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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

20th Anniversary of Holocaust Museum a teaching moment lost.

Former President Bill Clinton’s speech today on the 20th anniversary of the Holocaust Museum was inspiring but not real  informative.   He did stress that the human “disease” of hatred for others who are different is still thriving but he failed to remind us that since that world said “Never Again” after Hitler’s defeat the world has witnessed dozens of genocides taking tens of millions of innocent lives.
President Clinton said the “most important scientific development” has been the sequencing of the human genome which allows us to see that we are all 99.5% alike.  What he didn’t mention was that with this new biological capacity can now allow targeting specific genetic markers shared closely related groups…making a new potential for genocide beyond any capacity in the past.
Another speaker asked if our “moral progress” has kept up with our “technological process’ and the answer here is clearly ‘no’.   We still allow the mass murder of innocence and modern weaponry has never been so lethal, affordable and ubiquitous.   And the progress of governments to create an enforceable mechanism for preventing genocide is virtually nonexistent.  The creation of the International Criminal Court was a step in the right direction but it was a baby step.  Really more of a crawl.  The immunity of most world leaders to do what they want, when they want, to whomever they want without being held accountable remains with us today.
The global desire to maintain the supremacy of ‘national sovereignty’ over the most basic of human rights, the right to live regardless of your national, ethnical, racial or religious identity ensures that genocide is not yet confined to the history books.
Virtual immunity of national leaders to mass murder and incitement to violence (war, revolution, terrorism, assassinations…) is a receipt for chaos.  Iran’s leader can freely violate the UN charter and the Genocide Convention by calling for the destruction of Israel- inviting a preemptive strike and potential nuclear exchange.  Russia’s violent rejection of Chechen independence killed tens of thousands and ultimately Boston Marathon spectators.  Syrian leaders can continue to use whatever military power, perhaps even chemical weapons, to murder tens of thousands to defend its murderous regime.  And, Saddam was allowed the use of gas to mass murder Iranians and even Kurds within his own borders.  It was our fear he might use them on us that led to that war crime against humanity.   And American Presidents will not be held accountable for starting wars (invading Iraq), or the torture of and even assassination of terrorist suspects anywhere in the world.
Humanity must come to the conclusion that we have two basic choices.  The global rule of Law where human rights reign supreme over national sovereignty.  Or the global law of force where nations continue to use force anytime they want, on anyone they want, anywhere they want, with only a remote possibility of being accountable for their murderous actions.
The exponential growth of powerful technology has far surpassed our moral and legal means to control it.  Failing to adjust to this reality is suicide on a massive scale.  The holocaust and later wars and genocides were just practice with any periods of ‘peace’ being the time for rearming and planning the next mass murder.