“We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” President Trump tweeted today. “I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again – The sooner the better!”

Iran’s economy is already floundering due to the steadily mounting sanctions that the Trump administration has been heaping upon it since its withdrawal from the JCPOA last year. Crucial goods are four times the price they used to be, sick Iranians are having difficulty obtaining life-saving medicine, and life in general has been getting much more difficult for the poorest and frailest Iranian civilians.

For this reason, it is a very safe bet that there have been Iranians who have died because of the sanctions. Being unable to obtain enough life-saving medicine will inevitably increase mortality rates, as will inadequate nutrition and care for those whose health is at risk. There’s not really any way around that, and it’s only going to get worse.

And that’s exactly what was supposed to happen. As far as their intended purpose is concerned, the sanctions are working. They’re doing exactly what they were intended to do: hurt Iranian civilians.

How do I know this? Well for one thing America’s Secretary of State has said it openly. The New York Times reports the following:

Last week, Mr. Pompeo acknowledged to Michael J. Morrell, a former acting director of the C.I.A., that the administration’s strategy would not persuade Iranian leaders to change their behavior.

“I think what can change is the people can change the government,” he said on a podcast hosted by Mr. Morrell, in what appeared to be an endorsement of regime change.

The Trump administration isn’t leveling these sanctions because it believes they’ll cause Tehran to capitulate to Washington’s impossible list of demands; they know full well that that will never happen. What they claim, based on no evidence or historical precedent whatsoever, is that by making life so painful for the hungry and malnourished Iranian people they’ll be forced to rise up against their government to effect regime change themselves.

Can you think of anything more sociopathic than this? Off the top of my head, I personally cannot.

Starvation sanctions kill people. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have reportedly already died as a result of this administration’s relentless assault on their economy; those human beings are no less dead than they would have been if the US had killed them by dropping cluster bombs on Caracas. Yet these deaths have received virtually no mainstream media coverage, and Americans, while they strongly oppose attacking Iran militarily, have had very little to say about Trump’s attacks on the nation’s economy. The economy which people use to feed their children, to care for their elderly and their sick.

I’m titling this essay “Starvation Sanctions Are Worse Than Overt Warfare”, and I mean it. I am not saying that starvation sanctions are more destructive or deadly than overt military force in and of themselves; what I am saying is that the overall effect is worse, because there’s no public accountability for them and because they deliberately target civilians.

If the US were to launch a barrage of Tomahawk missiles into an Iranian suburb with the goal of killing civilians, there’d be international outrage and the cohesion of the US-centralized power alliance would take a major hit. Virtually everyone would recognize this as an unforgivable war crime. Yet America will be able to kill the same number of civilians with the same deliberate intention of inflicting deadly force, and it would suffer essentially no consequences at all. There’s no public or international pressure holding that form of violence at bay, because it’s invisible and poorly understood.

It reminds me of the way financial abuse gets overlooked and under-appreciated in our society. Financial abuse can be more painful and imprisoning than physical or psychological abuse (and I speak from experience), especially if you have children, yet you don’t generally see movies and TV shows getting made about it. In a society where people have been made to depend on money for survival, limiting or cutting off their access to it is the same as any other violent attack upon their personal sovereignty, and can easily be just as destructive. But as a society we haven’t yet learned to see and understand this violence, so it doesn’t attract interest and attention. That lack of interest and attention enables the empire to launch deadly campaigns targeting civilian populations unnoticed, without any public accountability.

It’s great that more people are starting to understand the cost of war, to the extent that we’re even seeing US presidential candidates make opposing it central to their platforms, but this is happening at a time when overt warfare is becoming more obsolete and replaced with something subtler and more sinister. We must as a society evolve our understanding of what starvation sanctions are and what they do, and stop seeing them as in any way superior or preferable to overt warfare.

The fact that people generally oppose senseless military violence but are unable to see and comprehend a slow, boa constrictor-like act of slaughter via economic strangulation is why these siege warfare tactics have become the weapon of choice for the US-centralized empire. It is a more gradual way of murdering people than overt warfare, but when you control all the resources and have an underlying power structure which maintains itself amid the comings and goings of your officially elected government, you’re in no hurry. The absence of any public accountability makes the need for patience a very worthwhile trade-off.

