At last! I feel as though I have been a lone voice calling for the international community to accept the principle of removing the most brutal dictators from power – or regime change as it is now called. Now it seems to be increasingly accepted as the statement from Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron indicate.
As I have pointed out before on this blog and in debates, it is not a new idea and it is not just a western concept. The Indian Government removed the East Pakistan government from what is now Bangladesh; the Vietnamese removed Pol Pot and Tanzania removed Idi Amin.
The struggle is like the campaign against the 19th century slave trade. Strongly opposed by many at first but it came to be seen as morally correct. The campaign against extreme dictators is similar. Yes – There are definition problems but no one can have many doubts about the extreme cases. Our problem is redefining international law to allow it to take place – just like we redefined the law relating to the slave trade.