A Hell Of A Cause

Philip Gourevitch critiques the interventionist impulse:

We have people who say, let’s get rid of this head of state, and that head of state. I’m not just talking about military action. You have lawyers and professors celebrating the International Criminal Court’s indictment of President Bashir in Sudan. It’s an easy call that Bashir’s an awful guy. There’s no defending Bashir’s record. But if you’re calling for a coup d’état, do you have an idea of what you want to happen? That indictment is a standing order for the decapitation of a regime. And if that were to happen, are you going to say, it’s not our problem what comes after that? I find that crazy. And reckless. And it’s usually done by people who are not accountable. It’s usually what you get from activists, intellectuals, lawyers, people who are not popularly elected. Some of them are on the ground. Some of them are brave people, and they put their necks out for their cause. But calling for a coup d’état in a very dangerous place and refusing to answer for the consequences because you say you’re simply concerned with justice—well that’s a hell of a cause.