Tuesday, July 4, 2017

John Helmer — US Senate Strikes For Russian Equality – The Oligarchs Targeted In New Sanctions Bill


US Senate declares war on Russia — economic war, that is.
Not since the German government arranged for Vladimir Lenin to return to Russia, crossing German territory in a sealed train on April 16, 1917, has a foreign state at war with Russia done something as revolutionary as the US Senate did on June 15, 2017. That is when, by a vote of 98 to 2, the senators began the process of attacking the Russian oligarchs. They are the men who have dominated the Russian economy for more than twenty years, concentrating more national wealth in their hands than can be found in any other major state in the world today.

Unremarked by the senators themselves; unreported by the American press; and unnoticed, almost, in Russia, the new measure — if adopted by the full Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump — will target the oligarchs’ lines of credit to international banks; the brokers, repositories and clearinghouses of their shares and bonds; their trade with the US and Europe; their US companies, bank accounts, boats on the high seas and homes abroad. If targeting the oligarchs is followed by formal sanctions, the aim will be to destroy their power at home and abroad. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation hasn’t contemplated this much....

In this new Senate bill, the targeting is no longer crimes committed, or even the restraint of competition, but Russian wealth itself, and the oligarchs who have most of it. That is revolutionary. So is the exception in Section 241(a)(1)(A) for “their closeness to the Russian regime”. That’s a call for the oligarchs to join Mikhail Khodorkovsky in open rebellion. 
Have they really thought this through?
John Helmer

8 comments:

Bob said...

Dear Russian oligarchs,

Overthrow Putin and those sanctions will be dropped.

Tom Hickey said...

Overthrow Putin and those sanctions will be dropped.

Assumes that the Russian military will again stand aside, which is doubtful after what happened last time around.

The result would be dealing with a field marshall instead of Putin.

Bob said...

A Russian military-industrial complex has to start somewhere.

Tom Hickey said...

A Russian military-industrial complex has to start somewhere.

Putin already thought of that after the US almost seized control of Russia through the oligarchs. Now Russian industry is back on track and the weapons industry is taking the lead. Weapons are again a chief export of Russia.

The US is more concerned about this than "Putin," and replacing Putin won't necessarily change that.

The big difference now is that the Russian political class, the Russian military and the Russian people have wised up to US intentions to turn Russia into a vassal like Europe, except a fourth-class vassal in comparison with the UK, Germany, France and Japan, second-class vassals like Spain and Italy, and third-class vassals like eastern Europe.

Again the US elite are engaging in wishful thinking.

Dan Lynch said...

I wish some country would sanction American oligarchs.

I just don't see Russia caving in and kowtowing to the U.S. because of sanctions. They've endured far worse.

When is the last time sanctions worked against anyone? South Africa? It seems like sanctions are only effective against small countries that depend on imports or trade?

Six said...

You're right, Dan. Sanctions don't work against a self sufficient country. They work well against Dutch-disease messes like Venezuela.

Bob said...

Assuming that the doctrine of MAD is still in force, sanctions are the only option.

Putin already thought of that after the US almost seized control of Russia through the oligarchs. Now Russian industry is back on track and the weapons industry is taking the lead. Weapons are again a chief export of Russia.

The US is more concerned about this than "Putin," and replacing Putin won't necessarily change that.


Washington wanted another cold war and that is what they will get. Replacing Putin with a nationalistic Russian field marshal would be the next (il)logical step.

Capitulation of Russia is wishful thinking.

Noah Way said...

Wishing the Senate would go after US oligarchs ... but they won't risk it, too busy licking the asses that feed them.