Originally posted by BRussell
It wouldn't be without precedent - the intervention in Yugoslavia was essentially humanitarian.
Well, its a nice fuzzy thought....but the intervention in Yugoslavia did provide NATO with a raison d'etre, essentially a redundant alliance since the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Also, Kosovo's mineral wealth and the market potential of the region required the presence of a pro-western leader and regime, ie NOT Milosevic
. Then, the NATO intervention did provide a windfall for military contractors (both US and European). And....disputes such as this work against regional unity which in itself could act as a counter to US (or other) hegemony.
Milosevic didn't pose any threat to the US or Europe. Neither did Haiti or Somalia. There was a joke that one of the conditions for the use of the military during the Clinton administration was that it didn't serve American interests.
Take it another way: If the same thing had been going on in a nation without the (oil) wealth of Iraq, who would have intervened for purely
humanitarian reasons? Would we have invaded Iraq if they
didn't have their oil wealth? NOT A CHANCE. Lets repeat that again. No Way. Period. Never, ever.
By the way, who went into Rwanda, for a recent example, a poor agricultural/subsistence based economy with no oil resources, to save a million people from a genocide of far greater magnitude than Yugoslavia? Answer: Nobody. Of course they didn't.
Who in the past has gone to war for purely humanitarian reasons, without some other reason in the background, either strategic, economic, political, or even religious reasons? Nobody.
Sorry to sound cynical and curmudgeonly, but when it comes down to warfare, or any big operation in this life always, always always follow the money trail
So take the threat argument away completely - would the war have been justified? [/B]
For humanitarian causes, the choice of Iraq in 2003 was so arbitrary. If the US wanted to wage war for purely humanitarian causes, then we have a huge long list of nations that need invading right now, including (almost) every middle eastern nation.