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  #1  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:58 AM
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Default Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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  #2  
Old 04-05-2011, 01:48 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Would the US have intervened in Libya if France and Britain hadn't taken the initiative? Doubtful, from everything I have read about the events leading up to the UN SC resolution. But you would never know that from listening to this diavlog. So, contrary to both Bob and Wonderment, I am not convinced that Obama deserves either praise or blame. That would be crediting him with more intitiative than he has shown in any of his decisions.

And by the way, since this was mentioned in the diavlog, France and the UN have also taken the initiative in the Ivory Coast as of April 5:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/wo...ef=global-home
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2011, 01:54 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Hey, it's Wonderment talking to Bob! It's good to see this DV up. Also, everyone should totally go read the Progressive Realist. Seriously, go do it right now.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2011, 02:13 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/352...6:34&out=46:52

I think this statement is probably less opaque than Bob intended. Or perhaps, if he's being clever, exactly as opaque as he intended!
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2011, 02:17 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/352...6:34&out=46:52

I think this statement is probably less opaque than Bob intended. Or perhaps, if he's being clever, exactly as opaque as he intended!
Perhaps he should have said:
"Some people may be unable to go long without insulting someone with whom they disagree, but their remarks come off about as funny as Jay Leno's nightly rehashed lines, or James O'Keefe's failed boating expose."
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2011, 02:20 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/352...6:34&out=46:52

I think this statement is probably less opaque than Bob intended. Or perhaps, if he's being clever, exactly as opaque as he intended!
The statement is transparent. It is Bob Wright who is opaque because most of his ideas are opaque and half-baked.
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:00 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Hey, it's Wonderment talking to Bob!
Yep. Great job, Wonderment. I found the conversation on Libya and R2D quite interesting.
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:46 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Originally Posted by operative View Post
Perhaps he should have said:
"Some people may be unable to go long without insulting someone with whom they disagree, but their remarks come off about as funny as Jay Leno's nightly rehashed lines, or James O'Keefe's failed boating expose."
ha!
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2011, 12:19 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Would the US have intervened in Libya if France and Britain hadn't taken the initiative? Doubtful, from everything I have read about the events leading up to the UN SC resolution. But you would never know that from listening to this diavlog. So, contrary to both Bob and Wonderment, I am not convinced that Obama deserves either praise or blame. That would be crediting him with more intitiative than he has shown in any of his decisions.
I didn't mean to give the impression that I think the intervention was Obamacentric or impelled by the USA. I agree that US humanitarian interventionists only seized the opportunity after other Western countries took the lead and the Arab League signed on.

It's still about R2P, however, and what Obama didn't really made clear to the US public in his Libya speech is that the intervention is a test case of the doctrine. I think it would be political suicide to concede that Libya is a kind of experiment and that it's based on UN guidelines that may trump narrow national interests and certainly trump the US exceptionalism Obama touted in his speech.

Here is an excellent article in by Stephen Walt that does focus on why a US president, Obama or another, finds it relatively easy to intervene:

Quote:
It is as if the president has big red button on his desk, and then his aides come in and say, "There's something really nasty happening to some unfortunate people, Mr. President, but if you push that button, you can stop it. It might cost a few hundred million dollars, maybe even a few billion by the time we are done, but we can always float a bit more debt. As long as you don't send in ground troops, the public will probably go along, at least for awhile and there's no danger that anybody will retaliate against us -- at least not anytime soon -- because the bad guys (who are really nasty, by the way) are also very weak. Our vital interests aren't at stake, sir, so you don't have to do anything. But if you don't push the button lots of innocent people will die. The choice is yours, Mr. President."

It would take a very tough and resolute president -- or one with a clear set of national priorities and a deep understanding of the uncertainties of warfare -- to resist that siren song.
The siren song, it seems to me, would be as alluring in France as in the USA.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2011, 04:38 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
It's still about R2P, however, and what Obama didn't really made clear to the US public in his Libya speech is that the intervention is a test case of the doctrine. I think it would be political suicide to concede that Libya is a kind of experiment and that it's based on UN guidelines that may trump narrow national interests and certainly trump the US exceptionalism Obama touted in his speech. .
Good point, but Americans being Americans they will always want their president to play the trump card of American exceptionalism, even when he is acting as an enforcer of international law--if R2P has that status. The problem, and it is problem that is likely to endure for a long time to come (centuries?), is that the UN is the only international body that has the authority to say what is in accordance with international law but lacks the means to enforce its dictates other than by its member states and their militaries.

