Intervention in Cases of Genocide

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Pol 348|
Term Paper|
Jacob TwoTwo|
Section: D101

Should 'Western' countries use military intervention to stop genocidal repression in weaker states, or is it an infringement of the sovereign rights of U.N. members to territorial integrity and political independence.

Genocide is terribly crime against humanity that leaves immeasurable devastation in its wake. Stopping genocide and protecting human life should have much more importance than arbitrary laws of sovereignty. This essay will argue for intervention for cases that are deemed acts of genocide by the collective international community led by Western developed nations. Cases such as the Holocaust, and the Rwandan Genocide will be discussed to emphasize the impact genocide has on the world explaining how if intervention was taken the loss of life could have been prevented and future conflict avoided. Another argument in this essay will discuss why sovereignty is an earned right for a nation and should have certain conditions if expected to be respected. The bulk of this paper will then turn to the history of African conflict exploring it’s relation with Western colonization and Multi-National Corporations. Finally, I will give my opinion on just why Western nations have a responsibility and duty to protect people from acts of genocide.

Genocide leaves a large negative impact on the planet. If past acts of genocide could have been prevented maybe some modern problems could have also been avoided. The systematic killing of 11 million civilians during the Nazi regime is probably the most famous act of genocide in human history in fact the term genocide was invented to explain the brutality of the events (Stein 1964). 6 million of the casualties were of Jewish origin (approximately two thirds of Europe’s entire Jewish population) as Nazi bureaucracy and propaganda targeted this group heavily0 (Stein 1964). The spread of anti-Semitism across Europe played a large part in the West’s inactivity in stopping the genocide. There is evidence that Ally leaders knew what was taking place under the Third Reich. President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are often criticized for not doing more during the crisis. Immigration to America and Britain was shut down for Jewish refugees even with the knowledge of the persecution that was taking place (Stein 1964). There are other accounts that state that allied forces knew what was taking place at the Auschwitz concentration camp and contemplated bombing it into non-functionality but the plan seemed too risky during the chaos of World War 2 (Stein 1964). The Holocaust is a very painful part of 20th century history but what may make the legacy even gloomier is the notion that some sort of preventive measures could have been taken (Stein 1964). What are the positive ramifications of preventing some aspects of the Holocaust? First, there is the obvious assumption that if the holocaust was prevented than millions of lives would have been saved. There are also less obvious occurrences that could have been different if the Holocaust did not take place. Mainly the conflict in Palestine/Israel is directly related to the crimes of the Nazi regime (Rein 2008). Palestinian Scholar Edward Said claims “the state of Israel would not exist if the holocaust did not happen” this is a controversial statement but it does have some merit (Rein 2008). The international community’s guilt of not acting during the holocaust some say led to the looking the other way of the expulsion of nearly a million Palestinian people from their homes (Rein 2008). Many of these refugees and their descendants live in utter poverty and environments that are festering grounds for terrorism and other dangerous activities (Rein 2008). There is a well-documented history of conflict between Israel, Palestinian militants and other Arab nations (Rein 2008). It has to be said that the Holocaust plays some sort of role in the...
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