Monday, April 03, 2006

Important Words

There's no way for me to link to this letter, but it's too important not to be posted somewhere permanently. Kudos to John Beloeil, a rare sane voice in my country.

If the generally perceived concept of "sovereignty" is not a myth, well then it should be. It should be exposed as such ...and as soon as possible. Problem is, of course, a lot of good, well-intentioned people have a lot invested in perpetuating the myth. Some bad dudes do, as well.

Remember when the good guys (Bush41, Powell, & pals) kicked Saddam out of Kuwait a decade and a half ago? They pushed Saddam and his plundering army back very efficiently, but, out of this misplaced respect for the mythical concept of "sovereignty", did not destroy Saddam and his regime. They left him in power, trusting he'd understand this unspoken but very CLEAR message: " Look...we know you and your regime like to murder , pillage, and rape ..and all that stuff...BUT DAMMIT..YOU'RE GONNA DO IT WITHIN YOUR OWN BORDERS!!! ". That is what respect-for-sovereignty is all about, n'est ce pas? . PAS, of course, but that is sure what it looks like.

That is what the argument over the "U.S." invasion of Iraq boils down to, really - a dispute over the concept of "sovereignty". Opponents of the war say, "we invaded a sovereign nation for no valid reasons". We reply, "whaddya mean, no valid reasons?..Saddam Hussein used WMD against his own people, was seeking to develop nuclear weapons", and so on. Some less passionate people in the middle settle on "Yeah, but a sovereign nation can do as she pleases within her own borders". Really?

So how do we (or do we??) "deal" with "sovereign nations" who chop off an arm of a citizen for stealing a loaf of bread? Does a leader of a "sovereign nation", and his sons, have automatic rape-rights to every young woman in the land? Do we wait until those nations get so twisted as to chop the head of a citizen who has adopted a "different" religion? Well, we've arrived there it appears. So how should we in the civilized world react to all this? Career sages like George Will and Pat Buchanan would have us believe it's none of our business. That is whistling past the graveyard, and surely is not the best that civilized humanity can come up with. Leave it to the UN? Hah! Should George W Bush be ridiculed for trying to improve the lives of millions of shackled people? Nope. Should we be trying to impose "our" values on those regimes? As Mark Steyn might say... Well, yes.

Suppose Hitler had never invaded any neighbor, but in the 1940s it was learned that he was secretely and methodically "eliminating" the Jewish people of Germany. Would the countries of the "anglosphere" (who else?) have been justified in doing something about maybe by invading Germany?? If the answer is yes, then the invasion of Iraq was justified on its face. All the other reasons - as valid as they are - are merely ...more dust on Saddam's horizontal statue.

It is true that we cannot fix every society in the world at the same time. But if all civilized nations joined the US and others, maybe they could improve things needy regime at a time, and fairly quickly.

John Gross
Beloeil, Quebec

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