Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thanks for the Sanctions

This article from Slate outlines how economic sanctions strengthen dictatorships and suggests using constructive economic engagement instead. I agree with this article but would add that "constructive" economic engagement should involve something of a carrot-and-stick program and not mean a completely free market when dealing with dictators, slave labor, deplorable working conditions, etc. Isolation is not a good strategy, but we need to have a distinction between friendly countries and those we disapprove of.

In the meantime, it's supposedly news that the White House is "surprised" by Fidel Castro's illness. We scour Afghanistan for five years without finding Osama bin Laden and yet we're supposed to be able to predict when the Cuban president is going to be sick? Why would know this, unless his personal physician is on the CIA payroll?

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