cut Iran off from the global "Swift" monetary system, in an attempt to isolate the country financially, and the enemies of the United States and its other adversaries noticed this, wondering if their turn would come later.

And in 2014, Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia after it annexed Crimea, prompting Moscow to make economic independence a priority.

In 2017, Washington started a trade war with Beijing, which quickly spread to the technology sector, by restricting the export of US technology related to the manufacture and development of semiconductors to China, which constituted a warning to Washington's opponents of the possibility of blocking their access to important technology technologies.

These three episodes led to the emergence of a new phenomenon, which Foreign Affairs called "resistance to sanctions."

  The authority of the United States to impose sanctions on other countries stems from the primacy of the US dollar on the one hand, and the extent of US control over global financial channels on the other.

It is logical then that the enemies of the United States would seek financial innovations that would reduce the benefits of US sanctions if they occurred, and these countries have increasingly found the solution in currency swap agreements, in alternatives to SWIFT, and in digital currencies.

Bilateral currency swaps and linking central banks

One way countries have made themselves more resistant to sanctions is through bilateral currency swaps, which allow them to bypass the US dollar by linking central banks' deals directly to each other, eliminating the need to use a third currency for trading.

China has enthusiastically embraced this tool, signing currency swap agreements with more than 60 countries, including Argentina, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, totaling nearly $500 billion, with the clear goal: to enable Chinese companies to circumvent American financial channels when they need to.

And in 2020, for the first time, China settled more than half of its trade with Russia in a currency other than the US dollar, making the majority of these trade exchanges immune from US sanctions.

Washington's allies are turning towards alternatives

The article indicated that China's increasing desire to abandon the US dollar is understandable, given the poor state of relations between Washington and Beijing, but the problem has become that US allies are also entering into currency swap deals.

In 2019, India bought S-400 air defense missiles from Russia. The $5 billion deal was supposed to trigger US sanctions, but India and Russia revived a Soviet-era currency swap agreement. India bought the Russian missiles using a mixture of rubles and Indian rupees, avoiding US sanctions that could have been used to stop the sale.

In addition to bartering, some countries have developed parallel payment systems, to avoid relying entirely on the SWIFT system, and to provide an existing alternative in the event of economic sanctions being imposed on them.

Countries such as China also tended to adopt a digital currency directly linked to its central bank, and it can be used inside the country, as well as Chinese companies can be paid by it from buyers from outside the country, which eliminated dependence on the dollar or the “Swift” system.

end of the road?

The magazine believes that at the individual level, currency exchange agreements, alternative payment systems, and digital currencies will not have a definitive effect on the effectiveness of US sanctions, but together these innovations increasingly give countries the ability to conduct transactions through sanctions-resistant and secure channels.

This trend seems irreversible, as there is no reason to believe that relations between Washington and Beijing or Washington and Moscow will improve anytime soon, and the most likely scenario is that things are getting worse day by day, which will push Beijing and Moscow to redouble their efforts to circumvent sanctions and minimize their effects.

Of course, the worsening fragmentation of the global financial system and its transformation into separate islands poses a threat to US diplomacy and national security.

In addition to undermining the effectiveness of sanctions, the emergence of sanction-resistant financial channels will have an impact on the ability of the United States, which will increasingly have a blind spot when it comes to detecting global activities that it deems "illicit." Tracking suspicious financial transactions or those that originate from specific countries is vital to Washington.

All this means that within a decade, unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States may have little effect, and multilateral measures are likely to be the best alternative for it, but formulating these sanctions will be more difficult, as it will require consensus and diplomatic efforts.

Monday, April 03, 2023

How do US and EU sanctions work?

    Monday, April 03, 2023   No comments

US Senator explains how US sanctions work and why they work they way they do and he predicted US sanctions will not be able to be deploy in five to six years.

The key to success of US sanctions is that the US dollar is used in trade between nations; the more countries trade in other currencies the less effective the sanctions regimes will be.

Monday, March 13, 2023

How the US aggressive, political, and inhumane use of sanctions could turn sanctions into a liability

    Monday, March 13, 2023   No comments

The basic principle behind the use of sanctions is this: short of changing the behavior of rogue governments by force (war), and to protect the people from their belligerent unrepresentative governments, responsible governments should use economic tools to bring such governments into compliance. Sounds reasonable enough.

