Saturday, October 19, 2019

State sovereignty 'led inexorably to the Holocaust and atomic warfare' Essay

State sovereignty 'led inexorably to the Holocaust and atomic warfare' - Essay Example Two major historical traumas that occurred in the 20th century – the Holocaust and atomic warfare, both involved countries that exercised its full sovereign rights which led many nations to the Second World War. Around six million Jews died in the hands of the Nazi, a political party which represented the legal government of Germany in 1933 (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, 2011). On the other hand, over 200,000 Japanese civilians died when the United States aircraft dropped atomic bombs in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- a decisive action of the United States to put an immediate end of war and prevented further loss of lives (The Atomic Archive, 2011). Looking back at the scale of atrocities done by totalitarian and militarist governments over the past century, the role and obligation of the world community to intervene in the state affairs during humanitarian crises confronts a crucial challenge to the idea of state sovereignty. In today’s globalized community, the act of a state or group of states to use force in order to protect the lives of people other than their own citizen defies the main tenant on the codification of state sovereignty – that is the right of a state to exercise its ultimate authority within its territory. Viewpoint & Assumption Can the catastrophic events of the Holocaust and atomic warfare be attributed to the absolute exercise of state sovereignty? To examine this position, a careful analysis of the sovereignty principle and an exploration of the historical events are needed in order to establish the claim. This is rightly done so, because to say that the concept of state sovereignty contributed to the escalation of these catastrophic events of the Second World War is to recognize the justification of humanitarian intervention – the deliberate action of the international community to prevent human rights abuses of governments to its citizen. In this regard, the paper argues that while humanitarian intervention during the Second World War could have prevented the violence of authoritarian states, most nations could not readily commit to wage war because of its social, political and economic cost. The intervention itself can be rightfully justified; because the moment both Japan and Germany entered to war, it already submitted its sovereignty and challenged other nation’s sovereign rights. However, the international community is hesitant in intervening with authoritarian states not only because of social and economic implications of war, but also because no interest was at stake for these nations. The same issue persists on the humanitarian intervention or the lack of it, done in Libya, Syria, and Rwanda. To establish this viewpoint, a historical background of the Second World War events and the prevailing belief about the exercise of sovereignty will provide a better context for the argument. Then, a detailed discussion on the basic principles of sta te sovereignty will establish a clearer understanding for the idea of sovereign right. Following this discussion is the careful examination of the social, political, and economic reasons for the indecision and delay to intervene with German and Japanese powers. The Parallel Events of WWII While it may be argued that the holocaust and the atomic warfare are two distinct events that led to the loss of millions of lives, the main idea is that Germany and Japan were both authoritarian states that touted its some of its people to commit human rights violence during the Second World War. Hitler ordered the extermination of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and the mentally challenged while the Imperial Japanese Army under Emperor Hirohito committed killings against millions of civilians and prisoners of war in China, Korea, and other Asian countries. While these atrocities were committed, it must be noted that the social and economic conditions of major nations such as the United States,

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