Monday, February 6, 2012

Iran: Sanctioning Stupity

I always enjoy it when The Economist presents insanely stupid liberal arguments with a straight face. That’s high entertainment, like exquisite parody. The latest example involves an attempt to explain why Obama is doing just fine in his efforts to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. This argument is so awful that a child could see the problems with it. But apparently, The Economist can’t.

The Economist’s argument runs like this. First, they claim that Obama is on the verge of solving the Iranian problem because he just signed a measure into law which imposes “sanctions of unprecedented severity.” Yep. Specifically, these sanction will “ban” sales of Iranian oil to Europe, Japan and South Korea, who currently account for 40% of Iran’s sales. It will also “punish any foreign financial institution transacting business with Iran’s central bank.” This is meant to pressure Iran into stopping its development of nuclear weapons and “to show a jumpy Israel that there is an alternative to a military attack.” This is important because a military attack would raise tensions and might not actually work.

Makes sense, right?

Well, that depends on whether or not you keep reading the article. For in the very next breath, The Economist admits that skeptics “are entitled to ask” if sanctions will really work, “given that a variety of sanctions over the past 30 years has failed to change Iran’s behavior.”

Ok, let’s stop right there. This 30-years-of-failure fact tells us that the skeptics have been 100% right for 30 years now and what The Economist proposes has a miserable track record of absolute failure. Hence, the skeptics are more than just “are entitled to ask.” To the contrary, they are entitled to laugh uproariously at this idiotic suggestion. Indeed, what The Economist is doing fits Einstein’s definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Also, let’s be clear, this is the same Economist which claims that sanctions against Cuba can’t work but which now says they will work in Iran.

So why does The Economist think these will work? Because these sanctions are different. These are “sanctions of unprecedented severity” (sounds like “rodents of unusual size”). Indeed, according to The Economist, these sanctions will finally hurt the regime because they will stop Iran from selling its oil! Ah ha! Take that you Iranians! And take that too you dirty “Republican candidates” who are cynically trying to “depict Mr. Obama as weak.”

Yep, Obama is great. The end.

Oh wait, there are more words in this article. Words like this: “China, which is Iran’s biggest trading partner and has little truck with sanctions, will probably take up much of the slack created by Europe and America’s Asian allies.” Hmm. So Iran will shift its sales from Europe to China and Iranian sales will decrease by exactly 0%. Interesting. And no one at The Economist thought this might make their description of these as “sanctions of unprecedented severity” suddenly seem rather ridiculous? No one thought that Iran suffering NO economic consequences at all from these sanctions meant their estimate that “the latest sanctions will cause [Iran] more pain,” could perhaps be completely and utterly wrong?

It gets worse.

See, it turns out that this could be bad for Europe and the US: “the fragile economies of Europe and America would suffer if Iran’s oil exports disappeared from the world market.” Now think about this. This means these powerful sanctions will result in ZERO harm to Iran, but could tip the West into recession, thereby weakening Iran’s enemies. Yet The Economist, with a straight face, says this is “nevertheless worthwhile.”

Soooooo, let me see how this logic works. Doing something that hurts you but not the person you want to hurt is worthwhile because it will somehow force them to change their behavior. Hmm. Well, in that light, I think we should shoot pineapples up the rear ends of everyone who works for The Economist. That might just be what’s needed to stop Iran. Sure, I can guarantee you that it won’t actually do anything to Iran and it will certainly hurt the staff at The Economist, but it’s “nevertheless worthwhile” because. . . well, because it is. Problem solved, crack the bubbly!

Idiots.

Anyways, the pineapple sitters at The Economist aren’t done supporting their argument. They say, it’s clear that Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz is proof that the mere threat of these sanctions has put the regime under strain.

Of course, it’s more likely the Hormuz threat is a direct response to Israel fueling up its jets. But let’s not confuse The Economist with facts or logics as they clearly are not equipped the handle either. Also, for the record, this is the same threat Iran makes whenever something displeases it. They made it during the Iran-Iraq war, in response to the 30-years of ineffective sanctions, in response to UN reports, in response to Gulf Wars I & II, Saudi saber rattling, movies they didn’t liked, etc. In other words, thinking this threat shows a regime under pressure is purely wishful thinking.

The Economist also thinks Iran is worried about the Arab Spring. Of course, it conveniently ignores the fact that Iran already had its spring and the springers lost.

Finally, it suggests offering Iran “a carrot” by telling it everything it stands to gain if it just starts playing nice. This is idiocy. Can they really believe that Iran doesn’t know what it could gain or lose either way and hasn’t made a rational decision that it has more to gain going this route? “Wait Ahmed, you mean the Americans will open a McDonalds in Tehran if we stop trying to kill them? Why has no one told me this before?!”

