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Thread: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

  1. #1
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    Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    As I was younger and probably more naive and idealistic, I thought that we shouldnīt intervine and tell others how to live. Now I am still on the same ideals, but I percieve that things arenīt black or white and that itīs a hard task. The West have a certain values and democratic systems. We have come to the conclusion that itīs the best way, because we ourselves have come to that sometimes with blood. I think all countries should decide what type of society they want to have. But...once travelling to Venezuela and seeing the Yanomanis (hidden and isolated tribu in the jungle), I was uspet because there were western doctors. Later I was told, that Yanomanis were gratefull because due to this external "contamination" they had been able to overcome a couple of infections. So where is the line of intervention?. Under the term of traiditions many atrocities have been commited. Should be be quiet and understand lapidation?. Should we understand whale fishing because its part of some countries traditions?. Should be allow clitoris ablation?....I am really doubtful.

  2. #2
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Interesting question Keltic, and this should prove to be an interesting debate!

    I go along your way of thinking, countries should be allowed to deal with their own affairs, such as their way of life, military affairs and economic problems on their own.
    Co-operation between nations is OF COURSE a practical way of building relations such as providing medical aid during famine or natural disasters or even following a war with a hostile nation. However, when a larger and more militarily/politically powerful nation gets involved without that nations consent...well, there you have to draw the line.
    I'm not only talking about the US or Britain when I say this so I don't want any "quit US bashing" responses, but certain "democratic" nations in this world seem to think that they are justified in sabre rattling simply because they are democratic.

    It kind of makes you wonder if this world will ever see peace on a global scale.

  3. #3
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    I agree with you two guys. I believe that countries must be allowed to deal with their own internal affairs without foriegn intervention.

    I believe Iraq has to be left to strike the first blow. Attacking on suspicioun doesn't make much sense to me. If another country attempted to tell us how to handle our own affairs, I know I'd be ticked off about it.

    I believe that the only time other countries should intervene is when mass genocide exists, or where a situation which threatens other countries is not being addressed by the country in question. (For example, disease being rampant in one country, not being properly addressed and threatening neighbouring countries.

    Regards

    Wombat

    E,R,S & L.

  4. #4
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Fine guys, but lets be the devilīs lawyer. If a country decissions affect to the rest of the world.....should we intervine?. An example...sorry to all Norweians...Whale hunting threaten with this aminal extintion...and this affects all us. Brazil, deforestion...affects the whole planet...So...not even in these cases?. Pol Pot genocide?. I know itīs not easy to stablish a line.

  5. #5
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Keltic

    Good points re the whaling and deforestation. They are both of concern to the world at large, but are issues where the best form of foreign intervention is by unified protest through the UN, rather than physical intervention.

    Japan is another nation that flaunts international maritime preservation agreements, with whales being taken for "research". The arrogance Japan displays in doing this is amazing, as if it is their right to rape the world's oceans of its resources for their own purposes. I suppose the same applies to Norway, I wasn't aware they were still doing it too.

    In the event that unified approaches can be taken by nations, economic sanctions are probably the most effective means of trying to bring the offenders to heel.

    Regards

    Wombat

    E,R,S & L.

  6. #6
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Keltic,

    let me just you one thing: Do you really think it is fair that Brazil loses all its jungles for countries which have already completely their own jungles?!?!?

    Regards,
    Junin

  7. #7
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Damn... someone beat me to it...

    Keltic
    The western world has drilled and chopped and mined it own natural resources to get to where they are now.
    It has of course done the same to many of its colonies too.
    After chopping down all of its own forrests how can the west tell Brazil and other countries that they can't sell wood for profit, or chop down trees to make way for farms so they can feed their families and make some money?
    Rather than saying to Brazil and countries like Brazil not to cut down these trees, why not offer incentives not to cut them down.
    We always hear about the destruction of the rain forrests being bad because of all the animal and plant life there includes species never seen before... potential cures for cancer and all that...
    How about rich powerful drug companies paying locals to find and record these species instead of them having to make a living from cutting down trees or farming.
    How about Rich industrial countries who emit a lot of green house gasses paying for planting trees for a renewable resource.

  8. #8
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    I agree with the sentiments that the richer industrialised nations should pay a price for their own misuse of the planets resources and, indeed, the carry much of the blame for the state we're in now.

