Saturday, September 29, 2007

What does "do something in Burma" mean?

Instapundit linked to this article by Vaclav Havel lamenting that the international community isn't doing something about Burma.

What does he think ought to be done?

Reading the comments has depressed me. There are a couple of people who see the problem but most, even those not overtly anti-American or anti-UK, miss it entirely. What does "do something" mean?

Even those who agree that "something" must be done are more concerned with "who" does it than "what". The fellow who really torqued me, ellis, also made the best point, even if he/she doesn't realize what that point was:
One very simple thing to do is to set a good example.
Right now it is no contest which governments are "butchering" the most innocent people.
And the suspicion is that Havel's prescription would lead to the deaths of many more, just as it did in Iraq, just as it could in Iran.
If we're going by *fewest deaths* the fact is that doing absolutely nothing but stand by while a government kills its people... until they get tired of it... will result in the fewest total deaths. The bad guys will kill the good guys until the good guys are too weak to cause problems and the result? The result will be PEACE.

The *only* way that intervening makes sense is if we want the bad guys to die and the good guys to live.

The best point on the other side of it is from a fellow going by Tourbillon:

To leave you with an adult thought (meaning a distastefully realistic one): international community diplomacy + US military power = US military power. Get over it. Move on. Instead of wondering why fairy dust is not working in Burma, [...],
Tourbillon has the answer to the question... what is "something?" Oh, it's not that other military power can't do what US military power can do. It's that they *won't*. And when people are wringing their hands and talking about the international community "doing something" they aren't talking about military power, they're talking about "international community diplomacy"... ie. Fairy Dust.


Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There was some discussion over the international slash American thing over at bookworm's room. I made two lengthy comments trying to cover this subject.


1:47 AM  

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