A Question of Sovereignty

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Mrs.Lucysnow, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    On the question of "when is it 'wrong' to intervene in the internal affairs of another nation?" one could see what I am saying as might makes right, but I think that misses some subtleties. Take the world as it exists today, with a militarily dominant US. If our western allies band together, it does not take very many of them for cause the US some degree of political discomfort. That discomfort may not be enough to prevent the US from doing what it wants to do (as was the case in Iraq), but it is a real cost imposed on us. So were we "wrong" to invade? I good part of relevant opinion seems to think so, both inside and outside the U.S. So despite the military might, and despite the fact that Iraq was in no position to stop us or put up a credible defense, it is not clear that US military might made us "right" in the face of the objections of our allies.

    That said, I don't find it especially meaningful to say that reason we may have been wrong to invade Iraq was that we were violating its "sovereignty." The real reason other nations objected was a generalized fear that our future interventions may have more direct negative consequences on those other nations (either they would be invaded or some interest of theirs would otherwise be impaired). It is that fear that is the basis for why nations tend to pefend (in word and action) the so-called "sovereignty" of other nations.
     
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  3. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    I am not sure if I understand you here. Do you mean all nationalism? Because I think the palestinians also have a nationalist agenda. I agree that said societies have been built on exploitation but an enforced liberty might work in the favor of the palestinian cause. Or do you think otherwise?
     
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  5. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    If this be the case then I think everyone should shut up about the behaviour of N.Korea in terms of missile defense, same with Iran. From this point of view they are absolutely correct to build a reliable defense against outside agendas. If threat is the only means of securing ones sovereignty and human rights is little more than a footnote, all conferences on the matter are little more than window dressing to hide the fact that brute deterence is the only matter at hand. The Russians also were quite correct to go into Georgia with a heavy hand and its quite obvious that any criticism based on 'sovereignty' were hypocritical. I think the US has created a deadly precedence.
     
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  7. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    In a sense they are absolutely rational to build those defenses. The problem is that once built they become a powerful weapon to use in intervening *by* Iran and N. Korea because they help shield them against retaliation. The same fear arises in the world community, that the actions of Iran and N. Korea today merely set the stage for their doing things more directly detrimental to other nations in the future. As a result, those other nations don't cry "sovereignty" on behalf of Iran and N. Korea (though they do for Cuba as against the U.S. on occasion), because Iran and North Korea are the "problem."

    That said, there is no doubt in my mind that if you are a belligerant state that is likely to draw the wrath of members of the world community (for good or bad reasons), then you want nuclear weapons. It doesn't matter how tiny and otherwise insignificant you are, having nuclear weapons makes it far less likely that anyone will take topppling your regime lightly.
     
  8. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    But N. Korea only went about their nuke program when Bush, in 2002 I believe, named them as part of the axis of evil, even though they were isolated, dependent on China and starving as usual. Before that speech I cannot recall when anyone even bothered to think about them. I doubt they have any intention of using their force for anything other than sending the message 'leave us alone'. I am not even convinced that Iran wants nukes outside of sourcing their energy needs and forcing Israel to think twice about their behaviour vis a vis their neighbors.

    A great example of U.S fears of islamic expansion is Somalia. They intefered with a popular islamist movement by intalling a transitional federal government in 2007.

    "The phenomenon of Islamic Courts in ‘stateless’ Somalia first appeared in north Mogadishu in August 1994. After nearly four years of persistent anarchy and political failures, Islamic clerics from the locally Introduction powerful Abgal sub-clan of the Hawiye (Somalia’s largest and currently most powerful clan), with the blessing of their ‘secular’ political leaders, founded the first fully functioning sharia court. The establishment of the Islamic Courts was not so much an Islamist imperative as a response to the need or some means of upholding law and order." Chatham House


    Instead of leaving well enough alone, the U.S fearing a rise in terrorist groups went ahead with covert operations assassinating members involved with the courts even though the courts had restored social services, charitable services peace and order by uniting Mogadishu's various militia groups etc. They had the backing of local businessmen and as far as the average citizen was concerned filled a much needed gap.

