If there are atrocities on their own people- is an Invasion OK?

But, Squink, the question raised by the OP is not whether the US (or any other state) is morally obliged to defend the human rights of the citizens of another state, but whether it is entitled to do so.

I grant you, if you conclude that the US has a right to do this, then then question of whether it has an obligation to do so arises. But not until you conclude that.

The OP mentioned Nazi Germany. Is it your contention that, because the Jews of Nazi Germany failed to “rise to their own feet and throw off their shackles”, other states could have neither the right nor the obligation to come to their assistance? Cases in which a government terrorises an entire population are egregious; cases in which a minority is abused with the support, or the assent, or at least the indifference, of the majority population are much more common.

In 1859? Not a chance. I’m appalled that a citizen of the UK is completely unaware of the admirable history of his country in the 19th century with respect to the slave trade and slavery as an institution.

1807…Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed by the British Parliament of Parliament on 25th March .

1827…Slave trading declared piracy and thus punishable by death.


I should also add that the UK was instrumental in enlisting France and Spain in opposition to the trade.

Again- Slavery in the USA in the 1800 is NOT a part of this thread/debate. It is a hijack.

Let’s keep this on track, please. :cool:

I didn’t mean the UK supported the promotion of slavery, but more the support of the Southern states in order to weaken the USA on a whole.

Was this a tongue in cheek comment?

I hate to inject a bit of reality here, but humanitarian intervention was simply not a realistic option before the latter half of the 20th century. It was pretty damn hard to move an army halfway around the world in a reasonable amount of time.

Further, with a few notable exceptions, I think people’s standards of what constitutes a gross violation of human rights has changed remarkably over the years. As much as it’s a interesting hypothetical to toss around, I simply doubt that the practice of slavery was as big of an outrage in England in 1859 than it would be today. Perhaps more light would be shed on the discussion if we talked about South Africa in the 70s and 80s, or Zimbabwe today.

All that being said, major nations DO have the capability to rush in and stop the most grave human rights abuses. For all intents and purposes, big powers are now faced with two decisions: whether to intervene, and whether NOT to intervene.

However, intervene at what cost? I see a profound need for nations (probably other than the US, for political reasons discussed in another thread) to step in and prevent up to a million people being murdered in Sudan.

However, I would think it absurd to invade North Korea to stop the abuses there, because wider was would inevitably spread misery to South Korea, perhaps Japan, and create a huge toll in lives that cannot possibly support a humanitarian ideal.

So, my answer to the OP is, it depends.

I don’t understand what you’re asking for a cite for. For the notion that slavery was an atrocity outstripping Saddam’s Iraq? If so, are you joking? The United States by 1860 had about 4,000,000 black people in chains (source: 1860 census) and that was just at that point in time. I’m afraid exact numbers of those murdered and tortured are hard to find, since the U.S. at the time treated these people like animals, but I’ll work on it.

No, DrDeth, this really is not a hijack at all. The OP asked a simple question; is it acceptable to invade another country to prevent that country from committing atrocities against its own people? If someone is going to say that’s okay, it’s prefectly on topic to point out that that would have allowed the invasion of their own country. If we’re to debate a hypothetical question, bringing up real life examples that DIRECTLY relate to the question is on topic.

Hey, I know it’s tricky to deal with the OP’s question in terms of why it might apply to your country. That’s why I brought it up. It’s easy to agree with invasions and bombings when it’s your country doing it to others. An honest approach is to consider examples where things might have gone the other way.

I AM the Op, dude. And my thread was about Atrocities commited by a Dictator of a Govenment on his own citizens. As my previous post said- slavery may have been evil, and legal in the Early USA, but the atrocities from it were not commited directly by the Dictator or his agents. Just like the slaves in just about every other nation on earth, note- the USA was hardly alone in having legal slavery. Even Great Britian did, and also note many natiosn had serfs.

But that’s a hijack, and it has nothing to do wit this thread. The question was- if we have a despotic leader commiting atrocities upon his own people- woudl it be right to vanvade to stap them?

Are you thinking about us Canadians invading jAmerica to relieve you of Bush?