Published on January 6, 2010
Quote: “Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.
The following definitions are provided by the Macmillian Dictionary:
Sanction – In international law, it is an action instituted to pressure another state to force it to comply with legal obligations.
Ought – To be bound by a promise or duty or by values of right and wrong
Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives, seeing as they are unjust and immoral.
My core value is justice, because without some form of justice a coherent community of humans could never exist.
My criterion is the protection of the innocent.
I will use the following contentions:
Economic sanctions punish the innocent. Economic sanctions are cruel and inhumaneIf we look to the definitions I provided, then we can see the clear distinction of this debate being centered on morality. The practicality of economic sanctions cannot be taken into account, thus any discussion of alternatives to economic sanctions would be veering outside the boundaries of this debate.
Economic sanctions punish the innocent.
Quote: “When I went to Iraq, I broke the law. The United States doesn't want American citizens going there. And for good reason. Our government doesn't want us to see the devastation our policy has caused.
Our policy of sanctions against Iraq already has claimed the lives of more than 1 million Iraqis -mostly children.
I visited hospitals in Baghdad and Basra. I met Iraqi women and children. They are sick and they are dying. They do not have enough food or medicine. They do not have hope.”
In this firsthand account by George Capaccio from the Baltimore Sun, we see the true nature of economic sanctions. It is not a peaceful tool that saves lives, but a weapon of mass destruction that is targeted directly at the innocent. It isn’t possible to justify the death of a single child for the sake of a corrupt leader’s insanity. What the corrupt believe morally right may not agree with what we find morally right, but we are bound by OUR duty, OUR values of right and wrong. By causing the death of an innocent, directly or indirectly, we deny that being justice; an act that shows our support of the injustice that persists throughout the world.
In the earlier quote by George, we get an idea of what sanctions are like, though it is natural to not really feel the impact of that statement. Humans are impartial to those who are near to them. So allow me to pull you a bit closer to the truth.
According to a report by The Washington Post, a recent UN envoy noted that almost 9 million people were suffering from food shortages in North Korea, a direct effect of the economic sanctions. Imagine every single person in the city of San Antonio starving. Now multiply that picture six times and you reach an image of how destructive sanctions actually are.
Economic sanctions are cruel and inhumane.
The United Nations established three millennium goals that we happen to be working against; “Ending poverty and hunger”, “Reducing child mortality”, and “Improving maternal health”. Economic sanctions destroy a country’s economy, thus increasing the number of impoverished citizens. Impoverished citizens lack the money for food and proper medical care, thus deteriorating their health and increasing the mortality rate. The negative might try to argue that economic sanctions are humane, but what is humane about a slow death after a life lived in poverty and hunger?
Economic sanctions are cruel, for they treat the innocent worse than we treat our prisoners of war.
Economic sanctions are cruel, for they deny justice to those who need it most.
Economic sanctions OUGHT not be used because they punish the innocent in a cruel and inhumane manner. For these reasons… we MUST affirm this resolution.
Economic sanctions punish the innocent.
Economic sanctions are cruel and inhumane
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