Today while listening to Rush, I head a clip from Senator (Vice President Democrat Nominee) Edwards regarding his campaign’s pledge to “focus on nuclear terrorism.” I’d been wondering about that. Focusing on nuclear terrorism is an apple pie position – nobody is against focusing on nuclear terrorism. I’m not blind to the obvious implied criticism of the Bush Administration’s focus on Iraq, but still I wondered:
After you’re done focusing on the nuclear terrorism, what do you do about it?
Today Edwards provided the answer: sanctions. After offering some sort of “bargain” deal to Iran (I missed the details of this due to a cell phone call), a Kerry Administration would impose sanctions on Iran. Sanctions. Gee, that’s terrific, John. Didn’t sanctions following broken “bargain” promises work just swimmingly against North Korea? Was it sanctions that lead the Libyans to mend their ways? Did sanctions stop Pakistan? How many times does a method need to fail before one gives up on it?
What’s wrong with sanctions? Besides the obvious, which is that they don’t work. I suppose a better question would be “Why don’t sanctions work?”
• They are too slow to inflict pain. Not all societies are mercantilist just-in-time-inventoried freedom & prosperity oriented like ours. A nation like Iran or North Korea may not have much, but it doesn’t take much to be an international threat, and they don’t care how much their people suffer as long as the tyrants can make progress on their pet schemes.The problems with sanctions are so obvious and have been demonstrated so many times one wonders if the Left considers them a bug or a feature.
• Sanctions can’t be maintained forever. Sooner or later, even if the intransigent nation is shooting SAMs at UN authorized aircraft patrolling a no-fly zone (established to put a stop to mass murder and ethnic cleansing), the world will grow weary. There’s too much money to be made to keep sanctions up indefinitely.
• There are too many countries unscrupulous enough to do business with the Axis of Evil. France well understands that we can’t afford to sanction every one, so they go around the world selling weapons and nuclear facilities to any scum with cash. And that’s the nice interpretation of their actions – on a bad hair day I’d say France was doing what it does to deliberately threaten the United States. And there’s always Communist China and Russia to screw the pitch even if we could persuade the French to clean up their act.
• With respect to the nuclear weapons, the A-bomb is a trump card to sanctions. If the Axis nation can make it to a couple of successful nuclear test explosions, then they can threaten their way out of sanctions if they dare. Iran would dare. North Korea already has.
• Sanctions are difficult to enforce. The word “smuggling” exists because sellers will find their way to buyers no matter what nations try to do. See also “War on Drugs”.
• Suppose France, China, or Russia vetoes sanctions in the Security Council. What then, if you’re opposed to an “arrogant go-it-alone” foreign policy?
No wonder the Democrat campaign trotted out their #2 guy to float this trial balloon. If enough American voters hear about the awful idea of depending on sanctions to protect us from Iranian A-bombs the Senator from Massachusetts won’t get 20 states. This is exactly why most Americans support the President when it comes to Homeland Security. They may think Iraq is SNAFU, maybe even FUBAR, but at least President Bush is doing something about grave and gathering threats.
Personally, I think the idea of subverting the murderous Arab mentality by creating a constitutional democratic national with universal suffrage in their midst is brilliant. Also difficult, expensive, dangerous, and it will take a long time. But it has this advantage: if it works, it will solve the problem. Nothing else will. It will also piss off France, which ain’t all bad.