by Patrick Appel

Alex Massie argues for easing sanctions against Burma:

I'm not as convinced as Thomas Bell is that trade can open up Burma to the world and that economic liberalisation must lead to political liberalisation but I hope he's right. Alas, I think we've seen that the rise of autocratic capitalism, especially in asia, means that the supposed link between trade and democracy is weaker than we once thought. Nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that the current sanctions regime and, for that matter, the policy of isolating the junta are not working. More to the point, while greater economic freedoms for theĀ  Burmese people might not topple the generals, greater economic opportunity would at least leave the Burmese better off, even if their liberty remained curtailed by international and even regional standards.

Agreed.

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