bitter sanity

Wake up and smell the grjklbrxwg, earth beings.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

[posted by jaed at 11:16 AM]
Millions for terrorism, but not one cent for help:
Chris Patten informs us that since the US has defied the authority of Jacques Chirac the EU, the EU will punish Iraq by withholding postwar aid.

First thought: what an ass.

Second thought: the Iraqis may be better off without. He's certainly done a bang-up job providing bomb money for the Palestinian Authority and Fatah (pun not intended when I started writing this sentence, but let's go with it anyway).

He also incidentally confirms my thesis below, about differences between the European and American views of the UN, with this:
"It is in the interests of the whole world that power should be constrained by global rules, and used only with international agreement. What other source of international legitimacy but the U.N. exists for military intervention?"
To me this sounds like diplo-gibberish, of a sort that I wouldn't have bothered analyzing before a year and a half ago, because I wouldn't have expected it to make sense; I would have taken it as something intended to sound good, not to convey an idea. Now, however, I take it as a serious attempt to convey the speaker's idea of what international relations should be based on, and my response is something like:
It is in the interests of the whole world that power should be constrained by the limits of moral action, and used only to do the right thing. What do rules - particularly rules created largely by dictatorships - have to do with it?
Are there dangers in this view? Of course. Humans excel at rationalization for their acts, and it's easy enough to fool one's self into thinking one's actions are right. Still...should we not at least make the attempt? Look what happens when we don't bother to.

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