America Declares Economic War Against Europe

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

On Friday night, July 28th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would sign into law the increased economic sanctions (passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House) against any business that is declared to have “knowingly provided goods or services … for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines.”

Russia is the largest energy-supplier to the world’s largest energy-market, which is Europe, or the EU. The biggest proportion of that trade is in Europe’s main source of energy, which is gas, which is pipelined into Europe from Russia. So: those pipelines are vitally important not only to Russia’s economy but to Europe’s.

President Trump had gotten Congress to agree to limit the application of this provision only to “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States, may impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, makes an investment described in subsection (b) or sells, leases, or provides to the Russian Federation, for the construction of Russian energy export pipelines, goods, services, technology, information, or support.”

But the new law still does include “SEC. 232. SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PIPELINES IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.” That Section punishes “Goods, services, technology, information, or support described in this subsection are goods, services, technology, information, or support that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of the construction, modernization, or repair of energy export pipelines by the Russian Federation.” That includes the crucial Nord Stream pipeline, which is maintained by Russian and German companies to transport gas from Russia to the EU.

U.S. firms have thus now gotten their stooges in Congress to punish European and Russian companies that will be determined by “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States,” to be working together in these ways, to get Russia’s gas to Europe’s markets.

North Stream, or Nord Stream, as Wikipedia says:

has an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet), but its capacity is planned to be doubled to 110 billion cubic metres (3.9 trillion cubic feet) by 2019, by laying two additional lines.[5] Due to EU restrictions on Gazprom, only 22.5 billion cubic metres (790 billion cubic feet) of its capacity is actually used.[6] The name occasionally has a wider meaning, including the feeding onshore pipeline in the Russian Federation, and further connections in Western Europe.

So, already, the U.S. oligarchs have greatly reduced the effectiveness of this enormous European and Russian investment, and this is already war by the U.S. oligarchs (and their congressional agents) against both Europe and Russia; but, the new sanctions aim to go even further to absolutely cripple Europe and Russia.

President Trump is to be credited for having weakened this provision to such an extent that it will be virtually meaningless; but, the intention of the oligarchs who control the U.S., to force Europe to buy from them, and from their allied Saudi, UAE, Kuwaiti, and the other royal fundamentalistic Sunni Arabian families, is clear.

Other highlights from this new U.S. law are well summarized in the July 28th article from Zero Hedge, “Trump Confirms He Will Sign Russia Sanctions Bill”. The biggest concession that Trump made was to allow that this new law, “H.R.3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, “Codifies existing US sanctions on Russia and requires Congressional review before they are lifted.” This is an Executive-Legislative agreement (an agreement between the President and Congress), but the U.S. Constitution doesn’t include any provision allowing an Executive-Legislative agreement to violate the Constitution; and there are a number of provisions in the U.S. Constitution that H.R.3364 might be determined by courts to be violating, as regards relinquishment to Congress of certain Executive powers over the negotiation of treaties, and over the President’s powers as Commander-in-Chief. This is presuming, of course, that key judges cannot be bought-off.

When a country is being ruled by its oligarchs, anything that the nation’s Constitution says, can be viewed as little more than an impediment, not any outright ban, because the actual Constitution, in any such country, is whatever they want it to be. Just how bad the U.S. government has become, can’t yet be determined, but might become clear fairly soon.

Meanwhile, some senior journalists in Europe (such as this) are already beginning to argue that American policy toward Russia is not only draining massive funds from EU countries, but is driving a split in the EU, and also within NATO, which might break Europe apart, into the Eastern European, former Soviet countries, allied with the U.S.; versus the Western European countries, allied with Russia — driving potentially toward the termination of NATO, and of the EU, into an entirely new system of alliances: “Eastern Europe is a powder keg with several, burning lances. Twenty-eight years after the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of democracies, the region is sinking into a political crisis,” which has the United States backing the most far-right Eastern European countries, against Russia, but in which the Western European countries become increasingly allied with Russia. It could happen. It would not produce an anti-U.S. Western Europe, except to the extent that U.S. policies aim against Russia. It would thus mean the end of the secret anti-Russia operation that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush initiated on the night of 24 February 1990, and that has been carried out by the U.S., EU, and NATO, uninterrupted, ever since. 

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Zartan

    Russia is Russia`s worst enemy or is it that “PUT IN,” putin? He is the pathology that does “absolutely nothing” except pander to worship America and eat his berries. What a Fool! Therefore, because HE is such a slave to America, He will suffer, or rather, Russia will suffer for its glory.

