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Sometimes it is right to fight

There are those who opposed the war in Iraq because they felt there was no connection between Saddam and 9/11. These people were right. But many opposed it because they oppose all wars, anywhere. These people are wrong.

Sometimes there is no choice. Sometimes humanitarian intervention is necessary. Few, save for ardent Serbian nationalists and the current occupants of the Kremlin, would now say US intervention in Kosovo was wrong. It saved the lives of thousands of Muslims. Even fewer would call into question Britain's role in Sierra Leone, after the streets succumbed to machete-wielding militia.

Indeed, the sad story of George W Bush's foreign policy is not so much that Iraq turned into a quagmire. It is that, in The Economist's words, "the Bush years have also damaged the intellectual case for [further] intervention." If we could turn back time and prevent the Rwandan genocide, would it not have been right to do things differently? It would only have taken a few thousand well armed troops with the mandate to fire if attacked. The Darfur genocide continues under the radar, yet the sapped moral authority of America makes any intervention unlikely. That doesn't mean that it is wrong to try. And what about Congo? After all, isn't this simply a case of Hutus and Tutsis playing out their tribal conflicts on adjacent turf?

To borrow more from The Economist. "The trouble is that history does not take a holiday just because America [and let's face it all of us] needs a breather."

Too little, too late

No time for an egoist