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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/8/18

"If the EU Sticks to Its Guns, the Only Victim of Washington's Sanctions Will be Americans"

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Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts
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Earlier this week, I was interviewed by the American Herald Tribune on Washington's sanctions. The transcript is below...


American Herald Tribune: Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, and even India are targets of the US sanctions; what practical measures should these countries employ to counter US sanctions?

Paul Craig Roberts: The sanctions only work because the governments and companies of the sanctioned countries and Washington's vassal governments in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan permit them to work.

Foreign companies accommodate the illegal sanctions because the companies do not want to lose access to US markets. To put a halt to this, the sanctioned countries can simply announce that sanctioning countries lose all access to their markets and break off all economic relations with the West. Countries faced with lack of access to Chinese markets and Europe faced with lack of access to Russian energy, the sanction regime would collapse.

Foreign governments, including those sanctioned, go along with Washington's sanctions because they are lazy and prefer to free ride on the system of international payments put in place by Washington than to create one of their own, and they are brainwashed into believing in floating exchange rates that permit Western central banks and speculators to intervene against their currencies and drive down their values.

Essentially, the large dose of brainwashing that Washington delivered to the world since WW 2 has succeeded.

Why the US can wage economic sanctions and how other can disarm the US?

Governments can make it illegal for their companies to comply with the sanctions. For example, the European Union initiated a blocking statute on August 7 that forbids European companies from complying with the extraterritorial edicts of US sanctions. The blocking statute nullifies any US court judgment against companies that ignore Washington's effort to tell them with whom they can do business, and it allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions.

Possibly Washington will be able to buy off the EU officials with multi-million dollar bags of money, but if the EU sticks to its guns, the only victim of Washington's sanctions will be Americans.

Do you approve the idea that the more the US uses dollar power to sanction its enemies the more puts the dollar in jeopardy as the world currency?

The dollar is powerful only because other countries use it. In other words, other countries stupidly give Washington the power that it wields over them. Other countries could just as well issue sanctions against the purchase of US dollars and US bonds and of any US product. Without voluntary compliance, the only sanctions Washington can really enforce are against US companies.

Prof. Steve Hanke believes "Iranians might ironically benefit from sanctions"; how is it possible for Iran to benefit from sanctions?

Countries can benefit from US sanctions because eventually, the sanctions wake up the countries. They gain the realization of how utterly stupid they have been to get caught up in Washington's web of payments mechanisms. They eventually understand how stupid they are to invite foreign investment and capital flows that can be used to destabilize their economies and how stupid to trust the value of their currency and government bonds to markets that Washington and speculators can manipulate at will.

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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)

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