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Do we have the responsibility to intervene in cases of genocide? - Page 2

post #31 of 37
Hmm, whether should politicians listen to the people or to 'lead' in the face of opposition is debatable. Currently the opinion polls in the US are still quite balanced about the Iraq situation. Thoese who oppose feel very strongly about it but the numbers show that US still supported the war. The question is what would Bush do in the event that opinion polls turn against him regarding the Iraq issue in October. On one hand people want politicians to make a stand yet on the other hand if they tell the truth, which the public do not like they are punished.

Just as an aside, another issue that comes to mind regarding 'leadership by opinion poll' is that, that is not the foundation of the US. Leadership through opinion polls or majority opinion is what is called democracy. WHICH is not the foundation of the US and the founding fathers did warn about the possibility of the tyranny of the majority. Hence the constitution, which makes the US a Republic. Democracy and republic while often used together mean quite different things. After all Jefferson stated "All the powers of government, legislative, executive, judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one." Or what Madison stated "Repeated violations of those parchment barriers have been committed by overbearing majorities in every State. In Virginia I have seen the bill of rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current."

Finally, for those of you who have watched the show "The Simpsons," this quote comes to mind:
Sideshow Bob: Because you need me, Springfield. Your guilty conscience may move you to vote Democratic, but deep down you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king. That's why I did this, to save you from yourselves. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a city to run.
post #32 of 37
Here is something happening right now:


Refugees fleeing militias in Sudan have been the victims of such serious abuses they amount to crimes against humanity, a UN report is set to claim.
The BBC has seen a preliminary report prepared by a UN human rights team that found widespread abuses and alleged atrocities in Darfur, western Sudan.

Government-backed militias have forced some 670,000 people to flee from their homes into neighbouring Chad.

The refugees speak of rape, arbitrary killings, and the destruction of homes.

But the report has been delayed because the UN has had difficulty getting into Darfur to speak to people about the alleged atrocities.


UN human rights investigators spent days trying to get into Darfur but were refused access by Sudan.

After spending time with refugees in Chad, the team returned to its UN base in Geneva.

As soon as they arrived in Geneva however, permission to visit Darfur was granted - so their preliminary report has been held back by the Human Rights Commissioner while they complete their investigation in Darfur itself.

The UN's Human Rights Commission is due to consider a motion condemning human rights abuses in Darfur.

Human rights groups are furious that the report will not be available to the commission before the debate on Sudan.

Although it is not yet available to the commission, the preliminary report is a shocking picture of alleged atrocities in Darfur.

A copy of the report obtained by the BBC provides detailed evidence of serious human rights abuses.

So serious are the abuses, the report says, that they amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

And the investigators conclude the Sudanese government has not only allowed militia groups to commit these atrocities with impunity, but it has worked with them using its air force to bomb villages and its own troops to drive out the population.