    "The US government is convinced that non-Somali terror suspects were sheltered in Mogadishu by elements connected to the Islamic Courts Union. There is a reasonable case for suspecting that there has been some connection between Al-Qaeda and related East African cells and radical figures in Somalia, though not necessarily with the mainstream
    Courts leadership. However, the Courts’ lack of transparency on this issue of terror led to greater international pressure.All the indications are that the Islamic Courts’ Supreme Council was seriously divided on the diplomatic position and on negotiations with the Transitional Government and external players, especially the Ethiopians who by now had considerable numbers of troops on the ground. These difficulties were exacerbated by the US and Ethiopian
    connivance in international diplomatic activity culminating in the ill-advised United Nations resolution 1725 authorizing the deployment of an African Union peacekeeping mission. Since the Courts had always rejected the idea of such an external peacekeeping force, this encouraged the ‘hawks’ (not just al-Shabaab) within the Supreme Council to think
    there was an international conspiracy against them." Chatham

    "the UN estimates that more than 100,000 civilians have fled from Mogadishu as a result of the recent fighting,15and significant areas of west Mogadishu have been destroyed. A series of peace deals between the Ethiopian army and Hawiye clan Whatever the short-term future holds, the complex social forces behind the rise of the Islamic Courts will
    not go away. Indeed while warlords and secular governments have come and gone, the Islamic Courts have enjoyed relatively consistent support for over a decade. They have tended to garner support when the populace are fed up with insecurity and ineffectual and corrupt politicians. For these reasons alone, as well as the likely long-term failure of the Transitional Federal Government’s reliance on foreign protection and unwillingness to reconcile with armed opponents,
    the forces behind the Islamic Courts – in one form or another – are likely to rise again." Chatham

    http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/9130_bpsomalia0407.pdf

    The rest is history as they say; no government, militia violence, instablitiy for the citizens and those who venture into Somali waters. If Somalia didn't hate the U.S before they surely do now, if they were neutral in regards to spreading terrorist threats they may not be in the future. U.S interference caused nothing but disaster, there must be a better way of handling foreign affairs than this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  9. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    I think a better, or maybe more realistic question would be not when is it right or wrong, but when is it necessary to intervene in the affairs of another nation?
     
  10. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Well my first reaction would be to say during a genocide or something like that but we only have to look at the half-hearted attempts at UN intervention in srebencia, Rwanda and Sudan to know that they make these overtures for show, not with any real intent. The U.S state deparment were asked for help before the genocide even occured as it was known on the ground that the massacre was coming and they turned their back on the situation. So outside of self-interest there seem to be no reason to intervene in the affairs of another nation.
     
  11. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    And yet, if the USA had intervened and things in Rwanda, et al, hadn't turned out absolutely perfect and Utopian, you and SAM and others like you would have been the first to cast blame and hatred towards the USA!

    See? You want the USA to help in "terrible situations", yet when they try, people like you are the first to yell and scream and accuse the US of empire building or something worse. We tried to help in Somalia and you've accused us of causing even worse problems. What do you want of us?

    The USA should become totally, absolutely, isolationist ...completely withdraw from interacting with the rest of the world. Of course, if we did, people would blame the USA for not helping! Fucked if we do, fucked if we don't.

    Baron Max
     
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    An all-purpose bogey-man that can be blamed for any and every problem, obviously. It's not as anti-Americanism is some new phenomenon or something...
     
  13. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    No Baron you are missing the point. A nation like China wouldn't intervene but they don't pretend to be the leaders in human rights, wagging their pointy fingers at every other nation judging whether they're a democracy or not or whether their speech, women, gays etc are free or not.
    Russia will intervene only when it is in their national interest and they say so without pretending to pander to human rights etc.

    The U.S on the other hand are 'good' remember? They desperately try to get the world to think of them as doing 'good', as having the moral high-ground and being essentially 'good' not even good but better vis a vis other nations in the world of international politics. Yet everyone, save american people, know that your foreign policy vis a vis human rights sucks! You guys are still riding on your WW2, Korea hero status and you haven't been able to prove it since. 'Vietnam', illegal bombings in Lao and Cambodia, covert operations in africa like Somalia and the middle-east, remember the great job you guys did in Iran propping the Shah whom they all hated and paving the path of your nemesis the Ayatollah?

