911 Conspiracy Theory

Word Count: 2551 |

The second Pearl Harbor, the day of infamy, the start of the War on Terrorism—all of these titles describe the unforgettable day of September 11, 2001. On this day, terrorist hijacked four planes, proceeded to destroy the World Trade Centers, and cripple the Pentagon. Or did they? Immediately following the horrible attacks, various theorists thought of outlandish conspiracies regarding 9/11, such as that the U.S. planted bombs to start the War on Terrorism. To some these conspiracies may seem believable; however, after analyzing them one realizes that there is more doubt than theorists relay.

One such conspiracy was conveyed by David Ray Griffin, a professor of philosophy of religion at the Claremont School of Theology. In this essay, he chose to answer the question: why did the Twin Towers and Building 7 collapse? The official theory states that, “The structural damage sustained by each tower from the impact, combined with the ensuing fires, resulted in the total collapse of each building.” However, Griffin’s research showed that fire had never caused a steel frame high rise to collapse either before or after 9/11. Although fire cannot get hot enough to melt steel, Griffin discovered that steel loses 80% of its strength when it reached 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit; however, steel, an excellent conductor of heat, would not have been that hot.

Additionally, he noted several characteristics in the collapse that supported the theory of a controlled demolition. These characteristics included sudden onset, falling straight down and almost at free falling speed, the aspect of a total collapse, the sliced steel, the pulverization of concrete and other materials, the dusts clouds, the horizontal ejections, the demolition ring, the sounds produced by explosions, and the molten steel.

Finally, Griffin finished his article by revealing more ideas surrounding the possible planting of explosives in the World Trade Center. First, the steel was removed quickly, not allowing it to be carefully inspected for cuts in the steel, which explosives would have caused. Additionally, minutes before the south tower collapsed, Mayor Guliani was told to leave the temporary command center due to a possible collapse, revealing that someone knew of explosives in the building since a collapse had never happen before in history.

Similarly, Dr. Steven E. Jones, a physicist and archaeometrist from Brigham Young University published an essay entitled “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” Like Griffin, Jones expressed thirteen reasons to challenge government-sponsored reports and to investigate the controlled-demolition hypothesis. These reasons included the molten metal, the observed temperatures around 1000 degrees Celsius and sulfidation of WTC 7 steel, the near-symmetrical collapse of WTC 7, the fact that no previous skyscraper had collapse completely due to fires, the plum-timing during the collapse of WTC 7, the early drop of the North Tower Antenna, the eyewitness accounts of flashes and loud explosions, the ejections of steel beams and debris-plumes from the towers, the rapid collapses and conservation of momentum and energy, the fact that controlled demolition “implosions” require skill, the fact that the steel columns did not heat to 800 degrees Celsius, and problems in the NIST report.

The majority of these theories were covered in Griffin’s article as well. Each article is an extremely long work, making one assume that each author put a significant amount of time into researching the problems with the government-sponsored reports from 9/11, and causing each to coming up with similar responses. With each researching extensively, it is obvious that they will create similar hypotheses. Additionally, it is possible that the major theorists collaborated to discuss every practical hypothesis, making sure that every angle was covered. Therefore, between the significant amount of research, dedication, and the possible joint collaboration, both these essays were extremely similar.

In response to this conspiracy theory, immediately following the release of these articles, the mainstream media started to disprove these myths. They immediately feared these theorists, dreading whether the theories would sway the public, causing them to ask questions. The mainstream media answered questions quickly by publishing various articles attempting to disprove the myths. One such article, entitled “Debunking The 9/11 Myths” appeared in Popular Mechanics. In order to investigate, Popular Mechanics assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters, while consulting more than 70 professionals in the fields of aviation, engineering, and military. They discovered that the collapse was not caused by explosives because of the evidence of widespread damage, melted steel, puffs of dust, and seismic spikes.

