Thursday, October 13, 2005

André Glucksmann at Forum 2000


RFE/RL: Are there any cases of "devoir d'ingérence" [obligation to intervene] in the world today?

Glucksmann: Of course. But not all rights to assistance are military. It can be the case when you are facing a dictator who has killed so many of his citizens -- so many of his citizens -- that those citizens no longer have the strength to resist dictatorship. For example, Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But there are also more peaceful examples. Charles Taylor, who was an appalling dictator in Liberia –was forced to step down because all democratic powers -- the Americans, France, England -- demanded his removal, and the UN followed. So finally, Charles Taylor, who was a terrible blood-thirsty autocrat, left without war. So, there are cases of rights to assistance and there are cases of rights to assistance – not all are military. You have to put diplomatic pressure. I spent the past 10 years of my life urging the West, Westerners and democrats, to exert pressure on Mr. Putin to get him to put a stop to the worst of all wars which are currently devastating the planet. That is the war in Chechnya. You know, you don’t often see a situation where an army razes a city of 400,000 people such as Grozny. The last time this happened for a European army – and I think it was the last time in the world -- was in 1944, when Hitler razed Warsaw. Well, the Russian army razed Grozny in 2000, and I have been asking for ages for diplomatic pressure on Putin to make him stop this massacre, which has already cost the life of one out of five Chechens. Sometimes the protests bring about change. I protested for 10 years against Milosevic’s atrocities and after those 10 years democratic powers resolved to intervene – not because of me, but because Milosevic committed shocking damages. He created 1 million refugees in Kosovo. Sometimes it takes more time but I think Mr. Putin must be forced to stop the massacre he is committing in Chechnya.
The whole interview can be read here.
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