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ET doesn't do editorial lines, and it hardly does editing, so asking for an editorial line seems strange.  As if you are trying to set up some poor ET editor to be attacked from all sides.

Personally I am not a pacifist because all Government involves at least a degree of force and international relations is about interests which can be conflicting and which, in a world of increasing resource constraints, can only become more conflictual.

The trick, therefore, is to replace war, as much as possible, by more peaceful diplomatic, political, negotiated and democratic methods.  There is an increasing body of international law and institutions to promote and sometimes enforce it.  Generally those systems only work at the margins - to ameliorate some conflicts or resolve remaining issues after a lot of fighting has been done.

In the case of Libya you could ask the question: was Gaddafi worse than Assad in Syria? A marginal question at best. No doubt the "international" response was more robust because of oil and Gaddafi's unrivalled unpopularity. But as a Government leader you have to have  very good reason to put your treasury and soldiers at risk - and unavoidably self-interest is a large part of it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 2nd, 2011 at 04:50:12 PM EST

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