Friday, February 20, 2015

Sanctions a Cowards Declaration of War and Insincere Approach to Diplomacy

Should the USA supply arms to the Ukraine government in addition to sanctions already applied against Russia, which is itself a form of a declaration of war, could lead not only Europe but the US itself into a nuclear WW3.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions, unilaterally or with other nations, far more frequently than any other nation in the world, or any multinational body in the world, including the United Nations.

Economic sanctions violate Just War principles and do not affect a country's military power but rather directly affect a nation's citizens.

Sanctions do NOT protect the innocent lives of civilians or preserve conditions necessary for decent human existence and definitely do not secure the basic human rights of a nation's people.

Further, on the basis of proportionality, the damage inflicted by sanctions is far greater to the populace of a nation than questionable offences being avenged. And in no way do sanctions present any probability of success when the outcome of sanctions not being known shall be futile.

The EU by joining following the Americas and British sanctions against Russia have in effect declared an economic war against Russia.

Sanctions as a means of peacekeeping and international governance, effectively escape ethical analysis as we do not judge them by the same standards we judge other kinds of harm done to innocents.

Yet, concretely, the hunger, sickness, and poverty which are ostensibly inflicted for benign purposes affect individuals no differently than hunger, sickness, and poverty inflicted out of malevolence.

Using or describing sanctions as a means of "peacekeeping" or "enforcing human rights" is an ideological move, which, from the perspective of concrete national experiences throughout history is simply counterfactual.

Sanctions are, at bottom, a bureaucratized, internationally organized form of siege warfare, and should be seen, and judged, as such.

The EU and indeed the Americans perhaps have awakened the Russian sleeping bear and the world not just Europe this time is in grave danger of an all-out nuclear war, thanks to sanctions and the arming of Ukraine with USA weapons.

Additional Info 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Germans should reflect on their own history concerning Greeks odious debt.

As in the aftermath of World War II, the Allies, remembering the disastrous consequences of German reparations after the First World War, did not insist on their pound of flesh as Germany and the EU does now with Greece. 
The entire Nazi public debt, amounting to over 600 per cent of German GDP, was written off.
Further the German Federal Republic itself, after 1989, did not condemn former East Germany to austerity as a remedy for its fictitious communist economy. Instead, Chancellor Helmut Kohl allowed the eastern states to exchange their nearly worthless Ostmarks for Deutsch Marks at the inflated rate of 1 to 1, and then poured the equivalent of more than a trillion Euros into the reconstruction of the eastern economy.
Germany lived well beyond its means during the Nazi era, plundering the rest of Europe as well. If Germany had practised what they are now preaching for Greece, Germany today would be a much poorer country.
So now let’s couple Greek budget and tax reform with a large infusion of funds for economic modernization and public improvements in the spirit of the Marshall Plan and how it helped Germany after WW2?
Not with more funds but by writing down the Greeks EU debit by half so today and in the future Greeks young and old, instead of looking at 40 per cent unemployment, could gain productive jobs. 
And the entire Greek economy would gain a big macro-economic boost and a path to greater competitiveness within the EU. 
Similar to how Germany handled the East Germany unification bailouts and relief.
Most importantly, the EU would gain the moral authority to work with Greeks on politically awkward reforms. It’s one thing to grudgingly tolerate technocrats who are bleeding you dry in order to satisfy bankers—quite another to work with development specialists who come to Greece bearing gifts.
As has been said the EU and the ECB could call it the Merkel plan, so that Chancellor Angela Merkel might be remembered not as the jackbooted German who destroyed Greece but as the wise European leader who tempered austerity with sensible mercy.

The time is here for the IMF, World Bank and ECB to immediately recognize and understand that Greece, like other poor countries or developing ones, that have enormous unsustainable odious debts, has very little capacity to repay such a debt.

Further, it is morally and economically appropriate for Greek to refuse and question or recognize the legitimacy of this odious debt forced upon the Greek people and their economy.

Greece its government and citizens must not be held in this position of having to borrow more just to service debt, and no longer be asked to service such a debt when it has little to no trade surpluses.

The one way to keep Greece and the EU economically and financially together and for Greece to get out from under its debt is similar to that of how Germany got out of its debts after World War 2.

The current Greek repayable amount must be reduced by 50% and stretched out over 35 years. Also, such a new agreement must state that repayments on this reduced loan are due only when Greece has a trade surplus and that repayments be limited to 5% of export earnings.

This would give the E U countries, the Euro Zone central bank and all creditors a powerful incentive to import Greek goods and thus greatly assisting Greece's new reconstruction.