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Re: SC65

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April 10, 2008 09:19PM
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8637

Bush Launches Economic 'Shock and Awe' on Iran

In recent days, we've been noting stories indicating a definite "surge" in the Bush Administration's drive toward war with Iran. First, the Saudi government revealed – one day after a visit from Dick Cheney – its urgent plans to deal with "radiations hazards" stemming an attack on Iran's nuclear power facilities. Then General David Petraeus declared that Iran was responsible for a major attack on Baghdad's Green Zone, and the main driver of violence in Iraq generally, laying out, once more, a clear (if mendacious) casus belli for striking at Iran.

Now financial analyst John McGlynn reveals that the Administration has quietly launched a "shock and awe" attack on the Iranian economy, using little-known – and little-understood – financial weapons provided by the Patriot Act to begin "the complete financial and economic destruction of Iran," as McGlynn puts it, with the ultimate goal of turning the nation into "another Gaza or Iraq under the economic sanctions of the 1990s, with devastating impact on the economy and society."

McGlynn's article, in Japan Focus, is long and complex – necessarily so, in order to detail the intricate punitive mechanisms involved, and their earlier test run against North Korea in 2005. You should read the article in full, but to put it briefly, last week the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), set in motion a process that could make any bank or financial institution in the world that does business with Iran subject to an economic death sentence: complete exclusion from the U.S. financial system. McGlynn, speaking plainly and with no addition, calls the move "a declaration of war on Iran."..............

..................Now the screws are growing even tighter. And the effects will be devastating – not to the leaders of Iran, of course, but, as with the genocidal sanctions against Iraq, to Iran's general population – a population, as we noted recently, made up overwhelmingly of young people and children: almost 70 percent of Iranians are under 30. As McGlynn puts it:

If the US succeeds, an international quarantine on Iran's banks would disrupt Iran’s financial linkages with the world by blocking its ability to process cross-border payments for goods and services exported and imported. Without those linkages, Iran is unlikely to be able to engage in global trade and commerce. As 30% of Iran’s GDP in 2005 was imports of goods and services and 20% was non-oil exports, a large chunk of Iran's economy would shrivel up. The repercussions will be painful and extend well beyond lost business and profits. For example, treating curable illnesses will become difficult. According to an Iranian health ministry official, Iran produces 95% of its own medicines but most pharmaceutical-related raw materials are imported.

The American people are told nothing about this, of course. The presidential candidates will say nothing about it – or about any of the other flashing danger signals as we careen toward another murderous catastrophe. The "progressive" movement, now consumed with the minutiae of the squabble between Clinton and Obama – both of whom have repeatedly declared their bellicosity toward Iran, and their fierce insistence that all options, including the use of nuclear weapons, remain "on the table" – will no doubt continue its long inaction and avoidance of the subject, as Arthur Silber notes so powerfully here, while also providing active, practical steps that could be taken to head off another war -- something no one else is bothering to do.

We'll let Silber have the last word here:

So what is your choice? Do the world -- and your life, and the lives of those you love -- mean so little to you, that you will risk losing them all? Is that what you want? Do you still choose to do nothing?

Do you?
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