New Iran Sanctions Risk Long-term US Isolation

The U.S. is going for the jugular with new Iran sanctions intended to punish those who trade with Teheran. But the U.S. may have a fight on its hands in a possible post- WWII turning-point, writes Patrick Lawrence.

New Iran Sanctions Risks
Long-term US Isolation

Europe, Asia May Rebel Against US Penalties

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

The next step in the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran comes this Sunday, Nov. 4, when the most severe sanctions will be imposed on the Islamic Republic. Crucially, they apply not only to Iran but to anyone who continues to do business with it.

It’s not yet clear how disruptive this move will be. While the U.S. intention is to isolate Iran, it is the U.S. that could wind up being more isolated. It depends on the rest of the world’s reaction, and especially Europe’s.

The issue is so fraught that disputes over how to apply the new sanctions have even divided Trump administration officials.

The administration is going for the jugular this time. It wants to force Iranian exports of oil and petrochemical products down to as close to zero as possible. As the measures are now written, they also exclude Iran from the global interbank system known as SWIFT.

It is hard to say which of these sanctions is more severe. Iran’s oil exports have already started falling. They peaked at 2.7 million barrels a day last May—just before Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation accord governing Iran’s nuclear programs. By early September oil exports were averaging a million barrels a day less.

In August the U.S. barred Iran’s purchases of U.S.-dollar denominated American and foreign company aircraft and auto parts. Since then the Iranian rial has crashed to record lows and inflation has risen above 30 percent.

Revoking Iran’s SWIFT privileges will effectively cut the nation out of the dollar-denominated global economy. But there are moves afoot, especially by China and Russia, to move away from a dollar-based economy.

The SWIFT issue has caused infighting in the administration between Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser who is among the most vigorous Iran hawks in the White House. Mnuchin might win a temporary delay or exclusions for a few Iranian financial institutions, but probably not much more.

On Sunday, the second round of sanctions will kick in since Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Obama administration-backed, nuclear agreement, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for stringent controls on its nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly certified that the deal is working and the other signatories—Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia have not pulled out and have resumed trading with Iran. China and Russia have already said they will ignore American threats to sanction it for continuing economic relations with Iran. The key question is what will America’s European allies do?

Europeans React

Europe has been unsettled since Trump withdrew in May from the nuclear accord. The European Union is developing a trading mechanism to get around U.S. sanctions. Known as a Special Purpose Vehicle, it would allow European companies to use a barter system similar to how Western Europe traded with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Juncker: Wants Euro-denominated trading.

EU officials have also been lobbying to preserve Iran’s access to global interbank operations by excluding the revocation of SWIFT privileges from Trump’s list of sanctions. They count Mnuchin, who is eager to preserve U.S. influence in the global trading system, among their allies. Some European officials, including Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, propose making the euro a global trading currency to compete with the dollar.

Except for Charles de Gaulle briefly pulling France out of NATO in 1967 and Germany and France voting on the UN Security Council against the U.S. invading Iraq in 2003, European nations have been subordinate to the U.S. since the end of the Second World War.

The big European oil companies, unwilling to risk the threat of U.S. sanctions, have already signaled they intend to ignore the EU’s new trade mechanism. Total SA, the French petroleum company and one of Europe’s biggest, pulled out of its Iran operations several months ago.

Earlier this month a U.S. official confidently predicted there would be little demand among European corporations for the proposed barter mechanism.

Whether Europe succeeds in efforts to defy the U.S. on Iran is nearly beside the point from a long-term perspective. Trans-Atlantic damage has already been done. A rift that began to widen during the Obama administration seems about to get wider still.

Asia Reacts

Asian nations are also exhibiting resistance to the impending U.S. sanctions. It is unlikely they could absorb all the exports Iran will lose after Nov. 4, but they could make a significant difference. China, India, and South Korea are the first, second, and third-largest importers of Iranian crude; Japan is sixth. Asian nations may also try to work around the U.S. sanctions regime after Nov. 4.

India is considering purchases of Iranian crude via a barter system or denominating transactions in rupees. China, having already said it would ignore the U.S. threat, would like nothing better than to expand yuan-denominated oil trading, and this is not a hard call: It is in a protracted trade war with the U.S., and an oil-futures market launched in Shanghai last spring already claims roughly 14 percent of the global market for “front-month” futures—contracts covering shipments closest to delivery.

Trump: Unwittingly playing with U.S. long-term future.

As with most of the Trump administration’s foreign policies, we won’t know how the new sanctions will work until they are introduced. There could be waivers for nations such as India; Japan is on record asking for one. The E.U.’s Special Purpose Vehicle could prove at least a modest success at best, but this remains uncertain. Nobody is sure who will win the administration’s internal argument over SWIFT.

Long-term Consequences for the U.S.

The de-dollarization of the global economy is gradually gathering momentum. The orthodox wisdom in the markets has long been that competition with the dollar from other currencies will eventually prove a reality, but it will not be one to arrive in our lifetimes. But with European and Asian reactions to the imminent sanctions against Iran it could come sooner than previously thought.

The coalescing of emerging powers into a non-Western alliance —most significantly China, Russia, India, and Iran—starts to look like another medium-term reality. This is driven by practical rather than ideological considerations, and the U.S. could not do more to encourage this if it tried. When Washington withdrew from the Iran accord, Moscow and Beijing immediately pledged to support Tehran by staying with its terms.If the U.S. meets significant resistance, especially from its allies, it could be a turning-point in post-Word War II U.S. dominance.

Supposedly Intended for New Talks

All this is intended to force Iran back to the negotiating table for a rewrite of what Trump often calls “the worst deal ever.” Tehran has made it clear countless times it has no intention of reopening the pact, given that it has consistently adhered to its terms and that the other signatories to the deal are still abiding by it.

The U.S. may be drastically overplaying its hand and could pay the price with additional international isolation that has worsened since Trump took office.

Washington has been on a sanctions binge for years. Those about to take effect seem recklessly broad. This time, the U.S. risks lasting alienation even from those allies that have traditionally been its closest.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is Support his work via .

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85 comments for “New Iran Sanctions Risk Long-term US Isolation

  1. Eileen Kuch
    November 6, 2018 at 16:47

    I posted a similar comment on further sanctions against Iran on the Anti-War website itself; so, I won’t go into all the details here.
    POTUS Trump’s making a huge mistake by adding more sanctions against Iran, a country that hasn’t attacked its neighbors in 500 or so years. His first mistake was unilaterally pulling out of the JCPOA w/o consulting our European allies. Did he consult them on this issue? Nope. That’s no way to treat allies. The new Iran sanctions definitely pose a risk for long-term US isolation, no doubt about it. Isolationism’s a thing of the past; we have to deal with both allies and adversaries, but sanctions don’t work, they never did. Trump has to be humble and admit that they don’t work.

