Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Intervention: We're Doing It Wrong

By Steve Hynd

While news of human rights abuses in Syria are burning up the headlines, it's worth remembering that Libya still has major human rights problems despite Western intervention there, thanks mainly to the plethora of militias run riot. And let us not also forget that Iraq, almost a decade on, still has serious problems with its humanitarian record. Afghanistan's problems post-intervention have never been more manifest than this last week.

The lesson the West took from Iraq and Afghanistan is that it was best to intervene and get out again, rather than try to manage the aftermath. That's why current calls for intervention in Syria, which are often hopelessly unrealistic even on their own terms, usually don't mention any plan to manage the aftermath despite the fact that any such intervention will be destabilizing on a scale comparable to Iraq.

It would be far better to accept the utilitarian principle of "first, do no harm" and not employ military means in pursuit of humanitarian causes at all. After all, the resources involved could be better expended - saving more lives and relieving more misery, fulfilling "for the greatest good of the greatest number" - by non-military aid and development in places where the shooting hasn't started yet.


  1. "The lesson the West took from Iraq and Afghanistan is that it was best to intervene and get out again, rather than try to manage the aftermath."
    I'm not sure what planet you're living on if you can seriously make a statement like this. That is precisely the lesson we should have learned, but what possible indication have you seen that we actually learned it? We are still in Afghanistan, for heaven's sake, and are making all of the wrong noises about leaving, and the manner of and "triumphant" rhetoric regarding our exit from Iraq certainly is inconsistent with any such conclusion.

  2. Hi Bill,
    This planet. The "intervene without involvement" paradigm set by Libya has had a lot of play in the foreign policy set. Iraq and Afghanistan? Pshaw, those were last decade's model!
    see "A new era in U.S. foreign policy" by Fareed Zakaria.
    "What the Libya intervention achieved" by Marc Lynch.
    And a whole load more with just a quick search.
    And a sceptic: Intervention without responsibility
    Regards, Steve

  3. Where did Libya come from? You are suddenly talking about Libya? Let me repeat the quote of which I was critical, perhaps with a little emphasis since you seem to have missed the point,
    "The lesson the West took from Iraq and Afghanistan is that it was best to intervene and get out again, rather than try to manage the aftermath."
    Note that does not say, "The lesson the West took from Libya," it says, "The lesson the West took from Iraq and Afghanistan."

  4. The lesson the West took fromIraq and Afghanistan, applied to Libya and is now looking to apply elsewhere.