Article of the Week: U.S. Government confirms sanctions don’t work

I found this on the Campaign for Liberty website.  A program that was started shortly after the 2008 presidential race that featured Ron Paul.  Each week I will take an article and it will be the article of the week.  We’ll see how this goes.

By Jacob Hornberger

Even while employing sanctions against Iran, the U.S. government is confirming that sanctions do not work.

The Chinese government has threatened to impose sanctions on the United States if the U.S. government persists in its decision to sell weapons, including F-16s, to Taiwan. According to the New York Times, the threat was issued by a top Chinese military official, who did not specify what the sanctions would be. However, a possibility would be the wholesale dumping of U.S. government securities onto the international financial markets. Those instruments represent the enormous amounts of money that China has loaned the U.S. government to fund its enterprises in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Notwithstanding the U.S. government’s steadfast insistence that its sanctions will induce Iranian government officials to submit to U.S. demands regarding its nuclear program, the U.S. government is steadfastly refusing to succumb to China’s threat to impose sanctions on the United States.

Wouldn’t you think that U.S. officials would want to use this opportunity to show the world that sanctions really do work? Imagine: U.S. officials could announce, “Given China’s threat to impose sanctions on our country, we have decided to not go forward with our plans to sell weaponry to Taiwan.” What better way to show that sanctions work than that?

But we all know that that isn’t going to happen. U.S. government officials are a proud bunch. They’re not about to let Chinese government officials push them around.

But what about China’s ability to dump all those U.S. debt instruments onto the market. Surely U.S. officials realize that such an action could cause untold monetary havoc for the U.S. dollar and, thus, severely threaten the financial well-being of the American people.

It doesn’t matter. U.S. officials would never bow to the demands of China’s government, no matter how high the cost to the American citizenry.

But the obvious questions arise? Why wouldn’t Iranian officials be expected to react in the same way? Why would anyone expect them to succumb to demands of U.S. officials? Aren’t they just as proud as U.S. government officials are? Wouldn’t they be just as willing to sacrifice the well-being of their citizenry as U.S. officials are?

The fact is that the citizenry of any country are viewed simply as pawns by both their own government and the foreign government that is imposing the sanctions.

For example, as I pointed out here, the U.S. sanctions against Iran have caused several plane crashes, killing hundreds of Iraqi citizens. Yet, that hasn’t persuaded the U.S. government to lift the sanctions, just as it hasn’t induced the Iranian government to bow to U.S. demands. The Iranian citizenry are considered expendable by both governments.

Recall the brutal sanctions that the U.S. government enforced against Iraq for more than 10 years. Every year, they were causing the deaths of thousands of Iraqi children from infectious illnesses, malnutrition, etc. Those deaths didn’t cause Saddam Hussein to leave office, which is what the U.S. government wanted. Equally important, U.S. officials were indifferent to the deaths of all those Iraqi children. In fact, the official U.S. position was that those deaths were “worth it,” the term used by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright when asked about the deaths by “Sixty Minutes.”

Or consider the brutal embargo that the U.S. government has enforced against Cuba for decades. It has produced untold economic harm to the Cuban people. U.S. officials couldn’t care less. They steadfastly maintain that one of these days the embargo will finally succeed in persuading Fidel Castro (and his brother) to give up power and permit a U.S.-approved ruler to be substituted in his stead. Not surprisingly, the Castro brothers have reacted to the decades-long U.S. embargo in the same way that the U.S. government is responding to China’s threat to impose sanctions on the United States — by refusing to succumb to U.S. demands no matter how much the Cuban people must suffer as a consequence.

With its refusal to bow to China’s threat of sanctions, the U.S. government is confirming that sanctions simply don’t work. Given the great harm the U.S. government has inflicted on foreign citizens with its own sanctions, it’s time for U.S. officials to lift their sanctions against Iran, Cuba, and everyone else.