  2. R Davis
    November 4, 2018 at 15:19

    The easiest way out of this tricky situation is to have the world leader who insist on sanctions OR ELSE -massasinated for the irritant that they are.
    Hey … it happens.
    We still do not know what mindless ingrates had President John F Kennedy
    & his beloved brother Bobby Kennedy assassinated, or why.

  3. R Davis
    November 4, 2018 at 14:56

    1. SWIFT is not the be all & end all of banking – so they have barred Iran form the golf club – so what.

    I can never get my head around the concept of sanctions – ??

    2. SANCTIONS – it sounds truly profound – what it actually means is that the US has the power to INSIST / DEMAND – that multi million & billion dollar global corporations cease trading & forgo business activities that will allow themselves to LITERALLY GO BROKE – on the WHIM of the US President.
    With Iraq it was 10 years of SANCTIONS – how many mega million & billion dollar corporations around the world obliged & therefore BANKRUPTED themselves ??

    Something smells like a truck load of dead fish here.

  4. R Davis
    November 4, 2018 at 14:42

    I look at the picture of Jean-Claude Juncker & remember how Juncker was stumbling & swaying at the event before the NATO gala dinner, indeed we then saw pictures of him in a wheelchair. In the picture above there are telltale signs that Juncker has had a stroke. It is now prudent of us to us to ask – has Jean-Claude Juncker suffered a stroke that has left him Cognitively Impairment in any way ??
    The important position that this man holds cannot facilitate anything but the full concentration of a sound mind – surely.

  5. November 3, 2018 at 11:57

    This font hurts my eyes. Needs more emojis so I can express myself like a tween at Halloween!


    • Joe Wallace
      November 7, 2018 at 16:17

      O Society:

      Hurts my eyes, too. Fonts with serifs are supposed to make it easier to distinguish one letter from another. This font makes it appear that each and every letter is bleeding into the one next to it.

  6. November 3, 2018 at 11:48

    Since Saudi Arabia isn’t playing ball with Trump by buying his bombs and planes, is the move to escalate war with Iran a way to leverage MbS into paying up? None of this is about freedom or democracy. It’s about making money off violence and death.

    • R Davis
      November 4, 2018 at 15:09

      Wasn’t it Wolf Richter, who wrote an article several months ago exposing the lie, that Trump had struck a billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, on his website Wolf Street.
      Saudi Arabia is TOTALLY BROKE.
      With what assets are they going to borrow monies to purchase arms for the USA ??
      The ease with which the Tall Towers of Dubai catch fire & a scathing write up by British Mainstream Media shot to pieces the desirability for property investment in Dubai – “Every & any building is a potential death trap” they wrote.
      Piers Morgan, in a promotional video for Dubai – said – in 10 years Dubai will run out of oil – the Saudi Royals signed off on this video so it must be true – ther in n more oil as of several years ago.
      Dommage, Dommage – hey !!

    • Mild - ly - Facetious
      November 4, 2018 at 19:11

      O Society, I would hope that many, many of other readers/commenters here can recognize the Extremely Important and Valuable links you provide here. They ALWAYS “cut-to-the-chase” as it were.

      My own recognition of Actual events in the Middle East reveal an Iran doing peaceful economic deal making with multiple governments both West and East while abiding to the “Rule-Of- (international) Law” of AMERICAN IMPOSED ECONOMIC “SANCTIONS” pronounced In Order To CRIPPLE the Iranian Economy, thereby Commanding Arresting Economic HARDSHIP upon the Iranian People.
      The intended purpose is to Incite citizen Rebellion against the Iranian Gov’t that’d lead to gov’t instability and OVERTHROW. ( Keep in mind / or discover /

      the CIA lead OVERTHROW (coup d’ etat) of the DEMOCRATICALLY Elected-President of Iran in 1953 that led to an AMERICAN IMPOSED DICTATOR whom Enriched himself and his family as an Imperial Dictator fully supported by the American Government and US Oil & Gas Extraction to enrich American and British Corporations.


      So that was then, as they say. —
      The Now is AMERICAN HOSTILE RULE OF IMPERIAL LAW OVER SOVEREIGN NATIONS and/or a Super Imposed “RIGHT” to EXECUTE IMPROVISED “SANCTIONS” over Targeted Sovereign Nations of Peoples/Ethnicities/ Language Groups/ and Government.

      Jump 6 or 7 decades — from 1953, when the enriching commodity was Oil, and forward to the now fabulous enrichments of cyber technology along with The Power and Control of Wealth and of the Massing Control of Cyber Obtics and of Crippling Weaponry, Psychotropics, and computer controlled auto-mobiles. …

      (the Beetles, (Paul, John, George and Ringo) gave true & fair warning in their collective lyrics // those of us who ” became-of-age ” in their era, in many songs / and the Insane Murder of John Lennon — , what to expect / in these times … .

      … that John Lennon, a Message Man of peace and love

      has been usurped by a sexist, Money Loving,

      weapons selling usurper of The Peace in the World

      this Trump that values Weapons Sales as Riches

      and the lives they cost as Inferior Lives/not people

      as when our CIA Overthrew Iran in 1953/ and imposed

      a Self-Agranding Autocratic Tyrant in Authority

      as Authoritarian Ruler over a sullen populous

      astute, austere, and adherent to historical norms

      The history of Persia is a Tell of the political Lie

      prevaricated / promulgated / propelled by ‘The Lobby’

      (the tales of horror about Hezbola and Hamas as

      demonic/blood sucking evil zombie/like non-human/

      primordial leftovers from OT tellings of God’s “Wrath” …

      [please find the history of the Persian King Cyrus and his historical relationship to Biblical Judaism/the Jews.]

      I turn the corner and confront this
      Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
      versus the Nation of Iran
      f/the Sovereign State of Israel

      vis-a-vis these PROPOSED NEW SANCTIONS by Trump against Iran in light of
      O Society, I would hope that many, many of other readers/commenters here can recognize the Extremely Important and Valuable links you provide here. They ALWAYS “cut-to-the-chase” as it were.

      My own recognition of Actual events in the Middle East reveal an Iran doing peaceful economic deal making with multiple governments both West and East while abiding to the “Rule-Of- (international) Law” of AMERICAN IMPOSED ECONOMIC “SANCTIONS” pronounced In Order To CRIPPLE the Iranian Economy, thereby Commanding Arresting Economic HARDSHIP upon the Iranian People.
      The intended purpose is to Incite citizen Rebellion against the Iranian Gov’t that’d lead to gov’t instability and OVERTHROW. ( Keep in mind / or discover /

      the CIA lead OVERTHROW (coup d’ etat) of the DEMOCRATICALLY Elected-President of Iran in 1953 that led to an AMERICAN IMPOSED DICTATOR whom Enriched himself and his family as an Imperial Dictator fully supported by the American Government and US Oil & Gas Extraction to enrich American and British Corporations.

