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I think there is a discussion to be had about these "interventions". When we see these situations develop in other countries, invariably countries which we consider lesser than our own and so feel a patrician concern over, the natural humanitarian empathy finds expression in the Blairite phrase of "liberal muscular intervention" where hand-wringers lament that "we must do something". Often, the cheapest, easiest and quickest something we can do is bomb the shit out of them (however we define "them"). It's certainly the one that gets the front-pages salivating.

Of course, there is the counter argument that, for better or worse, we should allow countries the same self-determination we expect for ourselves. Although as we see in countries such as Burma, Zimbabwe or Libya, we have supplied arms to the ruling despots so liberally (sic) that it is almost impossible for a popular uprising to unseat them. So self-determination devolves into allowing the populations of said countries to live in the misery of hopeless oppression.

Whilst I probably side with the liberal interventionists, I am reluctant to support such actions when they are chosen to suit our own interests first and foremost. We hate the dictator Gaddafi and want Libyan oil, so we intervene. Yet we like the dictators of the House of Saud and, since they've told us to sod off from their backyard, so we leave the uprisings against the dictators of Yemen and Bahrain alone. Meanwhile we leave Mugabe and a score of other bastards alone cos they haven't got any oil. So their populations don't matter cos our interests aren't involved.

And that means that "liberal muscular intervention" is a sham, it's just an excuse for doing things that are in our Corporate Overlords interests. And if that were the only view then I don't like it.

However, all of these things is a balance and what is being balanced is a discussion we should have. If we can't/won't help everywhere, does that mean we shouldn't help anywhere ? And who makes that decision and on what grounds ? Is there a metric of humanitarian and self-interest factors we can calculate ?

We should definitely wonder why it is that our interventions involve using DU weapons that will poisonously contaminate the environment that these people we want to help will inhabit. Which seems a little counter-productive to me.

but as for the rest of it.....dunno


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 08:38:06 AM EST

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