Among the most evil foreign-policy weapons of the U.S. government are economic sanctions imposed on foreign countries. Sanctions target the populace of a nation with economic impoverishment, sickness, and death as a way to secure a political goal. That political goal is usually either regime change or to force a recalcitrant regime to comply with the dictates of U.S. officials.
Not surprisingly, the concept of economic sanctions is endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats. It is only we Libertarians who stand squarely against this evil weapon of U.S. foreign policy.
Among the best examples of this phenomenon is Iran. Even before the coronavirus crisis, the Iranian people were suffering horrifically from U.S. sanctions imposed by both Democrats and Republicans, not only in terms of economic privation but also death.
Today, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the situation is much worse. According to the New York Times, “Iran, a global epicenter of the virus, has confirmed more than 47,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths, although public health experts estimate the real toll to be several times higher.” Healthcare workers are among the hardest hit. According to an article in Foreign Policy, “The Trump administration’s sanctions have made it impossible for Iranian medical personnel to keep themselves safe amid the pandemic.”
On January 9, 2018, Congressman Justin Amash joined 232 of his Republican colleagues in voting to support House Resolution 676, which stated in part as follows:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives urges the Administration to use targeted sanctions and work to convene emergency sessions of the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime and establish a mechanism by which the Security Council can monitor such violations.
Previously, Amash told Reason magazine that he supported sanctions on Iran as a way to prevent it from securing “weapons of mass destruction” and to bring the Iranian regime to the negotiating table.
Amash’s WMD rationale, of course, brings to mind the 11 years of economic sanctions that the U.S. government and the United Nations enforced against Iraq, when U.S. officials were justifying those sanctions under the WMD rubric. The Iraq sanctions ended up contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement that the deaths of half-a-million children from the sanctions were “worth it.”
But the intentional infliction of death and suffering on innocent people, including children, is never worth any political goal, at least not to libertarians.
Amash also supported sanctions on Iran during the Obama administration. According to a September 10, 2015, article in Reason magazine, “Amash supported sanctions against Iran, and say it’s likely they helped bring Iran to the negotiating table.”
Interesting, in August 2017, when a bill came up that combined Russia, North Korea, and Iran together with a request for strengthened sanctions, Amash voted against it.
Why the inconsistency? That was explained by Amash’s “Freedom Club” ally Republican Congressman Tom Massie: He said that he wanted to avoid another “Cold War” with Russia.
Thus, the following year, when Iran was singled out in House Resolution 676, Amash voted in favor of sanctions on Iran, along with 232 of his Republicans colleagues.
It is important to keep in mind that while Iran is oftentimes labeled an “opponent,” a “rival,” an “adversary,” or an “enemy” by both Republicans and Democrats and the mainstream press, all that is the classic lingo of empires. The fact is that Congress has never declared war on Iran. The U.S. government has no legitimate authority to be targeting Iranian citizens with death and suffering, either with bombs or with sanctions.
We Libertarians must continue standing four-square against the evil of U.S. sanctions on Iran and every other country in the world.
See: “Donald Trump’s Banality of Evil” by Jacob Hornberger.