By Eric A. Heinze
Examines the moral, criminal, and political dimensions of army intervention for humanitarian purposes.
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Additional resources for Waging Humanitarian War: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Humanitarian Intervention
Leaving aside the actual sincerity of the United State’s humanitarian justification for invading Iraq, the fact that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was unjust—and would therefore have no moral claim to nonintervention according to Beitz— would provide a convenient moral cover if the United States did, in fact, want to invade for exploitative or otherwise selﬁsh reasons. Not only does this serve to justify armed conflict in situations where there is tyranny but no ongoing atrocities or massacre to avert, it also serves as a basis for justifying intervention that seems to be particularly morally problematic, given the number of governments in the world today that demonstrate something less than the ideal compliment of human rights protections.
14 This point refers to the reality that international relations premised on a concern for the security of states often neglects the welfare of the people residing within the states. 15 In theory, then, positing human security as the paramount goal for international pursuits forces states to consider the consequences of their actions or omissions for the well-being of individuals and not just for the well-being of the state. This focus on the quality of life of individuals also maintains a certain humanist value that draws from the moral appeal of international human rights discourse—namely, that human beings are to be held as the fundamental objects of moral concern.
51 Like Beitz, Tesón demonstrates certain consequentialist tendencies, but he does not explicitly employ consequentialism as part of his theory. In fact, Tesón is loath to use consequentialist reasoning. ”52 While he wishes to avoid making cold utilitarian calculations, Tesón’s aversion to utilitarianism exists for very compelling moral reasons, because the problems with consequentialism are well-known. In its purest form, and when applied to human rights, consequentialism concerns itself with only aggregate enjoyment of human rights, offering no real moral consideration of the fact that it promotes an ends justify the means ethos.
Waging Humanitarian War: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Humanitarian Intervention by Eric A. Heinze