Guest Article by Jacob Hornberger, Libertarian candidate for President of the United States
Even before the coronavirus, President Trump’s system of economic sanctions against the Iranian people was evil. How else can one describe a regime’s targeting a nation’s civilian population with death, suffering, and impoverishment with the aim of achieving a political end? Isn’t that why we condemn terrorism?
But now with the coronavirus, Trump’s banality of evil on Iran rises to spectacular new heights. Not only is he refusing to lift his cruel and brutal sanctions in the midst of this health crisis, last week he actually imposed new sanctions to wreak even more death, suffering, and impoverishment among the Iranian people.
While Trump and his central planning cohorts run around like chickens with the heads cut off to deal with the coronavirus pandemic here in the United States, Iran is suffering 27,000 documented coronavirus cases. That is on top of the vise that has already squeezed the lifeblood out of the Iranian economy, a vise consisting of Iran’s centrally planned economy and Trump’s cruel and brutal sanctions.
U.S. regime change in Iran
Why the sanctions? For regime change, the goal at the center of the U.S. national-security state’s foreign policy of interventionism for the past 100 years. Just ask the Cubans. Or the North Koreans. Or the Venezuelans. They have all suffered under U.S. regime-change sanctions and embargoes too.
U.S. officials simply can’t get over the fact that the Iranian people ousted their U.S.-installed and U.S.-trained brutal dictator, the Shah of Iran, from power some 40 years ago, especially given that it was U.S. officials who installed him into power in 1953 as part of a U.S.-driven coup that intentionally destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy.
That’s what these sanctions are ultimately all about — revenge for daring to oust a U.S.-installed and U.S.-trained brutal and tyrannical dictator from power and the hope of installing another U.S.-approved puppet into power in Iran.
It obviously wasn’t enough for U.S. officials to partner with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1980s and help him wage his vicious 8-year-war of aggression against Iran, which included illegal chemical warfare, in which tens of thousands of Iranian people were killed.
Soon after taking power, Trump and his national-security state cohorts proceeded to initiate their deadly sanctions scheme. And now life has given them a grand opportunity to wreak even more death, misery, and suffering on the Iranian people in the midst of the worse health threat in our lifetime.
What better term to describe this phenomenon than “the banality of evil”?
The illegality of sanctions
It’s worth mentioning that Congress has never declared war on Iran, which makes Trump’s death machine illegal under our form of government. There is no grant of power in the Constitution authorizing the president to kill people in foreign countries with sanctions.
One reason that Trump can get away with his evil, immoral, and deadly scheme is that a deferential Congress and a deferential Supreme Court let him get away with it.
Another reason is that Iran is an impoverished Third World nation that would’t stand a chance in a war with the U.S. government. Thus, this badly suffering nation has no effective choice except to put up with this evil program being enforced by the world’s biggest bully.
The U.S. government has no more business meddling with Iran than it does meddling in the affairs of any other nation. It’s all about foreign interventionism — i.e., the prerogative claimed by the Pentagon and the CIA to intervene and meddle in nations all over the world and, in the process, kill, maim, injure, destroy, bomb, torture, assassinate, and impoverish as many people as they want. And, of course, all in the name of defending our “freedom,” notwithstanding the obvious fact that no one in the world, including Iran, is threatening the freedom of the American people.
Keeping America great?
Trump claims that he has converted America into a great nation during his three years in office. That’s why he now wears a KAG cap rather than a MAGA hat — Keep America Great rather than Make America Great.
But how can a nation be great when its president and its government is knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately killing innocent people? A truly great nation doesn’t permit its government to kill innocent people, including people who live in impoverished and suffering Third World countries.
When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all citizens of the world. That includes Iranian citizens, most of whom love Americans and our ideals. They just hate the federal government, and with justification. The American people should be rising up in unison and demanding that their president and his national-security cohorts lift their evil sanctions against Iran (and against North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and everyone else). When it comes to this virus, everyone in world is in this together.
Iran is not an “enemy,” a “rival,” or “opponent” of the United States. That’s the talk of empire. That’s the lingo of interventionists. As the victims of U.S. imperialism would say, “Yankee, go home!”