      So that was then, as they say. —
      The Now is AMERICAN HOSTILE RULE OF IMPERIAL LAW OVER SOVEREIGN NATIONS and/or a Super Imposed “RIGHT” to EXECUTE IMPROVISED “SANCTIONS” over Targeted Sovereign Nations of Peoples/Ethnicities/ Language Groups/ and Government.

      Jump 6 or 7 decades — from 1953, when the enriching commodity was Oil, and forward to the now fabulous enrichments of cyber technology along with The Power and Control of Wealth and of the Massing Control of Cyber Obtics and of Crippling Weaponry, Psychotropics, and computer controlled auto-mobiles. …

      (the Beetles, (Paul, John, George and Ringo) gave true & fair warning in their collective lyrics // those of us who ” became-of-age ” in their era, in many songs / and the Insane Murder of John Lennon — , what to expect / in these times … .

      … that John Lennon, a Message Man of peace and love

      has been usurped by a sexist, Money Loving,

      weapons selling usurper of The Peace in the World

      this Trump that values Weapons Sales as Riches

      and the lives they cost as Inferior Lives/not people

      as when our CIA Overthrew Iran in 1953/ and imposed

      a Self-Agranding Autocratic Tyrant in Authority

      as Authoritarian Ruler over a sullen populous

      astute, austere, and adherent to historical norms

      The history of Persia is a Tell of the political Lie

      prevaricated / promulgated / propelled by ‘The Lobby’

      (the tales of horror about Hezbola and Hamas as
      demonic/blood sucking evil zombie/like non-human/
      primordial leftovers from OT tellings of God’s “Wrath”

      …who’ve since ADMITTED THE MURDER of an
      heritage / and what does the Money Loving TRUMP do?
      Astoundingly, he proceeds to issue new sanctions against IRAN !!!
      [seek and find the long deep history of Ishmael and Isaac
      and the later King Cyrus of Persia]

      What consternates my soul / psyche is this OTHER Graphic Story – and Combined Story of MBS /TRUMP — in Mutual Agreement with the incremental death-by-bombs of infrastructure-schools-hospitals-ports-churches/mosques-city bus/taxi -weddings -funerals — everything and any thing that MEANs LIFE in the now ghoulish former nation of Yemen !!!

      Why don’t we HOWL at the morbidity of news reports w/ film of bombed out villages/ cities/schools/hospitals/markets/water treatment centers/ports-of-resupply/skeletal children/hopeless despair/degradation and the lingering question – “is there nobody in the world that cares / nothing that’ll bring some chance for peace and some end to this long lingering deep deep darkness and utter despair…?

      The DISMEMBERMENT, and ACID Based DISFIGUREMENT of the US based journalist Jamal Khashoggi
      stands as the Individualized Human Picture of what We (the US) and the Saudi’s are perpetrating, with impunity, upon these desolate, destitute, now disintegrating nation of people. ….

      Khashoggi the individual – last seen walking into an embassy was sawed into body parts, his face deleted by acid, and, his whole life’s existence completely ERASED. — — —- —–
      The complete EXTERMINATION of his existence as a Living Human Being, by the Super Egregious Saudi’s is their exact determination for the Nation and People of Yemen.
      Read me again — What they did to Khashoggi, the Man the Person – Is what they are attempting (and succeeding) to accomplish in and to the human beings in Yemen.

      The diabolically inhumane disfigurement and desecration of that human being, the man Khashoggi stands, individually, in the stead of the COLLECTIVE Saudi BOMBINGS OF HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS, PORTS, WATER TREATMENT PLANTS, MOSQUES,CHURCHES,MARKETS, PUBLIC TRANSIT, WEDDINGS/FUNERALS/GRADUATIONS and all hope; as we who care CRY AND CRY AND CRY as we helplessly hear and see of the horror that the World Allows – and OUR GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS AND EVEN PARTICIPATES IN.


      DOEN’T CARE ; Khashoggi is a pre-figure of things to come — and ‘new sanctions’ against IRAN may be the pre-figure of the next UNITED STATES – SAUDI /ISRAELI OFFENSIVE in a triumphant new world order of ULTRA RICH GLOBAL NATIONALISTS.

    • Mild - ly - Facetious
      November 4, 2018 at 20:17

      So grateful to you, O Society, for this one as well /

  7. Dunderhead
    November 3, 2018 at 11:45

    This site is constantly being hacked or undergoing a massive amount of censorship, what is interesting is who is not being censored, does this reflect consortium right think or just the right think of the remote sensors? Well the world may never know but either case no more money for consortium.

    • rosemerry
      November 3, 2018 at 16:07

      You have a very good nickname.

  8. Dunderhead
    November 3, 2018 at 11:34

    Donald Trump is such a conundrum, is he just a laughable clown bully being pushed around by the neocons who are making that mad last over reach for hegemony in Central Asia or is he purposely undermining the mercantilist corporate welfare state buy overreach in Central Asia, the world may never know but I am happy as hell with the results! The end of Dollar hegemony is the death nail to the corporate state, so sad, I’m really having trouble holding back the tears.

  9. Skip Scott
    November 3, 2018 at 11:27

    Rather than playing around with typefaces, why don’t you FIX THIS SITE!!! You have to make a comment to see other recent comments? Come on. If you need to hire a competent techie, then do it. If you need donations to help you fix it, ask for them.

  10. vinnieoh
    November 3, 2018 at 11:26

    I have to believe this site is being, for lack of a better word, hacked in multiple ways. I find it hard to believe the typeface we’re witnessing is something CN opted to do. It looks like something that’s been put through a scanner at low resolution then printed on an obsolete printer. Also, yesterday when I posted my comment here it showed only 4 previous comments, then when my comment was posted, low and behold at least three times that many were already here. Exiting and returning to this piece again only four comments were tallied and shown and the rest weren’t visible until this morning. Hardly any way to have a discussion, if someone’s intent is to limit discussion.

    Rather than jump to the conclusion that it is CN itself responsible for this quirky and unresponsive operation, I wonder whether it is under some kind of constant low-grade attack. Can anyone at CN comment on this?

  11. O Society
    November 3, 2018 at 00:13

    Umm… how come it looks like a treasure map in here?

    The font. Reading this font comes out in pirate talk in my head.

    AAAARRRGGGHHH! Avast ye maties. Me dubloons be missing from yonder hole, and the scallywag we buried with, once’n he dug the hole. Prepare to be boarded, scurvy dogs!

    • Maxwell Quest
      November 4, 2018 at 18:50

      That gave me a good laugh!
      I need to comment in order to see new entries, otherwise have to wait another day.

  12. mrtmbrnmn
    November 2, 2018 at 23:46

    I retract my gripes. My original comments have just appeared! Strange?!?

  13. mrtmbrnmn
    November 2, 2018 at 23:40

    Mr/Ms Moderator

    You bumped me off again! This is getting tiresome. Just ‘cuz I criticized your new ugly typeface? And who among your CN readers and enthusiasts could have been offended by me referring to the Gruesome Threesome (RogueNationUsa, Israel, & Saudi Arabia) as the Gruesome Threesome behaving like lunatics and outlaws toward Iran. What part of those comments isn’t true???

