Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sanctions on Russia Are Crazy

By Michael S. Rozeff

These sanctions that keep getting announced by the EU, by the U.S. and by Canada are really crazy. The people in these governments doing this have taken leave of their senses. Here are sixteen reasons why I say this. First, it makes no sense to pressure Russia over Ukraine, which is in its backyard and has always been in its backyard. Second, it’s senseless to inflict sanctions over Crimea when there was no invasion and when the vote to go with Russia was so one-sided. Third, it’s senseless to impose sanctions on the notion that Russia controls the separatists in eastern Ukraine. Whatever their links are, they are murky at best and now involve self-defense against the attacks on eastern civilian centers by Kiev. Fourth, there are no direct links between those people and businesses being sanctioned and the decisions that are expected of Russia’s leadership. The supposed effect of sanctions, which are supposed to bring a political change, is not even remotely connected to their actual economic effects. Fifth, it is not clear what persons in Russia’s ruling bodies are expected to alter their decisions or how they are supposed to act to end the sanctions. Sixth, the governments imposing the sanctions have no exit plans on ending them. Seventh, sanctions are leading to a tit for tat game that is prone to escalation. Eighth, sanctions move away from cooperation of nations and harm the populations of both sides. There are important matters where the sanctioning governments would benefit from Russian cooperation and help. Ninth, sanctions can’t help Ukraine when Russia is a natural trading partner for it. Tenth, it’s senseless to impose sanctions on Russia over what is primarily a civil conflict in Ukraine. Eleventh, it’s senseless to impose sanctions on Russia because of a movement for self-determination in part of Ukraine, just as it’s senseless for Kiev to be making war on people who want more autonomy and reject Kiev’s government. Twelfth, as a general matter, sanctions tend not to have their desired results. They often stiffen the resolve of those sanctioned. Thirteenth, Russia is simply too large a country and too important a country to sanction. Fourteenth, Russia is going to find alternatives because of the sanctions. Fifteenth, sanctions are simply poisoning relationships between Russia and the West. Sixteenth, it’s senseless to be trying to push Russia around over this particular matter on its border and in which it has an interest, especially when the West jumps into many regions of the world whenever it pleases, creating havoc as it goes, and especially since the West played such an important role in stoking the change in government in Ukraine.

These governments imposing sanctions are nuts, just plain nuts. I won’t even try to find rational reasons for what they’re doing because the irrationality of it is so apparent. If there is a reason for confronting Russia and demonizing Putin, it is not a rational reason. “Newsweek” reflects the decadence and decay of the U.S. government that’s leading this campaign when it puts out a cover labeling Putin as “The Pariah”, a cover that makes his face look like a death skull and has nuclear mushroom clouds where his eyes should be. The U.S. government goes through the motions and gives the outward appearance of maintaining statesmanlike institutions of government, but the reality underneath is rot, moral decay, corruption and the degeneracy that accompanies great power.

The above originally appeared at LewRockwell.comMichael S. Rozeff is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.

1 comment:

  1. I'm assuming that all the Keynesians who run the government see war as the best way to stimulate the economy. It's almost like Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan never happened. Maybe there is something to what many people are saying that fluoride in the water is making people stupid.