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Apr-24-2012 05:21printcomments

Sanctions are Immoral and Inflict Mass Punishment on the Innocent

Who is evil, the country exporting medicine & doctors to relieve suffering, or the one who exports the weapons of war insuring death, suffering, and misery?

War machine

(Jamestown, RI) - For decades we have been told Cuba is a “bad” country and all the while the US government has imposed brutal sanctions on the people of Cuba. Why?

Our government does not like the leader of their government, so for 50 years the strategy of our government has been to punish the Cuban people. Again why?

Cuba we are told, is a dictatorship, and so the Cuban people are powerless to do anything about the government that we do not like.

Where is the logic in starving the people of Cuba for being burdened with a dictator that we do not like? The sanctions have been severe and have taken a toll on Cubans for the past 50 years.

If sanctions have been imposed for 50 years, it should be pretty obvious they have not accomplished whatever was intended, so why continue to starve and punish innocent Cubans?

Because of the hardships imposed on innocents the entire western hemisphere has literally begged the US to lift the sanctions, but as in many cases, the US government has ignored world opinion and continues to impose the devastating sanctions on innocent people.

The degree of difficulty caused by the US sanctions can be seen in their dwindling population. The population of Cuba has gone from 12 million to 10.2 million because of the effects of punishing sanctions and the fleeing of Cubans from their country to escape those sanctions. Does the policy of starving innocent people reflect the wishes of the American people?

Even though sanctions do not work and needlessly punish civilians, they have been, and remain a favorite tool of the US government. The US imposed brutal sanctions on the people of Iraq because the US government did not like the dictator of Iraq.

After 10 years of savage sanctions, resulting in death for more than one million innocent people, Madam Albright, the Secretary of State was asked by Lesley Stahl in the infamous 60 Minutes interview if she thought the deaths of over 600,000 innocent Iraqi children was worth maintaining sanctions on the people of Iraq. Ms Albright casually replied she thought it was worth the deaths of over 600,000 children, and the world cringed.

Again the world appealed to the US government to remove these sanctions for they were not harming the dictator, but resulting in massive civilian deaths, and again the US defied the world and insisted the sanctions be maintained.

If you are unsuccessful at first, why not be unsuccessful again? Currently the US is imposing a brutal set of sanctions on Iran which is causing incredible suffering, pain, and the death of innocent civilians, to placate the need of the phobic right wing of the Israeli government for war, and to allow Congress to appease AIPAC.

The US threatens Iran almost daily, claiming all options are on the table, including the nuclear option. How the worm turns. For many years the US government supported the repressive dictator of Iran, known as the Shah. He overthrew a democratically elected leader of Iran with the invaluable help of the CIA, and his dictatorship survived until the people rose in rebellion against their dictator and ours, and overthrew him in 1979.

Interestingly, during the reign of the Shah, it was the US government who insisted that Iran turn to nuclear power, and it was US companies like General Electric who sold Iran 6 billion dollars of nuclear technology, all of which was approved and supported by the US government.

Now, years later we are threatening to nuke Iran for having an alleged nuclear weapons program, after having forced them to go nuclear years ago. It should also be noted the US Intelligence Community, as well as the Israeli intelligence, and the International Atomic Energy Association, have all concluded Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program, but let the facts be dammed.

It is much more important that US politicians in the Congress placate Israel’s need for war, than to pay any attention to the facts.

In conclusion a number of questions should be asked.

Does it make sense to punish the people of Cuba, Iraq, and Iran, because the US government does not like their government, thereby causing millions of deaths of innocent civilians who have no control over their government?

Does it make sense to make war or nuke a country, when there is not a shred of evidence that they have a nuclear weapons program?

And finally to Cuba, the country you have always been told is evil. Cuba’s main export is medicine, with some of the best health care in the world. Its advances in medicine are world renown, sending thousands of doctors and medicine around the world bringing relief to suffering people.

The main export of the US, on the other hand, are military weapons of death. The US is the leading exporter of arms to the rest of the world, insuring deaths of untold millions and has often resorted to arming both sides in a war, insuring mass death and slaughter.

Who is evil, the country who exports medicine and doctors to relieve suffering, or the nation who exports the weapons of war insuring death, suffering, and misery?

_________________________________ Writer Joe Clifford, lives in historic Jamestown, Rhode Island, and has contributed a number of articles relating to foreign policy to newspapers in the Rhode Island area for years.

He graduated from Providence College where he earned an undergraduate and graduate degree. After a lengthy career as a high school teacher he turned to the study of US foreign policy, and then to writing, as a means of expressing an alternative perspective. His reading and research on foreign policy is broad and extensive, especially as the policy relates to the Middle East. His interest in foreign policy was inspired by the American misadventure in Vietnam. You can write to Joe at this address:



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