LOUIS ABELMAN

Go out and keep the peace

without comments

In the wake of nine casualties last week, the MONUC has killed 60 militiamen in Ituri, in their largest firefight since the mission was deployed. It’s within their mandate to respond to attacks and protect civilians with deadly force… this operation used helicopter gunships, though, so it appears that it may be a punitive/revenge raid (though no one is going to admit that).

Most people are pretty gung-ho on U.N. peacekeepers, since the debacles of Bosnia and Rwanda, using force more freely to prevent civilian death. The problem is that if you are going to start fighting a real war, you need real army numbers, not a madly overstreched peacekeeping force. It must also be reasoned whether more fighting makes things worse, even if it’s otherwise warranted, especially in a situation of ethnic war.

Since the battalion has gotten blood, perhaps things will quiet down again…

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is trying to get to the bottom of the peacekeeper sex scandal. I wonder if they can keep two things in their minds, at the same time: peacekeepers committed crimes, and peacekeepers save lives. Baby, meet bathwater; bathwater, baby.

Written by louis

March 2nd, 2005 at 2:10 pm

Posted in Blog

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