The Economist also suggests we could promise to enrich their uranium for them. Yay! Never mind that this was only ever a temporary suggestion to slow Iran’s own enrichment and it’s been offered twice, by France the first time and then Brazil and South Africa the second, and Iran laughed it off because they want to build a bomb.

Liberalism is a mental condition and articles like this prove it. No human being with even a hint of intelligence could think that a plan which would do no harm except to the person proposing the plan will cause a bad guy to become a good guy. Yet here it is. I am honestly at a loss for words to describe how stupid this is.

I swear I’ve been punked.

46 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

You have been punked indeed. Remember this, though. Katie Effing Couric told off Sarah Palin about what she read. The ECONOMIST baby. Oh the GRAVITAS. I'm not sure which publication is more insane 1) Newsweek 2) The Economist 3) The Nation.

Somewhere balding vandyked 40 something faculty lounge lizards are sipping Chai Tea Late's and nodding their heads sagely.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I remember that and I had to laugh. Unfortunately, The Economist has really fallen apart and it just keeps getting worse. At one point it was an excellent magazine to read because they tried to present a whole bunch of facts from around the world and they tried to keep their analysis down the middle with a focus on economics.

Those days are gone. Now it's nothing but liberal idiocy masquerading under a brand name of something that was once better.

And you're right, this is exactly the kind of story that sounds fine so long as you don't use your brain and you want to agree with the article, so I'm sure there are snotty liberals everywhere who just read this and nodded their heads at the confirmation of their own enlightenment.

But if even one single neuron fires, then the whole house of cards falls apart.

DUQ said...

I am having visions of a pineapple gun right now! LOL!

This is the kind of thing I've become oblivious to. Liberals believe what they want to believe. To help them, they subscribe to magazines which given them something which appears to be an argument. It doesn't matter that it makes no sense. It only matters that it reinforces their views.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, 'tis a hell of a weapon! And loaded with vitamin C! :)

I'm not oblivious to it per se, but I have come to accept it for the same reason you mention. This isn't real analysis, it's just liberals talking to liberals to bolster an opinion they developed at the outset. In other words, it's an attempt to add logic to a prejudice.

Notice also that this gives them the ability to claim they were right no matter what happens. If Iran quits because of the sanctions, then they win. If Israel attacks and things don't go perfectly, they claim they were right and Israel should have waited. If Israel attacks and wins, then they claim they softened Iran up. And if Iran nukes Israel, then they claim other people failed to support the strategy. It's typically liberal -- a nonsense plan that won't work and lets them play all sides when other people finally step up and solve the problem for them.

Ed said...

Andrew, The logic or lack thereof is truly stunning. They admit these sanctions won't hurt Iran one bit and yet they say it's worth a try? How dumb can they be? Would they accept this kind of logic from a doctor or mechanic?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I don't think they bothered with the logic of it. It simply sounded good.

1. We must do something.
2. Sanctions sound painful.
3. Ergo, this will work.

I really think that's the level of logic they are using and any contrary evidence need not apply because they would wipe out the point to the argument.

DUQ said...

"it's an attempt to add logic to a prejudice."

I think you just defined liberalism!

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, It defines the liberal arguing style at least.

DUQ said...

Also, Happy Birthday to Ronald Reagan!

T-Rav said...

Hey now! Those oil embargoes against Iraq were basically the same as what The Economist's proposing, and those worked without a hitch....didn't they?

Seriously, this article seems thoroughly incapable of understanding Iran's leaders and their motivations. What do they stand to gain from backing down? (Answer: Nothing.)

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I'd forgotten about that! Happy Birthday Mr. President... wherever you are!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree entirely. They clearly have no ability to see things from Iran's perspective. To them, this must be a misunderstand because it never occurs to them that Iran doesn't want to be like the West. Thus, they think something (read American belligerence) must be stopping Iran from making nice. Hence, the stupid idea that we should offer them a nice carrot to make peace.

That's stupidity. And it shows they are incapable of seeing things from anyway except their own biases.

The Iranians have made a rational decision that they gain more by continuing. And I can't say that they’re wrong. Look at the power little North Korea has to shake the world. They know they will have the same power if they get the bomb. Also, with the world being so weak-kneed (and stupid) they have plenty of time to repent once they have the bomb. In other words, they can have the best of both world.

To me though, the real stupidity in this article is that they are proposing an idea that they admit cannot work and then claiming it will work. That's Alice in Wonderland grade insanity.

StanH said...

