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.