  14. Juan P. Zenter
    November 2, 2018 at 22:27

    It’ll be poetic justice if the House of Saud falls while the US is putting the squeeze on Iran.

  15. November 2, 2018 at 21:06

    Very good points, especially about the likelihood of the U.S. actions encouraging the formation of a powerful non-Western alliance. Instead of forcing other countries to dance to our tunes, we may find our allies abandoning us to dance with others.

  16. jaycee
    November 2, 2018 at 21:05

    An act of war, applying coercive measures to force another nation to capitulate to demands. The U.S. is extending a middle finger not just to the people of Iran and its trading partners, but also to the United Nations and international law as the protocol was developed through the UN Security Council. This is the biggest rejection of the world body since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, carried out by the same rogue power. It is imperative that these actions be stymied.

  17. KiwiAntz
    November 2, 2018 at 20:40

    Trumps sanctions & tariff Trade Wars is the best thing to happen to the World? Why? Because it’s accelerating the process of ending America’s Hegemonic empire of death & destruction! Funded entirely from QE money printing & it’s Petrodollar advantage, this has enabled the US & it’s MIC to wage endless wars & meddling throughout the World without suffering the enormous financial costs of this poisonous meddling! The Death of the US dollar System will end this meddling forever as this debt ridden US Nation, 21 trillion dollar deficits & rising, will not be able to fund the endless Wars & murderous rampages? Now that the other Major World powers, such as Russia & China, which were once rivals, are now combining forces & permanently moving away from the US dollars economic tyranny & trading in other currencies & designing alternatives to the SWIFT banking system, Trump’s isolation lunacy will guarantee America’s demise as a Global power! Even America’s Allies in Europe & elsewhere have had a gutsful of US bullying & threats & are now in open defiance of the Bald Eagle Empire! Trump’s idiotic campaign of financial terrorism against Iran is going to spectacularly fail, bigtime, as more & more Nations will give America the middle finger & defy this global Bully! America has overplayed it’s hand & the World is now saying, enough’s enough! Trump will be remembered in future years as the dumbest President in History, the man that ended the American Empire, once & for all time!

    • rosemerry
      November 3, 2018 at 16:12

      The problem is that Iran is going to be destroyed first. The USA does not care about anyone else but Israel and Saudi Arabia and lets Yemenis die in droves . Now Trump/Pompass are targeting “axis of tyranny” Nicaragua/Cuba/Venezuela, and the death and destruction of “sovereign nations” which are not USI has no impact on their vicious behavior.

  18. F. G. Sanford
    November 2, 2018 at 20:14

    It is nearly pointless to speak, because history tells us that, once set in motion, the collapse of empire is inevitable. Even when the bombs are dropping on the capital city and the leaders have retreated to their bunkers, the doomed and dying above will continue to believe in abject fantasies. And, once they are defeated, they continue to cling to the notion that there must have been some nefarious subterfuge responsible, because after all, they were great and good, and God was on their side. As long as I’m on the subject of history, I would like to point out for the benefit of the misinformed that there was no “socialism in the DNA” of the regime that built the Autobahns in Germany. They were built with slave labor by political prisoners. That is an established historical fact, and no amount of thinly disguised nostalgia can change it.

    Empire, by its nature, expands until it can no longer “win” wars. It can only hope to quell insurrection. At that point, its vassals become disillusioned and it is viewed in all quarters as the enemy. It cannot commit enough troops to successfully invade and occupy. Its forces are composed of mercenaries pressed into service by economic necessity. Their loyalties and abilities are uncertain. In order to continue its hegemony, it must resort to siege tactics which today are euphemistically called “sanctions”. Empire forces an economic transformation from local and regional generalization to international and intercontinental specialization. No one geographic component of empire remains self-sufficient. Once trade wars and sanctions are initiated, hard currency becomes the only hedge against inevitable economic hardship. But the rise of empire is always accompanied by a shift to fiat currency. Rome gradually reduced the silver content of its coins until they were practically worthless.

    In our case, faced with military defeat, there is almost no doubt that our “leaders” would resort to the “nuclear option”. Our “enemies” are certainly weighing the “preemptive” option to deter the inevitable. The grand enigma is that we face no military threat whatsoever from any of our supposed enemies. We are geographically immune to invasion. Yet we simply can no longer “win” wars of choice. Americans should start asking themselves some hard questions. What do our “leaders” know or believe that makes them so reckless? Is the economic Ponzi scheme created by unfettered neoliberal capitalism about to implode? We can continue to believe in fantasies, or we can start thinking like adults. A good place to start might include lessons in elementary physics and the acceleration due to gravity. Some “real” investigations into government corruption with appropriate penalties for malfeasance might also be helpful.

    These steps would require courage, rational thinking and the maturity to confront the inevitable name-calling, shaming and empty threats with which career criminals predictably defend themselves. Or, we can continue to take pride in our national fairytales, hoping that God is on our side. But keep in mind what JFK said about that. “On this Earth, God’s work must surely be our own.” The hunger games are soon to commence unless we find some courage. Time is running out.

    • rosemerry
      November 3, 2018 at 16:21

      Thanks FG. It shows the lack of any kind of historical knowledge in “our leaders” that they can continue this road to disaster as if it is normal and even productive. An excellent interview/transcript from Michael Hudson in 50552.htm details the economic consequences of the bank bailouts which have ruined the lives of 90% or more of Americans, and Trump just follows on with similar but worse plans.

    • Mild -ly - Facetious
      November 4, 2018 at 20:10

      F.G. Sanford, thank you for these four crystal clear and precise paragraphs. Your thoughts and words are Socratic, both inciteful and foresightful. Your editorial style of writing overwhelms my emotionally promiscuous rantings.

      The truths you see and present are comforting to us who reason soundly but communicate colloquially. The above four paragraphs are editorial and literary bullseyes.

      All rational readers here must recognize and agree with your closing statement .

      Yemen is more than a test of tolerance – it could just be a picture of things to come. …

  19. November 2, 2018 at 20:01

    Another big shift is Africa. China is investing and profiting/exploiting, but much more equitably than the US. And without the military component of AFRICOM and billion dollar drone bases and mercenaries. The US is desperate to maintain economic hegemony, but don’t seem to understand anything except for violence as a means. It seeks cowed subordinates, not partners. “Follow or get shot” etc. rather than “we will both benefit” and so on.

    I wish Iran the best of luck.

  20. November 2, 2018 at 19:38

    Anyone else feel like they need a scorecard to keep track of who is mad at who and why?

    Sunni vs Shia: the Roots of Islam’s Civil War

  21. mrtmbrnmn
    November 2, 2018 at 18:53

    I will save my comments on the latest 100% lunatic, utterly dishonest and totally outlaw actions of the gruesome threesome (RogueNationUSA, Israel & Saudi Arabia) against Iran for another time and just say YOUR NEW TYPEFACE S***S!

