All Those Amazing Sanctions

The US is the master of issuing sanctions against our ‘enemies’…..we have them in place on Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and god knows how many others.

Sanctions are nothing more than a feel good measure to make it appears that we are doing something when in reality it is mostly a waste of time and energy.

I have written many times about the uselessness of sanctions and all that goes with them.

Is Sanctions The Answer?

And now some others have seen just how flipping useless these actions are…..

The definition of insanity, it is often said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yet that is exactly what U.S. and other Western policymakers have done in imposing broad economic sanctions against adversarial and otherwise problematic regimes.

The results have generally not been positive. Instead of persuading authoritarian and aggressive leaders to change their ways, broad sanctions have reinforced anti-democratic tendencies and incentivized nuclear and other proliferation. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens of these countries suffer in terms of declining standards of living and increased government repression, while a shrinking elite prospers from control over limited resources.

We have seen this movie over and over in places as distant and distinct as Venezuela and Iran, Cuba, Syria, and North Korea.

The latter country is a particularly depressing poster child for sanctions. Since it began developing and testing nuclear weapons — after the George W. Bush administration withdrew from a non-proliferation deal known as the Agreed Framework in 2002 — North Korea has been hit with wave after wave of sanctions and has become increasingly isolated. While there is no mass starvation of the sort that killed as many as two million people in the 1990s, there is serious food insecurity with many North Koreans eating only one meal a day, according to well-informed sources.

Using COVID-19 as an excuse, the government of Kim Jong-un has refused access to international aid agencies such as the World Food Program and made it more difficult for North Koreans to learn about the outside world or to escape as refugees. The China-North Korea border, which was once relatively porous, is now hermetically sealed, with, informed sources say, 169 watchtowers and two barbed-wire perimeters preventing North Koreans from reaching and crossing the Yalu River and eventually making their way to South Korea via third countries.

When will the US learn that sanctions don’t solve its problems?

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4 thoughts on “All Those Amazing Sanctions

  1. In my experience, sanctions are used an an excuse to increase prices in the countries applying the sanctions. Then they blame the sanctions for increasing those prices. It’s a marketing tool of western capitalism, pure and simple.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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