- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Why not?

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on April 21, 1999 at 17:40:15:

In Reply to: The US is not the Mafia posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on April 21, 1999 at 14:42:12:

: This IS humanitarian intervention. Between 100,000 and 500,000 Kosovo men are missing, presumed dead. We don't really have time to think up some bettwer alternatives, we need to deal with Serbia NOW.

What about the equal numbers dead and missing in Colombia? What about the Turks and the Kurds? laos/ Israel? Also that number missing and dead comes after the escalation of genocide, i.e. *after* the bombing began.

: 1) the US has killed very few people domestically, its domestic human rights record is pretty good, lots of political refuygees come to America

Erm, about half its prison population are black, AMnesty international has found that race and class is a determining factor in recieivng the death penalty, and the US's external record is appalling, Likewise Britain, 1% of the population are black, 10% of the prison population.
Also, the internal record is not the issue.

: 2) if it's backed some unpoleasant governments, so has almost every other country

Indeed, but its backed and armed more, and is more powerful and moe in the forefront of doing so.

: 3) it has intervened for humanitarian reasons sometimes, look at Somalia, Haiti, the semi-effective samnctions on South Africa and Rhodesia, etc.

The US opposed sanctions, along with Britain it backed teh OSuth African Riech. Somalia was a Geopolitical intervention that led to US troops firing on Red Cross Hospitals, Haiti was an operation to prevent democracy in that Islan (Aristeed although returned was forced to co-operate with certain US-friendly elements.)

: 4) the US has given humanitarian and development aid to even avowedly socialist countries as well as capitalist ones, e.g. Ethiopia, Mali, Cape Verde. Without our help those countries would ahve suffered even more.

Hmmm...Ethiopa- yes, Somalia used to be Russia friend, and Ethipopa US client, and then tehy swapped, that dratted Red Sea again...

: 5) the US pushed for land reform in El Salvador and reforms in Paraguay, and they threatened to attack England to defend Egypt's self-determination in 1956

Hmm, lastI recall they just refused support, they Rigged Elections in Salvador, ignored the murder of US nuns there, and then blockaded and terrorised the country during elections to scure the correct result.

: 7) some ostensibly "capitalist" wars in fact also were morally justifiable. Korea, for example. Do you really think taht the people of South Korea would be better off today if we had let North Korea take over?

Who knows how that region might have turned out without that war, but the US intervened there for geopolitical reasons, not the good of the Korean people.

: what do you recommend, since talking appears to have failed? anyway, any "negotiated" solution taht woudl leave Milosevica free hand in Kosovo, or woudl leave Kosovans without their freedom, does a desservice to the people. Peace under slavery is not peace at all- int's better to gfight and destroy your slavemaster than to live peacefully under oppression.

1:The Ramboiullet deal was a long way short of autonomy, it was an imposed settlement, meant to make teh problem go away from sight, rather than solve it.
2:The Serb Parliament accepted all of Rambouillet, except the NATO troops, but they were prepared to discuss some international element.
3:Rambouillet was not a negotiation, it was an ultimatum, perhaps talks in good faith may have been effective.
4:All teh arguments suggest that the Genocide has either escalated becuase of teh bombing, or is unaffected and just as bad, regardless, thus bombing is making things only worse.

: yes, we made an imposition. 'Murder is wrong" is an imposition. i see no reason to accept anything else. If Milosevic doesn't agree with thsi then we ought to punsih him.

What about turkey, Israel, who gave NATO the right? Where is consistency?

: Unilateral action is justified when teh UN is unable or unwilling to do something, as often happens.

Erm, no, its not, its illegal, and the US can't bleat about the Russian veto, because they have used their own so much- one of the clear aims of this war is to undermine UN authority and set up rule by force for NATO.

:The point is not who inetrvenes, but whether intervention is right. If it si, tehn it doesn't amtter who intervenes. Therefore India was right to intervene in East Pakistan (1971), Tanzania in Uganda (1979), Vietnam in Cambodia (1979) the US in Haiti (1994, France in Chad (1980s) Cuba in Angola (1970s) etc. I would like you to address some of these interventions. Were they wrong or right and if so, then how is the US intervention any different?

Vietnam in Cambodia was possibly right, though notably the US condemned it and armed the Khmer Rouge. In all of those cases, however, i would ask 'What interest did the invading party have?' and 'was tehre any alternative?' I've allready made my views on Haiti plain, teh US was dealing with a rogue client and putting its own mess straight. Basically the rule of law is more important, otherwise nations can use humitarian issues as excuses to play power politics.

: i DON'T KNWO WHAT NATo constitution says, however, I have no problem witha country acting teh hero all by itself.

Who's to judge? What if China decided Indias behaviour over Kashmir was appalling and invaded? And what about powerful states that abuse people? What happens when the abuser is someones ally (like Turkey)? A good number of Israelis' so i hear, are compaiing kosova to the clearance of East Jerusalem, shouldn't the US have intervened then? Its clear that where national interest takes precidence over law, we cannot have Justice for any oppressed group.

: No, we had no interest in Somalia, we had little immediate interest in
Except the Red Sea...

:Haiti, our interest in Korea was marginal at best. These interventions were done for idealistic reaosn. Note that we didn't take over North Korea, we withdrew to the established border. What about WWII while we're on teh subject, i suppose you think e were wrong to take out Hitler?

The Reason for Korea, and Vietnam was the geopolitics of the Domino theory, and US-pac rim dominance. Haiti was an attempt to bring a rogue state back into line.

World war two was not fought to stop Fascism, but to smash a capitalist Rival, Germany, many in britain supported Hitler right up till the Molotov Ribontrop pact meant he wasn't a bulwark against Bolshevism. The Socialist party opposed wwII as it has opposed every capitalist war this century.

: The US isn't the mafia, see above. Their human rights record is no worse than most otehr regional powers and substantially better, in domestic affairs, than most.

All Governments are effectively like teh Mafia, thats what states are, big protection rackets, and NATO more so, because it is on an international scale.

: We HAVE OUR OWN PROBLEMS IN THSI COUNTRY, BIUT PRIMRILY TEHY ARE THE PROBLEMS OF ECONOMIC STRUCTURE AND NOT TEH GOVERNMENT. In spite of whatever racism we have, we are still far more racially tolerant than most European countries (can you say Le Pen, the Africans in France, teh Turks in Germany, etc). We have intervened for humanitarian reasons on several occasions. We ahve sheltered many political refugees from all over the world. We never went into imperialism to teh extent
Except now, where the US is the undisputed imprial master of the world. And please note, I include Britain and all the NATO memebers in my criticism, its just the US is the biggest.

:that European countries did, we acquired colonies later and fewer and released them earlier than most otehr countries. We have total free speech here, teh only restraint on free speech is monetary and is again due to the structures of capitalism. We have a better welfare system than most non-socialist developing countries, more racial/ethnic integrationa and tolerance than most European countries, and more democracy than most former East European countries. I'd say teh US is actually very far from being the Mafia, thank you very much. I';m hard pressed to find a country that has even been humanitarian to teh extent that teh US has, with a few exceptions.

All states are like the mafia under capitalism, yes, the US is better than most, but its still not good enough, and its still not upholding international law, and I didn't here a single rebuttal of the most substantive claims- that the war has aggravated the situation, that NATO tactics seem curiously in-adapted to stopping genocide, etc.

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