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.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Liberty and justice for all? Not yet under Iraq law.

Austin Bay writes about the most important concept for maintaining human freedoms and security in his “Quiet step for rule of law” (4-13-07) in detailing the value of this civilized idea in bringing peace to Iraq. It’s unfortunate that he missed one the most important details that makes the ‘rule of law’ effective.

Mr. Bay said ‘The Sunni terrorist accused of mass murder…and the Shia cop nabbed for abuse and torture…are symbolic of Iraq’s sectarian strife…They are dreadful men who have committed vicious crimes.” Reading further it appears “Col. Martins” said ‘this was just an investigation” and “It’s still the early days [in this process].

This may have been “a measured approach” but it does not measure up to justice. Accusations don’t make anyone a criminal or a terrorist. Applying the ‘rule of law’ requires a thorough investigation, a fair trial, and proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Without these the Iraqi ‘law’ system is no better than a lynch mob and Iraq “a prison state in the Stalinist mold”… just the illusion of law that Mr. Bay was arguing against.

But, the most important point Mr Bay missed altogether in his promotion of the ‘rule of law’ is the profound violation of this concept by our nation’s own pre-emptive war and criminally managed occupation of Iraq. President Bush’s accusations and policies were outside the ‘rule of law’ and created the conditions for the mass murders, torture and abuses now occurring within that chaotic nation state. This potential ‘criminal proceeding’ didn’t get any headlines. But it should have.

Until we as a civilization learn to apply the rule of law to all in this increasingly interdependent world, we will not be able to achieve the global justice that is a prerequisite to establishing real peace everywhere. The kind of peace we all dream about when we pledge to our flag ‘liberty and justice for all’.



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