In practice, however, and since the collapse of the Soviet Union, sanctions have been used to isolate and punish governments that do not further the political and economic interests of the Western bloc, regardless of whether they are representative, elected governments or not. By the same logic, governments that are unelected, abusive to the rights of their citizens, but who join the Western bloc are not only immune to Western sanctions, but they are also shielded by Western governments from any criticism even by NGOs.

Such a disconnect between the principled sanctions and the politically driven sanctions is bound to grow beyond ambiguity, unmasked the inhumane, ineffective, self-interested use of sanctions turning it into an effective tool, or even a tool against those who have exploited.

First, when sanctions are deployed with ease against any government, the large number of sanctioned governments around the world could unite to counter the effects of sanctions allowing them to function as a default bloc against the sanctioning side.

The near unanimous Western support of Ukraine against Russia during the ongoing armed conflict, which in reality started in 2014, placed pressure on many countries to take side. Those who took the side or Russia or remained neutral were subjected to sanctions, including Russia and China—the two major global powers in the world. The sheer large number of states impacted by sanctions made it possible for these countries to unite to counteract the effects of sanctions. This is the context in which Belarus finds it way to Iran, culminating the historic visit of the Belarusian president to Tehran this week to sign many strategic agreements between the two countries.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi affirmed that the agreements signed by Iran and Belarus, during the visit of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to Tehran today, are fruitful, expressing Tehran's readiness to put its expertise in recent years at the service of Minsk.

Raisi said, during a joint press conference with Lukashenko following the signing of a joint cooperation map between the two countries, that "the agreements that were signed are fruitful and we hope to take good steps in developing relations between the two countries."


He added, "Iran intends to expand bilateral relations with Belarus in international organizations."


He continued, "We are ready to put our expertise during the past period in the service of Belarus, and the two countries are determined to strengthen their relations in all fields."


In turn, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko affirmed that the sanctions imposed on Belarus and Iran represent an opportunity to develop relations between them, stressing the depth of trust between the two countries.


"I hope that the road map signed today will help expand relations between the two countries in the long run," Lukashenko said.


And the Belarusian state agency Belta reported that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi signed a comprehensive cooperation roadmap between the two countries for the period 2023-2026 after their talks in Tehran.


"The roadmap provides for comprehensive cooperation between Belarus and Iran in the political, economic, consular, scientific and technical fields, as well as in the fields of education, culture, arts, media and tourism," the statement said.


An agreement was reached on the development and preparation of the document during the meeting between Lukashenko and my president in September 2021 on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.


Earlier, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei discussed, with his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Amir Abdollahian, ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries in conditions of sanctions, and mutual support in international organizations.


The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that the two sides affirmed "the common interest in building trade and economic cooperation to face the pressures of sanctions," and focusing on the positive dynamics in developing bilateral relations.


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Abe's memoirs after his assassination: I met Putin despite Washington's objection...and rejected sanctions against Moscow

    Saturday, February 11, 2023   No comments

The memoirs of the late Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, were issued seven months after his assassination, and revealed that his visit to Russia in 2016 angered the then US President, Barack Obama.

Abe said in his memoirs: “When I visited the United States in 2016 to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit, I told Obama that I would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi in May, and soon signs of discontent appeared on his face, and he answered me angrily: If I was in your place, when you did that."

He added, "I visited Sochi, and met Putin, despite Washington's objection."

Abe also pointed out that Obama's position stems from the United States' desire to keep intensifying the efforts of the Group of Seven countries, collectively, on the issue of pressure on Moscow, following the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

Abe mentioned in his memoirs that Obama's sudden proposal, during the "G7" summit in Brussels in 2014, to impose sanctions against Russia, due to differences over Ukraine and the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation, sparked reactions and reservations by some European countries. Like France, which was planning to export amphibious ships to Russia, and Germany, which relies mainly on Russian gas.

Abe confirmed that "Obama was strict in raising the issue of sanctions" against Russia, and he distributed himself, surprisingly and contrary to diplomatic norms, the list of sanctions to the participants in the summit, although this list was not passed to experts, for study before it was presented.

