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.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

International law is a fairytale.

International law is a fairytale.  It reads good and feels good, but changes nothing.
Legacy or Bust, Washington Post Opinion writer , 2015
Mr. Krauthammer said, even NASA retired scientist “James Hanson, America’s leading carbon abolitionist, indelicately called the whole [Paris Climate deal] ‘bulls---‘”.   He chided “Obama’s other great triumph, the Iran nuclear accord…[that] the Iranian parliament has never approved…that the Iranian president has never signed…not legally bound to anything.”   Then mentions the two likely violations of that agreement that were essentially immune to the “administration’s promise of ‘snapback’ sanctions”.    UN Ambassador Samantha Power stated in a congressional hearing the prior week that “discussions are a form of UN action”.  This was our nation’s response to “Iran’s first illegal launch in October” testing “a nuclear-capable ballistic missile in direct contravention of two UN Security Council prohibitions.”  There was another launch “on November 21”.
Mr. Krauthammer’s two examples of Obama’s foreign policy successes are ultimately failures because they have no real mechanism for becoming reality.  In fact no treaty or international agreement, constitutional or not, is bound by any means of just or fair enforcement other than war or sanctions.  Even the threat of war or sanctions (with sanctions often more deadly than war – or sparking a war), is usually the first option.
Krauthammer concludes “fictional agreements” do not bind “proliferators and polluters”.  But in the current world of international law no agreement binds any nation.  And those leaders responsible for breaking the agreements are rarely if ever held accountable.  Not even for ordering mass murder using chemical weapons or barrel bombs.   And if any attempt is made to hold leaders accountable, it is the people of the nations in disagreement that will pay the price in blood and/or treasure.   

 The irony is that Mr. Krauthammer would be one of the first fools manning the national sovereignty ramparts in opposition to any transformation of our intentionally lawless and increasingly unjust international system.  
If he or anyone else were interested in taking the first steps in reforming this consistently failing international lawless system, they need look no further than a report released this summer by the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance.  It offers 85 recommendations to put us on the path to increasing security at every level (personal, national and global).
If the world community of nations doesn’t find an alternative non-violent means of resolving disputes, the global chaos we are witnessing now will only accelerate.  The exponential growth in increasingly powerful dual-use technologies means more and more nations, groups and individuals will gain unprecedented access to horrifically powerful means of mass destruction or disruption.
This is no fairytale.  Our time is running out.


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