The fact that this evidence will not be officially presented to the Human Rights Commission before its debate on Thursday is yet another blow to the credibility of the commission which has already been criticised for allegedly bowing to political pressure from member states.
post #33 of 37
Originally Posted by Arg0
Whats funny is that there was quite a few antiwar protestors that said that the Afghan war was all for Oil... funny, Afghanistain doesn't have oil. Also if the Iraqi war was a fight over oil, then why is it that the amounts of oil is still about the same if not by a tad more then a year ago. Yeah sure its all about oil. Just look at your gas and oil prices. Yeah Sure. Oil...
The gas and oil will not benefit the public, i.e., lower prices. But it will benefit the oil companies, the refineries and other manufacturers. And excuse me, the FAT CATS! This war (Iraq) is about oil and profit, Halliburtin, Exxon, Shell, Texas Oilmen, etc.
post #34 of 37
Originally Posted by valanhb
Here's my take on Somalia (admitedly, not 100% read up on the actual events, but certainly from my take on how Clinton presided....): Clinton sent our troops on this humanitarian mission to spin the PR wheels some (just what everyone accuses Bush of doing! ). So he sends these troops so everyone can see what a compassionate leader he is, sending what has traditionally been a killing machine to help the needy, which has never been what the military has been trained to do, and then pretty well tied the military's hands behind their backs with the orders given. Then when the inevitable violence happened, Clinton doesn't get the good will PR he wanted and cuts and runs. In order for his popularity rating not to go into the toilet by sending our troops on a truly humanitarian mission, Rwanda, that would have involved some casualties from the outset. Even though it would have been the RIGHT thing to do, he couldn't risk his image for a mere 800,000 African lives....
The Marines were sent to Somalia on a humanitarian mission in December 1992 by Bush, Sr., not by Clinton. Following the "Black Hawk Down" incident, it was Congress (including Senator Robert C. Byrd (D), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and Senator John McCain (R), a member of the Armed Services Committee) that demanded withdrawal of the Ranger, 160th SOAR, Delta and Navy Seal personnel, who were in Somalia to capture Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his lieutenants, who had begun attacking UN troops (they slaughtered 24 Pakistanis) after the Marines had been withdrawn in May.
The original series written by Mark Bowden and published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, which formed the basis for the book and film, is still available online:
Bowden was contacted by many of those involved in the October 3, 1993 incident, and the book includes their corrections. It is a very packing account. The book was recommended to me by an acquaintance who was there, who said the author "got most things right".
Lucia is correct about Britain and the US maintaining no-fly zones in northern Iraq to protect the Kurds and in southern Iraq to protect the Shiites; both groups had been Saddam's favored victims, in particular because there was a Shiite uprising following Gulf War I (or perhaps I should say II, I being the war between Iraq and Iran). Not even the current administration claimed that they were intervening in Iraq to stop genocide.
As for Rwanda, I believe that the failure of anybody to intervene was the direct result of the experiences in Somalia, and indirectly of Vietnam.
I have a problem with the wording of the question here: Who are "we"? The U.S.? OECD or NATO countries? The international community?

Just an added note: Neither the Clinton administration (re: Somalia), nor the Bush administration (Iraq) chose to give the armed forces the materiél and/or personnel the military experts felt necessary to carry out the assigned task.
post #35 of 37
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jcat
I have a problem with the wording of the question here: Who are "we"? The U.S.? OECD or NATO countries? The international community?
I deliberately put "we" rather than being more specific because the board is multinational AND because there are a variety of groups that can intervene in these situations. So...defining "we" is up to the individual posters.
post #36 of 37
Originally Posted by lotsocats
I deliberately put "we" rather than being more specific because the board is multinational AND because there are a variety of groups that can intervene in these situations. So...defining "we" is up to the individual posters.
If I choose to interpret "we" as all other nations, I obviously have to say "yes", just as a question of what is "moral". But: I'm having a very hard time coming up with examples of where intervention has helped in the long run. WWII, obviously, and the economic sanctions imposed on South Africa. Kuwait was a stop-gap measure; ditto Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, Taiwan, Korea, Haiti, and, and, and. It's depressing to just think about it. My main objection to a "pre-emptive war" in Iraq has been that we (i.e., the U.S.) might very well be turning Iraq into the next Iran, Aghanistan, Somalia, Yugoslavia , Democratic Republic of the Congo, etc.. I grew up with the "domino theory", which proved to be untrue, so I'm very sceptical of the neoconservatives' "neodomino theory" - that a truly democratic Iraq can be created, and will eventually lead to more democracy in the entire Middle East. Dream on. The whole idea behind the European Union, where I now live, is that economic, cultural, political, and monetary ties can prevent future wars. As of May 1, there will be 25 member countries, and believe me, it hardly worked with 15 members. Idealism is great, but it has to be tempered by realism. I don't want those kids dying in Iraq to have lost their lives in vain; they're making the sacrifices, not the fat cat politicians in DC, with their financial connections to warmongering companies.
post #37 of 37
I agree that in cases of crimes against humanity, genocide included, the nations of the world are morally obligated to intervene.

Attempted genocide as such is a historical rarity. It's setting out to kill every individual belonging to a certain ethnic group - not simply destroying a culture or a language. The cases that come to my mind are the holocaust, the Turkish massacre of the Armenian people, the atrocoties in Rwanda and, to some extent, what was done to some native American tribes (although there it was still mostly setting out to destroy a culture). In my personal opinion, the slave trade of Africans that begun somewhere in the 15th or 16th century is as big an atrocity as genocide.

Those are the kind of cases where I feel the world should not just condemn in words - actions need to be taken to stop these kind of crimes. Yes, even if soldiers lose their lives for the cause - and I feel the pain of every family that loses a son or a daughter in war.
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