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What If We're Wrong About Sanctions?

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Published on Jan 31, 2013

http://www.niacouncil.org/sickofsanct...
Brought to you by the National Iranian American Council.

Based on and sourced in the article "Blunt Instruments" by Trita Parsi and Natasha Bahrami:
http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.1/tr...


"What if we're wrong about what we assume sanctions can accomplish?
What if sanctions were shown to almost never achieve the goals for which they are imposed?
What if sanctions, rather than being a peaceful alternative to war, actually decreased the chances of a diplomatic resolution and increased the likelihood of war?
What if sanctions almost never resulted in the compliance of the offending regime?
What if sanctions, rather than promoting human rights and freedom, actually resulted in more suffering and oppression for the people as the ruling regime resorted to increasingly violent measures to maintain its power?
What if sanctions plunged the oppressed people into poverty, and consolidated control of the economy into the hands of the oppressive regime?
What if sanctions disadvantaged politically weak groups while providing great advantage to the strongest groups who are most able to use their power to exploit sanctions for their own gain?
What if, under broad sanctions, most dictatorships became more repressive, more dictatorial, more dangerous, and their government more powerful -while their people became weaker?
What if nearly all successful transitions to democracy took place in the absence of broad sanctions?
What if an increase in sanctions meant a decrease in democracy?
What if sanctions hurt the people they're intended to help, and helped the people they're intended to hurt?

What if?
Would you still support sanctions?"

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