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, October 22, 2016

Rigged Elections: The death of democracy and civility?

Democracy is commonly believed to a positive concept.  Unfortunately, a government of ‘we the people’, has at least four inherently damaging flaws.
The first, identified by our nation’s Founding Fathers is fear of a ‘tyranny of the majority’ style of government.  They believed a ‘bill of rights’ ensuring ‘liberty and justice for all’ and a government with limited power was a sufficient antidote to that.  Awkwardly, our original “Bill of Rights” didn’t fully incorporate the fundamental principle (‘liberty and justice for all’ and it cost more American lives than both modern World Wars combined. An we still live with the festering consequences of racial injustice today.
The second flaw is electoral greed.  Once voters understand that those on the ballot can channel a nation’s wealth their way the hazard of economic injustice an/or fiscal national bankruptcy increases.  Today, few people believe our $20 trillion dollar (and rising by the minute) US debt is sustainable. A crash will not be kind. Some national security experts believe it is a fundamental threat to our nation’s security.  
Third, loss of trust in the government is corrosive to government stability and civility.  Combining the capture of government economic favor above with the monstrous and widening gap of income inequality between the extreme rich and the rest (national or global) and people’s fundamental trust in democratic government itself is weakened.

Last but not least, citizen trust in government is the glue that holds our Union together. Loss of trust in the voting process itself undermines one of the three fundamental principles of the ‘rule of law’ that our national identity and lasting cohesion is based on. Even conspiracy beliefs without proof of a rigged election can dissolve it. In the last 2016 Presidential debate one of the leading candidates openly declared that his loss in the election would mean the system was rigged.  His previous leanings toward conspiracy theories combined with similar beliefs of both his supporters and even some detractors undermines any firm belief in our nation’s democratic process for nearly a third of our nation’s voters.   

The glue is the belief that under the ‘rule of law’ where we can rely on just laws treating everyone equally and fairly, that we can sustain our cherished freedoms and security for ourselves and our family.  Blaming a corrupted government cabal kills public confidence in a valid electoral system. There is a small possibility this election could result in blood and chaos.  From the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement to the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 trust in our government is essential to future civility.

Is our current “throw all the bums out…and start over” sentiment really that surprising?  It might even be essential if we want to change the inherent flaws in our current systems and structures if we want to remain united.  Can we continue with a two party system? A winner takes all Electoral College?  Gerrymandering?

Independent federal agencies incapacity to resolve interdependent problems?  Urgent and functional change is needed.  Sufficient political will to transform the flaws in our democratic system does not yet exist. Is our cyber era, bureaucratically heavy, and issue divided nation based on an election system designed for a pre-industrial age sustainable without significant change?

It’s highly probable that the upcoming election won’t be rigged.  The unfortunate news is that there will be no way of proving it.  And, with a majority of Americans mental capacity to believe anything.  ANYTHING!!! Can we be confident that proof of an unrigged election would even be accepted?   This road bump pales in comparison to the possibility that our any level of computerization of elections and political party organizing systems can be tampered with.   A realistic potential exists for any nation-state hacker group or talented lone-wolf hacker could rig an election.  I didn’t believe this possible given the size of our nation with 50 relatively ‘independent’ states, each with its own election systems and voting machines. I believed our non-centralized system would be difficult to hack.  It appears this was hopeful thinking. Experts from the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (heard on CSpan recently – I’m still looking for the program web site…it may have got hacked?) schooled my ignorance.  Cyber security is not just an oxymoron.  It’s an illusion. The 2016 Presidential election could be rigged.

Our system of democracy we rely on (and favor for the rest of the world) for forming a ‘more perfect union’ (a government of the people, for the people, and by the people) has serious problems.

There is yet one more lethal vulnerability to our vital but ultimately flawed concept of democracy.  A dictatorship, monarchy, kingdom or aristocracy based government anywhere in the world is a threat to democracy everywhere.  Why?  Because under those governing systems it is the people’s role to serve the needs, interests and desires of the government.  And those foreign government decisions are unlikely to have our freedom and security, or that of the rest of humanity in mind.  

There continues to be a global struggle in the world between what ‘we the people’ want (freedom and security) and what governments want (to stay in power). Because of our failure to properly organize the world to make the protection of human freedom and security the highest priority, governments around the world are increasingly ignoring the inalienable rights of all people.

