Site for Free Markets and Free People

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is Obama Acting Unilaterally Against Iran?

During George W Bush's first term, the global cry was against his supposed "unilateralism" against Iraq. I always thought it strange that someone could make this claim when 49 countries went in side by side with the United States. Is there a double standard in viewing Obama (and Hillary)'s actions against Iran?

Let's look at these sanctions against Iran. First, it's debatable that sanctions ever work against government officials themselves. I can see several example where sanctions impoverish innocent people in a country, but I have seen very few, if any examples of where the leader in question, is personally impacted. But I digress - let's talk about uniteralism.

The US has exempted Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain from penalities for not implementing these sanctions. OK - so this is the 3rd largest country in the world, the 4th, the 5th, the 7th, the 8th, and the 12th. Additionally, China (2nd largest) has said they oppose the sanctions, as has Brazil (the 6th) and India (#9). It is unlikely that Russia will support sanctions either (11th largest).

So if you're counting at home - out of the top 11 economies in the world, we might have Canada, , while the other 9 either are exempt or are saying they do not support it. If we go further down the list, we know that Netherlands (#15), Poland (#19), and Belgium (#20) also have exemptions. Turkey is also a likely no (#16). South Korea (#13), also dependent upon Iranian imports is likely to strike a deal with the US government. When it comes down to adding up the numbers, I'd bet out of the top 20 economies of the world, the only countries supporting Obama's sanctions against Iran fully will be Canada and Mexico, two other oil rich nations.

Sounds like Obama and Hillary are unilaterally supporting sanctions against Iran while most of the rest of the world either have decided they cannot go along right now, or they outright oppose them. It is true that many European countries are saying that in the future they will try to reduce Iranian imports, but when countries talk of the future, it has to be discounted as they are not doing it now, and their exemption can be renewed after 6 months.

Let's be honest, if this were GW Bush striking this deal, wouldn't there be protesters on the streets shouting about his unilateralism? 2 for 20 is not a very high batting average.