Aleppo, Syria – Many Americans have a hard time understanding how sanctions are an act of war, since they are guarded from the consequences of sanctions that their government carries out against other nations.
According to a survey conducted in the midst of the first war in Iraq, it was determined that 4% of Iraq’s population, a total of roughly a half million people, died as a result of US sanctions. The sanctions made it impossible for people to get clean water and decent food, creating a body count that seems “natural” and is not often considered an official casualty of war.
More recently, in Syria, US sanctions are killing in large numbers yet again, and leaving children with cancer to suffer without adequate treatment.
According to a report from RT, the health care sector in Syria has been crippled by sanctions, and children with cancer are suffering and dying as a result. At Cancer Care Syria, many children with simple types of cancer that would be easily treated are not getting the help they need because of sanctions enacted by the US and the EU.
Muzzna Al-Ulabi, head of Cancer Care Syria, told RT that most of the children to die under their care recently could have been saved by supplies, food and medicine that was blocked by sanctions.
“Almost all the children who died of cancer did so because of European sanctions. We ask the European Union and humanitarian agencies to lift these sanctions and let cancer medicine in because children are suffering,” Muzzna Al-Ulabi said.
“When the war began, we dreamed of opening a specialized children’s cancer hospital – but we don’t have that sort of money. We don’t even have $6,000 dollars a month for medicine for the children. The children need enough food, or they won’t survive. It’s what all the mothers think about – having enough food for the children,” Al-Ulabi added.
The way humans interact with each other on a macro scale has changed very little since the middle ages, and this is very apparent with war and sanctions.
In the middle ages, there were people who held dominion over large areas of land and everyone who inhabited that land. These people were essentially slave masters, although they went by different names, such as king, duke, pope, lord and a variety of other titles.
We may no longer live in straw huts with dirt floors, but geographical land masses are still divided in this same way, with the same relationship between slave and slave master existing on every piece of land in the world.
As we saw in the middle ages, sometimes the lords of these separate land masses would get in disagreements, and they would force their slaves to fight one another as the primary way of resolving these disputes.
Again, today, nothing has changed, people who live in different geographical locations are still forced to interact this way when their rulers get into disagreements.
One wartime tactic that has been used since the dawn of history is to weaken the enemy by cutting them off from their food supply.
In the past, invading armies would burn the crops of their opponents, and surround their city so they were unable to access any of the resources that they needed to survive.
This was how “economic sanctions” worked in the middle ages, and that is exactly how they work today, but the human costs are now much easier to hide because cutting off trade to a particular area doesn’t offend people as much as an in your face “scorched earth” type approach. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, both strategies have the same result.