Our government here in the U.S. absolutely LOVES to implement economic sanctions on “rogue” nations. They enjoy doing it because they can make the optics work out in their favor. Economic sanctions can be framed as being meant to push a nation to follow “democratic” ideals. The truth is, these sanctions are war crimes. And these war crimes, time and time again, have been proven not to hurt any despotic leaders, but only to hurt the already struggling average people of the target nation.
What’s currently happening in North Korea is a testament to who is REALLY victimized by U.S. economic sanctions. North Korean fishermen risk their lives going far out to sea in the middle of winter in desperate search of king crab, squid and sandfish. Record numbers of these fishermen have been dying of exposure and starvation for their efforts.The deceased fishermen’s “ghost ships
,” as they’re called, wash up on the shores of Japan. What Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had to say about this awful phenomenon in relation to the current U.S. sanctions against North Korea is quite telling: “[The fishermen] are being sent out in the wintertime to fish because there are food shortages. And they are being sent out to fish with inadequate fuel to get back. So we are getting a lot of evidence that these sanctions are really starting to hurt
.” Tillerson is actually PROUD that our sanctions are leading to the death of innocent people, while having no proven effect of weakening the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.
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North Korea is not alone. The U.S. also has sanctions against Venezuela, Iran, and other countries. And although all of Venezuela’s economic and political woes can’t be blamed on the U.S., these sanctions are exacerbating the struggles of a country that is already in turmoil. Furthermore, the fact that the U.S. is punishing Venezuela, while supporting Honduras, even though both countries have had similar democratic election integrity issues, shows our complete hypocrisy
The truth is, at this point, we should know better. The history of U.S.-led UN sanctions in Iraq sheds all the light one needs on how these brutal schemes play out. The sanctions crush and repress the people and allow the leaders to maintain an even tighter stranglehold on power because the people are so weakened. That’s why sanctions on Iraq from 1990 – 2003 did nothing to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The “Oil For Food
” sanctions program, though, did have the effect of killing over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5. If that’s not a war crime, what is?
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