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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2010 / 24 Nissan 5770

Losing the Stomach for Humanitarian Interventions

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Over the last two decades, the United States has intervened militarily in several countries to protect human rights. Now, writes historian Mark Mazower in World Affairs, "the concept of humanitarian intervention is dying if not dead." And a good thing, too, he concludes.

On the first point, Mazower seems factually correct. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, liberals appalled by violations of human rights called for intervention in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. They preferred to operate through international institutions, regarding the United States as morally suspect — but it became clear that we were, as Madeleine Albright said, "the indispensable nation."

Intervention fizzled in Somalia when the U.S. withdrew in 1993. And Bill Clinton, to his later regret, stayed out of Rwanda. The feckless European intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo succeeded only after the United States took charge in 1995. Liberals supported military action in Afghanistan under the NATO banner almost unanimously, and many backed military action in Iraq in 2003, as well.

The Iraq war was justified under the terms of U.N. resolutions 678, 687 and 1441. Unfortunately George W. Bush, in deference to Tony Blair, sought another U.N. resolution and never made the point that it was legally unnecessary. But when things turned sour, liberals scampered away amid cries that "Bush lied."

As Mazower notes, there's a tension between humanitarian intervention and traditional state sovereignty. After Iraq, liberals showed, in Mazower's words, "a new maturity in international relations" by upholding "the stability of international borders" rather than intervening to uphold human rights.

This seems to be the view of Barack Obama, whose foreign policy has shown a cold indifference to human rights that contrasts vividly with those of his five predecessors. "Clear legal norms, and the securing of international stability more generally, also serve the cause of human welfare," Mazower asserts. If we just used international institutions in a more sophisticated manner we could advance liberal goals effectively.

Not so, says the Council on Foreign Relation's Walter Russell Mead, in his American Interest blog. Mazower writes European history, but the international institutions set up by Europeans and Americans in the mid-20th century in response to the horrors of two world wars are not, Mead argues, appropriate to the different world of the 21st century.

Letter from JWR publisher


"Europeans and Americans both find the Kantian vision of a bureaucratic world state incorporating basic European cultural ideas about states and laws very natural," Mead writes. But others — East Asians, South Asians, Middle Easterners, Latin Americans — don't.

They bridle at International Monetary Fund restraints and conduct their affairs so as to be independent of it. They have blocked agreement in the Doha trade talks. They create their own regional economic institutions — ASEAN, Mercosur — that may resemble the European Union but also declare their independence of it. They bridle at outside interference, as India did when Obama agreed to recognize as legitimate China's interest in South Asian affairs.

Moreover, the economic interests of the rapidly growing nations of what we once called the Third World are in conflict with the slow-growth environmental policies of Europe and North America. This was made clear, Mead points out, at last year's Copenhagen summit, which was supposed to produce a binding treaty pledging to reduce carbon emissions.

Barack Obama, on his second unsuccessful trip to Copenhagen in one year, managed to stitch together a deal with Brazil, China, India and South Africa that amounted to kicking the can down the road. "The process-loving, Kantian Europeans," Mead writes, "weren't even in the room."

What now? "Rather than chasing liberal internationalist mirages," Mead says, "we should focus on what we want and need, think about how we can get as much of it as possible at the best price — and go for it in the most efficient way possible."

That sounds a lot like George W. Bush's "coalition of the willing." Unfortunately, the Obama approach of kicking our friends and groveling to the unfriendly heads us in the wrong direction. Our relations with India, Japan and the Eastern European democracies are distinctly chillier than they were under Bush. Our outstretched hand to Iran still meets a clenched fist.

All of which certainly makes humanitarian intervention unlikely in the near future. Historians of Europe may consider a chastened and unventuresome America a good thing. Victims of oppression with no aid in sight may take a different view.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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