LINK: I have a little hesitancy in fully embracing Norm's position here:

"Sixty years after the Nuremberg Trials, the world still has to turn this thought [that human rights abuses aren't solely internal affairs] into an effective reality, one that isn't constantly put in second place to the principle of national sovereignty, or lost in the creaking and flawed machinery of the United Nations and the joke that is its Commission on Human Rights (currently including China, Sudan and Zimbabwe, those contemporary beacons of freedom), and disregarded by 'realists' of every stripe."

I dissent just a little bit because I think the word 'solely' may be key: if one's looking for a third way between letting countries 'solve their own problems' and positing that if we have some sort of international istitution that's supposed to make sure there are no problems, then there are no problems, I think it might have to be this: a human rights problem is first a problem for that particular country. Arbitrary though it's boundaries might be, unchosen by the people in it; rife with tension amongst differing religious, linguistic, and cultural groups; defective and illegitimate though the governmental structure might be: it's still first the problem of the people in the country. They are, in a Sartrean sense, condemned to be free; to resist or accept their country's internal situation, and they must choose one or the other (this is why, in common sense, we blame them most if they are complicit and priase them most if they resist). And any solution to the ills of a country will ultimately have to be embraced and lived by the people in that country qua citizens of that country--it can't be done from outside. But of course--of course--we cannot sit idly by as outside observers; we owe a duty of support, of whatever kind is most appropriate to us and the situation, and we come in for moral praise or blame in accordance with that.

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