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.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Real world not deterred by military budget.



Fred Hiatt didn’t get the memo (“A military budget or the real world” Washington Post 5-18-2015).  War has changed!   It’s hard to believe that 14 years after 9-11 and the rise of ISIS that anyone could suggest ‘deterrence’ is still a rational security strategy.  With the advancement of technology, religious extremism and overall global lawlessness even nuclear powered nations can no longer be deterred from violating human rights and the sovereignty of other nations.   And, the ‘real world’ has other far greater threats to our national security and personal freedoms than war.  ISIS, Ebola, and climate change cannot be deterred either. They can however be prevented. 
After the horrors of World War II (all-out kinetic war, genocide, nuclear weapons) those who survived gathered in San Francisco and New York and created an institution and a piece of paper intended to prevent war.   
Unfortunately the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) were never given any power to actually produce this profoundly worthwhile goal. What if the laws of our federal government and its bill of rights were not enforceable?
If the UN and it’s bill of rights had been given the same powers that our own nation’s Founders believed were the essential for freedom and security, a federation of states with enforceable laws instead of confederation of states without, we would have a far more civilized world today.  Our nation’s founder’s erred in ignoring the premise of their original Declaration of Independence, the ideal of inalienable human rights, did result in a war to correct that.  And now Mr. Hiatt, and most others ‘in the know’ are making the same error.  They refuse to apply this universal principle to the global level.  They continue to believe that a state’s right (to wage war with its inevitable collateral damage) should remain superior to the protection of human rights (which war by its very nature ignores).
They refuse to grasp this profound fact.   No amount of US military power (or foreign military power) can ensure our, or any other nation’s security or protect our fundamental freedoms while ignoring global injustice on so many levels.   I’m guessing that if we had acted on the global adoption of UDHR 70 years ago that the global enforcement of the UDHR could have prevented 90% of the “real world” threats we face today (war, pandemic diseases, climate change, and terrorism -with its continuing evolution of weaponry and proliferation of WMD).  And, humanity would have been infinitely better at responding to threats we cannot prevent (earthquakes, tsunamis, asteroids…).   But now, it may be too late.  The forces of ignorance, greed, nationalism, extremist religious beliefs, and our continued addiction to powerless global institutions appear too great for our species to overcome.  
Instead of quoting “Robert Gates and more than 80 other defense experts” on the “grave and growing danger to our national security” Mr. Hiatt should have been quoting Bill Gates, Bill Joy, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight D. Eisenhower and dozens of other profound thinkers regarding the only ‘real world’ path to sustain both our freedoms and our security.  Make world law, not world war.

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