A realist is someone who approaches situations like the Rwandan Genocide with the only national interest in mind and has extremely narrow terms. If the wealth, territory, natural resources, and military of the nation is not influenced positively they refuse to get involved with other nations. A realist likes to keep the interest of their nation in mind, they tend to worry less about others and more about themselves. An example of a realist is John Quincy Adams. Adams believed that the U.S should not go looking to fix other problems along with Washington and the “Great Rule”. The great rule states that the U.S alliances should rarely interfere with other nations politically. A realist believes that we should stay out of other problems to lessen the chances of corrupting American and also wondered how do we determine which side of the situation is the right side.
A Liberal internationalist is someone who approaches the same type of situation with views of promotion for their nation, such as free trade, human rights, the rule of law, democracy promotions and more. Liberal internationalist use multilateralism organizations such as the UN, NATO, and the G-7 to help them advance America in the world. Multilateralism is the role of combining nations and states to help other nations and states in a time of need.
A realist president would look at the Rwandan Genocide and refer back to the PDD-25 to determine if the U.S should get involved or not. According to the PDD-25, there is only one criterion met which is the idea that if the international peace and the security of the nation were in danger, which is also paired with human right troubles and violence. Because this was the only criteria of the five total criteria, a realist president would not get involved. If the president was a liberal internationalist they would also look at the PDD-25. Again, the first criteria of the PDD-25 would be considered (the threat of the nations security and international peace). Another criteria that would be considered is the multilateral basis of only dealing with a problem that advances the nation through trade, human rights, rule of law, or democracy promotions, which would then make it an international community. A liberal internationalist president has a higher chance of interfering with the Rwandan Genocide, however, I do not believe that they would. I believe this because they would look at the others who got involved, they would question the advancement of the nation, along with the diseases that could potentially spread to the U.S. and this would make the U.S. hesitant to get involved with something that could so negatively impact the U.S.
The 1994 president, Bill Clinton, did not want to get involved, he even asked other political candidates to not use the ‘g’ word in fear that the U.S would be forced to get involved based off of the Genocide Treaty the U.S signed in February of 1988. This treaty stated that if any nation admitted to being under attack by genocide, the U.S. must get involved. I believe that Bill Clinton, along with a realist or a liberal internationalist president did or would have made the right decision.
The Rwandan Genocide was a horrible situation and something needed to be done to help end the problem, however, I feel like it is not the U.S’s job to interfere with every other nations problem. We as a nation need to focus first on ourselves, then other nations. It is a lot like the airplane and air mask example that many people use. This illustration states that in a plane crash, someone must first put their air mask on before they can help someone else put their mask on. This example is a good reason to why the U.S should not have gotten involved, if the U.S. was to get involved with the Rwandan Genocide we would have been suffocated by negative impacts of diseases that could easily have been spread to the U.S., the millions of U.S. soldiers being killed fighting in the genocide, along with the very little advancement the U.S would be receiving. In conclusion, The U.S. may have suffered from the judgment of other nations, however, we did what was thought to be the best for the nation and at the end of the day, that is all we could have done.
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