  22. Seamus Padraig
    November 2, 2018 at 15:22

    “New Iran Sanctions Risk Long-term US Isolation”

    As much as I generally hate sanctions, all I can say in this case is ‘good’! The more isolated Washington gets, the better. It is nothing but a force for evil in today’s world, and since our élites will never voluntarily dismantle the empire, this is the only way to restore sanity to our nation.

    • Dunderhead
      November 3, 2018 at 11:24

      Right on brother, the fact that all of these so called liberals are all of a sudden against Empire because someone who offends their sensibilities i.e. Donald Trump is in office, for me anyway just points to the systemic corruption in bankruptcy us be American body politic, may the Empire crash and burn.

  23. Sam F
    November 2, 2018 at 14:59

    The alienation from allies risked by U.S. sanctions may be the shortest path to the isolation that it deserves, in its complete selfishness and ignorance of foreign policy. Until the US restores democracy, by eliminating economic control of mass media and democratic institutions, eliminating corruption and regulating business, it deserves no allies at all. It would take two or three generations after that for the US to re-educate itself politically and morally. And it will likely take a revolution to get there, and a protracted economic disaster to get to that point. The sooner the better.

  24. November 2, 2018 at 14:55

    This extreme and arrogant behavior is quite threatening.

    One minute, we had a set of arrangements with Iran with which most of the world was happy and which all informed authorities believed worked well.

    Only one known violent and dishonest leader constantly spoke against it, Netanyahu, a documented liar and mass-killer.

    A few minutes later, we find a world much destabilized by Trump’s mad actions, his actions taken only to please Netanyahu and Netanyahu’s chief American billionaire supporter, Sheldon Adelson. Trump, of course, will benefit handsomely in his 2020 campaign.

    And now, not too much later, we find something developing which threatens much of our world’s arrangements and alliances, again owing to Trump’s mad acts and specifically, the way he intends to enforce them.

    This is the stuff of nightmares.

    The fears and insecurities of hundreds of millions of people go to pay to fill Trump’s campaign coffers.

    There is no other explanation for this, for abruptly altering peace and stability into potential chaos.

    Trump not only will badly fail in “making America great again,” he very much will succeed in reducing it to a much ignored and maligned force in the world.

    No one likes a bully. And no one likes irrationality. And no one likes feeling threatened on account of someone else’s special interest.

    • Sam F
      November 2, 2018 at 15:23

      Yes, it is the political bribe that makes US foreign and domestic policy, pennies on the dollar to fund genocides for Israel, and eliminate necessary regulations and social programs. The most corrupt rule our former democracy, for it failed to keep gold out of politics.

    • Daniel
      November 2, 2018 at 23:38

      Netanyahu is definitely a nasty piece of work and the entire Z****t project is an exercise in cruelty and savagery. The US and the west ought to hang their head in shame and take a firm stand on the side of the Palestinian people and stop pandering to their jailers, killers and torturers.

      However, overstating Netanyahu and his ilk’s influence over American presidents and their administrations is not very useful and conveniently ignores America’s agency in all this. Everyone has to take to take responsibility for their own actions. Pushing the blame for your freely chosen actions on another person is simply a cop out no matter how unpleasant they are.

      I****l is a tiny speck of a country with a population of, what, 6-8 million people? That’s fewer people than NYC. The supply of cash and weapons goes in one direction only and that alone tells you which party has the lion’s share of power in this “special” relationship.

      Unless you believe Netanyahu has magical powers he can deploy to compel American politicians to do his bidding against their will, you have to accept that the people in Washington, D.C. who claim to represent your interests are in this relationship VOLUNTARILY and can easily get out of it if that is what they decide to do.

      And Mr. Yahu and his gang have little influence on American policy outside of the Middle East so you’ll have to take responsibility for that regardless. Please come down to earth and stop pretending America has no culpability for the atrocious way it behaves on the world stage.

      • Skip Scott
        November 4, 2018 at 08:04

        You might check out these two videos ICH has posted about the extent of the influence of the Israeli government here in the USA. Al Jazeera had a spy infiltrate and expose their nefarious deeds.

        I do agree with you that the USA needs to take responsibility for their own decisions, and that their are other forces for evil other than Israel who are drivers of our foreign policy.

      • anon
        November 4, 2018 at 08:20

        US politicians have no motive in Mideast policy other than bribes, mostly from zionists, some from oil companies and the MIC. Some zionists are christians or opportunists, but all are driven by Jewish zionists in control of US mass media. So minimizing the influence of Israel is wrong.

    • November 3, 2018 at 10:07

      The dominant elements of the National Security State are highly ideological. They believe, along with many in Europe, that their task is to maintain and expand the Empire by any means necessary. Key to this is to create “enemies” and “threats.” These threats don’t have to be real or even credible but they have to exist or the NSS ceases to exist. So in US politics war has to be central to the US. It is also central to the self-identity of the American people who regard the military as an almost sacred institution. So the strategy of tension we are in cannot dissipate and there is no force within the country to oppose it other than on the fringes of the left and right.

      It is up to the rest of the world to oppose the monstrosity Washington has become (a milieu I know too well). Sadly this monstrosity is still supported by most of Europe, particularly Britain and France whose elites have set their star on Washington’s Empire.

  25. michael crockett
    November 2, 2018 at 14:34

    We (US) are isolating ourselves from common sense and rational thought. If we do not come to terms with the fact that we are in a multi- polar world where diplomacy is the sane approach to resolving differences, then more war and chaos will be in our future. Time to sit down at the negotiating table and recognize that the American Moment and the American Century are over and done with. Is it not possible that good will and good intentions could bring the the world to embrace a model of sustainability that can save us all?

    • Daniel
      November 3, 2018 at 01:27

      Very thoughtful comment that dispenses with the extraneous noise and distractions and gets to the core of the matter. It’s not rocket science but so many people seem to have trouble grasping the not very shocking fact that one country trying to dominate all the others is a dangerous fool’s errand that is doomed to failure. No nation or people will let themselves be subjugated and exploited if they have the power to resist and fight back. Do they not remember what 1776 was about?
      The only reason America and the European empires that preceded it were able to get away with their crimes is the relative weakness of the nations they were dominating. But, as you say, that era is over.

      I would dearly like to believe reason and clear thinking will prevail, that we will successfully weather this period of flux and uncertainty and come out of this okay. But when I look around and listen to and read what people are saying, particularly those in positions of power, I am shocked at their inability to grasp the seriousness of the situation and their unwillingness to accept any responsibility for the mess they have created.

      There is also the media and its absolutely insane game of provoking already angry and agerieved people and playing them against each other. The Schadenfreude on display is extremely disturbing and both those who identify as liberals and conservatives take part in this craziness. I have friends in the former Yugoslavia and they tell me this kind of demonization is how the animosity that built up and led to neighbor killing neighbor began. Americans, and even Western Europeans now, think that mass violence and civil war only happens “somewhere else.” Yugoslav citizens in 1982 would have laughed in the face of anyone who told them that in a decade they would be slaughtering each other in the deadliest conflict on European soil since the Second World War. Of course it can’t happen here…until it does.

