I watched the movie Hotel Rwanda recently, and it infuriated me. The Tutsis and Hutus hated eachother in Rwanda, and a civil war broke out. The Hutus decided to commit mass genocide against the Tutsis, murdering hundreds of thousands of them. Nothing justifies such slaughter of life, and nothing justifies such an inept response by the West. In the movie the West only sent in peacekeepers to get their own citizens out of the country, but did nothing to protect the Tutsis. Also thats not just what happened in the movie, it happened in real life too, and America did almost nothing during the slaughter. Bill Clinton would not deploy our troops, fearing the political backlash. I am sorry, but the west needs to man up, its simple as that. In certain cases, such as Rwanda and Darfur, the west should flex its muscles and defend the defenseless. We have the wealth and power, and can easily do it with minimal sacrifice in real terms to ourselves...but no, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans apparently was not worth it.
I fear we are about to repeat history. Once again, we are about to do nothing while a regime slaughters its people. In this case, its Assad's regime in Syria, slaughtering his own people. The People rose up against him during the Arab spring, and he responded with bullets. Now, 3 years later, the war rages on, and his regime has attached his own people with poison gas, and has slaughtered countless civilians. Yet still we do nothing. We think it will be another Iraq. However there is a big difference. The slaughter in Iraq was a consequence of our intervention. In Syria, its the exact opposite. The slaughter will be a consequence of our inaction. Iran and Russia are supporting, Assad, meanwhile we leave the rebels stranded, giving the Islamic extremists that much more ammunition. What can help their cause more than to show to everyone that the West doesn't care?
I know I just wrote an article about government intervention...and now I am calling for intervention. My thinking I must admit has not been consistent, but frankly I am starting to grasp that I do not really believe anyone's thinking can be perfectly consistent. Since if you believe that government is necessary for something, then you are conceding, that at least to some extent, government intervention at times is necessary. I believe that first and foremost, government intervention is necessary when there is life on the line. Government exerts a monopoly on the use of physical force so that violence can be prohibited, punished, and hopefully reduced in society at large. People whether in tribes or nation states agree to sacrifice the use of force to a governing authority because without it civilized social relations would not exist. While some would argue with this point I believe the majority at least would agree. As a result of this thinking I believe that its imperative that when people are perpetrating violence, and human life is in danger, it is very much the government's role to provide a "safety net" so to speak. Likewise, I believe its the international community's responsibility to provide a basic safety net for the most weak and vulnerable in this world. When the lives of people in this world are threatened, its our duty as fellow human beings to do what we can to protect their lives. As a result of this line of thinking, I believe its imperative that the international community (including the United Sates), intervene in Syria and put an end to the atrocities committed by Assad's regime.
P.S. Many of you jumped on the bandwagon to stop Kony, and at the time I did not believe we should. But now my thinking has come around, and I agree. However our support cannot be fickle and patchy and facebook trendy, it has to be real.