Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 04, 2023

On The Hypocrisy Of The New EU Sanction Regime

Once upon a time the European Union rejected secondary sanctions which the U.S. used to press third party countries to follow its sanction regimes against other once:

Making use of the centrality of the US in the global economy, it has imposed ‘secondary sanctions’ on foreign firms, which are forced to choose between trading with US sanctions targets or forfeiting access to the lucrative US market. In addition, the US has penalized foreign firms for breaching US sanctions legislation.

To counter these extraterritorial measures the EU introduced a blocking mechanism:

The lawfulness of these sanctions could be contested before various domestic and international judicial mechanisms, although each mechanism comes with its own limitations. To counter the adverse effects of secondary sanctions, third states and the EU can also make use of, and have already made use of, various non-judicial mechanisms, such as blocking statutes, special purpose vehicles to circumvent the reach of sanctions, or even countermeasures.

Blocking statutes prohibit EU companies from complying with U.S. sanctions:

Pursuant to Art. 5(1) of the EU Blocking Regulation, EU operators are prohibited from complying “with any requirement or prohibition, including requests of foreign courts, based on or resulting, directly or indirectly” from a set of foreign sanctions laws deemed to apply extraterritorially by the European Union, “or from actions based thereon or resulting therefrom.” The laws in question are listed in the Regulation’s Annex; currently, all are US statutes. Art. 5(2) provides that the European Commission (the Commission) may, upon request, authorize EU operators to comply fully or partially with these laws, to the extent that noncompliance would seriously damage their interests or those of the European Union.

In 2018, the Commission updated the Annex of the EU Blocking Regulation to include the (reimposed) US secondary sanctions against Iran. It also adopted an Implementing Regulation laying down the criteria that would be taken into account for the granting of compliance authorizations, and issued a Guidance Note on the application of the reactivated EU Blocking Regulation.

The blocking statute was used to reject sanctions the U.S. instated against Iran after the U.S. left the nuclear agreement.

Now however, the conflict in Ukraine has seemingly killed any resistance in the EU against illegal acts from the U.S. In fact the EU has now gone mad and is itself considering the introduction of extraterritorial measures against countries which do not follow its own sanction regime against Russia:

The European Union is discussing a new sanctions mechanism to target third countries it believes aren’t doing enough to prevent Russia from evading sanctions, particularly those that can’t explain spikes in trade of key goods or technologies, according to people familiar with the matter.

The primary aim of the tool would be to deter countries from helping Russia and crack down on trade channels that Moscow may be exploiting, the people said. If that doesn’t work, the bloc would have the option as a second step of imposing targeted restrictions on key goods.
The new enforcement mechanism, aspects of which were first reported by the Financial Times, would give member states the authority to create two lists — one of affected third countries and the other of banned goods.

If the mechanism is approved by national governments, decisions on which countries and goods to list would be for member states to take unanimously, the people said. The measures were unlikely to target China at first, but focus mostly on nations in central Asia and Russia’s immediate neighbors, the people added.

Elsewhere, the proposed package would make it easier to sanction companies in third countries that are circumventing the EU’s sanctions.

The EU politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels are killing their own moral defense against the U.S. application of secondary sanctions against third parties.

How will they ever be able to again argue for their own blocking statute. Moreover what will they do when third party countries, like Turkey or China, introduce their own blocking statutes against secondary EU sanctions on their companies?

Posted by b on May 4, 2023 at 15:31 UTC | Permalink


Is there anyone on the planet that ever thought that morality had anything to do with the EU?

Posted by: Guy L’Estrange | May 4 2023 15:46 utc | 1

So when are they going to start calling these sanctions part of GDP like all the FIRE sector parts?

Think of what it can add to full employment...../s

More digging down by empire in its last throes.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2023 15:49 utc | 2

The great thing about the "democratic" European Union is the Vox Populi nature of its institutions. The manifest destiny which guides the Berlaymont to instruct China and India and Saudi Arabia and Turkey to obey the diktats of the Colonial Masters in Europe has imbued the Commissars with an arrogance surpassed only inside Georgetown itself.

