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Crocodile Tears for Venezuela

From Late Victorian Holocausts to 21st Century Imperialism

Colin Todhunter

Stephen Hickey addressing the UN Security Council, Feb 2019.

On 26 February, Stephen Hickey, UK political coordinator at the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council briefing on Venezuela that put the blame for the situation in that country on its government. He said that years of misrule and corruption have wrecked the Venezuelan economy and that the actions of the “Maduro regime” have led to economic collapse.

He continued by talking about the recent attempts to bring ‘aid’ into the country:

[Maduro’s] use of deadly violence against his own people and other concerning acts of aggression to block the supply of desperately needed humanitarian aid are simply repugnant… the Maduro regime’s oppressive policies affect… innocent civilians, including women and children, who lack access to essential medical and other basic supplies…”

He then went on to talk about journalist Jorge Ramos being reportedly detained, later to be released and deported:

As with the lack of freedom given to journalists, other essential freedoms – such as democratic ones – are simply not present in Venezuela… We stand with… Juan Guaidó in pursuit of our shared goal to bring peace and stability to Venezuela.”

We can but wonder what Hickey thinks about the illegal and arbitrary detention and needless suffering of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the best part of a decade courtesy of his own government.

Hickey argued that the only way to achieve peace and stability is by democratic transition through free and fair presidential elections, as demanded by ‘interim President Guaidó’ and the National Assembly, in line with the Venezuelan Constitution.

He stated:

Until this is achieved, the current humanitarian crisis caused by the Maduro regime’s corrupt policies will continue… nothing short of free and fair presidential elections will do.”

In the meantime, Hickey called for additional sanctions against individual members of the Venezuelan government who he said had benefited from corrupt policies.

He concluded that:

The Venezuelan people deserve a better future. They have suffered enough at the hands of the Maduro regime.”

Something for Hickey to consider

Here are a few facts for Stephen Hickey. In 2018, Maduro was re-elected president. A section of the opposition boycotted the election but the boycott failed: 9,389,056 people voted; 16 parties participated and six candidates stood for the presidency. Maduro won 6,248,864 votes, or 68 per cent.

Renowned journalist John Pilger says that on election day he spoke to one of the 150 foreign election observers who told him the process had been entirely fair. There was no fraud and none of the lurid media claims stood up.

So what of the unelected Juan Guaidó whom Hickey calls the “interim president”?

Pilger notes that the Trump administration has presented Guaidó, a pop-up creation of the CIA-front National Endowment for Democracy, as the legitimate President of Venezuela. Guaidó was previously unheard of by 81 percent of the Venezuelan people and has been elected by no one.

And what of the people who are behind him (not ordinary Venezuelan people, but his backers in Washington)? Pilger says:

As his “special envoy to Venezuela” (coup master), Trump has appointed a convicted felon, Elliot Abrams, whose intrigues in the service of Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush helped produce the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s and plunge central America into years of blood-soaked misery.”

Talking about the Western media biased reporting on Venezuela, Pilger adds that the country’s democratic record, human rights legislation, food programmes, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction did not happen:

The greatest literacy program in human history did not happen, just as the millions who march in support of Maduro and in memory of Chavez, do not exist.”

None of this happened in the warped world of Stephen Hickey either. He paints a wholly distorted picture of the situation in Venezuela, one which lays the blame for economic woes and their consequences at the door of Maduro and his ‘corrupt regime’. But this is a tried and tested strategy: bring a country to its knees and apportion blame on the political leaders of that country.

Countries like Venezuela have to a large extent been trapped by their colonial legacy and have very often become single commodity producers – in this case oil – and find it difficult to expand other sectors. In effect, they have found themselves extremely vulnerable. The US can squeeze the price of the commodity upon which such countries rely, while applying sanctions and cutting off financial lifelines. It then becomes that much easier to lay the blame for the consequences on a ‘corrupt regime’.

Prof Michael Hudson has outlined how debt and the US-controlled international monetary system has backed Maduro into a corner. He argues that Venezuela has become an oil monoculture, with revenue having been spent largely on importing food and other necessities, which it could have produced itself. In the case of food at least, many countries in the Global South have been adversely affected by the ‘globalisation of agriculture’ and have had their indigenous sectors undermined as a result of WTO policies and directives, debt and US-supported geopolitical lending strategies.

