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Sanctions: Diplomacy’s Weapon of Mass Murder

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

In 1945, the United States of America dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski immediately killing 120,000 civilians.  The final death toll of the horrendous bombings has been conservatively estimated at well over 200,000 men, women, and children.   To this day, the world continues to be shocked and horrified by  the visual images that captured the death and destruction caused by the bombs.   The negative impact prompted America to devise a different weapon of mass murder – sanctions.

Unlike the shock and horror which accompanied the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, there were no images of the 500,000 Iraqi children whose lives were cut short by sanctions to jolt the world into reality.     Not only has America taken pride in the mass killing of innocent children, but encouraged by silence and the surrender to its weapon of choice, it has turned diplomacy’s weapon of mass murder on another country – Iran.

There has been little resistance to sanctions in the false belief that sanctions are a tool of diplomacy and preferable to war.  Enforcement of this belief has been a major victory for American public diplomacy.   The reality is otherwise.  Sanctions kill indiscriminately – they are far deadlier than “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” – the two atomic bombs that took the lives of over 200,000 people.  In the case of Iraq, the United Nations estimated 1,700,000 million Iraqi civilians died as a result of sanctions.  1.5 million more victims than the horrific atomic bombs dropped on Japan.   Diplomacy’s finest hour.

Even though Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations,  and many other top officials resigned from their posts in protest to the sanctions saying: "The policy of economic sanctions is totally bankrupt. We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and as terrifying as that", the murders continued.   In 1999, seventy members of Congress appealed to President Clinton to lift the sanctions and end what they termed "infanticide masquerading as policy."   But America continued its lead with its diplomatic death dance.

America, a morally bankrupt nation and the self-appointed global morality police, obeying the wishes of the pro-Israel lobby groups, has for years now pointed its deadly weapon of mass murder at Iran -- sanctions disguised as diplomacy.   The misinformed and misguided global community indulges itself in the false belief that war has been avoided, without thought to suffering and death.

In fact, the notion that economic sanctions are always morally preferable to the use of military force has been challenged by Albert C. Pierce, Ethics and National Security professor at the National Defense University.   His analysis showed that economic sanctions inflict great pain, suffering, and physical harm on the innocent civilians--so much so that  small-scale military operations were sometimes preferable (Ethics and International Affairs,1996).

But America prefers not to engage in battle.  Not only would military confrontation bring global condemnation, but history has shown us that while America can win battles, it cannot win wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan…..).  It therefore resorts to sanctions- a coward’s ruthless “diplomacy” tool in order to disguise  its role as the enemy with the purpose of  depriving the target  nation of self-defense against such horrendous aggression.  Sanctions, the warfare by an enemy unidentified by a military uniform is intended to eliminate resistance, to attack women and children, the weak and the old,  to being about regime change, without fear of retaliation or censure by the ‘peace-loving’ community.

In this election year, as in the past, appeasement of the pro-Israel lobbies takes precedent to humanity, to the well-being of Americans, and to the security of the global community.

A 2005 report developed by economists Dean DeRosa and Gary Hufbauer demonstrates that if the United States lifted sanctions on Iran the world price of oil could fall by 10 percent translating into an annual savings of $38-76 billion for the United States alone.   The current global recession would dwarf the figures cited.

At war even with  itself to please the lobbies,   House passed  H.R. 1905 - Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act. Putting aside the oxymoron of sanctions and human rights for now, America is demanding that the world community not only partake in deadly sanctions,  but to do so in direct opposition to the national interests of each and every sovereign nation.  This is a sharp departure from the arguments presented by AIPAC in 1977 in response to the Arab league boycott.

AIPAC successfully defined the Arab League boycott as " harassment and blackmailing of America, an interference with normal business activities ... that the boycott activities were contrary to the principles of free trade that the United States has espoused for many years … and the Arab interference in the business relations of American firms with other countries is in effect an interference with the sovereignty of the United States."