It is going to be so so funny to watch Europe implode as China reduces key ingredients of the Western sybaritic lifestyle - whether pharmaceuticals or electronics or even plastic cups.......

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 4 2023 15:58 utc | 3

As the "lucrative" US and EU markets shrink, the "or else" aspect will become less frightening, and nations and companies will feel free to pay no attention to American or European sanctions. More power to them!

Posted by: traducteur | May 4 2023 16:03 utc | 4

Those you write about b. Faggots in uniform that have not done a days work in their lives.
All about me applaud. Whatta way to go.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 4 2023 16:05 utc | 5

Thanks for the insight b.

On the top of the issue you eloquently raise I think that we have to burry European idea and EU aspirations for some time to come.
We in Europe are battlespace and a buffer zone. As such and without any leadership with a spine we will cry deep into the night thanks to our passive lul and inactivity.
Being left with EU vulture bureaucracy that led us so far our best bet is to cower in the dark waiting to be liberated when the entire EU leadership is lined up against the wall of moral, political and economic responsibility, probably by the forces that will bring multiplayer order of the new multipolar system being constructed before our eyes.
In 1945 they couldn't do it, now they apparently can.
The other option is to go to the streets and relevant offices and chase the demons out ourselves. Yes, it is a dangerous, many might get hurt, but far less than passively being fed to the future military, economic and retarded political meat grinders.
When USA is out of Europe, put in its place while UK neutered properly and EU restructured top down, we might try to start again building the better planet together with our Slavic, Asian, African, Arab and Latino friends and partners. Everything else just doesn't cut it.

Posted by: whirlX | May 4 2023 16:09 utc | 6

"How will they ever be able to again argue for their own blocking statute. Moreover what will they do when third party countries, like Turkey or China, introduce their own blocking statutes against secondary EU sanctions on their companies?"

From my observation, the most decisive action of EU against Trumpian against Iran was to apply for waivers. US denied wavers, so EU designed one measure to enable trade with Iran, then another, none worked because Finance ministries in EU did not cooperate (?!) and there was that. Self-castration was accomplished, and now the lost body parts are hard to restore.

But there is a bunch of countries that do not want to self-castrate (unexpected development ???), and for all disparate interests, they show more signs of cooperation, the most practical is the growth of trade in national currencies, and willingness to profit from non-compliance. The big difference after the waves of sanctions against Russia and China is the scope of those profits, and the common interest in the "global South" to get free of handcuffs of "rule based World order".

In the same time, opposition to sanctions in EU is growing. For now, Hungary and Bulgaria are getting wavers to prevent their vetoes, but there is real possibility of anti-sanction governments emerging within a year or two. I think that countries like Greece, Italy and Spain are blackmailed financially be ECB that has some control over interest rates of their debt, but this is not a stable situation.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 4 2023 16:09 utc | 7

So what was Russia expecting?
EU a d usa under british manipulation are for total war against Russia but ignorant Russians have been in delusion about honesty of IMF, WTO, UNO to protect Russia.
Russia has to conquer England first to eliminate the persistent enemy which is England. Short of defeating England militarily ND killing English navy and ArmY, Russia is doomed otherwise.

Posted by: Sam | May 4 2023 16:09 utc | 8

European countries are now complete vassals of the USA. The EU is the USA´s government-of-occupation with more control over domestic national policies than the Soviet Union had over the Warsaw Pact.
It´s well described by Grey Anderson:

Posted by: John Marks | May 4 2023 16:10 utc | 9

psychohistorian | May 4 2023 15:49 utc | 2 "Think of what it can add to full employment...."

Think of the thousands employed in sanctions enforcement. And thousands more looking for loopholes. It's a growth industry.