4 thoughts on “Article of the Week: U.S. Government confirms sanctions don’t work

  1. Nate

    Well, first off, we need to step back and look closely at just how linked we are to China economically. We rage about how we buy so much from China that they “own us”, but China obviously sells so much to us that we, in a way, “own them”. There’s economy is kicking along at a tremendous rate of growth in large part due to America’s companies (and thus consumers) buying their goods. Politicians on both sides might rattle their sabers to get reelected, but when it comes right down to it, China needs a strong America to survive, much the same way we need an economically prosperous China to survive. If China were to “wreck our economy” by dumping our debt or whatever, all they would be doing is killing their own economy in the process, and that’s just not going to happen. All this fuss lately is over Taiwan, which is a subject that riles me up like no other. Don’t fear China, fear our own inability (or unwillingness) to compete with China.

    1. I agree with you. In a way we “own each other”. But this is another reason why I do not support the interventionist foreign policy. It doesn’t make us anymore safer – the arguement that if we weren’t over there, they would come over here just doesn’t do it for me. We had been manipulating and manufacturing conflicts in the Middle East for at least fifty years before the attacks in ’93 and in 2001. Also, it puts us at the mercy of foreign central banks and debases the solidarity of our dollar.

      For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the U.S. arms and supports the Taiwanese government. Maybe to defend “democracy around the world” or maybe they would like to manufacture a war with China. This may not make any sense, but then again, when does the government do anything that makes any bit of sense? I’ve done the math – taking into consideration that the Chinese have about two-hundred million in a standing army and we have roughly about four-hundred thousand ready for combat, that makes the ratio 500 Chinese soldiers to every one of our men.

      With respect to the fact that China does not nation build, they do not spend $1 trillion dollars a year on an over extended foreign policy, they trade with anyone (I don’t think that they have any enemies besides Taiwan and Japan), they own damn near half of the worlds population, our country is a debtor nation and this cannot go on forever, wouldn’t China so to speak, be “too big to fail”? Wouldn’t they rebound quicker than we would? I don’t know that they would need a booming economy to kick our ass.

      While you’re at it, tell me what riles you about the China/Taiwan fiasco.

      1. Nate

        Ok, first off, China’s military is a paper tiger, they may have 200mil guys on the books, but they are technologically 25 years behind us in every way. Even if the wanted to, which they don’t, they couldn’t directly threaten America as they have absolutely no way to get any of those troops over here (all those crappy Tom Clancy-type books don’t take into account that there’s no way America would ever, ever let a foreign power come even close to invading us). What China does have, however, are Russian-made submarines and Russian-made cruise missiles, which combined make our Navy nervous. But, again, a war with America means the sudden and disasterous crash of their entire economy overnight. Plus, nuclear weapons states don’t go to war directly with each other, they do it through proxies.

        On, Taiwan, it has nothing to do with people of Taiwan itself (99.9999$ of Americans couldn’t even find it on a map) but everything to do with Taiwan’s geographical location. Sitting offshore of China and commanding the sea routes in the Western Pacific, Taiwan is a strategic possession beyond all reasonable value. If China were to retake it, they would be in a position to dominate trade and commerce throughout the region.

        America originally defended Taiwanese rights solely because we wanted a bulwark against the Communists in mainland China, a way to check their expansion in a time of great unheaval after WWII. And to this day that is still what it’s about, containing Chinese ambitions in the Western Pacific region.

        Now, if China wanted Taiwan back, they could take it back. Taiwan is so outnumbered that China would grind down their defenses in 36 hours and then land troops. America would do her best to stop it, but it’s a numbers game, they just have too many missiles and torpedoes and we have too few fighters and bombers, we’d be lucky to hold off the invasion for a week. But again, and I can’t stress this enough, a war with America over Taiwan would absolutely destroy China’s economy to a degree that would take them decades to recover, if ever. Taiwan is not worth it.

        Ok, I’ve rambled enough. Just stop listening to politicians, they are just tapping into our base fear of foreigners to get reelected.

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