The U.S. extradition proceedings against Chinese business executive Meng Wanzhou only goes to show the utter perversity of the U.S. government’s policy of imposing economic sanctions on foreign regimes and, in a larger context, the perversity of the entire U.S. foreign policy of interventionism and meddling in the affairs of other nations.
Meng is the chief executive officer of Huawei, the large Chinese technology company that sells consumer electronics and smartphones all over the world. She has been under house arrest in Canada for a year because the U.S. government wants Canadian authorities to extradite her to the United States for trial. Meng is opposing her extradition. The extradition proceedings began yesterday in Vancouver.
What is the criminal offense that U.S. officials are alleging Meng committed?
U.S. officials are saying that she violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.
What does a Chinese citizen have to do with U.S. sanctions on Iran?
U.S. sanctions on Iran constitute an effort by the U.S. government to impoverish or kill Iranian citizens with the aim of achieving a political objective, such as regime change in Iran or a commitment by Iranian officials to follow orders from U.S. officials. The idea is that if the Iranian populace can be made to suffer enough through impoverishment or death, the Iranian regime will surrender power and be replaced by a U.S. puppet regime or simply agree to do the bidding of U.S. officials.
A classic example of how U.S. sanctions are intended to work occurred in the 1990s, when the U.S. government imposed and enforced sanctions on Iraq. During 11 years of sanctions, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children were killed. Throughout this entire time, U.S. officials hoped that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, faced with this massive death toll among the Iraqi children, would voluntarily leave power and be replaced by a pro-U.S. regime, at which point the sanctions would be lifted.
It never worked, notwithstanding that massive death toll among Iraqi children. Saddam, who ironically had been a close partner and ally of the U.S. government in the 1990s, when they were helping him wage his 8-year-long war of aggression against Iran, refused to leave office. It was the 9/11 attacks that gave U.S. officials the opportunity to evict Saddam through military invasion and occupation, under the mantras of “WMDs!” and “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
While there hasn’t been that same massive death toll in Iran, there is no doubt that the Iranian people have severely suffered economically from the U.S. sanctions. Moreover, there have been some deaths from the sanctions, such as in the crash of a civilian airliner some years ago that experienced maintenance problems because of the U.S. sanctions.
Stilll, what does all this that have to do with China? It stands to reason that U.S. officials would target American citizens with criminal prosecution or civil fines for violating their sanctions. That’s, in fact, what they did to an American man named Bert Sachs, who intentionally violated the U.S. sanctions on Iraq by taking medicine to the Iraqi people. U.S. officials fined him and went after him with a vengeance. Their position was that American citizens are expected to comply with U.S. sanctions on foreigners. To his everlasting credit, Sachs fought them every step of the way and, much to their anger and chagrin, ultimately prevailed.
But why China? Why should a Chinese citizen be required to comply with U.S. sanctions on Iran? Does that make any sense? U.S. laws apply to U.S. citizens, just as Chinese laws apply to Chinese citizens. If China imposed sanctions on, say, Japan, why would Americans have to stop doing business with Japanese firms?
The reason for this legal and moral absurdity is that U.S. officials consider themselves the masters of the world. They hold that everyone all over the world are required to comply with U.S. law. It’s what might be called U.S. Empire Law, with the jurisdiction of the U.S. Empire encompassing everyone in every country in the world.
That’s why they are targeting Meng Wanzhou with criminal prosecution and extradition. She has supposedly violated a U.S. sanctions law or decree that, U.S. officials say, everyone in the world is required to comply with, or else face criminal prosecution under the worldwide jurisdiction of U.S. federal courts.
If that’s not utter absurdity, I don’t know what is. But of course it’s just part and parcel of an absurd and morally despicable foreign policy of empire and interventionism and meddling in the affairs of other nations.