On the adoption of economic sanctions as a the means of interaction between States
18 June 2020
1. Effects of sanctions: between what is announced and what is happening
“Citizens in a State” refuses to adopt sanctions against any country as a means of interaction between states. Trade and financial sanctions on the state are only sanctions on its people. The claim that sanctions lead to the punishment of rulers, and the subjection of regimes, or the pitting of the population against its government is refuted by all facts in the world, and, in particular, refuted in our region after the repeated painful experiences it has endured, the latest of which is the US law named “Caesar’s Law.”
Regardless of the alleged nature of the systems that the sanctions claim to target, these sanctions will actually restrict the lives of the population, encourage smugglers and monopolists, push those who can to leave the country, and strengthen the legitimacy of the existing authorities since they are then placed in a defensive position against an outsider committing aggression against the country’s people.
In the end, society is distorted and its basic foundation — both human and moral – becomes severely affected for the long-term.
2. Sanctions, Violence, and Political Legitimacy
Quite often, just like other forms of violence, the goal of sanctions is quite different from the pretenses surrounding it. The evidence for this is numerous. States that impose sanctions often impose them on those that have supported their systems for long periods, and the best example of this is the United States of America in its dealings with Iraq and with Syria, which dispels all allegations of moral motives behind the sanctions. The purpose of the sanctions is often to force “allies” to follow their lead. The aim is not specifically to increase the pressure on the punished, but more so to tame the “allies” and subject them to gains unrelated to the target state, whose people are viewed as cheap tools by the US.
Trade and financial sanctions are a pernicious means, and they do not indicate the surplus of the power of the State that initiated it nor its superiority over the State that it punishes, because the automatic balance of power is hidden only from the idiots. Rather, it indicates the need for countries that initiate sanctions to corner “allies” and bulldoze them before bullying them, in order to cover up their declining capabilities and political legitimacy relative to new competitors, benefiting from the malice of the “allies” and their political confusion.
Commercial and financial sanctions are taking people and societies hostage to cover up political failure, whether by the initiator, or even, in many cases, by the leadership targeted by those sanctions.
3. What if Lebanon were a State?
Amidst the tragedies that have afflicted the Syrian society, after the tragedy afflicted the Iraqi society and the Libyan society, and which now presents clouds over the Lebanese society, and without forgetting the terrible injustice that has afflicted the Palestinian society, where does Lebanon stand?
Quite simply, the government of Lebanon does not exist. The Lebanese stand in the position of the recipient, and splinter on separate bets and bets, not because of anything except that they lack the tool that protects them, i.e. for a state that is confident of its legitimacy, a civil state.
The Lebanese state, when it is established, would recognize the importance of the stability of its surroundings and the impact of its conditions on its people, so it would with its surroundings understanding it to be the closest, most important foreign entities outside of its society’s interests. Thus, the State would recruit its energies first to crystallize political visions that contribute to strengthening its legitimacy at home, in parallel and in accordance with its presentation as a foreign policy that would facilitate the circumvention of the surrounding countries, or more precisely, the societies of the surrounding countries, of their political crises and their blocked prospects. Second, the State would negotiate with the sanctions-imposed countries and those in its tracks to obtain, with political, economic, and realistic human arguments, exceptions in its relations with the economy of the target country and its society. Isn’t that what Turkey did about sanctions against Iran? And Jordan about the sanctions on Iraq? And others. In Lebanon, the state is lacking, and the facade of this government is concerned with finding any means to survive despite its miserable failure.