Friday, June 26, 2009

Punish Iran?

Dick Morris & Eileen McGann have an op-ed in the New York Post supporting the Sherman-Kirk Amendment, which would
require a cutoff of Export-Import Bank financing for any firm that exports gasoline to Iran or helps it develop new refining capacity.

According to the article, the amendment would target Reliance Industries Limited of India, a major player in Iranian gasoline refining. Morris & McGann also make the following assertion:

President Obama has unilaterally repealed the emphasis on human rights that was President Jimmy Carter's major positive foreign-policy accomplishment. He has replaced it with a value-neutral policy that appeases the forces of dictatorship and cowers in their wake.
First, that's highly doubtful. I'd be willing to bet that President Obama has a similar commitment to promoting human rights as Carter. Second, Carter's overemphasis on human rights was a terrible idea not an accomplishment. The principle concern of a U.S. administration should be the advancement of U.S. interests, not the interests of people in other countries.

The entire op-ed is badly flawed. If we wanted to "punish" Iran, shouldn't we have punished them for supporting terrorism, interfering in Iraq and sponsoring our enemies, and for other actions hostile to the U.S.? Repression of their own people is nothing new -- albeit in less spectacular fashion -- and is the least of the things that should concern us about Iran.

In addition, our relationship with India improved tremendously during the Bush years. U.S.-Indian ties have grown in importance, and India is ultimately a far more important state than Iran. How would India react to a U.S. effort that mainly targets an Indian company with a huge contract for business in Iran? How does the Sherman-Kirk Amendment benefit U.S. interests? The answer to those questions is nowhere to be found in the Morris-McGann op-ed.


  1. Funny, we arrive at the same conclusion through vastly different thought processes. Great minds think entirely differently, perhaps? ;)

  2. That seems to happen on certain issues. People ally on actual policy, even though they strongly disagree on the reasons behind it.