Justificación de la intervención humanitaria

En 1998, visité las antiguas repúblicas soviéticas del Asia central para celebrar conversaciones sobre el desarrollo democrático que estaba - o debería haber estado- produciéndose en aquellos países que acababan de recuperar la independencia. Mis anfitriones eran antiguos dirigentes comunistas que habían pasado a ser presidentes elegidos más o menos democráticamente. Todos ellos hablaban con soltura de las instituciones, de los procedimientos democráticos y del respeto del Estado de derecho. Pero los derechos humanos eran un asunto del todo diferente.

En cada uno de los países presenté listas de presos políticos y pregunté qué había sido de ellos. En un país el presidente decidió de inmediato liberar a un hombre acusado de tramar un golpe de Estado. Pero incluso aquel aparente éxito fue moralmente ambiguo. El presidente no había adoptado una decisión política; había concedido un favor personal. Lo que yo recibía era un regalo -mera demostración, a su vez, del arbitrario ejercicio del poder por parte del presidente-, no una prueba de respeto de los principios morales.

En otro país, hablé con un dirigente de la oposición islámica fundamentalista, que había reñido una larga guerra civil contra el gobierno. Aquel hombre se hacía llamar ahora presidente de un "Comité de Reconciliación Nacional". A pesar de estar rodeado de guardas armados hasta los dientes, apoyaba firmemente el concepto de democratización. De hecho, lo veía como su vía más segura hasta el poder, porque la inmensa mayoría de la población pensaba exactamente igual que él. La democracia - dio a entender de forma más inquietante- le permitiría "eliminar" - no se extendió sobre el significado exacto de esta palabra- a quienes no lo hicieran.

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