Posted by: dh | May 4 2023 16:10 utc | 10

Paul Greenwood | May 4 2023 15:58 utc | 3

Sid James, John Cleese and others nailed it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 4 2023 16:12 utc | 11

The leaders of the US and EU do not care at all about their citizens anymore. They feel they have accumulated enough power and wealth that can bribe, cajole, threaten, force all compliance to their dictates. They may not get their way in BRICS aligned countries, but their own citizens don't seem capable of mounting any kind of resistance. Quality of life is going to crater in the West but this seems to just increase the wealth, power, and hold of our oligarchs and political leaders. A feedback loop straight to hell.

Posted by: Goldhoarder | May 4 2023 16:13 utc | 12

In response to
Think of the thousands employed in sanctions enforcement. And thousands more looking for loopholes. It's a growth industry.

Posted by: dh | May 4 2023 16:10 utc | 10

And then you create derivatives betting on the effectiveness of the sanctions to complete the circle........jerk

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2023 16:18 utc | 13

The end result of all this spiteful nonsense is fat cats sanctioning their own luxury, which doesn't seem to be a bad thing for the rest of the world's not so fat cats. It is a relief even.

Posted by: too scents | May 4 2023 16:19 utc | 14

@13 I'm going to assume 'jerk' has more to do with circle than me. Not that I care.

Posted by: dh | May 4 2023 16:24 utc | 15

EU is also intending to drive non-western firms out of EU markets through carbon tolls. The result in conjunction with highly inflationary production costs, lack of sub-assembly manufacturing expertise will be general product shortage, higher prices and worse quality for consumer goods within the EU.

You can't reverse supply chains which have been heavily outsourced and built up during the few decades of globalism.

Posted by: unimperator | May 4 2023 16:25 utc | 16

It's worse than that. Economic sanctions are by themselves close to acts of war. Secondary economic sanctions are totally illegal and should definitely be considered as acts of war by any sensible and self-respecting nations. One only has to look at the Napoleonic wars to see how Russia or Portugal reacted to his orders to enforce the continental blockade, and how it went when he decided to enforce it by strength of arms upon said countries.
That the EU goes this way is pure madness. Deciding to sanction other countries because they're not "tough enough" against Russia would be peak stupidity and should be considered as a declaration of war by the rest of the world. Fuck the EU, may it die soon, along with NATO.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 4 2023 16:30 utc | 17

Yes, dh | May 4 2023 16:24 utc | 15

We are the pond scum watching the circle jerks of others and suppose to be entertained.

This is some of our our species pretending to be civilized.

I am tired of watching the process but excited to be in this place/time

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2023 16:34 utc | 18

I am absolutely no friend of attributing the EU's policy exclusively to a supposed "vassal status".

At any rate, since Maastricht, the EU has been first and foremost an imperial project. Surely that should have been understood.
And there were and are overlaps, but also contradictions, in the interests between "Europe" and its "transatlantic bastard".

And the resistance of Russia against the "revived", "traditional", imperial Eastern expansion of Europe has completely logical consequences for the policy of the EU ...

Posted by: Humml | May 4 2023 16:36 utc | 19

Matching b's timely topic is this Global Times report about the results of Team Biden's semi-conductor embargo aimed at China's market which is killing one of the few productive areas of the Empire's real economy, "Global chip giants’ losses expand in first quarter":

Major international chipmakers have reported rising losses in the first quarter of 2023 amid weak demand and sweeping US chip export curbs on China, the world's largest semiconductor market.

Washington's reckless disturbance in businesses will continue to cloud the outlook for the industry, as major chipmakers have life-and-death stakes in the huge Chinese market, analysts said.

Samsung reported operating profit of 640 billion won ($478.55 million) in the first quarter, plunging 95 percent year-on-year. This is the company's worst quarterly performance since 2009, when the chip industry was battered by the global financial crisis.

Intel suffered a net loss of $2.8 billion in Q1 from a year-earlier net profit of $8.1 billion. It was Intel's largest quarterly loss ever, data showed.

Industry analysts said major chip firms' losses reflect a severe supply and demand mismatch and disruption in the industry amid mounting US chip export controls on China, elevated inflation and a gloomy world economy.