      Unfortunately there seems to be a headlong flight from reason into a post-rational era underway and I notice even extremely smart and educated people afflicted with this condition. It manifests itself in different ways, the most common being the propensity for creating elaborate scenarios (that are elevated to objective truth and defended as such) based on a combination of media, social media and blog sourced information that contains conjecture, rumors, facts, outright BS, half-truths and circumstantial evidence to explain geopolitical situations and events where the motive, affiliation, and perhaps also the identity, of the actor or actors involved are unknown, ambiguous or contested by geopolitical rivals. It can also apply to other events like mass shootings.

      Basically, this trend indicates many many people are losing the ability to differentiate between facts, truth and opinion and are unable to accept ambiguity and that they simply have no way to reliably ascertain what happened.

      People who, rightly, criticize Bellingcat for looking for facts to prove an a priori conclusion do the exact same thing when it suits their purposes and they don’t even know it! This is seriously delusional thinking. A few examples are pizzagate, the “Assad or opposition?” whodunnit poison gas debates and, of course, the events of 9/11.

      An honest person can say, about 9/11, that the official report contains too many contradictions, omissions and other weirdness to be taken at face value. A rational person says “I don’t accept the official report but I also don’t have access to smoking gun evidence and likely never will.” An irrational person might, for example, be absolutely convinced the planes were holograms or post production effects despite the absence of the credible evidence one would need to draw that particular conclusion. This type of delusional thinking has skyrocketed over the years. Not a good sign. At all.

    • November 3, 2018 at 10:09

      There is simply no interest in the American ruling class, particularly in the National Security State in what you say. Their existence depends on “threats” — no threats no power in Washington. The powers that be know that as long as America worships the military and violence that their power is guaranteed. They can screw the people over all they want with little opposition.

  26. November 2, 2018 at 13:25

    I most sincerely hope that all the European and Asian countries tell “the Donald” to stick his sanctions up his ass.

    • Rubicon
      November 2, 2018 at 22:28

      “I most sincerely hope that all the European and Asian countries tell “the Donald” to stick his sanctions up his ass.”

      You may be waiting for some time to come. Ask any informed European. They’re very aware of how obedient nations like Germany, the Northern countries, and frequently the French govt. who acquiesce to the dictates of the US President.

      SWIFT is what European nations and many others ’round the world must use in trade and deals. That’s the iron seal, along with the US military complex that makes complete US hegemony.

      It’s going to take a long time before the US loses its hegemonic powers, unless the immense corruption of US financial players really screw up their Ponzi Scheme.

      • November 3, 2018 at 10:12

        Exactly! There is absolutely no evidence that the ruling elites in Europe have any interest in opposing the Imperial decrees from Washington. Asia, is a different matter.

  27. November 2, 2018 at 12:31

    Meanwhile the Democrats attack the Orange One’s policies from the “right” rather than from anything resembling a progressive “left” program or perspective. An earlier comment mentioned that the U.S. is perhaps “punching above our weight” in the Iran sanctions matter. Given our respective leadership in both parties and in the various institutions of the deep state – I think it is more accurate to say we are “punching above our IQ.”

    What form of collective hubris and idiocy leads a nation to continuously foment war, human suffering and global discord at a time in human history when we could collectively as a planetary family be experiencing global peace and actually addressing the critical issues facing us, i.e. climate, pollution, the unsustainable use of resource, etc.

    Recent and current events make it quite clear that there is a group of “extremists” who threaten the survival of all of humanity. Here I am not referring to our “good buddies” in ISIS. The truth that cannot be spoken in Western MSM is that the most dangerous “extremists” – are located at the very levers of Western power, in governments, in NATO, in the intelligence services, in the large banks, and in the Western militaries.

    These are the “extremists” who if they remain unchecked will bring about our collective demise as a species. One can only hope that as the author speculates “fractures” do develop within this uber-violent Western power system – hopefully to the point that the U.S. and NATO are unable to bring about the global nuclear inferno they seem so enamored with unleashing.

    • Old Geezer
      November 2, 2018 at 12:51

      The faster you surrender the better, huh. You’ve come a long way baby, ready to go gack to the 7th century. Relax, many think the Iranians have the bomb. They will test it when the next guy you vote for wins the white supremacist house.

      • November 2, 2018 at 13:35

        So what’s the big deal? We condone the possession of nuclear weapons by the most aggressive and hostile country in the middle east, namely Israel, and don’t blink an eye. If you count the 10’s of thousands of nuclear warheads owned by aggressive and hostile countries (USA in the lead), one or two more isn’t going to make any difference in the outcome.

        Bottom line: So long as we are lead by the likes of those in the White House, we are f’cked.

      • November 2, 2018 at 21:11

        Old Geezer – Well go figure – I guess I’ve never thought of equating “sane behavior” on the international front with = “surrender” OR with a return “to the 7th century” for that matter. That’s what I get for not watching TV punditry and having all that explained to me.

        And no, there are not (“many”) who think the Iranians have the bomb. Some uber-violent Zionists & neocons do, or at least they publicly pretend to believe it, as doing so gives them, in their warped minds, some reason to try to justify destabilizing and destroying yet another Middle Eastern nation that hasn’t attacked either Israel or the U.S.

    • Sam F
      November 2, 2018 at 15:19

      Well said.

    • Dave P.
      November 4, 2018 at 02:37

      Gary W. – Excellent comments as always.

  28. Tom Welsh
    November 2, 2018 at 12:23

    It seems quite possible that any attempt to exclude Iran from SWIFT would simply create a “tipping point”, after which most of the world’s nations would abandon SWIFT and move to the new Russian system.

    Just now I read that the US government has decided to threaten SWIFT itself with sanctions if it does not obey “its master’s voice” promptly.

    It has apparently not occurred to Mr Munchkin that if the US government sanctions SWIFT, it might itself be cut off from that body’s services. Which would, if nothing else, be riotously funny.

  29. Tom Welsh
    November 2, 2018 at 12:16

    The key fact, which I have not seen emphasised nearly enough, is that the US government has absolutely no legal right to impose “sanctions” on any other country. As other commenters have pointed out, that alone is either an act of war or something very close.

    Unfortunately the US government could not care less, because while it has been at war for 222 of the 239 years it has existed (, and more or less continuously since 1945, it has not declared war since WW2. Even then it waited for Japan and Germany to declare war on it rather than taking the initiative itself.

    The consequence is that American citizens – and indeed most Westerners – have come to take for granted the continual heavy bombing and murder of foreigners, in whatever numbers up to the millions. As this condition does not usually affect, let alone harm them, they do not consider it as “war”. Indeed, President Obama adopted this as an official government view when he declared that the NATO attack on Libya was not a war, because no Americans were likely to be killed.

