US exports to Iran increased 10 fold

It always fascinates me to see just where political rhetoric meets corporate reality.

According to figures put out by the Associated Press, our exports to Iran have increased:

from 2001 to 2007 totalled $546m (£273m). It exported roughly $146m of goods last year, compared with $8.3m in 2001, Bush’s first year in office.

Our sanctions from the hostage crisis 30 years ago are still in place. How could exports have jumped so sharply with those in place? More frightening yet, it appears that some of those exports are military in nature. This suggests that we are helping to arm a country we are currently decrying as a “military threat” and an arm of the dreaded Axis of Eeeeevul ™.

Here’s my issue. The American populace is so intent on its flag waving, we don’t really pay attention to the fact that our money is going to things that, in this example, we are supposed to be working against. Oh, we notice the federal funds going to help flood victims or Medicare or schools or “abortion clinics,” but what of our exports? What about the money sent to other countries for aid? Do you know which countries those are? How about military aid?

As vocal as I am about transparent government, I place just as much responsibility on the shoulders of an apathetic populace. We pay more attention to the voting on American Idol than we do the votes that take place in our federal legislature. We should know where our exports are going, and if they’re going to a country against which we’ve imposed sanctions, then that should be stopped, capitalism be damned. I have had it with commerce without conscience.