Sanctions fallout could go nuclear

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Jim W. Dean

The first European government fell today in the midst of the Russian food counter-sanctions, the damage from which is hitting all those countries who had major exports to Russia hard.

France was one of those countries, but the Hollande government officially put their unhappiness return fire not on Russia but Germany for the stern economic policies it had pushed for.

Sanctions fallout could go nuclear

The result of that has been crippled growth, as consumers who are struggling only shop at the second-hand store, and those who have money aren’t spending it, but saving it to survive all the uncertainty that surrounds them.

My title was not misleading in the sense I did not mean nuclear war. I keyed on the term fallout because of the stupid sanctions war that the US conspired to crank up on Russia, which the violent coup of Ukraine’s pro-Russian government was a trigger. It is going to have long-lasting damage on the Western counties that irresponsibly jumped on the sanctions bandwagon thinking it was a no lose deal.

By that I mean they looked at it as a free shot of sorts. If the sanctions don’t work, then they can just be removed when a settlement is finally reached; the Russians will kiss and make up; and after some short-term losses, everything will go back to the way it was. Wrong! It will never go back to the way it was. Bridges have been burned.

This all happened due to the incompetent leadership we have in the West and their love affair with serving elite interests over their whole countries. The elites decided that the Eastern powers had to be taken down a notch or two to improve their own long-term economic growth.
What those benefits really were was inauspiciously missing from all the threat briefings. The elites know the public is not so brain dead that they are going to buy going to war for the “trickle down” benefits to the little guy. Even illiterates grasp who profits from wars.

Sanctions concerns have even shaken the German business community. The Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations reported that Germany’s exports to Russian were down 15.5 % in the first six months of 2014. That showed that the slowdown began upon the mere threat of Western sanctions on Russia. Eckhard Cordes, the chairman of the committee, estimated up to a 25%-export drop off by yearend, affecting 50,000 jobs. But he went further with some words of warning.

“Last spring’s discussion on the sanctions alone had a negative impact on the unstable economic situation in the EU and Russia. Everything must be done to prevent a spiral of sanctions and ‘turn off’ the sanction regime through constructive dialogue,” Cordes said.

It is through statements like this from the business community that the irresponsible Western leadership will be pressured to change the destructive path they have taken. They have shown a callous attitude up to now, particularly for the totally unnecessary suffering going on in east Ukraine. The Russians have consistently pushed for a ceasefire and negotiations to lower East-West tensions, but also to avoid all the infrastructure damage. So far, a half-billion-dollar donor fund is being discussed for rebuilding… more money coming out of the pockets of taxpayers in other countries who are struggling.

The good news is that the politicians are responding. Already, we hear calls for more pressure to be applied to getting Kiev into negotiations, because the orchestrated, violent Ukrainian coup has been the well from whence all these sanctions problems flowed. There has been a big buildup for the economic conference to the point of turning it into a peace conference.

Poroshenko will be forced to make some concessions, but that is harder to do now after the deaths and destruction. His former peace proposal called for disarmament in the East, but that is dead on arrival now. Who in their right minds would agree to be defenseless after what these monsters have done to them. Kiev is even pushing for disarmament, which sends the signal that it wants to save the military option for another time.

I am expecting that Kiev is going to hold east Ukraine hostage to extract economic concessions from Russia as a main part of any deal. Instead of criminal element terrorist kidnap gangs like we have seen in Syria, we will watch the coup-meisters from Kiev show how they do it with millions of hostages.

But Kiev will not only have the New Republics and Russia as negotiating opponents. The people of the EU have made themselves players, because they got off their behinds and hit the streets, and the business lobbies woke from their slumber and took some responsibility for turning their leaders’ bad decisions around. Maybe next time, they will learn to take action a lot sooner to avoid all this tragedy.

Europe wants to eliminate the energy-supply uncertainties BEFORE the winter sets in, as that will tap down the energy futures speculative trading. Even a ceasefire will go a long way in doing that. But I will be the first to insist that outside monitors and drones should be used to catch the guilty parties breaking the ceasefire, so they can be caught and punished under terms of the ceasefire.

There are too many oligarch battalions with Right Sector-type troops, who will be doing what they can to wreck any settlement deal that does not have their boot on the neck of the East. Kiev has already proved itself an un-trusted party through their zero progress on the Maidan killings and the slaughter in Odessa. Both were political terrorism, and the victims scream for justice.
There will be the issue of war crimes committed in the east, which should come under international jurisdiction, as part of the settlement. This should include all the outside mercenaries that have been brought in, so as to put such people at risk in the future that justice can follow them back to their home countries for their crimes.

But even if this is done, the fallout I mention in the beginning will be here to stay. Like the losses of the dead and wounded whose lives and limbs were cruelly stolen from them, their families will always carry that loss. And so it will be for those in Europe who will suffer permanent financial losses, like the agriculture businesses that will go into bankruptcy.

As Russia cranks up domestic production to cover the lost imports, those new suppliers who have stepped in to fill that void will not be thrown to the wolves by Moscow to make nice with all its EU exporters who sanctioned them. The food deals with Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and South America, once they are finalized, Russian will not turn around and sanction them at the behest of their past EU suppliers.

That was the nuclear fallout half-life analogy I was using in my title. The damage caused by the West with its stupid aggression toward the East is going to take many years to repair, and it has only itself and its leaders to blame. This should be a hard lesson to them.

But we know that most modern politicians do not accept blame for anything. It will be up to their voters to punish them. And the voters will have a lot to remind them. The East was already moving toward protecting itself from the West’s financial hegemony, not only with the dollar as the major reserve currency, but through its payment settlement and banking system sanction weapons.

Russia and China, who have a history of negotiating at a snail’s pace, are going full speed now to increase their trade volumes and production. China announced this week that it wanted to wean itself off of Western-dominated technology, primarily for security reasons, such as the back doors that the NSA has made US manufacturers put into their equipment to facilitate massive communications monitoring.

Iran is also participating with its asking that International treaties be considered to eliminate the sabotaging of nuclear facility components. These are examples of how Western aggression has hurt us here in the West… permanently. And we need to search for some meaningful ways to see that those responsible pay a heavy price for what they have done to us and their overseas victims.

We need to have a deterrent. As I write, we have nuclear weapons designers in the US going public that they know their clean boutique mini nukes designed to take out smaller targets — like huge buildings with no radiation poisoning and collateral damage — have been used in some of the well-known terror attacks.

They know that powerful officials inside and outside government had to have participated, and they are mad as hell at the betrayal. But this is just another example of people putting the pieces together and learning sadly that some of our biggest national security threats are right here at home.

The east Ukrainians now know all about having your own people kill you for some advantage they seek. The Palestinians and the Gazans can tell us a lot about living under a terror regime that uses a phony self-defense excuse for committing crimes against humanity. That regime has had the US to protect them, the same one that Kiev has.

So I ask you all to look deeply into your hearts to see that we are all connected to these victims, because we will always be on the “next” target list as long as the guilty are still walking around above ground. We are down to that reality, and there is no wishing it away. That is the coward’s false dream.

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