Abe said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked him about Tokyo's position on sanctions, and he replied, "Japan will not participate in sanctions against Russia, because that would strain negotiations between the two countries, but we can issue a document of condemnation in the form of criticism."

He pointed out that Merkel suggested that everyone issue a statement condemning Russia, and leave the discussion of sanctions at the administrative level of each country, as it deems appropriate.

Abe noted that "everyone felt relieved," because the issue of sanctions against Russia was not agreed upon among the countries of the group, and it was adopted to issue a statement, collectively condemning Russia, instead of sanctions.

Likewise, Abe touched in his memoirs on the peace treaty between Moscow and Tokyo in 2018, and considered that it was not "considered a concession by Tokyo," because according to the joint Soviet-Japanese declaration on October 19, 1956, the Soviet Union pledged at the time to return Shikotan Island, and many The uninhabited islands adjacent to the Lesser Kuril Mountain Range, to Japan, upon the conclusion of a final peace treaty, between the two countries.

He described Japan's demand to Russia to return all the islands of the southern part of the Kuril Islands at once as illogical, and means that these islands will never return to Japan.

It is noteworthy that Abe's memoirs include 18 press interviews, in a question and answer format, for a total of 36 hours. It was not published before due to its very sensitive nature, and it was put up for sale in Japan this week.

It is reported that Abe (67 years old) was subjected to an armed attack on July 8, 2022 while he was giving a speech at an election event in the city of Nara, in the west of the country, where he was shot with a gun from behind, after which he was transferred to the hospital, and died of his wounds.

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Media Review: Washington, with its sanctions, is responsible for increasing the suffering of the afflicted Syrians

    Wednesday, February 08, 2023   No comments

Western media have increasingly talked about the responsibility of the harsh US sanctions on Syria for increasing the suffering of the Syrian people as a result of the devastating earthquake that struck large areas in the north of the country at dawn last Monday.

The American "Responsible State Craft" website considered that "activating the humanitarian situation will require Washington to recognize the bankruptcy of the US comprehensive sanctions," stressing that Washington "opposes any step that might appear as normalization with Damascus."

In its report, the site asked whether the current humanitarian situation in Washington's view opens up any room for exceptions, in addition to the site's skepticism about the necessity of continuing the imposed sanctions, which have now mainly affected the Syrian people and exacerbated their suffering even before the earthquake disaster.

He stated that "following the devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria, the United States and dozens of countries rushed to provide assistance to Ankara, including the deployment of teams to help rescue survivors who are still trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings," noting that these teams will not be able to help from Syria.

The report added, "The United States can make important and constructive changes in its own policies, especially since, before the earthquake, sanctions on Syria were hampering reconstruction efforts and exacerbating the suffering of civilians."

He explained that now, "these same sanctions have become a serious obstacle to providing Syrians with disaster relief and reconstruction," and stressed that "the United States must move quickly to lift as many of its broad sanctions as possible so that aid agencies and other governments in the region can operate." more effectively in addressing the plight of the Syrian people.

The site pointed out that "the Biden administration has not yet shown any inclination to ease sanctions, or to communicate with the Syrian government to coordinate humanitarian assistance in areas controlled by the government," stressing that "its position is not surprising, but it is unfortunate, because it deprives ordinary people of relief when it is necessary." possible.”

He also indicated that "Washington is reluctant to do anything that might hint at normalizing relations with the Syrian government, after more than a decade of hostility," stressing that "Washington must be ready to make exceptions in exceptional circumstances, when humanitarian needs are very severe, and it is important The very bad thing is for the Biden administration to continue to strangle innocent people just to act against the Damascus government.”

"Responsible State Craft" explained that "sanctions relief in itself is not a panacea, and it will not alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, but it will remove one major obstacle to relief, recovery and reconstruction in the coming months and years," considering that "activating the humanitarian situation for such relief will require It is imperative for the administration to acknowledge the bankruptcy of US comprehensive sanctions.”

The New York Times retracts its admission of responsibility for US sanctions

In turn, the American New York Times retracted a report two hours after it was published, to amend a statement in which it acknowledged that "sanctions are what prevent international assistance to Syria."

The New York Times published a report, earlier today, on the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border, in which it talked about the earthquake aid file in Syria, and acknowledged in its introduction that sanctions are what prevents international aid from reaching Syria.

The report's original introduction said, "Syria is unable to receive direct aid from many countries because of the sanctions, so the border crossing has become a lifeline."

However, two hours later, The New York Times amended the report and deleted its introduction, and amended the content of the report with new information commensurate with the new introduction, in which it says that "with the Syrian government tightly controlling the aid that allows it to enter opposition-held areas, the border crossings with Turkey have become It's a lifeline."

The Atlantic: Delivering aid to northern Syria is complicated by sanctions

Likewise, a report in the American newspaper "The Atlantic" stated that "Monday's disaster is a reminder of how desperate Syria is for international help, even if it is difficult to provide."

She pointed to the irony that occurred through "the flow of aid to Turkey and its deprivation of the afflicted in Syria," stressing that "despite the flow of aid to Turkey, the logistics and politics to help Syria, especially the vulnerable areas in the northwest of the country, are more complex due to the conflict." and international sanctions against the Syrian government.

"People Dispatch": Western sanctions impede relief and rescue work in Syria

A report in the "People Dispatch" website also indicated that "although many countries, including the United States and its allies, have extended their support to Turkey in relief and rescue work, they have refused to provide similar assistance to Syria."

The site quoted the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) as saying that “the current US sanctions severely restrict aid provided to millions of Syrians,” and that it “asked the US government on Monday to lift the sanctions imposed on it,” stressing that “lifting the sanctions will open the doors to additional and complementary aid.” It will provide immediate relief to those in need."

The US Congress has been adopting the "Caesar" law since 2020, according to which any group or company that deals with the Syrian government faces comprehensive and harsh penalties. The law, which experts confirm, its purely political background, expands the scope of the previously existing sanctions on Syria, which were imposed by the United States and its European allies since the beginning of the war in the country in 2011.

In the context, the New York Times reported today, on a senior EU official coordinating the aid file to Turkey, that "European sanctions should not impede the delivery of humanitarian and emergency aid to the Syrian people."

The United Nations has criticized on several occasions in the past the impact of sanctions on the Syrian health and other social sectors and its general economic recovery, and has also called on the United Nations to lift all unilateral punitive measures against Syria.

In the meantime, countries such as China, Iran, Russia, Cuba, Algeria, the Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Venezuela, and others have begun to provide the necessary support to Syria to help in relief and rescue operations, treat the injured, and shelter the afflicted, and have already sent relief materials, which began to land in the airports of Aleppo, Damascus, and Latakia since dawn on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The New York Times: Russia's economic growth confirms the limited impact of Western sanctions

    Tuesday, January 31, 2023   No comments

The New York Times published today, Tuesday, a report under the headline "Russia's Economic Growth Indicates Limited Impact of Western Sanctions".

The newspaper said in its report that the resilience of the Russian economy helps support global growth, according to a new report issued by the International Monetary Fund, which indicates that efforts by Western countries to weaken Moscow due to its war in Ukraine appear to be faltering.

In a report, the International Monetary Fund expected Russian production to expand by 0.3% this year and 2.1% next year, in defiance of previous expectations, of a sharp contraction in 2023, amid a set of Western sanctions, according to the newspaper.

Also, the newspaper indicated that a plan coordinated by the United States and Europe to cap the price of Russian oil exports at $60 a barrel is not expected to significantly reduce energy revenues.

"At the current G7 oil price ceiling level, Russian crude oil export volumes are not expected to be significantly affected, with Russian trade continuing to be redirected to non-sanctions countries," the IMF said.

Earlier, the International Monetary Fund, in a report, improved its forecast for the performance of the Russian economy for the next two years.

In 2024, the Russian economy will grow by 2.1%, which is 0.6% better than the October forecast for the same period.

A few days ago, a United Nations report showed that the size of the Russian economy shrank by about 3% in 2022, compared to previous expectations of a decline of 15%.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

At the same time US think-tank-experts warn of the difficulty of disrupting the Iranian drone program by the Americans and Europeans, Iran announces that the Russian Sukhoi-35 will arrive in Iran next March

    Sunday, January 15, 2023   No comments

The National Interest magazine stated that "it would be best for the United States to adopt a new strategy to disrupt Iran's drone program" after failing to disrupt it through economic sanctions and export controls.

