The American Drum Beats Too Loud, By Owei Lakemfa


The little veiled appeal from Ms. Nikky Nimrata Haley, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, for China to be attacked for non-compliance with her country’s unilateral sanctions against Iran, and the abduction of the envoy Venezuelan special, Alex Saab for the same reason, are troubling. . They are a reminder of the anarchism that prevailed in the 1865-1895 “Wild, Wild West” of American history.

On July 14, 2015, the United States, France, Russia, United Kingdom, China and Germany signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA, with Iran under which the latter would curb its nuclear program.

In return, US, European and United Nations, UN, sanctions against Iran should be relaxed. Six days later, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2231 endorsing this agreement.

On January 16, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, verified that Iran had honored its end of the deal. However, on December 1, 2016, the US Congress extended the Iran Sanctions Act, ISA for ten years.

Then, on May 18, 2018, the United States abandoned the multilateral Iran nuclear deal. Sanctions against Iran are unilateral decisions by the United States, but America insists that they must be respected by all countries and human beings.

So, when on June 13, 2020, a private plane carrying Alex Saab, a Venezuelan special envoy en route to buy food and medicine from Iran, made a refueling stopover in Cape Verde, America forced this country to seize him.

The Americans’ claim is that since doing business with Iran amounts to a violation of its sanctions, Saab is involved in money laundering.

Mr. Saab had not broken any laws in Cape Verde, enjoyed diplomatic immunity, there were no INTERPOL ordinances relating to him, and America and Cape Verde had no treaty of extradition, so there was no reason to detain him. He sued Cape Verde before the Regional Economic Community of West African States, the ECOWAS Court.

The court ruled that Saab’s detention was illegal, ordered that the extradition process initiated at the request of the United States be immediately terminated and that Cape Verde should pay him compensation in the amount of US $ 200,000. But the latter refused to obey the judgment of the regional court.

On June 8, 2021, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights demanded that Saab be released and allowed to see a doctor for his cancer. It was ignored.

On September 28, 2021, the African Bar Association weighed in to demand that the ECOWAS judgment be respected and that neither America nor any other country be allowed to disobey the rule of law in Africa.

It was ignored. The Constitutional Court of Cape Verde then ruled that Saab should be delivered to the Americans. On Saturday, October 16, 2021, the United States airlifted him to their territory, held hostage to be subject to a kangaroo trial.

The Americans had tried a similar tactic against Ms. Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies. He also accused her of doing business with Iran and led Canada to seize her on December 1, 2018.

But China retaliated by seizing two Canadians and bringing them to justice. A deadlock ensued, forcing America on September 24, 2021 to withdraw its extradition request. This gave Canada the latitude to save face to free Meng while the Chinese, in turn, freed the Canadians.

Haley in his October 19 Washington Post advisory titled “If Biden Does Not Fight China’s Importation of Iranian Oil, Congress Should” demand that China-Iran trade be stopped. She argued that: “Every barrel of Iranian oil landed in Chinese ports is a violation of the sanctions put in place by the United States to starve revenues from Iranian terrorism and its nuclear program. “

She lamented that: “Iran and China have recently taken a further step in their alliance. Last year, they finalized a “strategic partnership” committing Beijing to invest $ 400 billion in Iran over 25 years. In return, China will gain long-term access to discounted Iranian crude supplies and strengthen its presence in Iran’s ports, railways, telecommunications and elsewhere.

So how does a legitimate trade agreement between two sovereign countries become a crime? But the influential American politician whose parents emigrated from India, thinks it is a crime and roars: “Instead of trusting diplomacy wildly, the Biden administration should make it more difficult for Iranian oil to get out of the country. China.

Haley concluded, “The President may prefer negotiations, but they have only emboldened those who want America harm. National security is not negotiable. The type of anarchism suggested by Haley was flaunted in July 2020 when the United States took action to seize four ships carrying Iranian fuel to Venezuela based on the bizarre excuse that the Iranian government was stealing Iranian oil!

America has also been implicated in criminal acts like extraordinary rendition, which is the kidnapping of people in various countries, torturing and dehumanizing them outside of the United States or one of its facilities because the process dehumanization would violate US laws. So what meaning does it have for American soldiers and security to be empowered to commit such offenses and to be protected from the law?

Sometimes it was an identity mistake. This is the case of Mr. El-Massri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin who was kidnapped on December 31, 2003 at the German-Macedonian border, tortured in this country and then transported in a state of unconsciousness, only to find himself in Afghanistan where his torture continued.

The Americans later realized that it was a mistaken identity. But rather than apologize, release him and take him home, they simply boarded him on a plane on May 28, 2004 and left him in a strange place.

When he walked along the road, he found himself at the Albanian border. The European Court of Human Rights awarded him 60,000 euros against Macedonia, the country which had given the Americans the means to detain and torture him.

The American establishment has the illusion that it is the world. So he assumes that when America has a headache, the world is sick; when it snores, the universe must be awakened and when it is agitated, the world must leap.

He assumes the only adult in the world is America, so he tells other countries who their friends and enemies are, who they can trade with; with whom they can dialogue and with whom they must crush.

It assumes that it is the only entity that can define terrorism and decide who is a terrorist; who to put on the “terrorism watch list” and who to remove.

In Africa, when children make an animal skin drum from the skins of cows, goats or other animals, the elders warn them not to beat it too hard, otherwise the drum will burst; the United States is beating their skin drum too hard, it risks bursting.

Owei Lakemfa, former secretary general of African workers, is a human rights activist, journalist and author.

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