Regarding the Prime Directive

It’s interesting to me how many people, not just in America, appear to respond to an international crisis by immediately asking what are we going to do about this?

It makes sense, because we’re all humanitarians (except me—I’m a sociopath!) and there is a sense that we can do a lot of good out there. We are totally capable of fixing the parts of the world we don’t like, even if we haven’t exactly done so in the past. Especially in a situation where it appears that what we want for the people of another country, and what they want for themselves, is the same.

It’s no surprise, either, when people who are actively struggling look to the rest of the world, and to America in particular, to help them. The night before their troubles began, many of them had conversations with their families about Americans as arrogant cowboys who habitually overstep their bounds. When shit gets real, suddenly everybody wants a direct line to the world police.

From any perspective, a person’s stance on interventionism changes based purely on whether or not they personally agree with the outcome. I’m okay with that, because I knew I felt that way all along. It’s just interesting, the last decade considered, to watch certain hipsters and pundits push for a heavier hand in the affairs of others.

5 Comments

  • Joey Michaels

    January 28, 2011

    At least in the U.S., the same seems to be true of many people’s views of having the Federal Government provide certain kinds of aid. They’re thrilled when they get it, but despise it when other people get it.

    Reply
  • Richard

    January 28, 2011

    It’s only natural for people to want to help out when their more or less told that they’re right. Lick my a-hole right clean of salt, and I’ll be glad to give you a box of freedom. Oops, sorry, that was a box of Egyptian College Girls Gone Wild!

    Reply
  • Princeps

    January 29, 2011

    There really isn’t much directly that America can do. Sending in troops would be counterproductive, making forceful statements one way or another will only let the dudes we don’t back say “YOU ARE PUPPETS OF THE GREAT SATAN ZOMG.” We’ve got the kiss of death right now.

    That said, there’s stuff we could do indirectly. We could immediately and publically cut off all aid to the Mubarak regime; that’d be the simplest way to signal that we’re cool with democracy in Egypt and to signal to the regime, as well as the army and police, that they can’t expect our support in dealing with their own people, and signal to the people that they’ve got a real chance to fix their country.

    Reply
  • Memo Juez

    January 29, 2011

    Great Post!

    Most Americans do ask “What can we do to help” following Tsunamis, Earthquakes and Revolutions in the rest of the World. But they are always the first to ask, “What will Washington do?’ When those natural disasters happen at home.

    From both perspectives, a person’s stance on interventionism changes based purely on whether or not they personally agree with the outcome.

    You smacked the nail squarely on the head with your interpretation of the hypocrisy in the US Governments ever changing policy of Interventionism and Intermingling Alliances. The latter is specifically exampled in Princeps’ comment. But he points out that here is the chance to pull out of the realm of influence, let the country sort itself out then resume friendly relations with Egypt.

    Had we done this during the overthrow Batista and not bitten the extended hand of Friendship that Castro extended to us following the aftermath, Cuba would still be an Ally today.

    Reply
  • Memo Juez

    January 29, 2011

    Dang it, I forgot to close my Italics tag.

    Reply

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