The Immorality of ‘Humanitarian’ Military Intervention


JBeee
+3
#1  Top Rated Post
Nicholas Kramer
March 22, 2011

I am sorry to report that I must add to my already considerable moral burden yet another set of murders committed by the U.S. government, funded by my taxes, and allowed by my complacency.

As of March 19, 2011, I have fresh Libyan blood on my hands and on my soul. The U.S. (and U.K.) bombing of Libyan targets with at least 112 U.S.-made Tomahawk cruise missiles was a fundamentally immoral act, and I fear it marks only the beginning of the murders that are to come.

According to initial reports , 48 people were killed and more were wounded in these opening air strikes. This has usually been reported in the Western media with the disclaimer that this is only “according to Libyan officials” and “cannot be independently verified.” While reporters may have some legitimate cause to question whether the so-called Libyan officials have inflated the true number of casualties of foreign military action, I find it telling that the same standard of journalism is rarely applied to the statements of U.S. government officials. Regardless of this implicit hypocrisy, the implication beneath these disclaimers is that less than 48 Libyans were probably killed in this particular assault and most or all of these Libyans were not the “civilians” they were reported to be by the Libyan state-run media. Instead, it is implied, those killed were likely “combatants” who were working at (or happened to be in close proximity to) military targets such as anti-aircraft weapons.

For the sake of argument, let me take this downplaying of so-called “collateral damage” to the extreme and base this discussion on the unlikely idea that only one Libyan was killed by these 112 cruise missiles—each likely carrying a 1,000-lb. warhead for a combined total of 112,000 pounds of explosives—and that this individual was a loyal member of the Libyan military. In the eyes of the Libyan rebels, much of the international community, and apparently much of the American populace, this murdered Libyan was therefore a “bad” person. Again, for the sake of argument, I will concede this point.

Even in these most unlikely of circumstances, the initial U.S. military intervention in the Libyan civil war would remain a grossly immoral act. I do not know of any major religious or secular moral code that allows for the killing of a human being by another person or persons unknown to the victim without any semblance of due process. Even Osama bin Laden does not go that far; his religious justification for the murder of Americans (though disputed by most Muslims) is based on the idea that we have responsibility for our government’s actions and furthermore that Islam allows for murder in defense of the Islamic community. Osama bin Laden is rightly vilified for his moral philosophy and the resulting murders, but let us consider the moral philosophy underpinning the actions of the U.S. government on March 19 as it murdered one (or 4 Libyan(s) in the name of human rights.

Starting from the beginning of our victim’s story, imagine a baby who is born in the nation of Libya, grows up under a vicious dictatorship never knowing the freedoms cherished by the people of the United States, and ends up serving in the Libyan military.

When many of the Libyan people rise up against the government after years of repression, the unelected and brutal Gadhafi regime attempts to crush the revolution violently. We cannot know what motivations drive this young soldier, and we cannot know how he or she feels about the Gadhafi regime or its actions. Nevertheless, we have already decided that this person was actively involved in the armed defense of the regime and was therefore “bad.” On March 19, this soldier reports for duty as normal and is killed in a powerful explosion caused by a U.S. cruise missile launched from a nearby warship. No one in the U.S. government or citizenry had any particular grievance against this Libyan; he or she was simply on the “wrong” side of a local conflict. Therefore, we cannot argue that this individual Libyan “deserved” to die for his or her specific actions (since we do not know what they were); instead, it follows that under our moral philosophy this Libyan deserved to die purely for the actions of his or her government. Unlike the concept of collective punishment, in which a larger group is punished for the actions of certain individuals and which is a crime under international law, this is a philosophy of individual punishment in which an individual may be punished for the crimes of a larger group (his or her government and its proxies) even if the individual is not responsible for those crimes.

As it happens, this precise line of thinking represents one component of Osama bin Laden’s argument for why it is morally acceptable to kill Americans. As I mentioned above, the other major component is that (in bin Laden’s view) Americans—through the actions of their government—are directly attacking the Muslim community, and therefore Muslims may respond violently in self-defense. The self-defense aspect of the argument is absent from the American rationale for so-called humanitarian military intervention, in which we kill some people in order to protect other people, none of whom threaten us in any way.

