Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton’s recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is well-worth a read. “What If Israel Strikes Iran?”, “demonstrates why Israel’s military option against Iran’s nuclear program is so unattractive, but also why failing to act is even worse. All these scenarios become infinitely more dangerous once Iran has deliverable nuclear weapons. So does daily life in Israel, elsewhere in the region and globally.” Then there is this, also from Bolton this week, “Obama continues Bush’s 2d term — badly,” in The Washington Times.
While on things Iran, it seems that Bank Saderat officials keep writing to the U.S. Government and no one is answering. The Export Law Blog reports that the bank chairman, Hamid Borhani, wants to visit with OFAC officials to discuss the blocking action against the bank and a proposed privatization. The U.S. has imposed sanctions against Saderat and many other Iranian banks for supporting terrorism. Good luck. Read more about it, here.
Speaking of state sponsors of terrorism, the Western Hemisphere’s own, Cuba, has been the subject of yet another espionage case. Over at the Cuba pro-engagement blog, The Cuban Triangle, they try to minimize the arrest of a former State Department INR official and his wife who for three decades were compromising U.S. national security. U.S. opponents of current U.S. policy attempt to draw parallels to engagement with other bad actors, Nixon went to China, Reagan spoke with Gorbachev, etc. But, these matters are not subject to cookie cutter approaches. Cuba is the enemy. At this juncture, Cuba has nothing of real strategic value to the U.S. but headaches, terrorism, and, well, spies. The status quo working well. If anything, increasing sanctions and enforcing laws as intended should be the approach. In the end, Cuba has already lost because freedom always wins.
The war against private property and U.S. companies continues in Latin America. In Venezuela, Coca Cola Zero was decreed by the state to be harmful for human consumption and banned its sale. And it was not just U.S. companies in Chavez’s crosshairs this week. Meanwhile in Ecuador, while President Obama calls Ecuador’s Correa, Chevron remains locked in a costly legal battle fueled by the state and radical NGOs.