Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sanctions Against Iran are a Bad Idea

Hypocritical and counter-productive

The world's powers are discussing increasing sanctions against Iran because of Iran's budding nuclear arms program. This is a bad idea. First off, the larger issue is one which seems have been forgotten; mutually-assured destruction. This kept the cold war powers from destroying each other. Why should this not work in the post-cold war era? How could anyone be more crazy than Stalin? (Sorry Joe, nothing personal, but you had some crazy ideas that harmed alot of people).

Some countries have nuclear weapons and others don't. Of course it is those that have these weapons who want to prevent those that don't have them from getting them. This is, obviously, hypocritical.

Secondly, sanctions don't hurt governments. Sanctions only hurt the people living within the countries who have sanctions issued against them. Governments, through their unique use of legitimate (not moral legitimacy but legal legitimacy) power can get what they need. Just ask the cognac-swilling Mr. Kim.

It is the people without political power (in other words, most people) who are hurt when free-trade is curtailed. Like so much else, sanctions are just a show, trying to show people that we are doing something about a problem, when in fact what we are doing is just making the problem worse. If you want to change a corrupt regime, make the people more wealthy so they can fight power, don't make them impoverished with foolish and counter-productive grandiose schemes.