American exceptionalism is as much a result of history as of American culture. But history has moved on.....The US no longer enjoys the self-ascribed status it had coming out of WW II when it could present itself with some plausibility as the ultimate arbiter of international conflicts. During the Cold War it lost much of its credibility in the eyes of Africans, Asians and others as the "leader of the free world" and the enforcer of collective security. No need to mention Vietnam....or Iraq!

Quote:
Here is an excellent article in by Stephen Walt that does focus on why a US president, Obama or another, finds it relatively easy to intervene:

The siren song, it seems to me, would be as alluring in France as in the USA.
Thanks for the article. The siren song is likely to be more alluring in the US than in France because France, like the rest of Europe, is weary of history, and besides Europe is almost as broke as the US.
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2011, 09:54 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I didn't mean to give the impression that I think the intervention was Obamacentric or impelled by the USA. I agree that US humanitarian interventionists only seized the opportunity after other Western countries took the lead and the Arab League signed on.
I read the article and agree with a lot that it has to say. It seems to me that we are the way we are because we have been doing things this way for such a very long time, with a few variations along the way. To do things differently is hard to fathom.

If I may digress, it reminds me of the reaction to Paul Ryan's new budget. We all know we have a massive problem but no one has the will to tackle it. It is so much part of the fabric of this country that it's almost as if we can't change and anyone who offers a way is suspect.
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2011, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Ventura
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2011, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post

If I may digress, it reminds me ... Paul Ryan's new budget.
And don't forget the cowboy poets!
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:47 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by graz View Post
And don't forget the cowboy poets!
how could I?
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  #15  
Old 04-06-2011, 11:31 AM
Mannish Boy Mannish Boy is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

I think Wonderment's opposition to the Libyan intervention is a sort of knee-jerk anti-militarism, without fully considering the costs and benefits of the intervention. He seems to have had two objections (opportunity costs and mission creep), which I found quite shallow. I suspect his real reason for opposing the intervention is that he has a principled objection to America's reliance on military power as a tool for problem solving, and I'd rather he stated this in the diavlog rather than relying on a few weak consequentialist objections.

Hopefully he can correct me if I misunderstood him anywhere!
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:34 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

I probably don't qualify to be as anti-violence as Wonderment is, but the part about Eduardo thinking he can build a cathedral with solar power sums up my objection to a lot of military action. Matt Yglesias talked about this in his book, where he called it (I think) the Green Lantern principle, because people seem to think the American military is all powerful, like Green Lantern's power ring. I have my own name for it, which is the Too Much History Channel Syndrome. Point being that things are extremely difficult, and even if only ("only") 10 Americans will die, the lives of the other people are important, too, and we as a society don't emphasize that enough. If not for humanist reasons then at least for pragmatic reasons. (And this is a Bob Wright central principle as far as I can tell, so I probably learned it from Bob, who knows.)

All the dipshit talk about "Is it time to admit the Iraq War was a success" makes me angry for just this reason. I've seen a few Slate headlines like that. Sure it looks great now that it's over, and all those tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people are dead.

Bob is right to point out that it's State Department types pushing this. Or election consultants, who knows. If the general public would quit rallying around Presidents because of wars, you'd get fewer wars. My question is: do we just need to wait for enough time to go by that the general population turns over by death/birth and it will be better? Or is it fundamental that men, and particularly old men, like seeing young men die for bullshit patriotic reasons?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:28 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
The problem, and it is problem that is likely to endure for a long time to come (centuries?), is that the UN is the only international body that has the authority to say what is in accordance with international law but lacks the means to enforce its dictates other than by its member states and their militaries.
That's why I say I'm pessimistic in the short term and optimistic long term. I think ultimately (Bob agreed) we must reform the Sec. Council. There has to be a mechanism where interventions can be truly minimalist and based on fair and equitable criteria.

World governance can ultimately work on the model of a prosperous city where we fund many projects to prevent crime (create parks, educate children, provide programs to divert kids from gangs, etc.) and where law enforcement follows proper procedures for investigations, interventions, rescues, arrests and prosecutions.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:40 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
If I may digress, it reminds me of the reaction to Paul Ryan's new budget. We all know we have a massive problem but no one has the will to tackle it. It is so much part of the fabric of this country that it's almost as if we can't change and anyone who offers a way is suspect.
Has Paul seen this? If he's serious about cutting spending (and I believe he is) he could start by implementing President Obama's commitment to abolish nuclear weapons. That alone will save us at least $50 billion annually.

