Friday, May 23, 2008

Anti-sanctions opportunism in full force

Cyclone Nargis has been cynically seized upon by the anti-sanctions crowd as an opportunity to trot out their tired apologetics for the SPDC. A particularly inane example is the following from Michael Backman (self-described 'internationally-renowned author'!) in The Age (Melbourne) on 21st May:

We have approached The Age with a response - at this stage we are still waiting to see if they will publish.

Meanwhile, our response is here:

1 comment:

Escape said...

First of all, I don't think Backman is arguing that economic sanctions caused Nargis. But it is an undeniable truth that it was hard for a lot of aid agencies to operate when money transfer was an issue.

On your three main points, I have no problem accepting the first one. But the other two are debatable. Informal sector blocks capital formation (refer to Hernando De Soto). And average citizen still suffers from sanctions.

External investment will not transform the nature of the regime but it will help form a middle class, which is essential in democratization process.

Lastly, I think sanctions are like communism. In an ideal world, they should work. But when China, Russia, ASEAN and India exist, where are sanctions ever going to bring the effects they are supposed to cause?