Re: Ordered murder
I purposely didn't address the issue of incomplete knowledge in my earlier post because I don't think it's relevant. Even with 20/20 hindsight I'm not sure intervention was the right thing, given all the elements working against us that I outlined above.
Compare with the Vietnam situation. Total disaster, agreed? We ended up supporting a corrupt, ineffective government, hated by both sides, driven to commit atrocities at every level, from My Lai to carpet-bombing Cambodia.
And yet, when we left, the situation grew so much worse that the Vietnamese were jumping into boats to escape the country.
So while we were there, we created a bad situation to prevent a horrible situation. We actively stained our hands with blood, then left and stained our hands with blood through inaction. Were we right before, or were we right after?
Myself, I think most of the time we have to let people work out their own shit. Exceptions are when the chances of success are in our favor or the situation is so horrendous that we're willing to take the hit. Iran or Syria? Sorry, no cultural understanding, no neighbors willing to support us and supply it, no ties of culture or history. They're on their own. Kosovo? European, supportive neighbors, long cultural ties. Go for it. North Korea? If China would let us, I'd be in there in a New York minute. Let them rejoin South Korea and within a decade it would be like East and West Germany--what differences remained would be a totally internal matter.
Africa's hard because most of the governments are too corrupt and ineffective to take action, yet they'd unite to condemn action from the outside. A nice counter-example is the ouster of Idi Amin by Tanzania, which shows local action can work when there's the will for it.