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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Tell The Next Dick Cheney: Sanctions Can Work

To every generation a Slayer is born... (Sorry, thinking about 2002 led to a Buffy flashback.)

Every generation produces it's own Dick Cheney: not an actual devil worshiper, but a tireless advocate for senseless killing, nonetheless. One argument he will always use: you motivate other countries with carrots and sticks, the carrot is military aid and the stick is military assault. Either sell them bombs or bury them with bombs. Nothing else works.

As with all successful arguments in favor of evil actions, decent people find this plausible, especially when the "foe" is a highly stylized villain motivated by an opaque abstraction like "global communism" or "jihad against the 'West'".

Characterizing the foreign leader in this way prevents the public from perceiving the leader's practical goals, because if you know his goals, you can design carrots and sticks that involve something other than bombs.

Past generations of Americans have fallen for this argument many times. It has been put forth by the Dulles brothers, Kissenger, McNamara and Cheney, with disastrous results every time.

Thank God for President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. Because of their wisdom we have not had to confront this evil for four plus years. But it will be back.

When it returns, please remember, and tell your friends: Syria and Iran in 2013 proved that military aid is not the only carrot and that sanctions, a stick well short of military assault, can work.

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