by Paul Craig Roberts PaulCraigRoberts.org
Recently by Paul Craig Roberts: More Phony Employment Numbers
With its power declining, Washington was not able any longer to keep Russia out of the World Trade Organization. Congress showed its spite over its impotence by hooking the normalizing of trade with Russia to what is called the Magnitsky rule.
Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian attorney who represented a British investment firm accused of tax evasion and fraud in Russia. Apparently, the UK firm supplied information to media alleging government misconduct and participation in corruption inside state-owned Russian companies.
Magnitsky represented the accused UK firm. He claimed that the firm had not committed fraud but had been a victim of fraud. In turn, Magnitsky was arrested. He developed serious illnesses in prison for which he apparently received inadequate medical care.
Whether he died of untreated illnesses, we cannot know. But the US Congress, acting on the unsubstantiated allegation that Magnitsky was tortured and murdered, attached to the trade normalization bill a provision that requires the US government to release a list of Russian government officials believed or imagined to have been involved with the violation of Magnitskys human rights and to freeze the assets of these members of the Russian government and to deny them visas to travel to the US. Considering Washingtons belief that its law is the universal law of humankind, Washington probably intends for every country to enforce its edict or to be sanctioned in turn.
e Russian government finds the Magnitsky rule amusing. Here is the Russian government accused, without any evidence, of ONE torture and death, while Washington has such a large number of torture deaths from Abu Ghraib to Gitmo to the secret CIA torture centers to endless drone attacks on kids soccer games, weddings, funerals, medical clinics, schools, farm houses and aid workers. The evidence is completely clear that Washington has tortured a number of individuals to death and into false confessions and blown to pieces thousands of innocents known as collateral damage. No one but Washington and its servants denies this. But one alleged Russian offense against human rights brings forth an act of the US Congress, all in a huff about the violation of a Russian lawyers human rights.
A number of rulers in human history have been this arrogant. But has a democracy ever been? Athens perhaps, but Sparta taught Athens a lesson.
What do the members of Congress think is the response of the rest of the world to Washingtons utter hypocrisy? How can Washington pass a law punishing Russian government officials for allegedly doing once what we know for an absolute fact Washington does every day?
The holier-than-thou presence that Washington presents to the world is so phony and shopworn that Washington is becoming not only despised but a laughing stock. Peoples cease to fear the superpower when they laugh at its folly, hypocrisy and utter stupidity.
Certainly, the Russians are not afraid. The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, responded to the Washington morons as follows: It is inadmissible when one country tries to dictate its will to another. The Magnitsky rule will bring forth a symmetrical and asymmetrical reaction from Russia. The Russian Duma seems intent that this be the case.
Washington is like the drunk in a bar who picks a fight with a bruiser. Washington is full of itself, but Russia and China are not going to put up with a financially busted and militarily overstretched popinjay. The evil in Washington is driving us into nuclear war and into the destruction of life on earth.
Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random House. Visit his website.