On Sat, 7 Apr 2018 05:01:49 -0700 (PDT), wolfbat359
Post by wolfbat359
A second category of sanction concerns trade and economic relations. These can be thought of as either strategic or punitive. The Obama Administration imposed these kinds of broad sanctions in response to Russias invasion of Ukraine, and framed them as strategic measures aimed at pressuring Vladimir Putin to change his behavior. John Bolton, the incoming national-security adviser, meanwhile, has made it clear that he views sanctions a punishmenthe has tweeted and spoken about the need to exact a price from Russia in response to behavior you dont accept. Different as the Obama-era and Trump-era attitudes may seem, they both stem from the same paternalistic assumption that Russia can be coerced or frightened into behaving differently. There is, however, no evidence for this: Russias response to sanctions has consistently ranged from indifference to escalationincluding imposing counter-sanctions that cause even further economic pain among the Russian population. Indeed, the very
idea that economic hardship undermines Putins rule is erroneous. Hard times can be good for autocracies, and Putin has masterfully used economic resentment to mobilize popular support.
I think the US gets so carried away with punishing people who block
their illegal plans for regime change that they wind up killing a lot
of innocent civilians, including women and children. Here are some
articles that describe what happened in Syria:
OCTOBER 24, 2016, Beirut
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
by FRANKLIN LAMB FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
As many of us would agree, the continuing conflict in Syria has
created a devastating humanitarian crisis: the magnitude of
humanitarian needs is overwhelming in all parts of the country and
affects the region and beyond. The Syrian conflict has become the
worlds largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, the estimated
number of people in need of the protection of International
Humanitarian Law is approximately 14 million, more than two-thirds of
Syrias pre-war population. Of these, more than 6 million are hard to
reach 16 besieged, areas, and over 7 million people are internally
displaced. António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees,
recently described the humanitarian situation in Syria as the great
tragedy of this century. It continues to fuel a combustible
environment, which has contributed to the refugee and migration crisis
as well as to the rise of evermore anti-government rebels groups
including extremists affiliated with, if not directly a part of, the
so-called Islamic State (IS) and Fatah al-Sham.
At an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on
Friday, human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein warned that crimes of
historic proportions were being committed in the east of the city and
elsewhere in Syria. . . ."
"US and EU Sanctions are Punishing Ordinary Syrians and Crippling Aid
Work, UN Report Reveals
By Rania Khalek Global Research, September 29, 2016
The Intercept 28 September 2016
Internal United Nations assessments obtained by The Intercept reveal
that U.S. and European sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and
crippling aid work during the largest humanitarian emergency since
World War II. . . .
In a 40-page internal assessment commissioned to analyze the
humanitarian impact of the sanctions, the U.N. describes the U.S. and
EU measures as some of the most complicated and far-reaching
sanctions regimes ever imposed. Detailing a complex system of
unpredictable and time-consuming financial restrictions and
licensing requirements, the report finds that U.S. sanctions are
exceptionally harsh regarding provision of humanitarian aid. [. . .]
Trade restrictions on Syria are even more convoluted. Items that
contain 10 percent or more of U.S. content, including medical devices,
are banned from export to Syria. Aid groups wishing to bypass this
rule have to apply for a special license, but the licensing
bureaucracy is a nightmare to navigate, often requiring expensive
lawyers that cost far more than the items being exported. . . .
An internal U.N. email obtained by The Intercept also faults U.S. and
EU sanctions for contributing to food shortages and deteriorations in
health care. The August email from a key U.N. official warned that
sanctions had contributed to a doubling in fuel prices in 18 months
and a 40 percent drop in wheat production since 2010, causing the
price of wheat flour to soar by 300 percent and rice by 650 percent.
The email went on to cite sanctions as a principal factor in the
erosion of Syrias health care system. Medicine-producing factories
that havent been completely destroyed by the fighting have been
forced to close because of sanctions-related restrictions on raw
materials and foreign currency, the email said.
As one NGO worker in Damascus told The Intercept, there are cars,
buses, water systems, and power stations that are in serious need of
repair all across the country, but it takes months to procure spare
parts and theres no time to wait. So aid groups opt for cheap Chinese
options or big suppliers that have the proper licensing, but the big
suppliers can charge as much as they want. If the price is
unaffordable, systems break down and more and more people die from
dirty water, preventable diseases, and a reduced quality of life. . .
". . .Others, however, smell opportunity amid the chaos. War
profiteers have carved out a thriving black market by circumventing
the sanctions regime, making millions by importing and selling
much-desired goods ranging from Kit Kat bars to Cuban cigars. By
amassing such profit and power, theyve come to exact an immense
degree of control over the lives of Syrians living in
The rise of the black-market kings began soon after April 2011, a
month into the Syrian uprising, when President Barack Obama imposed,
via executive order, the first of four sets of economic sanctions on
Syria. According to the Obama administration, these measures were
aimed at punishing President Bashar al-Assads human-rights abuses by
suffocating the Syrian economy, sundering its access to essential
goods like medications and fuel, and blocking bank transfers. They set
off a destructive ripple throughout Syria, further distorting an
economy that would soon be ravaged by the escalating conflict.
These distortions have hit everything from the energy sector to the
salaries of ordinary people. According to the World Bank, oil exports
have declined from $4.7 billion in 2011 to $0.14 billion by 2015.
Every day, dozens of cars queue up for hours outside gas stations,
where fuel prices have shot up 15-fold since 2011 due to shortages. As
Syrias foreign reserves dwindled, its currency began to depreciate,
falling from 47 liras to the dollar before the war began in 2011 to
about 520 liras to the dollar today.
To put all this into context: In 2010, the average worker in Damascus
received a minimum of 11,000 liras a monthapproximately $220. Today,
if hes lucky, he may receive up to 26,500 liras, approximately $53.
The average monthly cost of living for a Syrian family of five,
meanwhile, is 196,000 liras, or about $380; in Damascus it is around
220,000 liras, roughly the equivalent of $425."