Intervention - Rwanda

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Sub-Saharan Conflict - what do?

Vote for military intervention.
4
9%
Vote against military intervention.
7
15%
Pay for government-military intervention.
2
4%
Voluntarily pay for free-market mercenaries to intervene.
4
9%
Sign up for the Armed Forces to fight there---(assume 100% certainty that you'd fight there).
0
No votes
Vote for aid.
3
7%
Vote against aid.
3
7%
Pay for government aid.
4
9%
Voluntarily pay for non-government aid.
8
17%
Do nothing, maybe express some sorrowful sentiment.
6
13%
Do nothing.
5
11%
 
Total votes : 46

Intervention - Rwanda

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 4:24 am

2dimes wrote:I'm not suggesting your personal knowledge is lacking. I find it strange that so many pretty large scale genocides are seemingly forgotten by society as a whole. Yet so many people keep wanting to discuss Israel. Often either to down play things or exaggerate them.


So, this post reminds me:

Suppose we discover from the news that 100k civilians have died in a major conflict in a sub-Saharan country. Nearly all of the casualties are civilian, the conflict appears to have no end in the short-term, but none of us live near the conflict, and it seems to be mostly isolating to that country.


What do you do? And why?
(e.g. Would you support any politician who promised to invade Rwanda to 'restore order'?)
Last edited by BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby thegreekdog on Fri May 17, 2013 7:21 am

I need some more details. Is this in the context of our current foreign policy, in the context of past foreign policies (e.g. Clinton foreign policy), or in the context of some other, unmentioned foreign policy?
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby crispybits on Fri May 17, 2013 8:21 am

Also, does their leader have a ridiculous mustache or wear some tea towel thing on his head? I'm often swayed by how much the leader of the potential target looks like a Bond villain, because I'm scared we will be attacked by an army of sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads!
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Postby 2dimes on Fri May 17, 2013 8:34 am

I don't feel informed enough to take action on this. Also, can someone define, "the news" here? If all sources are in agreement I don't know if that sways me or makes me more suspicious these days.
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 11:55 am

thegreekdog wrote:I need some more details. Is this in the context of our current foreign policy, in the context of past foreign policies (e.g. Clinton foreign policy), or in the context of some other, unmentioned foreign policy?


Current events. The example is happening now, and as a voter and citizen, what would you do?
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 11:57 am

crispybits wrote:Also, does their leader have a ridiculous mustache or wear some tea towel thing on his head? I'm often swayed by how much the leader of the potential target looks like a Bond villain, because I'm scared we will be attacked by an army of sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads!


He's looks normal but bears a slight resemblance to Big Chief Bo Dollis.
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Re:

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 11:57 am

2dimes wrote:I don't feel informed enough to take action on this. Also, can someone define, "the news" here? If all sources are in agreement I don't know if that sways me or makes me more suspicious these days.


Suppose the deaths are accurate enough, and genocide is occurring. What do?
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby thegreekdog on Fri May 17, 2013 12:16 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I need some more details. Is this in the context of our current foreign policy, in the context of past foreign policies (e.g. Clinton foreign policy), or in the context of some other, unmentioned foreign policy?


Current events. The example is happening now, and as a voter and citizen, what would you do?


Vote against government military intervention
Provide non-government financial aid.

By the way, here are 50 saxbucks for your excellent poll choices (e.g. one could vote for voting for military intervention but not vote for paying for military intervention... i.e. a weasel).

By the way by the way, I assumed there are no exploitable natural resources or other non-humanitarian reason for us to be in this country.
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 12:26 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I need some more details. Is this in the context of our current foreign policy, in the context of past foreign policies (e.g. Clinton foreign policy), or in the context of some other, unmentioned foreign policy?


Current events. The example is happening now, and as a voter and citizen, what would you do?


Vote against government military intervention
Provide non-government financial aid.

By the way, here are 50 saxbucks for your excellent poll choices (e.g. one could vote for voting for military intervention but not vote for paying for military intervention... i.e. a weasel).

By the way by the way, I assumed there are no exploitable natural resources or other non-humanitarian reason for us to be in this country.


Good enough assumption. I'd add it to the OP, but it would create too much clutter.


Anyway, why provide aid? You want organizations to hand out blankets or whatever to people who are running for their lives?

What's your ideal vision of that aid?
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby patches70 on Fri May 17, 2013 1:29 pm

Haha, people can choose multiple options. I love how people voted for military intervention but decline to go and do the wetwork themselves.

"We have to do something about this!"
"Here's a rifle, we'll ship you over there and you can fight the evil tyrants."
"Aww Hell no!"
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 2:19 pm

Looks like free market/philanthropy is beating statism ITT.
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Postby 2dimes on Fri May 17, 2013 5:09 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:Suppose the deaths are accurate enough, and genocide is occurring. What do?

Ok, I voted according to that.
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby Haggis_McMutton on Fri May 17, 2013 7:15 pm

patches70 wrote:Haha, people can choose multiple options. I love how people voted for military intervention but decline to go and do the wetwork themselves.

"We have to do something about this!"
"Here's a rifle, we'll ship you over there and you can fight the evil tyrants."
"Aww Hell no!"


And here I was thinking the US had a voluntary military. My bad.

---

Perhaps there should be a follow up here regarding the reasoning of the decision.

What is the reason people think it would be a good idea to allow hundreds of thousands of civilians be killed when it could be stopped with little cost to the already existent state apparatus?
Is it fear of being dragged in some kind of prolonged conflict or some other pragmatic reason?
Or is it some philosophical notion that "it's none of our business" ?
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:---

Perhaps there should be a follow up here regarding the reasoning of the decision.

