Economic coercion is nothing new, nor is the debate over the morality of coercive diplomacy. Woodrow Wilson tried to sell Americans on the League of Nations by arguing eloquently for sanctions as an alternative to war:

A nation boycotted is a nation that is in sight of surrender. Apply this economic, peaceful, silent, deadly remedy and there will be no need for force. It is a terrible remedy. It does not cost a life outside the nation boycotted, but it brings pressure upon the nation that, in my judgment, no modern nation could resist. 1