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BBC - Adam Curtis Blog: GOODIES AND BADDIES

The idea of "humanitarian intervention" which is behind the decision to attack in Libya is one of the central beliefs of our age.

It divides people. Some see it as a noble, disinterested use of Western power. Others see it as a smokescreen for a latter-day liberal imperialism.

I want to tell the story of how this idea originated and how it has grown up to possess the minds of a generation of liberal men and women in Europe and America.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 08:21:43 AM EST
Excellent.

I was just thinking that all of this story takes place in less then 45 years, and most of the major players are still alive and politically active.

To us, the details of how this changed from decade to decade matter. But I'm trying to imagine how it will be summarised when the movement is not 40 but 400 years old.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 08:34:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It'll probably be filed under "early developments in the ideological justification for the colonial expeditions of managed democracies."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 08:44:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember the moral obligation to purge Africa of Arab slave traders, even if it meant to carry the white man's burden to stay a while and civilize the place.

I think in the long run "humanitarian intervention" will be sorted in a long tradition of propaganda to motivate war.



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:50:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed I did not mean to suggest that "early developments" referred to justifications for colonialism. It was meant to refer to the fact that we are still early in the life of managed democracy, and the propaganda and other management tools will presumably become more sophisticated with time.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 09:08:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Adam Curtis Blog: GOODIES AND BADDIES
But you get a sense from the footage of the impotence of the UN Dutch soldiers. It is the record of a terrible moment of moral failure.

Impotence is immoral in a world were the only moral position is that of benevolent world ruler.

BBC - Adam Curtis Blog: GOODIES AND BADDIES

Fantasies that persist today, and which our leaders still cling to - because they give the illusion that we are in control.

And large swats of the population of the western countries also cling to, because they are then by proxy in control, potent and benevolent rulers of the world.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:41:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the direction the discussion on this diary has taken, it might make sense to try and re-start the diary on more focused lines.  There doesn't seem to have been much discussion of liberal humanitarian interventionism in this diary, and certainly not at any length.
by Zwackus on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 05:21:15 AM EST
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which sets out both the naivete and cynicism often at the root of interventionism anywhere - from humanitarian assistance in Biafra to military intervention in Libya. The reality is that war is itself an evil, which dehumanises all who engage in it, and the best you can do is support the slightly less evil side without ever imagining that some sort of utopia will result should they win.

It is ironic that Gaddafi was himself a leading proponent of humanitarian interventionism whose methods gradually became worse than those he was opposing.  Think Mugabe.  Nothing better illustrates the dehumanising impact of violence on both victim and aggressor - or the immorality of the arms industry which feeds it all.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 06:32:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO's Fascist War
by Fidel Castro Ruz

Never before was a large or small country, in this case of barely 5 million inhabitants, the victim of such a brutal attack by the air force of a military organization which has at its disposal thousands of fighter planes, more than 100 submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, and sufficient arsenal to destroy the planet countless times over.  Our species has never experienced such a situation and nothing like it existed 75 years ago when the Nazi bombers attacked targets in Spain.

Now, however, the discredited and criminal NATO is to write a "beautiful" story about its "humanitarian" bombing.

by das monde on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 01:23:54 AM EST
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When you're being criticised by a communist dictatorship, you know that you're at least doing something right.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 07:15:45 PM EST
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So, all kind of fascists were right?
by das monde on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 at 09:43:47 PM EST
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Fidel, a few days ago.
Carter did what he could to reduce international tensions and to promote the establishment of Cuban and US Interest offices. His administration was the only one that took a few steps towards easing the criminal blockade imposed against our people.

The circumstances weren't exactly favorable given the complexities of our world at that time. The existence of a genuinely free and sovereign nation in our hemisphere was incompatible with the ideas of the fascist rightwing in the United States. This faction maneuvered to cause President Carter's plans to fail; plans that would make him worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. Nobody gave it to him for free.

If a communist dictatorship sarcastically criticises Obama's Nobel prize (in that last phrase), you know that he probably deserved it....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 03:30:17 AM EST
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