However, this is all an inconvenient truth for the likes of Hickey and the Western media. Talking about the BBC, John Pilger notes that it is “too difficult” for that media outlet to include any of this in its reporting:

It is too difficult to report the collapse of oil prices since 2014 as largely the result of criminal machinations by Wall Street. It is too difficult to report the blocking of Venezuela’s access to the US-dominated international financial system as sabotage. It is too difficult to report Washington’s “sanctions” against Venezuela, which have caused the loss of at least $6 billion in Venezuela’s revenue since 2017, including $2 billion worth of imported medicines, as illegal, or the Bank of England’s refusal to return Venezuela’s gold reserves as an act of piracy.”

None of this is up for debate by the BBC or Hickey. He sits in the UN talking about, freedom, democracy and the rights and suffering of ordinary people, while failing to acknowledge the US or the UK’s own role in the denial of freedom and the perpetuation of suffering across the world.

From Syria to Iraq, the ‘squeezing out of life’

According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009. And writing in The Guardian in 2013, Nafeez Ahmed discussed leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, that confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting the “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”

But this is where Britain and the West’s concerns really lie: facilitating the geopolitical machinations of financial institutions, oil companies, arms manufacturers and profiteers. And it is no different this time around with Venezuela. Ordinary people are mere ‘collateral damage’ left dying in or fleeing war zones that the West and its allies created. The West’s brutal oil and gas wars are twisted as ‘humanitarian’ interventions for public consumption.

In 2014, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray told a meeting at St Andrews University in Scotland that Libya is now a disaster and 15,000 people were killed when NATO (British and French jets) bombed Sirte. The made-for-public narrative about that ‘intervention’ began with some tale about Gadhafi killing his own people, which turned out to be false. Now we are hearing similar about Maduro.

As far as Iraq is concerned, Murray said that he knew for certain that key British officials were fully aware that there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction. He said that invading Iraq wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.

Over a million people have been killed via the US-led or US-backed attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. But this is the plan: to turn countries into vassal states of the US, or for those that resist to reconstruct (destroy) them into fractured territories.

Any eulogies to morality and humanitarianism must be seen for what they are: part of the ongoing psychological operations being waged on the public to encourage people to regard what is happening in the world as a disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention. These events are not for one minute to be regarded by the public as the planned brutality of empire and militarism.

Tim Anderson (author of The Dirty War on Syria) argues that where Syria was concerned Western culture in general favoured its worst traditions: “the ‘imperial prerogative’ for intervention… reinforced by a ferocious campaign of war propaganda.”

We are now seeing it again, this time with Venezuela.

We might well ask who is Donald Trump, John Bolton or for that matter Stephen Hickey to dictate and engineer what the future of Venezuela should be? But this is what the US with the UK in support has been doing across the globe for decades. Control of oil is key to current events in Venezuela. But there is also the subtext of destroying any tendencies towards socialism across Latin America (and elsewhere) as well as the need of Western capital to expand into or create new markets: Washington’s hand-picked puppet Juan Guaido will facilitate the process and usher in a programme of ‘mass privatisation’ and ‘hyper-capitalism’.

In many respects, the US has learned its imperialist playbook from its former colonial master, the UK. In the book ‘Late Victorian Holocausts’, the author Mike Davis writes that millions in India were dying of starvation when Lord Lytton (head of the British government in India) said, “There is to be no interference of any kind on the part of government with the object of reducing the price of food”. He dismissed any idea of feeding the starving as “humanitarian hysterics”. There was plenty of food, but it was held back to preserve prices and serve the market.

Indian writer and politician Shashi Tharoor, notes a speech to the British House of Commons in 1935 by Winston Churchill who said that the slightest fall from the present standard of life in India means slow starvation and the actual squeezing out of life, not only of millions but of scores of millions of people. And that after almost 200 years of British rule. According to Tharoor, this “squeezing out of life” was realized at the hands of Churchill in the six to seven million Indian deaths in the WW2 Bengali Holocaust.

Despite Hickey’s crocodile tears, hundreds of thousands in various countries are still dying today due to the same imperialist mindset. Humanitarian hysterics are for public consumption as the “squeezing out of life” continues regardless.

