From Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus, the Second Title in Amnesty International’s Global Ethics Book Series – Now Available!

Bestselling author Rory Stewart and political economist Gerald Knaus examine the impact of large-scale interventions, from Kosovo to Afghanistan in Can Intervention Work?the second title in the Amnesty International Global Ethics Book Series. Below, an excerpt:

Our experience suggests the following rules of thumb: that interveners must distinguish brutally between the factors they can control, the dangers they can avoid, and the dangers they can neither control nor avoid (whether permanent features of the place or specific to the crisis). An outsider can—indeed, should—provide generous resources, manpower, equipment, encouragement, and support. Courage, thought, and pre-planning are relevant. But they are not enough on their own. The best way of minimizing the danger of any intervention is to proceed carefully, to invest heavily in finding out about the specific context, particularly after the intervention, and to define concrete and not abstract goals.

Power and authority must be given to local leadership through elections as soon as possible. Only local leaders have the necessary ingredient of knowing the situation well, over many years and in all kinds of conditions; only they can get around the dangers that cannot be avoided, and skillfully respond to them. Local leaders who are appointed by foreigners, rather than elected, will find it very hard to assume responsibility. The person intervening should not be so obsessive or neurotic about the activity as to ignore the signs that the intervention has become too dangerous, or the mission impossible, and that it is time to regroup, pause, or even withdraw.

Since intervention is a techne—to take a grand term from Aristotle—or, in more normal language, an art not a science, such advice will always seem underwhelming. Just as the military principle that “time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted” is seen by soldiers as an insight of great life-saving wisdom, but by a civilian as a glimpse of the blindingly obvious, so too advice on intervention. Few would have any theoretical disagreements with our recommendations. Even fewer would be surprised by them. The challenge is not to lay out the principles; it is to convey just how rarely they are implemented and why, how much damage has been done through ignoring them, and how difficult they are to uphold.

The difficulty is to show people how intervention—with its elaborate theory, intricate rituals, astonishing sacrifices and expenditure; its courage and grandeur and fantasy—can often resemble the religion of the Aztecs or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; to show how bad intervention can be: how far more absurd, rotten, counterproductive than any satirist could suggest or caricaturist portray.  And that even when all the leaders have recognized that a policy is not working, how impossible it often seems for them to organize withdrawal.

An incremental approach may seem simply common sense.  But overconfident policy-makers continue to be seduced repeatedly by the belief in the magic powers of planning, resources, and charismatic leadership.  Intervention may be a necessary, indispensable ingredient of the international system.  It is certainly capable, as in the Balkans, of doing good.  And yet how easily it falls into excess.  This is why the ultimate focus of these essays is on the particular context, temptations, predilections, and neuroses of twenty-first-century interveners.  Rory’s essay focuses exclusively on Afghanistan; Gerald’s largely on Bosnia.  But we hope they carry broader lessons because these essays aim to offer not an anthropology of the country into which the West is intervening, but an anthropology of the West—an anthropology of ourselves.

Buy Can Intervention Work? now in our online store!

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48 thoughts on “From Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus, the Second Title in Amnesty International’s Global Ethics Book Series – Now Available!

  1. do you support amnesty? if so you are a racist hypocrite.
    amnesty is a tool of western oppression of rest of the world.

    while it is quick to accuse non west, not obedient to west, of violations human rights and crimes against humanity, even on no or flimsy evidence, it is yet to accuse usa and rest of its cronies of same even with very solid evidence .

    how many more children (latest 30+ libyan children on tuesday) have to die by the hands of brutal military forces of west acting under obama's orders before amnesty call him a war criminal ? why is bush not in front of a court?

    as long as amnesty fails to do so, it is guilty of racist hypocrisy .

    don't support this racist hypocritical , tool of western oppression.
    -
    like all hypocrites, amnesty cannot stand truth and freedom of expression, and has censored similar comments several times here.

  2. To those who oppose Amnesty Int'l, and its various missions: AI is not a tool of any government(s), western or otherwise. AI does not generally define individuals as war criminals or other derogatory names. AI prefers to oppose actions (and reactions, of course), which are inconsistent with a proper valuation of individual humans and their rights to live and speak.
    AI has opposed the forms of torture that some members of a previous US gov't's executive branch used. Most of AI's membership would be strongly in favor of a United Nations investigation into the proper assignation of blame into the use of torture by the US. The US, unfortunately, and perhaps all-too-wittingly, is not a signatory of the accord that would allow UN investigation.
    Also useful to note: WAGING WAR is NOT A WAR CRIME. It is currently far too difficult to draft a document that would spell out the proper scenarios for legitimacy for was, insurrections, et al.
    AI limits itself to: 1. condemning violent actions against peaceful protestors, 2. ending all forms of torture and its attendant (tho puerile) rationalizations.
    3. Exposing and condemning all actions taking place during conditions of war that target civilian populations, and/or target disproportionally harm non-combatants, or utilize rape, degradation, torture, and other means to cow a group of people.
    4: Ensuring that all people imprisoned for peaceful speech (prisoners of conscience) have a network of people who attempt to maintain contact with them and their imprisoners.
    5: Attempting to end the death penalty for all crimes, ensure that the death penalty be not expanded for non-capitol crimes, ensure that the death penalty never be used when their is a question of innocence, and, finally, provide a database for those people who bellieve in curtailing execution can gather.
    6: Publicizing and alerting people to those occasions when governments impose harsh penalties on crimes that may be ALLOWED by their religious beliefs, but should not be pursued merely because religion does not condemn the practise.
    7: Provide links, and other information for the relationship between the causal elements of poverty, on the one hand, and unbridled greed, on the other, impel any or all forms of harm to peoples.
    Amnesty International is not an organization that is in favor of censorship.
    When AI seems to be hypocritical, it is usually due to either incorrect assumptions on the part of the accuser, or the impotence of governing and supra-governing bodies to enforce needfull policies.
    Will AI favor action when it has a chance for success, over actions where it has none? AI has the ethical strong ground here, because the answer to that qustion is: Sometimes.

