Afghanistan

This Christmas season, as always, CIA controlled mainstream media is filled with unctuous images of the hungry homeless in America being charitably served food by private citizens and institutions. It has long become an American tradition of kindness during the season celebrating the birth of all loving Jesus along with gift giving Santa Claus and this tradition often receives government support besides the encouragement and participation of churches.

The Christmas time Christian tradition of charitable feeding of the hungry homeless in capitalist USA never extends to include those millions of men, women and children made hungry by heartless US sanctions on countries overseas. It’s just something the hard hearted Deep State investors in war of the Military Industrial Complex would never allow any of its captive US presidents to be gracious to the hungry in sanctioned nations at Christmas time.

It does no good for those suffering US sanctions to protest even if suffering starvation that always threatens death for their children first, but protests still go on. CommonDreams.com reports protests three days before Christmas eve, December 21, 2021,

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Kabul toward the shuttered U.S. Embassy on Tuesday, urging the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets.

Holding banners reading, “Let us eat” and “Give us our frozen money,” the protesters chanted slogans and marched down a central avenue, with the ruling Taliban providing security. International funding to Afghanistan has been suspended and billions of dollars of the country’s assets abroad, mostly in the U.S., were frozen once the Taliban took control. [1]

The Taliban is again governing all of Afghanistan as it was when the US invaded 20 years ago on the pretext of needing to find Osama bin Laden, who the CIA had welcomed into Afghanistan years before the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

In 1979 President Carter had had the CIA fund, arm and train war lord terrorists to overthrow a popular women-liberating Socialist Kabul government bringing about a civil war which brought in Soviet Military to aid the beleaguered Kabul government. This was followed by a second even more destructive civil war between US heavily armed war lords bringing mayhem and chaos in which rape was common. In 1992, Kabul came to be a bullet riddled city, a center of lawlessness, crime and atrocities fueled by complex tribal rivalries and gave birth to the Taliban (‘student’ in Dali language) who defeated the war lords stopped the raping, instituting strict Islamic dress code and limiting the movement and schooling of women. Though Taliban now promises education for women through university and a relaxed dress code, President Biden sanctimoniously cites Taliban prohibiting women’s education as reason not to release Afghanistan’s bank deposits desperately needed to buy food and medicine.

The United Nations has protested for Venezuelans against US seizure of Venezuelan bank deposits and sanctions blocking the sale of its oil and imports of almost everything, even medicines and food.

US Sanctions Against Venezuela Rob People of Basic Human Rights: UN Expert’s Report

According to the report, unilateral sanctions against Venezuela are politically motivated and violate international law.[2]

One in three Venezuelans not getting enough to eat, UN finds

World Food Programme says 9.3m people are food insecure

People struggling for minimum nutrition amid economic crisis

One of every three people in Venezuela is struggling to put enough food on the table to meet minimum nutrition requirements as the nation’s severe economic contraction and political upheaval persists, according to a new study by the UN World Food Program..

“We’re talking about children who are going to have long-term problems because they’re not eating adequately,” she said.[3]

According to the UN Rapporteur sent to Venezuela on their behalf to compile a UN Human Rights Council Report in 2017 and 2018 the United States has used the illegal sanctions and financial blockade against Venezuela to create a humanitarian crisis and are therefore criminally liable for the increased deaths of children and the infirm denied vital medical supplies directly because of the sanctions.

His damning report stated categorically that the US sanctions kill and therefore America should face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Alfred de Zayas, UN Human Rights Rapporteur, complained earlier this year that although he has written 13 separate Reports on humanitarian disasters and crisis across the world including Sudan, Somalia and Palestine and all were reported and used by the international media his Report on Venezuela has been ignored and not one single mainstream channel has interviewed him about it.

In November 2017 one US bank blocked the transfer of funds to pay for 300,000 doses of insulin. Another retained $1.65 billion Venezuela had paid for the purchase of food and medicine. Another blocked the transfer of over $9 billion profits generated by the US subsidiary of the publicly owned Venezuelan oil company. In May last year, Wells Fargo bank in America cancelled a payment of $7.5 million from Brazil to Venezuela for the supply of electricity and also blocked a $7 million purchase of dialysis supplies for patients in Venezuela, including thousands of children.[3]

UN General Assembly calls for US to end Cuba embargo for 29th consecutive year, 23 June 2021, UN Affairs

A total of 184 countries on Wednesday voted in favor of a resolution to demand the end of the US economic blockade on Cuba, for the 29th year in a row, with the United States and Israel voting against.

