By Pooya Mirzaee

American sanctions and global economic crisis

August 13, 2019

TEHRAN - U.S. new sanctions on Iran, Russia, Venezuela and N. Korea and tariff conflicts with China and E.U. is going to be a part of daily news. Broadening the criteria of sanctions and putting concentration on financial systems, not only decreases the effect of the sanctions in wider view but also makes the policy makers of the targeted countries to reach to this conclusion that for preventing the collapse of international economy, global financial system generally and common global trade currency (USD) specially must be replaced with more independent alternatives.

If we look at U.S. financial sanctions and tariff conflicts, they target nearly 30% of world population directly and more than 60% indirectly, they also waste billions of dollars in bypassing cycles used by targeted countries to keep their economies alive and interconnected.

Taking closer look at the latest financial sanctions, specially on Russia , we can see international financial and monetary entities such as IMF, World Bank, Swift System and … has been highjacked by Americans as a tool to enforce U.S. imperialism.

In case of IMF for example, there are a number of policy shifts – In the past, the IMF has not made loans to countries that are in default to governments. That’s because, in the past, the government in question was the U.S. Government. Since World War II almost all international financial bailout or stabilization loans by the IMF and World Bank have involved the U.S. Government, in conjunction with consortia of U.S. banks. For the first time, now that China and the BRICS ( Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) are growing so countries are borrowing not only from the United States subject to U.S. lobbying forces, but can now borrow from China, Russia, and other BRICS countries as well. The United States has responded by changing the IMF rules and mentioned that  It’s okay for the IMF to make loans to countries that don’t pay China and Russia or the BRICS, because Americans are in a new Cold War and The IMF really is working for them. As long as the U.S. has veto power in the IMF, its delegate can veto any loan to a country that owes money to the United States that the United States doesn’t wish to support. But it has no objection for the IMF making loans to U.S. satellites such as Ukraine, that officially debts to Russia. Ukraine owes nearly $3 billion USD to Russia on a loan that is coming due from the Russian state investment fund. The United States is doing everything it can to hurt Russia economically, thinking that if it hurts it enough, Russia will capitulate to the U.S. strategy. The New Cold War strategy is basically an attempt to force other countries to privatize their economies to follow neoliberal policy. The aim is to open their economies to U.S. corporations and U.S. banks. 

During Trump administration, the end of America’s unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its sponsorship and funding of violent regime change wars against Venezuela and Syria – and threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not join this crusade – is now driving European and other nations to create their alternative financial institutions. 

This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent? No left-wing party, no socialist, anarchist or foreign nationalist leader anywhere in the world could have achieved what he is doing to break up the American Empire. The Deep State is reacting with shock at how this right-wing real estate grifter has been able to drive other countries to defend themselves by dismantling the U.S.-centered world order. To rub it in, he is using Bush and Reagan-era Neocon arsonists, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams together with Mike Pompeo and Brian Hook, to fan the flames in Venezuela, Middle East and start Fire with China and Russia. It is almost like a black political comedy. The world of international diplomacy is being turned inside-out. A world where there is no longer even a pretense that we might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties. 

The Neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightmare of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the “Heartland” nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago. 

The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported:
 The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet. 

Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines “democracy” to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy.