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Justification of "Humanitarian" Military Intervention

 
 
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 07:23 am
Humanitarian military intervention refers to a nation or group of nations using military force against another nation for the sole purpose of ending human rights violations in the nation being attacked.

The issue of human rights has become prominent in international politics since the twentieth century. A much older issue in international politics is the right of each nation to sovereignty in its own affairs. The late Gore Vidal was skeptical of the humanitarian justification for using military force. Vidal even criticized U.S. intervention in World War I and the 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, however, defended the NATO intervention in Kosovo stating: “This is a just war, based not on any territorial ambitions but on values…We have learned twice before in this century that appeasement does not work. If we let an evil dictator range unchallenged, we will have to spill infinitely more blood and treasure to stop him later. But people want to know not only that we are right to take this action but also that we have clear objectives and that we are going to succeed.”

My own view is that humanitarian military intervention is only a last resort. Obviously, diplomatic actions and economic sanctions should be tried first. The norms for using humanitarian intervention have been evolving since Rwanda and Kosovo.
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 08:34 am
@wandeljw,
I think Kosovo is not the right example. There you had a civil war with both sides committing atrocities and the NATO response was to level Serbia. Libya is probably the better example where the intervention was a lot more focused on preventing atrocities and restraining the government's forces.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 10:16 am
@wandeljw,
From the United Nation's Development Program
Quote:
The 1994 Report introduces a new concept of human security, which equates security with people rather than territories, with development rather than arms. It examines both the national and the global concerns of human security.
The conflict in Kosovo is an example of the international community stepping in to preserve people.

Kosovo really is not the best example, though, because NATO acted as they did before. But Kosovo was not Bosnia.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 10:31 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
The conflict in Kosovo is an example of the international community stepping in to preserve people.


Actually, NATO was more interested in preventing the war from spreading and drawing in more and more countries. They feared it would draw Greece and Turkey in on opposite sides, which in addition to being a pretty bloody conflict might have resulted in the breakup of NATO.

Protecting civilians sounds nice and noble, but it was not their foremost concern at the time.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 10:35 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
I think Kosovo is not the right example. There you had a civil war with both sides committing atrocities and the NATO response was to level Serbia.


Well, NATO really needed to bring the conflict to an end before it spread and drew Greece and Turkey in on opposite sides.

The bad part is, after the war everyone seemed to forget that the Serbs were not actually the bad guys. The way Serbia has been bullied and had Kosovo stolen from them is a travesty.

And it likely is no coincidence that Russia's treatment of Georgia exactly mirrors NATO's treatment of Serbia.

I'd kind of like both Georgia and Serbia to have their stolen territory returned to them. But NATO seems set on being jerks about Kosovo, and so long as that is the case, Russia is likely to act the same way regarding Georgia's stolen territory.

(And since NATO's bad behavior is likely to result in the permanent theft of Georgian territory, the least they can do is welcome Georgia into NATO and the EU as compensation.)
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 01:44 pm
The current crisis in Syria is seen by some commentators as a case for humanitarian military intervention.

Quote:
US Intervention Needed in Syria
(Matt Johnson, Opinion Essay, PoliticalFiber.com, August 31, 2012)

The Obama administration has handled the Syrian civil war with startling inconsistency and complacency. Whether it’s electoral politics or a lack of personal resolve, something has deflated the once-robust executive stance on human rights in the Middle East. In the face of indiscriminate abominations, a steadily increasing casualty count and a widening humanitarian crisis, it’s time to muster the will to intervene in Syria.

On Aug. 20, President Obama made the following statement during a White House news conference:

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”

But Obama’s current “equation” is oddly divorced from the strength of his past rhetoric.

The most obvious dissonance arises between his inactive policy in Syria and his swift, forceful action in Libya. On March 28, 2011, Obama delivered a rousing speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He detailed the nightmare scenario that was avoided in Libya. “We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world. It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen,” he said.

So, the NATO warplanes were scrambled, Gaddafi’s forces were bombed and the regime ultimately fell to the resistance. The campaign lasted seven months.

Why isn’t this option being discussed for Syria? The fighting has already created more than 200,000 refugees and piled up over 18,000 corpses. Just last Sunday, the grisly aftermath of a government-sponsored massacre was uncovered in Daraya, Syria. Local activists posted a video of blood-soaked bodies sprawled out on a basement floor. A “coordination committee” claims to have found 150 bodies crammed into the basement of a mosque; some had been stabbed, while others had bullets lodged in their heads. The borders of the city were sealed off while scores of men, women and children were systematically executed.

Of course, before these orders were carried out, Daraya was ruthlessly shelled from afar. According to local sources, the death toll for the week was over 630, almost half of which were executions.