  3. do you support amnesty? if so you are a racist hypocrite.
    amnesty is a tool of western oppression of rest of the world.

    while it is quick to accuse non west, not obedient to west, of violations human rights and crimes against humanity, even on no or flimsy evidence, it is yet to accuse usa and rest of its cronies of same even with very solid evidence .

    how many more children (latest 30+ libyan children on tuesday) have to die by the hands of brutal military forces of west acting under obama’s orders before amnesty call him a war criminal ? why is bush not in front of a court?

    as long as amnesty fails to do so, it is guilty of racist hypocrisy .

    don’t support this racist hypocritical , tool of western oppression.
    -
    like all hypocrites, amnesty cannot stand truth and freedom of expression, and has censored similar comments several times here.

  4. To those who oppose Amnesty Int’l, and its various missions: AI is not a tool of any government(s), western or otherwise. AI does not generally define individuals as war criminals or other derogatory names. AI prefers to oppose actions (and reactions, of course), which are inconsistent with a proper valuation of individual humans and their rights to live and speak.
    AI has opposed the forms of torture that some members of a previous US gov’t's executive branch used. Most of AI’s membership would be strongly in favor of a United Nations investigation into the proper assignation of blame into the use of torture by the US. The US, unfortunately, and perhaps all-too-wittingly, is not a signatory of the accord that would allow UN investigation.
    Also useful to note: WAGING WAR is NOT A WAR CRIME. It is currently far too difficult to draft a document that would spell out the proper scenarios for legitimacy for was, insurrections, et al.
    AI limits itself to: 1. condemning violent actions against peaceful protestors, 2. ending all forms of torture and its attendant (tho puerile) rationalizations.
    3. Exposing and condemning all actions taking place during conditions of war that target civilian populations, and/or target disproportionally harm non-combatants, or utilize rape, degradation, torture, and other means to cow a group of people.
    4: Ensuring that all people imprisoned for peaceful speech (prisoners of conscience) have a network of people who attempt to maintain contact with them and their imprisoners.
    5: Attempting to end the death penalty for all crimes, ensure that the death penalty be not expanded for non-capitol crimes, ensure that the death penalty never be used when their is a question of innocence, and, finally, provide a database for those people who bellieve in curtailing execution can gather.
    6: Publicizing and alerting people to those occasions when governments impose harsh penalties on crimes that may be ALLOWED by their religious beliefs, but should not be pursued merely because religion does not condemn the practise.
    7: Provide links, and other information for the relationship between the causal elements of poverty, on the one hand, and unbridled greed, on the other, impel any or all forms of harm to peoples.
    Amnesty International is not an organization that is in favor of censorship.
    When AI seems to be hypocritical, it is usually due to either incorrect assumptions on the part of the accuser, or the impotence of governing and supra-governing bodies to enforce needfull policies.
    Will AI favor action when it has a chance for success, over actions where it has none? AI has the ethical strong ground here, because the answer to that qustion is: Sometimes.

  5. Is this even a question … Can intervention work ? ? ?

    That too, as title of one of your books ??!!

    In your "Ethics" series at that ??

    What "ethics" ???

    This is your Civilizational Crisis !!

    You "ethically" propose what your Law negates … Invasion without any basis in self – defense !!

    You talk of the "dangers" of intervention …. when intervention is itself the greatest danger on Earth today.

    In a world where war now is no longer localized but seamlessly globalized, you argue in effect for its continuing spread by means of "humanitarian" Imperialism.

    What good your correct / "balanced" position on issues, when you're flawed at your very fundament ?

    You cite instances of dificulty in showing the evils of intervention …. why Aztec or Soviet, when the real difficulty for you is to cite an American or Western one ?

    Ciontrary to what you say, it's not hard to vilify Aztec religion today, precisely due to your American vulgarization of the cultures & the histories of the Other.

    What's harder for you is to recognize or acknowledge that Aztec religion was itself USED as an excuse for the "humanitarian" invasion of Mexico by Cortes, Conquistador & Christ.

    We've suffered enough from your white man's burden.

    Whar makes you think we'll swallow your latest excuses ??

  6. Is this even a question … Can intervention work ? ? ?

    That too, as title of one of your books ??!!

    In your “Ethics” series at that ??

    What “ethics” ???

    This is your Civilizational Crisis !!

    You “ethically” propose what your Law negates … Invasion without any basis in self – defense !!

    You talk of the “dangers” of intervention …. when intervention is itself the greatest danger on Earth today.

    In a world where war now is no longer localized but seamlessly globalized, you argue in effect for its continuing spread by means of “humanitarian” Imperialism.

    What good your correct / “balanced” position on issues, when you’re flawed at your very fundament ?

    You cite instances of dificulty in showing the evils of intervention …. why Aztec or Soviet, when the real difficulty for you is to cite an American or Western one ?

    Ciontrary to what you say, it’s not hard to vilify Aztec religion today, precisely due to your American vulgarization of the cultures & the histories of the Other.