It seems contradictory to be maintaining nuclear weapons in a world in which civilian death is now considered a war crime (exceptions made for "collateral damage"). If these weapons are by definition illegal to use, why keep them?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:42 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
I suspect his real reason for opposing the intervention is that he has a principled objection to America's reliance on military power as a tool for problem solving...
It's not my "real" reason; it's one of my reasons.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
That's why I say I'm pessimistic in the short term and optimistic long term. I think ultimately (Bob agreed) we must reform the Sec. Council. There has to be a mechanism where interventions can be truly minimalist and based on fair and equitable criteria.
Given the membership of the council, this is about as realistic as hoping for North Korea to announce that it will hold fair democratic elections.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Has Paul seen this? If he's serious about cutting spending (and I believe he is) he could start by implementing President Obama's commitment to abolish nuclear weapons. That alone will save us at least $50 billion annually.

It seems contradictory to be maintaining nuclear weapons in a world in which civilian death is now considered a war crime (exceptions made for "collateral damage"). If these weapons are by definition illegal to use, why keep them?
Why should we unilaterally disarm? Do you really believe that Russia and China will follow suit?
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  #22  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:04 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Point being that things are extremely difficult, and even if only ("only") 10 Americans will die, the lives of the other people are important, too, and we as a society don't emphasize that enough. If not for humanist reasons then at least for pragmatic reasons. (And this is a Bob Wright central principle as far as I can tell, so I probably learned it from Bob, who knows.)

All the dipshit talk about "Is it time to admit the Iraq War was a success" makes me angry for just this reason. I've seen a few Slate headlines like that. Sure it looks great now that it's over, and all those tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people are dead.
Yes, I really agree with this. Although I found it hard to articulate clearly in the dialogue, there's some disturbing hubris to me in the notion that it's okay to kill some people if we have a high-minded goal of improving lives or reducing violence for other people. It's worse when we think our own people are less expendable or that disproportionate force is acceptable, but it's creepy playing the God of War under any circumstances.

If we really believed in the sanctity of human life, as we profess to, we'd find other ways.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:11 PM
SkepticDoc SkepticDoc is offline
 
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Default War

I recently watched "War Made Easy" and "Robert Thurman on Tibet" (Netflix DVD) and have several burning questions...

Why did we really go to war in Vietnam? Until as a Nation we can answer that and other previous military events question truthfully we will not be able to understand the current events.

Are we really the most war mongering nation in history as "War Made Easy" implies?
How would we compare to the Roman Empire?
Is the same fate awaiting us?
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Another wonderful Wonderment diavlog! Good discussion between two very friendly people.

I was surprised that no one brought up one of the most salient aspects of the discussion, at least in the personal revealing department. Bob finally came out as a believer! And guess who is his god?
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:11 AM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Some people are easy to get along with.

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Yes, I really agree with this. Although I found it hard to articulate clearly in the dialogue, there's some disturbing hubris to me in the notion that it's okay to kill some people if we have a high-minded goal of improving lives or reducing violence for other people. It's worse when we think our own people are less expendable or that disproportionate force is acceptable, but it's creepy playing the God of War under any circumstances.

If we really believed in the sanctity of human life, as we profess to, we'd find other ways.
But you seem to imply at one point that you would have favored military intervention in Rwanda to avoid genocide. Then you say that what was happening in Libya, the violence and threatened violence that led to Western intervention, was not genocide. So I infer from this, and from what you said about Samantha Powers's book, that you agree with her that military intervention to avert genocide can be morally necessary under certain circumstances, it's just that Libya does not fall into this category. If all of the above is correct, however, this puts you in the position of making a mostly pragmatic and prudential judgment about Libya and every other supposedly humanitarian intervention, which is fine, and even unavoidable, but I don't think "military intervention only as a last resort" is really pacifism, it's pacifism light. If I put all of this together with what you have said about the Nazis and WWII, I can infer that your next move would be to say that Rwanda should never have been allowed to come to the point at which genocide was a real possibility, that nonviolent means should have been used to avert the whole thing. And yes, that it is much to be wished, but the reality is that, in the end, one is often faced with the choice of resorting to [mostly nobly motivated] violence to avert more [mostly ignobly motivated] violence.

