Count me as one American who far prefers the measures that Donald Trump has taken to respond to provocation in the Persian Gulf region than what has been threatened over the course of the past several days.
The president has signed an executive order that imposes harsh economic punishment on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The alternative? That would be sending planes and missiles into Iran to strike military targets and quite probably provoke a military response from the mullahs who run the show in Tehran.
Option No. 1 is far better than Option No. 2.
What might the Iranian response be to the economic sanctions? I suppose they can close the Strait of Hormuz, where a lot of shipping hauls petroleum to points around the world. The good news for the United States is that this country is far less dependent on Middle East oil than it has been in the past.
However, I much prefer the economic sanction route than the military strike option that has been on the table. How much sense does it make to send young Americans into harm’s way because Iran is shooting down unmanned, unarmed surveillance aircraft? None, if you want my to know my humble view on it.
The sanctions imposed by the United States include freezing of assets owned by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others within the Iranian government. As NPR reported, it is not entirely clear how the United States is able to obtain access to those assets, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin assures us that the assets are frozen; the ayatollah can’t get ’em.
Fine. Then perhaps now we can actually talk to the mullahs and try to calm the tension that has rattled the world, not to mention governments in Saudi Arabia and Israel, two of the mortal enemies Iran has targeted with threats.
As the late, great Winston Churchill once noted, it is far better to “jaw, jaw, jaw than to war, war, war.”