Thursday, August 14, 2008


The Devils and their Advocates

In a speech in Thailand before the Olympic Games, President Bush spoke once again of his hopes that China will improve its record with regard to human rights. His wording could not have been more diplomatic – stressing that change will come on China’s own terms and in context to its own unique history and circumstance (hardly the words of a "bullying cowboy").

In another region of the world, Iran’s president has promised to “wipe Israel off the map” as his country’s actions and rhetoric suggest the likelihood that they will be developing nuclear weapons.

When issues regarding non-democratic counties’ flaws, threats, and dangers are brought to public attention one can always count on self-styled “devils advocates” reminding us (free societies, particularly the U.S.) that “we have nuclear weapons” and “we have a history of human rights abuses.” Of course a renegade cop in the U.S. acting out of vigilante violence or racism is likely to be tried, sent to prison, and be featured in leading news stories, while his or her victim becomes a compensated celebrity martyr. A North Korean slave laborer or a dead victim from Tiananmen Square is not likely to encounter such attempts at justice so commonly found in democratic society.

To all this nonsense I once again offer an analogy that I believe I had made a couple of million posts back but bares repeating:

Imagine a fairly decent family fellow, lets say he has some normal flaws in character and has, like most of us, done a few “bad” things in the past. Add to this that he has a gun collection – the biggest gun collection imaginable. Now, lets imagine that another guy on the same street is not such a decent family man but an ex-con that has threatened your family and fellow neighbors. He beats his wife and kids but the obedient children are treated fairly well (“free health care and a ‘safety net’”). The family members who demonstrate any degree of independence are locked in the basement and abused.

This guy wants some guns too. Nothing resembling the huge gun collection of the decent family guy, just a few weapons to “protect himself” (never mind his constant threats and abusive home environment).

If this analogy isn’t clear to some readers, maybe the current state of the world isn’t completely clear either.

When the U.S and like democratic nations seek to broaden human rights and seek to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of some of the world’s worst dictatorships, its downright stupid to merely respond that (in so many words) “…well, we’re just as bad.”

Belgium or Canada needn’t fear America dropping a nuclear weapon on its people and no sane country has cause to fear France’s possession of nuclear weapons. Iran and North Korea are another story. It's nice to talk of one day "ridding the world of all nuclear weapons" but its stupid to suggest that we start with democratic nations who never go to war with other free and open societies (on the assumption that ruthless unelected authoritarian governments will then follow with equally kind gestures toward peace).

A few Islamo-fascists being made to stand in cold rooms may be a horror beyond all human rights abuses to those who still fail to acknowledge that the former Soviet Union was a gulag prison state, but one man’s terrorist is not another’s freedom utopia of the people.

Regardless of the perennial “outrage” over America’s human rights misdemeanors, the brutality of some countries' authoritarian governments is certainly fair game for critique’.

One who defends the values of relativism while belligerent "neighborhood" crimianals make threats (and seeks the means to make good on them) is a total fool…as is the armchair philosopher who can’t discern who the genuine belligerent forces in the world really are.

Indeed, “we” are no angles, but the “devil’s advocate” is merely advocating the values of…the devil. Get a clue.

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