There's another major reason behind this drop in demand. Neoliberalcon policy destruction of domestic demand that's driven the Empire and almost all its vassals into recession:

"Amid weak consumer spending on smartphones and computers, the manufacturers have reduced stock-up of chips, leading to historic revenue drops for many semiconductor giants," Liang Zhenpeng, a senior industry analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Within the Empire, those "giants" have laid off thousands of workers which further fuels the downward demand spiral deepening the recession. And as with the initial severe sanctions on Russia in 2014 that powered a resurgence in domestic agricultural and industrial growth, CHina's semi-conductor sector is doing the same:

"Chinese local chipmakers provided only about 5 percent of the country's total semiconductor consumption in 2018, but the share rapidly grew to around 17 percent in 2022 as the country started to increase tech self-reliance," Xiang said, and the proportion may rise to 25 percent this year....

China has announced plans to establish a central government commission in charge of reviewing major national strategies for scientific and technological development, reflecting the nation's determination to achieve core technological breakthroughs.

"Whatever measures the US takes, they will not impact China's resolve to strive for technological breakthroughs, which has become a consensus across the country," Ma said.

Xi's recent speech on modernization specifically talked about the tech sector and the need for China to achieve complete technological sovereignty which is also what Russia's striving for. Given the astonishing speed China's centrally planned and managed economy can attain, my prediction is for it to produce 100% of the chips it needs in under five years. And what will the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals do then having lost a $100+ Billion market? Close down more manufacturing capacity due to Neoliberal and Neocon policy and further bankrupt their nations and impoverish their citizens.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2023 16:50 utc | 20

psychohistorian | May 4 2023 16:34 utc | 18

Sure. We're all hypocrites too if we use money, banks, property, credit cards etc..

Back to sanctions. unimperator @ 16 is right. Sanctions are inflationary. But the US can't compete on a level playing field.

Posted by: dh | May 4 2023 16:53 utc | 21

The idea of secandary sanctions continue to baffle me.
How does a dimwit like Biden or those puppeting him into doing things fail to realize that sanctioning so many countries would mean sanctioning oneself?

Posted by: FieryButMostPeaceful | May 4 2023 19:04 utc | 22

The EU is an illegal entity which trashes the UN Charter i.e. "The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members." . .and the "members" are states, not a political bloc like the EU. President Xi knew the difference: When Macron and von der Leyen visited China, Macron got to review the troops while vdLeyen was still stuck in customs. (note: I expanded the truth only a little)

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 4 2023 19:26 utc | 23

The EU has had enough warning signs. An old post highlighting some of those warnings is here (but hasn’t lost any relevance in my view):

A couple of samples:

Global regulators have levied over USD $38.4bn in economic crime fines since 2012 with 97 per cent of all fines from US regulators. UK, French, German and Swiss banks with branches in the US have paid almost 40 per cent of the fines related to economic crime in the US. Furthermore, the average fine for European banks is ten times the amount US banks have been served. The top 10 European banks have paid USD $13.25 billion to US regulators since 2012. The average fine for European firms to US regulators is 10x the average of US firms.


UK, French, German and Swiss banks with branches in the US have paid almost 40 per cent of the fines related to economic crime in the US. Furthermore, it is getting personal. Many regulators have focused on infringements by regulated individuals at firms, rather than just the firms themselves.

The hubris of the EU will be its undoing, and I type this as someone who voted ‘Remain’ in 2016 but was horrified by watching the EU hierarchy pile on against the putative Catalonian independence movement. In a referendum held today my vote would definitely be different.

Posted by: West of England Andy | May 4 2023 19:49 utc | 24

The EU politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels are killing their own moral defense against the U.S. application of secondary sanctions against third parties

The EU and present US administration are all avid NWO types and in lockstep marching us to their WEFtopia. They don't want to allow their companies to avoid US sanctions in future.

Posted by: Observer | May 4 2023 21:28 utc | 25

Given that India is doing a roaring trade in selling Russian oil to the EU and given that all sanctions seem to have hurt the EU more than Russia, I expect they will start with India.