The magazine added, in a report, that “the United States has for years imposed sanctions on Iran’s military-industrial complex and manufacturing base, including entities such as IAIO (which designs and manufactures Mohajer-6 medium-range reconnaissance and combat drones), and HESA and FACI, Iranian Helicopter Support and Refurbishment Industries (PAHNA), and Iranian Aircraft Industries (IACI), to name a few.

However, "the Iranian aviation sector and the drone industry continued to expand and prosper, and Western sanctions could not prevent Iran from becoming a prominent player in the military drone market, and sharing the technology of these drones with partners and agents inside and outside the Middle East," he said. National Interest.

According to the magazine, "Despite the US sanctions on the companies that manufacture Iranian drones, Russia used Iranian drones in the war in Ukraine, such as the Shahed-136, which paralyzed Ukraine's vital infrastructure," she said.

In addition to increasing sanctions against Iranian drone companies, the magazine stated that "Washington intends to impose controls on exports and pressure on private companies to disrupt the technological supply chain related to the drone industry in Tehran, especially with the emergence of reports stating that Shahed 136 is manufactured with American and British components, which made It shows Tehran's extraordinary ability to bypass sanctions."

But, as with Western sanctions, "more export controls and corporate pressure are unlikely to significantly reduce Iran's access to these components," according to the National Interest.

The reason for this, the magazine explained, is, first, "the incorporation of foreign components into a robust drone program with an established supply chain." And secondly, states cannot prevent companies like eBay or Alibaba from selling dual or multi-use technology to Iran and other countries.

In the context, the National Interest spoke about the Iranian drone sector, noting that "Iran has manufactured and operated military drones since the Iran-Iraq war in the mid-1980s."

"With more than 33 examples, Iran's highly advanced military drone complex forms one of the four pillars of its security strategy and force structure, complementing missile technology, proxy forces, and electronic warfare," she added.

The National Interest report stated, "Iranian drones are cheaper than their Western counterparts, and have proven effective on the battlefield, whether against local and regional militants, or US assets and allies in and around the Gulf."

Likewise, "drones have enabled Iran to project its power and earn profits, display technology and enhance its prestige, strengthen alliances, and influence conflicts in the Middle East and beyond," according to the magazine.

To this end, the National Interest noted, “Iran has delivered drones and their designs, components, and training to partners in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, as well as to foreign governments such as Ethiopia, Russia, Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela—transactions facilitated by the end of the UN arms embargo on Iran in October 2020".

According to the National Interest, "the Iranian leadership adopts a whole-of-government approach, using all available tools, from regime elites studying at universities abroad to electronic espionage, to gain access to the latest technology."

She added, "Iran's high human capital can allow it to accelerate domestic production of UAV components, and such a result can be achieved thanks to the first-class scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians produced by Sharif University of Technology and other distinguished Iranian educational institutions."

"Given the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of disrupting Iran's drone program through economic sanctions and export controls, the United States would do well to adopt a new strategy," the National Interest continued.

She explained, "This strategy would seek to use an innovative and comprehensive approach to break the endless cycle of imposing US sanctions and avoiding Iranian sanctions."

Iran announces that the Russian Sukhoi-35 will arrive in Iran next March 

Speaking to Tasnim, member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Shahriar Heidari said the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets that Iran has ordered from Russia are going to arrive in early 1402 (begins on March 21).

The lawmaker noted that Iran has also ordered a series of other military equipment from Russia, including air defense systems, missile systems and helicopters, most of which will be received soon.

Media reports suggested earlier that Iran will receive 24 of the fourth-generation twin-engine, super-maneuverable fighter jets that are primarily used for air superiority missions.

Some of the combat aircraft are anticipated to be housed at Tactical Air Base (TAB) 8 of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF), which is located in the Iranian city of Isfahan in the country's center.

