In last night's debate, there was a lot of talk of war, no fly zones and sanctions. Sanctions appealed to most of the candidates as a reasonable solution, so let us reason.
Sanctions are just an early stage of war. They are a political barricade, intended to starve out an enemy. In simple theory, playing Age of Empires (a computer game), it makes a lot of sense; but in the real world, it is just fuel for the propagandist. If we want to lose any good will toward the west that remains in Iran, by all means, starve them ...or should I say, try to starve them, because China and Russia will not play ball. They will not oppose the sanctions, but they will profit from them as they will buy goods at a lower price based upon the politically imposed demand reduction, and sell at a higher price as they are the only ones big enough to cross our sanction lines without the threat of being invaded. Sanctions sound all peaceful and such but you have got to look at the whole food chain, and the unintended consequences. Newt's, Perry’s, Mitt’s and Herman’s plans to sanction will not harm Iran, but will grow their hate for us deep into the fabric of their culture. We face the very real probability of alienating their people who are still sympathetic to the west right now. Their plan will also make China and Russia richer and strengthen the alliance between the three nations through trade. Trade always makes people friends. If we force them to trade with Russia and China we strengthen their friendship, and reliance upon each other. With reliance comes the desire to defend. Bottom line, sanctions do nothing positive for the US, but they do make Iran a lot stronger through new and stronger friendships with powerful buddies. We are about ready to step in it again.