Ok, I've finally figured out this whole smart link issue and, I believe, worked it out to the best of my ability. So I've now got the use of shorter links which will enable my users anywhere in the world to check out my book listings on Amazon at their country's proper Amazon storefront.
The issue which violates Amazon's Terms and Conditions I can simplify in this way. It is okay if you post on a website "click here to purchase on Amazon" and then use your third party smart or short link. What violates a person's agreement with Amazon is by posting "click here to view my Facebook page/blog/website" and instead of a link sending them to your page/blog/site, you instead use your smart link to direct them to Amazon. In other words, Amazon wants the customer to know when they click the link that they're going to Amazon, not get tricked into viewing their site.
So, I feel that I've finally got an understanding of how this works, and I'm hoping the information I've dug up can help others out there!