US Economic Crisis: Bush blames sub-prime loans, experts blame the war
Responding to accusations from the Bush administration and Israel that the US$42 billion agreement violated the spirit (but obviously not the substance) of the third round of United Nations sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said Switzerland was an independent country and quite capable of making its own strategic decisions.
"It was refreshing to hear somebody, particularly a European country, speak of their national sovereignty and right to act as an independent nation," legal affairs analyst Edward Spannaus told PressTV News.
"In this case," he said, "the Swiss Foreign Minister said they were successfully mixing diplomacy and business, and that this policy of engagement was part of their dialogue with
Attempting to influence countries to follow the "spirit" of the sanctions, as well as the sanctions themselves, effectively adds an extra layer of penalties on the target nation, penalties not approved by the Security Council.
"I think the
Other political and economic analysts believe the
"Sanctions are an act of war, an act of imperialism," said Professor Paul Sheldon Foote of
And according to Spannaus, there are plenty of people in the
"There is not a lot of enthusiasm in the
"There is a group in Congress called the Dialogue Congress which favors engagement. There are business groups opposed to sanctions. We've got sanctions on dozens of countries around the world. It is a foolish policy, it doesn't work. Business groups here say we are only cutting off our nose to spite our face."
Sanctions, an instrument designed to exert economic hardship on a target nation, frequently have the opposite effect. It often hardens the target country's resolve to resist what they usually perceive as bullying by more powerful or arrogant nations.
"For almost 50 years the
However, the sanctions have cost the
President Bush, for his part, has narrowed his vision and puts all the blame on the slump in the housing market.
"For certain it is a challenging time for our economy," he said with disarming understatement, "You know that, I know that, a lot of Americans understand that. In the short run the strains on the economy have been caused by the turmoil in the housing market which required focused and decisive action. And that is exactly what the Federal Government is doing."
With many economists predicting the
Dialogue, they say, could well have prevented the muddle headed decision to attack and occupy
"There are some economists like Stiglitz who are talking about the ultimate cost of the war in trillions of dollars," Foote told PressTV News, "The supporters of the administration try to say this is an inexpensive war and the real problem [with the economy] has been the mortgage market. In any case, Americans need to be smart enough to understand that the war benefits only a small number of defense contractors and vested interests and is hurting the livelihoods, the income and jobs of everyone else. This war needs to cease."
Foote doesn't lay the blame for the current economic crisis solely on the war in
But his recipe for averting financial meltdown also began with the war.
"What needs to be done is ending the war in
George Bush inherited a budget and current account surplus when he came into office. The next tenant of
And unfortunately, Foote expressed no confidence anything will change for the better next January.
"Well the problem is that if the next one elected is a Democrat, they're going to want bigger spending and even more deficits," he said. "And if John McCain is elected, he wants endless wars and occupation of countries for the next hundred years. We don't have a good scenario with any of the current leading candidates for President."
Original pubulication: Ohmynews International,
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