RT September 9 2013
The Arab spring has demonstrated that people are not craving democracy, they want to improve their lifestyles. And in that sense sanctions only alienate them from the US and its policies.
Overall the situation with sanctions being applied to any country by the US is driven by that country being perceived to have lost in the court of American public opinion. Therefore sanctions are applied to nations viewed as being pariahs, a view often manipulated by politicians, such as Joe Biden in the case of Serbia (where the Kosovo ‘war’ that resulted led to Al Qaeda training camps being established in Europe).
However on many levels sanctions simply do not work effectively. In an interconnected world where we have so much globalization it’s almost impossible for any single country, even a hyper power like the US, to be able to successfully stop trade and transactions happening with different countries from the nearly 200 in the world, many not even recognised by the UN. Leaders invariably get the products they want from a third party nation. Therefore the end result has only been to impoverish the ordinary citizens rather than really hitting the elite or ultimately endangering the power of the same elite.
Syria exemplifies the great power politics we’ve seen throughout history. Some countries are regarded as being allies or satellites of particular nations, while others are poorly regarded and often become pariah states. Indeed it’s very difficult sometimes to work out why in one case a particular country ends up being set on a sanctions regime. Frequently it is the degree of superpower comfort with the regime itself. The Shah of Iran was someone who the Americans saw as an ally, supporting them, giving them information. On the other hand the post revolution fundamentalist regime of Iran has clearly been in some degree of purdah pretty much all the time that they’ve been in power. Neither has treated Iranian citizens with equanimity.
Syrian army forces load a machine gun mounted at the back of a vehicle in the Syrian Christian town of Maalula on Septamber 7, 2013 (AFP Photo / Str)