Interventionism Again


In his comment on discussions concerning the CIA (“Anti-Communism and the CIA,” May–June, 1967), Michael Walzer maintains that if one opposes secret CIA interference in Indian anti-Maoist politics, one must argue that a Maoist victory is either not imminent or would not be morally catastrophic.

The implication is that CIA interference in domestic affairs anywhere in the world is justified if a Communist victory is imminent and if, in someone’s judgment, such a victory will be “morally catastrophic.” Walzer reinforces this implication by arguing that the trouble with recently exposed CIA activities was that “they served political and material interests which often had little to do with anti-Communism,” and that they rested upon “deliberate exaggeration” of the Communist danger. Presumably, if CIA intervention in other lands is genuinely associated with anti-Communism, and if Communists are strong enough actually to threaten capture of power, there is no trouble with CIA intervention at all.