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WAR DECLARED? March 26, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in South West Asia.

According to this article in Japan Focus by John McGlynn (via Empire Burlesque), the American Government unilaterally declared financial “shock and awe” on Iran from 20 March using UN sanctions and provisions of the Patriot Act.

Surely, if the financial “shock and awe” is so effective, what need is there for military sanctions, which are not off the table? Apparently, since the resignation of Fallon, another aircraft carrier, the USS Lincoln, has entered the Persian Gulf ahead of schedule.Might not an over-indebted US be subject to international financial blowback?

Or is it all too fantastic to be realistic, and so back to the gunboats, cruise missiles and nuclear warheads?

I raise these questions because I do not have the relevant knowledge and competence to answer them. It is one thing to be sceptical; it is another to get appropriate answers.

UPDATE: 28 March 2008.

Scott Horton interviews John McGlynn on Anti War Radio.(via AntiWar.com)

UPDATE 29 March 2008:

Hamish McDonald in The Sydney Morning Herald has a similar report.

I had not realized until I listened to the interview the significance of the time delay between the application of financial strangulation and the effect Iranians, which may make it impossible to acquire life saving medications. The analogy with aerial warfare does hold in that however precise it may claim to be, civilians are inevitably in the area, and inevitably suffer and get killed, and those who do the killing are remote from the consequences of the act, so there is no human response of remorse or guilt. It is, as Admiral Fallon was reported to have observed, like crushing ants.

The violence of our attitudes and of social forms can be hidden from conscience, however destructive and painful the implications are for “the other”, whoever is so-defined in that role. Imagination is the human weapon for which we have a responsibility to employ against both criminal negligence and war. The duty is not be virtuous, but to act with foresight and be responsible, to recognize our “duty of care” towards other people.



1. Herman Schmidt - March 30, 2008

Mr. McGlynn mentions North Korea as the first test case. but it has actually been a gradual process of improving the sanctions regime. Certainly the banks were used against Iraq in the 90’s, and it was with Iraq that these processes of economic strangulation were perfected. What is troubling is how meek the response from the rest of the world, which should be wondering which countries will be next, and could it be them. What the United States is doing, as seems to be its wont, is to dare the rest of the world to stand up, instead of meekly going along with this form of tyranny. It’s hard to believe that countries like China and Russia aren’t looking at what is going on and considering its options to protect themselves.

Herman in Kingsville, Maryland, USA

2. wmmbb - March 30, 2008

I tend to agree with respect to Russia and China. When the US placed their missiles in Eastern Europe the Russian Government saw red as might have been expected.I have been trying to get a response from more informed people, but I expect that the lack of overt response is not of itself evidence there can be no possible response. Now it could be that those who plan these things have not taken into account the implications and ramifications of their action. If true that would be hubris gone mad.

That said, I suspect, if the Iranians have oil, and other countries need that product for their economy and they can get it cheaper from Iran they will find some way of trading, whether through the banking systems or not. Economic sanctions are notoriously ineffective.

Thanks for the comment, Herman.

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