July 9, 2008, - 9:43 am
Let Their Breasts Sag: “Axis of Evil” is Huge Trading Partner of Evil–Under Bush, U.S. Exports to IRAN Swelled 1800%!! Included Arms and Bras
By Debbie Schlussel
And to think I was upset that the Bush Administration was allowing Coke and Pepsi to export their goods to Iran. It’s far worse than that. It turns out that the Bush Administration is even more hypocritical than even we knew–reversing a Clinton Administration stranglehold on Iran in trade.
In 2001 we exported only $8.3 million worth in goods to Iran. Last year it was $146 million. And, as with the Coke and the Pepsi, it wasn’t just the “bare necessities” that the Bushies allowed to go to prop up this Crown Jewel in the Axis of Evil. It should be noted that one of those Bushies was Julie L. Myers a/k/a The ICE Princess, who was in charge of enforcing export and boycott laws in one of her many 11-month jobs she did so poorly:
There are plenty of items on Iran’s shopping list the United States is more than happy to supply: cigarettes, brassieres, bull semen and more.
U.S. exports to Iran grew more than tenfold during President Bush’s years in office even as he accused it of nuclear ambitions and sponsoring terrorists. America sent more cigarettes to Iran – at least $158 million worth under Bush – than any other product.
Other surprising shipments during the Bush administration: fur clothing, sculptures, perfume, musical instruments and military apparel. Top states shipping goods to Iran include California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of seven years of U.S. government trade data. . . .
“I understand that these exports have increased. However, we believe that they are increasing to a segment of the population that we want to reach out to, we want to know and understand that the U.S. government, the U.S. people want to be friends with them, want to work with them to integrate them into the world economy and become partners in the future,” Gonzalo Gallegos, a State Department spokesman, said Tuesday when asked by reporters about AP’s findings.
The government tracks exports to Iran using details from shipping records, but in some cases it’s unclear whether anyone pays attention.
Sanctions are intended in part to frustrate Iran’s efforts to build its military, but the U.S. government’s own figures showed at least $148,000 worth of unspecified weapons and other military gear were exported from the United States to Iran during Bush’s time in office. That included $106,635 in military rifles and $8,760 in rifle parts and accessories shipped in 2004. . . .
Iran received at least $620,000 in aircraft parts and $19,600 worth of aircraft during Bush’s terms. Iran relies on spare parts from other countries to keep its commercial and military aircraft flying. In some cases, U.S. sanctions allow shipments of aircraft parts for safety upgrades for Iran’s commercial passenger jets. . . .
The U.S. government seems uncoordinated on efforts to limit trade with Iran.
The Securities and Exchange Commission sought to shine a light on companies active in Iran but stopped after business groups complained. The Treasury Department allowed some companies and individuals suspected of illegal trading with Iran to escape punishment. . . .
The United States sent Iran $546 million in goods from 2001 through last year, government figures show. It exported roughly $146 million worth last year, compared with $8.3 million in 2001, Bush’s first year in office. Even adjusted for inflation, that is more than a tenfold increase. . . .
Top U.S. exports to Iran over Bush’s years in office include corn, $68 million; chemical wood pulp, soda or sulfate, $64 million; soybeans, $43 million; medical equipment, $27 million; vitamins, $18 million; bull semen, $12.6 million; and vegetable seeds, $12 million, according to the AP’s analysis of government trade data compiled by the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research in Holyoke, Mass. The value of cigarettes sold to Iran was more than twice that of the No. 2 category on the export list, vaccines, serums and blood products, $73 million. . . .
Also getting Bush administration approval for export to Iran were at least $101,000 worth of bras; $175,000 in sculptures; nearly $96,000 worth of cosmetics; $8,900 in perfume; $30,000 in musical instruments and parts; $21,000 in golf carts and/or snowmobiles; $4,000 worth of movie film; and $3,300 in fur clothing.
Few people or companies asking U.S. permission to trade with Iran are turned down by the Treasury Department, the lead agency for licensing exports to sanctioned countries. During Bush’s terms, the office has received at least 4,523 license applications for Iran exports, issued at least 2,821 licenses and 213 license amendments and denied at least 178, Treasury Department data shows.
Neither the Treasury data nor trade data compiled by the Census Bureau identifies exporters or specifies what they shipped. The AP requested those details under the Freedom of Information Act in 2005 and still is waiting for the Treasury Department to provide them.
Though some trade with Iran is legal, some businesses prefer that people not know about it.
Citing corporate financial reports, the SEC published a list online last year of companies that said they had done business in Iran or four other countries the State Department considers state sponsors of terrorism. The SEC withdrew the list after business groups complained, but it is considering releasing one again. . . .
Business groups oppose publishing such lists. It “could inappropriately label companies with legitimate activities as supporters of terrorism,” the European Association of Listed Companies told the commission earlier this year. [DS: Uh-huh.]
An AP photographer strolling through shops in Tehran had no problem finding American brands on the shelves. An AP review of corporate SEC filings found dozens of companies that have done business in Iran in recent years or said their products or services may have made it there through other channels. Some are household names: PepsiCo, Tyson Foods, Canon, BP Amoco, Exxon Mobil, GE Healthcare, the Wells Fargo financial services company, Visa, Mastercard and the Cadbury Schweppes candy and beverage maker. . . .
The Bush administration’s record enforcing export laws is mixed. The Office of Foreign Assets Control let the statute of limitations expire in at least 25 cases involving trade with Iran from 2002 to 2005, according to one internal department audit. The companies involved, disclosed to the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, include Acterna Corp., American Export Lines, Parvizian Masterpieces, Protrade International Corp., Rex of New York, Shinhan Bank, Phoenix Biomedical Corp., World Cargo Alliance and World Fuel Services.
My view is that the real evil is in those–ie., the Bush Administration–who prop up the evil. I don’t only blame those who are evil for being evil. I blame us for enabling them and their evilness.
It’s incredible: The Clinton Administration was choking Iran, and the Bush Administration propped them up beyond belief. Heckuva Job! I hate to say this, but overall, the Clintonistas in their 8 years were far tougher on terrorists than the Bushies in their 7.5 years thus far.
And I love the Bushies, saying that these exports are going to a “segment of the population that we want to reach.” Hello . . .? Do they really think that only revolutionaries and not Islamist hardliners smoke cigarettes? Do they think Ahmadinejad’s allies in the farming community would never try bull semen to breed their animals, that Mahmoud’s wife doesn’t wear a bra or cosmetics? Did they hear that Bin Laden uses cellphones and a modern toilet? That Mrs. Assad wears cosmetics and a bra? Modern exports go to terrorists, too. And they enable the terrorists–ie., Ahmadinejad–who are in power.
Are bras really a humanitarian cause? What is the “suffering” if Iranian women go braless and sag? Maybe that means their husbands will have less sex with them, ergo less future Iranian males for their military. Regardless, the bras aren’t even made in America. So, who is this helping?
Gee, while we sent them bras and cigarettes and bull semen, they voted madman Ahmadinejad into office. So our exports don’t seem to have achieved the Bushie’s goal.
From the Clinton Administration slogan of “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” we’ve now arrived at the Bush Administration slogan of, “Stupid is As Stupid Does.” Only now, we’ve come to find out that the same people correctly calling out Iran as a point in the Axis of Evil are the Stupid ones propping it up.
Oh, and this is yet another reason why no American–Jew or otherwise–should be supporting AIPAC, which opposes and has crushed all bills that strengthen an embargo on Iran.