Of course, the general principle that the status quo is no worse than the status quo, and that all proposals for radical change should first be assessed to see if they can beat this hurdle, is one that has applications in foreign policy as well as domestic. For example, via Normblog Wole Soyinka is apparently castigating the UN and African Union for “inaction” on Darfur. Soyinka apparently believes that sponsoring two sets of peace talks, providing a massive humanitarian relief effort and negotiating the AMIS peacekeeping force don’t count as “doing anything”, which suggests to me (along with the fact that Norm links Soyinka’s speech to a series of diatribes by Eric Reeves on Jeff Weintraub’s site) that the only thing that would count as “doing something” would be war, or economic sanctions of such severity as to be roughly equivalent to war in terms of lethality.
Nobody, from Alex de Waal to Jan Pronk to Mark Malloch Brown, thinks that an invasion would pass the simple test of “would it make things worse or better”. As I’ve said repeatedly with respect to Darfur, it’s the height of irresponsibility to demand “action” without saying what that action might be, or to provide some kind of sensible assessment of its likely consequences.