Posts Tagged ‘sanctions’

Iran sanctions are a precursor to war

December 23, 2009

Ron Paul, Information Clearing House, Dec 23, 2009

Last week the House overwhelmingly approved a measure to put a new round of sanctions on Iran. If this measure passes the Senate, the United States could no longer do business with anyone who sold refined petroleum products to Iran or helped them develop their ability to refine their own petroleum. The sad thing is that many of my colleagues voted for this measure because they felt it would deflect a military engagement with Iran. I would put the question to them, how would Congress react if another government threatened our critical trading partners in this way? Would we not view it as asking for war?

This policy is pure isolationism. It is designed to foment war by cutting off trade and diplomacy. Too many forget that the quagmire in Iraq began with an embargo. Sanctions are not diplomacy. They are a precursor to war and an embarrassment to a country that pays lip service to free trade. It is ironic that people who decry isolationism support actions like this.

If a foreign government attempted to isolate the US economically, cut off our supply of gasoline, or starve us to death, would it cause Americans to admire that foreign entity? Or would we instead unite under the flag for the survival of our country?

We would not tolerate foreign covert operations fomenting regime change in our government. Yet our CIA has been meddling in Iran for decades. Of course Iranians resent this. In fact, many in Iran still resent the CIA’s involvement in overthrowing their democratically elected leader in 1953. The answer is not to cut off gasoline to the Iranian people. The answer is to stay out of their affairs and trade with them honestly. If our operatives were no longer in Iran, they would no longer be available as scapegoats for the regime to, rightly or wrongly, blame for every bad thing that happens. As bad as other regimes may be, it is up to their own people to deal with them so they can achieve true self-determination. When foreigners instigate regime change, the new government they institute is always perceived as serving the interest of the overthrowing country, not the people. Thus we take the blame for bad governance twice. Instead we should stay out of their affairs altogether.

With the exception of the military industrial complex, we all want a more peaceful world. Many are hysterical about the imminent threat of a nuclear Iran. Here are the facts: Iran has never been found out of compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) they signed. However, being surrounded by nuclear powers one can understand why they might want to become nuclear capable if only to defend themselves and to be treated more respectfully. After all, we don’t sanction nuclear capable countries. We take diplomatic negotiations a lot more seriously, and we frequently send money to them instead. The non-nuclear countries are the ones we bomb. If Iran was attempting to violate the non-proliferation treaty, they could hardly be blamed, since US foreign policy gives them every incentive to do so.

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.


Amnesty says end ‘immoral’ blockade of Cuba

September 2, 2009
Morning Star Online/UK, September 1,  2009
by Tom Mellen
Sanctions have forced Cubans to improvise, including bringing back oxen due to petrol shortages

Sanctions have forced Cubans to improvise, including bringing back oxen due to petrol shortages

Amnesty has challenged US President Barack Obama to deliver on his change agenda by taking the first step towards dismantling the “immoral” US blockade of socialist Cuba.

The human rights group has urged Mr Obama not to renew Trading with the Enemy Act sanctions against the island as it published its new report looking at the impact of the US economic embargo.

The deadline for the renewal of sanctions under the Act is September 14.

The report concluded that the sanctions, imposed by the US since 1962, are particularly affecting Cubans’ access to medicines and medical technologies and endangering the health of millions.

On the campaign trail last year Mr Obama told US citizens that, when “we win this election together, we’re going to change the country and change the world.”

Amnesty secretary general Irene Khan said: “This is the perfect opportunity for President Obama to distance himself from the failed policies of the past and to send a strong message to the US Congress on the need to end the embargo.

“The US embargo against Cuba is immoral and should be lifted – it’s preventing millions of Cubans from benefiting from vital medicines and medical equipment essential for their health.”

Under the blockade, Cuba faces severe restrictions on importing medicines, medical equipment or technologies from the US or from any US company abroad.

The sanctions also limit other imports to the island and restrict travel and the transfer of money.

Products patented in the US or containing more than 20 per cent US-manufactured parts or components cannot be exported to Cuba, even if they are produced in third countries.

Cuba’s inability to import nutritional products for consumption at schools, hospitals and daycare centres is contributing to a high prevalence of iron-deficiency anaemia.

Some 37.5 per cent of Cuba’s children under three years old are affected, according to UNICEF.

Children’s health was also put at risk by a decision from US syringe suppliers to cancel an order for three million disposable syringes made in 2007 by the UNICEF Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, when it became known that the units were destined for Cuba.

Similar situations have affected the implementation of UN programmes to prevent and fight HIV/AIDS on the island, according to Amnesty.

Ms Khan said that, while responsibility for providing adequate healthcare lies “primarily with the Cuban authorities, governments imposing sanctions such as embargoes need to pay special attention to the impact they can have on the targeted country’s population.”

Why Not Crippling Sanctions for Israel and the US?

September 1, 2009

By Paul Craig Roberts, Information Clearing House, Aug 31, 2009

In  Israel, a country stolen from the Palestinians, fanatics control the government. One of the fanatics is the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week Netanyahu called for “crippling sanctions” against Iran.

The kind of blockade that Netanyahu wants qualifies as an act of war. Israel has long threatened to attack Iran on its own but prefers to draw in the US and NATO.

Why does Israel want to initiate a war between the United States and Iran?

Is Iran attacking other countries, bombing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure?

No. These are crimes committed by Israel and the US.

Is Iran evicting peoples from lands they have occupied for centuries and herding them into ghettoes?

No, that’s what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for 60 years.

What is Iran doing?

Continues >>