New Secretary of State Colin Powell is rightly questioning one of the most overused tools available to U.S. policy-makers -- economic sanctions.
The United States has gone sanctions-happy in the past 10 years. About 75 of the world's 193 countries are now under some kind of trade restriction. Many of these actions are the most feeble kind -- sanctions that only the United States supports. In a world of increasing global trade, that is likely to be only an inconvenience for most other nations.
In his confirmation hearings, Secretary Powell said he would review many of these sanctions, and he implored members of Congress to consult with him before adding new ones. ''Stop, look and listen before you impose a sanction. ... Count to ten, then call me,'' he said.
That's good advice, and his review of this policy indicates that he wisely plans to reconsider some policies that may have outlived their usefulness.
-- The (Columbia, S.C.) State
Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, on confirmation of John Ashcroft:
The U.S. Senate did right in putting John Ashcroft through a wringer and also in confirming him as U.S. attorney general.
A president should get the benefit of the doubt in choosing his own Cabinet. In mustering 42 votes against Mr. Ashcroft, Democrats showed that when, eventually, the subject turns to judicial appointments, the Bush administration had best not propose people as rigidly and combatively dedicated to the agenda of the right wing of the Republican Party as Mr. Ashcroft.
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