So you see this siege warfare strategy employed everywhere by the US-centralized empire:

The US-centralized power alliance is so powerful in its ability to hurt nations with financial influence that in 1990 when Yemen voted against a UN Security Council Resolution authorizing the attack against Iran, a senior US diplomat was caught on a hot mic telling the Yemeni ambassador, “That will be the most expensive ‘no’ vote you ever cast.” According to German author Thomas Pogge, “The US stopped $70 million in aid to Yemen; other Western countries, the IMF, and World Bank followed suit. Saudi Arabia expelled some 800,000 Yemeni workers, many of whom had lived there for years and were sending urgently needed money to their families.”

That’s real power. Not the ability to destroy a nation with bombs and missiles, but the ability to destroy it without firing a shot.

It’s no wonder, then, that the drivers of this empire work so hard to continue growing and expanding it. The oligarchs and their allies in opaque government agencies no doubt envision a world where all noncompliant nations like Iran, Russia and China have been absorbed into the blob of empire and war becomes obsolete, not because anyone has become any less violent, but because their economic control will be so complete that they can obliterate entire populations just by cutting them off from the world economy whenever any of them become disobedient.

This is the only reason Iran is being targeted right now. That’s why you’ll never hear a factually and logically sound argument defending Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal; there is none. There was no problem with the JCPOA other than the fact that it barred America from inflicting economic warfare upon Iran, which it needed for the purpose of toppling the nation’s government so that it can be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire.

And all the innocent human beings who die of starvation and disease? They don’t matter. Imperial violence only matters if there are consequences for it. The price of shoring up the total hegemony of the empire will have been worth it.


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53 responses to “Starvation Sanctions Are Worse Than Overt Warfare”

  1. The Price

    How hard is the choice?
    Madam Ambassador, you believe . . .
    you think the price is worth
    it. It.
    It — five thousand lives.
    Five thousand children every month
    five thousand children under five.

    What child is worth the price?
    A gallery of pictures
    spreads across my computer screen
    girls and boys, their parents,
    living, dead and dying.

    In Basra two children run out to play.
    Bombs fall from U.S. planes.
    Now their mother watches weeping
    as their bodies are dug from the rubble
    of the houses of the neighborhood.

    This “it” — the price
    the rising total
    reaches five hundred thousand
    children under five.
    Together with their families now the price
    passes one million dead.

    What is worth a holocaust?
    Who chooses these to die,
    the children of Iraq?

    The lessons taught across the world,
    down the bloody sweep of empire —
    the lesson taught and learned
    that life is worth the price
    when those who pay are foreign,
    different, other, far away
    pray to other gods, speak other tongues.
    Those lives lie in the scale — are worth the price.

    No life is worth the price.
    The flowers strewn amidst the guttered candle stumps
    fade and die as we mourn our sudden loss.
    New York’s dead and wounded
    join a massive company drawn from around the world.

    Side by side we lay pictures
    which portray our common loss.
    Thus we may see around the world
    women who hold each other,
    watch in grief as a child’s dead body
    is dug from bomb blast rubble.

    May we learn from Brian —
    his legs cut off beneath the munitions-bearing train
    on Concord’s bloody tracks,
    whence bombs were shipped to Salvador, Honduras and to
    Nam, where once he fought — from Brian may we learn
    “We are not worth more.
    They are not worth less.”

    Carolyn S. Scarr
    October 12, 2001


    From the “60 Minutes” segment, “Punishing Saddam” (airdate May 12, 1996):

    CBS Reporter Lesley Stahl (speaking of post-war sanctions against Iraq): “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And – and you know, is the price worth it?”

    Madeleine Albright (at that time, US Ambassador to the UN): “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

    A munitions bearing train at the Concord Naval Weapons Depot in California ran over Vietnam veteran Brian Willson as he blocked the train with his body.

  2. Joe Van Steenbergena Avatar
    Joe Van Steenbergena

    I saw this article recently that highlighted the odd coincidence between Iran’s abandonment of the U.S. dollar and increased pressure that we are seeing recently.. I thought it was at least thought provoking and may point to one of the (or THE) underlying reasons for the recent anti-Iran pressure campaign.