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

Filed under: empire watch, featured, Iraq, latest, Syria, Venezuela

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Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

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Arrby
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Nafeez Ahmed is a faker. In one of his articles (“European support for far right extremism reaches 1930s scale”), he writes “Thirdly, this prospect calls into question the stability of the entire security architecture of the postwar international system. Whatever the flaws of this system — and they are real — it has permitted peace within Europe for 66 years.” Should we tell Noam Chomsky, who wrote an entire book about war on Yugoslavia? It is titled “The New Military Humanism – Lessons From Kosovo.” Michael Parenti would not be amused, for sure. He wrote “The Nobel Peace Prize for War,” in which he… Read more »

Brozza
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Brozza

Shared.

axisofoil
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axisofoil

THIS……………………. https://afterhollywood.online/2019/02/24/caracas-in-venezuela-has-plenty-of-food/ THIS……………………..You are subscribed to All Treasury Press Releases for U.S. Department of the Treasury. Treasury Sanctions Security Officials Associated with Violence and Obstruction of Humanitarian Aid Delivery Treasury further targets security officials loyal to Maduro as humanitarian aid is prevented from entering Venezuela Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated six Venezuelan government officials who are aligned with illegitimate former President Nicolas Maduro and associated with the obstruction of humanitarian aid deliveries into Venezuela on February 23, 2019. In order to prevent much needed aid from reaching the suffering… Read more »

axisofoil
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axisofoil

Only 9 thumbs down? Come on people. Get with the program.

mark
Reader
mark

“To combat the significant humanitarian crisis in Venezuela”, the United States conducted a 20 year long campaign of economic strangulation, sabotage, subversion and terrorism against Venezuela, stealing many tens of billions of dollars of its assets, and preventing it from purchasing basic medical supplies such as insulin.

It then sent a few truckloads of supplies, allegedly worth $20 million, as cover for smuggling weapons to extremist groups, a time honoured stunt out of the CIA Playbook.

Sort of like me sticking a knife deep into your gut and offering you an Elastoplast.

axisofoil
Reader
axisofoil

Mark,
You still don’t get what I am saying. Do you think I don’t know what is going on? Do you think I side with the USA? How about I attack the author of this post for having quoted the government of the USA? What if I insisted that the quote showed him to be in collusion with the policies of the USA? Could you see the insanity in that? What exactly is the disconnect here?

Bootlyboob
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Bootlyboob
Gezzah Potts
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Gezzah Potts

“We stand with Juan Guaido in our shared goal to bring peace and stability to Venezuela”. Jesus, are creatures like Hickey even human? Automatons with the same evil script. Reminds me of the odious, vile Gareth Evans in Australia (former Foreign Minister). Thank you Colin for an excellent article. Slime like Hickey, and all the other R2P worms – where are their tears for Yemen? Where is their outrage at the mass slaughter there, a bus full of school children blown to bits, the mass cholera outbreak, the forced starvation of an entire people, the blockade of Yemen’s ports? Where… Read more »

Antipropo
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Antipropo

The one down vote has to be from the axisofoil paid employee? of the US state dept.

axisofoil
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axisofoil

I am beginning to understand why no progress will ever be made in stopping that of which you all complain. You don’t take the the time to analyse material presented. You operate on the same false meme and presumptions as the masses who support the government narrative.If one can not discern between two entirely different bodies of information without having it explained to them, here in lies the core problem.One body of information is on the ground and another is straight from the government. Is it that difficult to juxtapose the two and determine the truth and the intent of… Read more »

mark
Reader
mark

BS is still BS no matter how much it is analysed.

axisofoil
Reader
axisofoil

From that comment I can only assume that you somehow still believe I am presenting a government perspective. I am. To what I had hoped was an intelligent audience. BS is called before even looking at the obvious context in which it is presented. It is the false assumptions of knee jerk observers having fallen into an echo chamber of themselves that I see as the biggest problem of all on the political landscape. Arrogance. This is by design and ‘they’ are laughing at us. I believe you and I have been here before? I happen to be subscribed to… Read more »

Grafter
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Grafter

Here in Tenerife just watched France 24 “news”. Not a word about Yellow Vests. Whole thing fronted by a cardboard American speaking bimbo. Everything is all normal in the make believe world of msm “news”. A small example of how the trash msm from across the Atlantic is infecting us on this side of the pond. Oh hold on ! Football and more sport to follow. Brain cells are not required. Sit there and “watch”. Orwell saw it coming and now the filthy rich can play out their murderous agenda worldwide.

JohnG
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JohnG

Perfidious Albion.