However, the United States has successfully blackmailed other nations to be its accomplice in suffering and mass murder -  diplomacy’s weapon of choice.    To believe that Iran (or Syria) is the only target of these sanctions is as naïve as believing that sanctions are diplomacy put in place to avoid war.   The global  impact of the lethal weapon – sanctions -- is simply cushioned in diplomacy ;   A brilliantly and ruthlessly executed diplomatic coup.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is a Public Diplomacy Scholar, independent researcher and blogger with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups.

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Class history can teach us many lessons, but Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich points to one common denominator, related to all these particular  issues.  Just as commercial African Slavery was abolished, class systems found new ways, NEW FORMS, to enslave Humanity, today, fascist austerity, enslaving whole nations, multiple nations.   Just as colonialism was abolished, the POST (class deformed) colonial nations found that their new found freedom was co opted, corrupted by multinational corporate slavery, economic subordination,  just as the deformed workers/Stalinist states found out that they too could not break from the totalitarian grip of the Patriarchal class mechanism through partial, meaningless, or deformed changes.  Real Social control means ultimately breaking the back of class history, the Patriarchal class mechanism, with its class hiearchies, imposing FASCIST DIPOLOMACY , BLACKMAIL on other nations through economc strangulation or military imposed sanctions.

MILITARY BLOCKADES are illegal but economic strangulation coupled with military imposed armadas parked off the coast of Iraq, Libya, or Iran, are just examples how CLASS SYSTEMS ALWAYS FIND NEW FORMS, NEW WAYS, to prevent social control of civil society, including the corruption, co option of the U.N. itself, by placing Western puppets inside U.N. AGENCIES, LIKE THE NUCLEAR, U.N. agency that routinely forges documents, blackmails other class states, to prevent social control by social masses.   Sanctions on Iran based on lies by Obama, democrats, republicans, all class parties around the world, through a Fascist military Alliance with NATO, ARE JUST ONE OF MANY CLASS FORMS used to  impose slavery, war and Fascist totalitariansim.    The General Assembly of the U.N., itself, has been infected with psychopathic class elites, who each have their own totalitarian agenda, religious fascist Sunni monarchs, Al Qaida, in alliance with Western Fascism.

The only way to end these endless forms of totalitarianism is for the world to SMACK THEIR CLASS PARTIES, CLASS POLITICIANS, BY JOINING IN A GLOBAL BOYCOTT against Fascist Israel, Fascist Amerikan Empire, Fascist NATO, against all religious class hierarchies, all secular class hierarchies still linked to the PATRIARCHAL CLASS MECHANISM, with their religious class delusions, secular class delusions.   THAT REQUIRES  CIVIL WAR OF RESISTANCE BY THE WHOLE WORLD AGAINST ALL CLASS ELITES WHO BETRAY YOU.  Stop voting for your enslavement and call for the global establishment of universal, indivisible, independent middle classes that DISMANTLES CLASS HIERARCHIES AND BREAKS THE BACK OF PATRIARCHY AND ITS CLASS MECHANISM.   REAL SOCIAL POWER WILL END THESE CHARADES, ENDLESS FORMS OF SLAVERY, MILITARISMS AND IT MUST BE SOONER RATHER THAN LATER, BECAUSE THE WEST AND ITS RELIGIOUS YAHOOS ARE ABOUT TO PRODUCE WORLD WAR III.  


We must all learn how to use facts and promote a social language that cuts through the fascist class obfuscation of their crimes, their totalitarianism, their global Fascism.    Moving towards global social, independent, indivisible middle layers would finally put these class parties and class politicians in the unemployment line and social classes in the drivers seat.  Pepe's comments reminds me of the NOT SO SECRET BOMBING OF CAMBODIA, WHICH THE WHOLE WORLD KNEW, BUT WAS DENIED BY OUR LYING WESTERN FASCIST PRESIDENTS TRYING TO HIDE THEIR WAR CRIMES.  The corporate media then played a major role in defending these class thugs.   Today they are even worse!  NPR Radio disgusts me as they are some of the worst pro Zionist, pro Empire, cheerleaders for our fascist foreign policies.   Time to defund NPR and its liberal war hawks.

