The Insanity of Broad Sanctions
The collective punishment that broad sanctions inflict is never unintended.
Josh Rogin defends our government’s indefensible Syria sanctions:
It’s true that sanctions can have unintended consequences for civilians, which is why the legislation carves out exceptions for genuine humanitarian aid. Critics will also argue that sanctions on Assad haven’t worked so far. But that’s only because the Caesar Act has never been properly used.
The consequences that broad sanctions have for civilians aren’t unintended, and humanitarian carveouts do very little to alleviate the hardship that sanctions create. The carveouts are a band-aid that cannot possibly staunch the bleeding caused by the massive trauma of broad sanctions. Sanctionists hide behind these exemptions so that they can pretend that their preferred policy is much more humane than it is. It isn’t possible for them to justify a policy that starves and impoverishes innocent people, so they distract from the real costs of the policy by boasting that at least some aid is allowed to get through.