Ignatieff's main thesis is that "in the grim present, humanitarian intervention feels like an idea whose time has come and gone".
He argues that Western democracies may have to resort to "lesser evils" like indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations,targeted assassinations, and pre-emptive wars in order to combat the greater evil of terrorism. He states that as a result, societies should strengthen their democratic institutions to keep these necessary evils from becoming as offensive to freedom and democracy as the threats they are meant to prevent. In the context of this "lesser evil" analysis, Ignatieff discusses whether or not liberal democracies should employ coercive interrogation and torture.
A lot of critics say that he's legitimizing a problematic form of moral language that could lead to the formalization of torture.
I think not only has this book failed in advancing the discussion on humanitarian intervention, it also drew him enemies from all sides because of the eternally controversial nature of the topic....Continua