    So no they shouldn't bother to intervene period. What they should do is MIND THEIR BUSINESS, stop going on about human rights as if they actually give a shit about people in other nations. Rwanda played itself out naturally but I will remind you of US apathy:

    "Western powers, particularly the United States and France which compete for geopolitical control of Central Africa, disposed all the required resources to cease the carnage. A brigade of US marines or French paratroopers could efficiently pacify the raging crowds, isolating local provocateurs and assisting the local government in maintaining the state of emergency. But Washington and Paris preferred to refrain from intervention – in the same way as in Kampuchea. Why? Did they grudge manpower for the mission? But in 1991, American and French forces did intervene in Kuwait, despite absence of humanitarian urgency.

    The striking indifference of Washington and Paris to the tragedy of Rwanda in 1994 was explained with focusing of geopolitical propaganda on the Balkan conflict. Attention of the media audience to the ethnic war between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Africa was then inexpedient, as the priority task was to associate the "brutal" Serbs with the "image of evil". Therefore, a scores bloodier ethnic war in Africa was blacked out.

    For fifteen years, most of the Western media audience has still been unaware of the fact that in early 1990s, the era of the West's prosperity, dozens of thousands people daily perished in the former Belgian colony of Rwanda. The horrible truth of the Rwandan carnage is downplayed until today. That is not surprising: a substantive discussion on Rwanda would make any assertions of the United States and France for the role of guarantors of international security and observation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights merely ridiculous."

    http://www.rpmonitor.ru/en/en/detail.php?ID=13007&print=Y


    So Baron you are wrong.I am not so naive to think that the US does these things because of its innate 'goodness'. I DO think you should mind your business and stay out of the affairs of others. Truth be known Rwanda's situation worked out the way it worked out but at the cost on hundreds of thousands.

    You know what's funny the Dalai Lama had once asked the U.S for help when he was still in Tibet and the Chinese were threatening full take over. The U.S declined. Why shouldn't they decline, Tibet is small, isolated, in China's backyard making it difficult to engage with the Chinese without actually fighting the Chinese.

    I understand fully why they declined, it made sense to decline. What galls me though is when they use the Dalai Lama after the fact as a sticking point to the Chinese, trying to make themselves look good by supporting Tibetan rights, speaking out against their evil COMPETITORS when they flatly would have let the Dalai Lama die. But who knew he would become such an international hero after the fact? The americans certainly didnt. Its hysterical, its a nation of hypocrisy. Even the idea of Eleanor Roosevelt helping write the UN's declaration of human rights in 1948 when racism and jim crow were in full swing in their own country, thereby violating the charter itself as they dole out advice, accuse others of violating the charter...well I cannot but help find it all too funny, like the monty python version of a 'great nation'.

    But I expect you'll still continue the spin.

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Did the Palestinians have a choice in being nationalistic?
     
  15. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Being nationalistic can be done as a group even if they have lost access to the land, sometimes especially if they've don't have land as it unites them. The early zionists didn't have access to the land at the time of conception, the abuses of jews throughout Europe coupled with a nationalist idea brought about the effort towards creation of Israel.
     
  16. tim840 Registered Senior Member

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    Why can't you just accept that he may have a different opinion than you?? you and cosmic obviously have conflicting thoughts about interventionism. just because his opinion is different doesn't mean he doesn't understand the topic, you idiot. he was merely responding to your query, as can be edxpected when you ask a question on a forum (duh) and you attacked him for defending interventionist policy... what were you expecting, that everyone would jump in and condemn the western world and America for their horrid, aggrandizing, disreputable empire-builiding?? jerk...
     
  17. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    So no nation or people should ever try to help any other nation or people ...ever? ...for fear that something might go wrong and cause problems later? No money, no equipment, no research, no medicines, ...., no nothing, because something might go wrong at some future date?

