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Humanitarian Juggernaut

Alex de Waal, 22 June 1995

War and Law since 1945 
by Geoffrey Best.
Oxford, 434 pp., £25, October 1994, 0 19 821991 1
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Mercy under Fire: War and the Global Humanitarian Community 
by Larry Minear and Thomas Weiss.
Westview, 247 pp., £44.50, July 1995, 0 8133 2567 6
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... of Justice in The Hague that US aid to the Nicaraguan Contras was not ‘purely humanitarian’. Larry Minear and Thomas Weiss respond that ‘humanitarianism is simply what the International Committee of the Red Cross does.’ Among the 1949 Geneva Conventions is a provision for the protection of humanitarian relief, with strict conditions to ensure ...

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