Again on the new realism
Norm replies well, and here is an extract from his response:
the fact that assaults by a state on its own citizens are one of the more terrible fates that can befall people, a fate that usually leaves them with nowhere to turn, and the related fact that in certain circumstances humanitarian intervention is the only recourse, the only means of rescue - these two facts leave me puzzled over why Mazower should see fit so to talk down the importance of the problem in question: of 'the way leaders treat their people'; more particularly, of how to deal with situations in which governments commit crimes against humanity on a mass scale. 'Maturity' isn't the word I would choose to describe the attitude Mazower for his part is welcoming.[...]
Mazower also invokes the shadow of imperial ambition to cast doubt on the validity of the universal principles in light of which humanitarian intervention is justified (when it is). Yet these principles are not - or not just - the principles of the West. They are embodied in international conventions and legal instruments designed to protect all peoples from their own governments, as well as from the depredations of external enemies and invaders. At the end of World War II, after the horrors of Nazism, establishing these principles in international law was held to be a task of some priority and urgency. That it should now be thought immature to uphold a doctrine in which they are taken seriously is a remarkable testimony to the way in which a wide cohort of today's liberal intelligentsia has been knocked sideways by current political animosities it is unable to control.