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Posts Tagged ‘USA’

On the way back from the store, I managed to catch the last few minutes of a prolonged rant by radio talk host Mark Lavin.   He was all worked up in his typical lather, this time because President Obama decided not to release photos of Osama Bin Laden taken after the recent raid leading to his death.

Among other things, Mr. Lavin alleged that we wouldn’t have hesitated to post such photos in World War II or worry about hurting the feelings of the Japanese or the Germans in that war, saying “I don’t give a damn!” in regards to any offense caused to combatant Muslim fundamentalists who qualify as terrorists.

While I am in agreement about not worrying about offending terrorists, and while not wanting to make anything akin to a ‘moral equivalence‘ argument, I have to disagree with the nature of his comments in regards to the photos.  I will avoid making it a moral equivalence argument by refraining from phrasing it as ‘how can we say…’ type statements but instead focusing on ‘why’ we have made some arguments in the past in support of my view as to why we ‘should not‘ release any photos of Bin Laden’s dead body.

Nick Berg

Almost exactly 7 years ago on May 7th, 2004 we learned of the gruesome death of Nicholas Evan Berg when not only was the news released of his being captured and held by terrorists, but the terrorists themselves released a video of his being beheaded that went viral on the internet.  At the time we were outraged not only by the act itself but by the superfluous act of releasing the footage.

9/11

Then of course there was 9/11, when we saw Palestinians celebrating in the streets of Israel  with reports of celebration in other regions known to be less friendly to the US and western nations.

Al Jazeera

We expressed outrage at news sources like Al Jazeera for continuing to be a mouthpiece for Bin Laden and other pro-terror leaders who were doing little less than gloating following various attacks on pro-western targets.

It’s not Moral Equivalence.

I am not making an argument that ‘we are no better than them’.  We clearly are.  There are ongoing complaints that we often go ‘too far’ in trying to promote the ‘rights’ or at least to take great care in protecting the rights of innocents in our efforts to put an end to terrorism.  (Mark Lavin’s argument is just another example of one of these)  We are better because we do not act without reasonable cause and without seeking input and even assistance from our allies and the international community in general.

And, as I already stated, I am not going to frame this from the perspective of ‘how can we possibly …. in the future if…‘.  Instead, look at why we were outraged by the prior events mentioned.  We do follow reason and there were reasons to be outraged.

Our leaders may use reason and consultation in coming to solutions, but our leaders are practically guaranteed airtime whenever they speak of our achievements to destroy our enemies.  Because our leaders use reason and wisdom, and because our nation bears global influence, there is nothing wrong with that.  And we support freedom of the press.  And our leader has already spoken of the death of this enemy to our freedoms.

Again, Obama was far more justified to go on media sources to break the news.  Our action was a response to specific acts recognized worldwide as unprovoked attacks on innocent citizens.  While an Islamic extremist could probably raise many events relating to specific acts of the west that are worthy of question and even condemnation, they do not seek acceptance or agreement with their ideas in the global community but instead act hastily and recklessly and cheer the deaths of innocents and combatants alike.

We’ve already seen footage that has made the news wires of celebrations in Washington DC and New York city following the announcement by our president.  Many news sources and political figures are quickly trying to point out that the celebrations ‘probably’ reflect a celebration of justice having been done.  And whether or not there are vindictive, vengeful faces in those crowds, I do not think it wholly unreasonable that most in the crowd would concur with that assessment of their motives.

(consequently, there were also large scale celebrations in the Arabic community here in Dearborn, MI – and they are essentially saying the same thing, that they are celebrating justice having been done.  They point out the fact that Bin Laden has killed more Muslims than Americans.  But additionally many of the former middle eastern Muslims here are also saying they are glad to see him gone because of the damage he has done to the reputation of non-extremist followers of Islam)

Finally, do we really want to cross the last border of those things we have previously condemned (with good reason) by making public the pictures of a dead leader of our enemies?  What would it achieve?  Lavin eluded to things such as ‘showing our resolve’ or making it clear to our enemies ‘what we are capable of’.  But was not tracking down and killing him sufficient to do that?  What necessity is there to release the photos that would not qualify as braggadocio or overkill?

