DEFEAT CAPITALISM AND ITS DEADLY SPAWN, IMPERIALISM
ecological murder • endless wars • ingrained racism & social injustice • worker exploitation • incurable via reforms
by Eric Zuesse
A CROSSPOST WITH THE DURAN
There is a U.S.-and-allied proxy war against Russia that since 24 February 2022 has been raging upon the battlefields of Ukraine, and every single aspect of it (this Ukraine-v.-Russia war that’s actually a U.S.-v.-Russia war, because America’s Government has controlled Ukraine’s government ever since February 2014) is thus far failing.
Militarily, the consensus of expert opinion within the U.S.-and-allied countries has changed from Russia’s losing the war in 2022 when Russian forces pulled back from Kharkiv in the spring and Kherson in the fall, to the U.S.-and-allied forces (these are Ukrainian soldiers who are equipped with U.S.-and-allied financing and weaponry) losing the war while NATO runs out of weapons and ammunition to send there and yet Russia unrelentingly continues to supply new weaponry and ammunition and slowly to take new ground in Ukraine. This war of attrition is going very badly now against The West (the U.S. imperial Government and its foreign ‘allies’ or colonies — especially the ones in Europe: EU and NATO).
Economically, expert opinion in The West is increasingly saying their sanctions that were meant to strangle Russia’s economy have been, thus far, a massive and stunning failure, which has probably been doing more damage to America’s European ‘allies’ than to Russia. If this turns out to be true, then the entire belief-system that has been standing behind The West’s anti-Russia sanctions (which had started being applied actually with the Obama-era Magnitsky Act sanctions in 2012) is going to collapse.
On January 31st, the New York Times headlined “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends: A surge in trade by Russia’s neighbors and allies hints at one reason its economy remains so resilient after sweeping sanctions.” It reported:
Russian trade appears to have largely bounced back to where it was before the invasion of Ukraine last February. Analysts estimate that Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.
In part, that could be because many nations have found Russia hard to quit. Recent research showed that fewer than 9 percent of companies based in the European Union and Group of 7 nations had divested one of their Russian subsidiaries. And maritime tracking firms have seen a surge in activity by shipping fleets that may be helping Russia to export its energy, apparently bypassing Western restrictions on those sales. …
Some companies, including H&M, IBM, Volkswagen and Maersk, halted operations in Russia after the invasion, citing moral and logistical reasons. But the Russian economy has proved surprisingly resilient, raising questions about the efficacy of the West’s sanctions. Countries have had difficulty reducing their reliance on Russia for energy and other basic commodities, and the Russian central bank has managed to prop up the value of the ruble and keep financial markets stable.
On Monday, the International Monetary Fund said it now expected the Russian economy to grow 0.3 percent this year, a sharp improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3 percent contraction. …
Matthew Klein, an economics writer and a co-author of “Trade Wars Are Class Wars,” is one [of the pro-U.S. experts who finds the data disturbing]. … Global exports to Russia most likely fully recovered in December, though many countries have not yet issued their trade data for the month, he said.
“Most of that recovery has been driven overall by China and Turkey particularly,” Mr. Klein said.
It’s unclear how much of this trade violates sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, but the patterns are “suspicious,” he said. “It would be consistent with the idea that there are ways of trying to get around some of the sanctions.”
Silverado Policy Accelerator, a Washington nonprofit, recently issued a similar analysis, estimating that the value of Russian imports from the rest of the world had exceeded prewar levels by September. … Samsung and Apple, previously major suppliers of Russian cellphones, pulled out of the Russian market after the invasion. Exports of popular Chinese phone brands, like Xiaomi, Realme and Honor, also initially dipped as companies struggled to understand and cope with new restrictions on sending technology or making international payments to Russia.
But after an “adjustment period,” Chinese brands started to take off in Russia. … Overall Chinese exports to Russia reached a record high in December, helping to offset a steep drop in trade with Europe. … Shipments to Russia of other products, like passenger vehicles, have also rebounded. And China has increased exports of semiconductors to Russia, though Russia’s total chip imports remain below prewar levels. …
Ami Daniel, the chief executive of Windward, a maritime data company, said he had seen hundreds of instances in which people from countries like the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia bought vessels to try to set up what appeared to be a non-Western trading framework for Russia.
“Basically, Russia has been gearing up toward being able to trade outside of the rule of law,” he said.
The New York Times is one of the American Government’s top propaganda-merchants, and so all of the experts whom it interviewed for that article were ones that the U.S. Government approves, and they aren’t on any of the CIA’s, Google’s, or any other of its lists as being people who are not to be interviewed. For example: the allegation there that “Basically, Russia has been gearing up toward being able to trade outside of the rule of law” is false, because in order for any international sanction to be in accord with and part of international law, that sanction must first be approved by the U.N. Security Council. The October-November 2013 article “Effectiveness Of Economic Sanctions: Empirical Research Revisited” (also here), published by the Clute Institute, provides a good summary of the international-law status of sanctions; and on this article’s pdf’s 4th page it says:
The [U.N.] Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and its powers include establishment of “sanctions” as a measure to be taken against a state to promote international peace and security. Within Chapter VII, Articles 41 and 25, taken together, make any economic sanctions authorized by the Security Council mandatory on all members.
Otherwise, it’s not “mandatory” but only voluntary. No U.S. sanction against Russia (and both nations are among the five permanent members of the Security Council) has ever been “authorized by the Security Council.” Consequently, that sentence in the NYT’s article was a lie — this international trade between Russia and other nations isn’t “trade outside of the rule of law.” It’s only outside America’s law (and these sanctions started to be imposed by America under Obama in 2012, on the basis of lies, even at that time), but America isn’t an international organization, and has no authorization to act as-if it’s the U.N.; so, no nation has any international legal obligation to adhere to what is, in essence, coercion from the U.S. regime. The NYT’s statement that this is “trade outside of the rule of law” is a lie.
Despite the NYT being a U.S. propaganda-merchant and thus having in the past been pumping the idea that Russia is losing its war in Ukraine, it now is yielding to the new instructions it has from agents of its Government, and these instructions appear to be to soften up the American public for a defeat coming in Ukraine. It won’t be like the defeats America had experienced in such places as Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, and Afghanistan, because this will clearly be — if it happens at all — a defeat against Russia, the nation that ever since 24 February 1990 the U.S. Government has been trying ultimately to defeat. A defeat of that magnitude would be a turning-point in world history.
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