Wielding the Moral Club

Ian Buruma

in A Matter of Principle

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780520244863
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932166 | DOI:
Wielding the Moral Club

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This chapter discusses the different opinions and criticisms, mostly apathetic, made by media personalities on the war in Iraq. Those who opposed it have perfectly valid reasons to be critical of US foreign policy, especially the neoconservative revolutionary mission. Those men who backed the decision of Bush know what it is like to live under the cosh. In an article published just before the Iraq war started, Ramos-Horta remembers how the Western powers “redeemed themselves” by freeing East Timor from its oppressors with armed force and asked why the Iraqis should not be liberated too. He has stated a case that must be answered. Unless, of course, one really believes that the problems of faraway peoples are for them to solve alone, and that we have no business intervening on their behalf against tyrants, and that any attempt to do so has to be, by definition, racist, or colonialist, or venal.

Keywords: Iraq war; US foreign policy; Bush; neoconservative revolutionary mission; Western powers; moral authority; tyrants

Chapter.  3175 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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