The Cuban diplomat said that the sanctions have made it harder for his country to acquire the medical equipment needed to develop COVID-19 vaccines as well as equipment for food production.

US Blockade on Cuba is a Crime against Humanity, Havana Times, 10/28/ 2017 [4]

“The blockade continues to be a massive and flagrant violation of the Cuban people’s human rights and qualifies as an act of genocide according to the 1948 Convention Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Over the period since the last report the blockade has caused Cuba losses worth 4.305 billion dollars.”

The financial damage caused to this country in order to make its social project fail and force it to return to what it was 60 years ago by reinstating capitalism with all of its consequences such as social injustice, a cut in social budgets at the expense of society’s wellbeing, administrative corruption and all of the other scourges that capitalism entails and which I don’t need to name.

… the human rights of an entire people are being flagrantly violated and nothing is being done about it. How can they even refuse to sell medicine to save a child with cancer without being brought before the International Court in the Hague for genocide crimes, because the US blockade against Cuba, which has been causing great harm for nearly 60 years now, is a crime against humanity, there’s no doubt about it.

The US admits they are to blame for the Syrian hunger NEWS ROOM, June 11, 2020 [5]

NEWS ROOM June 11, 2020

The UN World Food Program reported a survey in April that about a third of the population was not getting enough to eat

Now, the war is over, and we can’t rebuild anything and our life is even worse now that we are in peace-time.  Where is our victory over terrorism?  Why is America punishing us for defeating the terrorists?”

The latest US sanctions are designed to prevent any reconstruction of infrastructure damaged in the war, which includes homes, shops, businesses, factories, and infrastructures such as schools and hospitals.

US sanctions have exemptions for ‘humanitarian aid’, which include food, supplies, and bank transfers for humanitarian purposes.  However, those exemptions are in theory only and have never been applied, as the paperwork and time to secure a waiver from the US government makes the exemption useless.

The Syrians see the increasing sanctions as economic-warfare after the US failure to bring about ‘regime change’ by using terrorists supported by the CIA. Damascus declares the sanctions violate human rights and international law as they affect the Syrian population.

United Nations,19 October 2021 [6]

Human Rights and US Sanction Against Iran

Over-compliance with United States-imposed sanctions against Iran is harming the right to health, and people with a rare skin disease are among those affected, many of them children, experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Tuesday.

These patients suffer from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a severe and life-threatening skin condition, which causes extremely painful wounds. Many are children, who are often referred to as “butterfly kids” because of their fragile skin.

A Swedish company which makes the bandages that reportedly are the most effective treatment for their condition, has decided to halt shipments to Iran due to fear of secondary sanctions as part of over-compliance.

The experts explained that many banks and businesses worldwide, including pharmaceutical and medical companies, over-comply to avoid risk of any potential penalties.

“They refuse to finance exempted trade or to conduct the corresponding transactions with sanctioned countries. This has prevented the Iranian business partner of that Swedish company from being able to import the bandages, even though medical and other humanitarian goods were announced to be exempt from the sanctions,” they said in a statement.

As a result, EB patients in Iran can no longer enjoy the right to health, said the experts.

They further cited another UN independent expert who had earlier determined that denying access to pain relief violates the right to be free from inhuman treatment that causes severe pain and suffering, even if unintentionally.

“This is only one of many examples sadly illustrating the plight of thousands of people, including children, caused by over-compliance with sanctions by third parties, out of fear of being sanctioned in turn.”

In North Korea “10 million people are considered food insecure … 140,000 children under 5 suffer acute malnutrition … and higher rates of malnutrition and mortality are anticipated for 2021,” UNICEF said in its Humanitarian Situation Report published in February.I

The United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions 2375 and 2397 in September and December of 2017, to limit North Korea’s imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products. Deprived of fuel, farmers have been hindered in planting and harvesting crops and getting their produce to market. “Agriculture everywhere in the world relies on oil.

Women are also disproportionately affected by sanctions leveled against North Korea that contribute to widespread poverty and hunger.

THE HUMANITARIAN IMPACT OF SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA Women Mobilizing to End the War – Korea Peace Now! [7]

Since North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, the UN Security Council has imposed nearly a dozen sanctions against the country, adding to unilateralU.S. sanctions. While advocates of sanctions may regard them as a peaceful alternative to military action, there is evidence that sanctions take a significant humanitarian toll on the North Korean people. … In direct contravention of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, sanctions punish North Korean civilians for the actions of their government.Here’s how sanctions harm ordinary North Koreans:

Sanctions hinder urgently needed humanitarian aid and could result in devastating long-term effects.

