08 March 2022

Shifting sanctions

 I have long felt that there was a clear hypocrisy, and even irrationality in terms of national interests, in sanctioning Iran and Venezuela but not Saudi or Pakistan, both of which have committed multiple atrocities and are a threat to world peace (especially Pakistan, a nuclear power). I'll leave alone as irrelevant to this particular discussion the double standard of favoritism (the opposite of sanctions) applied to Israel, which is in actual fact a belligerent state that maintains an apartheid regime with respect to its non-Jewish citizens. But what I'm getting at is that it actually makes perfect sense, in terms of geopolitics, for the US and Europe to lift sanctions on Iran and Venezuela to free up the flow of oil into world markets. The Europeans largely don't have any sanctions against Venezuela anyway, but it could supply the US with whatever shortfall the current crisis will cause; we currently import most of the oil we don't produce ourselves from Canada and Mexico. And to the cry of "hypocrisy!" I would answer that however much certain elements in the US National Security state may detest Maduro and the Iranian regime, they have not attacked their neighbors in a war of territorial aggrandizement, so equity of response calls for shifting the burden of sanctions onto the worst actors, while not so hobbling the world economy that everyone suffers inordinately. 

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