Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: The Ethics of Intervention in Libya

SHAUN CASEY (Wesley Theological Seminary): Whether you act or whether you don’t act, the stakes are really quite high, and that’s what makes it so daunting from a moral perspective: trying to find the right way to know when to intervene and when not to because the consequences, the body counts are quite high.

LAWTON: In the wake of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the United Nations hammered out a set of principles known as the “Responsibility to Protect.” The principles say that nations must protect their population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. And if a state doesn’t live up to that responsibility, the international community has a responsibility to step in. The United States has endorsed those principles.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from Nobel acceptance speech, December 209): I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in the other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Libya, Theology

5 comments on “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: The Ethics of Intervention in Libya

  1. carl says:

    [blockquote] the international community has a responsibility to step in.[/blockquote] Well, then perhaps some significant actors should transfer spending from the NHS to the military, and develop an independent capability to fulfill this responsibility.


  2. Br. Michael says:

    Good point.

  3. Br. Michael says:

    I thought we wanted to cut military spending?

  4. Br. Michael says:

    Ah ethics. This is good. What are the ethics of blowing things up and killing people?

  5. Creedal Episcopalian says:

    I would hate to be the people making Obama’s political calculations right now. He just gave the finger to Calypso Louise and the far left establishment. His base is now toast. Even Hillary is running away like he has the plague. On top of that, he’s dropping bombs on his buddy Kadaffy. Does it sound like he thought things through, or is he simply too distracted to reason?
    Can you really believe that Obama see’s a moral imperative that justifies a third front in “Bush’s War on Terror”? I expect we will be entertained, after the Rio vacation and the completion of the NCAA brackets, by Mr. Obama’s frantic attempts to extract himself from a Libyan tar baby ( no slur intended).
    It looks as if Obama’s handlers have thrown him to the wolves.