Posted by: Joffan | May 4 2023 22:46 utc | 26

you sum it up: they have gone mad.

US haven't had to convince us.

Posted by: w | May 4 2023 22:49 utc | 27

I can only really laugh. Europe is so thoroughly captured by the American empire that it cannot even recognize its own interests anymore. Sadly for them, the US finance system is currently imploding under their decades of failed monetary policy, so their days of thoughtlessly following their leader Uncle Sam may be over as the realities of the declining empire come to bear. What will Europe do when they finally have to think for themselves and make their own decisions for the first time, after making enemies of Russia and China then being left high and dry by Big Daddy America? They can only hope that China and Russia are magnanimous. China has developed its economy sufficiently and will need workers, so perhaps the European garden could be turned into a continental sweat shop, similar to what westerners envisioned they would do to China?

Posted by: FVK | May 4 2023 23:00 utc | 28

Europe is a giant vasal State of the declining Empire of Rentier extraction classes of parasites. 400 years of leaching off the south is ending. Financial produces nothing and people are starting to figure that out. China control's it's Banks. Western Banks control the nation's of the west. Derivatives and transexuals are giant frauds. The empire is based on extraction abroad and austerity at home with the same old bread and circuses.

Posted by: Bob | May 5 2023 0:22 utc | 29

"or forfeiting access to the lucrative US market."

There is going to come a time - sooner, rather than later - when the US market is no longer seen as "lucrative"

When hyperinflation hits then that market is going to be a madhouse, and nobody will want to touch it.


Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 5 2023 0:28 utc | 30

The main selling point from the Brussels Bureaucracy for the EU project was to become a Big Block on the world stage too for the betterment of its inhabitants.

The last two decades show it to be just an oversize puppet of Washington / WEF.

Not Too Big To Fail: it already has, as seen in its Cold War II conduct, its entanglement with Wall street and its naive faith in the CCP. Its "Green" and immigration politics are coming home to roost fastest for Europeans on the ground, unless "Ukraine" gets them first.

Posted by: Antonym | May 5 2023 4:19 utc | 31

China is now the world's most powerful economy both in production and consumption. Geriatric US politicians are stuck in the 1990's in their minds and they act like it too. Sanctions don't mean nearly as much anymore.

"The European Union is discussing a new sanctions mechanism to target third countries it believes aren’t doing enough to prevent Russia from evading sanctions, particularly those that can’t explain spikes in trade of key goods or technologies, according to people familiar with the matter."

Oh, so the EU will be investigating itself for all those Greek vessels still shipping Russian oil by the boatload?

Posted by: let's get bizzay | May 5 2023 4:41 utc | 32

Peter AU1 | May 4 2023 16:12 utc | 11
Never forget Anthony Hancock or Bill Kerr.

I feel sure that if you could conquer your obsession with the Communist Party of China you would be a valuable contributor to this site.

Posted by: bevin | May 5 2023 4:50 utc | 33

Sanctions can go both ways. NATO is about to be demilitarized. Europe will be wide open with no security. Russia will make them an offer that they cannot refuse. The countries that go with Russia will prosper the ones that do not will fail. Russia is the largest country in Europe. If Russia imposes sanctions on the small countries of Europe by blockading eliminating trade routes shipping commerce of all kinds, those countries will fail. That is what the Germans had done to them after world war 1 by the Brits. Massive starvation. The USA started sanctions but two can Play that game. Desperation sabotage has already transpired. I can think of very many Western assets that are ripe to be sabotaged. Chunnel, offshore oil structures in the North Sea, undersea communications cables... This is just a start in Europe.
They act like sanctions are just economic. The USA sanctioned the Nord stream pipelines. That is a physical sanction. Sanctions can go both ways.

Posted by: Diego | May 5 2023 6:45 utc | 34

I've been wondering whether to describe the EU states as satellite states or puppet states. I'm leaning towards the latter. Finland and Italy and even Vichy France functioned semi-independently of Nazi Germany; the Polish Government-General or the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia just did what they were told, which seems to be the EU status.

