Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Intervention," or what's in a word?

David Kaib thinks the word "intervention" obscures reality: it covers a range of activities, and at one end of the spectrum slides into warmaking. Since, given my age, I recall numerous contemporaneous references to "intervention" with respect to, e.g., Vietnam and Central America (the latter under Reagan) -- two rather different sorts of "intervention" -- I automatically do a sort of mental unpacking whenever I hear the word. But I suppose, in public debates, the word might have the effect Kaib suggests. (Note, however, that there were no or few references to the U.S. "intervention" in Iraq. When it's a clear-cut case of invasion, the word becomes hard to use with a straight face.)

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