O Dilema da Intervenção

CAMBRIDGE - Quando é que os estados devem intervir militarmente para impedirem atrocidades nos outros países? A questão é antiga e bem viajada. Na verdade, está agora a visitar a Síria.

Em 1904, o presidente dos EUA, Theodore Roosevelt argumentava que, “há crimes ocasionais cometidos em tão grande escala e de tal horror peculiar” que devemos intervir pela força das armas. Um século antes, em 1821, enquanto os europeus e os norte-americanos debatiam a altura certa para intervir na luta pela independência da Grécia, o presidente John Quincy Adams advertiu os seus compatriotas norte-americanos sobre o facto de se “ir para o estrangeiro em busca de monstros para destruir”.

Mais recentemente, depois do genocídio que custou cerca de 800 mil vidas no Ruanda, em 1994, e da matança de homens e de rapazes bósnios em Srebrenica, em 1995, muitas pessoas juraram que nunca mais deveria ser permitido acontecer tais atrocidades. Quando Slobodan Milosevic se ocupou da limpeza étnica em grande escala no Kosovo, em 1999, o Conselho das Nações Unidas aprovou uma resolução, reconhecendo a catástrofe humanitária, mas não conseguiu chegar a acordo sobre uma segunda resolução para intervir, dada a ameaça de um veto russo. Em vez disso, os países da NATO bombardearam a Sérvia, num esforço que muitos observadores consideraram legítimo, mas não legal.

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