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Monday, December 25, 2006

Iran: Laughing all the way to ground zero

Iran: Laughing all the way to ground zero


Time out for a bit of history. The year is 1935. Italy had invaded Abyssinia, the League of Nations failed to stop it.

According to a laundered and standard account in Wikipedia

The League of Nations condemned Italy's aggression and imposed economic sanctions in November 1935, but the sanctions were largely ineffective. As Stanley Baldwin, the British Prime Minister, later observed, this was ultimately because no one had the military forces on hand to withstand an Italian attack.

Actually, Stanley Baldwin was an authority on this issue. He, more than anyone else was responsible for the fact that Britain had not the military forces on hand to withstand an Italian attack. Though his government had been repeatedly warned of the ambitions of Hitler and Mussolini by Churchill and others, he ignored them. It was not actually necessary to have any forces. A real embargo of Italy would probably have sufficed. Italy did not have the strategic materials needed to continue with the war. However, none of the great powers were willing to impose real sanctions on Italy, because it would hurt their own economies. They were making good profits from selling war materials to Italy. Armies and economic embargoes were expensive, you see. Consequently, the League passed a watered down set of economic sanctions that only deprived Italy of things it did not need.

History is repeating itself. The Wikipedia dorks of 2070 will record that "sanctions were largely ineffective" in discouraging Iran's program of nuclear weapons development. The unclear world policy on Iranian nuclear development is now clear, if it was not before. "Speak loudly and carry a wet macaroni."

After the Iranians predictably thumbed their noses at UN Security Council Resolution 1696, Security Council members floundered about for several months. Evidently, they were looking for a formula that would satisfy honor, but do nothing. Eventually, they found it. A part of the process, which involved giving in to Russian demands, is explained in an interim report. UN Security Council Resolution 1737 goes through the motions of imposing sanctions of Iran, without really imposing much of anything, because everything important is exempt from sanctions, and everyone important is exempt from financial and travel restrictions either entirely or on a "case by case" basis.  Continued here.  

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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