American Sanctions Bite Europe Yet Again

Stefan Sauer/DPA via ZUMA

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With a sparkling new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany nearly finished, US sanctions have brought construction to a halt with only 160 kilometers left to go. Germans are pissed:

The U.S.’s move sparked outrage in Germany, prompting senior officials and politicians to call for a coordinated approach to protect the strategic interests of European Union members against future U.S. sanctions.

….A senior German government official said, in response to the pipeline sanctions, that Germany would make a renewed European push to build a firewall against U.S. sanctions when it takes over the EU’s rotating presidency next year. One goal would be to create a separate financial infrastructure that would allow European companies to escape the scope of U.S. sanctions. The banks involved would have to be based in jurisdictions out of the U.S.’s reach, such as China or possibly Russia, the official said.

American use of financial sanctions has been out of hand for a while, seemingly our automatic response to anything in the world we dislike. Add this to all the Trumpish trade and tariff actions of the past couple of years and Europeans are starting to wonder if they really want to be the US sidekick in yet another cold war against our enemies du jour.

Having said that, though, it’s worth noting that this squabble is all about . . . fossil fuels. Germany is one of the most reliable fighters against climate change in the world, but in the past decade they have decommissioned their nukes, continued mining huge amounts of coal, and are increasing their dependence on Russian natural gas. If that’s what the serious climate change fighters are doing, can you imagine what the rest of the world is doing?

The answer is: pretty much nothing. This is why I have finally decided that our only hope is massive climate R&D.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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