A SWIFT and sure way to punish Russia
Based on the title of this post, you might assume that I am about to propose cutting Russia out of the SWIFT system for facilitating money transfers through the banking system. Not so. Based on what I’ve read, it seems unlikely that Western powers have the stomach for sanctions severe enough to have big impact on Russia, as our voters would be upset.
So here’s another idea. How about punishing Russia by removing sanctions? Specifically, why not allow Iran back into the SWIFT network, and allow Iran to dramatically boost its oil exports. The goal would be to punish Russia by depressing global oil prices. It is bizarre that we ban Iran from the SWIFT network while allowing Russia to continue using the network. Iran’s government is certainly bad, but Russia’s is far worse.
Here’s a second proposal—restart the German nuclear power industry. Then sharply reduce German imports of Russian gas.
Neither of my proposals will be adopted. The sad truth is that the US and Europe simply don’t care very much about Ukraine. We should care, but we don’t. We’d like to help Ukraine. We wish them well. But . . .
PS. National Review has another good idea.