Even the US fails to consistently apply this most fundamental principle of ‘life, liberty and justice for all’ at home or abroad.  To the degree we fail on this principle is the degree to which we will suffer the slings, arrows and cyber hacks of others.

Systems, structures and principles are like Donald Trump and atoms.  They make up everything!.  And, until ‘we the people’ of the world design a government with systems and structures that encompass everyone and every nation on this planet, employing demonstrated principles that we all agree on, no one should expect a future for themselves or their offspring where humanity together can enjoy the fruits of maximum freedoms, security and civility   --including civil and trusted elections.  
It won’t be heaven on earth.  But it won’t be going to hell like it is now.  Humanity will still have problems. But for the first time in history, problems between nations will have a resolution mechanism that does not include war, concentration camps, genocide, ineffective diplomacy, the threat of force, crushing sanctions or cyber hacks.  It’s called the ‘rule of law’.  A principled system where the laws are created and enforced by a democratic process, which are applied equally to all regardless of skin color, religion, nationality or wealth. And, most importantly, the laws are created to protect the most fundamental inalienable human rights.  The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – for all.
Seventy years ago after the horrors of World War II an American First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt led an effort among nations to agree upon a set of human rights principles that was unanimously accepted by all nations at that time.  They believed the protection of the list of rights spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could spare future generations of war and other forms of preventable human suffering.  “We the People” was only a phrase inserted into the preamble of the UN Charter.  The rest of the charter however, only enforced the flawed principle of nation states having the right to dictate what human rights they wanted to follow.  That single flawed grand principle is still enforce today.  And it is directly responsible for most of the seemingly irresolvable and currently increasingly dangerous trends in our world now. 
Our nation’s Founding Fathers made catastrophic mistakes in creating our nation’s Constitution by not heading fundamentally sound principles.  We need not make the same mistake in transforming the UN Charter’s systems and structures.   Thomas Jefferson once said "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse."
 Things change.  Can we? 

All people are created equal sometimes.

Dear Editor,
William Hawkins belief that our “enemies” are not “our equals” is lethally flawed. (Dec 17, 2007. Treating enemies as equals)
First, waging war against “terrorists” ensures that many innocent people will be killed. Such collateral damage is accepted by Hawkins because he and others like him believe that American lives are worth more than foreigners and that ‘rights’ are not a function of being human, but instead a function of government generosity.
Perhaps, Mr Hawkins should review the premise of our nation’s founding document the Declaration of Independence. Any rational reading will find that ‘rights’ are not a blessing provided by government decision, but are instead inalienable gifts of God (or natural rights) that belong to all people regardless of race, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality or political belief. And the primary function of any legitimate government is to protect those rights with due process that doesn’t sacrifice the lives of others who may not be seen as some as being worthy of such rights.
For Hawkins it doesn’t seem to be a problem that somewhere between 60,000 and 600,000 innocent Iraqi’s have been killed as a direct result of the Bush Administration’s decision to invade and occupy Iraq. Most American’s rightfully feel horrified by the loss of nearly 4000 US soldiers but demonstrate little compassion or concern for the dead Iraqis. I’m fairly certain that is NOT how the loved ones of the Iraqi dead, wounded or displaced feel. And that other’s watching from afar see such American self centeredness/selfishness as antithetical to our own ideals.
If they had seen early on that American soldiers were willing to die to protect innocent Iraqi’s instead of intimidating them with ‘shock and awe’ warfare we may have ended up with far more friends, less enemies and far fewer US casualties in the long run.

Only by demonstrating far greater concern for the “well being” of those who may look like our enemies will we be able to mobilize the hearts and minds and the intelligence sources needed to defeat our true enemies – those who show no regard for the loss of innocent lives.
Showing disregard for Iraqi lives (not even know how many have been killed or wounded) plays into Osama Bin Ladin’s global propaganda machine. Captured Al Qauda admitted that the pictures from Abu Grabe prison were their best recruiting tools.
While techniques such as "waterboarding" provided intelligence that "probably saved lives" there is little doubt in my mind that conducting and justifying such torture to protect American lives will only end up costing far more American lives on the battle field -- and at home -- in the long run.
Either we stand for the basic principle that all people are created equal or, we are only slightly better than the mass murderers we wage war against. Standing on such noble principles may cost some lives up front but such is the price of real freedom and remaining a truly great nation.
Any ideology that favors the survival of one people over another is not only un-American, unethical and unchristian…it is the clearest prescription for our ultimate defeat.
Article published Dec 17, 2007Treating enemies as equals

December 17, 2007

By William Hawkins - The most consistent theme running through liberal-left opinion since September 11, 2001, has been concern for the well-being of the enemy. The latest example is the contrived scandal over the CIA destroying tapes of interrogations of two captured terrorists.

