U.S. foreign policy is adamant and intransigent in the placing of sanctions against Iran and North Korea. In return, Iran funds Hezbollah and Hamas in carrying out Islamist attacks all over the Middle East and North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Sanctions have done nothing but entrench the hard liners in both countries, carrying out attacks, building nuclear capability in spite of, and maybe because of sanctions.’

Hassan Rouhani was just reelected president of Iran, which was a surprise because it was under his watch that the nuclear arms deal was signed, with a promise by the U.S. to release Iranian funds that had been frozen and to give Iran access to the Swift payments system which allows all countries and entities to do business with Iran.  That never happened due to the hawks in our government.

Instead of upholding its end of the bargain the U.S. reneged, based on a missile test by Iran which did not violate the agreement.

The moderates in Iran have a chance to become even more powerful, driving the Iranian society toward commercialization and modernization and capitalalism and there are even signs of democracy breaking out.

If the U.S. now upholds its end of the bargain, and the Iranian economy blossoms, (which is happening even under U.S> sanctions) the momentum toward capitalism and democracy could become unstoppable.

Instead, U.S. policy is to keep sanctions in place, which keeps the hardliners in power and stops capitalism and democracy from proliferating.  In 10-20 years, Iran could be fully capitalistic and on their way to full democracy and an active, positive member of the world order: one promoting peace because war cost money and interferes with trade).  But our foreign policy, driving by the agenda of the military, which is ever more confrontation, demanding ever more expensive weapons systems, more confrontational, more aggressive stance.  The military sees an enemy behind every tree.  There has never been a war they did not like.  Using young men as fodder for their advancement.  As Abraham Maslow once said, “If you’re trained to use a hammer, then the whole world looks like a nail,”  In the case of the military, “If you’re trained to use a gun then everyone looks like a target.” The military / industrial complex is an arrogant, paranoid, self–serving institution that cares little for diplomacy and peaceful coexistence.

North Korea is in a similar but more infantile stage of capitalism, but it is taking hold.  Instead of allowing free trade to go on, the U.S. closes off all borders and locks North Korea out of the world banking system (the swift payment system).  There is a small, but thriving capitalism going on, it is evident on the streets of Pyongyang.  There was active trade going on at the border town of Dandong between China and North Korea, until the CIA set up a spy operation there which brought the attention of North Korea and shut much of it down.  And in the process halted the rescue of prisoners fleeing form North Korea.  (But what’s a few dozen lives to the CIA).  Gross stupidity.  Making North Korea more paranoid, shutting down the progress that free trade was making and its influence on furthering capitalism.  Exposing escapees to capture and more years of horrific torture.

Always looking for immediate answers that involves the use of force – either military or economic (in the form of sanctions) has been U.S. policy for decades, while is is now China who now builds infrastructure in Africa, South America and the “Stan’ countries while the U.S. is hated and attacked by extremists, and becomes a small player on the world stage and can no longer control the policy of other countries.

Good thinking, America.

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