Isabel alerted us to this article:
Alex de Waal: “Dollarised: The Political Marketplace”. In: London Review of Books 32.12:38–43 (June 24, 2010). Online version here (subscription only). The article is based on this lecture:
Fixing the Political Marketplace: How can we make peace without functioning state institutions? (PDF file; Christen Michelsen Institute)
Shamus Cooke: Dangerous Crossroads in World History: Obama’s New Iran Sanctions: An Act of War (GlobalResearch.ca)
When the UN refused to agree to the severe sanctions that the U.S. wanted, Obama responded with typical Bush flair and went solo. The new U.S. sanctions against Iran — signed into law by Obama on July 1st — are an unmistakable act of war.
If fully enforced, Iran’s economy will be potentially destroyed. The New York Times outlines the central parts of the sanctions:
“The law signed by Mr. Obama imposes penalties on foreign entities that sell refined petroleum to Iran or assist Iran with its domestic refining capacity. It also requires that American and foreign businesses that seek contracts with the United States government certify that they do not engage in prohibited business with Iran.” (July 1, 2010).
Iran must import a large part of its refined oil from foreign corporations and nations, since it does not have the technology needed to refine all the fuel that it pumps from its soil. By cutting this refined oil off, the U.S. will be causing massive, irreparable damage to the Iranian economy — equaling an act of war.
Israel is becoming extremely paranoid, overtaken by ultra-nationalist sentiments, and is acting pretty irrationally, from its own point of view. They are harming their own interests. My own denial of entry was a minor example of that. If they had just let me in to give a talk at Bir Zeit, that would have been the end of the story. In fact I wasn’t even talking about the Middle East. I was talking about the United States, and they knew it of course.