MOSCOW, December 27 (Sputnik) – As the United States is considering how to respond to a recent cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, which according to the White House had been initiated by Pyongyang, 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter believes sanctions are ineffective and can even be counterproductive when dealing with dictatorships, the former US president wrote on Washington Post.
Carter believes that due to sanctions, countries, such as North Korea and Cuba, are able to convince their populations using state-controlled media that all their economic and political despair is caused by the actions of the United States. While media portrays the United States as a regime that causes misery, political elites in these countries assume the role of defenders and strengthen their political power.
“The political elite in North Korea do not suffer, and the leaders’ all-pervasive propaganda places the blame for deprivation on the United States, not themselves. The primary objective of dictators is to stay in office, and we help them achieve this goal by punishing their already suffering subjects and letting them claim to be saviors,” Carter said.
Instead, Carter is convinced that when non-military pressure on a government is needed, economic sanctions should be focused on travel, foreign bank accounts and other privileges of political elites who make decisions, and not on destroying the already poor economy that determines lives of ordinary people.
Last week, Sony Pictures was forced to cancel the premiere of a film “The Interview” about a plotted assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after receiving threats from an anonymous hacker group. On Tuesday, Sony decided to show the film in some theaters on Christmas Day.
The FBI has said that North Korea was behind the cyber-attack on Sony, but Pyongyang denied the claim. In turn, North Korea offered to take part in a joint investigation into the Sony Pictures incident together with the United States and warned that Washington would face “serious consequences” if they refused to participate in the investigation, but continued to accuse Pyongyang of organizing the cyber-attack.