    1. I seem to remember that Saddam Hussein planned to leave the dollar and start selling oil in some other currency, thus leading to US hostility toward a man who used to have been “our son of a bitch” and whom the US supported in the Iraqi invasion of Iran.

      1. 2019 was the year that somebody duct taped a banana to a wall and sold it as art for $120,000. I think it was John Ashcroft who coined the phrase “perfect moral clarity”
        that is the stuff that made this possible


        Saddam’s CIA appointed interrogator revealed in an interview that he thinks we should have left him in power. He was the only guy who could actually stabilize the country. Also, there would have been the added benefit of not slaughtering a million people, using a strategy that the two who created it say is a mix between the Nazi Blitzkreig, Hiroshima, and a Roman way of war that Barbarossa came up with. (Fun fact: the largest and most deadly invasion of national forces- perpetrated by Hitler’s anti-Kominterns, was named after the guy who put the Holy in the Holy Roman Empire. “Redbeard” aka “Emperor Barbarossa” aka Frederick I. He was around shortly after the Pornocracy. Aka Papal “Rule of the Harlots”. The RCC describes the Pornocracy as their moral low point. Not the Holocaust. Not Generalplan Ost. And not Operation Barbarossa. Thats pretty weak. )

  3. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    It seems that the political parties in the US are united for sanctions against Iran.

    It proves that elections matters and that the way to avoid conflict against other nations is to vote for candidates independent from any affiliation to an established political party or to do not vote at all.

    But I am not confident at all people will do that in the near future because people are confused in our times. These are the days of Noah. The end is near no doubt.

    We have to pray, especially the Holy Rosary.

    1. Brutus Antifederlest Avatar
      Brutus Antifederlest

      The Holy Rosary will get you nothing!

      This is all foretold in the Bible.
      Read Revelation and see how things are going toward that end.


  4. Why are Iranian people dying for lack of medicine?
    Just what kind of medicine is this?
    It it only made in the U.S.?
    Why is that?

    Why are so many people dependent on medical drugs these days?
    It is primary a lack of healthy food and clean water? Or stress? Or what?

    1. Are you ten years old? Do you not know anyone with anything ailments? I was born with epilepsy. Medication is what allows me to function properly without fear of seizures. It allows me to drive, work, live. Before medication they locked people like me away in asylums.

      As for where medicines are made:, that’s another baffling question. Do you need an explainer on the pharmaceutical industry? Medicines aren’t like making cookies. Not everyone can do it easily and the R&D, labs, manufacturing is very complicated, expensive, and it’s not like pharmaceuticals post the recipe for HIV, cancer, and heart medications on Recipes.com or something.

      Congrats on never having been critically ill or having anyone in your life fall ill. Most of us are not so fortunate. There’s a reason why life expectancy rates have gone up in the past 200 years and modern medicine is a big reason for that.

      1. Interesting in that some writers/researchers say that the “medicine” best noted for aiding humanity is, gasp!, clean water……moreover, I think I read recently where life expectancy has started to go down in the last 5 years or so……all these medications and expectancies go down??? what does this all mean?

    2. obviously you lack conscience. new york, the den of the parasites? well…

  5. Thomas Prentice Avatar
    Thomas Prentice

    Time to call “economic sanctions” by the truthful words:



    “Economic sanctions” and even “tariffs” as inflicted by Trump are EUPHEMIZED to OBSCURE the reality that they are ACTS OF WAR.

