Posts Tagged ‘Sanctions’

In his article, David S. Broder, covers the issues such as the economy, Obama’s run in 2012, and what he can do to save it.  Can you guess what one of those things is?  War with Iran.  He says:

What else might affect the economy? The answer is obvious, but its implications are frightening. War and peace influence the economy.

Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.

Broder may not be saying that we “need to incite war with Iran”, but it is either by his ignorance or maybe something else, but “inciting” is what the government does best.  We’ve heard the excuse that Iran is a threat to peace in the region and the world, and that they are in the process of getting WMDs.  But where did we hear this before?  Oh yes, Iraq.

During the 90s, Saddam Hussien’s Iraq was broke, and in the process of sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations; a destitute Iraq was put into an already perilous situation made worse by the warmonger foreign policy.  Sanctions don’t kill dictators, just the innocent. 

Broder’s opinion that Obama could make this world safer is a fallacy.  Case in point; there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before 9/11 or invasion; it was only when we went there that they came to fight us.  So spreading the “war on terrorism” to Iran would only broaden al-Qaeda’s reach and its reason to fight us.  Not to mention what Iran’s allies (China and Russia) would do.  In short: I think that an attack on Iran would launch the Mid-East into a WWIII.

America may support this conflict, but Americans need to know that any such action taken on part of the United States would merit vicious attacks from al-Qaeda.  And the machinery of the military industrial complex moves on.

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When the Democrats ran for office in 2008 denouncing the Bush policies, I knew that this was nothing more than a smoke screen to cover-up the fact that nothing would change.  The organizing principal of any society lie in its war powers (to borrow from a movie).  But, yet this is true.  The American people scared into believing that if we didn’t act on Iraq and act quickly would suffer the consequences of being annihlated, gave the green light to unending war.  But lets looks at the United States’ history with Iraq.

1991 Uprisings…

  • In 1991, then President George H.W.Bush, urged the Iraqi people to rise up against Saddam Hussein.

“There is another way for the bloodshed to stop: And that is, for the Iraqi military and the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside and then comply with the United Nations‘ resolutions and rejoin the family of peace-loving nations.”

  • However, when the slaughter started and Hussein was able to maintain control, the United States, under this President, was nowhere to be found.
  • Bush Sr. would later state that he did “not mislead anybody about the intentions of the United States of America”…”I made clear from the very beginning that it was not the objective of the coalition or the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

You can read more on the unprisings of 1991 here.

Sanctions don’t kill dictators, they kill the innocent…

If history can teach us anything, it is Iraq.  The biggest bungled, malicious, accesory to murder that this government has ever done since the genocide of the Native Americans.  A few facts for you:

  • Since their inception, the sanctions have killed a million or more Iraqis by means of malnutrition and disease. Many victims are children under the age of five. Reports by the United Nations and several humanitarian groups have documented the deaths, although estimates of the number of people killed vary. Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general, has published two books detailing the effects of the sanctions and the loss of life that has resulted.
  • Madeleine Albright, a secretary of state under President Clinton, went on record (interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, May 12, 1996, when Albright was U.S. ambassador to the UN) as stating that the price (in terms of deaths — about 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died by the time of the broadcast) was worth it to contain Saddam Hussein.
  • Richard Reid, the person who tried to blow up an airliner with a shoe bomb, said he wanted to do it because U.S. sanctions had killed two million Iraqis.

More than a million Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion and more are still to come.  This is the sort of foreign policy that your government endorses and will continue to endorse.

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, August 13, 2010

Iraq’s top general has called for U.S. troops to stay in the country until 2020, a telling reminder that President Barack Obama’s supposed withdrawal more than seven years after the 2003 invasion is nothing more than a publicity stunt, with tens of thousands of U.S. forces remaining as a residual occupying army for decades to come.

“At this point, the withdrawal is going well, because they [U.S. forces] are still here,” Lt. Gen. Babakir Zebari told a news conference in the Baghdad. “But the problem will start after 2011.”

“If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians, ‘the U.S. army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020,’” he said.

Despite public pronouncements by Obama that a plan to fully withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 is in progress, the details of the agreement actually establish a permanent presence of a sizable occupying force in perpetuity.

As the New York Times reported when the plan was first made public in February 2009, after the supposed “full” withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, “Obama plans to leave behind a “residual force” of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down foreign terrorist cells and guard American institutions.”

Why troops would be needed to “guard American institutions” when, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the plan is to “turn over bases that Americans have been on to the Iraqis” by the end of this month, doesn’t make sense, unless the bases are to remain under U.S. control.

A senior military officer made it clear that there would not be a proper withdrawal under the plan when he told the Los Angeles TImes, “‘When President Obama said we were going to get out within 16 months, some people heard, ‘get out,’ and everyone’s gone. But that is not going to happen,’ the officer said.”

In all, some 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq after the so-called “pullout”.

The date for the final pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq keeps being pushed back further and further. Obama campaigned in 2008 on the promise that he would “immediately” withdraw troops from Iraq, then that was put back to June 2009, then it became August 2010, and now the date has been pushed back to the end of 2011. Every time a deadline gets close, the Obama administration simply insists that the situation is too unstable for withdrawal and the date is pushed back again.

While grandstanding about troop withdrawals, the administration has completely failed to address what will happen to the estimated 132,610 military contractors in Iraq, 36,061 of which are American citizens.

In addition, even if Obama does withdraw a significant number of troops from Iraq, it seems inevitable that they will either be sent to Afghanistan or even used in a potential upcoming military assault on Iran.

