10/6 – Eve Ottenberg: Western Sanctions on Russia and Belarus Starve the World

“Ryssland startade, liksom USA gjorde 2003 i Irak 20, ett hemskt krig. Men hur fruktansvärt Rysslands krig i Ukraina än är så var det som USA gjorde i Irak värre”, skriver den US-amerikanska författarinnan Eve Ottenberg.

“USA, skulle kunna påskynda slutet på dödandet i Ukraina genom att främja fredsförhandlingar. Biden vägrar att göra detta.”

“Att provocera Moskva har dock varit Washingtons illa dolda specialitet sedan Berlinmurens fall. Nato behöver en fiende, för att rättfärdiga sin existens, och det behöver även den US-amerikanska krigsmaterielindustrin för att öka sina vinster..”.

Russia is a breadbasket of the world. It is the globe’s third biggest wheat exporter, way ahead of Ukraine, the eighth, and the world’s biggest fertilizer exporter – a product the U.S., unlike those poor chumps in Europe, made sure to exempt from sanctions and to continue to import from Russia to the tune of over one billion dollars. But western sanctions on Moscow mean no maritime insurance and that ports won’t accept Russian ships; thus sanctions mean many ships that carry wheat and fertilizer to places that desperately need them, like North Africa, can’t sail. So does the fact that Ukraine mined all its Black Sea harbors. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed this: “The withdrawal of grain ships from Ukrainian ports is hindered by Ukrainian mines. There is no Russian blockade.”

And then there’s the Scylla and Charybdis facing Global South leaders: violate western sanctions, somehow import Russian wheat and get clobbered financially and politically by the U.S. and EU or don’t import and let the people starve. In fact, this exact, awful choice smacked 14 countries in the face in mid-May. That’s when the U.S. claimed that Russian ships with “stolen Ukrainian grain” had sailed.  Washington announced this to mostly African nations. What were those African leaders supposed to do? Vainly try to refute the claim or refuse the wheat and let people die slow, agonizing deaths from hunger?

Meanwhile, western propaganda, aka the mainstream media, shrieks with hysterical pugnacity about Russia using food as a weapon of war. Quite a racket Washington has going, based on lies, coercion and extortion; a horrible counterpoint to the needless slaughter of Ukrainian troops – needless, because Kiev’s patron, the U.S., could speed the end of this promiscuous death by promoting peace negotiations. Biden refuses to do this. Despite his recent murmurings about a negotiated settlement, one doesn’t get the feeling Biden has yet put any oomph into it.

Russia, like the U.S. before it in Iraq in 2003, started a ghastly war. But Moscow was most surely, most deliberately provoked by NATO and the U.S. – unlike the U.S.’s many wars of choice in this century. Any equivalence to Moscow’s invasion, despite western hocus pocus about Russia expanding its quondam empire, is astonishing hogwash. However dreadful Russia’s war in Ukraine, what the U.S. did in Iraq was worse…

Provoking Moscow, however, has been Washington’s poorly concealed specialty since the fall of the Berlin wall. NATO needed an enemy, you see, to justify its existence, and so did U.S.  defense contractors, to boost profits. So that now, NATO very dangerously surrounds and menaces a vast country that is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. NATO’s insane, potentially world-sacrificing aggression continued despite many loud protests from Moscow…

At any point in the Ukraine war, Biden could have urged negotiation instead of sanctions. He could have attempted – and efforts by the ruler of the U.S. empire carry great heft, even with a client as understandably determined to defend itself as Kiev – to end this slaughter, this mashing of Ukraine into an abattoir. He chose not to. He chose prolonging the war over encouraging peace, thus condemning lots of Ukrainians, Russians and, if this war goes nuclear, billions of other people to death.

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