    What’s harder for you is to recognize or acknowledge that Aztec religion was itself USED as an excuse for the “humanitarian” invasion of Mexico by Cortes, Conquistador & Christ.

    We’ve suffered enough from your white man’s burden.

    Whar makes you think we’ll swallow your latest excuses ??

  7. @ Ana – Amnesty International campaigns to defend human rights worldwide. Regarding the crisis in Somalia we have long reported on the dire human rights situation there. Our most recent blog post addresses how US intervention in the country is compounding an already dire crisis: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/waronterror/us-interve

    In general, Amnesty keeps human rights issues in the US at the top of our agenda as well. One of our priority campaigns here aims at preventing and addressing human rights violations in the US 'war on terror' – both in the US and abroad. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/campaigns/secu… Another one of our priority campaigns addresses the death penalty which as you may know the US is one of the major executioners in the world. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-p… We also work to address violations made by corporations (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/business-and-human-rights), violations to immigrants rights (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/refugee-and-migrant-rights), just to name a few more. We'll hope you will consider getting involved in standing up for the rights of all people everywhere.

  8. If Amnesty International cared about censorship, freedom of speech, interventionism, famine is Somalia and other African countries USA would be on the top of it's agenda.
    However AI keeps following the official version of the facts, the history created by US and it's allies and it's elite that blame others for problems created by them.
    It is hypocrisy. This is the real name for that.

  9. @ Ana – Amnesty International campaigns to defend human rights worldwide. Regarding the crisis in Somalia we have long reported on the dire human rights situation there. Our most recent blog post addresses how US intervention in the country is compounding an already dire crisis: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/waronterror/us-interve

    In general, Amnesty keeps human rights issues in the US at the top of our agenda as well. One of our priority campaigns here aims at preventing and addressing human rights violations in the US 'war on terror' – both in the US and abroad. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/campaigns/secu… Another one of our priority campaigns addresses the death penalty which as you may know the US is one of the major executioners in the world. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-p… We also work to address violations made by corporations (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/business-and-human-rights), violations to immigrants rights (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/refugee-and-migrant-rights), just to name a few more. We'll hope you will consider getting involved in standing up for the rights of all people everywhere.

  10. @ Ana – Amnesty International campaigns to defend human rights worldwide. Regarding the crisis in Somalia we have long reported on the dire human rights situation there. Our most recent blog post addresses how US intervention in the country is compounding an already dire crisis: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/waronterror/us-interve

    In general, Amnesty keeps human rights issues in the US at the top of our agenda as well. One of our priority campaigns here aims at preventing and addressing human rights violations in the US 'war on terror' – both in the US and abroad. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/campaigns/secu… Another one of our priority campaigns addresses the death penalty which as you may know the US is one of the major executioners in the world. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-p… We also work to address violations made by corporations (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/business-and-human-rights), violations to immigrants rights (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/refugee-and-migrant-rights), just to name a few more. We'll hope you will consider getting involved in standing up for the rights of all people everywhere.

  11. If Amnesty International cared about censorship, freedom of speech, interventionism, famine is Somalia and other African countries USA would be on the top of it’s agenda.
    However AI keeps following the official version of the facts, the history created by US and it’s allies and it’s elite that blame others for problems created by them.
    It is hypocrisy. This is the real name for that.

  12. @ Ana – Amnesty International campaigns to defend human rights worldwide. Regarding the crisis in Somalia we have long reported on the dire human rights situation there. Our most recent blog post addresses how US intervention in the country is compounding an already dire crisis: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/waronterror/us-intervention-in-somalia-compounds-dire-humanitarian-crisis/

    In general, Amnesty keeps human rights issues in the US at the top of our agenda as well. One of our priority campaigns here aims at preventing and addressing human rights violations in the US ‘war on terror’ – both in the US and abroad. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/campaigns/security-with-human-rights Another one of our priority campaigns addresses the death penalty which as you may know the US is one of the major executioners in the world. You can learn more about that here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-penalty We also work to address violations made by corporations (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/business-and-human-rights), violations to immigrants rights (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/refugee-and-migrant-rights), just to name a few more. We’ll hope you will consider getting involved in standing up for the rights of all people everywhere.

  13. Amnesty !

    You stand for Foreign Intervention … to save Native Right ??

    You save the tree … by invading the forest ??

    You defend the "Right" … but allow the violation of the ground it stands upon ??

    Then you have lost the Balance.

    There is no Right without Context … & that Context is Always Sovereignty.

    Earth's Sovereignty.

    Nature's Sovereignty.

    People's Sovereignty.

    Nation's Soverignty.

    Rights + Sovereignty.

    One without the Other has lost the Balance.

  14. Do you think i come here as beggar … to beg for Rights ??

    To scavenge for Rights escaping the holes in all our collective tattered Sovereignties ?

    The West's game was clear when a Native delegation faced a US bureaucrat on the point of Native Sovereignty.

    Right at the start the bureaucrat "advised" the People, "Raise individual rights issues only …. don't talk about national sovereignty."

    The People at once corrected him , saying, "We have no Rights without our Sovereignty."

    But this is precisely how they want us …. no Sovereignty, hence no Rights.

    Catch 22.

    & rather than stand by the Law of Nations, Amnesty constructs a theoretical, "ethical", extralegal superstructure empowering the global thieves who are robbing us of all our Sovereignties, all our Rights.

  15. Sovereignty.

    First Right.

    Original Right.

    Not just a human, but a Natural BirthRight.

