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Do Liberals Want to Use Sanctions For a Lot More Than Canceling Just Putin and Russia?

Posted on Monday, March 14, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

Russia

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked the largest divestiture from a major world power since the Cold War, as dozens of Western companies rush to cut ties with Russia while world leaders attempt to use sanctions to cripple the Russian economy. However, some commentators have raised concerns about this attempt to effectively “cancel” an entire country, arguing that such an unprecedented targeting of every Russian citizen by both Western governments and private companies could set a dangerous precedent for those same tactics to be used in the future in far less extreme situations – as has already been the case when it came to things like the Freedom Convoy in Canada earlier this year.

As soon as Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine late last month, Western governments immediately began leveling sanctions on the Putin regime to undermine its ability to wage war and make life generally more difficult for Russia’s rich and powerful. Authorities seized everything from yachts to private jets belonging to Russian oligarchs, and eventually cut Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, leading to a crash of the Russian stock market. Many Western nations have also frozen Russian funds in their financial institutions, leading to a run on Russian banks and the dramatic devaluation of the ruble.

Another devastating blow to the Russian economy has been dealt by private companies, of which more than 300 have elected to leave the country altogether. McDonalds and Starbucks have pulled out, while Volkswagen and Toyota have halted production in Russia. While these losses are sure to make the lives of ordinary Russians less convenient, it’s the departure of financial services companies like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal which are likely to cause real pain. Ninety percent of all global transactions outside of China are run through Mastercard and Visa – meaning that the vast majority of Russian citizens will suddenly find themselves unable to make purchases online or without hard cash.

Some foreign policy experts have already raised concerns that such measures may have the unintended effect of turning the Russian population, which has thus far been divided over Putin’s war on Ukraine, firmly against the West. Additionally, Western divestment is already driving Russia and China closer together, raising the alarming prospect of a unified Russian-Chinese front against the U.S. and its allies.

Nonetheless, most people generally support the government sanctions and divestment given Putin’s egregious actions to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine. But the global “cancellation” of Russia should also make people cautious about how those same tactics may be leveraged by “woke” companies in the future against other “enemies” that are far less clearly defined.

For example, some Democrats and journalists are already equating Ukraine to Palestine and Russia to Israel. For years, elected Democrats have pushed for the “Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanction” (BDS Movement) of Israel. BDS Movement Leader Yousef Munayyer even stated that Members of Congress were “hypocrites” for supporting divestment from Russia but not from Israel. Should the supercharged cancel culture machine now firmly fixed on Russia be turned on Israel, the results could be devastating for American national security interests in the Middle East. Even worse, some wonder whether these tactics might be turned against domestic political opponents.

The dangers of such extreme cancellation tactics are not just theoretical. Just last year, President Biden ordered the FBI to investigate parents who spoke up at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.” Following the passage of an election integrity law in Georgia last spring, Major League Baseball moved it’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, a move that only served to hurt Atlanta businesses that had nothing to do with the passage of the law.

Additionally, earlier this year, the world saw a coordinated effort on the part of corporations and the Canadian government to target individuals who supported the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa.

Supporters of the Freedom Convoy donated over $9 million to the movement using the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. In an unprecedented move, the website shut down the fundraiser and announced they would confiscate all $9 million and redistribute it to their “approved” causes (in other words, left-wing movements). GoFundMe’s justification for the move were reports of supposed “unlawful activity” carried out by the protesters, yet the company provided no examples of anyone breaking the law. This raised eyebrows for many who noted that the site facilitated fundraising for protests that often did turn violent following the death of George Floyd in 2020, as well as hosting fundraisers that were used to pay bail for violent criminals.

GoFundMe’s confiscation of Freedom Convoy funds was met with such severe backlash that the website acquiesced and refunded the donors. When supporters shifted these funds to the Christian crowdfunding platform, GiveSendGo, however, hackers broke into the site, stole the donor list, and released it to the general public. While “doxing” incidents like this are not unprecedented, what was shocking was how the media responded. Multiple mainstream outlets published names and addresses and even tracked down families in an apparent attempt to shame, or “cancel,” them.

In addition, the Canadian government targeted ordinary citizens for donating small sums to the nonviolent protest. In one case, a single mom who donated $50 to the Freedom Convoy had her bank account frozen. The Canadian government in effect waged a similar financial war against its own citizens that the West is now waging against Russia – and in this case, it wasn’t over a military invasion of a foreign country, but a peaceful protest against government overreach.

