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Saturday, July 3, 2010

New York Times Editorial "Congress, Sanctions and Iran": Selectively Enforce Sanctions

Incredibly - or not so incredibly - The New York Times editorial board today takes the position that sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress should be selectively enforced by Obama. As observed by this editorial:

"Extraterritorial sanctions are always problematic. They can open American companies to retaliation and provoke a political backlash.

* * * *

Unless they are used sparingly, they could strain relations and make it even harder to persuade governments of the need to isolate Iran.

* * * *

If Tehran keeps pressing ahead with its nuclear program, the international community may have to restrict gasoline sales to Iran. That could hurt ordinary Iranians and rally support for the government. Since the demand on foreign companies goes beyond what the Security Council is requiring, it could shift international anger away from Tehran and toward Washington.

* * * *

Congress is insisting that President Obama enforce this new law. It also gave him some room to waive punishments, on a case-by-case basis, on companies in countries that are cooperating with efforts to isolate Iran. Political and business leaders should give Mr. Obama every reason to do that. For this to work, the White House will also have to exercise considerable diplomatic finesse."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/03/opinion/03sat1.html

This editorial fails to mention even once Iran's horrific oppression of Baha'is, Kurds and other minorities. The editorial would have Obama exercise caution in enforcing sanctions while Iran's Baha'is, Kurds, Sunnis, homosexuals and political dissidents rot in prison and are executed.

The Times editorial board warns that sanctions can lead to "political backlash"? Don't fundamental requirements of morality take precedent over any such "political" considerations?

While anguishing over possible "political backlash" instead of over an Iranian initiated atomic war against Israel or Iran's Sunni neighbors, I wonder whether The New York Times editorial board took into account the following letter from the children of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who faces imminent excecution by stoning for alleged adultery:

"Today we stretch out our hands to the people of the whole world. It is now five years that we have lived in fear and in horror, deprived of motherly love. Is the world so cruel that it can watch this catastrophe and do nothing about it?

We are Sakine Mohammadi e Ashtiani’s children, Fasride and Sajjad Mohamamadi e Ashtiani. Since our childhood we have been acquainted with the pain of knowing that our mother is imprisoned and awaiting a catastrophe. To tell the truth, the term 'stoning' is so horrific that we try never to use it. We instead say our mother is in danger, she might be killed, and she deserves everyone’s help.

Today, when nearly all options have reached dead-ends, and our mother’s lawyer says that she is in a dangerous situation, we resort to you. We resort to the people of the world, no matter who you are and where in the world you live. We resort to you, people of Iran, all of you who have experienced the pain and anguish of the horror of losing a loved one.

Please help our mother return home!

We especially stretch our hand out to the Iranians living abroad. Help to prevent this nightmare from becoming reality. Save our mother. We are unable to explain the anguish of every moment, every second of our lives. Words are unable to articulate our fear…

Help to save our mother. Write to and ask officials to free her. Tell them that she doesn’t have a civil complainant and has not done any wrong. Our mother should not be killed. Is there any one hearing this and rushing to our assistance?

Faride and Sajjad Mohammadi e Ashtiani"

http://missionfreeiran.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/sakine-children-2/

Needless to say, I am horrified beyond words by this Times editorial.

3 comments:

  1. "If these sanctions give foreign companies more reason to cut their ties with Iran, that would be good news. Unless they are used sparingly, they could strain relations and make it even harder to persuade governments of the need to isolate Iran." If sanctions are used "sparingly" what is the point? Which governments they care so much about?
    "If Tehran keeps pressing ahead with its nuclear program, the international community may have to restrict gasoline sales to Iran. That could hurt ordinary Iranians and rally support for the government. Since the demand on foreign companies goes beyond what the Security Council is requiring, it could shift international anger away from Tehran and toward Washington." Really? Which interests they defend there? Very enigmatic article!

    Something unrelated: I just read very interesting article about Turkey
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/turkey--from-ally-to-enemy-15464

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  2. Enigmatic indeed. Or mealy-mouthed and contradictory.

    The editorial says that The Times "strongly supports" legislation "to pressure Tehran into abandoning its illicit nuclear program", but provides Obama with the rationale not to implement sanctions. Afterall, sanctions, according to The Times, "could shift international anger away from Tehran and toward Washington."

    How could the U.S. possibly cope with such anger? Better that there should be a nuclear Iran . . .

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  3. The NYT is going to freak out when the US Marines rappel down a rope from a helicopter gunship to board an Iranian ship for inspection for contraband.

    Marines will not be carrying paintball guns.

    Everyone but the NYT (and the anti-war left) sees Iran as the next North Korea, with a religious martyrdom mission.

    K2K

    (sorry, am really annoyed that the NYT has turned into such a rag, although the business and sports pages are still ok.)

    ReplyDelete