By Harun Yahya
The "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions" Act, passed by the US Congress and approved by the reluctant signature of President Trump, includes the strictest sanctions in United States history. The reactions of the respective three countries regarding the new sanctions imposed on Iran, North Korea and Russia have become the main topic of the world agenda.
Undoubtedly, the world focused mostly on the reaction of North Korea. Upon Trump's vitriolic statement after signing the sanctions, telling North Korea that they will be met with "fire and fury", the Pyongyang government announced that they are considering a strike that would create "an enveloping fire" around Guam, the western Pacific island where the United States operates a critical Air Force base. Stating that the strike plan would be ready by mid-August, General Kim Rak Gyom of the North Korean army even shared the details about the number and the types of the rockets that will be used, the coordinates, and how long would those rockets be flying.
As for Iran, Iran considers these new sanctions a violation of the nuclear agreement signed with the United States in 2015. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent the US an ultimatum, stating that they will restart Iran's nuclear program in the face of such sanctions. During his speech in a vote of confidence meeting in the Parliament, Rouhani said:
"If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time - not a week or a month but within hours - to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations."
Russia, the primary target of the US Congress's new sanctions, did not lag behind in responding with harsh messages and responses. Putin demanded that the U.S. reduce its diplomatic and technical personnel in the Moscow embassy and its consulates in St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg and Vladivostok to 455 persons and that 755 employees of the U.S. diplomatic mission must ″terminate their activity in the Russian Federation by September 1st".
Russian Prime Minister Medvedev said on his official Facebook page that the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia with these new sanctions. At this point, he said, any hope of improving our relations with the new US administration is over.With this new act, while the sanctions imposed during the Obama administration due to developments in Ukraine have been further tightened and additional sanctions are being imposed as a result of Russia's alleged intervention in the 2016 US presidential elections. The new act targets Russia's key economic sectors such as energy, shipping, metals and mining. Sanctions also put international firms that work in partnership with oil companies in Russia into the scope of the restrictions.
What kind of benefit is the US Congress hoping to gain from these sanctions; what kind of message it aims to communicate to the world by attempting to punish the most important powers -which in fact might become the most dangerous powers of the world if need be- with their own methods? What is interesting is that no matter how you look at it, it is not possible for the United States to attain any political, economic or commercial gains from these sanctions. That is because, with this policy, the US is not only targeting the three countries in question, but also those EU countries that have serious economic ties with Russia. It is clear that the European companies that are currently carrying out joint projects with Russia will also suffer from these sanctions.
The most important of these projects is the Nord Stream Project. The European countries that responded the harshest to these sanctions are Germany, France and Austria, which are in need of this energy and host the companies that carry out this project together with the Russians. At every opportunity, the spokesmen of these countries have expressed their views stating that these sanctions will harm EU-US relations; Germany considers these sanctions of the United States a violation of international law. A study in Germany shows that previous sanctions have cost the German economy $10 billion.
On the other hand, it is clear that the previous sanctions were unable to do any significant harm to the already self-sufficient Russia, who is constantly moving towards new alliances and trade relations due to these very sanctions. It doesn't seem like sanctions will do any additional harm to Russia in the future either. On the contrary, experts say that sanctions will help Putin instead. The sanctions are much more likely to make Russia, China, Iran and North Korea converge and form a stronger and more stable anti-US front than ever. After all, both Russia and Iran have long been experienced in struggling with sanctions and threats, overcoming them, and turning tough conditions into opportunities for their interests and benefits.
In this case, it appears that the biggest blow these sanctions deliver is actually to the US itself, which is now facing opposition from the most important parts of the world and even from its European allies. It is also clear that sanctions have harmed the economic and energy policies of many EU countries, and particularly Trump himself. Even Russia stated that the sanctions directly aim at Trump, who was forced to sign them into law even though he thinks the sanctions are "significantly flawed" and said that he didn't want them.
As a matter of fact, Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic Party in the US Senate, expressed the real message to be given with these sanctions, enacted by trampling on President Trump, as follows: "President Putin will not be able to get out from under the sting of these sanctions without the consent of Congress. Let this be an unequivocal message to Mr. Putin and any other nation that is thinking of interfering in our elections: If you interfere with our elections, which we hold sacred, you will be sanctioned. Those sanctions will be severe."
In short, he implies, 'You may have gotten Trump elected, but see, the country is in fact ruled by us'. Indeed, Trump does not even have the authority to repeal, change or even soften this new act - which passed through the Senate with a mere two and the House of Representatives with only three 'No' votes - without the consent of the Congress. In short, Trump and his administration have been defeated by the Congress even though both institutions are comprised of a Republican majority. He seems to have been targeted by some sort of a congressional coup, so to speak. Russian Prime Minister Medvedev pointed out exactly this submission with his following words, "The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way."
In short, the real deep power took control, as always. Trump has ostenstibly surrendered to this deep power, which has turned him into an adversary even to the political party he is a member of. Not to cause any misunderstanding, this power is not the Congress; the US Congress - like hundreds of other institutions - is merely an extension of this power. The deep power, even though were not able to make its own candidate the President, quickly brought the President to heel in a short time through the institutions it controls.
Although Trump sat in the Presidential seat through contradictory discourses and castigating criticisms towards previous administrations, essentially, he really didn't have a choice but to maintain the legacy of the old. Just as how Obama once radically criticized Bush, who was famous for his belligerent and bloody hawkish policies and was elected to the office with the promise of peace, but ended up surrendering to the same power afterwards. As you might recall, Obama shed much more blood in the Middle East than Bush and sent many more troops to Afghanistan.
In the same way, today Trump has no choice but to submit to the great power that plots a plan of disaster across the world, crossing the borders of the Middle East. After all, the weapons companies, the industries of war, the multinational financial and annuity industries, which are the greatest sources of income of the deep power, feed on great catastrophes, wars and massacres in every era. That's why they are constantly trying to increase the size and intensity of the wars and conflicts. This is the main purpose behind provoking super powers against each other and keeping tensions high. In the end, this deep power is the only beneficiary of these sanctions.
Trump and his close circle have referred to the existence of a deep establishment that has been constantly obstructing them since they came to power, and they started looking for them in US institutions. In fact the CIA, the FBI, the Congress, the Pentagon, etc., are merely the extensions of the deep state. If Trump were to think about the power that made him bring the previously removed bust of Winston Churchill back to the Oval Office posthaste, he would have understood the necessity of searching for the center of this centuries- old imperial deep power not inside the US, but on the exact opposite shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969