  6. Aardvark-Gnosis Avatar

    Is the word imperialism redundant… And the concept of a Christian Nation Under God the Oxymoron of the century, as a mater of fact, No where in the testament of Jesus does it say we are to spread the good news by war and the sword… This is the Secular military version of The right of Discovery and or genocide for the average slave on planet earth. It is also the Rabbis credo of Talmudic Judeo-Christian deception for the masses of Churchianity… Until the faithful understand we are being ruled by Talmudic Rabbis and Grossly misinformed Christian Pastors and Priest, the blind will follow the blind and those that are drinking fluoridated water are truly dementia oriented…
    In Michael Hoffman’s treatise called “Judaism Discovered”, the latter becomes clearer than the ringing of the bell of truths that are believed, that are actually lies, and are cleverly disguised by the clergy of false pretense and outright Talmudic deception for Christians around the world… I would not dare call myself a Christian because I’m one of the conditioned masses from birth… To be frank, The latter was true up until recently… We can never truly undo our conditioned state of psychosis and pathologically inclined conditioning… it’s a struggle of propagated propaganda within all our piers… our parents and humanity at large.
    All the rhetoric about sanctions is about political discourse and imperialist notion that Is-Real-Hell is the Israel, Pre 70 Ce. It’s not the Same Israel of todays Holocaustianity and the religion thereof.… False History and allegory of believing that the ethnos of cryptic Khazarian Jews are real Hebrews, is nothing but a sham designed by the Jewish Rabbis of Baal Inc. Babylonian cryptic Talmudic beliefs disguised as Judeo Christianity as well, the Men that follow such deception that run our country and constitution into the grave… They were all born into the psychopathic delusion of Churchianity and Military Christian Swordsmanship as a truth. Wars and rumors of wars will be with us until the swordsman’s kill one another off a little at a time, or all of humanity under the umbrella of Imperialism. They have taken on the warring god of the Judiacs and the false prophets of Christianity.

  7. The consequences that eventually catch up with most bullies are usually never adequate for all of the suffering that they cause. The arrogant errors in judgement made by the United States government, or any government, are always shouldered by the at large public. The ” leaders ” almost always never suffer for their cruelty; that needs to change!

  8. The leaders within any sovereign nation define the status quo of such nation. Unless seriously restrained and/or challenged by established and continually enforced rules of self-government (if such be the case), leaders are generally free to make their own rules and enforce those rules within the borders of their own country in accordance with the status quo therein, forcefully if necessary. This is generally termed “The Law of the Land” whether derived through a democratic process, the rule of an absolute monarch/dictator or anything between.

    National boundaries define the limits of a governmental entity’s laws, however, as driven by their leaders, sovereign nations may from time to time, attempt to adjust the size and scope of their own boundaries and/or controlled territories often at the expense of persons residing within such expansion. These attempted adjustments of status quo are typically met with resistance providing that both the will and power exists to resist. As a result these expansionist pressures typically result in wars which may be quite overt and bloody, quite overt and bloodless, subtle yet bloody, or even subtle and bloodless.

    A globalist perspective, however, requires that all national leaders ultimately make the decision to participate cooperatively and peacefully with the remaining world (or else!). A globalist perspective recognizes that the world at large is heavily invested in protecting its own status quo even while harboring innate expansionist desires. A globalist perspective recognizes that such expansionist desires are today best fulfilled through a continuing establishment of global business empires having no physical borders as opposed to historical empires as defined by physical borders. A globalist perspective does not actually care who or what form of government “rules” any given sovereign nation… just so long as business (which is good for everyone, right?) can expand into it for the ultimate benefit of all humankind.

    How much compromise is required to transform the egos involved with any local status-quo into part of the obviously more glorious globalist elite status quo? Can any isolated national status be more desirable than gaining a global status and unfathomable personal wealth while at the same time maintaining national status? The only disclaimer, however, is when a seemingly illogical ideology persists in being quite stubborn, in which case the globalist status quo maintains an impressive inventory of bombs and other such weapons which are always in danger of going stale if not utilized from time to time.

    “Take the money and get on with it, BITCH!”, says (The Great Satan, obviously), “We can now show you how to easily control the narrative, any narrative”.

    1. Travel advisory: Any expression of unrestrained dissonant commentary/opinion and/or the mere suspicion of being a practicing homosexual within the borders of Iran or several other similarly ruled countries runs a serious risk of attracting the authorities who will very likely condemn the violator to a very public penalty of death. This historically may include a lynching on a busy city street, beheading in a properly prescribed manner and place, or even being bound, blindfolded and then pushed off a very high building. The last manner of execution may be reserved for homosexuals, but I wouldn’t necessary count on that should there be no rope or appropriate blade handy.

      But please don’t be alarmed by this as it is all perfectly legal under the law of the land which should in any case always be obeyed without question, penalties notwithstanding.
      Besides, as a foreigner one might receive nothing more than a public and potentially crippling flogging. That said, Trump’s decision to implement and expand economic pressures on that country’s government instead of simply bombing all of the Iranian people into oblivion (as the neocons want) may seem overly harsh, but certainly by now the locals are quite used to things being sometimes being harsh – even without Trump.