    One day, perahsp soon, the US government will extend its unjustifiable and illegal aggression to some nation or nations that can defend themselves effectively – and then American citizens and other Westerners will suddenly see bright lights in the sky, falling buildings, and hideous scenes of death and destruction. But by then it will be much too late to do anything about it.

    • rosemerry
      November 2, 2018 at 17:05

      Putin has already made this clear!!! “The guilty ones will die without having time to repent, while we who are attacked will rise as martyrs!” Russia’s weapons are for DEFENSE, not to attack others.

    • Maxwell Quest
      November 2, 2018 at 18:33

      The US doesn’t even pretend anymore to be a citizen of the world, it is now a law unto itself, and other nations have woken to the possibility that any one of them could be the bully’s next victim. I’m confident that they are all working feverishly behind the scenes in an effort to loosen the death grip of an increasingly belligerent empire.

      Concerning continuous warfare, another CN commenter nailed it perfectly when he stated that the US learned its lesson with Vietnam, and now uses contractors, proxies, mercenaries, and volunteers to eliminate public blowback. Like everything else, war has now been privatized, and congress is off the hook. The other lesson learned was to strictly contain the journalistic narrative – no more bloody bodies of dead women and children on the six o’clock news to unsettle the dinner hour.

    • Rubicon
      November 2, 2018 at 22:32

      “The key fact, which I have not seen emphasised nearly enough, is that the US government has absolutely no legal right to impose “sanctions” on any other country. As other commenters have pointed out, that alone is either an act of war or something very close.”

      When you are a hegemonic power (US$ and a monstrous military complex) you simply don’t have to play by the rules.
      Don’t you get it, yet?

  30. mike k
    November 2, 2018 at 12:10

    Imminent nuclear war subsumes and trumps all other issues. The Saker is relaying a message from a top Russian official warning how close we are to this ultimate disaster now. Please read this message, and try to warn your friends about what may be coming soon.

  31. November 2, 2018 at 12:03

    At this point the sanctions are nearly irrelevant. Every time we clamp down harder, Europe and Asia find new ways to maintain normal business with Persia. We are doing them a favor by speeding up their move toward independence, which really should have started many years ago.

  32. vinnieoh
    November 2, 2018 at 11:49

    Why did Pompeo and Mattis call for a cease-fire in Yemen earlier this week? Is it because KSA is played out financially and politically in that senseless crime against humanity? Is it because somehow the rethugs are worried about the optics with only days left before the election? Is it because these morally devoid excuses for human beings have at last been moved by the human suffering?

    That last of course, was written tongue in cheek; perish the thought.

    If the US/KSA/Israel attack Iran it will not happen after an open public campaign to drum up support and bark like rabid dogs. It will happen suddenly, and we’ll see it here only after the bombs and missiles have impacted and Iran lies burning and smoking. Perhaps this is the reason they want to stop in Yemen. In order to re-fit, re-arm, and re-program, consolidate and mass for the shock and awe blitz. And hey, when it’s a done deal, what will the rest of humanity on this tortured rock do? Anything? What, indeed.

    For the reasons contained in this article I believe a conclusion has been reached by all those infected with the fever delirium of permanent American dominance, that the US has a losing hand if only economic realities are in play. So, they’ll play their joker, swift military aggression to create facts on the ground. Of course a tremendous lie will be told which will become sanctified and ushered into the pantheon of US myth making. Nothing new here, and certainly not rising to the level of exceptional. The word is empire, and its manifestations haven’t changed over the millennia. Those who cling to it today are indeed ill, and a threat to human survival.

  33. Zim
    November 2, 2018 at 11:43

    Thanks for the article. CIA and Mossad employing false flag operations to force Europe into sanctioning Iran:

  34. November 2, 2018 at 10:28

    One would think that USA punches above its weight, considerable as it is, but so far, the results are encouraging for people like Bolton. EU basically folded, even China showed some signs of accommodation — RT reported that the government instructed state owned companies not to book transactions with Iran.

    On the latter point, China may prefer to obfuscate real policies which is to create deniability mechanisms that would isolate it from sanctions directed at companies as opposed to China as a state. Ratcheting up the latter results in the backlash among most prominent American companies so it can be handled better.

    Nevertheless, in short term, American influence is growing as lines of beggars are forming, timidly imploring the overlords to grant them “wavers”.

    That said, we have seen scenarios when wise people calculated that certain policies are unsustainable and will lead to a crash, then for a number of years the policies (e.g. how to lend money for housing) were sustained for years, then the common wisdom was reversed as the Cassandras were proven wrong, terminating in the predicted crash.

    • rosemerry
      November 2, 2018 at 17:10

      I noticed that -the victims giving in to the bully/blackmailer which of course encourages him to do even more damage.

      btw “Except for Charles de Gaulle briefly pulling France out of NATO in 1967”
      De Gaulle pulled France out to the great joy of decent humans, and only forty years later did a much lesser person -Nicolas Sarkozy, return to the no-longer-needed NATO.
      I live in France and do not find NATO something to be proud of.

  35. John Kirsch
    November 2, 2018 at 09:28

    Sanctions are almost acts of war, and these particular sanctions against Iran particularly so.
    It looks like Trump is looking for a pretext to attack Iran, which would be a calamity, of course, but also something that would displease many of his supporters, who want, I believe, to have him focus on the domestic front and avoid foreign wars.
    Also, the new typeface being used here is weird, like something out of a nineteenth century newspaper. The old one was better.

    • November 2, 2018 at 10:36

      The typeface is indeed weird. It resembles Times-Roman, but when you look at NYT website, their font is not irritating (the content is variable in that respect), so I think that old newspapers were much better that what we see here: reading this font is like sniffing freshly ground onions — pain in the eyes. My conjecture is that it is based on a faulty mapping of characters into pixels creating effect like a worn typewriter or a printer with an old toner cartridge.

    • SteveK9
      November 2, 2018 at 19:57

      Clearly the intention is to look like an old-fashioned newspaper, i.e. when there were real journalists, but it is too annoying to last, I think.

  36. mike k
    November 2, 2018 at 08:12

    Sanctions are a form of war. They are an inevitable development of capitalism, which in the name of ‘competition’ puts each against all in a battle for primacy. Our culture is founded on principles of perpetual war – until on person or one nation or one mafia controls and dominates the world. As long as this false principle of eternal strife continues to unfold, we will be doomed to mutual extinction. Where is love for all lives in all of this? Totally absent. We have fostered a culture of hate and violence. The only rules of this world are mafia rules.

    • Sam F
      November 2, 2018 at 20:17

      Indeed it is sad that our one-sided purely-competitive economic structure, aided by economic control of mass media and politics, has led to a cutthroat culture that values only money=virtue=power. Had the US tempered that with limited socialism, got money out of mass media and politics, and regulated business, it might have kept the bully tyrants out of power, allowing a benevolent American Century after WWII, instead of a century of treason and war crimes by the rich.

