Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Crippling sanctions" are "diplomatic"

The quotes are from Obama in a recent speech.

The sanctions on Iraq killed 1.5 million, including 500,000 children ("the price is worth it" -- Madeline Albright under Clinton).

OK. Get out your calculators and start doing the math, if you dare.

What transpires in this logic? What does it mean for Obama to call sanctions "crippling" at all? Does he mean to bring about the deaths of 1.5 million Iranians, with a disproportionate number of the victims being the very young and the elderly, as was the case in Iraq?

What does it mean for this to be understood as a "diplomatic" measure? Where does the ability even to see this as acceptable come from? Why aren't the Iraq sanctions talked about today? Did they Iraq sanctions really play a role in the 9/11 bombings, as was said by the perpetrator-mastermind, Osama Bin Laden?

When Obama basically threatens to bring about the deaths of maybe a million Iranians, does he realize this includes those who want revolution there?

I believe the basic epistemological and moral/ethical capacity for this gross ignorance and, apparently, incompetence, comes right from the heart of Obama's Judeo-Christian commitments, just as this was operating for Clinton, for Albright and for GW Bush. How this is the case is far more difficult to spell out, but the fact is that there lies in the heart of this operation some basic capacities, certain, one might say, talents, or abilities to set forth a sense of program that is ready, willing and able to view things in a certain way. This means: an ability to take sanctions as "diplomatic" in the first place. The ability to say "crippling" without using so many words, that is, without saying: "We will starve your nations until your morgues fill with the corpses of your babies".

Look for yourself. Do the math. That was Albright's response about the 500,000 children of the Iraq sanctions. It was Obama who said "crippling" in this way, and, of course, "everything is on the table".

The real weapon here is epistemology, an ethos that tolerates and white-washes all kinds of collateral damage, a logic concerning what is to be called violent, the matter of how the imposition of a contingency is to be carried out. Sanctions on Iraq are a contingency put to the president and others who make decisions in Iraq. It's "up to them". That is the logic of such sanctions, as was the case with Iraq. This is a matter of not letting one's right hand know what one's left hand is doing. On the one hand, the sanctions are, indeed, chose, enacted, imposed, enforced; on the other hand, the decision for their continuance is ostensibly up to the rulers of Iraq. Or, if the revolutionaries can do it, up to their revolution.

This is not acceptable. It is not even competent. It is literally incompetent. It must be thought about more. Thought must emerge as an independent value in such circumstances. In this regard, for Obama, thought is far too fully subjugated by religions commitment, by belief, by faith, and what lies therein. I think it is not possible to clarify these issues without making this point, just as it was impossible for Gandhi not to make such a point regarding faith and his satyagraha. These may seem unrelated, but I submit that they are more related to this circumstance than it may seem.

Regardless of how one stands on this last point, the threat of sanctions on Iran is great, grave and evinces a true, glaring incompetence and righteous "blood" lust, though there be little blood in sanctions. No, just corpses. So call it "corpse-lust" if you like. My language here is not extremist.

To be clear: when Obama says "crippling" sanctions, he means piles of babies in morgues. This is no fucking joke, and it is not an exaggeration. Look at the Iraq sanctions. Recall Albright. The numbers are pretty steady at 1.5 million, maybe less, maybe more.