by Mentarch | 3/05/2009 02:35:00 PM
The rampant hypocrisy with regards to prosecuting war crimes has reached a nauseating level. Such hypocritical double standards - like supporting the International Criminal Court's arrest order against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir while at the same time refusing to hold U.S. officials to the same standards - is of course largely fueled by the media: to this effect, here's just one recent example of the fallacious (if not often self-contradictory) reasoning used to promulgate the mendacious idea that even a "truth commission" on U.S. torture and renditions (and other crimes by the Bush administration) is (wait for it) wrong-headed and self-destructive, while at the same time leaving the (onerous) door open (again) that such "crimes" may have helped to prevent further terrorist attacks.

As I wrote previously:
We still wallow in our self-centerism and selfishness, while hypocritically congratulating ourselves at being "good guys" who walk on the bestest of moral high grounds.

Well, let us take a hard, painful look at what we truly are:
The increasing erosion of our constitutions, civil rights and democracies as they are being gradually subjugated by Authoritarian Security Surveillance States. The bloating no-fly lists and terrorist watch-lists. The continuing inhumane and barbaric renditions, "enhanced interrogations" and indefinite detentions - of children, teenagers and adults alike. The continuing standing of Military Commissions, which are nothing more than politically-driven, rigged, kangaroo courts. The seemingly unending wars of choice and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq - both based on lies to justify a vengeance operation for 9/11 and the securing of foreign oil resources. The ever mounting toll of civilian deaths, displaced refugees and soldier casualties.

This is the overall state of things today with regards to our so-called "Western civilization" - especially with regards to the U.S.A., the U.K. and Canada.

Through it all, much of the currently occurring discourse and debating on these above-mentioned, self-evident evils deal largely with semantics and quaint legalese gymnastics in order to defend and justify not only their perceived necessity, but to actually establish, maintain, or cement, their legality as well.
In other words:
We justify breaking laws, war crimes and atrocities because, goshdarnit, we're the good guys and therefore we only do what is necessary - and consequently we can do no wrong.

Nor can our friends do any wrong, because, you know, if we're the good guys, then so are our friends.

But all those who are not our friends, well ... they should be denounced and prosecuted for the same things that we are doing - but since we're the good guys, we can be excused because we are doing those things in good faith. So, there.

Then again, I should not be surprised that we claim to hold onto noble principles, and congratulate ourselves for this, yet nevertheless dismiss said principles whenever we feel threatened.

After all, are we not still in the habit of proudly claiming our adherence to high ideals while we summarily ignore them for the sake of convenience, of expediency?


Overall, such rank hypocrisy on our part, such repugnant self-delusions about our grandeur, our goodness, our moral high ground, borders on the pathological.

We have a long way to learn the simple truth that holding on to noble principles is worth nothing unless we steadfastly hold them closer to our hearts and minds whenever we are tempted to ignore them - regardless of the reasons, the justifications or the opportunities, to dismiss them.

Claiming the moral high ground means that you stay on said moral high ground - through thick and thin, through rain or shine, through beautiful or stormy weather.
In short: any justification to not prosecute war crimes is as fundamentally wrong morally as it is arrogantly callous and uncivilized - at the very least.

Besides - if you don't prosecute war crimes committed by some people, what standing do you have in prosecuting such crimes committed by others? And that is not taking into account that the direct consequence of such double standards provides anyone (specious) justifications/excuses aplenty to reject such proceedings.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot ... twice over.

You know, folks - there is a word which describes such behavior accurately: incompetence.

(Cross-posted from APOV)

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