universal values Re: [FoRK] bin Laden offers truce

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar drernie at radicalcentrism.org
Fri Jan 20 18:09:50 PST 2006


Hi Damien,

On Jan 19, 2006, at 8:25 PM, Russell Turpin wrote:
> Damien Morton <fork at bitfurnace.com>:
>> The question becomes moot if reciprocity is called for, that is,
>> for every intervention you ethically justify to yourselves, you  
>> must also allow yourself to be intervened in. As far as  
>> intervention in Iraq goes, I cant imagine any circumstance or any  
>> intervention that would be considered permissible as far as Iraqi  
>> intervening in the US, or by any other nation for that matter.
>
> Not so. In some weird hypothetical future where Iraq evolves
> into a liberal democracy upholding civil rights such as freedom
> of speech and religion, while the US devolves into a theocracy
> where President Santorum issues executive orders banning
> all religion except Christianity and making blasphemy a crime,
> I might welcome Iraq's intervention here.

>> As a result, any discussion about acceptable interventions is  
>> completely  hypocritical and solipsistic.

That's why I specifically mentioned India.  As someone *from* India,  
I have some understanding of what it means for my country occupied by  
a foreign power -- and a very exploitive and condescending one at  
that!  And frankly, the British -- for all their flaws -- were a  
helluva lot better than the vast majority of the rajahs they replaced.

That's why I was interested in Stephen (and Rusell's) definition of  
"justifiable intervention" -- I'm curious if people have a defensible  
and consistent rationale for what can be validly imposed, rather than  
assuming it is a binary choice.

-- Ernie P.

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