First, one theorist claimed that there was no way that an impact on the 80th floor could have caused damage to the first floor lobby; other explosives must have already been detonated on the lower levels at the time of the plane crash. However, after further investigation, various professionals discovered that debris journeyed thought the utility shafts causing the elevator doors to crack open and reveal flames. Second, one claim was that the fire was not hot enough to melt the steel. Steel melts at 2750 degrees, not hot enough to be melted by the jet fuel; however, at 1100 degrees steel loses 50% of its strength and at 1800 degrees strength has decreased to 10%. Additionally, hotter flames produced by combustible material inside the building (rugs, curtain, furniture, and paper), eventually caused the steel to weaken more, which caused the buildings to collapse. Third, many people theorized that dust and debris exploded from the sides of a building only during an explosion. However, experts stated that as the towers collapsed the air present in the towers was forced out with extreme amounts of energy causing air and dust to fly out of the windows. Finally, one theory stated that the seismic spikes were registered at the beginning of the collapses before debris struck the earth, suggesting an explosion in the building. However, when more detailed graphs were shown the spikes start small and then got bigger as the buildings hit the ground. In other words, bombs were not planted in the World Trade Center.

Additionally, the mainstream media used the aspects of personalized news, dramatized news, and normalized news. Many of the mainstream articles placed one in the shoes of the victims’ families post 9/11, hoping that this would cause the public to criticize the theorists for trying to prove that 9/11 was an inside job. Additionally, many stories appeared about heroes on 9/11 and though there were many deaths already, these people prevented more deaths from occurring. This dramatized news continually appeared after the attacks and attempted, again, to make the U.S. population understand the feelings of the victims’ families, rejecting any conspiracy. Finally, by airing these stories, the media attempted normalize the news and make people realized that they should be listening to the mainstream media, not giving in to any outlandish theory surrounding the attacks.

When analyzing both articles, one finds various arguments both for and against the conspiracy that the U.S. planted bombs in the towers prior to the planes crashing. As with any article, the credibility of each author must be questioned. The author of the conspiracy theory article was credible as he was a professor at one of the Claremont colleges. However, the way he presented information was incredible, due to his ecological fallacy. All witnesses’ responses are similar, making one assume they are the majority. For example, when describing the explosions, Firefighter Thomas Turilli stated, “it almost sounded like bombs going off, like boom, boom, boom, like seven or eight.” Similarly, Paramedic Daniel Rivera said, “It was a frigging noise. At first I thought it was—do you ever see professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors and then you hear ‘Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop’?…I thought it was that.”

Additionally, Jones, a professor at BYU, had much credibility. However, because of his biased selection, the validity of his article was questioned. The majority of his quotes were partial quotes, making the reader question his statements.

Similarly, the mainstream article was extremely credible. Popular Mechanics made arguments dealing with misquotation and inadequate research in Griffin and Jones’ essay. Quoting properly, combined with sufficient research would have made the picture clear. Moreover, Popular Mechanics got trapped appealing to authority. All of the observations were from experts; however, many of these experts were not on the scene when the planes hit the buildings, but Popular Mechanics assumes they were still right because they are experts. Furthermore, this article fell victim to argument from ignorance by choosing to include points, which stated that as there was no scientific evidence for a certain phenomenon, it couldn’t be true.

After analyzing mainstream and conspiracy articles, one could see that the World Trade Center disaster was not an inside job. Like most conspiracy theorists, Griffin and Jones tried to appeal to gut instinct. If one read their essays without doing any appropriate research or analyzing the writing style, they sound believable; however, after realizing that they only included partial quotations from firefighters and people on scene, not any scientists, it was obvious that they only obtained quotes portraying their beliefs. Also, for their arguments to be correct, every event needed to happen in a perfect order and at an ideal time, making chances extremely slim. Additionally, theorists had no answer to Osama bin Laden statement admitting to the attacks, besides passing this off as a hoax as well. Most essays avoid this fact, because they have no response, causing people to questions the validity of the whole article. After realizing that each conspiracy is more that a rumor than an attempt to prove something, it was ultimately understood the theorists were playing mind games rather than proving a point. Therefore, by ignoring gut instinct and analyzing the article more in depth, it is obvious that 9/11 was not an inside job.