    However, much of this was done during times when there was no concept of ecology. Much of the deforestation of the British Isles occured in the 18th and 19th Centuries for the shipbuilding trade - had you gone back in time and warned them that in 200 years we might be running short of forested land they'd have creased up laughing just before consigning you to an institution. Is there a limitless time that nations like Britain should be made to pay for mistakes of the past made in ignorance...or is this just a convenient manner for foreign nationals to get an easy shot in? :-)

    Whats been said about Brazil being unfairly told to stop harvesting trees is undoubtably correct, there is a strong element of double standards at play, BUT, if they go on waving this infantile "we'll do what we like - cos you did" banner we all go down the tubes - smug environmentalists and morally-courageous Brazillians included.

    My point is that, yes, of course the rich nations should offer incentives and assistance to preserve such a critical natural resource as the Amazon rainforest, BUT for whatever reason capitalistic greed or plain ignorance, if they don't measures need to be put in place locally to counter the logging and slash and burn agriculture before irreparable damage is done and the populations of South America suffer along with the rest of us. To turn around, after the fact, and say "look what you made us do" isnt going to be very smart is it?

    Steve

  9. #9
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    >
    >After chopping down all of its own forrests how can the west
    >tell Brazil and other countries that they can't sell wood
    >for profit, or chop down trees to make way for farms so they
    >can feed their families and make some money?
    >Rather than saying to Brazil and countries like Brazil not
    >to cut down these trees, why not offer incentives not to cut
    >them down.
    >

    Essentially the problem in Brazil doesnīt have much to do with external world and the rich countries, since Europe for instance doesnīt get much wood from them and since we still have huge amount of timber over here, at least as far as Spain is concerned. The desforation in Brazil is a question of internal greed. As you point out, forests are cut to provide more earth for farming, but also for searching of gold, gas, and these is usually driven by "garimpeiros" or local mafia landowner who gets lots of benefit from exploting the farmers. Besides tribes are being deprived from his natural enviroment and doesnīt produce any substantial benefits for the local economy. The key is to be able to shift from traditional farming to more intensive and always ecology friendly means. Thatīs to say, you canīt cut forest only to plant for instance Mediterranean crops. I am for a ratiol use of rain forest who could provide many benefits to the local communities.

  10. #10
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    exellient topic and brilliant start up post keltic.

    everyone else that posted have also shown great understanding and self awareness, if ppl like u lot were running the world, we would be living in a much more free, open peacefull and friendly place.

    but thats the problem, ppl like u dont run the world, and if things stay the way they are, chances are ppl like u will NEVER get to make big decisions.

    with all dure respect to the democratic countries and their ppl, i do not think that the current form of democracy is the best possible way to run countries. imho, democracy is a little like communism, in that its great in thoery but hard to implament properly.

    lets not forget that the ture father of democracy is not america as many think, but inccient greece. also, ture democracy is not what we have today. in inccient greece, everyone got to vote on every single decision that had to be made. today, ppl vote for representatives, who often dont get to vote for what they ture belive in, but has to toe the party line instand. so in fact, all the big decisions are made by the very few party leaders and their advisers.

    now i know that having everyone vote on everything today is simply impossible. but having our ellected representatives vote for what they belive in and think is right is not only possible but esseintial in my view. after all, isnt, 'two heads are better then one' one of the founding ideas behind democracy?

    in short, democracies are genreally better then most other forms of leadership. but 'democracy' as u know it isnt perfect either, so if western countires want to lead the world into a new age, then fine, i have no problems with that a long s they lead with action and not just hollow words.

    as for interference in other countries affairs, well im also glad that u all show such great understanding to the predicament of other 'weaker' countries in fearing that 'stronger' western countries will use 'humanterian intervention' as an excuse for conflict and 'invasion'.

    i think that forigen intervention is neccessary. but what im against is countries only choosing to intervein in places when there is economical or stratigic benefits to be gaind, and then being shameless enough to act as if they're only in it for the poor ppl of that country.


    the true power of religion does not lie with the deity, it lies with the priests.

  11. #11
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    [updated:LAST EDITED ON 27-10-02 AT 12:07 PM (GMT)]> Essentially the problem in Brazil doesnīt have much to do
    >with external world and the rich countries, since Europe for
    >instance doesnīt get much wood from them and since we still
    >have huge amount of timber over here, at least as far as
    >Spain is concerned. The desforation in Brazil is a question
    >of internal greed.

    Internal greed?!?!? Ok, all oil producers countries have also an "internal greed" problem.

    >As you point out, forests are cut to
    >provide more earth for farming, but also for searching of
    >gold, gas, and these is usually driven by "garimpeiros" or
    >local mafia landowner who gets lots of benefit from
    >exploting the farmers.

