World Into Lawlessness
By Paul Craig Roberts
April 13, 2012 "Information
Clearing House" ---
The US government pretends to live under the rule of law, to respect
human rights, and to provide freedom and democracy to citizens.
Washington’s pretense and the stark reality are diametrically
US government officials routinely criticize other governments for
being undemocratic and for violating human rights. Yet, no other
country except Israel sends bombs, missiles, and drones into
sovereign countries to murder civilian populations. The torture
prisons of Abu Gahraib, Guantanamo, and CIA secret rendition sites
are the contributions of the Bush/Obama regimes to human rights.
Washington violates the human rights of its own citizens. Washington
has suspended the civil liberties guaranteed in the US Constitution
and declared its intention to detain US citizens indefinitely
without due process of law. President Obama has announced that he,
at his discretion, can murder US citizens whom he regards as a
threat to the US.
Congress did not respond to these extraordinary announcements with
impeachment proceedings. There was no uproar from the federal
courts, law schools, or bar associations. Glenn Greenwald reports
Department of Homeland Security harasses journalists who refuse to
be presstitutes, and we have seen videos of the brutal police
oppression of peaceful OWS protestors.
Chris Floyd describes the torture-perverts who rule the US.
Now Washington is forcing as much of the world as it can to
overthrow international treaties and international law. Washington
has issued a ukase that its word alone is international law. Any
country, except those who receive Washington’s dispensation, that
engages in trade with Iran or purchases Iran’s oil will be
sanctioned by the US. These countries will be cut off from US
markets, and their banking systems will not be able to use banks
that process international payments. In other words, Washington’s
“sanctions against Iran” apply not to Iran but to countries that
defy Washington and meet their energy needs with Iranian oil.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, so far Washington has
granted special privileges to Japan and 10 European Union countries
to continue purchasing Iranian oil. Requiring countries to shutdown
their economies in order to comply with Washington’s vendetta
against Iran, a vendetta that has been ongoing ever since the
Iranians overthrew the Washington-installed puppet, the Shah of
Iran, more than three decades ago, was more than Washington could
get away with. Washington has permitted Japan to keep importing
between 78-85% of its normal oil imports from Iran.
Washington’s dispensations, however, are arbitrary. Dispensations
have not been granted to China, India, Turkey, and South Korea.
India and China are the largest importers of Iranian oil, and Turkey
and South Korea are among the top ten importers. Before looking at
possible unintended consequences of Washington’s vendetta against
Iran, what is Washington’s case against Iran?
Frankly, Washington has no case. It is the hoax of “weapons of mass
destruction” all over again. Iran, unlike Israel, signed the
non-proliferation treaty. All countries that sign the treaty have
the right to nuclear energy. Washington claims that Iran is
violating the treaty by developing a nuclear weapon. There is no
evidence whatsoever for Washington’s assertion. Washington’s own 16
intelligence agencies are unanimous that Iran has had no nuclear
weapon’s program since 2003. Moreover, the International Atomic
Energy Agency’s weapons inspectors are in Iran and have reported
consistently that there is no diversion of nuclear material from the
energy program to a weapons program.
On the rare occasion when Washington is reminded of the facts,
Washington makes a different case. Washington asserts that Iran’s
rights under the non-proliferation treaty notwithstanding, Iran
cannot have a nuclear energy program, because Iran would then have
learned enough to be able at some future time to make a bomb. The
world’s hegemon has unilaterally decided that the possibility that
Iran might one day decide to make a nuke is too great a risk to
take. It is better, Washington says, to drive up the oil price,
disrupt the world economy, violate international law, and risk a
major war than to have to worry that a future Iranian government
will make a nuclear weapon. This is the Jeremy Bentham tyrannical
approach to law that was repudiated by the Anglo-American legal
It is difficult to characterize Washington’s position as one of good
judgment. Moreover, Washington has never explained the huge risk
Washington sees in the possibility of an Iranian nuke. Why is this
risk so much greater than the risk associated with Soviet nukes or
with the nukes of the US, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, India,
and North Korea today? Iran is a relatively small country. It does
not have Washington’s world hegemonic ambitions. Unlike Washington,
Iran is not at war with a half dozen countries. Why is Washington
destroying America’s reputation as a country that respects law and
risking a major war and economic dislocation over some possible
future development, the probability of which is unknown?
