Wednesday, March 26, 2003

"Just war deplores creating
false moral equivalencies: there is a big
difference between being paid low wages for
hard work; being denied the franchise; and
being tortured or gassed because one’s politics
is incorrect or because one is a member of an
ethnic minority that cannot defend itself
against a dominant and violent majority.
But the injustices of Saddam’s reign in and of
themselves did not constitute grounds for
forceful intervention, not within the just war
framework. Had Saddam been engaged in
gassing Kurds, a case for intervention in the
internal affairs of Iraq could have been
mounted. But the day-to-day, routine
inequities of a polity, short of such egregious
violations as systematic torture of political
opponents, targeting and destruction of categories
of persons within one’s own boundaries,
do not of themselves warrant the
upheavals and destruction of intervention
with force."
-Jean Bethke-Elshtain, Just War and Humanitarian Intervention

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