In the name of sanctions, geopolitical interests or the so-called “rules-based order”, colonial powers do what they do best – plunder those they see as weak and insubordinate
A joke that has a lot of resonance is an old one. One child asked his parent. “Why are there pyramids in Egypt?”Answers from the parents “Because they were too big to take to Britain.” Of course, many a true word is spoken in jest. An apocryphal tale says that Vladimir Lenin used to love to take his friends to London’s British Museum to explain to them where and how all the antiquities had been stolen.
You might think that colonial plunder is over, but you would be wrong. Current examples abound. A notable one is, of course, the freezing by the US of $7 billion from the Afghanistan treasury – monies the US continues to hold even as it watches Afghans begin to die from starvation. The US seems to believe that it has the right to compensation after having destroyed Afghanistan over 20 years and supporting terrorist mujahideens. These types of upside-down reasoning are common among those living in West Europe who believe that they have the right to take what they want.
Similarly, the US is now plundering Syria – another country utterly devastated in no small part by Washington-backed militants in a campaign to overthrow the elected president – of most of its oil, even as Syria suffers from severe energy blackouts. According to the Syrian Oil Ministry this is how it works. “US occupation forces and their mercenaries,”Referring to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, (SDF), “steal up to 66,000 barrels every single day from the fields occupied in the eastern region,” amounting to around 83 percent of Syria’s daily oil production.
According to the ministry’s data, the Syrian oil sector has incurred losses of “about $105 billion since the beginning of the war until the middle of this year”As a result, the US oil theft campaign.
In addition, it stated that financial losses from the oil sector had also been reported. “losses of life, including 235 martyrs, 46 injured and 112 kidnapped.”
Russia is the largest and most infamous heist that the US has ever committed. After the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the US seized an incredible $300 billion of Russian treasury funds which were deposited abroad. This was done, of course, without any due process, and to the great detriment of the Russian people – and with barely a critical word from Western pundits.
Other examples of how the US treats Venezuela are numerous. As I write these words, the US is maneuvering to seize a commercial 747 airliner from Venezuela on the grounds that it once belonged to an Iranian airline which had some connection to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (which Washington has designated as terrorists) – which might sound like a tenuous justification, but the US really needs no reason. The US is only scratching the surface of this whole mess. The US has already seized Venezuela’s biggest single source of revenue – its US-based oil company CITGO – and is now in the process of selling off this company in pieces, even as Washington lifts restrictions on Venezuelan oil to shore up its own economy. Meanwhile, the UK has agreed to hold $1 billion worth of gold that Venezuela had naively placed in Bank of England as safe-keeping. To make matters worse, the US has continued to attack Venezuelans for their hardships as a direct result of plunder.
The US continues to harass Alex Saab (a Colombian businessman) for trying for food and medicines for Venezuelans. Saab, who was on his way to Iran to discuss humanitarian aid, was taken into custody by Cabo Verde. He was performing a Caracas-related mission. Saab has since been removed to a federal prison in Miami, Florida, despite the lack of an extradition treaty between the US and Cabo Verde, and he continues to languish in prison as the wheels of US “justice” turn at a snail’s pace to resolve his case. It appears that the US not only stole Venezuelan goods, but is going to extreme lengths to block those trying to obtain basic necessities for Venezuelans.
All of this illustrates that colonial habits die hard, and the US is always ready to turn to the tried and trusted traditions of plunder – whether to dig itself out of one of the worst economic crises in years, or to coerce other nations to serve its own geopolitical interests. The fact that the US is allowed to get away with this demonstrates that in the Washington-imposed “rules-based order” rule of law is nothing but a tool employed by the mighty to keep the weak down.
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