Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Over at Power Line, Paul Mirengoff reports that Israel seems to think that sanctions against Iran would be sufficient to prevent Iran from getting themselves a nuclear weapon.

My question: are the Israelis f***ing crazy?

Has there ever been a time where sanctions have been effective in compelling desired behavior and/or preventing undesired behavior? Has there ever been a time where sanctions were not undermined by governments unsupportive of sanctions and/or companies caring more about making money than observing the sanctions?

We went to war in Iraq because sanctions were totally ineffective in forcing Hussein to comply with UN demands. Castro is still running Cuba despite 40 years of US sanctions. Despite bans, China obtains our commerical and military technology, some with the acquiescence of the Clinton Administration, other times by stealing it. South Africa lasted years and years of not having their athletes participate in the Olympics before they gave up apartheid. (I believe) there were sanctions against Milosevic... none of which were effective in the least.

It's one thing for the Europeans to be pushing for sanctions... they'll do just about anything to avoid a military confrontation and sanctions allow them to pretend that they're doing something... and Europe doesn't believe they would be on the receiving end of Iran's missiles and they could care less about the two countries that would be targets. It's one thing for the Bush Administration to be supportive of sanctions... they're so gunshy about the criticism they have taken from Europe regarding Bush's not-so-excellent-adventure in Iraq that they would do just about anything to prove that they're not trigger happy fanatics willing to use force as a first resort.

But the Israelis are smarter than the rest of us fools.... at least, they're supposed to be smarter.

I hope, for all of our sakes, that I'm not wrong.