Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Mali

Dead Baby Interventionism

Lately I’ve been noticing a new social networking trend–the tendency for people who are passionate about a given humanitarian crisis (examples include Syria, drones in Pakistan, Kony in the Congo–surprisingly, not Mali) to post pictures of various dead, injured, or disfigured babies or children who purportedly were killed, injured, or disfigured over the course of their respective conflicts. Accompanying the pictures is usually some caption designed to engender empathy (one such example I recall was “imagine if this were your child”). This strikes me as somewhat simplistic. Not much critical thought is being given to what the responsibilities of developed states are. Instead, the entire discussion is being reduced to “children are dying, this is bad, developed states can stop bad things, developed states should stop this”. So today I’d like to think about it a little bit deeper than that.

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France Goes to War

French President François Hollande has decided that France is going into Mali.  The nation of Mali has, in the last year, descended into civil war. The war in Mali has received relatively little mainstream media coverage and many westerners are, to our collective shame, unaware of what has been going on there and the role their own governments have played in creating the war. Today I would like to examine the Malian Civil War, its causes, the present state of affairs, and the ethics of intervening in it.

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