I caught this story over at Anonymiss. She asked the simple question, "Why are we doing business with those we want to 'obliterate?'"
According to the Daily News, U.S. exports to Iran have grown tenfold during the Bush years.
U.S. exports to Iran- including brassieres, bull semen, cosmetics and possibly even weapons - grew more than tenfold during President Bush's years in office even as he accused Iran of nuclear ambitions and helping terrorists. America sent more cigarettes to Iran , at least $158 million worth under Bush, than any other products.
Bush considers Iran part of the "axis of evil" and Yes-Man Adam Szubin explains how sanctions against Iran the country aren't meant to hurt the people:
"Our sanctions are targeted against the regime, not the people," said Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces the sanctions. 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 show 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 includes $106,635 in military rifles and $8,760 in rifle parts and accessories shipped in 2004, the data shows.
Also shipped to Iran were at least $13,000 in "aircraft launching gear and/or deck arrestors," equipment needed to launch jets from aircraft carriers, according to U.S. records. Iran's navy is not believed to own or operate any carriers.
Those numbers may seem small, but military items can sell for pennies on the dollar compared with what the Pentagon paid...
When things look bad (like doing business with an enemy so the wealthiest 1% of the nation can get wealthier), the culprits trip over themselves trying to look blameless:
Szubin said it was unlikely exports of military gear occurred, but added that the government was looking into it to be certain after the AP raised questions. He said shipping records are subject to human error, such as citing wrong commodity codes or recording "Iran" as the destination rather than "Iraq." The Treasury Department said Monday it was still checking to see whether it could offer an explanation.
And if you think I'm unfairly picking on greedy profits as the motive, consider this gem:
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. Yet the Bush administration also has collected millions of dollars in fines from trade-rule violators and pressed Congress without success to pass laws to strengthen enforcement.
Feel free to read the rest for yourself.
As always, when searching for answers to life's most compelling questions... Follow. The. Money.