Responsibility to Protect (or Invade)?

29 Jul

Professor Jean Bricmont who was one of the panelist at the recent UN debate on Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has posted his speech at Counterpunch.

It is a contentious topic which has strong arguments drawn from both detractors and advocates. There are many difficult issues with advocating R2P. As Bricmont points out and quite rightly so, it is often and thinly guised as ‘humanitarian intervention’ efforts mimicking the early colonial imperialism of Western countries.

But even if we can brush that criticism aside,  R2P interventions have rarely produced the desired outcomes. One could look at for example Rwanda or Kosovo to notice how little has been achieved.

As Bricmont points out, the only way to deal with such humanitarian crises requires us to fix the structural problem first. That means redressing the inequalities and distrust between the West and the East or North and South.

Morally, does the West or the international community have a R2P? Who is authorised to make such decisions given the political bickering and impotence of the Security Council? How can we say for certainty that all other prior non-military measures have been exhausted?

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