      I also doubt the “oppressors” in this case would publicly chose to blockade or inhibit any appropriate disaster relief agencies from entering Iran to actually help any of its suffering people, but the real question is whether the authorities in Iran would because (and this term is in danger of becoming trite) it would destroy their preferred “narrative”. This is particularly true when there are active “dissonant” voices against Trump’s economic sanction actions, operating of course where such voices do not incur the death penalty.

  9. Never stop telling it like it is!

  10. Trump’s comment in the lede of Caitlin’s piece reveals his sadistic pathology: “‘We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,’ President Trump tweeted today. ‘I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again – The sooner the better!’”

    The torturers in the dungeons around the globe always tell their victims that its their fault that the torturer inflicts his gruesome and humiliating acts upon someone who is chained to a chair. For Trump to simultaneously initiate sanctions that will be felt, not by the Iranian government policymakers, but the working class as he tells them he wishes for the their prosperity is absurd on its face.

    Bullies like Trump and his sickening cabal of overfed turds in the White House always blame those who are powerless for the plight that the evil dominant class foists upon them.

    1. What does it say about The People of the USA when their government invaded and attempted to destroy Vietnam by killing literally millions of people?
      What does it say about The People of the USA when their government destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya on pure lies?
      What does it say about The People of the USA when their government has for years been attempting to destroy Syria, Venezuela; and for close to 40 years has been attempting to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran?
      Just exactly WHAT WILL IT SAY ABOUT THE PEOPLE OF THE USA when they re-elect Agent Orange as POTUS when they know what he’s doing to Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Nicaragua, Cuba, Yemen, Somalia, etc. etc.?
      How my sympathy and empathy are the people of those nations going to feel for The People of the USA when, not if, the US’s tide of hatred turns back on the USA?
      When are The People of the USA finally going to acknowledge to themselves what they REALLY are and what the REALLY worship? I think that The People’s Day of Self-Awareness and Self-Acknowledgment will come very soon. Here’s a preview.

      1. The easy conclusion to draw is that people are stupid, don’t care, etc. However, you might look at the massive propaganda assault being levied against Americans.It’s successful, just as product advertising is. Remember, this propaganda assault starts and progresses from kindergarten on throughout a child’s so-called period of education. And, it never ends until the person loses cognition and starts to blend into the woodwork. Yes, we’ve all had arguments over politics, who is to blame? The tete a tete point man you are facing could well be your best friend, but once cognitive dissonance takes hold, it’s every man for himself.

  11. related:

    “Daesh-like “Scorched Earth” Terror Policy Sets Syrian and Iraqi Agricultural Land Ablaze” by Sarah Abed

  12. The best thing about this totally appalling news is that it depends on the status quo continuing as now. Considering all the dysfunctions all over the world things are likely to come to a head in the near future, thus pulling the rug out from under the feet of these evil doers. It’s very close with Iran. If Iran closes the Strait at Hormuz, the choking off of oil will rapidly pull the worlds economies down. Australia for example has only i week’s oil supply. The USA is OK but if everything else isn’t then it too will feel the pain. China will get really angry, with consequences we can’t know. I really hope the USA oversteps the edge.

    1. something’s got to give.

  13. I think the sanctions on Iran are illegal. What Trump doesn’t seem to appreciate is that these sanctions are very damaging for America; they motivate countries to avoid the dollar and alienate U.S. allies. Some day the U.S. will need genuine allies and none will be left. Rather the U.S. will be facing many bitter governments. Once the dollar loses its reserve currency status, America can forget about imposing sanctions like this.

    1. America is like the boy who cried wolf. Well, sort of. More like if the boy cried wolf then killed other shephard’s Sheep dogs and stole their sheep. But, sooner or later the world will tire of the “wolf” lies and turn on the boy.

  14. Is Trump innately evil or is he just stupid? He doesn’t see what war crimes are? He goes along with his neocon advisors because he knows and cares naught for truth and justice. International laws are for somebody else sayeth the Almighty Donald. War crimes, who cares? See, we can only save countries from hurting themselves by destroying them. War is peace, ignorance is acumen, we kill with good intentions. I know ‘cuz the Donald told me so.