There is no good answer to this question. Lacking evidence for a
case against Iran, Washington and Israel have substituted
demonization. The lie has been established as truth that the current
president of Iran intends to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
This lie has succeeded as propaganda even though numerous language
experts have proven that the intention attributed to the Iranian
president by American-Israeli propaganda is a gross mistranslation
of what the president of Iran said. Once again, for Washington and
its presstitutes, facts do not count. The agenda is all that counts,
and any lie will be used to advance the agenda.
Washington’s sanctions could end up biting Washington harder than
they bite Iran.
What will Washington do if India, China, Turkey and South Korea do
not succumb to Washington’s threats?
According to recent news reports, India and China are not inclined
to inconvenience themselves and to harm their economic development
in order to support Washington’s vendetta against Iran. Having
watched China’s rapid rise and having observed North Korea’s
immunity to American attack, South Korea might be wondering how much
longer it intends to remain Washington’s puppet state. Turkey, where
the civilian and somewhat Islamist government has managed to become
independent of the US- controlled Turkish military, appears to be
slowly coming to the realization that Washington and NATO have
Turkey in a “service role” in which Turkey is Washington’s agent
against its own kind. The Turkish government appears to be
reassessing the benefits of being Washington’s pawn.
What Turkey and South Korea decide is basically a decision whether
the countries will be independent countries or be subsumed within
Washington’s empire. The success of the American-Israeli assault on
Iran’s independence depends on India and China.
If India and China give the bird to Washington, what can Washington
do? Absolutely nothing. What if Washington, drowning in its gigantic
hubris, announced sanctions against India and China?
Wal-Mart’s shelves would be empty, and America’s largest retailer
would be hammering on the White House door.
Apple Computer and innumerable powerful US corporations, which have
offshored their production for the American market to China, would
see their profits evaporate. Together with their Wall Street allies,
these powerful corporations would assault the fool in the White
House with more force than the Red Army. The Chinese trade surplus
would cease to flow into US Treasury debt. The offshored-to-India
back office operations of banks, credit card companies, and customer
service departments of utilities throughout the US would cease to
In America, chaos would reign. Such are the rewards to the Empire of
The White House moron and the neoconservative and Israeli warmongers
who urge him on to more wars do not understand that the US is no
longer an independent country. America is owned by offshoring
corporations and the foreign countries in which the corporations
have located their production for US markets. Sanctions on China and
India (and South Korea) mean sanctions on US corporations. Sanctions
on Turkey mean sanctions on a NATO ally.
Do China, India, South Korea and Turkey realize that they hold the
winning cards? Do they understand that they can give the bird to the
American Empire and bring it down in collapse, or are they
brainwashed like Europe and the rest of the world that the powerful
Americans cannot be resisted?
Will China and India exercise their power over the US, or will the
two countries fudge the issue and adopt a pose that saves face for
Washington while they continue to purchase Iranian oil?
The answer to this question is: how much will Washington pay China
and India in secret concessions, such as eviction of the US from the
South China Sea, for their pretense that China and India acknowledge
Washington’s dictatorial powers over the rest of the world?
Without concession to China and India, Washington is likely to be
ignored while it watches its power evaporate. A country that cannot
produce industrial and manufactured goods, but can only print debt
instruments and money is not a powerful country. It is a washed-up
two-bit punk that can continue to struct around until the proverbial
boy says: “the Emperor has no clothes”.
Update: China is responding to the sanctions by
taking advantage of the drop in demand for Iranian oil to negotiate
lower prices for its purchases. The result of Washington’s sanctions
on Iran is to lower the cost of energy for China and to raise it for
Paul Craig Roberts was
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and
associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for
Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate.
He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have
attracted a worldwide following. www.paulcraigroberts.org
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