That being the case, even if we reduce our moral standards to those of Osama bin Laden, we still must acknowledge that the murder of the one (or 4 Libyan(s) on March 19 was morally unjustifiable. Consider, then, the moral implications if the true number of deaths is closer to the 48 reported by Libyan authorities instead of just one, or if some of those murdered Libyans were truly civilians rather than combatants. There are some who will argue that the murder of human beings (even innocent human beings) is a reasonable price to pay for the “greater good”; I am not one of them. No matter how “just” our theoretical cause for war may be, we would do well to remember the moral price of murder. Finally, we should each consider our own responsibility for those murders as citizens of a republic.

I wish the best for the brave Libyans fighting for their own freedom, and I abhor the violence the Libyan state is directing against them.

But I dearly hope that not another dime of my tax dollars will be spent murdering any Libyans—as in John Quincy Adams’ vision for America , my heart, benedictions, and prayers are with the Libyan people, but that is all. Please join me in demanding that our government stop murdering in our name.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
+3
#2
What a well done, logical argument. I happen to agree with the principle.

Unfortunately the people in power in the US and here in Canada have no moral compass that is not overridden by their desire for power and profit. The general population has basically been divided into 3 segments.. one has a moral opposition to the actions but doesn't feel thay can make a difference, one is completely apathetic to their actions because they are totally focused on their own existance, the third is supportive of their actions because they have the same defect in morality as their leaders. This is a sad commentary on the state of western society and sadder still that it will not change in the near future.
 
In Between Man
Free Thinker
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

The general population has basically been divided into 3 segments..

one has a moral opposition to the actions but doesn't feel thay can make a difference,

one is completely apathetic to their actions because they are totally focused on their own existance,

the third is supportive of their actions because they have the same defect in morality as their leaders.

Which category do you fall in?
 
Colpy
Conservative
+3
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

What a well done, logical argument. I happen to agree with the principle.

Unfortunately the people in power in the US and here in Canada have no moral compass that is not overridden by their desire for power and profit. The general population has basically been divided into 3 segments.. one has a moral opposition to the actions but doesn't feel thay can make a difference, one is completely apathetic to their actions because they are totally focused on their own existance, the third is supportive of their actions because they have the same defect in morality as their leaders. This is a sad commentary on the state of western society and sadder still that it will not change in the near future.

What arrogance!

So, it is a character flaw to wish a murderer out of power, and his people protected from his vengeful army.....

So, it would have revealed a character flaw to have gone into Rwanda to save 800,000 lives.

A character flaw to actually do more than pay lip service to the philosophy of "a responsibility to protect"

That is no less than disgusting.
 
In Between Man
Free Thinker
#5
Stick up for yourself PoliticalNick!
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

What arrogance!

So, it is a character flaw to wish a murderer out of power, and his people protected from his vengeful army.....

So, it would have revealed a character flaw to have gone into Rwanda to save 800,000 lives.

A character flaw to actually do more than pay lip service to the philosophy of "a responsibility to protect"

That is no less than disgusting.

What hypocrisy! You regularly support mass murderers in these threads, with adulation and without reservation. You have a very important decision to make in the very near future. Will you support and stand behind Canadas decision to rid itself of Israeli and Zionist influence or will you stand with your one true love Israel?
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

What a well done, logical argument.

Then you have embarrassed yourself. While you can agree or disagree with the principle, to suggest the author shows a logical argument is simply laughable. I loved the part where he compares the journalistic integrity of information coming out of a dictatorship with that of a free nation....too funny!
 
YukonJack
Conservative
#8
This Kramer is funnier than the one on Seinfeld, but not as smart.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

Then you have embarrassed yourself. While you can agree or disagree with the principle, to suggest the author shows a logical argument is simply laughable. I loved the part where he compares the journalistic integrity of information coming out of a dictatorship with that of a free nation....too funny!

What free nation! Did we vote for war? Did we vote to bankrupt Canada to further enrich private banker murderers? Did we vote to ally with the genocidal nation of murderers and thieves in Israel? There simply is no visible journalistic integrity in Canada nor any where else in the west. Journalists and prostitutes cannot be told apart in the west. The dictatorship of money rules all in Canada and every other western nation.
 