The first instinct of responsible members of Congress is to fulfill their duty to protect Americans from attack. Now they are pushed by ideological zealots to not only accord foreign adversaries "rights" that will protect them from effective U.S. counteraction but to harass their countrymen on the front lines in this deadly conflict.

Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen reported in The Washington Post on a secret congressional briefing given by the CIA in September 2002: "For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk ... on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder."

The same two reporters interviewed former CIA officer, John Kiriakou in regard to Zayn abu Zubaida, a top-ranking al Qaeda prisoner. Abu Zubaida's interrogation tape was one of those destroyed. Mr. Kiriakou argued that the harsh technique of "waterboarding" used to break abu Zubaida provided intelligence that "probably saved lives." Information gained led to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the September 11 attacks.

The other destroyed tape was of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who planned the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, which killed 17 U.S. sailors. Unlike their victims, both abu Zubaida and al-Nashiri survived their ordeals and are held at Guantanamo Bay. Within the liberal-left ideology, however, it is not the terrorists who are to be condemned, but those who are fighting them. "For what reason would the CIA destroy these videotapes other than to cover up criminal acts committed during the brutal interrogations depicted on these tapes?" asks Caroline Fredrickson, of the American Civil Liberties Union.

At the core of this perverse outlook is the principle of equality, taken to an extreme. The ACLU says it "works to ensure that the U.S. government complies with universal human-rights principles in addition to the U.S. Constitution." In his infamous 2005 rant comparing FBI interrogators to the Nazis, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin complained they had "no concern for human beings."

So everyone is to be accorded equal treatment simply because they meet the lowest common denominator of being "human." This is the notion in play when presidential candidates say they would not authorize "torture" of a foreign terrorist even if it meant saving American lives. The well-being of the terrorist is no less precious than the lives of Americans, because all are equally human, part of a single extended family descending from some common origin.

Indeed, the entire concept of an adversarial "us and them" is to be rejected. Adversaries are just people whom we have not taken the time to understand. Common ground can be found by dialogue, and a fair settlement on the basis of mutual respect. That the purpose of war is to "compel the enemy to do our will" is distasteful to liberals.

Nothing could be more fundamentally wrong as a basis for dealing with the real world. A distinction must be made between "what" we are and "who" we are. "What" is nothing more than a crude, amoral description. It is "who" a person is that matters. How one acts and to where one owes their allegiance are crucial distinguishing characteristics. An unwillingness to differentiate between friend and foe is a fatal handicap in making national policy.

The failure of liberalism to make necessary distinctions is seen across the whole spectrum of issues, not just the stark "us" versus "them" of global warfare. Liberals have a longstanding reputation for being "soft on crime." The victims of crime fade from view and the criminals become the focus of benevolent concern. The inability of liberals to deal harshly with terrorists is an extension of their inability to deal harshly with felons. Capital punishment is called inhumane because even serial killers are considered people just like the rest of "us."

The effort to blur distinctions is explicit in the debate over immigration, as terms like "undocumented resident" are substituted for "illegal alien." It is also embodied in trade policy, where Americans are not to be favored over foreigners in U.S. economic policy (national treatment), nor allies favored over enemies (normal trade relations). Why should citizens feel any loyalty to a government that by doctrine rejects expressing any loyalty to them?

An ideology more at odds with common sense and experience is hard to conceive. And in the real world where ruthless adversaries abound, modern liberalism is a prescription for defeat.

William Hawkins is senior fellow for national security studies at the U..S Business and Industry Council.