On a practical level, if you are given a choice between a country like China, which meets its obligations, funds its mandates and is growing like mad, versus the NATO axis which breaks treaties, almost never pays up on its noisy pledges and is crumbling from within, what weak country would find it a tough decision? Even our ghastly and gutless gang in South Africa can see what's going on, and that says a lot given their track record.

Posted by: MFB | May 5 2023 7:02 utc | 35

^PaulaFox concisely summarises the future of EU economy... sex tourism and pornographic exhibitionism...

Posted by: Browser | May 5 2023 8:23 utc | 36

Absolutely classic Atlanticist generalised unspecific hatred of the EU from the assembled ranks of commenters. It's just what Washington would like you to write. Not from b, though. He is very specific in his criticism.

I've said it a thousand times already: in politics, you have to distinguish between the current holders of posts, and the future of institution itself. Nobody thinks the United States will seriously break up, just because Trump is in power (though you could say it came close, even if you would not say it as a serious prospect).

The fact is, the current leaders of Germany and the EU are fools, who haven't understood Europe's interests, but have allowed themselves to be carried away by East European obsessions (and the US). The previous lot were much wiser and more prudent, Merkel etc. It is quite likely that the next lot will be better too.

So let's look forward to the end of the current SDP led govt, and the end of von der Leyen. In spite of the predictions of many here, the EU is not going to break up. Too many have benefitted (and profited) from what the EU does, for it to be possible to go back to the old closed borders. The Brits discovered that through Brexit, the ultimate folly for a country, which a large majority in UK are now regretting.

Posted by: laguerre | May 5 2023 8:25 utc | 37

@Posted by: laguerre | May 5 2023 8:25 utc | 38

Not sure the EU will break up. It doesn't really matter if it does either way because Europe will just become an impoverished dump after the American empire ends. The EU has nothing at all to offer the world economically and only persists by way of America's plunderinng of the global south. Europeans will have to work for the first time in their lives.

Posted by: FVK | May 5 2023 9:49 utc | 38

Posted by: FVK | May 5 2023 9:49 utc | 39

As I say, just generalised contempt for a very successful institution, but one that works in a way that the global power play fans on this blog don't understand, as is witnessed by your reference to the 'empire'.

I was going to add as PS, that, personally, I think that when they get a better governance, the EU will find a way to dump Eastern Europe. Possibly by the creation of an inner and an outer zone in the EU, as was projected some years ago (an idea I much liked at the time). In the outer zone of darkness would be consigned eastern Europe and les anglais (if they ever desired to be readmitted, as seems increasingly likely, public opinion going that way.). It's going to be inevitable after the Ukraine crisis is over. East European obsessions about Russia are intolerable.

Posted by: laguerre | May 5 2023 10:11 utc | 39

Washington and Brussels are gearing up for a global war lasting at least until 2030. The Ukrainian Civil War is a mere sideshow.

Posted by: Exile | May 5 2023 10:22 utc | 40

@Posted by: laguerre | May 5 2023 10:11 utc | 40

The only thing the EU is "very successful" at is neocolonial theft. Without the American empire funnelling cheap (stolen) resources and providing cheap (outsourced, global south) slave labor for Europe, the European parasitic neocolonial business model collapses. Your free ride is over. Your fake job in the "knowledge economy" is about to evaporate. Time to learn to work, Jacques.

Posted by: FVK | May 5 2023 10:29 utc | 41

Posted by: FVK | May 5 2023 10:29 utc | 42

Waffling on about something you don't understand, but are still willing to open your mouth about.