    Amazon forests are not cut to provide land for farming!! Its ground quality really sucks!!! There are very few crops which can be produced in Amazon, and, anyway, with a very poor quality and quantity. Gold has already been a very serious threat to Amazon till the '80s when all the gold reserves esgotated. Gas prodution in Amazon is a example of "sustentable developing" for the whole world. The biggest problem in Amazon is really illegal wood cutting. Brazilian government is making some efforts (for example, installing the whole SIVAM system) in order to combat this.

    >Besides tribes are being deprived
    >from his natural enviroment and doesnīt produce any
    >substantial benefits for the local economy. The key is to be
    >able to shift from traditional farming to more intensive and
    >always ecology friendly means. Thatīs to say, you canīt cut
    >forest only to plant for instance Mediterranean crops. I am
    >for a ratiol use of rain forest who could provide many
    >benefits to the local communities.

    Mate, I know we dont respect Indian rights very much, but anyway I guess we are one of the best countries in dealing with them. Some tribes in Amazon have areas as big as the countries where much of you live (Netherlands, Belgium, ...). But, unhappily, some little tribes dont have a defined territory on yet because our government's burocracy is really really slow! And once they have their area, they sure will not produce anything to develop the area, because they have a culture to produce just what they consume (except, when the tribe is near towns, so they starting producing baskets and stuff like that to sell in towns and then they become miserables). And, anyway, it couldnt be different because as I've said before Amazon has a very poor ground. I am also for a rational use of the jungle because the whole richness is meanly minerals which sure have to be more studied and researched before starting any sustentable exploration just like we are already doing with gas.

    Regards,
    Junin

    P.S.: Portugueses and Spanishs destroyed our Atlantic jungle which was just a little smaller than the Amazon.

  12. #12
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    >> .
    >
    >Mate, I know we dont respect Indian rights very much, but
    >anyway I guess we are one of the best countries in dealing
    >with them.

    In fact Brazil is doing quite a lot to preserve the local communities. I didnīt mean the Brazilian goverment, but mafia gangs paid by landowner, oil producers and many dark sploitation organizations. What I mean with sostenible development is being able to use the jungle, study itīs particularities and see how it could serve to the locals by an intelligent use of it. Timber, fine if itīs controlled and under a reforestation plan and in certain areas. For instance a type of trade.."Body Shop" style.
    Comprimentos;

  13. #13
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    "Is there a limitless time that nations like Britain should be made to pay for mistakes of the past made in ignorance...or is this just a convenient manner for foreign nationals to get an easy shot in? "

    I don't remember saying Britain or the West was evil and needed to be punnished... all I said was that the West and the industrialised nations should respect that Brazil and other coutnries like Brazil have needs too and they may not believe the research about green house gasses and global warming etc... (Hey even the US governement doesn't believe it enough to sign the Koyoto agreement...)

    "BUT, if they go on waving this infantile "we'll do what we like - cos you did" banner we all go down the tubes - smug environmentalists and morally-courageous Brazillians included."

    How about this other "infantile" demand that Brazil must not make the same mistake we made... we take some responsibility for what we have done and correct the mistake we made and plant more forrests in the west? Then Brazil and other countries like them can look at what we have done and see that keeping forests rather than destroying them can make money too... and that managing resources properly and in a sustainable way is the best solution.

    It would certainly have the added benefit of helping to reduce problems of pollution nearer their source...

  14. #14
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    >
    >I don't remember saying Britain or the West was evil and
    >needed to be punnished... all I said was that the West and
    >the industrialised nations should respect that Brazil and
    >other coutnries like Brazil have needs too and they may not
    >believe the research about green house gasses and global
    >warming etc... (Hey even the US governement doesn't believe
    >it enough to sign the Koyoto agreement...)
    >

    Totally agree GarryB, responsability in global problems should be shared at different rates of responsability. At the end, what I feel is that sometimes is hard to draw a line and knowing who caused this or that global problem, what to do and if intervention should be made. If we have a different pattern and treat problems in a different way, in each case we would got to the conclusion that sometimes...intervention is necessary...When?....Who knows. Global world, global problems, global responsabilities.

  15. #15
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Some points I think have been misrepresented:

    Norway/Japan: "Its quite important to remember that the world's largest consumer of whale meat is the United States of America" - Greenpeace, 1996 (sorry, can't remember the name of the report - only have the cut-out).

    Brazil: I'm not entierly sure that Brazil is as much to blame as some have implied. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't most logging companies in Brazil actually "western" multi-nationals?

