The Corner

Who Says Liberal Interventionism is Dead?

The New Republic calls for some humanitarian hawkishness: 

This is, put simply, an unacceptable abdication of our moral responsibilities. Even though our standing in the world has been severely diminished by Iraq, we should at least be debating intervention in Burma. There are, no doubt, many logistical complications and unintended consequences that would follow from such a policy. But there are also reasons why it should be a live option. The goal of such an intervention need not be regime change; it should simply be to make sure that a vulnerable population receives the supplies it desperately needs. Of course, if violating the sovereignty of a murderous regime happens to undermine that regime’s legitimacy, then that would not be such a terrible result. But this does not necessarily have to be our goal.

I await  the outrage from the (further) left about TNR’s eagerness to launch an “illegal invasion” of a foreign country which has committed fewer crimes against its own people than Saddam’s regime did.

As for my own position, if I thought something like this would work on the merits, I have no major ideological problems with it. I just  think it’s ill-advised given the reality of the moment. But I do like to see liberals once again returning to the view that interventionism is a high moral good in foreign policy when America’s national interest is not at stake.  


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