  16. I guess i feel i'm somewhat representative of many of AI's members. I feel that for too many issues, i don't have enough information to judge who is right from who is wrong. Everybody likes to see themselves as being in the right anyway, so i tend to look less at goals and objecties, and more at means. While i might not support a side in an arguement that makes no sense to me, i will reserve my opposition for those who use inhum means to achieve their objectives. Anyone who is far from an arguement, has a grave difficulty in deciding the rightness or wrongness of someone's objectives (goals). We only express our horror when the means used, cannot redeem or justify any goals.

  17. Amnesty !

    You stand for Foreign Intervention … to save Native Right ??

    You save the tree … by invading the forest ??

    You defend the “Right” … but allow the violation of the ground it stands upon ??

    Then you have lost the Balance.

    There is no Right without Context … & that Context is Always Sovereignty.

    Earth’s Sovereignty.

    Nature’s Sovereignty.

    People’s Sovereignty.

    Nation’s Soverignty.

    Rights + Sovereignty.

    One without the Other has lost the Balance.

  18. Do you think i come here as beggar … to beg for Rights ??

    To scavenge for Rights escaping the holes in all our collective tattered Sovereignties ?

    The West’s game was clear when a Native delegation faced a US bureaucrat on the point of Native Sovereignty.

    Right at the start the bureaucrat “advised” the People, “Raise individual rights issues only …. don’t talk about national sovereignty.”

    The People at once corrected him , saying, “We have no Rights without our Sovereignty.”

    But this is precisely how they want us …. no Sovereignty, hence no Rights.

    Catch 22.

    & rather than stand by the Law of Nations, Amnesty constructs a theoretical, “ethical”, extralegal superstructure empowering the global thieves who are robbing us of all our Sovereignties, all our Rights.

  19. I guess i feel i’m somewhat representative of many of AI’s members. I feel that for too many issues, i don’t have enough information to judge who is right from who is wrong. Everybody likes to see themselves as being in the right anyway, so i tend to look less at goals and objecties, and more at means. While i might not support a side in an arguement that makes no sense to me, i will reserve my opposition for those who use inhum means to achieve their objectives. Anyone who is far from an arguement, has a grave difficulty in deciding the rightness or wrongness of someone’s objectives (goals). We only express our horror when the means used, cannot redeem or justify any goals.

  20. Amnesty International is trying to champion prisoners of conscience world wide. Fight for humane rights for women by fighting violence against women world wide. Also if you can worry about it join us and fight it. Disarm Authority, fight with peaceful protest. I would say that writing letters if you can send ten a month you'll find it could be twenty letters a month and please help us fight. We need money to make Cards, Signs, maintaining this very complicated web site. Donate at least 35$ but 25$ in you can't because you might have it bad but someone has it a lot worse some where. please do what you can I ma trying to save up 35$ to renew my member ship, but I still send letters while I wait for my donation to be my goal that I set.

  21. Can you teel me if there is a report from Amnesty International on the Mai Lai massacre

  22. Amnesty International is trying to champion prisoners of conscience world wide. Fight for humane rights for women by fighting violence against women world wide. Also if you can worry about it join us and fight it. Disarm Authority, fight with peaceful protest. I would say that writing letters if you can send ten a month you’ll find it could be twenty letters a month and please help us fight. We need money to make Cards, Signs, maintaining this very complicated web site. Donate at least 35$ but 25$ in you can’t because you might have it bad but someone has it a lot worse some where. please do what you can I ma trying to save up 35$ to renew my member ship, but I still send letters while I wait for my donation to be my goal that I set.

  23. Can you teel me if there is a report from Amnesty International on the Mai Lai massacre

  24. Now .. to self – critique ….

    My error here is to misread the point about the Aztecs & Soviets .

    i misread them as the editors' examples of bad interventions, whereas the editors were actually saying intervention itself is often hard to SEE as BEING as bad as those examples of human "activity" were.

    i don't agree with the citing of these examples .. the citing itself is part of the simplified American version of history, while the historical matter in both cases is more complex than such a casual reference to either … but that doesn't change the fact that i misread the editors' point.

    My criticism of the editors' remarks remains that they can even distinguish between good & bad interventions in the first place.

    In reality there's no such distinction.

    The editors say the dangers of intervention are in the places or crises where interventions occur.

    This way of looking at it makes the problem local, not global or systemic or paradigmatic as it is.

    The point is not even about the dangers of intervention itself, but about it's very premises, motivations, & objectives, which are all rooted in the inherent greed of the giant powers, as wreaked upon the weak.

    "Dangers" of intervention ??

    "Dangers" = saying a thing can go wrong.

    In historical reality, intervention's wrong from its very conception.

    i'm stunned that the editors, who usually take such pains to balance their judgments when it comes to siding with the weak, can throw the same caution to the winds when siding with the powers whom act as the "guardians" of humankind !!!

    The editors even say "outsiders" SHOULD intervene in crises not just morally but with MANPOWER, EQUIPMENT, & RESOURCES !!

    Why say "outsiders" here, as if we're talking of NGOs or volunteers ?

    When we talk of intervention, "outsiders" mean the giant powers, "manpower" means the US/ NATO armies, & resources means missile fleets & CIA cash flow & embedded ( = uncritical ) CNN / NYT coverage.

    To cite US / NATO intervention in the Balkans as an instance of good intervention is equally appalling.

    That intervention brought us doctored media tales of Serb atrocities, the NATO bombing of civilian Serbia, & the theft from Serbia of her ancient historic region of Kosovo, now under Albanian mafia control.

