Fareed Zakaria is making sense | Liberals Against Terrorism : Here's a paragraph that I've probably written myself in one form or another: I realize that it feels morally righteous and satisfying to "do something" about cruel regimes. But in doing what we so often do, we cut these countries off from the most powerful agents of change in the modern world%u2014commerce, contact, information. To change a regime, short of waging war, you have to shift the balance of power between the state and society. Society needs to be empowered. It is civil society%u2014private business, media, civic associations, nongovernmental organizations%u2014that can create an atmosphere which forces change in a country. But by piling on sanctions and ensuring that a country is isolated, Washington only ensures that the state becomes ever more powerful and society remains weak and dysfunctional. In addition, the government benefits from nationalist sentiment as it stands up to the global superpower.