Posts Tagged ‘foreign policy’


Monday, August 13th, 2012

“The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible.”  – President George Washington; Farewell Address (17 September 1796)

Did we miss the announcement? Did the U.S. Congress declare war against Iran?

No? Then, why are we Americans engaging in an act of war against Iran?

Yes, the Iranian government is composed of a bunch of really bad guys who represent a threat to most of their Mohammedan neighbors and to many others deemed “infidels”. Yes, contrary to the opinion of Congressman Ron Paul, these bad guys should be stopped. The question is how? By boycott?

Would the Founding Fathers approve of the issuing a boycott against Iran as a weapon of foreign policy? Not likely.

Unless we’re engaged in a declared war against another nation, more likely they’d advise that we maintain diplomatic relations with that nation and allow free trade that doesn’t jeopardize our security militarily. Besides, whereas boycotts may hurt the other guys, they hurt us, too, and rarely are effective in achieving the stated goals . . . as exemplified by our boycott of Cuba, let alone Iran.(1) In addition, without a declaration of war, such boycotts are unconstitutional.

Boycotts are one thing; blockades are quite another. A blockade is a direct and explicit act of war. Consider a Sino-Russian blockade of American ports on the West Coast. Would we consider such a blockade an act of war?

So, when does a boycott become a blockade? When one nation interferes with third nations conducting usual, regular, and free trade with a targeted, second nation. Currently, the USA is forcing other nations to participate in our boycott against Iran. We, thereby, are giving Iran the legitimate right to retaliate, not that the boys in Tehran feel obliged to gain such legitimacy; even so, a veil of legitimacy never hurts.

Now, consider the current action by one state-based regulator with the ironic name of Lawsky . . . an action in the name of the State of New York against the British bank, Standard Chartered. Governor Cuomo and his bureaucrat, Mr. Lawsky, seem to believe that the actions of the federal government have bestowed upon them the option to enforce their own interpretation of foreign policy. That they may force Standard Chartered into settling for hundreds of millions of dollars confirms the enormity of the power that they are wielding to their own political and financial aggrandizement.

Are they wrong? Right or wrong, what will be the consequence . . . for there always are consequences?

Isn’t the consequence of such unilateral, state-based enforcement the compounding of the current abuse of power commandeered by the USA to process all international financial transactions worldwide involving U.S. dollars? Doesn’t such abuse invite other nations to establish an alternate route of processing such transactions? Would their doing so be in our interest?

“Never happen,” you say? Even our allies in London are unhappy with the prosecution . . . or is it persecution? . . . of British banks, such as Barclays, Lloyds, and HSBC for violating questionably constitutional U.S. laws.

There is a better way . . . a way based upon science not politics or ideology ( The question is whether most older Americans have become too self-centered to listen while most younger Americans are too ignorant to understand, and a majority of the rest of us too demoralized to care.


1) Bozorgmehr, N and Saigol, L: “Iran finds ways to slip grip of sanctions.” Financial Times, 15 August 2012, page 3.