It remains to be seen whether Western efforts to use economic pressure to deter Putin’s military aggression will ultimately be effective. Putin’s actions are undoubtedly a blatant violation of international norms and human rights, and the West would be remiss not to address them. But now that the ability to “cancel” not just an individual but an entire country has been proven, it’s worth asking if this new method of government coercion may be a Pandora’s Box better left unopened. At the very least, conservatives in the United States should remain vigilant should the ever-power-hungry radical left seek to turn the methods of economic warfare now leveraged against Russia against them, too.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.     

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Jeb_sc
Jeb_sc
2 years ago

Personally, I don’t trust leftists elitists liberals to not do most anything.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
2 years ago

They are so far off on the Russia/Isreal comparison. The Palestinians have no prior right which the Hebrews can claim unless they can trace linage back to the Philistines.
Do these dolts think the area would be in better shape economically?

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

They want for Power & Control only

Alan Seitel
Alan Seitel
2 years ago

The land of the free and home or the brave has become the land of the subservient and home of the sheep.

Boz
Boz
2 years ago

LiberaIs want to cancel America and the Middle-class.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

This was an amusing article. Although I don’t think the author originally intended it be one. Heavy on the fantasy and light on an accurate critique of the events that led up the Russian invasion and how most western nations completely botched any deterrence to head it off. Anyone thinking the current economic sanctions, that were belatedly placed on Russia, will deter Putin at this point is kidding themselves. Putin is now more concerned about saving face and crushing Ukraine at any cost, than any half-hearted sanctions the West has imposed.

MariaRose
MariaRose
2 years ago

I don’t understand the logic of cutting off access to a worldwide acceptable program because it offends your political state of mind. By being a worldwide program means that you have already dealt with cultural issues. Those MacDonalds and Starbucks were probably franchise owners who have no problems leaving and setting up elsewhere. I feel more sorry for the workers than the owners. All those money credit programs, Mastercard , Visa, and PayPal are mostly online services. I am quite sure Russia has a fairly good internet connection, so why lose that currency movement.

Toni Geren
Toni Geren
2 years ago

It’s going to come back and bite the USA. Everything that has been done since Jan 2021 has been done wrong by this administration. And while all the attention right now is on Russia and the Ukraine, what about the ones left behind in Afghanistan? They are being systematically killed, woman and children too. where is the outrage?

JJ. Johnson Smith
JJ. Johnson Smith
2 years ago

Sadly, we are living under a tyrannical administration in America already, and that is a direct result of a LACK of Vigilance among Conservatives. Not only vigilance, but the motivation to take effective actions, as well as an inability to unite as the Leftists do. My question regarding this “War”, is WHY does everyone assume that Ukraine is blameless? They are NOT. Putin is a bad man, and so is Zelensky, but people form opinions based on what Media TELLS them they should believe, rather than looking behind the curtains and finding the truth for themselves. Putin may have struck the first blow, but not before attempting to solve the issues with Ukraine diplomatically. Why do so FEW people see that BOTH governments are to blame here, and that THEY must work it out between themselves ? Yes, the refugees should be helped, the children protected, and the innocent prayed for. War is HELL, no matter where it happens. We must also keep the FACT that the Biden Administration carries a fair amount of blame as well, in the forefront of our minds!

Samuel
Samuel
2 years ago

… Saudi Arabian mercenaries attack the World Trade Center? Washington DC directs their war on terrorism, upon us. Lab leak in Wuhan? Washington DC goes, from 15 days to flatten the curb, to a jab a month or lose your job. Russia attacks Ukraine? Washington DC punishes us, cutting off our oil supply. Only thing the government in Washington DC is good for is, lying through its teeth and, punishing us, blaming everything on us –

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

Very eye opening article on exactly the methods that a marxist administration like joebama’s could try against America’s Citizens.
As stated this government overreach is precisely what the communist up north, trudeau did against a peaceful demonstration by truckers exercising their rights.
I do not trust politicians at all, look at govenor half-whit in Michigan, who was so powerful hungry that the courts had to shut her down!
ALL the marxist democrat politicians and their party violated Citizens rights with their lockdowns,made up executive powers and dishonest health statistics just to attempt control!
Wake up people EVERY office holder who overstepped the authority that WE give to those who WORK FOR US, MUST BE REMOVED.
2022 and 2024 is the time they need to be held accountable for THEIR FAILURE.
THROW THEM OUT!