Obama’s two-faced con in announcing that there will be a full withdrawal from Iraq while in reality tens of thousands of troops and contractors will remain as an occupying force for years if not decades strikes at the root of Obama’s hypocrisy and the fact that, while posturing as a peace advocate, he is firmly in the pocket of the military-industrial complex.

As Chris Floyd wrote when Obama’s “withdrawal” plan was first announced, “The hypocrisy – the literally murderous hypocrisy – of claiming that this plan “leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war,” as Obama asserted in his State of the Union speech, is sickening. It does no such thing, and he knows it.

This video deserves little emphasis.  If you support or have supported the invasion of Iraq, you should watch this.  But then again, you should watch it anyway.

Karl Rove lies about Iraq.

Excuse me for saying this, but war is fought for profit, not freedom.  It is fought for the United States to maintain a strangle hold on oil consumption.  Vicious dictators are propped up and created and allowed to run free while the United States government via the CIA disappears from the scene.  Malicious men are villianized by our mainstream propaganda factor, our government creates and supports CIA secret torture and death camps all in our name, and for our freedom.

Continue to support this foreign policy if you must, but educate yourself with these videos before you make up your mind: Iraq for sale.

I came across this in the paper and found it on the internet.  It’s well written and raises some good questions.  In my view, attacking Iran would be an up mountain climb and one that would prove fatal to our economy.  The economic sector is already worn thin by our various engagements, and U.S. forces are being bogged down by having to control the populous.  After reading this; read the opposing view Containment won’t work.

Ron Paul, a staunch conservative who has been for a Constitutional foreign policy, hinted at the government using propaganda for war with Iran.  He has also opposed sanctions against Iran.  According to Gallup, 6 out of 10 Americans view Iran as a threat, but this could all change when the invasion is a couple of years old.

 Tightening sanctions against Iran always has something of a parlor game feel to it, despite the titanic stakes. The United States tries to squeeze Iran ever harder, but not so hard that reluctant members of the United Nations Security Council walk away. Then Iran thumbs its nose and continues building its nuclear program, repeating its transparent lie that producing energy, not weapons, is the goal.

Everyone has dutifully followed the script since the Security Council approved new sanctions Wednesday, and rightly so.

 Sanctions aren’t toothless or worthless. They make life more difficult for Iran’s rulers and might, against the odds, lead to productive negotiations. More pointedly, they are the only tool available short of war and so must be pursued as far as possible.

 But they plainly are not working, and with Iran’s nuclear capability advancing rapidly, the time is nearing for a serious national dialogue about the unappetizing choices that lie ahead if sanctions fail.

 So far, arguments for the presumed alternative — bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities — are far too glib. They risk yet another repeat of the mistake that echoes through post-World War II history: that by waving our military wand, we can neatly and surgically remove the threat.

 An attack might become necessary. But the result would hardly be surgical. In fact, it could prove disastrous unless the United States is fully aligned behind the strike and willing to pay the price.

 A short and intentionally bleak assessment of the risks looks like this:

 •First, there’s a strong chance the attack wouldn’t work. Even many hawks concede that a strike could fail to destroy hardened, underground nuclear facilities. At best, it would set back the program, not destroy it. Then there’s the matter of downed planes and hostage pilots.

 •More ominously, Iran is quite capable of striking back, and if the U.S. attacked without strong international backing, the Iranians might have plenty of support, particularly in the Muslim world. This would undermine U.S. objectives in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. Indeed, Iranian-supplied weapons have already figured in devastating attacks on U.S. troops inside Iraq. Graver yet is the prospect that Iran could use its proxies in Hezbollah for terrorist strikes in the region and possibly even inside the U.S. Hezbollah is by all estimates a far more dangerous organization than al-Qaeda, and a major attack here would assure massive retaliation. Full scale war could not be ruled out.

 •Iranians would react to any attack in similar fashion, instantly uniting behind their government and setting back the nascent movement to depose the Tehran regime.

 •Oil prices would spike, especially if Iran decided to lash out by striking a vulnerable Saudi oil terminal and/or mining the Strait of Hormuz, which could cripple the oil tanker traffic that supplies the United States and many of its allies. This would endanger the weak world economy.

 •Even if Iran opted for a less aggressive response, a strike on yet another Muslim nation would feed into the narrative that the U.S. was attacking not terrorists or would-be bombmakers, but all of Islam.

 None of this is guaranteed, but all of it is possible. Pretending otherwise would risk repeating the mistakes of hubris made from Korea to Vietnam to Iraq. The better military model is the Persian Gulf War, when careful and massive preparation produced success.

 For now, the choice does not have to be made, so it would be unwise for the United States to take military action off the table. It has the virtue of creating uncertainty among Iran’s leaders.

 Further, the alternative — a prolonged policy of containment (essentially a new Cold War) — is also unappetizing. A nuclear arms race in the Middle East would likely ensue, and the potential for nuclear conflict would grow as Iran’s weapon and missile programs expanded. Iran would feel safe to pursue its goals of religious purity, destruction of Israel and regional dominance.

 The trade-off is that history has shown that containment can work, however uncomfortably, if maintained until the regime’s brutality and economic inefficiency cause it to collapse.

 Either option is discomforting, and it may well be that Israel will pre-empt the need to pick one by attacking on its own, raising another set of issues.

 But with sanctions failing, the time for a different discussion is drawing near.

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.