Wright thinks there were "strategic considerations" that played a part in this Libyan intervention, but these considerations presumably had only to do with terrorism and nothing to do with oil. "If oil were the issue, the US would simply leave Khadaffi in power." But this assumes that the military-political judgment of US policy makers was that Khadaffi could and would reassert control of the country relatively easily and that his grip on power would thenceforth be enduring. Is that true? I doubt it. I don't really understand what Wright's objection to the hypothesis that oil is a powerful motivating force in all US Mideast diplomacy is. I understand that he thinks the hypothesis is false, but that he thinks it is patently false, or obviously false, that I don't get. Is Obama's political survival more contingent upon the price of gasoline than upon the life or death of Libyans? Yes, one has to show that the price of gasoline is at issue in the minds of policy-makers in any given case, whether it be Iraq, Egypt, or Libya, and policy-makers are not in the habit of saying this openly.

Here is some minor evidence for the "oil hypothesis," however. Right after I argued in this forum, a propos of US policy towards Egypt, that US policy towards Egypt was really a policy towards Saudi Arabia, Tony Blankley said on two successive episodes of "Left, Right and Center" that he was very concerned that US support of anti-Mubarak forces in Egypt would lead to general political instability in the Middle East and to higher oil prices. Blankley fairly obviously speaks for a certain sector, or faction, of the US foreign policy establishment, including the CIA. I don't see why the Libyan case should be much different from the Egyptian case, although I have not even been reading the news much for some months now, so I am woefully ignorant of the particulars of this Libyan intervention.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:18 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I was surprised that no one brought up one of the most salient aspects of the discussion, at least in the personal revealing department. Bob finally came out as a believer! And guess who is his god?
Heh, that's great.

Of course, now we just need to start some nasty fights about what Wonderment really meant by various posts. Perhaps we could get Mickey on board and he and Bob can lead competing factions. They could offer Wonderment stuff and see what he likes most.

Hmm, probably a bad idea.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:27 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Heh, that's great.

Of course, now we just need to start some nasty fights about what Wonderment really meant by various posts.
Not to mention, that I caught Wonderment sending thunderbolts at least a couple of times and had to stop him from causing cataclysms. Yes, believe it or not.


Quote:
Perhaps we could get Mickey on board and he and Bob can lead competing factions. They could offer Wonderment stuff and see what he likes most.
See what the problem is? As soon as we introduce religion to a system the competition and wars get started. Stephanie!

Quote:
Hmm, probably a bad idea.
Indeed. A much better idea is to think of Wonderment as a unifier of religions. As a good atheist he shouldn't show favoritism for any single religion. Not even his own.
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  #29  
Old 04-07-2011, 03:14 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
But you seem to imply at one point that you would have favored military intervention in Rwanda to avoid genocide. Then you say that what was happening in Libya, the violence and threatened violence that led to Western intervention, was not genocide. So I infer from this, and from what you said about Samantha Powers's book, that you agree with her that military intervention to avert genocide can be morally necessary under certain circumstances, it's just that Libya does not fall into this category. If all of the above is correct, however, this puts you in the position of making a mostly pragmatic and prudential judgment about Libya and every other supposedly humanitarian intervention, which is fine, and even unavoidable, but I don't think "military intervention only as a last resort" is really pacifism, it's pacifism light. If I put all of this together with what you have said about the Nazis and WWII, I can infer that your next move would be to say that Rwanda should never have been allowed to come to the point at which genocide was a real possibility, that nonviolent means should have been used to avert the whole thing. And yes, that it is much to be wished, but the reality is that, in the end, one is often faced with the choice of resorting to [mostly nobly motivated] violence to avert more [mostly ignobly motivated] violence.
Good points. I'm not trying to practice pacifism lite, however. I'm just trying not to practice a pacifism at all costs that irrationally sacrifices lives to stand on inflexible principle. In other words, if a crazed neighbor has a knife to my child's throat, I will call the police. When the police shoot the assailant as a last resort, I won't tell them they did the wrong thing.

If we could set up an international intervention system that worked as well as a peace-loving modern democratic police force, I would not object on pacifist grounds, just as I don't object today to police officers carrying weapons.

Politically, what my pacifism comes down to is NEVER personally practicing violence, ALWAYS looking for alternatives to violence, devoting all my energies to resolving conflicts peacefully, and trying to make the best sense I can of very extreme circumstances where I'd have to admit that a rescue mission was ethically acceptable even if a few people were killed to save many.

