Or, Further Adventures in Presidential Dick-Banging...
No one’s safe from the wrath of the Bush White House, not even Switzerland.
As the Japanese are wont to say, "business is war." Apparently, that is how the Bush White House sees the recently announced deal between Switzerland and Iran over a $42 billion natural gas contract. And, living up to the their own dysfunctional war planning record, the White House is now considering a retaliation against Switzerland where it hurts the United States most: by ending the Swiss sponsorship of the U.S. and Cuban Interests Sections. That will teach them not to mess with us.
Under US law, investments greater than $20 million in Iran's energy sector can lead to US retaliatory measures. Flynt Leverett, a former US National Security Council adviser on the Middle East, said Washington's options were limited. Currently there are no such sanctions at either the UN or the EU level against investment in Iran's gas sector. "The EU would effectively take us to court [at the World Trade Organization] and the US would probably lose," he said.
While the Bush administration has been busy destroying Iraq and threatening Iran over the past 8 years, many other countries, including our staunchest allies, have simply ignored the commotion and gone about serving their national interests, signing oil deals, gas deals, and pipeline deals with producing nations whose behavior the US sniffily does not approve.
We’re so noble. And we’re so screwed.
First Things First - Thanks to John and Adam for asking me to join the distinguished group of key-holders. I feel at home already, having had John step on one of my guest posts...