Sanctions Work…If You’re Punishing the Poor

In his article for the Daily Times, Brian Cloughley argues that the sanctions the US uses to try to put an end to nuclear ambitions of “rogue” nations succeeds only in punishing the already destitute civilian population of the targeted country. Meanwhile, the leaders of those countries continue to ride high with lifestyles MTV Cribs should consider for their next episode:

[Sanctions] penalise the poor, and not their leaders. One only has to look at the appalling situation in Zimbabwe, where President Mugabe, a corrupt and brutal dictator, is disgustingly rich (as are his evil henchmen), while the majority of citizens are starving.

Cloughley also argues that the US is extremely fickle in its implementation of sanctions. While Madeleine Albright says the benefits received from US sanctions  are worth the deaths of half a million Iraqi children, Washington is quick to remove them when they are in need of help from our not-so-fortunate Middle Eastern “allies.” Cloughley uses the US’s on-again-off-again sanction policy toward Pakistan to illustrate this concept: When Pakistan’s assistance is needed in US foreign policy blunders, sanctions are conveniently lifted. However, when Pakistan’s usefulness has run out, sanctions are quickly reapplied.

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