Global Freedom Coalition doomed to fail

Kim Holmes (Big Idea 9-11-08) nails it when he insists “it is time to think boldly about America’s future” and that “our alliances and international institutions are stuck in the past”. But when he says we need “think about creating ones more fitting to the 21st century” his own thinking remains stuck in a blood drenched past. He still uses a 20th century mindset that holds nation state confederations superior to the protection of inalienable universal human rights.
Even our 18th century founding fathers knew that the confederation of our 13 colonies was inherently flawed. Our confederation of states struggled for almost 100 years with border disputes, currency difficulties and unequal political freedoms. Mr. Holmes proposal for a “Global Freedom Coalition” is just more of the same. The same limited 20th century ‘ideal’ of ‘independent’ nation states that gave us the abysmally weak and ineffective United Nations.
In a world irreversibly interdependent on every aspect of life any confederated alliance or “Global freedom Coalition” as Holmes desires is doomed to catastrophic failures. If just one nation anywhere on earth fails to control an outbreak of the bird flu or some other inevitable outbreak, or the release of weaponized smallpox or a computer virus capable of bringing down the world wide web, or contaminates catastrophically any aspect of our global life support system (oceans, climate, breathable air or croplands) -- no “voluntary” “loose association” will matter a bit. The “common good” of we the world’s people will not be protected. Even a single “border dispute” anywhere in the world could result in the use of nuclear or biological weapons with any ‘freedom coalition” member possessing the freedom to leave it at any time. What’s the value of that?
Mr. Holmes is correct about the failings of the United Nations inability to deal effectively with “the tragedy of Darfur” or “hard problems like Iraq, Iran and North Korea. But the UN was never given the financial capacity, police power, or legislative or judicial means to do much more than talk.
Tragically it has been the Heritage Foundation and other such ‘think tanks’ that lobbied against any UN empowerment. They have clung to the failed 20th century concept that continues to give supreme power to nation states putting ‘national sovereignty’ above globally protecting the already universally approved list of inalienable human rights. This December 10th marks the 60th anniversary of this list - the “ Universal Declaration of Human Rights” -- yet this document still remains just a ‘good idea’ instead of an globally enforceable document like our own Bill of Rights.
Mr. Holmes is correct that “the need for a new global security arrangement …couldn’t be more obvious or timely” and the “desperate” need for a new “international mechanism to coordinate policy”. But the “power of unity” cannot be maximized in a world divided by shifting voluntary interests of loose and voluntary coalitions.
The more workable “Big idea” would be to put world law and the protection of human rights and basic human freedoms above that of world war and the protection of nation state’s freedoms.

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Bush legacy is less US Security

Dear Editor,
President Bush’s greatest legacy certainly won’t be as Donald Lambro suggests, “that ‘he kept us safe’ in the age of Terror” (Legacy of Protecting Us, 12-8-08 Washington Times). I’m betting it will be his “offensive against AIDS and Malaria in Africa” that will be his greatest legacy…and, if he had spend at least half as much as he spend on his Global War Against Terrorism protecting the world against the worst aspects of poverty he may have had a legacy of keeping American’s safe from all global threats including terrorism.
But, unfortunately, more American’s have died during his administration from terrorism than from all other Presidential administrations combined. And, his pre-emptive doctrine has only sourced more anti American hate that will likely be the source of more mass murdered Americans in the future.
The fact is the Bush Administration was not free from fault prior to 9-11. His administration largely ignored the dire warnings of the Hart-Rudman Commission six months prior to 9-11 This bipartisan Presidential Commission on National Security in the 21st Century stated early on that terrorism was our nation’s greatest threat and that ‘Americans should prepare to die in large numbers on American soil’. Bush ignored this warming and gave far higher priority to missile defense and tax cuts. Even after the 9-11 attacks Bush rejected one of the Commission’s primary proposals calling for the creation of a department of homeland defense.
Bush’s ‘offensive’ war reaction to 9-11 (and the Anthrax attack that followed a few weeks later) has been even more harmful to American lives, our prestige in the world, our economy and our constitution. His “war on terrorism” and invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq resulted in more American deaths (and nearly thirty times the number of injured) than the attack on 9-11 itself. His preemptive military incursions actually increased the ranks of wannabe terrorists and propelled them angrily into a future increasingly filled with newer, more powerful, and more affordable means of mass destruction.
The newest report by the congressionally mandated “Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism” released just last week (and briefly mentioned in the Washington Times) warns us of the high likelihood future biological WMDs attacks and correctly faults the Bush administration for failing to devote the same degree of high-level attention and resources to the threat of bioterrorism as it has to nuclear threats.
Our own government’s findings show that the number of terrorist attacks around the world have nearly quadrupled during Bush’s terms in office. And, this new Commission report stresses that “our margin of safety is shrinking, not growing”.
Finally, President Bush has done more to damage our nation’s relations with the United Nations, our closest allies, less friendly nations, and other people’s around the world than any other Administration. And, according to the recommendations of this recent WMD prevention commission these are the very relationships we need to effectively prevent future terrorist attacks against us. In this sense, President Bush’s ‘offensive against AIDS and Malaria in Africa” will be his greatest legacy. AIDS has killed nearly 30,000 Americans (three times more than terrorists) and stopping it and other pandemic diseases ‘over there’ means we won’t have American’s dying from them here. US policy that makes lives better over there will be our best means of preventing future bioterrorist attacks here – that could kill millions instead of thousands. If President Bush had committed even a tenth of his war budget to a more friendly foreign policy…then his final legacy may have been more protective. As it is…we are in more danger today than ever. And when we get hit again, it won’t be Obama’s fault, as much as it is his.


