Imperialists Will Always Double Down

by | Jan 10, 2024

Imperialists Will Always Double Down

by | Jan 10, 2024

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Photo Credit: U.S. Consulate Vladivostok

While one could choose many appropriate representatives of the quotidian inanity of U.S. foreign policy—the deleterious consequences of which somehow never do anything to dent the authors’ respective career prospects—one could find many equal to but none better than former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, statist intellectual, and imperialist meddler, Michael McFaul.

As to be expected, he has the usual, impeccable hawkish credentials, his time and publications paid for by, among others, the Hoover Institute, Brookings Institute, and Center for Strategic and International Studies (brought to you courtesy of such disinterested, public-spirited nonprofits as Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman, as well as equally disinterested foreign governments through various subsidiary donors).

Most recently, in response to the widespread reports that sanctions on Russia have failed, something so obvious even the U.S. corporate media can no longer fail to report it, McFaul had this to say:

Indeed.

The only obvious response to a policy that has never worked, having failed to bend such mighty geopolitical titans as Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq to heel, is to continue said policy, targeting a power orders of magnitude more powerful, resilient, and important to the world economy than any of the above ever were or could ever be.

Hardly airtight logic.

Such realities need not and do not deter McFaul and his like, however—simply make the Indians stop buying Russian oil! Make the Germans stop selling industrial wares to Kyrgyzstan! In the great Wilsonian tradition, make the world safe for democracy by denying the agency of anyone and everyone who disagrees with Washington’s dictats!

Realistically, India will keep chugging down Russian oil; and Washington, because it wants New Delhi’s help countering the fake China threat, can do nothing but finger wag—and that it will probably do very quietly.

German companies evading sanctions is something Washington might be able to do something about, but it will come at a high cost. Berlin isn’t bending over backwards on the issue for a reason; industrial products are its bread and butter, and its economy hasn’t exactly been booming. Few will be quick to thank Washington for efforts to further cripple Europe’s economic engine.

It was obvious a year ago the policy of sanctions had failed—indeed, in the very same year Washington launched its most ambitious round of economic warfare yet, the head of the geoeconomics unit of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the former global forecasting director of the Economist Intelligence Unit, wrote an entire book about how the U.S. policy of sanctions only harmed America, Americans, and their purported interests.

Few (if any) in Washington took note.

The truth is that sanctions overwhelmingly harm the ordinary people of the target country. This should not come as a surprise, for this was and remains their intent and design. As the history of the subject illustrates, the mistaken assumption was, and remains, that by brutalizing the population they will somehow turn against their own leadership. While such an initial error might be pardonable, ignoring decades of evidence to the contrary certainly is not. The rally around the flag effect works just as well for Washington’s chosen enemies as it does for itself.

As Washington’s reliance on the economic weapon has grown, calls for de-dollarization and alternative global institutions have grown apace. And while Washington and its defenders will always seek to deflect and project the blame on others, the truth is it is that this is all the result of their own doing.

The definition of insanity may be doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results; but then, who can ignore the evidence of Washington increasingly unhinged behavior?

Joseph Solis-Mullen

Joseph Solis-Mullen

Author of The Fake China Threat and Its Very Real Danger, Joseph Solis-Mullen is a political scientist and economist at the Libertarian Institute. A graduate of Spring Arbor University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Missouri, his work can be found at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Libertarian Institute, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Journal of the American Revolution, and Antiwar.com. You can contact him via joseph@libertarianinstitute.org or find him on Twitter @solis_mullen.

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