Monday, May 14, 2018

John Helmer —How Us Economic Warfare Works

As for the real damage to the Russian economy recorded since 2014, the State Department officials report “that oil price volatility explains the vast majority of the decline in Russia’s GDP and import demand, with very little left to be explained by sanctions or other factors. Thus either sanctions had only a small negative effect on these variables or other positive factors largely cancelled out the effect of sanctions.”
The real losers, they add, of the combination of sanctions and Russian counter-sanctions have been the European Union states, especially the most anti-Russian of them on the western border, which have paid a much higher price than the sanctions alone have inflicted on Russia.
Dances with Bears
How Us Economic Warfare Works
John Helmer


Konrad said...

FROM THE ARTICLE: “This is how the US economic war against Russia works. The target escapes; the sanctions achieve none of the declared US Government objectives. The collateral damage, on the other hand, is concentrated on Russian taxpayers and consumers. They pay to preserve the oligarch’s business intact.”

Correct. The Western Empire claims that its sanctions are done in order to stop a “dictator” from violating “human rights.”

Nonsense. The real purpose of sanctions is to hurt average people in the target nation so that average people become angry with each other. As I will explain below, sometimes the Empire imposes sanctions on one nation in order to hurt some other nation.

When the Western Empire imposed sanctions on Iraq, the target was Iraq itself (not some other nation). In order to “save the children," the Empire killed half a million Iraqi children via sanctions (“The price was worth it”).

The Empire’s sanctions are usually not meant to hurt oligarchs in the target nation, since oligarchs are naturally disposed to favor the Empire. Indeed, sanctions make oligarchs feel richer than ever, since sanctions widen the gap between oligarchs and peasants.

Once in a great while the Western Empire screws up, such that its sanctions hurt everyone in the target nation, rich and poor. When that happens, the target nation becomes united, declares war, and sends forth its military.

The Empire usually seeks to avoid this, since a major war is not always predictable, and since a genuinely united people are difficult to enslave. For example, Cuba (an island nation) has withstood the Empire’s sanctions for over half a century, because Cuba has national unity. In order to enslave a nation, you must make its people hate each other. And you must not threaten the gap between that nation's rich and poor. You must not cause national unity.

This is the general rule, although have been some rare exceptions. The USA cut Vietnam in two, and installed a puppet dictator in the south. The dictator and his oligarch cronies were so savage and greedy that everyone in the north, and most peasants in the south, opposed the dictator, the oligarchs, and the American death machine.

The purpose of sanctions against Russia is to hurt average people in Europe, as I’ll explain in a minute. For the USA, sanctions are a symbolic power play. If U.S. sanctions against Russia start to hurt oligarchs in Europe, then the U.S. will lift its sanctions. The U.S. government cannot afford to be hated by all of Europe’s people, rich and poor, Greeks and Germans, Christians and Muslims.

How do U.S. sanctions hurt average people in Europe? Remember that oligarchs get most of their money from rents, from debt payments, and from owning capital. By contrast, average people get their money from working -- i.e. from regular industrial capitalism. Sanctions reduce jobs by reducing sales to Russia. Since average Europeans are stupid peasants, they blame their economic woes not on the sanctions, but on refugees, or on “Nazis,” or on “patriarchy” and “male privilege,” and “homophobia,” so on. Stupid shyte.

U.S. sanctions actually help the Russian government, since Russia has a huge trade surplus, which brings in a lot of foreign currency (dollars, yen, euros, etc). And since sanctions reduce the availability of Russian consumer goods, sanctions make Russians consume less, which means that Russia imports less, which means the Russian government burns through its foreign currency reserves less.

John Bolton says he will punish Europeans who do business with Iran. Again this is a symbolic power play. Bolton is specifically targeting European workers. He is saying that the USA still matters. Bolton is saying that Bolton matters. He doesn’t dare target European workers and oligarchs at the same time.

Trump is with Bolton on this, since both men suffer from chronically low self-esteem. Both want to be feared. Both feel that the world doesn't merely owe them respect; the world owes them AWE.

(Hillary was the same.)

GLH said...

Covers it pretty well.