Does Gerard Henderson own a dictionary ?
In today’s SMH, Gerard Henderson writes
Few now disagree with the proposition that the international community should have acted pre-emptively to stop the Rwandan genocide of Tutsis of a decade ago. Few disagree that it was proper for the US-led NATO forces, without the approval of the United Nations, to intervene pre-emptively against Serbia in support of the Muslim Kosovars.
Both the events Henderson refers to showed the international community in a very poor light, for failing to respond to terrible crimes when they were taking place, but, as far as I know, no-one has ever suggested that the countries in question should have been invaded in advance, to forestall the mere possibility that such things might happen. i can only conclude that Gerard has forgotten the meaning of the word pre-emptive.
In relation to Iraq, there would have been a strong case for doing something about Saddam’s worst crimes against humanity in the 1980s. The only problem with such a proposal is that Donald Rumsfeld might have been caught in the crossfire.