    1. During the campaign he bragged that he’d kill the families of terrorists. He likes winning no matter the methods – war crimes or not. As he said, he doesn’t like stupid wars (most likely meaning wars we will lose because to win would be too costly). To understand Trump you need to do away with “right or wrong” reasoning and think in “win or lose” reasoning.

  15. Complete evil, both in the photo and YouTube clip that shows the depravity of this Empire, where all the human beings in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, are just unpeople, merely disposable collateral damage to the vampiric apparatchiks of the Anglo Zionist Empire. Any price is ‘worth it’ to these ghouls as long as they get what they want: full spectrum dominance of the planet, and puppet regimes everywhere, with unfettered access for the multinational corporations to continue their plunder of the planet.

    1. yup, the ghouls will pay the exact price for their crimes against humanity sooner than they would like.

  16. Powerful and revealing analysis, Caitlin. I realize now that economic sanctions are indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians, which is surely a crime against humanity. Thank you for helping me see the light.

    1. If it were possible for another state to impose sanctions on the USA this would immecdiately launch a war by the US on that state. The US would say, ‘no one can do this’.
      Trump should be asked about this scenario.

      1. Sanction us? Hell, look what the US does when another nation just tries to keep some of the profits from their own national resources. We destroy them.

        A hundred years ago we destroyed Honduras because of bananas. Not oil, not trade routes or metals… but, bananas. Thus, the term Banana Republic. And the recent coup we helped with there was pretty much for similar reasons.

        If we do that over fruits and veggie profits, we’d go apocalyptic over sanctions.

  17. Wikipedia
    CIA activities in Iran

    Identification of leftists

    In 1983, the CIA passed an extensive list of Iranian communists and other leftists secretly working in the Iranian government to Khomeini’s administration.[65] A Tower Commission report later observed that the list was utilized to take “measures, including mass executions.”[65][66]

    1. To be fair, the CIA/FBI isn’t much friendlier to Leftists here at home either. Maybe not mass executions, but they clamp down on all Leftist movements from major ones to small time activists.

      They’ll let Klansmen march through town unimpeded, militia men point guns at BLM enforcers, and Tea Partiers open carry in DC, but if some lefties do more than open a weekend co-op they’ll annihilate them.

  18. Bruce W. Dobbins Avatar
    Bruce W. Dobbins

    It can be argued that the U.S. sanctions on Japan, because of its behaviour and the invasion of China, made the Japanese Government believe that their only honourable recourse, absent abject surrender to U.S. demands, was war.
    • In 1939 the United States terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan.
    • On July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to “… license or prohibit the export of essential defence materials.”
    • Under this authority, “[o]n July 31, exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants and No. 1 heavy melting iron and steel scrap were restricted.”
    • Next, in a move aimed at Japan, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, “on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere.”
    • On July 26, 1941, Roosevelt “froze” Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end.
    • One-week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan. The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia.

    One wonders if President Roosevelt wasn’t trying to goad the Japanese into war and, eventually, if Iran will come to that same conclusion – in light of our unilateral withdrawal from a nuclear treaty (that Iran was in full compliance with and with ALL of the other signatory nations standing against the U.S. decision) and the unjustified re-imposition of crushing economic sanctions against Iran and its people.

    If this President wants war with Iran, and wants to suffer the attendant unconventional warfare (not terrorism) attacks of Iranian forces world-wide, he is certainly following a course of action that will lead us there.

    1. defiance demon Avatar
      defiance demon

      So what would’ve been an appropriate response to Japanese atrocities in China? Let’s not pretend Japan’s presence in China was benevolent in any way. It can argued that the actions of Roosevelt and European countries were a worthy attempt to control or at least blunt Japan’s extreme militarism, hopefully keeping all out war a last resort. Of course, it didn’t work out that way but at least the effort was made. The Nazis in Germany steadily remilitarized over approximately 7 years, breaking and ignoring any treaty obligation, with barely a word of complaint from amerika and other European nations. Would a concentrated and sustained effort by the western powers have possibly prevented World War Two?

