diet coke for breakfast
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Posted by RFTR
WSJ.com - Global View
It is appropriate for Mr. Bush to respond to these cries for help. Defending or restoring human rights where possible is an appropriate project for the U.S. at this stage of world history. Would-be tyrants should be on notice that the ineffective U.N. chiding and coaxing is now replaced with effective power. The only nation that can be trusted to supply that power is the U.S., a strong democracy with no imperial ambitions.
But the U.S. can't be expected to act alone, expending its blood and treasure on behalf of a more humane world order. Other mature democracies must be asked to help. And it should be organized in a systematic, logical way.
It could just be me, but wasn't the UN founded for exactly that purpose? That systematic, logical body seems incapable of pretty much anything worthwhile, so what makes anyone think that a new organization created by the US will do any better?
Freeing the Iraqi people is a nice side-effect of deposing Saddam, but now that the war is over, people are trying to transform it into the justification. In reality, Saddam was a threat to us, and we removed him for our own protection. Why we were criticized as trying to be "the world's police" before going into Iraq elludes me - it wasn't for the good of the world, or the Iraqis, it was for our own good. Now that there's an actual situation that would involve our acting as the world's police, the rest of the world is all for it. I just don't get it.
Jake -- Let's all welcome our new blogger Brian to the site. By the way, "blood and treasure"? Avast ye maties, here comes the US. Arrgh.
James -- The UN wasn't formed to depose tyrants. I think was formed to try to prevent war through a central clearing house of diplomacy and discussion. The problem is that tyrants, dictators, and megalomaniacs will discuss and diplome while secretly mobilizing armies or putting their citizens through big paper shredders. If the UN were truly set up to take on tyrants, they'd have a more potent military force then their full-time peacekeepers at their disposal.
As for human rights being the justification for the war, I believe it was probably a sufficient reason to take out Saddam all along. Does that mean that we should go around the world deposing dictators? Absolutely not. That would stretch us thin and would likely make the world more dangerous, not less. So, when choosing tyrannies of which we would like to dispose ourselves, there is nothing wrong with using National Security interests as one criteria for the decision. Human rights can be the justification, even if preemptive self-defense is the reason.