Montag, September 04, 2006
A Blunt Weapon
Once again sanctions are being discussed as a way of "dealing" with the duplicity of Iran and it's nuclear weapons program (and given the duplicity over the last 20 years and the current brinkmanship being played out, there can be little doubt that this is the goal...).
Sanctions are at best a blunt instrument that at best annoys the guilty and always harms the innocent. It is the knee-jerk reaction of classic doomed western liberalism to a developing problem that calls for decisive action, since placing sanctions means postponing a decision. It means prolonging the situation in the chimerical hope that the problem will go away when those involved realize that by gosh, we're not pleased with them and we're not going to do any business with them until they stop acting so mean.
Sanctions have never worked. There are too many ways to defeat them, not the least being bribery on a massive scale, as we saw with the UN Iraqi sanctions.
"Real" sanctions mean not merely no official deals, but rather blockade and the deliberate choice that not only there be no trade, but there be no communication, no services, no access to the rest of world, no financial transactions and that the country being sanctioned be treated as an international pariah, with it's bank accounts frozen, it's trade embargoed, it's peoples isolated and it's ambassadors sent home packing.
This isn't even done to North Korea (their isolation is home grown) or Cuba (too many western countries interested in setting up business as the owner of the brothel), let alone Iran.
When you hear western politicians calling for putting sanctions on a country, that is a certain indicator that no one has a clue what to do, or more precisely, that no one is willing to take the next step.
Hence we have an escalating situation of a country that is betting its future that the West will bicker among themselves while they develop a full-scale full-circle nuclear industry that just happens to also be able to produce more than enough weapons-grade fissile material so as to make Iran and Iranian theology the dominant problem in the Middle East for the next 20 years.
Another case of the failure of the UN, and another good argument that Kofi Annan has caused the UN more damage than any of his predecessors. Any.