For decades the United States government has been utilizing sanctions against nations that it doesn’t like. We’re told that sanctions are a humane alternative to war. The thinking goes that the lives of the people of the target nation will be made so miserable that they will rise up and overthrow their government.
First it must be pointed out that sanctions are an attack against the people of a nation, not the government. It must also be pointed out that sanctions assume the population of a nation or complete fucking idiots.
I believe the first point doesn’t receive enough acknowledgement. Sanctions prohibit the people of a nation from accessing goods and services. These goods and services can range from medical and sanitation supplies to banking services. Prohibiting access to medical and sanitation supplies results in a predictable outcome. But even prohibiting access to foreign banking services has a major toll. Notable funds kept outside of a target nation often aren’t taxed by that nation. When sanctions are placed on banking services that forces people of a target nation to keep their money inside of the country and that allows the target government to collect taxes and further enrich itself.
Sanctions also assume that the people of a target nation are idiots. Imagine you’re living in a small nation that has recently had sanctions placed on it that prohibit the importation of medical supplies. Your child becomes severely ill and dies because you cannot access the medical supplies necessary to cure them. Are you more likely to be pissed off at your government or the foreign government that prevented you from accessing the medical supplies your child needed? If you’re capable of any critical thinking whatsoever your anger will be directed at the foreign nation. And therein lies the problem with sanctions, they tend to further strengthen the target nation’s government because it gives them an enemy to point at and blame all of their nation’s problems on.
So one is left to wonder why governments use nations. I think the real reason they do is because the politicians of those countries have a psychopathic need to attack people of a target nation for being foreigners. This day and age it’s not acceptable to firebomb a city because it causes civilian casualties. Therefore other tools must be used to attack those civilians and sanctions are that generally accepted tools. This is something we should all consider whenever we hear about the United States government issuing new sanctions against countries it doesn’t like. When it does that it’s not attacking the government it doesn’t like but the people being stomped by that government’s boot. It’s cowardly to say the least.