Humanitarian Imperialism

Using Human Rights to Sell War

Ranked #77 in International Law

Since the end of the Cold War, the idea of human rights has been made into a justification for intervention by the world's leading economic and military powers--above all, the United States--in countries that are vulnerable to their attacks. The criteria for such intervention have become more arbitrary and self-serving, and their form more destructive, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan to Iraq. Until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the large parts of the left was often complicit in this ideology of intervention--discovering new "Hitlers" as the need arose, and denouncing antiwar arguments as... more

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