Unfortunately, Obama will only consider intervention once chemical weapons are either mobilized or used. This strategy flirts with disaster on an offensively gruesome scale. When a regime is already slaughtering civilians without hesitation, it’s simply nonsensical to wait until only the vilest weapons are used. There’s also no guarantee that “a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around” will be detected in time. The “conscience of the world” is already squirming under a veil of guilt, and the crimes of Assad have already “reverberated across the region.” There has been much talk about “arming the opposition” and the risks entailed by doing so, but this route can be circumvented. The U.S. should lobby for an air campaign to protect defenseless cities like Daraya.

However, because of the imposing (but surmountable) difficulties involved, an international coalition similar to the one that acted in Libya should be formed. Such cooperation is of paramount importance because, according to a recent article from the U.S. Naval Institute, a mission in Syria would require “…at least 191 strike aircraft, at least six times the number of comparable aircraft in the opening phase of Odyssey Dawn, and perhaps several times more bombers and cruise missiles.”

The necessity of such drastically multiplied forces stems from Syria’s expansive integrated air defense system (IADS). Although the U.S. has more than enough fighters and bombers, the international community has already asserted its willingness to complement American action. The obvious hurdles are Russia and China, but the case must be made regardless.

Last May, I wrote an article condemning the United Nations for its colossal failures in Iraq, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. In December 2006, former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan lamented the lack of engagement in Darfur by chiding, among others, “…those whose reflex of solidarity puts them on the side of governments and not of peoples…”

In the wake of a decade of war and the air campaign in Libya, many commentators and leaders have a reflex of inaction. I had the happy task of commending the UN last year for its stalwart commitment to Libya. Hopefully, the U.S. will courageously open up the opportunity for me to do so again.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 04:31 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
My own view is that humanitarian military intervention is only a last resort. Obviously, diplomatic actions and economic sanctions should be tried first. The norms for using humanitarian intervention have been evolving since Rwanda and Kosovo.



You should be ashamed of yourself, Wandel, for this continued line of amoral propaganda.

The notion of the US using military force against another nation for the sole purpose of ending human rights violations is ludicrous in the extreme. The US uses military force to remove noncompliant dictators of course, but the US doesn't care at all, save for propaganda effect, whether thousands or millions of innocents are slaughtered.

Quote:

A Review of NATO’s War over Kosovo
Noam Chomsky
Z Magazine, April-May, 2001

...

As NATO forces entered Kosovo, tremendous efforts were undertaken to discover evidence of war crimes, a “model of speed and efficiency” to ensure that no evidence would be lost or overlooked. The efforts “build on lessons learned from past mistakes.” They reflect “a growing international focus on holding war criminals accountable.” Furthermore, analysts add, “proving the scale of the crimes is also important to NATO politically, to show why 78 days of airstrikes against Serbian forces and infrastructure were necessary.”

The logic, widely accepted, is intriguing. Uncontroversially, the vast crimes took place after the bombing began: they were not a cause but a consequence. It requires considerable audacity, therefore, to take the crimes to provide retrospective justification for the actions that contributed to inciting them.

One “lesson learned,” and quickly applied, was the need to avoid a serious inquiry into crimes in East Timor. Here there was no “model of speed and efficiency.” Few forensic experts were sent despite the pleas of the UN peacekeeping mission, and those were delayed for four months, well after the rainy season would remove essential evidence. The mission itself was delayed even after the country had been virtually destroyed and most of its population expelled. The distinction is not hard to comprehend.

In East Timor, the crimes were attributable directly to state terrorists who were supported by the West right through the final days of their atrocities. Accordingly, issues of deterrence and accountability can hardly be on the agenda. In Kosovo, in contrast, evidence of terrible crimes can be adduced to provide retrospective justification for the NATO war, on the interesting principle that has been established by the doctrinal system.


http://www.chomsky.info/articles/200005--.htm
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 06:48 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Humanitarian military intervention refers to a nation or group of nations using military force against another nation for the sole purpose of ending human rights violations in the nation being attacked.

what it is tends to be the outsiders deciding who will be in power in a particular country, using military force to impose its decision. I dont see where the outsiders have either the legal right nor the moral responsibility to use this force, and "SAFETY!" does not change this. until and unless the citizens of each country vote to cede this power to a international body such as the UN the "international community" has no right to impose its will by military force.
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 07:18 pm
@hawkeye10,
The classical right to sovereignty for each nation agrees with what you say, hawkeye. This is why the idea of humanitarian intervention is so controversial.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 07:24 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

The classical right to sovereignty for each nation agrees with what you say, hawkeye. This is why the idea of humanitarian intervention is so controversial.


it is? I only hear Putin and the chinese disputing the right. hell, even the middle eastern Muslim countries seem to be onboard from what we hear from the Arab League.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 08:02 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
This is why the idea of humanitarian intervention is so controversial.


