> The above figures are from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide, and
> of course represent just "a small smattering" of what likely could
> have been ameliorated or prevented by decisive use of U.S. government
> military force outside the United States.
You assume the government is capable of doing those things well. Yet
even if you look at the most often cited examples of positive
intervention (such as WWII) you will find they involve mass atrocities.
You refer to "the government" as if we were only talking about one government here. You seem to forget that genocides are usually also government operations. Rarely does a question come down to government action vs. no government action. Most often the question is whether one (or more) governments should use force to try to stop another government from doing something heinous.
> I expect you will argue that
> those victims of democide were not the responsibility of the U.S.
> government, since it merely failed to make any serious attempt to stop
No, my argument is that the government is incompetent and will
generally do more harm than good when it comes to intervention. As
with doctors before modern medicine, you may die either way, but you
are more likely to die with their help than without it.
Going with that analogy, I think rather than demanding they stop practicing medicine, we should try to get them to refine and update their methods to do what works.
If pre modern medicine doctors had gathered statistics and based their
treatments on what worked (that is, stop doing things that increase
mortality) countless lives would have been saved.
Yes, but it's hard to gather statistics on what works when you've stopped practicing medicine.
I propose we apply
the same method to intervention. If it tends to cause more harm, don't
do it until you figure out what actually works. That is, "first of
all, do no harm".
But sometimes "no harm" is not an option, and you're faced with triage.
> In the incidents you list below, the U.S. government simply provided
> the means for something to happen which in some cases would have
> happened in similar fashion anyway, and in other cases may have
> prevented an even worse alternative from occurring.
I looked over the list and don't see any clear examples of that.
Israeli settlements. If the U.S. government cut off aid to the Israeli government tomorrow, I don't think settlement construction in the West Bank would consequently stop, do you? (I'm not supporting the aid, just stating what I believe to be political reality.) You've deleted the list here, so that's the only example I recall off the top of my head. Anyway, I don't really see settlement construction as such a bad thing -- certainly not on the level of torture or killing. Housing is housing, and increasing the supply ultimately makes it more affordable for everyone, including Palestinians. If it's government housing, the government can require people to move out of it later if that's required for a peace agreement.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))