Humanitarian Intervention

Abstract
There is ample documentary material supporting the belief that states are moral agents, in fact uniformly so. Without having read the texts, I presume that when the invasion of Afghanistan began to go sour, pre- Gorbachev Pravda portrayed it as having begun with "blundering efforts to do good" though most people now recognize it to have been a "disastrous mistake" because Russia "could not impose a solution except at a price too costly to itself;" it was an "error" based on misunderstanding and naiveté, yet another example of "our excess of righteousness and disinterested benevolence." The quoted phrases are those used to describe Kennedy's invasion of South Vietnam, later expanded to all of Indochina, at the dissident extreme, well after the Tet offensive convinced US business leaders that the enterprise should be liquidated (Anthony Lewis, John King Fairbank). There is no need to sample the harsher parts of the spectrum.
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