    Elections as soon as possible, as the editors advise, to minimize the "dangers" of intervention ? Putting local leaders in "control" ?

    Anyone knowing history knows elections under intervention = setting up pliant puppets dependant on foreign force.

    See Karzai.

    Or ask any occupied people.

  25. Rome began as Republic, ended as Empire.

    America began as Empire, became Republic … & continues as Empire.

    Amnesty is a guide dog for the blind inside this Republic / Empire …. & can't but mirror both its rhetoric with its reality.

    Amnesty's outstanding virtues are its incorruptibility, its empirical grasp & its activism.

    It's failure is its containment & shaping within Empire.

    How can it outgrow the System that birthed & reared it, & still nourishes it spiritually ?

    As an organization it can't shed its skin.

  26. Now .. to self – critique ….

    My error here is to misread the point about the Aztecs & Soviets .

    i misread them as the editors’ examples of bad interventions, whereas the editors were actually saying intervention itself is often hard to SEE as BEING as bad as those examples of human “activity” were.

    i don’t agree with the citing of these examples .. the citing itself is part of the simplified American version of history, while the historical matter in both cases is more complex than such a casual reference to either … but that doesn’t change the fact that i misread the editors’ point.

    My criticism of the editors’ remarks remains that they can even distinguish between good & bad interventions in the first place.

    In reality there’s no such distinction.

    The editors say the dangers of intervention are in the places or crises where interventions occur.

    This way of looking at it makes the problem local, not global or systemic or paradigmatic as it is.

    The point is not even about the dangers of intervention itself, but about it’s very premises, motivations, & objectives, which are all rooted in the inherent greed of the giant powers, as wreaked upon the weak.

    “Dangers” of intervention ??

    “Dangers” = saying a thing can go wrong.

    In historical reality, intervention’s wrong from its very conception.

    i’m stunned that the editors, who usually take such pains to balance their judgments when it comes to siding with the weak, can throw the same caution to the winds when siding with the powers whom act as the “guardians” of humankind !!!

    The editors even say “outsiders” SHOULD intervene in crises not just morally but with MANPOWER, EQUIPMENT, & RESOURCES !!

    Why say “outsiders” here, as if we’re talking of NGOs or volunteers ?

    When we talk of intervention, “outsiders” mean the giant powers, “manpower” means the US/ NATO armies, & resources means missile fleets & CIA cash flow & embedded ( = uncritical ) CNN / NYT coverage.

    To cite US / NATO intervention in the Balkans as an instance of good intervention is equally appalling.

    That intervention brought us doctored media tales of Serb atrocities, the NATO bombing of civilian Serbia, & the theft from Serbia of her ancient historic region of Kosovo, now under Albanian mafia control.

    Elections as soon as possible, as the editors advise, to minimize the “dangers” of intervention ? Putting local leaders in “control” ?

    Anyone knowing history knows elections under intervention = setting up pliant puppets dependant on foreign force.

    See Karzai.

    Or ask any occupied people.

  27. Rome began as Republic, ended as Empire.

    America began as Empire, became Republic … & continues as Empire.

    Amnesty is a guide dog for the blind inside this Republic / Empire …. & can’t but mirror both its rhetoric with its reality.

    Amnesty’s outstanding virtues are its incorruptibility, its empirical grasp & its activism.

    It’s failure is its containment & shaping within Empire.

    How can it outgrow the System that birthed & reared it, & still nourishes it spiritually ?

    As an organization it can’t shed its skin.

  28. Lovers of Amnesty,

    i honor you all….. & i honor Amnesty.

    Do remain loyal to AI…. continue your invaluable, indespensable work with her.

    The critique of War & Imperialism comes from a wider Horizon.

    You fight your Battles for Rights.

    At the same time, the war against War must go on..

  29. Lovers of Amnesty,

    i honor you all….. & i honor Amnesty.

    Do remain loyal to AI…. continue your invaluable, indespensable work with her.

    The critique of War & Imperialism comes from a wider Horizon.

    You fight your Battles for Rights.

    At the same time, the war against War must go on..

  30. Amnesty ….

    There's the answer to your question.

    Libya.

    They're back on CNN now, the men of the hour ..

    The US military commentator with his chest barred with colored tabs …

    The plainclothes suit sweeping his arm across the map ….

    The smooth mouthpiece for Big Oil, already talking low- key assurance about the spoils.( 50 % of Africa's oil ) ….

    The real enablers of the "uprising".

    They're the tip of the intervention's iceberg —

    The Special Force teams operating inside.

    NATO.

    The French arms suppliers.

    Nothing would have happened without them, they openly say.

    What, Amnesty … satisfied, now ?

    Oh, i forgot, elections will make it all "democratic" !!

    These Libyan leaders no one knows …

    These leaders who just murdered their top commander without excuse or accountability …

    These leaders trained by CIA & the Special Forces …

    They can now be elected & made presentable to the world .

    But they will be held accountable, now.

    Not by the Libyan people.

    But by Big Oil , whom made it all happen.

  31. An 'ideological" question, now.

    What happened to Amnesty's Principle of Nonviolence ?

    Intervention isn't Nonviolent at any of its stages.

    Is Nonviolence Amnesty's gospel for the powerless alone ?

    For you are not prescribing it for the ( Western ) Powers … & their practices toward the nonWestern world.

  32. Western Humanitarianism's trap.

    On one hand, it defines Rights too tightly, too technically, on too increasingly limited a scale … containing them as shrinking, endangered islands it patrols.