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) says the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet “combines the qualities of a modern fighter (super-maneuverability, superior active and passive acquisition aids, high supersonic speed and long range, capability of managing battle group actions, etc.) and a good tactical airplane (wide range of weapons that can be carried, modern multi-channel electronic warfare system, reduced radar signature, and high combat survivability).”

Iran hasn’t acquired any new fighter aircraft in recent years, excluding a few Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters it bought in the 1990s.

Iran and Russia have signed major deals in recent months to boost their economic, trade, energy and military cooperation.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

UN Report Blasts "Outrageous" US Sanctions Harming Syrian Civilians

    Saturday, November 12, 2022   No comments

A UN special rapporteur called for the removal of Western sanctions on Syria as they are having a devastating impact on the civilian population and preventing the country from rebuilding after 11 years of war.

Alena Douhan, made the comments after a 12-day visit to Syria. There she found that sanctions are harming civilians in many ways, including by causing a shortage of medicine and medical equipment.

“In the current dramatic and still-deteriorating humanitarian situation, as 12MM Syrians grapple with food insecurity…the “catastrophic effects of unilateral sanctions” are impacting people “across all walks of life in the country.” She said that 90% of Syria’s civilian population is living in poverty and have limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, fuel, healthcare, and transportation.” Douhan told the UN.

“I urge the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions that severely harm human rights and prevent any efforts for early recovery, rebuilding and reconstruction,” Douhan said, adding that 12 million Syrians grapple with food insecurity.

Douhan said that 90% of Syria’s population currently lives in poverty, with limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, cooking and heating and fuel.

Thursday, November 03, 2022

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly, 185 to 2, Thursday to condemn the American economic embargo of Cuba

    Thursday, November 03, 2022   No comments

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday to condemn the American economic embargo of Cuba for the 30th year, with the Biden administration continuing former President Donald Trump’s opposition and refusing to return to the Obama administration’s 2016 abstention.

For the second year in a row, the vote in the 193-member General Assembly overwhelming--185 countries supporting the condemnation, the United States and Israel opposing it, and Brazil and Ukraine abstaining.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said before the vote that since 2019, the U.S. government “has escalated the siege around our country, taking it to an even crueler and more humane dimension, with the purpose of deliberately inflicting the biggest possible damage on Cuban families.” 

US disregard to the will of the global community was mirrored by the absence, bias, or blunt Western press coverage of the event. 

Here is a sample, for reference purposes.

Vote from previous years:


Thursday, October 06, 2022

Dmitry Medvedev: Western govs have realized that their sanctions are self-mutilation... A typical crossbow in your own **s

    Thursday, October 06, 2022   No comments

Russian leaders react to recent round of Western sanctions; Dmitry Medvedev: Western govs have realized that their sanctions are self-mutilation... A typical crossbow in your own **s

 Medvedev's full statement:

"Infernal Sanctions" went to the eighth round. As you know, there are nine circles in hell. So there are still reserves.

Let our enemies rage on. After all, it has long been clear that winding these circles without much harm to the “appointed sinner” is an empty business. And expensive.

What did this idiotic idea of ​​​​former partners result in today?

For Russia. From the very beginning of the special military operation, the West began consistently firing at our country from a multi-barreled sanctions MLRS. Our stupid opponents fail to understand a simple thing: Russia has long lived in conditions of restrictions and has learned well to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Our economy demonstrates a very decent vitality. Inflation is gradually slowing down, dropping from a peak of 17.8% in April to 13.7% in September. There is every reason to believe that by the end of the year it will not exceed 12%. Greater stability is shown by GDP, which by the end of the year will decline much less than expected.

In general, the West once again failed to "tear to shreds" our economy. The main thing is that Russia has not only the necessary margin of safety, but also all the opportunities for further development.

For the West. At first, our enemies desperately pounded their chests. They convinced their citizens and the whole world that they could easily do without Russian oil, gas, fertilizers, medicines and grain. Without buyers for their burgers, clothes, cosmetics, cars and Internet services. Now they have realized that their sanctions are self-mutilation. A typical crossbow in your own **s. Gasoline, groceries, and utilities are rising sharply in price. People out of desperation go to rallies. Politicians shrug helplessly. Beautiful words are repeated - it seems like "you have to pay for democracy." Without answering, however, the question of why the hell such a "democracy" is needed.