Bill T
Bill T
2 years ago

If you didn’t realize it, the progressive socialist democrats already waged a war against our capitalist system. Cancel culture is being used as a weapon to literally destroy any corporation or even the smallest companies in the United States. This is really blackmailing and forcing many companies to either go bankrupt or reluctantly join together with these leftist and diabolical enemies of our Capitalistic and free system. Now it’s being done on a global scale and it’s based on the exact same premise, Do as I say not as I do or your eliminated. This entire scenario from the very outset of covid, all the destruction of our society, cancel culture, out of control inflation that is absolutely being done on purpose, everything that’s been systematically and strategically falling into place is definitely by design. Just remember these are extremely bad and very powerful world leaders and Uber wealthy haters of our constitution and our freedoms behind all of this . If there not stopped soon our country and the entire world will be fully controlled by a new world order, yes it’s there utopian dream that’s unfolding right in front of our eyes. WE THE PEOPLE AND GOD MUST PREVAIL.

M-1
M-1
2 years ago

Referring to Biden, What part of the word “Traitor” do people not understand? Through his crooked family connections and specifically his drug-addicted son Hunter, China and Russia have openly transferred millions if not billions of thinly veiled bribe money to Biden. Is it not evident to the casual observer that Biden is destroying our country from the inside out? He is playing the U.S. into bad deals with our enemies; For instance, shutting down our oil production and then buying oil from our enemies. And destroying our economy, opening our country’s southern border to every terrorist, criminal, drug cartel, and enemy agent in the world, and allowing millions of unvented illegal immigrants that are creating an unsustainable burden on the taxpayers, eventually bankrupting our country. Why is this traitor not in federal prison?

Barb
Barb
2 years ago

Putin is just another greedy a$$hole. The entire world has gone greedy. The greedy just can’t get enough of anything. God Bless America

Brenda
Brenda
2 years ago

He made a comment about leaving Pandora’s box unopened. The contents of his comments above that statement prove to me at least that Pandora’s box has already been opened if part of the concern is what would be done against our citizens. Read the article again and see if you agree with me.

Enuf Said
Enuf Said
2 years ago

Well, WHOM is going to pick up the financial transactions from Visa, Mastercard, Pay-Pal and the other providers? Well, China has ALREADY offered Russia an alternative– so the WEST loses again. Now that is what you call “SOUND” financial planning.

Jeb_sc
Jeb_sc
2 years ago

Personally, I don’t trust leftists elitists liberals to not do most anything.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
2 years ago

They are so far off on the Russia/Isreal comparison. The Palestinians have no prior right which the Hebrews can claim unless they can trace linage back to the Philistines.
Do these dolts think the area would be in better shape economically?

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

They want for Power & Control only

Alan Seitel
Alan Seitel
2 years ago

The land of the free and home or the brave has become the land of the subservient and home of the sheep.

Boz
Boz
2 years ago

LiberaIs want to cancel America and the Middle-class.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

This was an amusing article. Although I don’t think the author originally intended it be one. Heavy on the fantasy and light on an accurate critique of the events that led up the Russian invasion and how most western nations completely botched any deterrence to head it off. Anyone thinking the current economic sanctions, that were belatedly placed on Russia, will deter Putin at this point is kidding themselves. Putin is now more concerned about saving face and crushing Ukraine at any cost, than any half-hearted sanctions the West has imposed.

MariaRose
MariaRose
2 years ago

I don’t understand the logic of cutting off access to a worldwide acceptable program because it offends your political state of mind. By being a worldwide program means that you have already dealt with cultural issues. Those MacDonalds and Starbucks were probably franchise owners who have no problems leaving and setting up elsewhere. I feel more sorry for the workers than the owners. All those money credit programs, Mastercard , Visa, and PayPal are mostly online services. I am quite sure Russia has a fairly good internet connection, so why lose that currency movement.

Toni Geren
Toni Geren
2 years ago

It’s going to come back and bite the USA. Everything that has been done since Jan 2021 has been done wrong by this administration. And while all the attention right now is on Russia and the Ukraine, what about the ones left behind in Afghanistan? They are being systematically killed, woman and children too. where is the outrage?