Posted by: laguerre | May 5 2023 11:04 utc | 42

In German: EU´s plans to increase ammo production disguised as economic measures + war economy:

known as ASAP (yes really):

Act in Support of Ammunition Production

English press release by EU:

"Defence: €500 million and new measures to urgently boost EU defence industry capacities in ammunition production"

English pdf, the original bill:

"Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on establishing the Act in Support of Ammunition Production"

Posted by: AG | May 5 2023 12:53 utc | 43

@Posted by: laguerre | May 5 2023 11:04 utc | 43

I understand the neocolonial system quite well, Hans, I assure you. But that is ending. A stake is being driven through the heart of the western vampire, and the bloodsucker will not be recovering. I would advise you to drop that attitude going forward because it will do you no favors as your world comes to its end.

Posted by: FVK | May 5 2023 13:05 utc | 44

I am tired of watching the process but excited to be in this place/time

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2023 16:34 utc | 18

Well said, psychohistorian! That is how we must approach this crisis. What a privilege it is to have survived the process at least for a little time, to be able to appreciate the stirrings of positive currents reaching the surface where we pond scum live and try to survive! Some of us are very bruised and shaken, perhaps to the point of giving up all stirrings of life -- we have very many among our own community here that evidence this. They come from countries perhaps where the battering down and suppression is most evident; they are starving for oxygen.

Yesterday here at home I was saying to myself, what is that smell? I was exhausted from a day of walking around to do my grocery shopping with my trundler. Haven't been doing that for three years now, because of covid. I am back on the street and it is feeling hard; the muscles have atrophied. But they are coming back to life!

So, yesterday... the smell was a huge tub of compost that wasn't draining properly. And now I realize -- it's the opposite of the Holland story of the boy plugging the leak in the dam --- and it is how nature works because all that smelly stuff, it just needs air to become the best compost you could ask for!

In nature, nothing is wasted. That huge tub of compost is unum. Yesterday I took smaller tubs and shifted all that unum in small, stinking, soggy segments to a corner of the potato field where it can drain and then be used to fortify my huge thriving potato plants.

Take heart, companions! Soon there will be e pluribus everywhere! And e pluribus is going to reach even the spindliest plant, protect and nourish those budding potatoes, even the ones that unum is still wounding and opressing,who can only anymore protest weakly against what is killing them as they die. You won't die! It is unum that will die - the old stinking unum suffocating you. What will kill it? It is killing itself; be patient; the process is underway.

Companions here, take heart!

Posted by: juliania | May 5 2023 13:47 utc | 45

I differ somewhat about why these sanctions and now secondary sanctions are embraced by an already faltering EU and NATO countries. Most of these countries are controlled by globalist leadership (38 thousands of these people have taken the Young Globalist Course) and the economic damage caused is actually embraced as part of the deindustrialization policy built from Agenda 21 and now Agenda 2030. The WEF has been quite clear about its political aspirations.

Ask your self why there were not screams of outrage from Germany when the US blew up the Russian Nord stream Pipelines?

It is past time that we start paying attention to WEF "accomplishments".

Posted by: Larry P. Johnson | May 5 2023 14:04 utc | 46

Ask your self why there were not screams of outrage from Germany when the US blew up the Russian Nord stream Pipelines?
Posted by: Larry P. Johnson | May 5 2023 14:04 utc | 47


Simples. The NS sabotage was a make-work project for the non-productive service sector of the economy.

Europe is very rich. It has a long way to fall. Once the cream has been skimmed off people will have to choose what to do instead of eating thin gruel.

Boring times until the excitement begins.

Posted by: too scents | May 5 2023 14:30 utc | 47

@Larry P. Johnson 47

as of Germany, think France pre-Rev.

Only when poverty couldn´t be ignored any more things started. But for that the riches had to be used up.

In Germany the top 50% of the people (40 mio. out of 80 mio.) own 99,5% of wealth.
The other half (40 mio. again) own 0.5% of national wealth.

That is still too rich a society for any upheaval.

Especially if 20-30% of those on the lower decks have given up on politics.

So no public profile from them.

(Remember, AfD, right-wing minority party is pro-business and founded mainly by former, disgruntled CDU people.)

Rent in Germany is extremely high. People have no time to take to the streets.
They have to pay bills.

Basically still the concept after WWII: Make enough citizens happy enough, they won´t make any trouble.

