More and more, Americans are questioning the wisdom and effectiveness of U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq and Cuba. In Iraq, the sanctions have done nothing to reduce Saddam Hussein's power, but they're devastating the Iraqi people. And the rationale for continuing the half-century-old sanctions against Cuba now seems to escape even die-hard conservatives.
As presently structured, are our Iraqi sanctions effective? It's been 12 years and the sanctions have done little to coerce appropriate behavior. They aren't working. Why continue them?
What changes should be made? We need to explore more effective alternatives, whether that be diplomatic, military or covert, but we can't ignore a country whose stated policy is antithetical to us.
Should we invade Iraq? That would be hard to justify unless they take direct action against us. It should be an action of the last resort.
Because the U.S. withholds chlorine from Iraq, drinking water is making huge numbers of Iraqi people sick. Is that morally justifiable? Chlorine is a dual-use substance. It's used not only to treat water, but to make poison gas. So what do we do when we're faced with a regime that shows itself willing to use poison gas on its own people?
Should we end sanctions against Cuba? Cuba is no longer a credible threat to the U.S. I see no justification for sanctions.
Should our sanctions against Iraq be rethought? Sanctions haven't hurt the government whatsoever. The rich continue to be rich and the poor are progressively worse off. Punishing the people struggling to survive from day to day isn't the route to go.
Do you support President Bush's call for an invasion of Iraq? It would inflame the whole Middle East. There's gotta be better alternatives.
Should U.S. policy be more sensitive to Middle Eastern needs and realities? There's going to have to be more of an acceptance level. A lot of Middle Easterners are pissed off because we're forcing our ideals on them.
Should our embargo against Cuba continue? Cuba is no longer a physical threat to the U.S. We're punishing them solely for their ideology.
What's your view on our embargo against Iraq? It should stay in place. It's unfortunate that the rest of society suffers because of the leadership there, but we shouldn't do anything whatsoever to benefit that country -- including easing sanctions.
Should chlorine continue to be part of the embargo? We should find a way to provide chlorine but keep it out of the hands of the people who'd utilize it for terror.
Should we invade Iraq? We should have taken care of Hussein back in Desert Storm. We stopped too soon. I'd favor an invasion if it removed the leadership.