West's Sadomasochism? Why Anti-Russia Sanctions Have No Effect But to Inflict Pain on Everyone

© AP Photo / Michael KappelerFrom left, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi pose for a group photo during an extraordinary NATO summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, March 24, 2022.
From left, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi pose for a group photo during an extraordinary NATO summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, March 24, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
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The cost of bread, cereal, pizza, pasta and other foods in the US could spike, the Hill warned, five days after Joe Biden admitted, while predicting food shortages, that the price of sanctions imposed by the West upon Russia will inevitably backfire on "an awful lot of countries" including the US.
According to CNBC, the US and its allies are planning new sanctions on more sectors of Russia's economy because of Moscow's special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine even though the restrictions already imposed have hit supply chains, disrupted deliveries of raw materials, sent energy prices higher and dealt a blow to agriculture.
Since 28 February, the West has doubled down on isolating commodity-rich Russia from global finance. By 4 March, major international shipping groups - including container lines - "suspended almost all cargo shipments to and from Russia to comply with western sanctions," according to Reuters, thus bringing a halt to Russia's deliveries to the global market of critical commodities, including fertilisers and wheat. The US' Russia energy ban and the EU's pledge to cut supplies of hydrocarbons from Russia have put a rocket under oil and gas prices.
"We did talk about food shortages," US President Joe Biden said on 24 March at a press conference in Brussels. "And it’s going to be real. The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia, it’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well."
© Sputnik / Vitaliy Timkiv / Go to the photo bankHarvesting wheat at the fields of the Lebyage-Chepiginskoe JSC in Timashevsky District, Krasnodar Territory
Harvesting wheat at the fields of the Lebyage-Chepiginskoe JSC in Timashevsky District, Krasnodar Territory - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
Harvesting wheat at the fields of the Lebyage-Chepiginskoe JSC in Timashevsky District, Krasnodar Territory

Western Sanctions: Let's Make Everyone Bleed

"At the end of the day, America and Europe will feel the pain of deprivation from energy, minerals and food," says US independent journalist and geopolitical analyst Max Parry. "Americans have not even begun to feel the true financial effects of the sanctions on Russia and their impact on the US economy which was already ravaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation has been at a rate not seen since the Eighties and supply chain shortages were hurting America's pocketbooks. But now the Biden administration has just poured gasoline onto the fire by placing the most draconian sanctions ever on the Russian Federation which is one of the top world suppliers of fossil fuels as well as base metals that are indispensable to global industrial output."
Now US business owners also have the perfect excuse to blame rising prices on consumer goods, according to Parry. Similarly, the Biden administration is clearly trying to use the Ukraine crisis as an excuse for its poor handling of the American economy, he notes.

"There is no doubt these sanctions will only worsen rocketing prices of goods and services and therefore the American people will be paying the price, literally," Parry says. "What skin in the game do ordinary Americans have in the Ukraine-Russia conflict?"

At the same time, it is difficult to understand the motivations and inner logic of the foreign policy establishment in Washington especially when you consider that sanctions have seldom resulted in the desired outcome at any time in history, according to the analyst.
© REUTERS / EVELYN HOCKSTEINU.S. President Joe Biden joins a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the Marriott Hotel, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022.
U.S. President Joe Biden joins a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the Marriott Hotel, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
U.S. President Joe Biden joins a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the Marriott Hotel, in Warsaw, Poland March 26, 2022.
To illustrate his point, Parry cites the fact that western sanctions, slapped on Moscow since 2014, failed to reverse Crimea's reunification with Russia and to prevent Russia "from continuing to return to the world stage and stand up for its own interests". Likewise, he says, the US' "maximum pressure" on Iran and oil embargo on Venezuela have not resulted in regime change or stopped those nations from integrating with Russia and China's economic infrastructure.

"Cuba has been under blockade for more than half a century but the Communist government still stands just 500 miles off the coast of Florida," Parry notes.

It's unclear what the western sanctions are designed to achieve apart from "making Russia bleed": the restrictions do not appear to be aimed at halting the conflict as the US and its NATO allies are continuing to send lethal weapons to Ukraine while Moscow is locked in peace negotiations with Kiev. According to US observers, the ongoing weaponry supplies and controversial speculation about putting US boots in Ukraine makes Kiev less willing to negotiate and reach a compromise.
Little if any support has been voiced by the West with regard to Moscow's peace effort. The latest progress in the Russo-Ukrainian Istanbul talks was immediately thrown into doubt by the western press, and the Pentagon rushed to express scepticism about Russia's military de-escalation near Kiev. "Nothing has changed, Russia is just buying time with negotiations," claimed CNBC.
Сhief Russian Negotiator Vladimir Medinsky (left) and Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin (right)  - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.03.2022
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'Where is the Left When It is so Badly Needed?'

What stuns Max Parry is that the American Left are not challenging the US mainstream narrative and largely turning a blind eye to the potential negative consequences of anti-Russia sanctions for ordinary Americans.

"At a time when the so-called 'progressive' wing of the Democrat Party should be presenting an alternative to the political establishment in Washington by making the connection between the economic hardships of working class people in the US with the disastrous foreign policy and economic decisions by the Biden administration, its advisers have been falling in lock-step behind the Russian bogeyman narrative just as they did during the entire Trump-Russia collusion hoax," Parry says. "Only 17 lawmakers voted against the Russian oil ban and the vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan. Where is the Left when it is so badly needed? Especially when these lawmakers know full well that it is the American people who will suffer as a result of the banning of crude oil from Russia."

Parry notes that the only Democrats to vote against the US' Russia oil embargo were Cori Bush and Ilhan Omar. Moreover, those Democrats who dare to speak against the established narrative get smeared immediately: "Just look at the way former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard became persona non grata," the journalist notes. New York Representative Jamaal Bowman voted against sending more lethal aid to Ukraine and now is suddenly going to face a primary challenger who is a Kosovar Albanian-American legislator that is extremely pro-NATO, according to Parry.
"Unfortunately, there really is no political opposition to represent the interests of the American people on Capitol Hill when it comes to rapprochement with Russia," he says. "Instead, lawmakers only ensure that the defence industry will continue to make huge profits off tensions between the two countries. Sure, some of them may have voted against additional military aid to Ukraine but when they've even shown any slight deviation from the anti-Russian orthodoxy they open themselves up to attack and risk their political career."
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