FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Time for Sanctions on the Bush Administration

 

The international political system has a method for dealing with regimes that flout the United Nations Charter — sanctions. Sanctions come in different flavors. Sanctions like economic boycotts have teeth, others like travel bans are more symbolic but are more easily imposed and relatively effective. It is time for the United Nations and its individual members to consider political and other sanctions against the Bush administration. After all, other countries and regimes that have snubbed their noses at international norms of behavior have been on the receiving end of sanctions. The United States heartily supported such measures against regimes in South Africa, Rhodesia, Iran, Iraq, Burma, Libya, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia, North Korea, Taliban-run Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Azerbaijan, Angola’s UNITA, Cuba, and Sudan.

But now it is the United States, governed by a coterie of war hawks, which threatens international order and stability. The Bush administration is threatening to bombard Iraq with a volley of bombs and missiles that will “shock and awe” the Iraqis into surrendering.

The Bush administration is severely in need of a demonstration of international will that will “shock and awe” Washington back into some semblance of rationality and sanity. That can best be done by imposing wide sweeping political sanctions on the Bush administration. By targeting the Bush administration and not the general American public, the international community can put key members of the Bush administration on notice that their behavior has consequences, even for officials of the “world’s only remaining superpower.”

The concept of international sanctions against the Bush administration are nothing new. The idea was first floated by the European Union in March 2001 when the United States pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions. EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom, while saying trade sanctions against the United States were premature, warned of other broad implications stemming from America’s withdrawal from the treaty.

The international community should begin with a ban on visits by the top U.S. political leaders who support flouting the United Nations and other regional international organizations. For starters, the list of Americans who could be refused visas, including transit visas, might include Donald Rumsfeld, his top deputies – Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Dov Zakheim, and Peter Rodman, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Strategy John Bolton and his deputy David Wurmser, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, her assistants Elliott Abrams and Otto Reich and consultant Michael Ledeen, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and UN ambassador John Negroponte.

The travel ban should also be extended to such key administration advisers and propagandists as Defense Policy Board (DPB) chairman Richard Perle, Center for Security Policy director Frank Gaffney, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, America’s ayatollah of morality William Bennett, former CIA Director James Woolsey, and DPB members Kenneth Adelman and Newt Gingrich.

The European Union has already imposed such a travel ban on 72 officials of Zimbabwe’s government. The United States also imposed a travel ban on President Robert Mugabe and 19 of his top officials. The UN Security Council has imposed travel bans on Iraqi’s top military leaders and top leaders of Angola’s UNITA rebel movement. Travel restrictions were also imposed by the Clinton administration on Burma’s military leadership and their families from visiting the United States.

In addition to the European Union and national governments imposing a travel ban on top Bush administration officials, national, regional, and municipal legislatures could also pass symbolic resolutions stating that key members and supporters of the Bush administration are “not welcome” to visit their countries, provinces, and cities. What would be more valuable for the court of public opinion than a city mayor or a regional leader informing a visiting Bush administration official or political loyalist that he or she is not officially “welcome” by the host government? That sort of bad press is every public relations person’s worst nightmare. It is a tactic worth seriously considering.

Travel bans or “unwelcome” resolutions could also be extended to members of the U.S. Congress who stand in lockstep with the Bush administration. Considering the number of overseas congressional junkets that take place on an almost weekly basis, it would not be long before GOP loyalists and their Democratic quislings would begin to realize what their administration has wrought in severely damaging U.S. relations with the rest of the world.

Another sanction option could be the boycotting of official U.S. diplomatic functions and cultural events by local government and business leaders, as well as celebrities. Considering Canada’s strong opposition to Washington’s unilateral policies, a boycott by Canadian politicians and dignitaries of social and other official events surrounding Bush’s upcoming May 5 state visit to Canada would appear to be in tall order.

People abroad have already started their own grass roots sanction program against the Bush administration by canceling or curtailing pleasure trips to the United States. European travel industry insiders report that hundreds of thousands of Europeans have decided to cancel trips to the United States, opting instead to spend their vacations in Europe, Asia, Latin America, or Canada. Many European air travelers object to being cajoled into providing personal information to the U.S. government, including bank account data, credit information, and even dietary habits. Traveling within Europe or to countries that do not impose such draconian screening measures appeal more to the average European traveler. As a result, America’s tourist destinations are feeling the economic pinch.

Focusing a sanctions campaign against key members of the Bush administration and their more rabid supporters in the private policy laundering sector would serve notice that the world’s patience has its limits and the Bush administration has pushed the envelope on that patience. It is clearly time to build upon the successes of the global anti-war movement and ratchet up the pressure on the Bush regime through a sanctions and boycott process. To the American Revolutionaries in Boston, economic boycotts against the British served as an important catalyst in the successful rebellion against another mad King George. They worked then and they should be tried now.

WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.

Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com

Ann Harrison No Lock Up for Medical Marijuana Advocate Jeff Jones!

Gary Leupp A Very Fine Thing: Turkey Stands Up to Bush

Winslow T. Wheeler Inside the Pentagon’s Pork Factory

Chris Floyd Swing Blades: How Rumsfeld Filled His Pockets with Pyongyang’s Nuclear Loot

Uri Avnery Sharon’s Sleight of Hand

Ron Lare UAW Local 600’s Opposition to War

David Krieger Meanwhile, Back at the Security Council

Ralph Nader How MSNBC Sabotaged Donahue

Anthony Gancarski Somebody Blew Up Donahue: a Response to Ralph Nader

Harry Browne The Curse of Bono

Website of the Day Squat Net

 

More articles by:
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail