Realism and intervention after Iraq

Andrew Rawnsley argues that if the cause of humanitarian interventionism is lost in Iraq, it will not just be Tony Blair who has tragic cause to be sorry. He says that despite the terrible mistakes made after the removal of Saddam, the case for liberal interventionism is still compelling. In a globalised world, morality and self-interest alike demand that Western nations cannot ignore what goes on within the borders of other states when they threaten their own citizens, their neighbours or the rest of the world. Rawnsley fears that the alternative is to retreat into the school of foreign policy that likes to call itself ‘realist’. It was this doctrine of malign inactivity which sat on its hands as a million people or more were slaughtered during the genocide in Rwanda. (Gary Kent)