Autonomous sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela by the US are expressly designed to drive whole populations into poverty to bring about regime change. They are sociopathic. Based on its values, The National Party wants to make such sanctions New Zealand’s policy. Extraodinary!
Simon Bridges tied this illegal and immoral policy to New Zealand values in the policy announcement back in May:
In foreign policy, National will ensure we reflect New Zealanders’ values clearly on the world stage. Over the past few years we have seen the emergence of new threats to our freedoms and liberties. We should be prepared to stand against those who would seek to undermine our values.
“That’s why we’re proposing to pass legislation to empower New Zealand to autonomously sanction organisations when the United Nations is unable or unwilling to do so.“
A report on sanctions imposed by the United States on Venezuela from the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington states:
We find that the sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017–2018; and that these sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory. They are also illegal under international law and treaties which the US has signed, and would appear to violate US law as well.
That excellent Aussie Caitlin Johnstone spells out why sanctions are attractive to sociopaths (my language) as a form of warfare because their effects are hidden:
As we’ve discussed previously, starvation sanctions are in many ways worse than overt warfare, because they can be just as deadly while eliminating the protective public outcry and accountability that comes with conventional warfare. Sanctions are the only form of warfare where it is considered both legal and acceptable to deliberately target a civilian population with deadly force.
It is an absolute disgrace that National is putting forward this sort of policy. It may be based on National Party values – these are absolutely not New Zealand values.