It's not controversial at all. Everyone agrees that it is a good thing. The problem comes because the notion is so badly abused, largely by the US, with help from its major lap dogs, the UK and Australia and other minor lap dogs, like Canada, Poland, Turkey, ... .
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 08:13 pm
@JTT,
the one instance where military intervention has been called for and not used the lack of using it has not been because doubts about the right to use it. in this case the evaluation has been made that pissing off Putin, China and Iran all in one shot probably is not a great idea. The Syrian people are not worth all that, especially after what they did to us in Iraq.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 08:21 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
The Syrian people are not worth all that, especially after what they did to us in Iraq.


It's truly ******* amazing that you cocksuckers have the temerity to even suggest such a notion.

It's amazing that you even have the temerity to open your mouths bleating about human rights and how people are being slaughtered around the world.

Consider what y'all did to the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Guatemala, East Timor, Indonesia, your own Native American citizens, Brazil, Chile, Angola, Cuba, ... .

This would be like Walter or Thomas or Calamity Jane bragging about all the good Hitler did for the Jews.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 08:55 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
in this case the evaluation has been made that pissing off Putin, China and Iran all in one shot probably is not a great idea.


Meh. How much are they going to whine when Obama finally bombs Iran?

I don't think pissing them off is a matter of any significance.
NSFW (view)
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 10:07 pm
I could more readily approve of intervention in areas of famine and natural disasters.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2012 09:00 am
Quote:
Syria opposition pleads for arms, intervention
(The Lebanon Daily Star, September 3, 2012)

MADRID: Syria's main opposition group pleaded Monday for weapons and urgent military intervention to defend civilians from bombardments by President Bashar Assad's army.

"We need a humanitarian intervention and we are asking for military intervention for the Syrian civilians," Syrian National Council leader Abdel Basset Sayda said after meeting Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

"I have the duty of asking for weapons that will allow us to defend against the Syrian armor and weapons that are killing civilians all the time," he told a joint news conference.

Sayda said the Syrian conflict had now killed 30,000 people and forced millions from their homes, including more than three million internal refugees and 250,000 who had fled the country. Another 100,000 had been detained.

"Every day we have dozens of martyrs and hundreds of wounded and disappeared," he said in Arabic, addressing journalists through a translator.

"We are seeking very quick action by the international community," he said.

Syria's opposition believed the European Union could persuade Russia to change its posture at the UN Security Council so as to establish safe havens for refugees, Sayda said.

Russia, an ally of the Assad regime, and the Security Council's other veto-wielding members have failed to reach agreement on a proposal to set up protected enclaves for displaced civilians, which would imply authorizing a highly controversial protective military operation.

Following criticism that the SNC was not sufficiently representative, Sayda vowed to call a national dialogue so as to forge a unified position on a post-Assad transition to democracy.

"Syria is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional country and everyone will have a part in its future. We want everything to be organized according to this principle," he said.

A spokesman for the SNC told AFP on Sunday that the group had agreed to expand its membership and would hold a vote later in September to elect its leadership.

Sayda's mandate, which was due to expire on September 9, had been extended until the leadership vote, he said.

Spain's foreign minister condemned the Assad government's onslaught on Syrian civilians.

"We will do all we can to provide humanitarian help to the Syrian people who are suffering a slaughter," Garcia-Margallo said.

"The Spanish people view the killings with horror."

But he urged Syria's pro-democracy opposition to join forces to avoid a power vacuum.

"In Syria we clearly are talking about a change of regime, Bashar cannot carry on a moment longer for humanitarian reasons," said the foreign minister.

But "the disappearance of al-Assad cannot be transformed into a power vacuum that could be used by factions," he added.

"Spain is worried about the unity of the democratic forces," the minister said. "Our desire: that the democratic forces come together, including all the minorities except for those that opt for violence," the minister said.

"We encourage you to be increasingly inclusive."
0 Replies
 
wmwcjr
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2012 09:40 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
Re: oralloy (Post 5095133)
Gee, along comes the semen slurper, Oralboy. Whodathunk.


Aren't you being homophobic? Confused "Semen slurper"? tsk, tsk Wink
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2012 10:00 am
@wmwcjr,
Quote:
Gee, along comes the semen slurper, Oralboy. Whodathunk.



Quote:
Aren't you being homophobic? "Semen slurper"? tsk, tsk


Metaphoric use, WM... . He slurps the propaganda pumped out by Uncle Sam. The reference isn't homophobic at all for there are an equal number of the female persuasion who greedily and ignorantly swallow that same propaganda.

But all this pales into nothingness compared to the murderous nature of successive US governments. Somehow it seems that that's where your focus should be. How come it isn't?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Sep, 2012 11:13 am
@JTT,
Quote:
How come it isn't?


america and americans first. even if I believe that all lives are equal in value I should still take care of me and mine first.
 

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