Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Responsibility to Protect"

Othewise "R2P", to be warm and fuzzy. Excerpts from a general media survey from the Conference of Defence Associations:
Clifford Orwin in the Globe and Mail (see link below) writes that the Responsibility to Protect doctrine is being paid mere lip service: “Pile on international covenants as you will, there can be no (enforceable) responsibility to shoulder the responsibility to protect. Unless some powerful nation takes it upon itself to spearhead the costly, risky, pot-stirring intervention in question, the responsibility will go unshouldered. If everyone accepts it nominally while seeking to fob it off on others, the ultimate result will be nominal as well.”

The CDA reminds it readers that the original report on the Responsibility to Protect from the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (see link below), which included the participation of Michael Ignatieff, called for interventions to be undertaken even if the UN Security Council failed to act, by other groupings of states. However, the UN report that embraced the doctrine (see link below) called for the UN Security Council to be the final decision-maker as to whether to intervene.
Update: John Robson of the Ottawa Citizen is, as usual, right on the logical money; the conclusion of a column:
...was the idea to have George Bush blast his way in, kick out the tyrants and impose order and liberty? A sorry climb-down after all that lovely America-bashing, to come begging the loan of their army.

Unless of course it's just a bunch of politicians yakking to cover the fact that they don't even realize they have no options. Which is pretty ugly... though not compared to storming the Irrawaddy beaches only to find they're literally a quagmire.


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