The Folly of Sanctions
Many people have the misconception that sanctions are an effective means to encourage a change of behavior in another country without war. However, imposing sanctions and blockades are not only an act of war according to international law, they are most often the first step toward a real war starting with a bombing campaign. Sanctions were the first step in our wars against Iraq and Libya, and now more sanctions planned against Syria and Iran are leading down the same destructive path.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) latest report, just out this month, there is no evidence that Iran has diverted enriched uranium from the peaceful and lawful generation of power toward building a nuclear weapon. According to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Unfortunately, US foreign policy has boxed Iran into a corner where they may view development of a nuclear weapon as the only way to maintain sovereignty. They are surrounded by unfriendly nuclear powers and history has shown that having a nuclear weapon is the best way to avoid being bombed or invaded. The unintended consequences of our confrontational policies toward Iran may be to actually encourage them to seek nuclear weapons capabilities. We should be using diplomacy rather than threats and hostility.
Fortunately there is another way. Nothing promotes peace better than free trade. Countries that trade with each other generally do not make war on each other, as both countries gain economic benefits they do not want to jeopardize. China is a massive nuclear power yet it does not seek military confrontation with the United States. Trade is much more profitable. Also trade and friendship applies much more effective persuasion to encourage better behavior, as does leading by example. Alarmingly, tough new sanctions are under consideration that would also punish Iran's trading partners, including China, Russia, and possibly our NATO allies such as Germany.
Conversely, sanctions allow regimes to blame their shortcomings on foreigners, thereby maintaining a hold on power. They rarely even inconvenience elites in the target countries. They simply provide a common enemy to rally the people against and undermine internal dissent. Consider how well the embargo has worked against Cuba. Fidel Castro and his regime may be annoyed by the inability to trade with their neighbors just 90 miles away, but American businessmen also lose out in the bargain. That means less jobs and less freedom at home.
We should be clear about this: sanctions against Iran are definite steps toward a US attack. Already we see US warships approaching the region, moving dangerously close to Syrian waters. The tougher sanctions currently under consideration would disrupt global trade and undermine the US economy, which in turn harms our national security. Foreign companies or foreign subsidiaries of US companies would be severely punished if they did not submit to the US trade embargo on Iran. We must change our foreign policy to one of economic freedom and diplomacy. That is the only way to promote peace and prosperity. This race to war against Iran and Syria is both foolhardy and dangerous.
Posted by DarbyJie on 11/30/11 08:17 PM
I am trying to remember that excellent advice: DON'T FEED THE TROLLS. So, I will say no more.
Posted by Bobby7 on 11/30/11 04:12 PM
I never fear a man's rhetoric!
What I fear is what he does! Facist/Racist Israel has shown itself to be an ungodly people, who have nothing in common with Biblical Israelites. Now for all you Christian Zionists:
THE LOST JEWS OF KAIFENG
Archeological evidence points to a Jewish presence in China as early as the 8th century, when Jewish merchants traveled the Silk Road from Persia and India. Many travelers, including Marco Polo in the 13th century, reported meeting Jews. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a Ming emperor conferred seven surnames on the Jews, which still identify them today: Ai, Lao, Jin, Li, Shi, Zhang and Zhao. Shi and Jin are the equivalent of common Jewish names in the west: Stone and Gold.
Just as Talmudic Jews control the FED, they also control the Chinese FED.
MUHAMMAD THE ARAB JEW?
WAS MUHAMMAD DESCENDED FROM JUDAIZED ARABS?
In his pre-prophet days, Muhammad was probably a "Hanif", a member of a sect claiming spiritual descent from Abraham. Moreover, several Arab tribes had adopted Judaism of some form. One (like the later Central Asian Khazars) became a Judaic kingdom for a time. The exact origin of the Jewish tribes of the Arabian Peninsula is debatable. Some say the ancient inhabitants of the Meccan district were descended from the Amalekites, Sabaens, Nabathaeans and other former Canaanite tribes peripheral to the Judeans, but who had adopted the Judaic religion. Some writers say that modern Jews, if not descended from the Turko-Mongol Khazar coverts of the 8th century, are largely the scions of Judaized Canaanites, part of the folk later called Sephardim, and related tribes.
Posted by Bobby7 on 11/30/11 04:02 PM
Well said! America has become a victim of the Talmudic Jewish Parasite. Now before someone says my comments are VICIOUS, lets hear what Jesus of Nazareth had to say about these people:
"But WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES… FOR YOU SHUT UP THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AGAINST MEN…
…THEY BIND HEAVY BURDENS and GRIEVOUS to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but will not move them with ONE OF THEIR FINGERS
WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES… you DEVOUR WIDOW'S HOUSES… you shall receive the greater damnation.
WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES…
WOE unto you, ye BLIND GUIDES…
You FOOLS AND BLIND…
You FOOLS AND BLIND…
WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! You… have omitted… JUDGMENT, MERCY, and FAITH…
You BLIND GUIDES, which strain out a gnat, and SWALLOW A CAMEL.
WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES… within they are full of EXTORTION AND EXCESS.
You BLIND PHARISEES…
WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! You are FULL OF DEAD MEN'S BONES, and ALL UNCLEANESS… and HYPOCRISY and INIQUITY…
WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES!… you are the children of them which KILLED the prophets. FILL YOU UP then the measure of your fathers.
You SERPENTS, you GENERATION OF SNAKES… you KILL AND CRUCIFY… you SCOURGE in your synagogues… Behold your house is left unto you DESOLATE"!!
WOW! Every one of these comments from Matthew. 23
I pray He comes back soon & to do what He promised to these demonic people (John 8:44-47)
Posted by NAPpy on 11/29/11 08:10 PM
The solution is "it's none of our business". As a former soldier, I find it dispiriting that arm-chair generals can blithely talk about sending other people's sons and daughters into harms way. During both WWI and WWII, americans that felt strongly about the european conflict VOLUNTEERED to serve in foreign armies. So, if you're worried about Israel, move to Israel and join their military. Leave my neighbors kids alone.
Posted by Frank on 11/29/11 05:00 PM
"... there is no evidence that Iran has diverted enriched uranium from the peaceful and lawful generation of power toward building a nuclear weapon." -Ron Paul
That might be true, but they have clearly made their intentions to make a nuclear weapon so as to achieve their goal of wiping out Israel. If radical-Islamist Iran was as reasonable to deal with as atheist USSR in wanting to avoid nuclear war, I would not be worried if they got nuclear bombs or not. But I don't think they are reasonable. In fact, their rhetoric encourages war & chaos from trying to annihilate Israel, if given an opportunity to really hurt Israel. Yes Israel might have 200-300 nukes & a second strike by Israel might send Iran into the stone age. The question is: if Iran had say 5-10 nukes, would they use them for a first strike on Israel anyways? I'm not sure the answer would be "no". I don't see a clear solution to the problem at this time.
Posted by oldman67 on 11/29/11 03:06 PM
Had any country done to the US what the US did to Iran both in 1953 and again in the Iraqi-Iranian War by supporting and arming Saddam with wmd's the US would have retaliated full force on that country.
Posted by kenn on 11/29/11 10:21 AM
So sorry Mr. Ron,,,
Americans are too busy macing each other over $2 waffle irons for the "peace and goodwill toward men" holiday and thus do not have the time to devote to such silliness as wars, freedom and tyranny.
Please write back in January... .
Posted by Merridth80 on 11/29/11 07:48 AM
Dr. Paul can you or will you vote against the The Defence Authorization Bill? I cannot believe John McCain and Senator Levin could come up with a bill to imprison any one at the will of the Pres.! Our gov't has a strangle hold on us now, How is it anyone would vote for a "Hitler's Germany", we are so close to that now!!
Posted by igs on 11/29/11 03:38 AM
Posted by Joelg on 11/29/11 03:34 AM
It would be nice to have that change in foreign policy that you describe, Dr. Paul. But I think you are right, the drums of war are beating louder, with the sanctions just being a way to weaken and soften up the "enemy" before rolling out the neo-con wars against Syria and Iran.
RT News had an interview with Iran's reviled president while he was at the UN in NYC, and he said: Nuclear weapons were 20th century warfare, and would be useless for Iran in the 21st century. For one thing, a few nukes would just insure Iran being crushed by Israel and the U.S., which had thousands of nukes; one good reason he said Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons. Then he made the interesting argument that having nukes had not helped the Israelis in Lebanon or Gaza, nor had nukes helped the U.S. in the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires. But, hey, the neo-cons and the Israelis want it done and phony nukes worked fine as an excuse in Iraq (Condi's mushroom cloud talk).
Disgusting watching the GOP debate chest-thumping about who could be first with the most firepower against Iran --sounds like a done deal. Truth matters little. Sanity, reason, peace, and prosperity? Who cares among the war mongers ruling the USA. Like Robespierre, they can do whatever they well please. And the so-called progressive liberals and Democrats that I talk with in California all cheered the mutilation of Libya's leader along with Hilary and the Prez. A blood-thirsty bunch in both parties. Between GOP and mainstream Dems, you don't need much more mob to egg on the war mongers.
Posted by rainmaker9 on 11/29/11 01:10 AM
We love you Ron, you are the best (perhaps only) choice in such perilous times where the other choices are blantantly BAD. But to utilize the IAEA as a standard of integrity is an bad form. I respect the rest of your arguments, but keep the IAEA our of it. They are as corrupt as any political organization. Your referrence to the IAEA gives us pause.