JJ. Johnson Smith
JJ. Johnson Smith
2 years ago

Sadly, we are living under a tyrannical administration in America already, and that is a direct result of a LACK of Vigilance among Conservatives. Not only vigilance, but the motivation to take effective actions, as well as an inability to unite as the Leftists do. My question regarding this “War”, is WHY does everyone assume that Ukraine is blameless? They are NOT. Putin is a bad man, and so is Zelensky, but people form opinions based on what Media TELLS them they should believe, rather than looking behind the curtains and finding the truth for themselves. Putin may have struck the first blow, but not before attempting to solve the issues with Ukraine diplomatically. Why do so FEW people see that BOTH governments are to blame here, and that THEY must work it out between themselves ? Yes, the refugees should be helped, the children protected, and the innocent prayed for. War is HELL, no matter where it happens. We must also keep the FACT that the Biden Administration carries a fair amount of blame as well, in the forefront of our minds!

Samuel
Samuel
2 years ago

… Saudi Arabian mercenaries attack the World Trade Center? Washington DC directs their war on terrorism, upon us. Lab leak in Wuhan? Washington DC goes, from 15 days to flatten the curb, to a jab a month or lose your job. Russia attacks Ukraine? Washington DC punishes us, cutting off our oil supply. Only thing the government in Washington DC is good for is, lying through its teeth and, punishing us, blaming everything on us –

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

Very eye opening article on exactly the methods that a marxist administration like joebama’s could try against America’s Citizens.
As stated this government overreach is precisely what the communist up north, trudeau did against a peaceful demonstration by truckers exercising their rights.
I do not trust politicians at all, look at govenor half-whit in Michigan, who was so powerful hungry that the courts had to shut her down!
ALL the marxist democrat politicians and their party violated Citizens rights with their lockdowns,made up executive powers and dishonest health statistics just to attempt control!
Wake up people EVERY office holder who overstepped the authority that WE give to those who WORK FOR US, MUST BE REMOVED.
2022 and 2024 is the time they need to be held accountable for THEIR FAILURE.
THROW THEM OUT!

Bill T
Bill T
2 years ago

If you didn’t realize it, the progressive socialist democrats already waged a war against our capitalist system. Cancel culture is being used as a weapon to literally destroy any corporation or even the smallest companies in the United States. This is really blackmailing and forcing many companies to either go bankrupt or reluctantly join together with these leftist and diabolical enemies of our Capitalistic and free system. Now it’s being done on a global scale and it’s based on the exact same premise, Do as I say not as I do or your eliminated. This entire scenario from the very outset of covid, all the destruction of our society, cancel culture, out of control inflation that is absolutely being done on purpose, everything that’s been systematically and strategically falling into place is definitely by design. Just remember these are extremely bad and very powerful world leaders and Uber wealthy haters of our constitution and our freedoms behind all of this . If there not stopped soon our country and the entire world will be fully controlled by a new world order, yes it’s there utopian dream that’s unfolding right in front of our eyes. WE THE PEOPLE AND GOD MUST PREVAIL.

M-1
M-1
2 years ago

Referring to Biden, What part of the word “Traitor” do people not understand? Through his crooked family connections and specifically his drug-addicted son Hunter, China and Russia have openly transferred millions if not billions of thinly veiled bribe money to Biden. Is it not evident to the casual observer that Biden is destroying our country from the inside out? He is playing the U.S. into bad deals with our enemies; For instance, shutting down our oil production and then buying oil from our enemies. And destroying our economy, opening our country’s southern border to every terrorist, criminal, drug cartel, and enemy agent in the world, and allowing millions of unvented illegal immigrants that are creating an unsustainable burden on the taxpayers, eventually bankrupting our country. Why is this traitor not in federal prison?

Barb
Barb
2 years ago

Putin is just another greedy a$$hole. The entire world has gone greedy. The greedy just can’t get enough of anything. God Bless America

Brenda
Brenda
2 years ago

He made a comment about leaving Pandora’s box unopened. The contents of his comments above that statement prove to me at least that Pandora’s box has already been opened if part of the concern is what would be done against our citizens. Read the article again and see if you agree with me.

Enuf Said
Enuf Said
2 years ago

Well, WHOM is going to pick up the financial transactions from Visa, Mastercard, Pay-Pal and the other providers? Well, China has ALREADY offered Russia an alternative– so the WEST loses again. Now that is what you call “SOUND” financial planning.

kamala harris
Donald Trump
President Joe Biden departs after speaking at the NAACP Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mark Laws

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