Obama does Syriana


Cross-posted from Asia Times

It took Reuters quite a while to be allowed to report that US President Barack Obama had approved an intelligence finding [1] letting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) loose in its support for the weaponized "rebels" fighting for regime change in Syria.

By now even fishermen in Fiji know about this "secret" (not to mention that everyone and his neighbor across Latin America knows a thing or two about the CIA's regime change adventures). Reuters cautiously describes the support as "circumscribed". That's code for "leading from behind".

Whenever the CIA wants to leak something it uses a faithful scribe, such as David Ignatius from the Washington Post. Already on July 18, Ignatius was reproducing his briefing,[2] according to which "the CIA has been working with the Syrian opposition for several weeks under a non-lethal directive ... Scores of Israeli intelligence officers are also operating along Syria's border, though they are keeping a low profile."

How lovely. How low profile do you get along Syria's borders? An Instagram surrounded by a bunch of grinning truck drivers?

As for the Mossad's "low profile," the spin in Tel Aviv is that Israel is able to "control" the swarm of hardcore Wahhabis and Salafi-jihadis now infesting Syria. Even if that is manifest nonsense, one juicy point is clear; Israel is in bed with al-Qaeda-style Islamists.

What this means is that the Not Exactly Free Syrian Army (FSA), crammed with Muslim Brotherhood diehards and infiltrated by Salafi-jihadis, is following the agenda not only of their financiers and weaponizers -- the House of Saud and Qatar -- but also Tel Aviv, alongside Washington and its trademark poodles London and Paris. So this is not just a proxy war -- it's a multiple, concentric proxy war.

Meet the triangle of death

Tel Aviv's agenda is clear; a weakened Syrian government, an over-extended army in disarray, sectarian hatred all around and a relentless slouching towards balkanization. The ultimate goal; not only the Lebanonization, but the Somalization of Syria and environs.

Turkey's agenda remains incredibly murky -- apart from the wishful thinking of post-Assad Syria becoming a mild, civilized version of the AKP reign in Ankara (it won't happen).

As reported by ATol for months now, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) until a while ago was running a command and control center in Iskenderun, in Hathay province. Recently, it was finally leaked to Reuters the news of a joint Turkey-Qatar-Saudi Arabia "secret" base in Adana, 100 kilometers from the Syrian border. Adana happens to be the home of Incirlik, the immense NATO base. A local ATol source for weeks has been reporting of frantic cargo movements at Incirlik.

It was Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud who requested, in person, for the base to be set up, to Ankara's delight.

Ankara-Riyadh-Doha; talk about a triangle of death. Yet the spin from Qatar is once again of the "leading from behind" variety. Turkey is doing the military heavy lifting; the CIA is "hands off"; and Qatar is just taking pictures like an innocent tourist (while directing operations via its military intelligence). The heavy-duty guys are all unspecified "middlemen."

Obama has not authorized a drone war -- yet -- and the CIA may not be weaponizing the "rebels"; that's the "triangle of death's" business. An inflation of Russian rocket-propelled grenades bought in the black market has been responsible for recent "rebel" surges in Damascus and Aleppo. Now an inflation of shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles and surface-to-air missiles is to be expected; NBC News has already reported about a "gift" of nearly two dozen surface-to-air missiles to the FSA -- delivered via, where else, Turkey.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are taking no prisoners. No one in Washington seems to be looking back to post-jihad Afghanistan before making a decision. By the way, this is the 1980s Afghan jihad all over again -- with Saudi Arabia and Qatar playing the role of Pakistan, the FSA as the glorious mujahideen "freedom fighters" and Obama as Ronald Reagan. The only element missing is Obama approving a "memorandum of notification" to his initial intelligence finding, authorizing Washington to weaponize the freedom fighters and introducing a swarm of drones....".




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