For Time magazine's World Editor Romesh Ratnesar, two failed wars in Afghanistan and Iraq aren't enough to dissuade him from invading another country. In his ridiculous, irresponsible and downright idiotic article Is It Time to Invade Burma? Ratnesar argues the U.S military should take out the Burmese government for its incompetent handling of the humanitarian disaster.
The military junta in Burma is a disgusting government guilty of vicious crimes against its own people. No one wants to see them continue in power, and everything should be done to help the Burmese rid themselves of the regime.
But invading them unilaterally is not only illegal, but criminally stupid.
"The trouble is that the Burmese haven't shown the ability or willingness to deploy the kind of assets needed to deal with a calamity of this scale," writes Ratnesar. "And the longer Burma resists offers of help, the more likely it is that the disaster will devolve beyond anyone's control."
"That's why it's time to consider a more serious option: invading Burma."
Joining the list of imperialist geniuses that got us into Iraq, Ratnesar's inexplicable faith in the U.S government's ability to nation build defies rational belief.
"As the response to the 2004 tsunami proved, the world's capacity for mercy is limitless. But we still haven't figured out when to give war a chance," he writes.
We still haven't figured out when to give war a chance? Really? Where has Ratnesar been for the last 5 years? War is about the only thing we have given a chance, and it isn't exactly going well. Taking a hammer to every international problem has not only bankrupted America, but destroyed its image around the world. Illegally invading another sovereign nation, no matter how abhorrent it is, would not do much to improve it.
The fact is, invading countries mean people, including Americans, will die. The Burmese government won't sit back quietly while foreign troops take over their country, and neither will the people. As much as they hate their government, they will not take kindly to an American 'liberation,' and the blow back would likely be vicious.
While Ratnesar's intentions may be noble, his cavalier assertion that war is the answer is symptomatic of the arrogance that has led to the hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
International law exists for good reason: To protect the weak from the powerful. Unilateral and preemptive aggression is illegal, with a nation's sovereignty being paramount. This particular facet of the U.N charter was written in specific response to Hitler's aggression throughout Europe, and they apply to everyone, including us. The Burmese government may be disgusting, but that does not trump international law, and we have no right to invade.
Ratnesar has an impressive resume of work, having reported from Iraq, Israel, the Hague and the Persian Gulf. Given his international perspective, it seems bizarre he would advocate such blatant disregard for international law. The situation in Burma is dire, and constructive thinking is needed from the international community on how to best aid the people suffering. Regime change and war should be the last thing on anyones mind, and Ratnesar's article is irresponsible to say the least.
Using his logic, if a countries incapability to handle a disaster was grounds for an invasion, China should have launched a war on the Bush government for the humanitarian disaster it would not take seriously in New Orleans. For that matter, perhaps China should have also invaded after the U.S failed to avert massive disaster in Iraq.
There is no record of Ratnesar advocating these positions, most likely because they are ridiculous.
And so too is his.
Ben Cohen is the editor of www.thedailybanter.com and a contributing Mixed Martial Arts writer to www.espn.com. He can be reached at email@example.com