    I was reading an article in The Guardian a few weeks ago which blasted the Ghanaian govt. for mining so extensively in a region where some endangered bird species thrives. The mining was destroying the bird's habitat and within a few years it was expected that the species might well be extinct. The article, however, failed to mention that the mining company is actually French and that it pays no tax to the govt of Ghana - in return it offers the govt the land it clears for farming and it employs local people. The mining company gets lots of copper for very small prices (no taxes and cheap labour) and the Ghanaian govt gets the land it would clear anyway cleared for free. Convenient maybe but neither side is therefore accountable for the environmental damage it does. This sort of thing goes on everywhere in Africa and the third world - in a way its like economic colonialisation.
    Regards, Ivan

  16. #16
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    what? Americans don't eat whale or use whale products...1996 is very different from 2002. The US has only legalize an annual killings of 1 IIRC whale per year to allow an Alaskan indian tribe to continue their whale killing rites of passage. Please stop spreading propaganda here ink, just like those so many NATO planes being shot down, please. One more thing, the US produces a lot of "green house" gas and get bashed for it, yet what happens to the "carbon sink" theory? No, Brazil don't believe in the carbon sink theory, but it's the US getting bashed for creating carbon dioxide. Notice that of your WESTERN nations, the US is probably the only one with the continual growth of forests under national forest protections and robust tree planting regulations for the lumber industry. The attitude of the world is the US enjoying so much wealth that they should at the same time share that with the rest of the world in terms of aids and at the same time should curtail green house gas in the form of curtailing energy usage which is directly proportional to the economy. Why haven't i hear anybody saying that "well, they do provide the disproportional amount of global aids?". Please be fair about it. The right attitude is to get the US to have a "conserving" attitude about natural resources and harmony instead of this hidden "aggenda" from each country. As to if the world leaders think like us, the world would be in peace...i doubt it, because honestly non of us know how complicated international and internal politics are. To answer the post, why don't you look at it from the other perspective...from the victim's perspective? The victims seems to always say, yes intervine NOW, but people in a much better position says none of our business until it's a genocide? Until when it's basically too late and then you are there claiming all sort of morality. You live in your comfortable home, of course you can wait.
    Country::US of A

  17. #17
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Only if it is directly and adversely affecting the sovereignty or the physical state/life in another country and the country doing the harm does not - with reasonable warning - desist from such activities. Sounds like international law? Probably is, but I believe there should be reasonable cause on an independent national level to act and a majority voice on an international level for more indirect concerns.

    Regards, Glenn.

  18. #18
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    Vortex,

    Forest in France is bigger now than 2 centuries ago (15%) if I remember well. One of the main reason is that we nolonger use wood for heating. I guess that this situation is similar in the rest of western europe.

  19. #19
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    For me this is something of a dilemma (not for a small part because i have some philosofical doubts about the practical usefulness of the nation state). It makes perfect sense if countries are not allowed to purposely mingle in another country's business - simply because they don't have jurisdiction outside their own territory. The other side of the very same medal is that actions of country A should then have no influence whatsoever on people in country B, since that could be an intervention in country B's affairs.

    Some foreign interventions really worked well. The Vietnamese invasion into Cambodia, and the Tanzanian attack on Uganda (both in the late 1970s) put an end to a lot of human suffering. Yet on the other hand there are plenty of interventions which made matters a whole lot worse.

    I think one of the first requirements for a direct physical intervention (like an invasion) should be that the intervening country has a decent grasp of the situation in the country which is intervened, both in the short and long run. It appears that neighbouring countries generally know more about a certain situation then a country halfway across the world. One can think of more recent cases like Timor (Australian-led) or Albania (Italian). Of course nearby interventions also often enough go astray (Soviets in Afghanistan, Americans in post-Batista Cuba) yet i think those are generally more sucessful and have a higher degree of acceptability then halfway-across-the-world interventions. Countries which like to perform the latter should reconsider the jurisdiction under which they can act like that... perhaps the whole world should go voting somewhere in early November 2004?
    Regards,

    Arthur
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell

  20. #20
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    that's very interesting Hand...is that true? I don't see using trees as fuel as a bigger problem in deforrestation for countries in Europe, but more from "land development" perspective. I guess you can say no fair since the US has a great amount of deserts to build new cities on and anything you do to a desert is most likely going to make it better, except nuclear wastes i suppose.
    Country::US of A

  21. #21
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    RE: Should we interfere in other countries affairs?

    The goverments intervine, not to help the others, but for interest. Unfortunately thatīs the way the world works. Sometimes we "do" consider the victims welfare, only when it suits our interests. We decided to do something with Yugoslavia. because Europe had huge amounts of interets there, we consider Kuwait for oil. But no fuss at all to prevent Tutsis-Hutus manslaughter (the biggest act of terrorist ever) because these were only "blacks" by some countries and no petrol or interests there. Indeed sometimes we are rather hypocrite. We have to accept that point. No country should dare to claim a higher degree or morality than others.

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