Sunday, February 01, 2004

Moral Obligations

Sock Thief says:

it is hard not to accept that the international community has a moral obligation to intervene in circumstances of oppression

Sure. But such interventions should be embarked on cautiously, in full awareness of the mess it will involve and the fact that doing it wrong can make things much, much worse. I think the word I'm really looking for here is "humility"... we will fuck up, so we have to be damn sure its worth it. And we have to be damn sure that we're not being taken for a ride by someone using humanitarianism as cover for aggression... otherwise, we end up giving "humanitarian intervention" such a bad reputation that we can't do it when its really necessary.

It doesn't have to be perfect, but we can (and should) do a damn sight better than Bush's gung-ho cowboy act.