According to a 2018 UNICEF report, 200,000 North Korean children already suffer from acute malnutrition,

Unilateral US sanctions delay or outright block vital humanitarian shipments to the North Korean people. One NGO recently reported that it took them over a year and a half to ship 16 boxes of beans to the DPRK.

Sanctions passed in 2017 prohibit the transport of any metal goods, significantly hampering the shipment of basic medical supplies. A shipment of reproductive health kits was subjected to significant delay because it contained aluminum steam sterilizers —the most important part of the kit.

Sanctions target North Korea’s civilian economy and harm the most vulnerable members of its population.

Current sanctions have the greatest impact not on the power elites who are the intended targets, but on the most vulnerable North Koreans: working-class families, particularly children and seniors living in remote areas with restricted access to medical supplies, food, and fuel for cooking and heating.

Additionally, bans on exports and the dispatch of workers abroad impact the ability of ordinary citizens to support their livelihood.The ban on textile exports in particular is exerting a disproportionate effect on female employment, which represents the majority of the labor force in that sector.

Conclusion

The Korean War will not be resolved through more sanctions, military pressure, and isolation, but by building trust through dialogue and negotiation. A commitment to improving the already dire humanitarian situation in North Korea would go a long way toward demonstrating the U.S.’s sincere commitment to normalizing relations. Humanitarian issues must be decoupled from negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program, and, at a minimum, any sanctions must be modified to allow the timely delivery of humanitarian aid to those who need it the most.

Since none of the dire suffering causing sanctions mentioned above are achieving their announced goal of effecting some regime change of sorts, would it not be an astounding Christmas event to witness the great American empire relieve just a bit of that suffering during the Christmas season? (even as a ploy)

End Notes

  1. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/12/22/let-us-eat-kabul-protesters-demand-release-frozen-afghan-assets
  2. https://www.sott.net/article/418678-US-crimes-against-Venezuela-amount-to-economic-terrorism
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/24/venezuela-hungry-food-insecure-un-world-food-program
  4. https://havanatimes.org/diaries/elio/us-blockade-on-cuba-is-a-crime-against-humanity/
  5. The US admits they are to blame for the Syrian hunger

 

The US admits they are to blame for the Syrian hunger

 

  1. https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/10/1103392
  2. https://koreapeacenow.org/resources/the-humanitarian-impact-of-sanctions-on-north-korea-2/

Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; has lived and worked on all continents in 67 countries; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and the US; now resides in NYC; First effort was a series of articles on deadly cultural pollution endangering seven areas of life emanating from Western corporate owned commercial media published in Hong Kong’s Window Magazine 1993; Howard Zinn lent his name to various projects of his; Global Research; Information Clearing House; Counter Currents, Kerala, India; Minority Perspective, UK; Dissident Voice, Uruknet; Voice of Detroit; Ethiopian Review; Palestine Chronicle; India Times; Ta Kung Bao; China Daily; South China Morning Post; Come Home America; OpEdNews; HistoryNews Network; Vermont Citizen News have  published his articles; 300  of which are available at: click http://www.opednews.com/author/author1723.html ; Weekly column, South China Morning Post, 1986-87; reviews for Ta Kung Bao; article China Daily, 1989.  Is coordinator of the  King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign : (King Condemned US Wars) http://kingcondemneduswars.blogspot.com/ and website historian of  Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign  http://prosecuteuscrimesagainsthumanitynow.blogspot.com/ featuring a country by country history of US crimes and laws pertaining.


Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B. Become a Patron at Patreon Subscribe to our Telegram channel


GET COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX


One Comment

  1. Daniel Davidson says:

    I live in Australia, and 98% of westerners have no idea what the term imperialism means, and that the standard of living in the west has always been dependent upon the super exploitation of the “so called” 3rd world created by the west

    I am fed up of people suffering because white people are insular self righteous, superior morons

    I am going to start a movement “why are white people, such moronic ignorant cunts”
    I don;t meant to be rude……but that is essentially white mans contribution to the world…
    “the cunt”…only heartless cunts could create such a world. The Aboriginals will go for it, especially from a white guy….you have to make revolution fun, agitate and go on the offensive….another thing white people are hopeless at.