Highball
+1
#10
One way to help expunge this guys guilt would be to go to the nearest bridge and jump. It seems to help wipe out all that guilt they carry. They seem to rest peacefully after the fall. remember the jump has never calimed anyone. The sudden stop at the other end does have it risks.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

What free nation! Did we vote for war? Did we vote to bankrupt Canada to further enrich private banker murderers? Did we vote to ally with the genocidal nation of murderers and thieves in Israel? There simply is no visible journalistic integrity in Canada nor any where else in the west. Journalists and prostitutes cannot be told apart in the west. The dictatorship of money rules all in Canada and every other western nation.

"Free Nation" does not equal "A plebiscite on every government action". Your argument is silly (not that that is any surprise).
 
mentalfloss
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

What free nation! Did we vote for war? Did we vote to bankrupt Canada to further enrich private banker murderers? Did we vote to ally with the genocidal nation of murderers and thieves in Israel? There simply is no visible journalistic integrity in Canada nor any where else in the west. Journalists and prostitutes cannot be told apart in the west. The dictatorship of money rules all in Canada and every other western nation.

While I fully agree that 'democracy' of the west has failed, it isn't expected to be a direct democracy - ie. we as citizens can control the results of every issue by vote. That said, as a representative democracy, it probably also failed as most people would not have signed up for this kind of intervention at the ballot, last election.

That said, this move as one of 'compassion' is a bit short-sighted. Anyone who had really wanted to aggressively remove oppressive rule, would be fighting for intervention in Yemen right now as well. As well as Oman, Bahrain, Dijbouti, or Mauritania. But they don't really produce enough to be worth our 'compassion'.
Last edited by mentalfloss; Mar 25th, 2011 at 01:28 PM..
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
+2
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

What arrogance!

So, it is a character flaw to wish a murderer out of power, and his people protected from his vengeful army.....

So, it would have revealed a character flaw to have gone into Rwanda to save 800,000 lives.

A character flaw to actually do more than pay lip service to the philosophy of "a responsibility to protect"

That is no less than disgusting.

No Colpy, it would have been good to stop genocide in Rwanda....nobody did.

It would be good to stop genocide in Darfur...nobody did.

It would be good to stop genocide in Somalia, or Ivory Coast..nobody will.

Where was the great USA and 'western civilization' as you call it to help the people of Myanmar who are still suffering today?

Why is that....because there are no natural resources up for grabs in any of these places.

If you want to adopt a philosiphy of protecting the world then protect it all, cherry picking where to go based upon the rewards available is not protecting anything it is raping vulnerable countries for their wealth under the guise of protection.

The character flaw is not applying the assistance equally to all.

Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

Then you have embarrassed yourself. While you can agree or disagree with the principle, to suggest the author shows a logical argument is simply laughable. I loved the part where he compares the journalistic integrity of information coming out of a dictatorship with that of a free nation....too funny!

Yeah, because the media in the west is not at all influenced and skewed towards the poliies of the west. I remember when the Iraqi invasion was under way. All the embedded news reporters were forbidden from showing or reporting civilian deaths. the media in any given country will always place their government in the best light possible.

You probably think FOX news is the only correct source of truth in the media anywhere.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

What a well done, logical argument. I happen to agree with the principle.

Unfortunately the people in power in the US and here in Canada have no moral compass that is not overridden by their desire for power and profit. The general population has basically been divided into 3 segments.. one has a moral opposition to the actions but doesn't feel thay can make a difference, one is completely apathetic to their actions because they are totally focused on their own existance, the third is supportive of their actions because they have the same defect in morality as their leaders. This is a sad commentary on the state of western society and sadder still that it will not change in the near future.


Does Qaddafi have a moral compass??? Or do you just condemn one side? For years the Arab Govts were complicit in the murders in Sudan, the welcomed a mass murderer to their countries and thumbed their noses at the International Arrest Warrant.

Do some checking and see how many Qaddafi has killed. 1 instance - prison riot - 1200 Hung - that was everyone - how many times has he supported terror groups.

Nick - You are one sided and blinded in you viewpoint - an yet you state you are an educated man - Well what would an uneducated man think?
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

The character flaw is not applying the assistance equally to all.

