WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will sanction more Iranian companies if it receives hard evidence of wrongdoing, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Wednesday.
"When we can go and show people that we have got hard evidence it is a lot easier to get the kind of support we're getting from around the world, which I think is isolating Iran from the global financial system, Paulson told the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.
You've gotta love the grammar used in justifying an increase in sanctions against Iran, with whom we have consistently refused to talk and of whose nuclear-weapons development there is a total absence of evidence from technology or human intelligence.
The Treasury Secretary says the US will impose still more sanctions "if" it receives hard evidence of wrongdoing. That's a conditional.
"When" we can go and show people that we have got hard evidence (the future) it "is" a lot easier to get the kind of support "we're getting" from around the world (the present).
We have to admire the way any politician dances from the future conditional to the present without making a mis-step. Paulson, like so many others in this administration, is the Fred Astaire of rhetoric.
He's not alone. Here's a potential pol referring to the 1986 amnesty program that Reagan signed into law. "Twelve million illegal immigrants later, we are now living in a nation that is beset by people who are suicidal maniacs and want to kill countless innocent men, women, and children around the world."
As George F. Will observed (Newsweek 6/18), "Kids, do not try to deconstruct that thought at home: this is a task for professionals. Thompson seemed to be saying that the suicidal maniacs besetting us are among us -- and among the 12 million. And that although the maniacs are here, they want to kill innocents elsewhere ('around the world') too....That opaque thought he voiced about immigration looks suspiciously symptomatic of a mind undisciplined by steady engagement with complexities."
The "Thompson" referred to is Fred Dalton Thompson, a leading non-contender who knows nothing about foreign affairs and whose chief appeal is that he looks like he means business -- and sounds like it, too, if you don't pay close attention.