The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Peering through the mist of time.

Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby spot » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:00 am

Brian wrote:I can't speak intelligently about Burma, but in the case of North Korea, I think you're reversing the causality. The sanctions are in place as a result of the regime's behavior, not the other way around.
I'm quite sure it works both ways. Foreign governments impose sanctions in an attempt to change a government's behavior, sanctioned governments become more extreme in reaction and less liable to change, it's a viscous loop. The alternative to sanctions is to stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the only people crippled by such penalties are the population at large (as in Zimbabwe or pre-liberation Iraq, for example).

Quite simply, what props up these countries is the perception of external enemies. Sanctions provide their populations with ideal evidence that these foreign enemies exist. For as long as a government is "defending the nation" from such foreign "aggression" there's no way in which an internal coup can be constructed by disaffected elements, because such disaffection would be treasonous. It's what kept Saddam and Mugabe and the Ayatollahs and Kim Ils firmly in power for decades, the reality of external opposition knitting their countries sufficiently that internal pressure for change could be portrayed as unpatriotic.
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:51 am

spot wrote:
Brian wrote:I can't speak intelligently about Burma, but in the case of North Korea, I think you're reversing the causality. The sanctions are in place as a result of the regime's behavior, not the other way around.


I'm quite sure it works both ways. Foreign governments impose sanctions in an attempt to change a government's behavior, sanctioned governments become more extreme in reaction and less liable to change, it's a viscous loop. The alternative to sanctions is to stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the only people crippled by such penalties are the population at large (as in Zimbabwe or pre-liberation Iraq, for example).


It might be a vicious cycle, but the cycle is started by the regime's behavior.

Now, granted, sanctions can be put in place for different reasons, but sometimes, sanctions are the moral thing to do in response to a regime that's abusing its people. And there are sanctions you can put in place (like sales of arms, etc.) that should have no effect on the civilian population.

spot wrote:Quite simply, what props up these countries is the perception of external enemies. Sanctions provide their populations with ideal evidence that these foreign enemies exist. For as long as a government is "defending the nation" from such foreign "aggression" there's no way in which an internal coup can be constructed by disaffected elements, because such disaffection would be treasonous. It's what kept Saddam and Mugabe and the Ayatollahs and Kim Ils firmly in power for decades, the reality of external opposition knitting their countries sufficiently that internal pressure for change could be portrayed as unpatriotic.


The problem isn't opposition. It's gutless, ineffective opposition. Case in point: When the Kurds rose up against Saddam, the U.S., under Bush Sr., he didn't lift a finger to help them. Bad move -- especially when we already had the no-fly zones in place to assert ourselves.
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby spot » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:54 am

Brian wrote:It might be a vicious cycle, but the cycle is started by the regime's behavior.

Now, granted, sanctions can be put in place for different reasons, but sometimes, sanctions are the moral thing to do in response to a regime that's abusing its people. And there are sanctions you can put in place (like sales of arms, etc.) that should have no effect on the civilian population.

I can see a thread about Israel coming out of that comment.
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:18 am

spot wrote:
Brian wrote:It might be a vicious cycle, but the cycle is started by the regime's behavior.

Now, granted, sanctions can be put in place for different reasons, but sometimes, sanctions are the moral thing to do in response to a regime that's abusing its people. And there are sanctions you can put in place (like sales of arms, etc.) that should have no effect on the civilian population.


I can see a thread about Israel coming out of that comment.


Quite possibly.
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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