As I’ve stated in the past, I send letters to the Idaho representatives in the Senate and US Congress using DownsizeDC.org‘s letter-writing software (which makes it extremely convenient). I don’t do this because I expect it to make an actual difference in their policies, but because I desire to express my dissent and it doesn’t cost but a few moments. I also sometimes get a canned response back, which often is meaningless because it tells me what I already know and that they will keep my thoughts in mind without telling me what their position is. But, once in a while, they express an actual stance, and then I copy it onto my blog to let the world know what criminal activities they are up to.
A recent response has to do with sanctions against Iran. Here is what Senator Jim Risch said:
Dear Mr. Fegley:
Thank you for contacting me regarding sanctions on Iran. I appreciate hearing from you.
While Iran has elected a new president, Iran has not elected a new leader. The supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, handpicked the six people he would accept to serve as president. One of these people, the new president Hassan Rouhani, was also the chief Iranian negotiator for two years and was instrumental in helping cloak Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.
I find this statement interesting, based on the fact that the US government has interfered with democratically elected politicians in Iran in the past. There is no way most Americans would accept Iranian intelligence forces messing with American elections, so I want to ask, does the Golden Rule apply here?
Also relevant is the fact that the US government possesses a number of nuclear weapons and also has the status of being the only government to use them on civilian targets. Is it hypocritical to then interfere with other countries obtaining them, or is it necessary for survival, as some might have you believe?
Despite the recent political changes, Iran must demonstrate its willingness to pursue a new path before sanctions should be lifted. As a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, I closely monitor Iran. If legislation is introduced to repeal sanctions I will give it careful consideration.
What really bothers me about sanctions is that the people in power, the ones whose minds or actions these sanctions are intended to change, are the ones most insulated from the pain of sanctions. Millions of Iranians will starve to death before any heads of state have to skip a meal. We’re told by the government that sanctions are effective, but are they? Decades of sanctions haven’t changed Cuban policies. Sanctions on Iraq were reported to have killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, but this didn’t change Sadaam’s demeanor enough for Western powers to not go to war against him.
Rather, it seems, sanctions don’t do anything to improve relations. All they do is put up barriers to trade and make the living standards of poor Iranians (or whomever) much worse.
I really value your effort to get in touch with me to share your thoughts, as many Idahoans do. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on this or other issues.
Very Truly Yours
James E. Risch
United States Senator