(1) What is the reason people think it would be a good idea to allow hundreds of thousands of civilians be killed when it could be stopped with little cost to the already existent state apparatus?
(2) Is it fear of being dragged in some kind of prolonged conflict or some other pragmatic reason?
(3) Or is it some philosophical notion that "it's none of our business" ?


Ah, the fun questions have arrived!

(1) Three points: "good idea," "allow" and "little cost."
Is always intervening to prevent conflict a good idea? (Not always, so in x-amount of cases, it's a good idea not to intervene).

By 'allow', it seems that you're saying one is somehow responsible for remote conflicts, and/or that one has some obligation to intervene. Suppose there's some gang war occurring on the other side of your country. Was that your fault? Are you at all obligated to intervene in any way?

And regarding little cost, what do you mean? To each taxpayer, a war may be cheap in the short-run, but overall it's costly. A war/intervention can also be wasteful considering what else could've been produced/invested/consumed instead of the resources for intervention. An intervention can be especially wasteful if it becomes counter-productive because it could fail to resolve the systemic problems of the foreign conflict, or it could increase the genocide/conflict since the repressive government/rebels are being subsidized.

Finally, supporting a pattern of interventions maintains the "military-industrial-congressional complex" (MICC), which arguably costs too much, doesn't keep the citizens secure efficiently, and causes much harm instead of good.


(2) Sometimes, but it's not just fear. It is also knowing one's constraints (and the constraints of a government). We can conceive of problems where one jumps into a situation without understanding what's going on and without having the requisite social networks/organizations which can alleviate that lack of understanding (knowledge problem). That kind of intervention can be well-intended yet problematic. Also the intervention occurs through an incentive structure which is not quite capable of actually resolving the conflict or even fixing the systemic problems (e.g. the US/NATO intervention in AFG, Iraq, Libya, and all the lovely examples of failed 'democracies' and sustained dictatorships through US/NATO intervention).


(3) So, (2) is the political economic approach. With philosophy, if one is libertarian, you'd be against coercing people to extract funds in order to pay a government-provided service to invade another country, which did not initiate conflict against you. Government-funded subsidies (e.g. foreign aid) are unacceptable as well. Of course, there's many other doctrines which can either reject or support intervention, but if they don't address the issues of #2, then those doctrines can become counter-productive (i.e. cause more harm than good).



So, in short, it is reasonable and a completely good idea to not intervene in some cases. Sometimes, we don't know what is best for others in particular situations, and even if we envision what is best (e.g. "world peace"), we don't know how to attain that goal of peace. In many cases, the well-intended means won't attain the goal. Sometimes, the well-intended voters are simply manipulated into supporting a particular foreign policy (e.g. fearmongering, guilt-tripping), and other times, the voters are completely removed from the foreign policy process after they cheered on the politicians but then change their minds (or simply lose interest).
Last edited by BigBallinStalin on Fri May 17, 2013 8:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Intervention - Rwanda

Postby patches70 on Fri May 17, 2013 8:13 pm

haggis wrote:And here I was thinking the US had a voluntary military. My bad.


Yeah, our men and women who joined the military did so for the express purpose of heading over to Rwanda to get into the middle of something we don't understand. :roll:

And here I thought we have a military to protect American security. How is Rwanda imploding a threat to the US? Hint: It's not.

Those who want to do something about Rwanda genocide, become a mercenary, head over and pick a side and start killing the other side. Because that what it boils down to in the end. Unless the hutus and tutsis can figure out how to coexist on their own.
If such people are squeamish about getting their hands bloody, then said people can donate their own money instead of offering up everyone else's money and blood.


Haggis_McMutton wrote:
What is the reason people think it would be a good idea to allow hundreds of thousands of civilians be killed when it could be stopped with little cost to the already existent state apparatus?


Little cost? In money? Nope. It's costly deploying troops, equipment and supplies. Lives? Nope, lots of people are going to die either way. Including our own troops. Who, incidentally, didn't sign up to get tossed into the middle of other people's civil wars that have nothing to do about anything to the US' own security.

Haggis_McMutton wrote:Is it fear of being dragged in some kind of prolonged conflict or some other pragmatic reason?


You think you can bring the hutus and tutsis to liking each other by the point of the bayonet? Once you put the bayonet to their backs to keep them from killing each other you have to keep that bayonet in place forever.

haggis wrote:Or is it some philosophical notion that "it's none of our business" ?


Why is it our business? Why not the African Union?

Unlike neocons, I don't think bringing democracy to a region by the point of the bayonet is the best way of going about such a goal.

It's a darn shame about Rwanda, surely it is. I don't know if it's still as bad as it was during the 90's, but as soon as Rwanda got out from under the thumb of the European powers they started killing each other. And why isn't it those same European powers who once controlled that region, why isn't it their problem to do something about the mess they helped create? Why does it always have to be the US that has to "fix" these things? Like we could even fix the situation if we tried.

It's bloody, it's dirty and it's a crying shame, but people have to work out their own problems in their own way I suppose. I don't even pretend to understand the cultures involved, but if you'd like to go fight for the hutus or the tutsis (take your choice) or the Rwandan central government (who did plenty of killing in their own right). I'm sure there are groups that would love to hire some mercenaries.

Now there is nothing wrong with trying to get all the sides to sit down and talk with each other, but if they all refuse then what?
You end up having to pick a side(s) and help to kill the other side(s).

So who's side should we take? Everybody is killing each other. Plenty of atrocities to go around for everyone. A bullet for you! A bullet for you and you! A bullet for everyone!!

Ugh.
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