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Sanctions, Legality of war, Free trade

> It is commonly believed that sanctions are a humane alternative to

*This is a view also held by some political activists. Indeed, some
members of the UK Green Party were arguing for sanctions against Iraq in
1991, instead of bombing. It was even suggested that it might be possible
to divert the Euphrates as a form of 'green pressure' on Saddam. 

By the way, this is not meant to detract from the hard
work of Greens today in publicising the plight of Iraq.

> In addition, war is limited and regulated by international law, albeit
> imperfectly. 

*No, it's not. Who is regulating the war against Iraq?  

> There are two
>main options for bringing sanctions within the rule of > international
>law.  Business interests favor the international law of free trade

*Not invariably. A number of commentators have pointed out that the
restriction on Iraqi oil exports has been useful to Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait, and that US businessmen are keen to prevent a further drop in oil
prices. Businessmen tend to favour free trade only if they are in a
position to take advantage of it, and if they will not suffer competition
from cheap imports.

> It is proper to distinguish between sanctions against South Africa or
> Haiti, which enjoyed strong internal popular support in both countries
> as a tool against repressive regimes...

*I wonder. S African sanctions were minimal;  would the ANC have been so
keen on them if they had actually started to bite? London ANC, at least,
were actually quite ambivalent about cultural sanctions.  Other sections
of the S African resistance were against sanctions entirely, instead
demanding foreign investment as a form of compensation for collusion in

Jeff Vernon

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