Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?Submitted by myajace on Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:25
Experience shows that "humanitarian war" is an oxymoron. The first blow to the idea was the failed intervention in Somalia in 1993. U.S. forces sent to maintain the peace while aid was distributed to millions of starving civilians were withdrawn after just 18 U.S. soldiers died. Policymakers drew the lesson that the American public will not tolerate casualties in a humanitarian war that has no clear national security justification. This lesson guided President Bill Clinton's refusal to authorize military intervention during the Rwandan genocide and his decision to limit U.S. military intervention in Kosovo in 1999 to high-altitude bombing, which ensured that no American pilots were killed -- at the expense of civilians on whose heads errant bombs fell. The Kosovo intervention, although regarded as a success in some quarters, cost billions of dollars, required a seven-year occupation and could turn out to be a slow-motion version of Iraq.
The problem with humanitarian intervention is not only that the costs are usually too high, but it turns out that the benefits usually are low. There are just too many risks and imponderables when war is used to prevent atrocities rather than to defeat an enemy. Military weapons inevitably kill civilians, and smart tyrants foil smart bombs by using their own civilians as shields. Dictators understand that a war premised on humanitarianism fails if they can make the invader kill their citizens. Removing the dictator risks civil war, which is almost always worse than the original abuses. Replacing him with another dictator only puts off the atrocities until another day. Long-term occupation breeds hostility, then insurgency and violence. In comparison with this, the original ruler might not seem so bad after all:
Lies behind the "Humanitarian War" in Libya: Pt 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4evwAMIh4Y Part 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmahzMfw6T4&feature=relmfu