Thursday, November 1, 2007

In Re: Useless Sanctions

According to the Boston Globe, the Bush Administration is pushing for unilateral sanctions against Iran for attempting to start a nuclear Program. The Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov who met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has stated that he has doubts that such sanctions will be effective . While I'm glad that the administration is looking at non-military options, I believe we should heed Lavrov's advice and not pursue sanctions. They never affect the people we are aiming to influence anyway, they only hurt the average person who is struggling to make ends meet just as we are. The elite can always obtain what they want from some "friendly" country abroad. The sanctions in fact strengthen the resolve of people like Ahmadinejad. I wonder if we couldn't loosen his grip on power a little by trading more with Iran.The people themselves like us and our products (and don't want world War III any more than we do), and we might have an opportunity here to influence their culture through trade.We as citizens
should be trying to learn more about the Islamic Culture anyway. We could then bring back the citizen diplomacy that we practiced with the Russians during the Cold War.
Eventually that worked.

1 comment:

Tara said...

I couldn't agree more, we need to begin using citizen diplomacy like we did in the Cold War to repair our image in the world. This really hit home after reading Meeting the Enemy, Becoming a Friend by Dr. Gelder. She discusses citizen diplomacy in terms of the US military based on her own experiences. It really convinced me that this is the way to go.