    On the other hand, Western Humanitarianism's own home & Motherland ( geographic, cultural, spiritual, ethical ) are not those islands but the boiling Ocean of Global Imperialism which throws up the islets & drowns them under waves of Wars in an endless Cycle.

    Western Humanitarianism's life & death processes were born & bred amidst the rising Waters of this Ocean.

    That's why it now echoes the logic of Intervention which rocks & buffets it, as the Ocean itself rushes forward with the hoarse cry of Humanitarian Imperialism.

    This Waterworld tries to set up an artificial bed of solidity only to crumble & dissolve its own foundations, churning up the deep into a displacement of all the worlds.

    Humanitarianism, set adrift on its ark, debates the reigning priesthood's cult of Chaos … toying with its illusory possibilities, tinkering with the dykes & floodgates of human laws anchoring the last archipelagos.

    Chaos as cult seduces, as cosmic dissolution paralyses Western Humanitarianism as it drifts & dreams fitfully of Utopia … those lost islands.

  33. Amnesty ….

    There’s the answer to your question.

    Libya.

    They’re back on CNN now, the men of the hour ..

    The US military commentator with his chest barred with colored tabs …

    The plainclothes suit sweeping his arm across the map ….

    The smooth mouthpiece for Big Oil, already talking low- key assurance about the spoils.( 50 % of Africa’s oil ) ….

    The real enablers of the “uprising”.

    They’re the tip of the intervention’s iceberg —

    The Special Force teams operating inside.

    NATO.

    The French arms suppliers.

    Nothing would have happened without them, they openly say.

    What, Amnesty … satisfied, now ?

    Oh, i forgot, elections will make it all “democratic” !!

    These Libyan leaders no one knows …

    These leaders who just murdered their top commander without excuse or accountability …

    These leaders trained by CIA & the Special Forces …

    They can now be elected & made presentable to the world .

    But they will be held accountable, now.

    Not by the Libyan people.

    But by Big Oil , whom made it all happen.

  34. An ‘ideological” question, now.

    What happened to Amnesty’s Principle of Nonviolence ?

    Intervention isn’t Nonviolent at any of its stages.

    Is Nonviolence Amnesty’s gospel for the powerless alone ?

    For you are not prescribing it for the ( Western ) Powers … & their practices toward the nonWestern world.

  35. Western Humanitarianism’s trap.

    On one hand, it defines Rights too tightly, too technically, on too increasingly limited a scale … containing them as shrinking, endangered islands it patrols.

    On the other hand, Western Humanitarianism’s own home & Motherland ( geographic, cultural, spiritual, ethical ) are not those islands but the boiling Ocean of Global Imperialism which throws up the islets & drowns them under waves of Wars in an endless Cycle.

    Western Humanitarianism’s life & death processes were born & bred amidst the rising Waters of this Ocean.

    That’s why it now echoes the logic of Intervention which rocks & buffets it, as the Ocean itself rushes forward with the hoarse cry of Humanitarian Imperialism.

    This Waterworld tries to set up an artificial bed of solidity only to crumble & dissolve its own foundations, churning up the deep into a displacement of all the worlds.

    Humanitarianism, set adrift on its ark, debates the reigning priesthood’s cult of Chaos … toying with its illusory possibilities, tinkering with the dykes & floodgates of human laws anchoring the last archipelagos.

    Chaos as cult seduces, as cosmic dissolution paralyses Western Humanitarianism as it drifts & dreams fitfully of Utopia … those lost islands.

  36. So, what's the score on Western intervention so far?

    Iraq 1 & 2 = an absolute disaster for the Iraqis and so badly done that it made Saddam looked like a wise and benevolent leader.

    Afghanistan = a slow-rolling disaster for the Afghans, but the Afghans are used to it.

    Kosovo = a EU-welfare funding dependent gangster state created in the heart of Western Europe, now exporting crime into Europe.

    Sierra Leone = Finally, a success story! A miserable band of arm-chopping rabble crushed, bringing peace and stability that benighted country. An unmitigated triumph and Blair's only good war.

    Libya = Good luck with that intervention, democracy and er…. the rebels. :)
    The various 'colour revolutions' in the ex-USSR states? Still waiting for a definitive outcome.

    Total civilian death toll from all of the above interventions? Approx 1.5 million casualties. So, which interventions did AI support? http://thecarthaginiansolution.files.wordpress.co

    Lessons learnt? Intervention certainly works if the aim is to ensure the premature deaths of lots and lots of (mainly Arab) civilians. The West will only intervene in countries whose armed forces are incapable of offering any meaningful resistance.

    p.s. can we have an intervention (perhaps a Predator drone strike?) preventing any more of a.savage's dreadful poetry ? It's a crime against humanity and deserving of a one-way ticket to the ICC in Hague.

  37. So, what's the score on Western intervention so far?

    Iraq 1 & 2 = an absolute disaster for the Iraqis and so badly done that it made Saddam looked like a wise and benevolent leader.

    Afghanistan = a slow-rolling disaster for the Afghans, but the Afghans are used to it.

    Kosovo = a EU-welfare funding dependent gangster state created in the heart of Western Europe, now exporting crime into Europe.

    Sierra Leone = Finally, a success story! A miserable band of arm-chopping rabble crushed, bringing peace and stability that benighted country. An unmitigated triumph and Blair's only good war.

    Libya = Good luck with that intervention, democracy and er…. the rebels. :)
    The various 'colour revolutions' in the ex-USSR states? Still waiting for a definitive outcome.