According to Eurostat, the eurozone is experiencing record inflation over the past decades - more than 9%. However, in some EU countries the situation is simply catastrophic. Among them are the most frostbitten enemies of Russia. They are fully reaping the fruits of their vomiting hatred of our country. In Estonia, inflation increased by 22.2% in annual terms, in Lithuania - by 21.1%, in Latvia - by 20.8%, in the Czech Republic - by 17.3%. And these two-digit anti-records are far from the limit. Ahead is a cold winter without Russian gas. And this despite the fact that the marginal price for our blue fuel has not yet been introduced. It seems that now they can be left without gas forever. In parallel, Europe's stupid bureaucrats are begging their citizens to save energy. And in order to better stimulate them, they are ready to shift the growing costs to users and even put them in jail, as in the once prosperous Switzerland.

For the whole world. The result is sad. With its manic sanctions, the West has achieved only one thing - the rapid destruction of the entire architecture of world trade in the form in which it has developed at a record pace for the past half century. Private property is no longer sacred, trade contracts are not binding, the currency of settlement is not a means of payment. Global supply chains are undermined. Western analysts expect a slowdown in the economic growth of all developed countries. In the next 12 months, Europe is facing a recession. At the same time, it should be noted that for the main instigator of the hybrid war against Russia - the United States - the results will be less catastrophic. But even there they are well aware of the grave consequences the actions of their decrepit president lead to.

There are no illusions. The West intends to go against Russia to the end. To introduce ever new senseless restrictions against it, hoping, like in recent years, to undermine the Russian economy as much as possible. Scattering of fragments from such indiscriminate use of sanctions weapons - throughout all countries of the world and to innocent people. Meanwhile, without normal international trade, chaos and poverty will be felt in various parts of the world. However, it is useless to appeal to the prudence of our enemies in the West. And you don't need to. Enemies must be made to beg for mercy in a lost economic battle. And complete it with their complete and unconditional surrender.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Russia Is Making Even More Money on Energy under Sanctions Regime; Ukrainian Finance Minister: embargo would raise prices so high that Russia could still earn significant revenue from oil and gas sales elsewhere

    Saturday, April 23, 2022   No comments

Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko said a potential European embargo on Russian energy would significantly raise prices and thus increase Russia’s earnings, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Marchenko said that an embargo would raise prices so high that Russia could still earn significant revenue from oil and gas sales elsewhere.

This is not an unforseen outcome; any systems thinker should be able to see how shortage in a product or good can increase profit. For example, amid chip shortage and the pandemic slowdown, car makers were producing less cars but they were selling what they were making at much higher prices, not only offsetting the lower production, but increasing profits.

Similarly, Russian profit from oil export increased and will continue to increase until the market adjust.

 Russia expects to earn 798.4 billion rubles ($9.6 billion) in additional revenue from energy sales in April due to high oil prices, the finance ministry said, as Moscow needs cash to finance its obligations while being cut off from its reserves.

In related news, Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero talks about Western sanctions imposed on Russia, and says that his country does not consider them an effective way to solve the crisis in Ukraine.

Today, Saturday, Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero stressed that his country does not consider the sanctions imposed on Russia an effective way to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

He said that his country proposes a return to dialogue and calm, pointing out that imposing sanctions and siege is not a fruitful way to achieve peace, dialogue and diplomatic negotiations.

"For Argentina, the interests of Latin America are a priority, and there are now problems in the region that deserve attention," Cafiero noted.

He added, "It is true that the war in Europe has, to a certain extent, captured the public's attention, but the humanitarian crisis in Haiti is no less urgent, and it does not surface because the media does not focus on it."

Regarding preparations for the Ninth Summit of the Americas, which will be held in June in Los Angeles, Cafiero stressed "the need to discuss food security in the region," adding that the United States "cannot stand aside."

He believed that judging countries and imposing sanctions and embargoes "are not Argentina's style, and they never were, and it seems to us that these measures in the region have only led to more inequality and social backwardness."

"Buenos Aires will not support Russia's exclusion from all international organizations, including the G20, so that we do not believe that this contributes to resolving the crisis," said Gabriela Cerruti, a press spokeswoman for the President of Argentina.


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