OK, well I promised I'd get back to this after my Spanish oral exam today, but thanks to that brutal experience, my brain is leaking out my ears.
Besides... I don't really have the answers. I'm no Henry Kissinger or Otto von Bismarck or Sun Tzu. But I do have some questions...
- When has "International Law" ever prevented a genocide from happening?
- When has "International Law" ever resulted in the nations of the world taking quick and effective action to intervene once one has happened?
- What matters more in international law-
- Lines drawn on a map by competing imperialistic powers?
- Economic or military might?
- Ethics of any sort?
- How international is "International Law?" I don't remember voting on it, and I was chomping at the bit to vote from the time I was 6 years old.
- So on what grounds is "International Law" any more binding or ethically superior than the imperial alliances which once governed and throughly mucked up the world?
- Frankly... I just don't see much difference between the agreements of "International Law" now, and the agreements of the various great powers which existed before and directly led to World War I.
Probably the one verse from the "Minor Prophets" (or "The Writings of the 12") most often quoted or alluded to in popular culture is Hosea 8:7a, and it does pretty well describe what has happened to Serbia as they've lost most all of their former Yugoslav empire.
They sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind.
I certainly am not saying that a "Pax Americana" is preferable to "International Law." As I've said previously, our nation is one singularly ill suited to this task.
- Our ignorance of the cultures, history, and languages of the rest of the world is almost transcendent in its magnitude.
- Our attention span is measured in milliseconds
- The only thing which holds it longer is the trite, the banal, and the salacious.
- Our citizens do not know what the people who act in our name do- be they relief workers and other civilian "nation [re]builders" or the military- which is why we don't understand why so much of the world hates us.
- We the people bear the full responsibility for this. Such ignorance is as intentional as it is damnable.
Oh... owww... too hard... been too long... can't resist... YES, its time for a South Park reference... sorta.
Team America- World Police by the same twisted geniuses behind the best show on American TV, South Park, dealt with this issue exquisitely well.
Nobody else out there tells it like it is like Matt and Trey. They don't just say "The emperor is naked," they say "DUDE- the emperor is butt-f*ck naked!"
Added Friday morning 7:15 windy city time after reading Val's prescient comment
The United Nations & "International Law" and Python's Life of Brian
- Reg: Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man —
- Stan: Or woman.
- Reg: Why don't you shut up about women, Stan? You're putting us off.
- Stan: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
- Francis: Why are you always on about women, Stan?
- Stan: I want to be one.
- Reg, Francis: What?
- Stan: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me "Loretta".
- Reg: Wha'?
- Loretta: It's my right as a man.
- Judith: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
- Loretta: I want to have babies.
- Reg: You want to have babies?!
- Loretta: It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
- Reg: But... you can't have babies.
- Loretta: Don't you oppress me!
- Reg: I'm not oppressing you, Stan, you haven't got a womb! Where's the fetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?
- [Stan/Loretta starts to cry.]
- Judith: Here! I-I've got an idea. Suppose that you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb — which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans' — but that he can have the right to have babies.
- Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister, sorry.
- Reg: Wh-what's the point?
- Francis: Wha'?
- Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?
- Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression!
- Reg: Symbolic of his struggle against reality, more like...
- Reg: They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers.
- Loretta: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.
- Reg: Yeah.
- Loretta: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.
- Reg: Yeah. All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!
- Xerxes: The aqueduct?
- Reg: What?
- Xerxes: The aqueduct.
- Reg: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.
- Commando 3: And sanitation.
- Loretta: Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like.
- Reg: Yeah. All right. I'll grant you the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.
- Matthias: And the roads!
- Reg: Well, yeah. Obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads--
- Commando: Irrigation.
- Xerxes: Medicine.
- Commandos: Huh? Heh? Huh...
- Commando 2: Education.
- Commandos: Ohh...
- Reg: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.
- Commando 1: And the wine.
- Commandos: Oh, yes. Yeah...
- Francis: Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.
- Commando: Public baths.
- Loretta: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.
- Francis: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this!
- Commandos: Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
- Reg: But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
- Xerxes: Brought peace?
- Reg: Oh, pea-- Shut up!
Same as it ever was, as Talking Heads sang, or...
Ecclesiastes / Qoheleth 1:2 (according to the Christian versification... be aware that people of other faiths do no necessarily follow this standard, nor indeed to all Christians- sometimes the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Coptic Christians try to track more closely with the divisions of the Hebrew scribes known as the Masoretes. Also, the Eastern church shows a preference for following the Greek Old Testament known as the Septuagint over the Hebrew one which is based on Codex Lenigradus on the grounds that the Septuagint represents a more ancient text... it can be dated to the 2nd to 3rd century BC while C.L. is dated to 1008 AD.)
Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher,
"Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." (NASB)
2Es ist alles ganz eitel, sprach der Prediger, es ist alles ganz eitel. (Luther Bibel 1545)
2 Lo más absurdo de lo absurdo,
—dice el Maestro—,
lo más absurdo de lo absurdo,
¡todo es un absurdo! (NVI)
2 הֲבֵ֤ל הֲבָלִים֙ אָמַ֣ר קֹהֶ֔לֶת הֲבֵ֥ל הֲבָלִ֖ים הַכֹּ֥ל הָֽבֶל׃ (Codex Leningradus)
There is nothing new under the sun!