Thursday, October 25, 2007
Messing with Mahmoud
It used to mean a lot more when the United States took economic action against a smaller country, like the sanctions against Iran imposed today by President Bush. The president cut off access to the U.S. financial system to Iran's Revolutionary Guards and banking institutions, which used to bring economic stagnation and decline to countries thus penalized. But this is not the pre-Bush days of world politics. Instead of agreeing to respect U.S. wishes, Russia and China are openly opposed. The size of those countries' economies means the sanctions will have limited effect beyond sanctions already imposed by the United Nations to punish Iran for its nuclear energy activities. So what was the point? If it's a matter of principle, to punish Iran for supporting terrorism aimed at U.S. troops in Iraq, why stop at sanctions? Supporting terrorists killing your troops is clearly an act of war, and the Bush administration has not seemed shy about that in the Middle East.