Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Killing Jews is still illegal. Indict Iran's President

The deadline for Iran’s capitulation to high minded words on nuclear non-proliferation has passed and opposing sides now appear to be planning military preemptive actions/reactions or worst yet, sanctions, that can result in more deaths and suffering than an actual war. The problem is that neither of these so-called “solutions” will work. There is an approach that could. But, first we need to see that the two most popular options (military strikes or economic sticks) will only make the situation worse.

US pre-emptive doctrine to disarm Iraq has only fueled more terrorism. Attacking Iran would make our situation in Iraq far worse and be catastrophic to winning the so called global war on terrorism. As violence increases we start to see much more of it homegrown.

And sanctions? They only punish the innocent. Both approaches will only make us more enemies in all the wrong places. And effective lasting success in reducing the number of terrorists and preventing terrorist attacks will require us having very close friends in all the right places.

More important however is the fact that these two ‘solutions’ focus on the wrong problem. The proliferation of nuclear weapons. After witnessing 50 years of a nuclear blast free Cold War it should be clear to any serious intellect that nuclear weaponry is not inherently dangerous. Even if it were possible to eliminate all nuclear weapons from Iran and the rest of the world humanity would still be left with impossible to control and rapidly advancing, affordable, and ubiquitous biotechnology that can be abused to develop strains of WMD that could dwarf nuke killing capacity. To paraphrase gun lovers. WMDs don’t kill people. Genocidal leaders do. The real threat we all face is anyone with the intention to incite or commit mass murder.

And, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made his intentions clear. It is his persistent incitement (at least 20 statements during his first year in office) to genocide, or at the very least, the deportation of all Jews to another continent. That is the real problem. And, the only sane solution that won’t create a martyr is found in the morals and laws of any and every truly civilized nation and religion -- the universal desire and global formal agreements to protect human life. The United Nations Charter, the Genocide Convention and the International Criminal Court to name three.

The ideology of genocide won’t be stopped with war machines or economic sticks. It will require a two pronged approach that puts the value of human life, the most fundamental of all human rights, above the power of national, military or religious leaders to instigate and initiate mass murder.

The power, affordability, dual-use capacity, and ubiquitous nature of modern technology grantees that the ability to commit mass murder will always be with us. The intent to mass murder however, can be reduced and deterred. And thus, incitement to mass murder needs to become an enforced violation of international law.
Ahmadinejad’s statements require that he be indicted by the International Criminal Court or some other appropriate court and be held accountable for his genocidal goals.

Second, the world needs to make a far greater economic effort to improve the lives of those caught in the middle of war, failed states and/or failing states. Humanitarian concerns has never been adequate enough to ensure sufficient funding to meet basic human needs but given the value of improving (and saving) lives for winning friends and allies (see Marshall Plan and Hezbollah/Lebanon plan) it is time we overcome our fear of nation building and get on with the important business of universal access to clean water, safe sanitation, primary health services, basic education, energy production, decent housing and small business creation.

The only topics of debate Ahmadinejad and Bush should entertain is:
a) Incitement to genocide: Punishable by death or imprisonment?
b) Promotion of democracy: Enforced by guns or butter?

To paraphrase gun haters. Make laws not wars!

For more information on the history of genocide and indicting genocidal maniacs go to:
www.genocidewatch.org

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