Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Why is the US imposing sanctions against any country that is not an ally to her?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Guess you haven’t been reading the news. The US is not only sanctioning countries not allied with it. It has sanctioned European allies and also Turkey, which is a fellow NATO member. It has also threatened India, a major defence partner, with sanctions if it had bought the Russian S-400 air defence system. It has also sanctioned Iraq despite the close defence partnership with that country, in the event it should buy the S-400 system. But Iraq is now so fed up with the US after it illegally murdered a high official in its militias that it is embittered against the US and is prepared to go ahead with the Russian air defence purchase.
So you ask why?
First let’s admit that sanctions are just part of war. Both forms of aggression harm and kill human beings, mostly civilians.
There are a number of reasons for this hostility toward other countries, but I have watched US policies and wars/sanctions since the 50s and believe there is a strong religious influence on these aggressive US policies. Pompeo carries a Bible around with him and has said things that indicate he thinks he is on God’s side. He also indicated that Trump may have been appointed by the Almighty because of his fawning policies toward Israel. The biblical bases for this unsavoury blend of religion and state-imposed aggression are shaky to razor thin but that is immaterial to the grassroots, who look to pastors, close friends and family and other influencers to shape their politically-connected doctrines, rarely conducting biblical “fact checks” so to speak. Thus war and sanctions are intimately linked to a cult-like religion — much like Middle East terror is linked to Wahhabism. The only difference being the vast numbers of people killed by aerial bombs and overwhelming state force as opposed to the smaller numbers killed by jihadists.
The first perceived US enemy was the communist world, which grassroots Americans often referred to as “godless.” The fact that the governments of communist countries like Soviet Russia, China, N Korea, Cuba and Vietnam were basically atheistic made many ordinary Americans think the US had the green light to kill or sanction the peaceful citizens of these countries, using whatever means available — napalm to burn down rural villages, killing men, women and children, aerial bombs and cruise missiles to blow up homes, or naval blockades and trade embargoes that deprived ordinary citizens of food and medicine (we rarely think about it but starvation can kill), as is now happening in Venezuela. The Southern states, comprising the lion’s share of the Bible Belt, send the bulk of the teens who sign up for military duty. The question that is hard to answer is: Is the grassroots support for harming these citizens due more to US government’s fanning of the animus toward the “godless” countries which in turn gives carte blanche to the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House and the Congress to commit atrocities, or is this aggression due mostly to home-grown attitudes?
By way of example, the estimated civilian deaths in the Korean War were an astounding 2,730,000. Grassroots Americans were generally not taught this figure but at any rate, there was a prevalent feeling in some communities that if you were a godless communist, you deserved to die.
I want to emphasize that this aggressiveness of so-called “Christians” does not reflect on Christianity per se but rather on non-Biblical teachings swirling around US churches. Obviously, Jesus never taught that people who did not believe in God or in Him were to be exterminated. Far from it. He actually taught love, but fundamentalists often spurned this teaching as too liberal to be good for the country. It never seemed to occur to them that they were in fact rejecting Jesus while calling themselves Christians.
At any rate, this notion of divine aggression has been welcomed by government, which, since WW II, has kept up a constant barrage of pro-war propaganda based on the narrative that only by killing vast masses of people in certain countries could Americans be safe.
The next bugaboo was Muslims. Although it is now known, as I showed here https://www.quora.com/Are-there-any-sources-for-American-involvement-in-the-Middle-East-since-9-11-It-s-for-a-paper/answer/Vince-Dhimos, that the West was the main driver of Middle East terrorism, grassroots Americans, many of whom voted for Trump, have been indoctrinated in recent years to blame Islam itself, rather than the billions of Western dollars of support, arms and training that kept — and still keep — ISIS and Al-Qaeda and its re-brandings alive and active in Idlib province in Syria (where Western countries insist the terrorists must be tolerated to protect civilians), in Iraq, or in Libya, where the West supports the so-called Government of National Accord, even though this entity tolerates terrorists, while Western leaders call for an end to the actions of Haftar’s army, which fights terrorists. (Just as US influencers teach that Iran, which fights ISIS in Syria and Iraq, is somehow a threat to the US while Saudi Arabia, the country that originated the Wahhabism that fuels ISIS, is somehow a valuable ally! I explained this seeming anomaly here: https://www.quora.com/Which-of-the-USAs-global-interventions-were-purely-well-motivated/answer/Vince-Dhimos.)
Based on this hokey theory that Islam is responsible for war but the “Christian” US is innocent as the fallen snow, the US and its European lapdogs continue to sanction and station troops in Syria and Iraq, where, while claiming out of one side of their mouth that ISIS is defeated, also claim at the same time that the oil fields must be protected from … ISIS. Yeah, figure that out if you can.
Meanwhile, the US maintains sanctions on Syria because Assad (who truly fights terror) is still in power, and on countries that do not buy enough US products, or worse, buy Russian weapons, even though the US military admits Russia has superior weapons. Yeah, I can’t figure that out either. Except that the US wants to sell its overpriced arms and make a lot of money with the narrative of “Russian aggression” (as I discussed here https://www.quora.com/Why-hasn-t-NATO-evaluated-its-peacekeeping-experience-to-identify-and-implement-best-practices-for-transitioning-failed-states-into-functional-democracy/answer/Vince-Dhimos). The same is true of the US Senate’s sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has temporarily halted the laying of this pipeline due to extraterritorial sanctions on companies, especially Allseas, the Swiss-Dutch company whose 2 ships were laying the pipe under the sea on its way to Germany.
The pretext given by the US for stopping the construction (which is nearing completion) was that buying Russian gas was harmful to “energy security.” But Germany knew the real reason was to sell US LNG (liquefied natural gas) to Europe and make a killing. The problem is, US LNG is extravagantly expensive compared to Russian pipeline-delivered gas, and Germany and Russia are working hard to overcome these sanctions, which amount to nothing but naked unfair trade policy. It is a racket, pure and simple and at some point, Europe could easily sue in court over this.
Thus, the bottom line is that the US is imposing sanctions because it has gotten too powerful and the power has corrupted it. And because the grassroots fails to see the mora issue in the killing and sanctioning of peaceful citizens.
But this will not pass. Russia has a ship that can complete the pipeline, though at a slower pace. The question is: What will the US come up with next to punish Europe for not letting itself be gouged by the US government?
And will Europe and the rest of the “sanctioned community” just sit back and take it up the kazoo or will they band together and fight? Judging by recent pow wows between Putin and European leaders, it is already fighting.
I detailed some of Europe’s means of countering US aggression here: Vince Dhimos's answer to What will happen if the USA joins the EU?