By Dr. Alan Sabrosky*

The sanctions imposed recently against Iran by the United Nations, and later separately by the US Congress, have one thing in common. Both were driven by the US at the instigation of Israel.

But they are also, I believe, generally misunderstood. Sanctions are normally intended to alter the behavior of the country being sanctioned — to punish it for what it is doing, to keep it from continuing practices or policies others find objectionable, or both.

And overtly, that is the function of these sanctions. But that is not their actual purpose.

Now, I do not know whether Iran’s government has a hidden military agenda to its nuclear program. Given Israel’s own nuclear capabilities, and the very different fates of Iraq (which had no nuclear weapons) and North Korea (which did), any sensible country anywhere on Israel’s enemies list — which is by extension today America’s target list — would acquire a deliverable nuclear capability by any means whatsoever as soon as possible.

But the reality is to see sanctions against Iran in the same light as inspections for the non-existent WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq in 2002-2003. In those days, the US and its close partners kept insisting that Iraq had WMDs when none of the inspectors on the ground, including the US representatives, found or believed it had.

Yet the claims persisted, and the purpose was to condition the US public for a war that need never have happened, except for Israel and its partisans in the US. And they succeeded. Americans generally believed the false claims, generally supported the war against Iraq, and whatever disenchantment occurred took place only because the war and the subsequent occupation did not proceed as smoothly as its architects had intended.

This is the pattern being repeated against Iran. The real purpose of sanctions is not to affect the policies of the Iranian government, because nothing it does will affect the sanctions. It is to prepare the US public for an attack against Iran, almost certainly in conjunction with Israel, to destroy Israel’s last remaining competitor in the region and to provide a cover for Israel’s expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, into Jordan and the Sinai respectively.

So it would be unwise either to disregard sanctions or to try to accommodate them. The only sensible response, I believe, for Iran and its friends is to put in place something that the US would not dare to attack. That inevitably means something with or from China or India, especially the former, no matter what the cost — because anything expended to preclude a US-Israeli strike would be far cheaper than enduring that strike and its aftermath, even if the region then exploded in America’s face. Watching an enemy suffer is fine, but not at that price.

*Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D, University of Michigan) is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the US Army War College. He can be contacted at docbrosk@comcast.net


  1. Baja Joes on the 01. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Dr. Sabrosky,

    Thank you so much for keeping us informed. The m.s.m. will never tell us these things and only by efforts of people such as yourself on the internet will the public ever be aware of the “back side” of the news.


    PS. I am most appreciative of your writings about 9/11.

  2. hassan on the 01. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Sanctions against Iran is to monopolized the oil and gas exploration in Iran by the American and Israeli off shore companies. The nuke power plant in Iran was built by the USA in 1960. There is no reason for USA to attack Iran because they both work hand in hand in Iraq and Afghanistan. If USA really attack Iran then it is presumed that Iran is double crossing USA after having a shia government in Iraq and influence in Afghanistan. Israel and Iran are historically friends and the second largest jews population lives in Iran. Mr. Olmert is a born and brought up Iranian jew running Israel. Israel might have plotted to destroy USA with the help of Iran as they realize that USA now is a burden for them and need to be eliminated after using its military capability in the middle east. USA will surely use the sunni freedom fighter card against Iran . Well in any other circumstances other than Iran’s double cross against USA it is even stupid to think that USA will ever attack Iran. IT was Iran and her shia influence in Iraq gave America the foothold in Iraq and no stupid would like to see the Iraqi shia is turning against USA just because their shia brothers in Iran are being bombarded by USA

  3. Cold Wind on the 01. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    We might think as Michael Hayden has stated that an Israeli/US war with Iran has become inexorable. I’d like to think that the best laid plans of even the maleficent are rife with miscalculation and that war with Iran can be avoided. Everybody should do some little thing to register their opposition to the sanctions and war with Iran. Cumulatively who knows what will happen?

  4. Robert H. Stiver on the 01. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    My God: Why are not intelligent people and perceptive analysts like Dr. Sabrosky given attention and credence in matters affecting the core national-security interests of America and the interests of the sane world? A rhetorical question….

