It is disappointing to hear Rand Paul voted for broader sanctions against Iran. He should know better. The history of such efforts shows that they mainly hurt ordinary people, not the political leaders they're supposed to pressure. Indeed the only historical examples he cited in his weak defense of that vote were of sanctions having negative unintended consequences.
Indeed, he correctly notes that bombing a country can fuel nationalism and cause people to rally around the country's leaders -- but fails to note that imposing sanctions can have a similar effect.
Bans on travel by leaders and their families and cronies, freezing their bank accounts, bans on dealing with state-run companies, bans on selling weaponry to the regime or its agents, those types of limited efforts targeting the guilty -- fine. But anything that affects the people or commerce of an entire country, bad idea. In a country run by authoritarians, the regime will simply take the resources it needs, and it is the already-suffering people under their control who will suffer more.
Time to brush up on your libertarian economics, Rand! Don't sell us out.
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