Justice was served when we sent in the seals and they got the job done.  There is no necessity of heaping on gratuitous releases of macabre photos and putting us in the same camp as our enemies when it comes to how we behave as a civilized nation.

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Dear world leaders,

You may be a politician, a businessman, an aristocrat, a president, governor, chancellor, CEO, King or Queen or any other person with such influence.  You may head a country, a state, a business, or an empire.  This letter is addressed to you who have the ability to sway a large group of people or have authority over a reasonable amount of territory.

This letter comes by way of a suggestion.  If you would like to see innumerable achievements and successes, if you would like to see your influence expand.  If you would like those people who look to you for leadership or follow your example prosper.  If you would like to increase the self worth of your holdings and the magnificence of the people you oversee.

There is a notion that was born among men, formed by men and instituted by men.  It is a notion that is disappearing rapidly from the one place on earth where it was tried in it’s purest form by men and for men.  When it was still untainted it proved itself as the means to expand those people under it’s domain in ways never before seen to achieve tasks and wonders never before witnessed in the history of man.  Those that followed it prospered and advanced faster than at any time in antiquity.

This notion consists of the principles of freedom, self-rule and of individual accountability and responsibility.

These concepts were once the means to greatness on the north American continent in the United States.  But these principles are rapidly deteriorating here and the prosperity they once brought with them is fading along with them.  When the promise of these notions was still strong, people flocked to the shores of this new land and built a nation to out shine any nation to ever come before it.  In many cases, they gave up all they had to come to a virgin land virtually unbroken by the hands and workmanship of man and built upon it’s soil a burgeoning society.  That society too is losing it’s luster with the loss of it’s freedoms and core principles.

The example has been shown through the history of the United States that ‘if you build it, they will come.”  My suggestion to you leaders is to begin with the original principles that spawned this great nation.  Remove from them the dated notions such as the 3/5ths compromise, institute a fair tax, and include the Bill of Rights but with a preamble that specifies those rights extend from the natural rights – not endowed by a creator but self-evident through reason and arrived at through logical deduction from the very nature of life – that all men are created equal and have the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I would strongly suggest to include the right to propriety over the products of  one’s life – to property, to one’s identity, a to a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Allow each man to pursue his own dreams and neither limit nor provide him largess toward that end.  Hold each man accountable for his own needs and desires and allow none to exercise force to prevent him from fulfilling them as long as he uses no force against others in their fulfillment.

Limit the power of the government to the protection of each and all in the collective against external threats and to the mitigation of disputes that arise among them.  And specify clearly that those limits are not to be usurped for any reason or as a result of any popular caprice.

Limit the power even of taxation to fees for the (limited) services of government and otherwise exercise a voluntary taxation policy among men.  If you provide sound government to enable the free will of reasonable men, they will support it willingly.

Allow no notions of state-sponsored compassion to seep into your governance.  Whether they come from subjective philosophers or intrinsic prophets, maintain a strict and unwavering abolition of any participation of such ideas in the rule of men.  Allow the men to follow whatever axioms they desire, but limit the rule of law to strictly objective principles and concepts.

Do this and they will come.  Do this and those that come will build your society, your business, your nation, your state or your empire for you.  You will not need to motivate them, leave them to find their own motives.   You will not need to supply them, let them find their own means of supply.   You will not need to teach them, they will build their own schools and form their own research facilities.  You will not need to build for them, you will instead see them building for themselves, for their profits and by extension for the others among them before your very eyes.

They will exceed your highest expectations as long as you allow them to profit from their own endeavors, seek and keep their own rewards and interact freely with their fellows with the limited protection of whatever means of governance you [and they] choose to protect them from undue force or fraud.

Finally hold them ALL accountable for themselves and disallow them to petition you for largess and you will not see looters and leeches coming to join you.  If they do find parasites amongst them, let them wither – hold for those that refuse to achieve no mercy or compassion what-so-ever.  Praise the achiever and give him free reign, and all that which is under your control will prosper.

Sincerely,

Scott Webster Wood

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