Since I think we should have helped in Rwanda and in Libya, I obviously want to apply the assistance equally. Since you wanted to help in Rwanda but not in Libya, you obviously don't and you (by your own admission) have a character flaw.
 
petros
#16
Quote:

Why is that....because there are no natural resources up for grabs in any of these places.

Palm kernel oil plantations are a natural resource. Grains are a natural resource. Human labour is a natural resource.

Compassion is not a natural resource nor is it a financial resource. It's a learned response.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Goober View Post

Does Qaddafi have a moral compass??? Or do you just condemn one side? For years the Arab Govts were complicit in the murders in Sudan, the welcomed a mass murderer to their countries and thumbed their noses at the International Arrest Warrant.

Do some checking and see how many Qaddafi has killed. 1 instance - prison riot - 1200 Hung - that was everyone - how many times has he supported terror groups.

Nick - You are one sided and blinded in you viewpoint - an yet you state you are an educated man - Well what would an uneducated man think?

I never stated anything about Gadafhi's moral compass. His too is influenced and flawed by his want for power and control, that is true about most leaders in any country. I have never stated I support the policies or actions of any country in the ME, you simply 'assume' that because I don't support our government's actions I support the other side. I do not condone murder in any form.

You are the person with the one-sided viewpoint as you are obviously blind to the flaws in the western policy.

Why is it that you think it is ok to keep denigrating my ideas and demeaning me personally by attacking my intelligence. Please feel free to disagree and state your different opinion but when you resort to a personal attack on my education every time you show your lack of character and lack of a real, logical, moral argument against my position.
 
EagleSmack
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

Why is it that you think it is ok to keep denigrating my ideas and demeaning me personally by attacking my intelligence. Please feel free to disagree and state your different opinion but when you resort to a personal attack on my education every time you show your lack of character and lack of a real, logical, moral argument against my position.


Wow... you really just said this. I guess we can add hypocrite to the list.

Quote: Originally Posted by Goober View Post

Do some checking and see how many Qaddafi has killed. 1 instance - prison riot - 1200 Hung - that was everyone - how many times has he supported terror groups.

Goober, it is guys like him that would be the first to critisize if your country had gone into Dafur, the Ivory Coast, Somalia (again), and every other hot spot.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

Since I think we should have helped in Rwanda and in Libya, I obviously want to apply the assistance equally. Since you wanted to help in Rwanda but not in Libya, you obviously don't and you (by your own admission) have a character flaw.

I believe that the attacks on Lybia is not motivated at all by any humanitarian concern but by the need to control the oil. That is what I disagree with. If it was really based on concern for the people of Lybia I would give my support.

This whole affair has been pushed ahead by France. France happened to be the largest purchaser of Lybian oil until recently when Gadafhi basically cut them off. There is your motivating factor.
 
EagleSmack
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

Where was the great USA and 'western civilization' as you call it to help the people of Myanmar who are still suffering today?

.

Elsewhere... and probably getting bashed for being there and getting involved in something that isn't our business.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Wow... you really just said this. I guess we can add hypocrite to the list.

I was quick to apologize for my recent rant against you. I won't bother to expect the same in return as I am sure it would never happen.
 
EagleSmack
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

Why is that....because there are no natural resources up for grabs in any of these places.

Haiti? Somalia? Indonesia?

Quote:

If you want to adopt a philosiphy of protecting the world then protect it all, cherry picking where to go based upon the rewards available is not protecting anything it is raping vulnerable countries for their wealth under the guise of protection.

See above

Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

I was quick to apologize for my recent rant against you. I won't bother to expect the same in return as I am sure it would never happen.

I actually didn't see it. I came on the next morning and the Mods pretty much erased everything. You must have had quite a time.

I don't think you will get an apology because I didn't say anything that would cause the Mods to come in with their GREEN font and go to work erasing things. Besides, you apologized to others and displayed a mocking tone at that. I didn't get an apology nor do I really care.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Haiti? Somalia? Indonesia?

Haiti - Right there off the US coast, you certainly didn't want a few million refugees coming ashore so you went there to prevent it. By the way the situation still sucks there.