      Sanctions are indeed economic war, and economic control of politics is treason, making economic war upon these United States. This is a primitive tyranny that must be destroyed to restore democracy in the US. That is the barrier to democracy that most of us are not angry enough to surmount, and the oligarchy knows it.

  37. Sally Snyder
    November 2, 2018 at 07:50

    As shown in this article, previously classified documents from the United States show that there was growing concern that anti-Iran sanctions could push Iran “over the brink”:

    The one thing that Washington has repeatedly ignored over the last seven decades is the fact that Iran is a sovereign state, a nation that has the right to make its own decisions whether Washington agrees with them or not.

    • rosemerry
      November 2, 2018 at 17:12

      LOL Who cares about sovereignty if the USA decides you are an enemy???

  38. michael
    November 2, 2018 at 07:13

    “Except for Charles de Gaulle briefly pulling France out of NATO in 1967”. Technically France was out of NATO for 43 years! They actually continued as a trusted ally, but remained “French”.
    With Brexit, Britain may remain America’s poodle, but the EU is likely to part company. Sanctions immorally harm civilians much more than they undermine governments, and the EU will benefit from increased trade with Russia, China , Iran and India, and hope the US will come around. (Brazil will likely fall back into the US sphere of influence based on CIA meddling in their economy and elections.)

  39. Catherine Orloff
    November 2, 2018 at 05:05

    Thanks for these excellent comments. The US-backed blockade of Yemen is sickening to Americans of good will, causing starvation there, especially of children. Make America humane again!

  40. JWalters
    November 2, 2018 at 03:13

    Obama pointed out that the only country in the world which opposed the Iran deal was Israel. In view of that fact plus Trump’s clear obedience to Israel on all his Middle East decisions, such as moving the US embassy, how did the Israeli influence get entirely omitted from this article’s analysis? Is it not obvious?

  41. Jeff Harrison
    November 2, 2018 at 00:46

    I think you’re missing two things, Patrick. One, aside from the EUs special purpose vehicle, they are also creating an alternative to SWIFT that will not be beholden to American courts. Also, Russia has already created an alternative to SWIFT and it is up and operational. Also, with Bolton’s axis of evil part II, we’ll be sanctioning Venezuela (some more), Nicaragua, and Cuba (how do we sanction Cuba when we largely have a total embargo on them? The question will become, what few countries are we not sanctioning. We are already sanctioning something like 75% of the world.

  42. November 1, 2018 at 19:31

    Majority of Americans are not aware what we now nonchalantly call “economic sanctions” used to be called seige and starve. That’s starvation, as in Yemen, as in eating leather belts and shoes hoping these items contain calories.

    • November 2, 2018 at 12:21

      “Majority of Americans are not aware what we now nonchalantly call “economic sanctions” used to be called seige and starve. That’s starvation, as in Yemen, as in eating leather belts and shoes hoping these items contain calories.”

      O Society hit the nail on the head. Sanction result in disease and death. In the nineties, the press was talking about excess deaths due to sanctions on Iraq. UN officials were resigning in protest. Remember the famous “its worth it” outburst by Albright while acknowledging a half million excess deaths.

      In effect, sanctions are aimed at countries but really hit ordinary people. We can call it murder. We have gone sanction crazy. A recent one was a Trump threat of sanctions because some country bought arms from a country other than us!

      The sooner this insanity explodes in our faces, the better for everyone.

  43. Charles Misfeldt
    November 1, 2018 at 18:20

    We have no business punishing Iran on behalf of the immoral nations of Israel and Saudi Arabia. As America is increasingly taken over by the forces of conservatism we go further and further down into a cesspool of immorality. At 68 I weep for future generations if we do not shake off the yoke of conservatism.

    • November 2, 2018 at 05:22

      Too true. I salute you sir!

    • Rob
      November 2, 2018 at 11:40

      Since when has morality played a significant role in U.S. foreign policy? Even so-called “responsibility to protect (RTP)” actions (Yugoslavia, Syria, Lybia) have just been a thin cover for regime-changing power politics.

    • Old Geezer
      November 2, 2018 at 12:45

      Cuba is collectivist and the weather is much better. I’m sure your sore nose would breath much easier there.

    • November 2, 2018 at 13:40

      It isn’t the yoke of conservatism. Liberals these days are just as bad. The problem is empire, unilateralism. Neoconservatives and neoliberal interventionists are simply two sides of the same evil coin. Most real conservatives ie the Ron/Rand Paul veriety and principaled progressives such as Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard are aghast at our current foreign policy. Why is no one else in Washington?

    • Steve Naidamast
      November 2, 2018 at 14:49

      Charles I am68 years of age also so I can easily empathize with your concerns…

      However, what the United States is experiencing politically is not any form of Conservatism as many would like to believe. It is instead a toxic mixture of totalitarianism and reactionism; the latter of which is what many of our political leaders are engaging in.

      Reactionism or reactionary politics is an aspect of politics in which its practitioners attempt to reverse policies in the hopes of returning a political entity back to a time that is perceived to have been much friendlier to the practitioners’ objectives.

      In the case of the US, we have attempts to turn back progressive legislation to that of the days when males reigned in both the household and in business. This has been brought to us by the Religious Right Fundamentalists.

      Neoconservatism or neoliberalism, the brainchild of Austrian economist, Friedrich Hayek, was a capitalistic theory in which great wealth would be promoted and allowed but it was expected that the wealthy would willingly pay back to the societies they lived within. American neoconservatives instead took up the mantle of Milton Friedman who basically promoted a modern-day laizze -faire policy of capitalism, which is what gave us the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

      True practitioners of Conservatism actually believe in a limited federal government where state sovereignty is more predominant along with budgets that are in equilibrium with the needs of the state as well as the people that government serves. No true conservative would support the bloated US military as we have now. And no real conservative would support a health-care system predicated upon private insurance companies as it would, as we all know, be way too expensive with little of the expense going to quality care. They would in fact support a Medicare-For-All program due t o its ability to substantially reduce costs, while costing everyone far less in governmental and personal outlays as medicare does already.

      The idea that such programs as Social Security and Medicare are driving US government debt and massive expense is a fantasy promoted by the reactionary people in government who are trying to promote privatization of everything that can produce a profit… for them…

      • SteveK9
        November 2, 2018 at 20:01

        Neoliberal and Neoconservative are not at all the same. Neocons came into being when a group of American Jews decided that US military power should be used to preserve Israel, and destroy its enemies. It morphed into using America’s military power to force everyone to do as we (or at least our Neocon rulers) want.

        • Skip Scott
          November 4, 2018 at 08:20

          Neoliberals (the R2Per’s) are fools who have been suckered by the Neocons. The Neocons don’t care what excuse you use for regime change as long as the job gets done, and reducing the military budget is off the table. That is why the Neocons were for Hillary and invented RussiaGate in collusion with the DNC.

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