Jen
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Jen

Once again the West (in the form of its lackey technocrat Stephen Hickey) trots out the overworked trope that a government’s “mismanagement” of its nation’s economy warrants foreign intervention to remove that government and install one that will “run” the economy properly – as if it were a business, and the nation’s people mere employees and consumers rather than actors with brains and voices of their own – and submitting to World Bank and IMF advice in order to receive “loans” it doesn’t necessarily need or want. As soon as Maduro became President of Venezuela, the US doubled down on… Read more »

Antipropo
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Antipropo

If mismanagement of the economy is a prime reason for “intervention”, as I understand it current US debt is 50 trillion dollars. Bring on the missiles!

harry stotle
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harry stotle

‘Once again the West (in the form of its lackey technocrat Stephen Hickey) trots out the overworked trope that a government’s “mismanagement” of its nation’s economy warrants foreign intervention to remove that government and install one that will “run” the economy properly’ – indeed, liberal interventionists love this sort of shite, although most seem oblivious to the fact that war wreaks economic havoc in every country that is invaded. The picture for US corporations who exploit war conditions is rather different of course, they tend to do rather well, but this is something the likes of Stephen Hickey always seem… Read more »

IntergenerationalTrauma
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IntergenerationalTrauma

Yet again we can clearly see that the only thing that it is impossible to speak about within the confines of MSM and the Western political establishment is of course – the “simple truth of things.” Events in the actual physical world – “reality” – are simply replaced with “made-up” events – “propaganda.” These “made-up” events are then repeated ad nauseam and all who challenge them by recounting actual “reality = events in the physical world,” are roundly demeaned and dismissed. What an effective “war machine” and propaganda machine we in the West have created in order to justify our… Read more »

Gezzah Potts
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Gezzah Potts

Intergenerationaltrauma: every sentence you wrote nails it. It is madness, it is cognitive dissonance on a massive scale, it is truly warped.

Mikalina
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Mikalina

The English practised Holocaust methods on the Irish before India. The so-called Potato Famine was a starvation exercise which saw daily sailings of 40-70 ships from Galway carrying food to feed 18 million people. Millions of Irish died – deliberately left to die for the sake of the ‘free market’.

The elite have always planned, controlled and reported the ‘narrative’ and the people have, are and always will go to the slaughter ad infinitum.

Martin Usher
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Martin Usher

The British were aware of the famine in Ireland and there were many ad-hoc committees to try to relieve the suffering of its people. People were also aware that the problem wasn’t just potato blight, it was what we call ‘agribusiness’ — large landowners were focused on growing cash crops like barley for export rather than food for the locals. The situation is similar to that in many parts of the world — the system is primarily focused on making money rather than providing for people. Attempts at changing the system will result in serious blowback so for today’s countries… Read more »

Mikalina
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Mikalina

I think you prove my point that history is written by the winners – your “agribusiness” is the Irish Holocaust. You will recall that the British Government today is “aware” of the problem in Venezuela and sends aid money – so kind of them.

mark
Reader
mark

Same as Yemen. Apparently there’s a famine and cholera there. No idea why. It must be an Act of God or something.

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

”large SUBSIDISED gentleman farmer” landowners were focused on growing cash crops like barley for export rather than food for the locals.” Exactly as now.. It was on the news last night that lettuces and tomatoes are going to cost us a more??? FCS We began growing our own on an allotment, precisely because of what was broadcast in 2015: More than half of the UK’s food will come from overseas within a generation, as a rising population and (DELIBERATELY) stalling farm productivity combine to erode what remains of the UK’s self-sufficiency, according to farming leaders. The UK’s failure to produce… Read more »

mark
Reader
mark

The Franco Prussian war didn’t end in an “inconclusive peace.” It ended with a clear cut Prussian victory and a Prussian victory parade through the centre of Paris. Surrender of French army and French emperor, Alsace and Lorraine and a huge indemnity. Sounds fairly conclusive to me. A Bismarck Plan coming together. If he’d still been around, 1914 would never have happened.

Martin Usher
Reader
Martin Usher

The Prussian victory was indeed conclusive but at the end of the war the situation was that Paris was surrounded, under siege and undergoing a revolution while the French government proper had retreated west. The war could have dragged out a lot longer; that it didn’t was due to some diplomacy by the British. (I believe there was also some money involved.)

I found references to this in contemporary sources rather than in a history text. (BTW — I described the peace following this war as ‘inconclusive’ because its pretty easy to draw a direct line between 1871 and 1914.)

mark
Reader
mark

The history of genocide and Imperialist massacre in Ireland goes back much further than that.
From 1641-1652 the population of Ireland fell from 1,500,000 to 600,000.
500,000 were slaughtered in war and 400,000 were enslaved and freighted off in chains in slave ships and sold at slave auctions to Caribbean and American plantations.
Most of the slaves then were Irish, not black. The African slave trade hadn’t yet taken off and an African slave cost £50, and the plentiful Irish slaves £5. Slave owners bred male African slaves with much cheaper Irish slave women.