      By contrast, Iran has demonstrated no outward aggression and is guilty only of steadfastly refusing to kneel and kiss the ring of empire. amerikan foreign policy clearly show stupidity and the arrogance of power. As I heard Randi Rhodes declare in the days of Air America Radio, this empire will never be defeated by a foreign enemy; it will collapse from within. It’s impossible to predict the timeline, but it WILL happen.

      1. the US and Japan are two of the same colonialist ghouls. the best case scenario is them exterminating each other.

    2. Don’t forget moving a massive armada of warships from its home bases in California to Hawaii, two thousand miles closer to the Japanese home islands.

      The west’s crocodile tears over Japan’s brutality in China are the height of hypocrisy. The China that was invaded by Japan was not a free land: it was wholly dominated by western colonial powers. Japan drove out the European predators but continued the exploitation of China for its own advantage.

      In school, we were taught that Admiral Perry blandly “opened” Japan to U.S. trade in 1853. In fact he was authorized by President Pierce to threaten Japan with war, unless the government agreed to sign a trade treaty with U.S. business interests on terms that were most unfavorable to Japan. Without adequate defense, Japan capitulated. After an abortive attempt in 1863 to free their country from foreign “investors,” a new, militant Japanese government replaced the Shogunate in 1868 and embarked on a massive defense program, soon acquiring a fleet of modern ironclad warships.

      By 1905 Japan was the unrivaled naval power in the eastern Pacific. She became a close ally of Great Britain, convoying troop transports from Australia in the Great War. In 1922, the United States government, seeking to turn the Pacific into “an American lake,” forced England to repudiate her ties to Japan. This insult weakened the liberal government and helped give rise to the militarist regime of World War II.

  19. that’s why i ask “are you saying that you approve of the inhumane sanctions because you so care about north koreans’ human rights and humanity????” whenever some self-righteous neo-liberal or neo-conservative says “but north korea is a dictatorship that brutalizes its people!” as if that justifies 70 years of most brutal sanctions on top of the most inhumane war crimes against North Korea.

    i’m just glad that North Korea finally has nuclear weapons and can defend themselves now.

    yeah, the sanctimonious self-styled “peace-niks” who so-conveniently demand “nuclear disarmament now” can all go pound sand. why aren’t they demanding the US, the only regime that actually used nukes unnecessarily and in full awareness, to de-nuke itself completely, verifiably, and irreversibly first??????????

    1. absolutely!

    2. I’d wager that Israel has used the mini-nukes a number of times before.Hey, go easy on our only allies in the Middle East, will ya? Don’t want to be guilty of anti-Semitism, you know.
      I believe Israel was involved in the Oklahoma City Murrah Building explosion. Also, a mini-nuke.

    3. I was in NYC on 9/11 and after that traumatic day (and the lingering impact) I thought there was a chance us Americans would reflect on the experience and, as the “richest and strongest nation in the world” we’d use that strength to say “enough is enough” and turn against violence and toward building bridges. We were in a perfect position to use the world’s sympathy/support to turn a new page and work to build a new way forward.

      I was an idiot. That delusion died forever when I watched “Shock & Awe” on TV and cried at the thought we were doing 9/11 on a mass scale to others for no reason other than mindless vengeance and empire building.

      We could have used the end of the Cold War – our “victory” over an enemy – as an excuse to de-nuke and build a better future. We could have used 9/11 – our pain from an attack – to turn away from violence and build a better future. Instead we used both to increase militarization and sow instability. Basically, every outcome is an excuse for us to be more aggressive bullies.

      1. well, whoever chose New York for that “event” had good reasons to do so. it has to reach the bottom (the truth) before it can bounce back up.

  20. ‘If the US were to launch a barrage of Tomahawk missiles into an Iranian suburb with the goal of killing civilians, there’d be international outrage and the cohesion of the US-centralized power alliance would take a major hit.’

    I disagree. Think of the millions killed in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, in Iraq and all the others we know about – what ‘major hit’ has the ‘US-centralized power alliance’ taken for all of these? Zero! There is no horror they can commit which will see them stopped. Despite the outstanding journalism by Caitlin and many others, until the masses wake up and mobilise, nothing will change.

    1. agreed. i skipped most of the entry and i guess i didn’t miss much.