In the US change came about mainly because the US government made the mistake of conscriptions for Vietnam.

That involved the average American.

In Germany no such thing.
Therefore the leftist revolution there never became a genuine civil rights movement of the masses.

This only took place after the second coming of nuclear war fear late 1970s.

What did make a difference, were societal traditions such as union-based educational networks from 19th century on.
Those taditions influenced social progress among the voter base ever since.

And of course the experience of Nazi-terror. So a certain extent of "decency" was given.

But none of these have much more effect. After all, at some point people die.

So currently we experience a generational transitional gap of who should protest why led by whom?

Except the environmental movement and a few Classic economic lefties there is not much yet.

ER and Co. have the big disadvantage for lacking certain historic and political training which make them gullible for covert NATO-PR in the Ukraine context.

Even though these young know that threat from capitalism and their cause are the same they have not yet connected the dots.
(which would lead us to your Global Leader argument. But that is, as Marx would say, the "Überbau".)

The "why no political training" is a major question this new generation´s parents and teachers have to ask themselves.

And of course (social) media are rejoicing themselves over this fatal development.

I haven´t heard of any group who might reach out to China and India e.g. to create some meaningful poltical intern. grass root based force in Europe.

Of course if ER and the poor working-class would realize their common ground the Global Leaders would face some challenge. But there is no unification movement so far, except individuals of the nomenklatura such as Wagenknecht.

A lot of smart minds online (e.g. here) but no incentive to go into the real world, for known various reasons.

So eventually it´s up to BRICS, Shanghai and Co. to do things that fulfill their needs and interests. In how far those coincide with those of the working-classes we will see.

Posted by: AG | May 5 2023 14:42 utc | 48

@too scents 48

I used up 100 sentences for what you put well in one.

Posted by: AG | May 5 2023 14:49 utc | 49

Saudi Arabia and the UAE love dumb western Russian oil price caps: they buy the Russian crude cheap too, use it themselves and export their own crude at higher rates:

The losers: the ex-Russian oil addicted European refineries and diesel and petrol customers, now paying much more for the same from China, India & Turkey or ME proxy oil. They blinked for that neo-con fool Blinken.

Posted by: Antonym | May 5 2023 15:09 utc | 50


You are a bit too light on facts and explanations, for being someone so sure and confident about his own mumblings.
As a matter of fact, China won't be able to save the global south from its dire destiny, nor it is actually willing to.
Overpopulation, widespread unemployment and hunger are going to strike much of the world harder than any colonialism or neocolonialism could do.

@laguerre | 38

Angela Merkel was already from the rotten bunch. Maybe she is not as obtuse as Scholz, but she will be remembered as one of the most destructive force to have ever hit Europe and Germany.
Merkel was instrumental in all the worst policies that crippled the EU.

Posted by: SG | May 5 2023 15:26 utc | 51

A nation that sanctions such as the US , has no physical economy to present as a viable alternative to others. The US doesn't want actual physical development of hard and soft infrastructure so it uses sanctions as a weapon to force submission to the "rules based order." So when catching a view of Chuck's arse being coronated you are witnessing the roots of imperial colonialistic sanctions.

Posted by: WT Baker | May 6 2023 12:49 utc | 52

Sanctions are trade wars. In the world of financialized existence. wars are a necessity. They purge and burn anything that is not strong to survive. And the financial pyramids can start anew. This has been he rule for a long time. Will trade wars suffice? Of course nor. We bad hybrid wars for a long time. Occassional hot wars combined with trade wars. And in this hybrid existence, Western club is not expanding. It is not shrinking either.

However., the usually amorphous group of countries, diverse in stature from regional leaders, global players or small and dependent — started coalescing. This is the real change we see. Once a critical mass of countries started exploring their economic and political. preferences in accordance with own interest, the dynamic has changed. There is reallly no desire to break with Western Club, but only the desire to eliminate primacy of Western Club. But the reaction is extreme. With us or against us. This cannot last. H

Posted by: Bianca | May 6 2023 22:04 utc | 53

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