blockades are acts of war. When we listen to pundits talk about the
foreign policies surrounding Iran and the U.S., the U.S. sanctions are regarded as acts of diplomacy. The same is said of Israel’s sanctions on Palestine.
History has a different take on the matter. Look at the war seeds sewn for World War II. A few MAJOR, and rather deliberate, actions lead to that war. It was by no means inevitable. While other factors
undeniably played a part in the US involvement in the war, the two most significant ones that the U.S. had 100 percent control over were:
Involving ourselves in World War 1 unnecessarily. By allowing a draw between England and Germany, there would not have been the Treaty of Versailles, which was brokered by the U.S. and all but set up Germany to fail and set the course of future events toward a second world war.
Ignoring the diplomatic pleas of Japan in the lead-up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The U.S. had sanctions and blockades set up against Japan.
A constituency which suffers at the hands of other countries’ leaders is indeed an act of war. Japan saw it as such. Palestine absolutely sees it as such. Iran indubitably sees it that way. But for some reason, the US won’t own up to it yet.
Bobby has pointed out several times in various articles, including the most recent one “Do I REALLY Need a 2nd Passport?” the sanction already placed on Americans for opening foreign bank accounts. Perhaps the inconvenience isn’t as widely felt amongst the general population for it to hurt yet.
I don’t know if the recent measure voted on by the European Parliament will have the profoundly adverse effects of real sanctions, but it would seem they are moving in that direction.
A recent article from Falkvinge.net outlined these bullet points, covering the recent agreement reached in the European Parliament, which is meant to address the revelations of one Edward Snowden:
–“The European Parliament disapproves of mass surveillance of
everybody, all the time. Surveillance is reserved for people under
concrete suspicion of a crime.”
–We want to make it a law that only criminals be treated as criminals.
Wow. Never take for granted that what is self-evident to you, is
self-evident to politicians. Still, the open disapproval of US spying
activity is a demonstration of courage the likes of which have not
seen from the EU to date.
–“The European Parliament desires to suspend negotiations of the
protectionist agreement TTIP until the United States issues credible
guarantees of respecting fundamental citizen rights of European
people. More specifically, it declares that it will vote to kill such
an agreement (“withhold consent”) unless these conditions are met.”
Sounds rather heavy-handed. And it would be if the trade barriers were
that prohibitive in the first place. They are, in fact, virtually
non-existent. What the TTIP (i.e. Transatlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership) really does is override regulations. Regulations ranging
from safety, to environmentalist concerns, to ethics surrounding GMO’s
I’m not a huge advocate for regulations, but those who are concerned
with the fall-out of relaxing regulations in the name of trade, do
take issue with this and rightly understand that this is the real
agenda behind TTIP. In fact, the only people it will likely hurt is
the consumer. I balance my anti-regulation stance with simple recourse
for everyone against corporations that decide to trample the little
guy. Also, with lack of regulation comes an abundance of choice and
competition. But I don’t think the deregulation will go so far as to
open the markets to more competition. I have this feeling that TTIP is
tailored to the existing “club” of large corporations.
The suspension of this agreement being contingent upon demands being
met doesn’t have the leverage they want us to think it has.
“The Europarl wants to terminate the Safe Harbor agreement about
transfer of European personal data, when such data is transferred to
U.S. corporations, under the condition of proper protection and
safeguards of such data. (It’s become increasingly apparent that U.S.
corporations completely ignore the obligations of said agreement.)”
I literally spit my coffee out when I read this. YA DON’T SAY!? There
are some gaping holes in this agreement. Again, I’m all about
deregulation… really! But when a corporation has the barrel of a
government gun pointed at their heads, they are going to violate some
casual agreement to keep the government from pulling the trigger! The
US government literally coerces corporations into selling out on their
privacy policies. Don’t believe me? Explain Google and Facebook then!
Explain Verizon and AT&T! They all flushed their privacy policies down
the toilet the moment the NSA, DHS and/or IRS decided to play the
“national security” card. I covered this nearly 6 months ago in “All
Bark, No Bite.” This article is basically a follow-up to that piece,
“The so-called Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme, also known as the
SWIFT agreement, which transfers data on bank transactions to the
United States, is to be suspended immediately.”
Would I be praying to unicorns to believe that this includes FATCA?
“Calls for a European program to protect whistle-blowers.”
Yea! Will any of them be offering asylum or sanctuary to Edward
Snowden? No. I’ll let you marinate in the irony for a spell… I mean,
it’s not like the revelations of Edward Snowden are the catalyst to
what brought all this new legislation to bear in the first place or
anything, right? How else can they sit there on their high and mighty
horses and perpetuate the strawman narrative of Snowden having secret
allegiances with Russia if they give him somewhere else to go!?
“More European IT solutions, located in European jurisdictions, to
protect European sensitive data from the spying of United States.
(This ties well in to Chancellor Merkel’s calls for a European-only
storage cloud, designed specifically for data to not become available
to the NSA.)”
Earlier in this article, how did I define acts of war? Oppression
perpetrated by an outside government. It’s a type of tribalism, when
you think about it. Example: Parents who reserve the right to yell at
and hit their kids, but will lose their minds over someone else doing
that to their kids.
Those types of parents are like mini tyrants: they regard their
children as subjects and property who can only serve ONE master.
Am I wrong to say that this is what’s happening here? I read that last
bullet as the EU saying, “Hey, America! You can’t spy on our people!
Only WE can do that! So we will protect our people from YOUR spying by
collecting all the information of our people on a more exclusive and
proprietary system.” It solves the EU’s turf war problem, but not the
individuals’ civil liberty violation problem.
“Named countries are strongly criticized for the way they conduct mass
surveillance and violate civil liberties: United Kingdom, France,
Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden.”
And finally, a list of shame. It’s a real nail-biter as to whether or
not this will come with a slap on the wrist or just a very stern
Still a rather toothless list of remedies, if you can even call them
that. But what exactly could the EU withhold from the U.S. that would
hit us where it hurts… aside from banking? Travel? Nah… Not
without punishing the citizens of the EU in the process.
How about an embargo on U.S. treasuries? Someone should tell Belgium
that… since they are picking up the slack of where China has
recently dropped off. I wonder if THAT would have the U.S. finally
recognize sanctions as acts of war.