Sanctions against Libya called a 'symbolic gesture' worth taking 

US Officials and experts concede that economic sanctions against Libya would be mostly a symbolic gesture, at least in the short run.  But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be done. 

"Sanctions are a unifying signal against an extreme regime," said Charlie Ries, director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at Rand Corp., a think tank in Washington D.C.

Ries, former ambassador to Greece who also worked for the State Department in Iraq, told reporters at a roundtable Thursday, that oil embargos against Libya would also hurt consumers in western nations largely dependent on Libyan oil.

 However, Ries said, "you can easily stop shipments of military articles and stuff useful to the military in the short term."

The European Union and the US are preparing for multi-lateral sanctions against Libya, which could include oil and weapons.

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Sara A. Carter

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