'Responsibility to protect' is a power play

  • Article by: DIANA JOHNSTONE
  • Updated: January 25, 2013 - 6:04 AM

People of good intention are opposing genocide but advancing war in general.

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davehougJan. 25, 13 7:35 AM

Intervention means war; war causes massacres and more wars. - - - well said.

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swmnguyJan. 25, 13 9:48 AM

Good piece. I'm glad the STrib published it. The list of "genocides" where Great Powers have and have not intervened is telling. As appalling as genocide is, the word has become nearly as meaningless as "terrorism." It seems to be applied according to the interests of the Great Powers. Guatemala is a great example. The perpetrators of that genocide were trained by the US Military, and naturally the US did not intervene to stop it. So it goes. With sickening cynicism, genocide has become just another fig leaf for empire.

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luciawsJan. 25, 1311:35 AM

Thank you to Diana Johnstone for this clear, concise analysis. When I read the Ellen Kennedy Commentary a few days ago, I thought, "This 'responsibility to protect' is some kind of propaganda sponsored by the military-industrial complex." Johnstone spelled out my misgivings and substantiated my suspicions.

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hjlazniJan. 25, 1312:13 PM

War is hell, but, makes a lot of money for war contractors and post-war contractors, especially wars that are fought by the U.S., not to win, not to use the U.S. clear military strength, last as long as possible to spend the most amount of U.S. dollars during the war and reconstruction of the war area. As long as we have elected officials who are funded by war contractors we will have war. A true democracy has a better shot at stopping war (pardon the pun).

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stpauloldiesJan. 25, 1312:25 PM

All Ms. Johnstone showed was that genocide happens with and without intervention. She never does say what her solution is, because I don't think she knows what the solution is. The United States intervenes when it's in the best interests of the United States in most cases. The U.S. was right to support the overthrow of the communist governments of Cambodia and Indonesia (and any other communist government). It was also in our best interests to get rid of saddam hussein and the taliban government in afghanistan. Sure, sometimes we find ourselves allied with dictators who support our goals, like Mubarak in Egypt, for example, but we have no reason to be ashamed of looking after our best interests and security. Ms. Johnstone's apparent opinion that we shouldn't take any actions in the world that promote our security and world stability offers no solutions to all the genocides that would still occur without any intervention by us.

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stpauloldiesJan. 25, 1312:31 PM

"War is hell, but, makes a lot of money for war contractors and post-war contractors, especially wars that are fought by the U.S., not to win, not to use the U.S. clear military strength, last as long as possible to spend the most amount of U.S. dollars during the war and reconstruction of the war area." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Great point. Those Tutsis invading from Uganda were nothing but profiteers, and so were the Taliban. Hitler too. He was exterminating Jews to help corporate profits.

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mikejones45Jan. 25, 1312:41 PM

Status quo mule muffins! That is what revolutions are. The winning side makes the rules.

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yargadJan. 25, 13 4:17 PM

I read both this and the previous commentary on the subject with interest; it's as rare as a blue moon to see considered discussion of foreign policy anywhere in the MSM. Between the two, I side with Ms. Johnstone. That said, the U.S. will, and should, intervene anywhere in the world when its vital interests are threatened, whether with its diplomatic, economic or military power. Both the level and kind of intervention were much more right in, say, Libya than they were in, say, Iraq. But one needn't subscribe to Ms. Johnstone's contention that the former was somehow bad (or stpauloldie's that the latter was somehow good) or that we are somehow slouching toward a third world war to see that "responsibility to protect" might often be just another fig leaf covering the real motives of stronger nations bent on bullying weaker ones.

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lannys9Jan. 25, 13 5:06 PM

To stpauloldies: That's right, capitalism uber allis, In spite of the fact that Capitalism is what has caused many of the wars in the past two centuries. By overthrowing communism, you can be assured that those at the top will get to keep what they have and get more and the rest of the world will either stay the same or have less. As far as what her solution is, if you read closely, it is to stop fighting for human rights as the cause for going to war. Those hundreds of thousands of people that we fought for freedom in Iraq who were killed in the war are free I guess if that is how you define freedom.

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lannys9Jan. 27, 13 4:57 PM

To stpauloldies: That's right, capitalism uber allis, In spite of the fact that Capitalism is what has caused many of the wars in the past two centuries. By overthrowing communism, you can be assured that those at the top will get to keep what they have and get more and the rest of the world will either stay the same or have less. As far as what her solution is, if you read closely, it is to stop fighting for human rights as the cause for going to war. Those hundreds of thousands of people that we fought for freedom in Iraq who were killed in the war are free I guess if that is how you define freedom.

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