After reading that thread that turned into a debate about Iran and nuclear weapons, I wanted to ask the Pit this question: Is it ever justified to intervene with the affairs of another nation that is not in any way affecting your own? If so, under what circumstances is intervention justified?

To clarify, let me propose some hypothetical situations.

1. You're the dictator of the most powerful country in the world. There's another country that you could easily defeat in a military conflict that is ruled by a cruel, undebatably unethical dictatorship that severely mistreats its populace (let's say random executions, extreme disregard for the well-being of its populace and the like). Over 99% of its people would openly accept military aid from your country to install new leadership. Would you overthrow the current regime?

2. You're the dictator of the most powerful country in the world. There's another easily defeatable nation with a somewhat poor government that seems to not be very interested in serving its people. Reports show that a very small majority of the nation's population is calling for aid from your country to militarily intervene and aid in the installation of a new government. Would you step in and overthrow the current regime?

If you said no to both scenarios (I think, essentially saying that you never support this policy of "world policing"), why is it never justified to intervene in the affairs of another nation? If you said yes to both scenarios, again; why is it justified? If you said yes to the first scenario and no to the second scenario, how do we designate where "the line" is that dictates when it is justified to involve ourselves in the affairs of another nation?
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If every citizen is literally crying out to your country for help, I'd say do it, but if there's just a small minority asking for help, and most of the country is content, you'll just end up making more trouble.
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I think the line in intervention is when the government executes innocent members of it's population.

It'd be the equivalent of seeing a wee old woman on the street getting beat up and just walking by.

Eddie Izzards relevant here I'd say.
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I'd feel compelled to help out in both scenarios, but it's never as simple as that. You've given an example of a very insulated course of events. On a global political level, nearly any decision you make might potential fuck things up elsewhere.
it's never that simple, TS.
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Guys, I'm fully aware that neither of the situations I proposed are in any way realistic. My intention was to give one situation where the chance of "****ing things up" is very small, and one where that chance is very large. What I want to know is what thought process you would go through when deciding whether or not it is justified to intervene in the affairs of another nation.
The Problem with "random executions" is/will be, how can you be sure? Is the Information you have, that such a thing is happening authentic, ot has some Political opponent of the regime, whose main interest is gettng to power him/her/themself/ves? Would somebody like that ever admit that? NO. Is the information provided by such a government? - I strongly doubt it, things like this get covered up. "He/ was a known danger to his surroundings, by our law we may execute *cough*"
Basically, I think there is no line. You should NEVER intervene in an other country. If 99% of the population is against the government, then that will include a large part of the military and overthrowing the regime should be easy enough.
The second scenareo is very UNDEMOCRATIC (okay, the options proposed were dectatorships, on both parties, but none the less). If a small part is complaining/calling for aid, you are not working in the favor of the general public. Here we also have the same problem: who is providing us with this information?

I know it may seem immoral, if there seem to be obvious cases of pointless executions, not to intervene. But often the best way to resolve things not technically concerning oneself is to let the people handle the situation themselves. Public statement from a government can also help, as they are basically just "subjectiv opinions" that can, if this tyrannic regime really is in place, put a lot of pressure on th government, and also give the suppressed population support. (That is if they actually get access o such information)

Last but not least, If i were the dictator of the most powerful country in the world, I would introduce democrasy in my own country and, run for president, or PM or whatever. (Sorry tht was slightly OT, i know)

Very interesting Question though TS.


So I'm saying that in al of your hypotheses, this whole movie would happen in real life.
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Last edited by Dawginator at Sep 5, 2010,