    Total civilian death toll from all of the above interventions? Approx 1.5 million casualties. So, which interventions did AI support? http://thecarthaginiansolution.files.wordpress.co

    Lessons learnt? Intervention certainly works if the aim is to ensure the premature deaths of lots and lots of (mainly Arab) civilians. The West will only intervene in countries whose armed forces are incapable of offering any meaningful resistance.

    p.s. can we have an intervention (perhaps a Predator drone strike?) preventing any more of a.savage's dreadful poetry ? It's a crime against humanity and deserving of a one-way ticket to the ICC in Hague.

  38. So, what's the score on Western intervention so far?

    Iraq 1 & 2 = an absolute disaster for the Iraqis and so badly done that it made Saddam looked like a wise and benevolent leader.

    Afghanistan = a slow-rolling disaster for the Afghans, but the Afghans are used to it.

    Kosovo = a EU-welfare funding dependent gangster state created in the heart of Western Europe, now exporting crime into Europe.

    Sierra Leone = Finally, a success story! A miserable band of arm-chopping rabble crushed, bringing peace and stability that benighted country. An unmitigated triumph and Blair's only good war.

    Libya = Good luck with that intervention, democracy and er…. the rebels. :)
    The various 'colour revolutions' in the ex-USSR states? Still waiting for a definitive outcome.

    Total civilian death toll from all of the above interventions? Approx 1.5 million casualties. So, which interventions did AI support? http://thecarthaginiansolution.files.wordpress.co

    Lessons learnt? Intervention certainly works if the aim is to ensure the premature deaths of lots and lots of (mainly Arab) civilians. The West will only intervene in countries whose armed forces are incapable of offering any meaningful resistance.

    p.s. can we have an intervention (perhaps a Predator drone strike?) preventing any more of a.savage's dreadful poetry ? It's a crime against humanity and deserving of a one-way ticket to the ICC in Hague.

  39. So, what’s the score on Western intervention so far?

    Iraq 1 & 2 = an absolute disaster for the Iraqis and so badly done that it made Saddam looked like a wise and benevolent leader.

    Afghanistan = a slow-rolling disaster for the Afghans, but the Afghans are used to it.

    Kosovo = a EU-welfare funding dependent gangster state created in the heart of Western Europe, now exporting crime into Europe.

    Sierra Leone = Finally, a success story! A miserable band of arm-chopping rabble crushed, bringing peace and stability that benighted country. An unmitigated triumph and Blair’s only good war.

    Libya = Good luck with that intervention, democracy and er…. the rebels. :)
    The various ‘colour revolutions’ in the ex-USSR states? Still waiting for a definitive outcome.

    Total civilian death toll from all of the above interventions? Approx 1.5 million casualties. So, which interventions did AI support?
    http://thecarthaginiansolution.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/butchers-bill2.jpg

    Lessons learnt? Intervention certainly works if the aim is to ensure the premature deaths of lots and lots of (mainly Arab) civilians. The West will only intervene in countries whose armed forces are incapable of offering any meaningful resistance.

    p.s. can we have an intervention (perhaps a Predator drone strike?) preventing any more of a.savage’s dreadful poetry ? It’s a crime against humanity and deserving of a one-way ticket to the ICC in Hague.

  40. Interventionism's tsunamis roll both ways.

    They hit the shores of the Empire as well as its Target … & sweep away the last symbols of a dead Republic.

    Libya enabled Obama to trample Congress & make Intervention direct.

    Caesar acts as Caesar in the Capitol … while bowing to Finance Capital as it bankrolls his run for Power.

    The Constitution is the mud he flicks off his heels.

    Libya is Prologue.

  41. Intervention is Pandora's box.

    Intervention opens the Road to greater & more Interventions.

    Kosovo opened the way to Afghanistan & Iraq.

    Amnesty has helped Rehabilitate War by tabling Intervention as viable option.

    i am especially appalled, i repeat, by your hoisting of the Balkans as an example of Intervention that can do "good".

    Indeed !!

    1 ) NATO's Balkan Intervention actually ENABLED the ETHNIC CLEANSINGS via US / NATO's unilateral championing of Bosnian, Croat & Albanian ULTRA NATIONALISMS, encouraging their opportunist politicians under full US BACKING to refuse to compromise with Serbs & Serbia.

    2 ) NATO's Balkan Intervention enabled the REALIZATION of Germany's old Nazi dream of DOMINATING Eastern Europe — Germany REUNIFIED herself & DISMEMBERED Yugoslavia, CONSOLIDATING her own regional power.

    3 ) NATO's Balkan Intervention enabled the transformation of Bosnia & Kosovo into the Occupied Colonies they are today.

    4 ) NATO's Balkan Intervention enabled the transformation of Yugoslavia, a truly multiethnic state, into what she's become today … a region full of warring ethnicities, refugees, poverty, & utter dependence on a pitiless & hostile West.

    That's the "good" Intervention's brought the Balkans !

  42. Interventionism’s tsunamis roll both ways.

    They hit the shores of the Empire as well as its Target … & sweep away the last symbols of a dead Republic.

    Libya enabled Obama to trample Congress & make Intervention direct.

    Caesar acts as Caesar in the Capitol … while bowing to Finance Capital as it bankrolls his run for Power.

    The Constitution is the mud he flicks off his heels.

    Libya is Prologue.

  43. Intervention is Pandora’s box.

    Intervention opens the Road to greater & more Interventions.

    Kosovo opened the way to Afghanistan & Iraq.

