Buchanan vows to lift sanctions against 'rogue' nations
December 16, 1999
Web posted at: 2:59 p.m. EST (1959 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan said
Thursday that the U.S. policy of imposing sanctions against so-called rogue nations is "unrighteous" and immoral," and that his first act as president would be to lift sanctions put in place by the Clinton Administration on nearly 65 countries.
"After seven years it's clear the Clinton Administration has yet to find the
right formula of dealing with rogue nations," Buchanan said. "Sanctions have
become the feel-good policy of the self-righteous."
Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Buchanan
said that not only do sanctions not work -- they have failed to
dislodge hostile regimes in Iran, Iraq, Libya or Serbia -- but they create new
"What do Arabs think of us when U.S. sanctions bring death to thousands
of Iraqi children every month?" he asked.
Over the protests of its NATO allies, the U.S. tends toward sanctions in
instances where military intervention may be warranted, he asserted. The
practice of imposing sanctions "may fairly be called America's weapon, a silent
weapon of mass destruction. They almost always prey on the weak, the sick, the
women and the young," Buchanan said.
Contrary to their intended affect, he said that sanctions often strengthen
the power of dictators and spawn black markets and gangster elites. "Isolation
has helped Milosevic and Saddam Hussein stoke paranoia," said Buchanan.
He said that instead, sanctions should only be used as a last resort when
other means to negotiate peace have been exhausted. They should be considered
an act of war and as such, should be imposed only on regimes that engage in
hostile acts against the U.S.
"Sanctions have become a way for the United States to vent its anger on the
cheap without risking the lives of the armed forces," Buchanan said.
Citing his foreign policy experience in the Nixon and Reagan administrations,
Buchanan said he realized that merely lifting sanctions would not resolve U.S.
conflict with so-called rogue nations, and wouldn't rule out ever imposing them himself if elected president. But he vowed to impose only economic sanctions -- placing tariffs on imports, denying export-import bank credits, and refusing landing rights to national airlines -- that would not result in starvation and death for innocent people.
"No one has deputized America to play Wyatt Earp against the world," he said.