    If Putin had shut the Gas off, and put some discipline into EU, they would Respect Russia. If Russia had shot down Turkish and US “Plane for Plane” in Exchange for Turkey/US Shooting Down Russian Planes, Russia would be respected. However, Putin and his lack of leadership will prove disaster for Russia because the west will view Russia as Weak.

    Now, the Absolute of Putin`s Treason lies in his refusal to bailout Greece; ( He could have paid Cash, Himself) thereby, he could have Negotiated into the contract with Greece, Russian use of air and naval bases, which would Checkmate NATO, entirely, saving Russia Billions, plus the potential of another Apocalypse!

    Putin is no chess player!

    Who PUT “putin” in Power , BECAUSE LIKE WITH ALL THINGS, THE PTB HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR … “PUT IN, ” AND THEY LIKE TO RUB IT IN THE PEOPLES FACE!

    • Eric Zuesse

      It is possible that Putin’s decision to decline lending Greece $10B so that Greece could go back to the Drachma and quit the EU and become allied with Russia was a huge error, and the only explanation for why it was made was Zero Hedge’s, that Merkel would now be in Putin’s debt for salvaging the EU — a debt to Russia that she never honored.

      • Zartan

        Russia could have “Checkmated all of NATO” in one move and saved themselves untold fortunes many times over. I am shocked that Putin is still alive. Russia would be in a position of strength; today, if Putin had done what was given to him -by the gods- on a golden platter. It was a Miracle that Greece was even open to such and asking Russia for help. Russia had everything to gain and nothing to lose.

        Putin has cost Russia, dearly, and it will be written as such, historically, because NONE of these current “Sanctions,” Hostile Posturing, or Russia Bashing would be going on today, if Russia was partner with Greece, and had Leases on all Greek Military Installations: US/NATO would be sh—ing in their Pants!

        Putin is the worst Russian Leader in History. I therefore have to conclude that He is being paid by the CIA. Nobody can be that stupid.

        Greece is too small to be a problem for EU, that terroristic nonsense was all manufactured by goldman sachs to scare the sheep, so that the bankers can continue their looting operations. If any Nation should be questioned about debt it is the US government with its staggering debt, illegal war debts, and “black book” debt that could total untold Trillions, plus Stolen Gold. The latter I know about through my own personal experiences.

        Someone is controlling “all of this crime;” and I would bet my last penny it all comes from the US government. Merkel is nothing but a US puppet and she does “only” what the US government commands her to do. The Bailouts were a total Joke and did nothing to heal the economy. The governments are all cooperating to buy their own wares ( stocks, bonds and products) and in this respect they can never fail. They are running the presses full steam ahead and nobody will dare to even question them. I wish I could do the same!! Damn, I could print enough Bennies on my HP to make up for all my past sins!!

  • Sarastro92

    Odds are the Euros will bend over and take what’ coming to them from the USA…

  • Brabantian

    The EU just warned the USA of severe counter-measures over these EU-destructive ‘sanctions against Russia … And of course right after this warning of counter-measures by the EU … the corrupt US-Israeli intel outfit masquerading as ‘Wikileaks’, has just ‘leaked’ 72 thousand e-mails from France’s President Macron & his campaign, an intel hit on the EU to show who is boss

    All e-mails ‘verified’ per ‘not really living at the London Ecuador Embassy’ Julian Assange, whose childhood seems to be involved with a CIA-tied mind-control children’s home in Australia, ‘The Family’, where they dyed the colour of the kids’ hair blonde to make them look … a lot like Julian looks
    http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/assange-family-mind-control.html

    Wikileaks, Panama Leaks, always an NSA-supplied ‘leak’ to get revenge on people not doing what you want … Assange is ticked off at France in particular, because they refused to give faker Assange a more out-in-the-open ‘asylum’, after the French DGSE intelligence agency (CIA equivalent) learnt that Assange & Snowden were both hoaxes from US intel
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

    UK police are now extra busy shuttling Assange in & out from his ‘Embassy closet’ to the big country house of the Rothschild friend where he seems to actually live, where Julian has all those nice changes of clothing & grooming aids for his video ‘appearances’

    • Guest

      I guess none of us are immune from becoming the patsy.

  • Eileen

    I guess nobody remembers what the EU hinted when the US dropped out of the Paris Climate Accord.