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Comments 18

America Declares Economic War Against Europe

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

On Friday night, July 28th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would sign into law the increased economic sanctions (passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House) against any business that is declared to have “knowingly provided goods or services … for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines.”

Russia is the largest energy-supplier to the world’s largest energy-market, which is Europe, or the EU. The biggest proportion of that trade is in Europe’s main source of energy, which is gas, which is pipelined into Europe from Russia. So: those pipelines are vitally important not only to Russia’s economy but to Europe’s.

President Trump had gotten Congress to agree to limit the application of this provision only to “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States, may impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, makes an investment described in subsection (b) or sells, leases, or provides to the Russian Federation, for the construction of Russian energy export pipelines, goods, services, technology, information, or support.”

But the new law still does include “SEC. 232. SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PIPELINES IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.” That Section punishes “Goods, services, technology, information, or support described in this subsection are goods, services, technology, information, or support that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of the construction, modernization, or repair of energy export pipelines by the Russian Federation.” That includes the crucial Nord Stream pipeline, which is maintained by Russian and German companies to transport gas from Russia to the EU.

U.S. firms have thus now gotten their stooges in Congress to punish European and Russian companies that will be determined by “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States,” to be working together in these ways, to get Russia’s gas to Europe’s markets.

North Stream, or Nord Stream, as Wikipedia says:

has an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet), but its capacity is planned to be doubled to 110 billion cubic metres (3.9 trillion cubic feet) by 2019, by laying two additional lines.[5] Due to EU restrictions on Gazprom, only 22.5 billion cubic metres (790 billion cubic feet) of its capacity is actually used.[6] The name occasionally has a wider meaning, including the feeding onshore pipeline in the Russian Federation, and further connections in Western Europe.

So, already, the U.S. oligarchs have greatly reduced the effectiveness of this enormous European and Russian investment, and this is already war by the U.S. oligarchs (and their congressional agents) against both Europe and Russia; but, the new sanctions aim to go even further to absolutely cripple Europe and Russia.

President Trump is to be credited for having weakened this provision to such an extent that it will be virtually meaningless; but, the intention of the oligarchs who control the U.S., to force Europe to buy from them, and from their allied Saudi, UAE, Kuwaiti, and the other royal fundamentalistic Sunni Arabian families, is clear.

Other highlights from this new U.S. law are well summarized in the July 28th article from Zero Hedge, “Trump Confirms He Will Sign Russia Sanctions Bill”. The biggest concession that Trump made was to allow that this new law, “H.R.3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, “Codifies existing US sanctions on Russia and requires Congressional review before they are lifted.” This is an Executive-Legislative agreement (an agreement between the President and Congress), but the U.S. Constitution doesn’t include any provision allowing an Executive-Legislative agreement to violate the Constitution; and there are a number of provisions in the U.S. Constitution that H.R.3364 might be determined by courts to be violating, as regards relinquishment to Congress of certain Executive powers over the negotiation of treaties, and over the President’s powers as Commander-in-Chief. This is presuming, of course, that key judges cannot be bought-off.

When a country is being ruled by its oligarchs, anything that the nation’s Constitution says, can be viewed as little more than an impediment, not any outright ban, because the actual Constitution, in any such country, is whatever they want it to be. Just how bad the U.S. government has become, can’t yet be determined, but might become clear fairly soon.

Meanwhile, some senior journalists in Europe (such as this) are already beginning to argue that American policy toward Russia is not only draining massive funds from EU countries, but is driving a split in the EU, and also within NATO, which might break Europe apart, into the Eastern European, former Soviet countries, allied with the U.S.; versus the Western European countries, allied with Russia — driving potentially toward the termination of NATO, and of the EU, into an entirely new system of alliances:

Eastern Europe is a powder keg with several, burning lances. Twenty-eight years after the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of democracies, the region is sinking into a political crisis,”

…which has the United States backing the most far-right Eastern European countries, against Russia, but in which the Western European countries become increasingly allied with Russia. It could happen. It would not produce an anti-U.S. Western Europe, except to the extent that U.S. policies aim against Russia. It would thus mean the end of the secret anti-Russia operation that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush initiated on the night of 24 February 1990, and that has been carried out by the U.S., EU, and NATO, uninterrupted, ever since.

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.

18 Comments

  1. TRUMP did not say that, he was forced to signed the bill by congress, he did not want to, he personally and his legislation wants to become more close with Russia, which is the right thing to do

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  2. Alan says

    It’s perfectly reasonable to see this as deteriorating relations, a step closer to military conflict or furthering grand plans to crush the ‘evil empire’ yet isn’t this just usual business? Companies and corporations enact the most underhand and provocative tactics upon each other in order to maintain their share price, are nations any different to the megalomaniacs who claim to represent them? Naturally the extra dimensions of a nation support those who wish to see us all burn in order to achieve the rapture, but it seems apparent that co-operation, friendliness and harmony are seen as tactics in the same place as division, threats and bullying. On the whole nations are run by psychopaths following a set of psychopathic guidelines, morals and ethics are meaningless to them.

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  3. Frank says

    ”On July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defence materials.” Under this authority, “[o]n July 31, exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants and No. 1 heavy melting iron and steel scrap were restricted.” Next, in a move aimed at Japan, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, “on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere.” Finally, on July 26, 1941, Roosevelt “froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end. One week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan.”[2] The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia.”

