Thursday, September 14, 2006

Humanitarian Intervention

‘For an interventionist system to be viable, it needs in particular to have a general aura of legitimacy. In the case of intervention in the Third World, the system needs to be supported especially by the major Third World countries that can be expected to be very suspicious of it. This means more than just solving the tactical problems of getting Third World governments to vote for interventionist actions in the UN and various regional bodies, or even to send their own military contingents. It means figuring out how whole population, or at least their politically active components, react to intervention – what excite hostility, which aspects of an interventionary policy can generate support – and then framing one’s own policy with this understanding in mind. It means listening to people we are not used to listening to, and understanding the limits on our own power and , especially in our own wisdom’.

(Trachtenberg 1993 [quoted in ] Ramsbotham & Woodhouse 1996, 164) – Humanitarian Intervention in Contemporary conflict.

3 comments:

programmer craig said...

It sounds very reasonable and well thought out, and I wouldn't argue against his thinking. But, as far as I can tell, it's just speculation. The most successful UN sponsored intervention I can think of was the first UN mission to Somalia.... but that was followed almost immediately by the disastrous second UN mission to Somalia.

I was going to try and think of something really smart to say here, but instead I'm just going to say that I hope we do figure out how to do humanitarian interventions without making things worse, someday :)

Highlander said...

Yes programmer_Craig ...that is an idealised situation .

Curt from Houston said...

"In the case of intervention in the Third World, the system needs to be supported especially by the major Third World countries that can be expected to be very suspicious of it."

Most of these countries are run by thugs and dictators. That's why they're third world countries. It's not the geography, it's the culture. When you have a third world mentalty, you're going to be a third world country. Get rid of the mobsters and corruption and you will prosper. Japan is one of the smallest countries in the world. The whole thing would fit inside the American state of Pennsylvania yet they are one of the most prosperous countries in the world. They have virtually no natural resources. Everything they have was gained by the force of their national intelect and culture. Yet another infidel culture the Islamits would like to see destroyed.