Wikileaks for cover of TIme. Man of the Decade.

For anyone worshiping liberty, Wikileaks’ Assange should be a hero. It was the word’s of Jesus that claimed only “the truth shall set you free”.

Ultimately our freedoms and security will be improved by Wikileaks. Now, in the current paradigm were “national sovereignty” reigns supreme over human rights...human rights are disregarded in favor of “national interests”. That gives us a perpetual state of war interspersed by calm periods of rearming.

Freedom of the press is our nation’s first Amendment for a reason. Our founding fathers would be advocates of Wikileaks receiving the Nobel Peace prize. Only the enforcement of a global bill of rights with freedom of the press will really ensure maximization of human freedom and security.

Secrets may be good for ‘national interests’ in the short run but with all nation’s competing for supremacy in one area or another, we will never really know freedom from fear, want, oppression and extermination, until we have such freedom of the press globally.

Assange deserves the cover of Time Magazine as man of the decade. Calls for his assassination and claims that he is a “cyber terrorists” ring like the logic of witch hunts and the McCarthy era.


Immigration policy: Robots could do it better.

Republican Senator Jeff Sesson’s immigration beliefs don’t reflect the facts (“An Immigration Tsunami”, Washington Post 4-10-2015).  His historical immigration statistics may be correct but he uses his heart felt but false beliefs to describe a problem that only exists in his head.    He states “We don’t have enough jobs for our lower-skilled workers now.”   That’s only true because he and a majority of other policy makers have repeatedly failed to appropriate funding for critical infrastructure repairs, incentives for weatherizing homes, protecting valuable topsoil or other labor intensive environmental restoration projects that would employ millions of people, not robots.   We currently spend billions to employ people to build weapons systems that can’t protect us against home grown terrorists, cyber or biological weapons, Ebola or extreme weather conditions.   The change we need is twofold.  First, a change of values in what kind of work is really needed.  And second, a change in policy makers.  That’s a job that could easily be replaced by robots.  Robots we could program to rely on facts and rational policy instead of fictional beliefs.

Welcome to World War III.

Welcome to World War III.   First the good news.  

