Economic boycotts have been a common and effective means of protest in the US in the past century, and Americans rightly saw it as a civil and democratic way to exert non-violent pressure to effect political change.Boycotts are legitimate tools of protest against injustice | The Electronic Intifada
The Trump Administration is adding foreign individuals and entities to US sanctions lists at a rate never before seen and it’s increasingly been done without Congressional oversight, judicial review or any requirement to produce evidence, writes Marcus Reubenstein.
Amidst the chaos of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and the COVID-19 outbreak across the United States, President Donald Trump issued an executive order in June sanctioning the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, including its lawyers, investigators and human rights advocates.
The move by the White House to sanction the ICC was in response to a unanimous ruling of the five judges of ICC Appeals Chamber to allow prosecutors to investigate, and potentially lay charges against, US military personnel for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.
This executive order is more an act of strident protest and petulance rather than anything effectual. ICC officials are concerned but undeterred. Magnitsky remains the spectre at the feast; but he would surely find this latest chapter both comical and slightly absurd. “Asset freezes and travel bans are for human rights violators, not those seeking to bring human violators to justice,” insisted an alarmed Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. The human rights defenders have become the sanctioned ones.
The US has been at war since the end of WW2 both physically and with trade sanctions on any companiy that doesn’t play their game. The EU Iran Cuba Venezuela and others have felt their sting. Isn’t it time there really was a free market and not the pretence of one? (ODT)
The angle taken by the European Union, Germany and Russia can hardly surprise. Themes of energy security are reiterated. The Nord Stream 2 consortium makes the claim that, “Completing the project is essential for European supply security.” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova spikily condemned the sanctions measure. “A state with a $22 trillion national debt prohibits creditworthy countries to develop the real sector of their economies!”
For a EU spokesman, this constituted “the imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business.” A German government spokesman suggested that such actions “affect German and other European businesses, and we see the move as meddling in our internal affairs.” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has sees it as an infringement of sovereignty. “It is up to the companies involved in the construction of the pipeline to take the next decisions.”
Nothing is quite so simple. Gas pipeline politics has always been contentious. One state’s sovereign promise is another’s weakening. Concessions made to corporate monopolies are risky, capable of fostering insecurity as much as reassurance. Those who control the tap control a country’s future.
But the imposition of any sanctions regime signals another bout of economic violence. In the international market, where governments operate as ready gangsters for corporate interests, prompted by such motivations as seeking more natural resources, tools of state become handmaidens of economic self-interest. And in all this, the prospect of ecological devastation remains genuine but an aside to the jabbering disagreement of political interests.
Budapest: European leaders have hinted at financial incentives or compensation for Iran to persuade it to stay it in the nuclear deal that the US has rejected.
And they are likely to act to protect European companies trading with Iran despite the US re-imposing sanctions.
As the Democratic party regroups ahead of the next election cycle, it would be wise for its leadership to examine areas where the Clinton campaign diverged from the party’s base. Israel-Palestine is one of those issues. The number of Americans who support imposing sanctions on Israel over its defiant settlement policies has shot up to 46 percent, the same percentage of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in the presidential election. [tmwinpost] That number has shot up nearly 10 percentage points over the past year, according to a national poll published by the Brookings Institute on Friday, on the sidelines…