In the mid ‘70s to the early ‘80s I subscribed to, US News & World Report, Newsweek, Time, with The Wall Street Journal, for good measure. I watched as these publications carried the water for Carter, and eviscerated Reagan, save the editorial pages. I canceled all of my subscriptions by the late ‘80s and used Talk Radio for my information, until FOX came along, short of the Gulf War coverage wrote off the networks and CNN. This kind of harebrained liberal lunacy has been around for decades, increasing to a gallop in recent years, exposing them as the leftist hacks that they are, the article doesn’t surprise me. The sad part, as you say, there are people out there who use this lunacy as confirmation of superior intellect, all I can say is remember, to point, and laugh.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I've gone through the exact same process you have. At first, I subscribed to various newspapers and magazines. But over time, I realized they were just liberal idiocy. Then I switched to CNN and talk radio, until Fox came along. And articles like this are the reason.

And it's not that they have different views, that's not what bothers me. What bothers me is the abject stupidity. In other words, it's one thing to have a different opinion about what is important and what isn't or what limits you are willing to accept on power, etc. It's quite another to deny reality entirely and pretend that everything Obama touches is gold and everything Reagan touched was poison and up is down and black is white unless it needs to be the other way around.

That's why I can't stand the liberal media anymore. They produce idiocy and propaganda and they don't care about truth.

T-Rav said...

Until recently, the only mainstream stuff I've watched has been NBC News, because I liked the banter on the Today Show and Brian Williams, while not great, is better in my opinion than his network counterparts. But the shallowness of their "journalism" has been grating on me more and more. If it weren't for Al Roker, I'd tune them out altogether.

Ed said...

Andrew, That is exactly the kind of logic they used. It has surface appeal and is easy to grasp, it just doesn't make sense when you start looking at the facts.

Ed said...

I've watched a bit of CNN lately, but not much. My problem is I find I can get better information quicker from the internet than on television.

LawHawkRFD said...

It's a bad situation that this kind of namby-pamby thinking only makes worse. At the Economist they're just the descendants of the people who said that Hitler could be appeased.

The West and Israel simply cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear arsenal. Sanctions don't work against totalitarian states that don't genuinely care for the good of their own people. I only see one viable alternative, and it's beginning to look like Israel is going to take it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It's interesting that the banter matters, but it clearly does. There are several shows I can't stand because of the banter. In particular CNBC has something called Squawkbox, which just grates on me because I don't like the anchors.

At this point, I don't really care for any of the news shows to tell the truth.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Logic that ignores facts is not logic. But I get your point because you are right. To them, this is logical because the argument works if you consider only the facts they want you to consider. But that's not logic. It's mindless assertion. In fact, it's worse than that because they know it is wrong and yet they accept it. It's basically lunacy.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I get that feeling too. The only reason Israel hasn't attacked is because the world has promised to solve this problem without resulting to force. But now it's clear the world is full of it. And since Israel is the first one on the target list, I can't see them waiting much longer to solve this problem.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, for those who are interested...

1. Yes, I am enjoying a Patriots schadenfreude high today.

2. Clint Eastwood has specifically rejected the idea that his Chrysler ad was meant to support Obama: LINK

Ed said...

Andrew, I figured you would be. T-Rav too I expect. I like the brohaha over Brady's wife's comments too.

Doc Whoa said...

So much for the Economist's credibility. As for the Patriots, it couldn't happen to a nice team.

rlaWTX said...

"In other words, it's an attempt to add logic to a prejudice." excellent line; nothing else to add to the idiocy that is the liberal "thought" process...

good, tight, nail-biting game yesterday.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I can't speak for T-Rav, but I suspect he's pretty happy about it.

The thing with his wife... hmm. I'm of two minds. On the one hand, she's not on the team and you can't say she violated some unwritten role. On the other hand, anything that looks bad for the Patriots is fine by me.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, This is just another nail in a coffin that is already so firmly nailed shut that there is no doubt in my mind that The Economist is an idiotic publication.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks! I think that line really encapsulated what is going on here. This isn't analysis meant to explain or explore, it's simply meant to confirm that an initial knee-jerk opinion is valid. And that described most liberal "thought."


I have to admit I did not watch the game. These two teams just turn me off so much. But any game that ends with a Patriots loss is a good game in my book. :)

T-Rav said...