Somalia - Oh yeah, right up till a few of the yanks got killed and then they were gone leaving the warlords and pirates to go about their business.

Indonesia - ? Are there not US bases there and in the Philipines already.
 
EagleSmack
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

Haiti - Right there off the US coast, you certainly didn't want a few million refugees coming ashore so you went there to prevent it. By the way the situation still sucks there.


So you are into moving goal posts then? You were proven wrong so you need to change up.

Quote:

Somalia - Oh yeah, right up till a few of the yanks got killed and then they were gone leaving the warlords and pirates to go about their business.

And where were you folks?

Quote:

Indonesia - ? Are there not US bases there and in the Philipines already.

LOL. There are no US Bases in Indonesia. Sorry Charlie.

There were bases in the Phillipines but they closed Subic Bay and Clark AFB in the 1990s.

Thanks for playing
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#25
Didn't move anything...you went to Haiti with motives other than humaitarian, it was to prevent millions of Haitians form entering the US.

Don't know why we weren't in Somalia..oh, except for those working as UN peacekeepers and with the red cross.

I do have to claim ignorance about Indonesia, don't know why I don't know about it, my fault for not being aware.

And its not a game, its supossed to be an open discussion of issues.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#26
Canadian Lt. Gen. Charlie Bouchard will command the NATO military campaign over Libya, CNN has confirmed.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

While I fully agree that 'democracy' of the west has failed, it isn't expected to be a direct democracy - ie. we as citizens can control the results of every issue by vote. That said, as a representative democracy, it probably also failed as most people would not have signed up for this kind of intervention at the ballot, last election.

That said, this move as one of 'compassion' is a bit short-sighted. Anyone who had really wanted to aggressively remove oppressive rule, would be fighting for intervention in Yemen right now as well. As well as Oman, Bahrain, Dijbouti, or Mauritania. But they don't really produce enough to be worth our 'compassion'.

Debate would have been a better choice than vote.There has been no debate in the house about Lybia. We are automatically obliged to carry out another nations orders. Which nation? Which banks?
 
mentalfloss
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

Debate would have been a better choice than vote.There has been no debate in the house about Lybia. We are automatically obliged to carry out another nations orders. Which nation? Which banks?

It has the UN stamp of approval, unfortunately.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

Didn't move anything...you went to Haiti with motives other than humaitarian, it was to prevent millions of Haitians form entering the US.

And you are really saying you aren't moving the goal posts? Is that why Canada went to Haiti?

Quote:

Don't know why we weren't in Somalia..oh, except for those working as UN peacekeepers and with the red cross.

Funny... I must have missed the Canadian part of Black Hawk Down.

How did the Peacekeeping mission go? Didn't keep much PEACE there now did you?

Oh... you must have been busy with the Somali Affair.

Quote:

I do have to claim ignorance about Indonesia, don't know why I don't know about it, my fault for not being aware.

It does not surprise me. Your type always fires from the hip without really checking. What does surprise is your actually admitted you were wrong in this instance.

Quote:

And its not a game, its supossed to be an open discussion of issues.

An open discussion of issues? Free of personal agenda like you saying the only reason us Yanks went to Haiti was to prevent millions from coming here? We could have not gone and still prevented millions from not coming.

Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

Canadian Lt. Gen. Charlie Bouchard will command the NATO military campaign over Libya, CNN has confirmed.

You War Mongering Oil Pirates!!!!




Quote:

Debate would have been a better choice than vote.There has been no debate in the house about Lybia. We are automatically obliged to carry out another nations orders. Which nation? Which banks?

Nah... when the UN says its ok to kill... it's ok to kill.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post


You War Mongering Oil Pirates!!!!




What can I say. Next week we'll be driving arround in Lybia fueled gas guzzlers and eating whatever we stole off Lybian tables. I don't like it but I can't get my taxes back and I'm murdering Lybians cuz they said something to somebody I guess
 
EagleSmack
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

What can I say. Next week we'll be driving arround in Lybia fueled gas guzzlers and eating whatever we stole off Lybian tables. I don't like it but I can't get my taxes back and I'm murdering Lybians cuz they said something to somebody I guess

And now you have charge of the whole mission. Well not you DB, but your countryman.
 

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