  5. Debbie on the 01. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Yes, Dr. Sabrosky makes a lot of sense. It has been quite obvious for a long time, that “sanctions” are not being put in place as sanctions, but merely as groundwork in preparing the people “back home” for an attack, or perhaps even as a provocation which might generate an “excuse” to attack.

    And yes, By bringing in a strong Chinese or Indian interest into Iran, the Coalition would have to think long and seriously about how much they wanted to risk by making an attack which would have ever increasing harmonics far beyond Iranian borders.

    The man has strategic vision.


  6. Rehmat on the 01. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    The truth of the matter is the US and Britain along with the Zionist entity had been running an open and covert campaign against Tehran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. All three countries had very cozy relations with the Shah’s regime. In fact the CIA and Mossad trained Shah’s secret service SAVAK and its last chief was an Israel military officer. Victor Tchenguiz (owner of Iceland’s bankrupted Kaupthing bank), a Jew was Shah of Iran’s confident and head of country’s mint. The existing 5 MWe Iranian nuclear research reactor (TNRC) was sold to Tehran by the US in 1965.

    The USrael past record show that even if the Islamic regime accept their demands to stop its support for Hamas, Hizbullah and even recognize Zionist regime to exist on Arab land – the western ZOGs will never allow Islamic Republic to gain nuclear technology as they have done to their closet Muslim ally Turkey. Turkey has been trying to build a nuclear power-generating plant since 1965 but all its deals with the US, Canada and some European countries were cancel under the Jewish lobby pressure. For example, in 1980 Turkey signed a deal to buy one CANDU unit from AECL (Canada), which arose such a fuss by the pro-Israel lobby groups that Ottawa had to step-in to cancel the deal. Tehran has no other alternative but to follow the foot-step of Israel-India-Pakistan-N. Korea and aquire a nuclear bomb via a secret nuclear program…..

    West’s fear of Iran’s nuclear program


  7. Egoigwe on the 02. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    I do think Alan Sabrosky missed the most important aspect of sanctions on any country. Indeed, it may be to prepare the homeland for war (not that I can see how it does a better job of it than the repeat-the-big-lie-over-and-over propaganda and fear mongering).

    I also fail to see how sanctions provide a cover for the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. I would have thought that it’d be war proper that’d provide that cover excellently. With people and television focused on spellbinding images and visions of war in Iran, people would most certainly miss the little picture in Gaza.

    But I digress, the main function of sanctions in modern warfare is to degrade the intended target and by so doing weaken it before the onslaught of war. It’s done to ‘starve’ the target of means and logistics before the ‘hit’.

    Looking at the list of items targeted for sanctions, one finds that they are generally materials that allow for the fruitful prosecution of any war. Fuel, spare parts, funds and cash, communication devices and protocols etc. Not to mention arms and munitions. That is the goal of placing sanctions on any country when war is imminent.

  8. Michael J Volz on the 03. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Thank You Dr Sabrosky,

    Your courage, honesty, loyalty, patriotism, wisdom and clarity in thought gives one reason to hope in this insane world.

    Please keep up your good work.

    This is the most important document written regarding and summarizing the insane folly going on at this present moment when the USA should be focusing on our economic situation rather than a devious conspiracy in plain sight which will make things worse on all fronts.


  9. Edward Rynearson on the 03. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    March 30, 2010

    Kevin Barrett interviews Alan Sabrosky whose forceful and unequivocal statement that the Israeli Mossad did 9/11 sent shock waves through the 9/11 truth movement. Some have cheered his forthright honesty and heartfelt sincerity. Others are afraid of the PR blowback. A few have attacked Sabrosky, calling him a provocateur or even an anti-Semite, which seems odd since Sabrosky is part Jewish and obviously concerned for the welfare of Jewish Americans in the coming post-9/11-truth world.


  10. Earlaiman on the 05. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    OK, so it is not the sanctions which have any real effect, and therefor no purpose, but the perceived need of sanctions which in the minds of the great unwashed and ignorant public, can easily be translated into justifications for cause of war, which not only works, but seem to work very well every time.

    History has long provided evidence that “sanctions” as such are ineffective. au contraire, like import duties on essential commodities they merely open up another illicit and much more profitable industry, smuggling and illicit trade with the country supposedly under “sanctions.”

    Sheesh, this shit goes on time and again, and still the sheep bleat and follow.

    Earlaiman said all of that.

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