To be sure, Obama's sanctions program against Iran, now that it has continued for so long, is, by any moral standard, both onerous and immoral. The ongoing sanctions against Iran meet the standard of "terrorist" action, as defined, cogently, by Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald:
"If 'terrorism' means the use of violence aimed at civilians in order to induce political change from their government, what is it called when intense economic suffering is imposed on a civilian population in order to induce political change from their government? Can those two tactics be morally distinguished?"
Yes, to me, the U.S. sanctions policy against Iran's public, matches Greenwald's "terrorist" definition. It is, however, a policy that has worked, in own devilish, cruel, and immoral manner. It is a "successful" policy that should be terminated.
Don't expect any termination recommendations Thursday night, during the Paul Ryan-Joe Biden vice-presidential debate on the campus of Centre College, Danville, Kentucky.
The moderator for the only vice-presidential debate of the campaign will be Martha Raddatz, ABC's chief foreign affairs correspondent. Unlike the first Obama-Romney debate, which was confined to domestic issues, the questions from Raddatz will cover both domestic and foreign policy issues.
Debate preparation has been intense for Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, each of whom has left the campaign to practice for Thursday night. Beginning Wednesday morning, thanks to an unexpected announcement Tuesday night from Jerusalem, both vice-presidential candidates will have a new topic to examine which relates to Iran, and Israel-Palestine.
The new topic will involve U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Prime Minister Netanyahu has called for early Israeli national elections early in 2013.
Edmund Sanders, of the Los Angeles Times, has the story:
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday night that he is disbanding his right-wing government and calling for early elections, blaming a coalition deadlock over how to slash nearly $4 billion from next year's budget. Speculation has been rife for months that Netanyahu's inability to pass a 2013 budget would force him to dismantle what has been one of Israel's longest-serving coalition governments.
"Parliamentary elections, which were expected to take place in October 2013, will probably occur by February. Although most polls suggest Netanyahu and his Likud Party will remain in power, the makeup of his next coalition could change if the budget becomes the driving issue, analysts say."
Sanders also reports that potential opponents who might contest Netanyahu in the election, are already shifting their focus to politics:
"Signs of impending elections were apparent in recent weeks as leading Cabinet members, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, began appearing to exert their independence and to distance themselves from Netanyahu's policies, apparently in preparation for their own reelection campaigns."
Check out the Thursday night debate, which begins at 9 p.m. (EST). And watch Martha Raddatz, fresh from her own campaigns reporting on numerous foreign conflicts, as she demands that Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan, adhere to the designated time limits and topics of the evening.
As Margo Channing famously said, "Fasten your seatbelt, it's going to be a bumpy night."
The picture above is by AFP.
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