Robyn
Reader
Robyn

Is it time to pull out the tried-and-tested word ‘collaborator’ for everyone complicit in these US-led moves against individuals and nations. How many deaths do they have to cause and how many countries ruined before people call a halt? When you know a country commits war crimes yet you continue to supply troops, materiel, fiinance, ‘advisors’, satellite co-ordinates, or impose death-causing sanctions, or report blatant propaganda lies as truth, surely you are a collaborator. Even turning a blind eye. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

mail
Reader
mail

After the war a Nazi journalist called Julius Streicher was put on trial at Nuremburg and hanged. He had been sacked before the war started and could not have taken any direct part in war crimes, but his incitement was considered sufficient justification for his hanging. The same standard should be applied to all the Freedlands and Viners and Hardings and Monbiots and Judith Millers in the US. Those who incite and facilitate the slaughter of millions should be held equally accountable as the major war criminals, the Blairs, Bushes, Rumsfelds, Cheneys, Straws and Campbells. I don’t have a problem… Read more »

Loverat
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Loverat

Mail I can’t agree with the death penalty – but an excellent post all the same Personally my preference was the suggestion made by one commentator on Twitter watching the McCain funeral with all the ex-presidents in attendance. Something like ‘quick, lock the church doors and hold the war crimes trial’ Perhaps, we could do the same with the House of Commons – allow the odd 100 or so MPs out who are not complicit in some way with war crimes, treason and terrorism, then hold the trials there. As for Blair, Campbell, Straw, Cameron and Hague, they can be… Read more »

mail
Reader
mail

Until we have a death penalty for this human sewage, and it is properly enforced, there will continue to be a death penalty for millions upon millions of children in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and Iran. Some “people”, if you can call them that, just need to be put to death. It’s the only fitting and appropriate thing to do.

Robyn
Reader
Robyn

Ideas for the media? The MSM should be tried as collaborators. I don’t agree with the death penalty but the MSM should certainly be held to account for promoting war and printing demonstrable lies to get their unthinking uncritical uninformed audience on side. Without the MSM presstitutes these war-mongering politicians and banksters wouldn’t last five minutes.

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

I totally agree!!!! But who has the balls to bring the animals to trial?

Some Random Passer-by
Reader
Some Random Passer-by

Kinda hard to dispense justice considering these types have an armed escort (that we pay for…) Wherever they go

David William Pear
Reader
David William Pear

If socialism never works, then why do capitalist keep destroying them every time one pops up? I guess free milk programs for poor children really sets a bad example for the rest of the world. Pretty soon all the poor children in the world would want free milk. They would lose all their incentive to work in sweatshops for 38 pence a day.

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

Excellent deduction David…
What are ‘they’ so afraid of?

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Like Francis said, St.Theresa’s little dummy is playing from the AZC Catechism. By now it’s a broken record. From Syrian Perspective:

Whozhear #287979
Not only is the usurper losing to Maduro………….
He keeps trying to enlist bankrupt countries………[such as UK]

ziad #287974
Maduro to move Venezuelan state oil firm’s European HQ to Moscow
https://youtu.be/luYfGibYOmI

ziad #287895
An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela exposed by Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur
https://youtu.be/ii5MlQgGXyk

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

PS Whozhear #287957

The look on Eliot Abrams’s face at the beginning of this video is priceless……….

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/03/01/589900/US-government-intent-on-grabbing-Venezuelas-oil

noseBag
Reader
noseBag

Stephen Hickey – another name to add to my ‘up against the wall’ list. To think that this excuse for a man represents me at the United Nations elicits nausea and anger in equal amounts.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

I didn’t bother to read the article – I know the patter. You’d at least think they might try something different. But of course we just get the humanitarian intervention bullshit, to wit, the ‘free-world’ – i.e., the US and its vassals has a right, nay a duty to intervene to put things to rights. Taking the issues one by one. 1. The ‘free-world’ has pushed whole populations into economic crises through its implementation of a neo-liberal, globalist agenda. 2. Venezuela has been subjected to ‘sanctions’ – i.e., medieval siege warfare – which has massively contributed to the present economic… Read more »