Andrew and Ed, I am very happy about it indeed. :-)

As for Gisele, I don't think she's a horrible person for saying what she said, given the context. She was getting heckled by some Giants fans, and I can't blame her for sticking up for her husband; but surely one should know better than to say that in the immediate vicinity of your husband's teammates' wives. But it makes the Patriots look worse, so I can't really complain.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, My thoughts exactly. It's hard to hold it against her because that's a stressful situation. BUT it is the Patriots so..... ;)


On that point, by the way, I think the NFL has become too hypersensitive. All these players and journalists get bent out of shape over the slightest remarks and blow them so far out of proportion. Come on, grow up folks. It's a game. Stop whining everytime someone says somthing that isn't just bland.

Individualist said...

Andrew

I read your article and found it uproaringly funny. Then it dawned to me that you were serious about this being what the Economist was writing about and I shuddered.

I read your article and all I can think is that the same people who wrote this article must have been the writers for Jame Cameron's Avatar.

The thing that frightens me most is should Obama win the election some of these people may be working in the Cabinets at the White House. Now there is something to really shudder about...

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, It is pretty funny until you realize they are serious and these are, as you say, some of the people who shape opinions on the left and who may one day end up in positions of authority. Creepy isn't it?

Kelly said...

Reading this is how I feel when I watch the news, I just want to scream at the television that nothing they're saying makes sense.

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, I feel the same way a lot when I watch the news. Though I've learned it's easier just to switch off the tv and move to the net rather than fight my poor television.

ScyFyterry said...

I enjoyed the Super Bowl, even though I don't care about either team. On the article, what does everyone think we should do with Iran? I honestly have no answer.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, That's a good question. Clearly sanctions aren't going to do it, especially with countries like China and Russia ready to violate those sanctions.

So you need to look at more direct options. Apparently there have been some assassinations of their scientists and some computer sabotage which have slowed things down a good deal. Israel is talking about bombing.

Personally, I think the only way to solve this is probably what Israel wants to do. When Israel bombed reactors in Syria and Iraq, they basically stopped those programs dead. So there is a track record of success there. But if you wait too long, which is what the sanctions are designed to do, then you end up giving Iran time to finish what they need and hide their equipment.

tryanmax said...

The leftist capacity for delusion is amazing! "If we just find the right multiplier, we can make anything work." No wonder they believe in evolution. (There I go thinking holistically, again.)

tryanmax said...

Hey, any thoughts on what's going on in Syria? I missed 1979 (well, not entirely; I was an embryo, though). Are there any parallels between Iran and Syria here?

AndrewPrice said...

trynmax, They are exceedingly good at delusional thinking.

I don't have any problem with evolution, but I do find it bizarre that they apply it selectively. For example, they say humans evolved. Ok, fine. But then they claim there are no differences between groups of humans even though we evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in different locations and under different conditions. You can't really have it both ways.

AndrewPrice said...

On Syria, there are no parallels that I see.

In 1979, Iran was a country more like Egypt with an American-backed regime that was highly unpopular. But they also had a single unified opposition centered around an Islamic movement council which had captured the idealism of the youth of Iran. We were basically seen as the bad guy for supporting the government.

Syria is different. We have no contact with Syria right now and there is no single Islamic council looking to oust the government.

Also, the government in Syria has the backing of a sizable minority of the population (their Baath Party is basically an ethnic party). Iran didn't have that dynamic either.

tryanmax said...

Thanks for fleshing that out. Try as I might, it seems the 70s are the hardest to piece together without having been there. Probably because that decade is still being re-written.

AndrewPrice said...

No problem. The 1970s were an odd time with many facets and I think people misunderstand much about them. In the 1980s they were viewed as much worse than they really were. In the 1990s there was selective nostalgia. And now we've got a President repeating the political mistakes of that era and the MSM/Democratic machine is trying to disclaim any parallels.

There is much I remember fondly about the 1970s, especially socially because people weren't uptight yet -- this was pre-political correctness. But economically/politically, it was a total mess.

T-Rav said...

Personally, as long as the Syrian protestors are burning Russian and Chinese rather than American flags, I'm happy. But as is always the case in the Arab world, we don't want to be too hasty in picking a side here. Much like Libya, I don't think anyone knows what the rebels actually stand for.

Patti said...

the libs have lost touch with reality, so much so maybe a few pineapples up the keester would do them some good. or maybe they'd like it too much considering they seek to do harm, not to the enemy, but to themselves.

idiots.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Russia and China have been the regime's sponsors, just as we were Iran's sponsor.

That fact alone makes this a very different scenario because while the US would never condone slaughtering your own citizens, China and Russia would. So the rebels in Syria face a much tougher challenge than the Ayatollah faced in Iran because China and Russia will happily let Syria kill whoever they need to kill.

In any event, I think there are again no good choices here so we should stay out and let events play out.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, It is idiotic. But I still think the pineapple plan is worth trying just because I would enjoy watching it happen. :)

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