FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obdurate Washington

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

With its power declining, Washington was not able any longer to keep Russia out of the World Trade Organization.  Congress showed its spite over its impotence by hooking the normalizing of trade with Russia to what is called the “Magnitsky rule.

Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian attorney who represented a British investment firm accused of tax evasion and fraud in Russia. Apparently, the UK firm supplied information to media alleging government misconduct and participation in corruption inside state-owned Russian companies.

Magnitsky represented the accused UK firm. He claimed that the firm had not committed fraud but had been a victim of fraud. In turn, Magnitsky was arrested. He developed serious illnesses in prison for which he apparently received inadequate medical care.

Whether he died of untreated illnesses, we cannot know. But the US Congress, acting on the unsubstantiated allegation that Magnitsky was tortured and murdered, attached to the trade normalization bill a provision that requires the US government to release a list of Russian government officials believed or imagined to have been involved with the violation of Magnitsky’s human rights and to freeze the assets of these members of the Russian government and to deny them visas to travel to the US.  Considering Washington’s belief that its law is the universal law of humankind, Washington probably intends for every country to enforce its edict or to be sanctioned in turn.

The Russian government finds the “Magnitsky rule” amusing. Here is the Russian government accused, without any evidence, of ONE torture and death, while Washington has such a large number of torture deaths from Abu Ghraib to Gitmo to the secret CIA torture centers to endless drone attacks on kids‘ soccer games, weddings, funerals, medical clinics, schools, farm houses and aid workers.  The evidence is completely clear that Washington has tortured a number of individuals to death and into false confessions and blown to pieces thousands of innocents known as “collateral damage.”  No one but Washington and its servants denies this.  But one alleged Russian offense against human rights brings forth an act of the US Congress, all in a huff about the violation of a Russian lawyer’s human rights.

A number of rulers in human history have been this arrogant.  But has a democracy ever been?  Athens perhaps, but Sparta taught Athens a lesson.

What do the members of Congress think is the response of the rest of the world to Washington’s utter hypocrisy? How can Washington pass a law punishing Russian government officials for allegedly doing once what we know for an absolute fact Washington does every day?

The holier-than-thou presence that Washington presents to the world is so phony and shopworn that Washington is becoming not only despised but a laughing stock. Peoples cease to fear the “superpower” when they laugh at its folly, hypocrisy and utter stupidity.

Certainly, the Russians are not afraid. The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, responded to the Washington morons as follows: “It is inadmissible when one country tries to dictate its will to another.” The Magnitsky rule will bring forth a “symmetrical and asymmetrical reaction from Russia.” The Russian Duma seems intent that this be the case.

Washington is like the drunk in a bar who picks a fight with a bruiser. Washington is full of itself, but Russia and China are not going to put up with a financially busted and militarily overstretched popinjay. The evil in Washington is driving us into nuclear war and into the destruction of life on earth.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  His latest book,  Wirtschaft am Abgrund (Economies In Collapse) has just been published.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail