It’s time for the free and civilized world to accept the fact that sanctions as a diplomatic and strategic tool, are ineffective. The United States has had tough sanctions in place on Cuba for fifty years and the result has been, there is no result. The only thing sanctions have done, is create terrible hardships on the Cuban people and prevented Americans from enjoying their beautiful beaches. There have been ever tightening sanction on North Korea and Iran and those have yielded no intended results. Dictators don’t care about how sanctions affect their citizens. It’s not about the people, it’s about personal agendas. They control the flow of information, although it’s getting more difficult with forums like twitter. Sanctions only strengthen the resolve of autocratic governments who then convince their people the world is against them. They must therefore stand steadfast and proud despite the hardships. Ultimately, victory will be theirs. Of course that isn’t the case but it does allow these regimes to carry on for years, decades in the case of Fidel Castro. So it’s time for world leaders and the U.N. to recognize sanctions to be a failing strategy. There can be only two strategies for dealing with rogue governments; 1) negotiations or 2) military action. Negotiations of course, are always the preferable but if ineffective, a united front on the use of military force will be the only thing these governments will understand. No matter what one believes about the US military action in Iraq against Saddam Hussein, the fact remains that a brutal, lawless dictator was removed from power, thereby removing one serious threat in the region. One need not look any further than Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait to recognize the danger he posed to peace and stability in the Middle East. Iran will obtain nuclear weapons if nothing is done and North Korea already has nukes despite its limited capability to deliver them to the intended target. Of course South Korea would not be a difficult target for the north to hit. Might I suggest one last serious attempt to negotiate comprehensive settlements with Iran and North Korea. If negotiations fail, the military option is the only other alternative.