Monday, 07 March 2011 19:08

Should U.S. Intervene In Jasmine Revolutions In Africa, Asia, Libya?

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Are we embarking upon a new paradigm with the reaction to the “Jasmine Revolution”?


Traditionally, national boundaries have been inviolable.  What happened within a nation was that country’s business and no other country or group of countries had the right to intervene.  


The impact of intervention has to be carefully calculated. Note the American Civil War. More men died in this conflict than in all of America’s other wars combined.  Over 460,000 soldiers perished during that four year conflict.   Despite the horrors, foreign nations kept their distance.  It was an American affair.  Consider…what if Great Britain or France had been so outraged about the carnage that they had demanded a negotiated settlement?   What would our nation look like today?  How much longer would the South have embraced slavery?


When we look at the world today, revolutions are the norm.  Most of Africa is in turmoil from Zimbabwe to Libya, from the Ivory Coast to Somalia.   The same applies to the Middle East.  In each of these nations people have taken a public stand against their government, but have all the people done so?  Or, is the outrage expressed by a very vocal minority within camera range? Note: the signs are in English.  


Egypt has 80 million people, but the media reported only about 1 million took to the streets even after success had been achieved.  Why so few; only 1.25% of the population?  How representative is the popular revolution there?  Are the majority more concerned about civil war and chaos?  What is really going on?


In some instances the governments have fallen like Egypt and Tunisia.  Other governments have responded with counter-attacks to maintain their position like Yemen, Iran, and Libya.  The bloodshed may be horrific, but nothing on the scale of Rwanda.


Thus the question arises. At what point do foreign nations employ their influence, treasure, manpower, and military might to intervene in the internal affairs of another country to determine its fate?    Is there really anything the West can do?  Perhaps the bigger question is: “Is there anything the West should do?”


Consider the issue carefully.   What would happen if two million people descended upon Washington D.C. and violently demanded that the President and Congress should resign? The image would fill the field of a camera’s view.  Would Americans merely cast aside our constitution to satisfy the whims of this .65% of the population?  What of the beliefs of the other 306 million citizens? Do their concerns not matter?


Worse, suppose these people became violent and military force was needed to re-impose order.  Would the United States face condemnation and invasion by foreign powers that support the dissident cause? 


The point being, the world had better be very careful in its response to the problems that are unfolding around the globe.   Embarking upon a policy of intervention can have unintended consequences far beyond the benevolent dreams of proponents.  It is a dangerous door to walk through.


Certainly, it is difficult to merely stand by and watch terror unfold, but once you step in you own the problem!   Could the eventual outcome prove to be worse for the people than the “abusive government” replaced?  Iran? Zimbabwe? 


Furthermore, once this new interventionist  policy is in place, one must ask: would Western Europe and the United States invade China should another Tiananmen Square event like that in 1989 occur?  Or, is this policy conveniently directed only against weak third world nations?


There is a lot to consider!  America had best look very carefully before it leaps!!!

by Ron Chapman



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