Furthermore, Marx’s, Weber’s, and Durkheim’s vision’s of society all applied to this conspiracy theory. Marx’s idea of historical materialism was that material interests determine history, not good ideas or important people. The U.S.’s desire for material interest made officials willing to destroy two of their own buildings, kill thousands of people, propelling them into the war.
In contrast, Weber’s view of society deals with the idea of authority and how authority influenced ones beliefs. Government, the ultimate authority, gave the most support to those with the same beliefs as them (Popular Mechanics in this case). With the added support, people viewed Popular Mechanics as more authoritative, thus trusting them more.

Finally, Durkheim’s view on society stated that societies worked by binding people together. After the attacks on 9/11, all of the U.S. bonded together to find who was responsible for this. The U.S. became a well-oiled machine; however, a few people doubted whether terrorists were responsible, the machine started to break down, and ruining Durkheim’s view of social solidarity.

What’s more, this conspiracy could have easily started out as a rumor. Similar to a rumor, it included one of the sources of rumor: transformation, or changing content. One person could have brought up the outlandish theory that 9/11 was an inside job, presenting it to various people, having these people spread it to others, with each transforming it more along the way. In addition to transformation, this conspiracy theory shared some basic attributes of rumors: leveling, assimilation, and sharpening. Leveling, or excluding extraneous details, is used to get the point across quickly, not boring the listener. For example, using partial quotations; the intent of giving a brief summary is good; however, it may change the whole meaning of the quote. Additionally, assimilation, or transforming information to strengthen its cultural logic, is evident. When one is trying to express a point, the objective is to increase the number of people with the same belief; even if a bit of transformation is required. Moreover, sharpening, or providing the “headline” of the rumor, is apparent. When sharpening is located in a rumor, a number of limited details are emphasized and given greater weight. In each paper, although each theorist covers a significant amount of information, there are still more details available. However, each fails to address these details placing greater weight on the details presented in the essay.

Moreover, both the mainstream media and theorists were guilty of groupthink, or conforming to agree with the group. In the conspiracy article, the crowd, or those eyewitnesses were smarter than the experts. Although the experts were more knowledgeable than the eyewitnesses, they were not present when the attacks occurred. By being an eyewitness, each saw everything that occurred that day, and in the order that it occurred. However, many of these eyewitnesses were under extreme pressure to express what they saw to reporters, causing them to conform to the ideas of the group, avoiding scrutiny. Nonetheless, if they had expressed their true feelings the theorists would not have had as much support for the conspiracy, making arguments weaker. For these reasons, Surowiecki’s ideas are correct. The crowd was smarter than the experts on 9/11 because they witnessed the events unfold. A number of these witnesses could have also changed their statements to reflect those of the group, not becoming an outcast.

What’s more, is that many eyewitnesses were in denial and part of a conspiracy of silence immediately following 9/11. Failure to deny certain facts would have caused them to be shunned or classified as an outcast from the rest of the group. This “conspiracy of silence” prevented various opinions from appearing on the days following the attacks, making it easier for the theorists to deny the few statements that they didn’t agree with and easier to agree with the majority of the statements that they did. For this reason, denial played a large role on 9/11, not allowing all opinions to materialize.

Did terrorists hijacked four planes, destroy the World Trade Centers, and cripple the Pentagon? Certain people with conspiracy theories would say no, saying the U.S. government carried out the attacks and destroyed the towers in order to start the War against Terrorism. However, after closely analyzing the conspiracy theory, and finding misquotation and lack of research, it was obvious that the conspiracy is still a theory and will never be the truth.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...


Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...