The ‘Grand Coalition’ of 65 nation states against ISIS demonstrates that when the world is threatened, nations can come together to counter it.   ISIS is a doomsday cult that has recruits from over 100 nations.   Luckily, the grand strategy that its own leader engineered into its structure contains the seeds of its own destruction -- suicidal mass murders and horrific injustices.  It will inevitably be left in the dust bin of history like every other doomsday cult and megalomania murderous ideology.  It could take decades, but it’s going down.
The bad news however is potentially very bad.  It might take us with it.  While ISIS is doomed, our freedom loving care free lives in the civilized world has largely ended.  The increasing loss of our privacy and freedom of movement, as well as our sense of security, will never fully recover.  We can also expect the loss of thousands, perhaps millions, of ‘innocent’ lives globally before ISIS bites the dust.  Maybe tens or hundreds of millions if ISIS finds, makes, or buys WMD (nuclear, chem, bio, cyber…) before the Grand Coalition can terminate all of its tech savvy minions.  
The really, really bad news is twofold.  First, ISIS won’t be the last global terrorist entity.  And, the tactic of terrorism is certainly not the only category of threat we face.  Global warming, wars between nations, pandemics, solar fare EMP events, asteroids and other threats will continue to happen.  And we remain unprepared, with virtually no planning even started for our common defense.
Second, world political leaders persistently fail to learn from their ‘grand mistake’ of the past.  Wars beget wars.   And justice is the only remedy.  A report this summer by the ‘Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance’ detailed the enduring connection between injustice and insecurity.  The two word summary of this detailed report is ‘just security’.  World leaders should quickly embrace the recommendations of this Commission coauthored by one of our nation’s own foreign policy experts, former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright.
Definitely, justice is a function of law.  And most rational people believe that any law that doesn’t protect the inalienable rights of individuals is an unjust law.  This December 10th will be the 67th anniversary of the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.  It is a special day that acknowledges this profound idea -- that the primary purpose of government is to protect both the freedoms and the security of its citizens.   This thoughtful document was drafted and unanimously passed after the horrors of World War II.  Eleanor Roosevelt championed it.  World leaders then failed to make it enforceable.  This set the stage for Cold War, which spawned the Global War on Terrorism.  Until nation states put the protection of human rights above the rights of nations to do whatever they like, whenever they like, to whomever they like, ‘we the people’ will never know the true meaning of freedom and security.   
The insanity of the supremacy of national sovereignty in running world affairs was enshrined in the UN Charter.  It gave freedom, not to ‘we the people’, but only to nation states. To this day they retain the freedom to rescind the rights and freedoms of ‘we the people’ if its leader so desires.  This flaw will likely be the end of civilization.  
Albert Einstein was once asked ‘what weapons would be used to fight World War III’.  He wisely responded, “I don’t know. But I do know that World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”.   Let us get off the war path.  And begin building global democratic institutions that effectively prevent and deter the violation of the most fundamental human rights.  The right to life, liberty and justice - for all.

The Pope’s secret. A sucide mission?

Dear editor,
 We may never know the Pope’s secret.  (“Pope’s African peace mission” Washington Post 11-29-15) 
Especially if he is martyred as a result of his risky trip into the heart of an African war zone.  It’s possible he will be successful in brokering a peace that the best UN diplomacy and peacekeeping forces could not produce.  Either way he’s demonstrating something the world needs more of -- the courage of his convictions.  Willing to die for what he believes, but unwilling to kill.
Last night Showtime aired a new documentary “Spymasters” which zeroed in on the causes, costs and consequences of the endless war on terrorism.  All twelve of the living CIA Directors agreed, we cannot “kill” our way out of this problem.  Yet not one leader in the world has offered a policy that would outlaw the killing of innocent people.
ISIS and other violent extremist cults intentionally kill innocent people hoping to draw the ‘civilized’ world into their dream of Armageddon.  The civilized world intentionally allows the killing of innocent people as collateral damage under a ‘just war’ policy. 
The murder of innocent people should be outlawed. Period.  Without this commitment to global justice we will never know the peace and security that the Pope and other spiritual leaders know is possible.
All leaders in the civilized world have options.  They were offered 85 sound recommendations in a report released this summer by the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance (co-chaired by Madeline Albright and Ibrahim Gambari).   These recommendations would strengthen the flawed structures and systems created in the UN after the last World War.  Far from fulfilling the UN Charter’s ambitions, the toothless structure cemented into the UN has actually perpetuated killings with immunity by multiple nations, which has given us the world we have today.  If humanity truly seeks an end to lawful killings of innocent people and sustainable security for all, we will give each of the Commission’s recommendations serious and swift attention.
Time is not on our side but December 10th is the anniversary of the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This profound UN document was intended to prevent future conflict and offer fundamental freedoms to all the world’s people.  We need to reconsider this document’s rational and take solid steps to putting the global protection of human rights, ahead of the rights of nations to kill as they see fit.  Dead or alive, I believe the Pope would endorse each of these recommendations.

Home address: 315 Dean Dr., Rockville, MD 20851
 (the views expressed above are mine and not necessarily the views of the UNACO)