Uncategorized 24 Mar 2003 09:27 am

Human Shield Blog

Daniel Pepper’s experience being a human shield in Iraq makes you think really hard. He draws the wrong conclusion about the war, but he raises an important point.

Saddam is a madman, we knew this. He should be taken out. Yes that is true. We cannot preemptively go into his country though. We have international law to dictate our conduct. If the resolutions to the UN Security Council had been about Saddam’s human atrocities we probably could have convinced them to take him to the ICC. If he refused, then we would probably have had to go in and take him out. That’s probably how it would have played out. That would all have been legal too. Also, that would have maintained America’s status in the world. It seems easy to portray Saddam’s human cruelty, whereas we couldn’t seem to convince anyone of his weapons of mass destruction.

Now, suppose we follow this path. I would be tickled. On the other hand, there is still the question, why Iraq? Why now? There are so many countries that do just as, or more, atrocious things to their citizens. We don’t ever seem to really go after any of those. Also, we seem to be headed down the path of less care for human rights considering the way we treat the people in Guantanamo Bay, and the proposed Patriot Act II, if it is real.

It purportedly would give the Department of Justice the ability to strip a citizen’s citizenship from them. Then they would have recourse to put American citizens in detention in perpetuity, with no access to legal representation, or due process. Our administration seems to think that the inalienable rights declared in our constitution are rights only given to Americans and not to other humans on the planet. Well, except for people in countries that happen to have other things we want, in which case we can use those inalienable rights as a pretext for invasion.

Let’s indeed work to get rid of madmen and those who would do away with our civil rights. Let’s do it by the law we all share and according to the values that make us great.

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