Iran Sanctions: The Cecil Fielder Strategy
We are so darn smart, we announce finally freezing the assets of the mullah-run Iranian Bank Melli, but only two days after Iran withdraws $75 billion and who knows how many days before the EU actually gets around to 'freezing' whatever might be left in EU banks. If I may summon faint whispers from a favorite childhood television show, "I love it when a good plan comes together."
With President Bush by his side, Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced new sanctions against Iran this morning, finally looking to freeze the assets of the mullahs' Bank Melli. Good news, except there's a very real problem in implementation: It comes two days and $75 billion short. You see, once again the West — ever reluctant to act decisively, even on sanctions — has missed the boat which the Iranians captain masterfully, less concerned about public perceptions and much more interested in effective operations.
In Sanctions: EU Horse Chases Iranian Cart at NRO, I offer up a very basic time line. Any further elaboration within it would probably only serve to obscure the point.
Are you embarrassed? You should be. And if someone tries to explain that this is just the way these things work, don't accept it. Change 'the way things work' or cede the war declared on us nearly 30 years ago. Watching ourselves play this game is like watching a lumbering, plodding Cecil Fielder trying to leg out an infield single with all the alacrity of a sloth, while Iran darts about, moving first base and throwing bats at our knees...and laughing.