Sanctions have become as sacred to western armouries as nuclear bombs were 50 years ago. No one dares question them for fear of being thought a dove or a wimp. They cost little to the aggressor but make them feel good. They repress trade rivals. They attract macho adjectives, such as tough, meaningful, targeted and smart. They are chiefly aimed at domestic consumption. Only the poor (and a handful of rich) in the victim states suffer.