    Amnesty has helped Rehabilitate War by tabling Intervention as viable option.

    i am especially appalled, i repeat, by your hoisting of the Balkans as an example of Intervention that can do “good”.

    Indeed !!

    1 ) NATO’s Balkan Intervention actually ENABLED the ETHNIC CLEANSINGS via US / NATO’s unilateral championing of Bosnian, Croat & Albanian ULTRA NATIONALISMS, encouraging their opportunist politicians under full US BACKING to refuse to compromise with Serbs & Serbia.

    2 ) NATO’s Balkan Intervention enabled the REALIZATION of Germany’s old Nazi dream of DOMINATING Eastern Europe — Germany REUNIFIED herself & DISMEMBERED Yugoslavia, CONSOLIDATING her own regional power.

    3 ) NATO’s Balkan Intervention enabled the transformation of Bosnia & Kosovo into the Occupied Colonies they are today.

    4 ) NATO’s Balkan Intervention enabled the transformation of Yugoslavia, a truly multiethnic state, into what she’s become today … a region full of warring ethnicities, refugees, poverty, & utter dependence on a pitiless & hostile West.

    That’s the “good” Intervention’s brought the Balkans !

  44. Organizationed Humanitarianism ….

    You must evolve a consciousness & ethics distinct from the dominant ideology's.

    That's the need of the hour … for you.

    Your own excellent bloggers …. not to speak of your readers …. are ahead of you !

    They show the way empirically …. quantitatively … & in the conclusions they reach.

    Editors … you must begin to translate this quantitative consensus regarding reality … into an appropriate qualitative consciousness.

    Or else your conceptually limiting or sterile tracts insult us readers & our level of awareness.

    **********************

    Example — your criterion that elections must quickly follow Intervention…. to validate the "democratic" process begun by it.

    What "democratic" process is ushered in by foreign violence ??

    … & quick elections as panacea ??

    The quicker, the more flawed !!

    No elections until immediate & unconditional withdrawal of the foreign militaries !

    Any elections sanctioned by alien bayonets & bombs are abortions of democracy .

    Even elections without choices FROM OUTSIDE the System are stillborn.

    Your own experience says so.

    One of the biggest experiences in recent history of electoral futility & frustration, signifying nothing.

    Your Obama experience.

    Worse than Bush .. for your people rebelled under Bush, but are impotent under Obama as he continues … worsens !! … Bush's policies of extralegal Interventions, assassinations, incarcerations, & criminalization of the poor & of grassroots opposition.

    *******************

    The historian Tony Judt has made a list of world leaders today.

    He shows these elected leaders STAND FOR NOTHING.

    He says leaders should FIGHT FOR DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES.

    We need men like Judt who use fact to show Truth.

    We don't need figleaves added to Empire's violations of the Sovereignties & Laws of Nations.

    We don't need YOU to make War respectable again.

  45. Organizationed Humanitarianism ….

    You must evolve a consciousness & ethics distinct from the dominant ideology’s.

    That’s the need of the hour … for you.

    Your own excellent bloggers …. not to speak of your readers …. are ahead of you !

    They show the way empirically …. quantitatively … & in the conclusions they reach.

    Editors … you must begin to translate this quantitative consensus regarding reality … into an appropriate qualitative consciousness.

    Or else your conceptually limiting or sterile tracts insult us readers & our level of awareness.

    **********************

    Example — your criterion that elections must quickly follow Intervention…. to validate the “democratic” process begun by it.

    What “democratic” process is ushered in by foreign violence ??

    … & quick elections as panacea ??

    The quicker, the more flawed !!

    No elections until immediate & unconditional withdrawal of the foreign militaries !

    Any elections sanctioned by alien bayonets & bombs are abortions of democracy .

    Even elections without choices FROM OUTSIDE the System are stillborn.

    Your own experience says so.

    One of the biggest experiences in recent history of electoral futility & frustration, signifying nothing.

    Your Obama experience.

    Worse than Bush .. for your people rebelled under Bush, but are impotent under Obama as he continues … worsens !! … Bush’s policies of extralegal Interventions, assassinations, incarcerations, & criminalization of the poor & of grassroots opposition.

    *******************

    The historian Tony Judt has made a list of world leaders today.

    He shows these elected leaders STAND FOR NOTHING.

    He says leaders should FIGHT FOR DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES.

    We need men like Judt who use fact to show Truth.

    We don’t need figleaves added to Empire’s violations of the Sovereignties & Laws of Nations.

    We don’t need YOU to make War respectable again.

  46. Dear Savage,
    You've never been shy of expressing support for armed resistance and uprisings in many other countries and groups, including the LTTE.

    Question 1: Are you happy that the Libyan people have freed themselves from Mad MuMu's 30 year long dictatorship?

    Question 2: What’s an acceptable civilian death toll for Libya to be free of Qaddafi?
    a) 500,
    b) 5,000
    c) 50,000

    p.s. NATO are quite busy at the moment, so there's delay on the air-strike I ordered on your house. It'll be there, eventually.

  47. Dear Savage,
    You’ve never been shy of expressing support for armed resistance and uprisings in many other countries and groups, including the LTTE.

    Question 1: Are you happy that the Libyan people have freed themselves from Mad MuMu’s 30 year long dictatorship?

    Question 2: What’s an acceptable civilian death toll for Libya to be free of Qaddafi?
    a) 500,
    b) 5,000
    c) 50,000

    p.s. NATO are quite busy at the moment, so there’s delay on the air-strike I ordered on your house. It’ll be there, eventually.