    All of which culminated in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the US entry into World War 2. Make no mistake the US is mobilizing for full-scale war – a war on more than one front: Europe, the Middle East, the South China Sea and the Korean peninsula. It seems that they have finally flipped and since such a war can never be won they obviously believe that the Eurasian alliance will surrender, which is conceivable but unlikely.

    Hey I recently made out my will to stop having to make my family shell out for the costs of increasingly expensive funerals: a cool £5000.00. Now I am beginning to wonder why I wasted my money since my family won’t be around to bury me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rehmat1 says

    Sanctions are declaration of war against any regime which doesn’t take dictation from the ZOG in Washington. Russia is not the first victim of such economic war. Cuba, Iran, Libya, Syria and even non-state groups like Hizbullah and Hamas have faced US’s “crippling sanction” much earlier.

    More than 50% of Russian oil/gas energy source comes from its tiny occupied Chechnya state.

    Personally, I’m no fan of Eric Zuesse since I read his 2000 book, “Why The Holocaust Happened: Its Religious Cause and Scholarly Cover-up,” to learn whose Gatekeeper he is.

    In March 2017, Zuesse exonerated Israel of 9/11 and in last month he claimed that “Iran, Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood hate Israel”.

    https://rehmat1.com/2017/07/09/eric-zuesse-iran-qatar-muslim-brotherhood-hate-israel/

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  5. BigB says

    Hybrid war: nothing restricted: no rules: Aegis Ashore strike capable missile system installed under pretence in Romania: soon to be operational in Poland: NATO’s Barbarossa 2.0: 40,000 rapid response Spearhead troops in E Europe: illegal BALTOPS in the Baltic: illegitimate Exercises Saber Strike on land: Sea Breeze in the Black Sea… Then, based on demonstrable lies, the Deep State declares open economic warfare on Europe via sanctions: POTUS can’t rescind… Someone wake me… I think I’m sleepwalking into WW3…

    Liked by 2 people

    • As well as this BigB, POTUS Trump has handed over all operational matters to his appointed generals. At the same time he has been put in the box politically by the MSM and his own Republican party in cahoots with the Neo-Cons and crazed Liberal Factions of the Democratic Party.

      It has been clear for a long time that the US militarily has designated Europe as the theatre for nuclear war with Russia. Fomenting war in these former Soviet satellite states has been a long term project the break-up of Yugoslavia, the break-up of Ukraine as well as stirring the pot in Georgia with the failed attempt by Saakashvilli to invade South Ossetia and now the courting of Neo-Nazi elements in the Baltic’s and Poland. Trump even helped out on this one a few weeks ago in Warsaw. You might say it’s a fateful name War Saw…

      Sleepwalking into war as much as not seeing the writing that has been on the wall for decades. And all of this obfuscation has been enabled by the MSM by either not reported or misreported events.

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      • BigB says

        You’re absolutely right, TIC: since its inception, the NATO battleplan has been to fight a limited and containable nuclear engagement in the European theatre. Those 40,000 troops are sacrificial “speed bumps”: not to contain (laugh) – but to “stay behind” and mop up. I have previously cited Ted Postol’s analysis that the US-NATO have effectively upgraded the efficiency of their nuclear weapons arsenal by 30%: by “Super Fuzing” them. Russian strategic planners simply MUST assume we are planning a first strike decapitation. Whether we are or not becomes an irrelevance. With nuclear capable missiles on their doorstep: Russian reaction time is a mere 3-4 minutes. And we’re buzzing Russian ministerial jets for a laugh: it’s incitement to a war that no one can win.

        Then there are the sanctions, which aside from anything else, amount to a naked power grab by the Deep State: emasculating further an already weak Executive. There has been an open power struggle in the White House of late: with the Mooch “front-stabbing ” Priebus on the White House lawn – before being backstabbed himself. Very Shakespearian! I don’t know, but I suspect General Kelly is the new Deep State-MIC overseer? Trump already has to run foreign policy through the Mattis – McMaster axis: it seems the Pentagon and Congress have staged a coup? Or administered the Coup-de-Grace to the Trump regime??? The upshot of which is undeclared diplomatic and economic war by the neocon Deep State. Behind the diplomatic poker faces: Putin, Xi (the Chinese navy are in the Baltic), Lavrov, etc. can only safely assume they mean war. I can only safely assume they’re all fucking insane. No wonder McCain’s got brain cancer!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Dead World Walking says

    The paranoia of the U$ p$ychopath$ is not unexpected.
    They are circling the wagons.
    Problem is, the ‘Indians’ outnumber them 10:1.
    I’m going out to buy some war paint.

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  7. AndyPandy says

    Excellent informative post. Thank you

    Needless to say there is no mention of this anywhere in the censored Guardian whose editor Viner used to work in the USA, and won’t allow anyting that may upset her paymasters.

    Incidentally I think the USA has scored a massive own goal with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roger says

      Talk about dropping a rock on your foot! Iran just signed a two-and-a-half billion dollar contract with russia for railway rolling stock, plus umpteen billion for locomotives. General Electric was excluded after the new sanctions blah appeared. Tough shit.

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  8. What complete idiocy but not unexpected. This very foolish bill is the beginning of the end of American hegemony in Europe and was a long time coming, but coming it was. I personally believe the World will be much better off with three major areas of supreme influence, the US, Russia/China and Western Europe, all independent and competing for resources and trade.

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    • Roger says

      It might be Russia/China and W. Europe. When nobody wants US dollars any more the US will become irrelevant.

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