5 Nations Worst Hit by International Sanctions

As the world gets more globalized and interconnected via technology and free trade, the problems we once thought were literally a world away are now encroaching ever closer to home. Through the progression of media we get our news faster and our reactions to global events as a result are quicker than they used to be. With a more globalized community comes new responsibilities and challenges. In the past, what injustices occurred in other countries did not always concern the world, they were labeled internal matters. With the world inching together closer and closer, international bodies have been set up to deal with issues that light the way towards a more just and humane global community. The pinnacle of these organizations is of course, The United Nations. Set up as a successor to the largely ineffectual League of Nations by the victorious allies of WWII in 1945, the U.N. has been at the forefront of mediating in and if needed, exerting force to end conflicts and injustices around the globe. In this article the subject will be various examples of U.N. sanctions placed on pariah states and the outcomes of such actions.

5 South Africa

4 North Korea

3 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

2 Iran

1 Iraq

Iraq is arguably the most shocking and heart breaking case of U.N. imposed sanctions gone awry. Usually, sanctions achieve their desired result with minimal casualties of the civilian population. In the case of Iraq though, a combination of Saddam Hussein's brash policies and the U.N.'s exceedingly harsh sanctions led to the death of as many as 500,000 to 1,000,000 Iraqi children. In 1988 after a grueling 8 year war with neighboring Iran, Saddam found himself in a tight financial spot. The Sunni Gulf Arab monarchies that had freely loaned him funds to fight Shia Iran, demanded their money back promptly. Taken aback by this betrayal , Saddam began looking for ways to boost revenues to offset the economic imbalance his nation was facing. Adding insult to injury, the Gulf Arab states started pumping excessive oil into the market, thus reducing the price of the commodity to historic lows, putting Saddam in an even bigger bind. He found his revenge though as the state of Kuwait, Iraq's tiny neighbor was accused by Saddam of slant drilling in 1990, thus stealing Iraq's much needed oil. In August of 1990 Saddam invaded Kuwait. The U.N. immediately responded and led by the United States, gave Saddam an ultimatum to leave, When he didn't, a coalition was formed, again led by the U.S. and routed Saddam's military in 1991. For the people of Iraq though, the worst was yet to come. Not content with having Saddam pushed back to Iraq, the U.N. enacted some of the harshest sanctions on Iraq. So harsh that people, particularly children, started feeling the adverse effects of such punitive tactics. Chlorine, a chemical substance needed to treat water before it's distributed to people was blocked from entering Iraq under the sanctions list, so was concrete. Without chlorine in the water, children started contracting numerous diseases and died. And without concrete, a housing shortage developed and people were forced to live in unsanitary and cramped quarters, furthering the spread of diseases that affected children worst of all. The crisis peaked with the shameful admission of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in a 1996 interview stating that the deaths of so many children was worth the effort of the sanctions.

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5 Nations Worst Hit by International Sanctions