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View Diary: Thoughts on Blogging about Israel (255 comments)

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    It failed because neither side wanted it to succeed.

    No, it failed because it was a UN mission, with all the many faults that all UN peacekeeping missions fail.  Because as a rule, UN peacekeeping missions are never authorized to keep the peace, or do anything else really.

    Only since the end of the cold war has this duty been polluted by politics. In 1992, the Washington Post rewrote the UN charter to justify America's invasion of Somalia since the latter's government had "improperly treated" its own people and thereby sacrificed its territorial integrity. Intervention was converted into a moral duty by Blair's 1999 "humanitarian crusade" speech in Chicago. "We cannot turn our backs on conflicts and the violation of human rights ... if we want to be secure." Blair's confusion of humanity and security has bedevilled debate ever since. After 9/11 it opened the gate for generals and the military/ industrial complex to seize the initiative, with results that can be seen on the streets of Iraq today.

    Thanks Mr. Buchanan.  This is an argument for isolationism, which I do not endorse.

    All in all, I find there to be a grain of truth in what he says, but it is steeped in the philosophy of "better to do nothing than make a mistake".  It imagines that the War in Afghanistan was both unjustified and always doomed to failure, which I do not believe.  It presumes that it is the idea, and not the implementation, that is the fundamental flaw.

    And it supports that with.... nothing.  No, democracy is not worth 1000 lives per week.  But he knows better than to pretend that the war in Iraq is going how it has because of democracy, or even because of the misguided notion of spreading democracy at gunpoint.

    So, even if I agreed with his premises, I find his logic and critical thinking highly suspect.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:53:51 PM PDT

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      With regards to what he says about Afghanistan.  He wrote in previous pieces that what he would have advocated working with the taliban to secure the the handover of Osama.  a strange scenario granted but in many peoples eyes one which would have been preferable to western intervention.  
       His critical thinking is a tad unusual but it is not so much do  nothing as do different.  Reduce western hypocrisy for example.  encouraging democracy even if that means we end up with islamofascist parties in power.  
      Another thing to say about it is that intervention is fantasically difficult.  Brief intervention maybe to achieve very specific aims.
      Regarding the idea of intervention, personally i think it performs as form of subsidy for one group or another.  One that can often give you short term gains, but inevitably leaves you with an imbalance which in time will have to right itself.  By killing a generation of chechens the russians have merely delayed the problem.  In Northern Ireland the british backed the unionists for years and thus severly weakened the unionist position in the long run as they existed in a false reality.
      Maybe a better way to think about the piece would be to look at countries in fifty year snaphots and then see how intervention has performed, badly.  Vietnam, Korea, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Northern Ireland, Iraq.  All these countries only began to normalise when the " subsidy " was removed.  Humanity seeks a balance normally and intervention prevents this as it interferes.

      As for Jenkins he used to be the editor of the London Times so he is not quite tarred with the "Guardianista" brush.  Personally i love the guardian, i know it is often accused of being anti israel, it still has the most diverse comment page going on the subject from hezbollah to amos oz to Israeli government ministers and back.  In taking risks it sometimes goes too far, but it resembles an Israeli paper far more in its coverage and comment than any of the other english dailies.

      "machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men"

      by Boru on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:32:33 AM PDT

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