    You're suggesting pure and absolute isolationism all over the world, Lucy. There simply ain't no other way to take your posts. Oh, either that or all nations should consult with you before they make any moves to help anyone or do anything. Is that it, Lucy?

    Baron Max
     
  18. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Look at the thead. Does it sound as if I am discussing 'aid'. Cosmic is talking of aid not unwanted or manipulated interference. There is a difference. So since you obviously also don't understand the thread focus and obviously have nothing to add to the discussion save your stupid diatribe please kindly PISS OFF!
     
  19. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Help comes through aid not coercion. Money, equipment, research all you mentioned is aid. Proping up proxy governments, leaders or militias because they serve your political interest is not aid its interference. Toppling a government because they do not meet your political ends is not aid. And no I am not advocating isolationism.

    For example the U.S wanted democratic elections in Gaza, they had them. The U.S disliked the outcome and then politically maneuvered to have all finacial aid cutt off and I don't mean just american aid. There were countries like Norway and Russia that disagreed and refused to politically and financially isolate them yet still the U.S has done everything possible to stress the people of Gaza in a fundamental way so that they change their minds about a democraticaly elected government. In short they did everything possible to add instability. They did this by crying 'human rights' claiming that the Hamas is a terrroist organization, obviously the people of Gaza didn't think so, to them Hamas is a legitimate political party.

    Another example are sanctions. Burma has been sanctioned under the cry of 'human rights' but it hasn't helped oust the ruling Junta, it only serves to further impoverish the country and people. We did the same under Sadam and it caused such havoc for the Iraqi people as basic infrastructure, culture and medical supplies became so scarce or declined that they suffered enormous hardship. It didn't change the internal political atmosphere in the country. Also the U.S had tried to sponser a coup using the minority Kurds. It failed because they were not properly supported and the outcome was the chemical attack as punishment by Sadam's regime. The propped and corrupt Shah of Iran, placed there because it was U.S friendly should be a historical lesson as to how that kind of involvement can turn around and bite you in the ass. As a matter of fact when since WW2 when has it ever worked out the way the U.S has wanted? Not in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan, Iraq nor Cambodia, nor Lao, not in Vietnam nor Somalia to name a few.

    When do you people ever learn? Oh I forgot its the United States of Amnesia.

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  20. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    So WHO does the USA give "aid" to? ...just toss the money out onto the ground and let the people fight for it? If we give aid to one group, another might be pissed off at us. If we give aid to another group, some other competing nation might get pissed off.

    Aid? Lucy, who do we give that aid to ....without causing any problems with anyone in the world because of it?

    Lucy Snow, Empress of 20/20 Hindsight and Future Crystal Ball Readings!

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    Baron Max
     
  21. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    History has lessons to learn from. The U.S gives aid like mosquito nets and other assistance for example but sometimes they do it for a change in internal policy not out of altruism or actual need on the ground. Learn to read opening threads to know what the theme is instead of jumping in and assuming aid means unwanted political interference under the guise of human rights. Respond to the many examples I gave or give your own historically accurate examples otherwise there is no discussion, just me dealing with you after a night of miller beer in your texas trailer.
     
  22. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    The USA once gave thousands/millions of mosquito nets to families in some central African country to protect the children from malaria. A bunch of rebels stole those nets and used them to bribe the people into joining their rebellious cause against the existing government.

    So, I ask again, Lucy, how can we possibly know who to help and how? Or is it that ONLY YOU can know ....because of your expert 20/20 hindsight and crystal ball readings?

    You're suggesting, in reality, absolute isolationism for the USA ....you just can't see it so easily because you're too busy finding world problems to blame on the USA.

    Baron Max
     
  23. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    And so? They gave millions to mosquito nets? How does it address the examples I gave you where they were interfering and not giving direct aid relief. Go and look at the examples I gave and address them there are many. Explain why the U.S has dropped more bombs than mosqito nets. In the case of the U.S they probably should isolate for a while, they have been causing harm to a great many people for a long time now. It was once a country of great hope and now its a deep global disappointment. They've shit on their own great name. I don't have to go out of my way to make up U.S fuck ups. They offer them on a historical gold platter

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