I also have another objection to interventions that I tried to tease out (unsuccessfully) when I made the reference to the "humanitarian" measles crisis. Basically, it's a twofold caution light: 1) If we really focused (cared about?) the more mundane global problems like measles we would eliminate the conditions conducive to fanaticism, conflict and civilian violence/genocide; 2) armed intervention is the quintessentially dramatic and adrenaline-inducing endeavor at the UN. The UN has hundreds of wonderful projects, as do NGOs all over the world, that are not as intoxicating or media-attention worthy as rescuing Anne Frank from the Nazis or the Rwandan children from their would-be butchers. As a result, I think there's a tendency to glorify interventions, especially to the extent that they can be portrayed as simple morality plays. Over-simplifying and optimism bias promote interventions of the self-aggrandizing and self-fulfilling prophecy kind. Thus, the UN coalition practically declares victory before the intervention starts. We had the coalition celebrate saving the civilians of Bengazi almost immediately. It was a "mission accomplished" reminiscent of Bush.

You also make some good points about oil. Are all conflicts ultimately about competition for scarce resources? That view is probably too reductionist. But economic motives certainly have to be factored in, and it's true that we all live or die based on our oil-centric global economy.
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  #30  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:54 PM
Winspur Winspur is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Too Much History Channel syndrome! I love it.

Here is what John Stuart Mill had to say about situations like the one in Libya now--and I am in full agreement with him:

Quote:
When the
contest is only with native rulers, and with such native strength as
those rulers can enlist in their defence, the answer I should give to the
question of the legitimacy of intervention is, as a general rule, No. The
reason is, that there can seldom be anything approaching to assurance
that intervention, even if successful, would be for the good of the
people themselves. The only test possessing any real value, of a
people's having become fit for popular institutions, is that they, or a
sufficient portion of them to prevail in the contest, are willing to brave
labour and danger for their liberation. I know all that may be said. I
know it may be urged that the virtues of freemen cannot be learned in
the school of slavery, and that if a people are not fit for freedom, to
have any chance of becoming so they must first be free. And this
would be conclusive, if the intervention recommended would really
give them freedom. But the evil is, that if they have not sufficient love
of liberty to be able to wrest it from merely domestic oppressors, the
liberty which is bestowed on them by other hands than their own, will
have nothing real, nothing permanent.
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  #31  
Old 04-07-2011, 06:16 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by Winspur View Post
Too Much History Channel syndrome! I love it.

Here is what John Stuart Mill had to say about situations like the one in Libya now--and I am in full agreement with him:
So ya really don't think watching a Mirage F1 on a bombing run could bend his stance, just a little?
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:42 PM
Winspur Winspur is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Mill may not have envisioned aerial bombing of civilians, but he lived in a time when European governments often massacred their own people. Read up on the 1848 revolutions in France, Germany, and the Hapsburg Empire.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:10 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winspur View Post
Too Much History Channel syndrome! I love it.

Here is what John Stuart Mill had to say about situations like the one in Libya now--and I am in full agreement with him:
Interesting. Source? Compare with Rousseau (Government of Poland, 6,6):

Quote:
Freedom is hearty fare, but hard to digest; it takes very healthy stomachs to tolerate it. I laugh at those degraded peoples who, letting plotters rouse them to riot, dare to speak of freedom without so much as an idea of it, and, their hearts full of all the vices of slaves, imagine that all it takes to be free is to be unruly. Proud and holy freedom! if those poor people only knew you, if only they realized at what price you are won and preserved, if only they were aware of how much your laws are more austere than the tryants' yoke is hard; their weak souls, the slaves of passions that should be stifled, would fear you a hundred times more than servitude; they would flee you in terror as a burdern about to crush them.
Mill is more prosaic, but he is saying the same thing as Rousseau: that freeing oneself from oppression and being capable of self-government are two different things. "Humanitarian" intervention blurs the distinction, just as Bush's "freedom" agenda did in Iraq.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:51 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Commenter Court: Humanitarian Intervention (Robert Wright & Wonderment)

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Originally Posted by Winspur View Post
Mill may not have envisioned aerial bombing of civilians, but he lived in a time when European governments often massacred their own people. Read up on the 1848 revolutions in France, Germany, and the Hapsburg Empire.
Here's my deeper point, who do you think built the planes? I would like to live in a world where WMD's and other high tech weaponry could be disabled by the countries that built them.
Embedded electronic means of pacifying jets, bombs and rockets could too easily be defeated to be practical, so what's wrong with shooting them down when they are used in an effort to defend a cruel dictator, or against those who made them in the first place?
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