Thursday, July 03, 2003

Foreign Policy: UN Asks US to Invade--Altruism Explains It All

Today, President George W. Bush is considering an invasion of Liberia. This is not the result of any threat Liberia poses to the United States, real or imagined, imminent or potential, direct or remote. The civil war in Liberia does not threaten the United States, American or world trade routes, US allies, or US access to a crucial resource. It does not threaten an area important to U.S. security. The war doesn't even threaten to "overwhelm our borders with refugees."

The proposed invasion of Liberia has been invited by many of the same groups, people and nations which opposed the US invasion of Iraq as immoral. Their different stands on the two countries appear contradictory, but it is the logical result of applying the moral doctrine of altruism. Altruism is when one helps another without benefit to oneself. Action, to the altruist, is moral only if it is for someone else's benefit. To the altruist, selfishness is the definition and the root of sin. Since Iraq presented a threat to the United States, the invasion of Iraq was a selfish act, and therefore immoral. Since Liberia presents no threat to the United States, the invasion of, excuse me, humanitarian intervention in, Liberia is an unselfish, altruistic act and therefore praiseworthy. Therefore, the United States should sacrifice the blood of our soldiers to impose peace in Liberia.

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