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I'm not sure whether this idea ("it not the business of any country to judge another sovereign country") is widespread in Europe or not. It may be the crux of the problem that Europe has with American foreign policy.

In recent tradition the Republican party has tended towards isolationism, while the Democrats have tended towards internationalism. Bush ran on a platform that specifically called out that he would minimize involvement in "nation building" because Clinton's adventures in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean were distasteful to the isolationist wing of the Republican party. So now, after his re-evaluation of that position, we have two parties who agree that it is the duty of America--and the rest of the West--to make judgments about the political systems of other countries.

The problem with your argument is that it puts international stability and national sovereignty above all else. A dictator gets in power, and since the West is barred from making judgments, the dictator can destroy his own country, kill a big chunk of his country's population, make the rest of them miserable, and generally be a horrible person who causes lots of suffering. Or, you get a nasty civil war that you ignore because it's politically impossible to resolve. This does not play well on American TV, and inevitably leads to interventionist sentiment. I don't know why it plays acceptably on European TV, but apparently it does--if your proposition is widespread.

Instead of body bags coming home, there will be images of starving people, women being stoned to death because their husbands were unfaithful, slaves taking apart asbestos-laden western ships with hand tools, and hands cut off for punishment of the starving. In the U.S., these images lead to a call for intervention, usually first by the U.N., and then when the U.N. rejects the call, or ignores it, or is ineffective, then it's followed by a call for American intervention.

(Of course if oil is involved, it gets more complicated, but plenty of American intervention has not been related to oil.)

by asdf on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 01:05:22 AM EST
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