Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Damned if You Do ...

From the Letters page of the New York Times, a certain gentleman resident in Maryland writes:

It is now clear that American "humanitarian" intervention in Liberia and elsewhere in Africa will come at a price: United States military bases in Africa ("Pentagon Seeking New Access Pacts for Africa Bases," front page, July 5). This policy thus has precious little to do with altruism or the protection of human rights, and much more to do with the advancement of American imperial interests around the globe.

Now, pardon me for asking, but why exactly should it matter that American intervention in Liberia should have "precious little to do with altruism"? Does it affect the reality that this intervention is so fervently desired by the citizens of Liberia themselves? There is something very strange and otherworldly about a viewpoint that considers all actions unjustified if those who undertake them stand to benefit in any way. In fact, I'll go further, and say that in this gentleman's case the prime motivator seems to be a need to see a nefarious agenda at work whenever a Republican president happens to be contemplating any foreign policy initiative.