    2. That’s a good analysis, Robyn. However, our war crimes against Iran are merely adjuncts of Eretz Israel and to criticize them would be blatant anti-Semitism, as we all know. With First Amendment rights going out the window, we cannot even call a spade a spade.
      The US Empire is just the action arm it provides to Israel to “clean up the Middle East”.

      So, are we all proud of America the Beautiful? Our children are taught this in schools aka propaganda centers. Aren’t we wonderful, aren’t we exceptional?

  21. Brutalizing and killing human beings has been the number one priority of the United States from its very beginning. This country will either wipe you out or they will enslave you. Anyone enduring this shameful barbarism has no illusions about the evilness of the United States government. Slowly the people of planet earth are getting out from under the jackboot of the United States government and learning to never expect anything but lies and deceit from it. The United States government is a plague that must be avoided by everyone!

  22. Caitlin and Tim, please do not let the rest of the US’s vassal nations off the hook. The US could NOT do what it is doing without the assistance of its important vassals — France, Germany, UK, Italy, etc. These nations did not have to follow US orders. They could/should have continued their very own trade with Iran because Iran was fullfilling its commitements under the JCPOA and so should they have, but they did not because the US threatened THEM with “sanctions” (economic warfare) if they did so.
    I believe that all of this obedient behavior is the quid pro quo for the Federal Reserve bailing out European banks, as well as US banks during the ’08 financial crisis. I think that the US is telling these countries that if there is another “financial crisis”, the Fed will not bail out those banks or cooperate on a new economic/financial plan if these countries have defied US sanctions. These nations are scared shitless that they can’t make it without US “help”, so they go right along with US illegality and outright murder.
    The US has somehow got to be prevented from doing what it is doing to the world. That is going to require other nations organizing against US interests and there is no doubt that the US will notice that organization taking place and it will take dramatic steps to prevent that. When the US once again tells the rest of the nations of the world that “you’re either with us or against us”, and many nations say, “we’re not with you if that means going along with your terrorizing the rest of the world”, the US will finally realize that its USD hegemony has ended. That is exactly what the US is doing to the rest of the world — terrorizing it.

  23. Random Castagna Avatar
    Random Castagna

    I would also cite the case of George Bush the Elder, yet another infamous war criminal. After 9-11, he caused Baghdad to be bombed repeatedly, and deliberately destroyed critical infrastructure (pharmaceutical factories, food processing plants, police stations, sewage and water treatment facilities, among others), and then imposed sanctions on Iraq, causing about 1.5 million people to die, of which an estimated 800,000 were babies and children.

    May he rot in hell.

  24. defiance demon Avatar
    defiance demon

    One has to wonder how long the empire can maintain it’s economic hegemony. Russia and China continue to dump treasuries and stockpile gold. Many European countries are working to establish alternative payment systems to bypass those under control and influence of the empire. My hope is that more nations will eventually be disciplined enough to learn to live with less and reduce their need to be part of the amerikan market. The ideal is for those nations to further strengthen economic ties with Russia, China, and even among themselves. This is the only real hope I see to bring the empire’s bullying belligerence to heel.

  25. linda gentsch Avatar
    linda gentsch

    You forgot the sanctions on Syria that remain and the US is sanctioning oil going to Syria and bombed trucks hauling oil to Syria over land.

    Only good news is that Russia is trading oil for food/medicine/tech equipment with Iran and helping them with the financial situation (avoiding US dollars). US doesn’t currently sanction Russian oil and gas, but Russia has said they are going to but Iranian oil. So look for more sanctions on Russia. Russia will help Iran with oil, banking if payment channel not launched: Ryabkov,

  26. Thank you. This is one of those things that must be said, and said repeatedly. As the corporate narratives will try hard to attention elsewhere.
    Back in earlier times when human beings were more humane and more civilized, they attempted to create laws for warfare. Very high among them was that nations would not attack civilians. Wars were supposed to be resolved between the militaries, and they were supposed to at least try to keep civilians out of it. Trump and the American leadership have reverted to more barbaric times and customs.

    1. Good comment. Just War Theory from Saint Augustine to the Prophet Muhammad to contemporary ethicists has always forbade the killing of innocent civilians. Yet the killing of innocent civilians is the very essence of sanctions, whether they be from Obama or godawful Donald Trump. I thank Caitlin for pointing this out.

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