It looks like the US might go to war or at least militarily intervene with Syria (also see here). I am usually against military interventions and I believe that the situation in Syria does not so far warrant justification for intervention. I will talk both about wars and other kinds of mass state sponsored killings (aerial bombings, drone strikes, etc) as military intervention (for the sake of brevity) but I think the same principles apply in both cases. Most military interventions of humanitarian a nature has been unjust in hindsight and from this history alone we ought to be cautious of any proposal for future wars. I usually tend to think in terms of the five criteria I will lay down below for justification in foreign military intervention on behalf of humanitarian reasons. I think the principles are common sense and conjunctive (meaning that all five must be satisfied to justify foreign military intervention). I also believe that there might be additional principles that warrant inclusion as further conjuncts or disjuncts (at least one must be true) and will modify my 5 accordingly if they are presented to me convincingly. I might simply have not thought about this issue as hard as I could have or haven’t been exposed to the issue to know of alternative thinking.
Monthly Archives: August 2013
Some pics of my Tibet trip. I went to the main monasteries of Lhasa and Shigatse. I went to Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) base camp and lake Yamdrotso among other places. And no, there were no signs of cultural genocide or any other genocides to speak of.
Predictably, Bradley Manning was found guilty on most of the charges brought against him by his government including espionage last week. He is facing about 130 years behind prison. I’d like to take this post and compare his crimes with another individual. Compare his case with that of Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 winner of the Nobel Peace [sic] Prize. If you look at many of the critics of Liu’s imprisonment (he was sentenced to 11 years of house arrest), you see that they criticize the Chinese government for jailing Liu despite the fact that Liu broke PRC laws. But in the case of Manning (and Edward Snowden), many of their detractors seem to focus on the legality, framing the discussion in terms of what they had supposedly violated (US laws).