Friday, January 27, 2012


Another blunder in our foreign policy

is becoming apparent in our relations with Iran.  We have recently imposed additional sanctions on Iran in the vain hope that "getting tough" would intimidate the Iranian government into agreeing to give up their uranium enrichment program.  All the new sanctions have done is to make Iran place ships in the Strait of Hormuz with the threat of preventing oil from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq from reaching customers in the United States and Europe.  Any behavioral psychiatrist would tell you that intimidation does not generally produce the behavior you seek.  Rather, the person you try to intimidate reacts by counter threat, not submission.

Our foreign policy blunders are the result of our ignorance or deliberate ignoration of the policies and interests of other countries.  About seventy years ago a professor of a college class I was taking told the class that American foreign policy is simply and extension of domestic policy.  The same is not true of most European countries.  Unlike the United States they are small, weak, and dependant on smooth relations with their neighbors.  We are, for the most part, independent of the rest of the world and we don't have to worry about diplomatic niceties like tact and reasonable negotiation.

In its policy toward Iran the administration is catering to the cries of a vocal minority who insist that a strong and powerful country like the United States should simply dictate to other countries how they should behave.  This minority happens to control the House of Representatives at present.  The administration wants to get something done by the House and it thinks it has to placate the "let's bomb Iran" faction.  It practices conciliation and appeasement at home and threats abroad.  Some of us who support the administration wish it would do less appeasing and more threatening it its relations with Congress.

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?