US Congressmen Prepare for a ‘Global War’?

The introduction of a bill to Congress — by two respected lawmakers from the Republican and Democratic parties — that expands the effect of the “Magnitsky List” to other countries is nothing more than yet another attempt by a part of the American political elite to assert its dominance over the world. Only instead of a weapon, this time human rights have become the “swift sword” in the U.S. assertion of its global leadership. At the same time, needless to say, the congressmen who drafted the bill think the situation in this area in the U.S. itself is ideal and are, therefore, eager primarily to lecture other nations.

The bill presented to Congress has been given the name the Global Human Rights Accountability Act. Its authors, judging by the bill’s name, are convinced that the world must answer to Washington. There can be no exceptions.

The American lawmakers are prepared to look more closely into the human rights situation, even in countries that were once close allies of the White House, as in Germany, for example: if Berlin were to continue to insist on a treaty that prohibits American intelligence agencies from listening in on top officials of the German government. Nonetheless, the primary targets will be governments whose authorities defend their national interests, first and foremost.

The new law — its authors from the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs do not try to hide it — solves two key challenges: First, it asserts Washington’s “global leadership” on human rights, and second, it “protects the U.S. financial infrastructure.” And, in explaining the gist of the bill, Sen. [Ben] Cardin did not once mention whether a world built on the American model would be better or safer. After all, the example of Libya, where a civilian conflict that the U.S. now pays almost no attention to began after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi’s government, graphically demonstrates just how indifferent Washington is to the consequences of its “democratic” reforms. However, such details did not interest the distinguished senator. The main thing, according to him, is that a global “Magnitsky List” is in the national interest of the United States.

To call a spade a spade, the anti-Russian lobby in Congress aims, with the help of the new law, to impose upon the White House a new colonial war. The whole world would be under attack — from the Gulf monarchies, where they do not pay much attention to human rights, especially when it comes to religious minorities, to the governments of Latin America that conduct independent national policies. It goes without saying that the bill is directed against Russia: Its authors have already expressed surprise that the “Magnitsky List” has thus far not been expanded with regard to our country. The Ukrainian authorities, having put the brakes on concluding an association agreement with the European Union, are also among the candidates to be put on a global blacklist stamped “Made in the USA.”

In recent decades, Washington has failed to bring the world to heel by armed force and turned out to be incapable of securing its leadership by dint of economics and, therefore, the congressmen offer Obama a new “cudgel” — the human rights situation. The existence of a multipolar world with the United Nations Security Council in the dominant role does not suit the “hawks” in the U.S. Congress whatsoever. If the bill on a global Magnitsky Act is adopted, it will certainly complicate things for the White House and give Obama’s opponents a powerful lever of influence on international politics. This is exactly what the congressmen are seeking.

However, by their actions, they are making that part of the world not subject to American policy, but are making it think about how to resist an American invasion. The imposition of the human rights standards of Washington politicians on a global scale will lead to a consolidation of governments under American sanctions. In China, a report on human rights violations in the U.S. itself is compiled annually. In the event that Congress adopts a global “Magnitsky Act,” countries that do not want to put up with this sort of American leadership might join together to respond to Washington collectively.

Under the conditions of such a war of sanctions, it would become very difficult to talk about any kind of international cooperation, but is that not the hidden objective of “Senator Cardin,” imposing a strategy of world conflict upon the White House instead of one of dialogue?

It is notable that the draft legislation for a global “Magnitsky List” was introduced to Congress a few days before the start of a Syrian peace conference in Switzerland, of which the U.S. and Russia are co-organizers, alongside the United Nations. The White House and Kremlin alike realize that only by joint efforts through existing international institutions can the world’s problems be solved peacefully.

However, it is not the first time the anti-Russian lobby in Congress has sought to prevent the White House from getting a dialogue with Moscow on the right track, complicating the already-difficult negotiations between the U.S. Department of State and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After all, no matter how full of trust the relationship between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is, the Russian authorities have to respond in kind to American initiatives directed against the interests of Moscow and its allies.

The Kremlin has repeatedly warned the White House that any expansion of the “Magnitsky List” would lead to an expansion of Russia’s “blacklist” against American officials. It is possible that is why, much to the disappointment of the anti-Russian lobby in Congress, the U.S. administration’s report given to lawmakers on Dec. 20, 2013, compiled for the situation in Russia on the basis of the “Magnitsky List,” contained no new names. This restraint by the U.S. authorities allowed Russia and the U.S. to continue their cooperation in the international sphere — on Syria and Iran — as well as to start discussing a future visit to Russia by U.S. President Barack Obama. As RG has learned, the American side links the visit with the signing of new documents in the sphere of disarmament, whereas the Russian side proposes temporarily postponing the subject of disarmament and first carrying out some economic agreements at the summit.

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About Jeffrey Fredrich 199 Articles
Jeffrey studied Russian language at Northwestern University and at the Russian State University for the Humanities. He spent one year in Moscow doing independent research as a Fulbright fellow from 2007 to 2008.

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