Even the extreme American “legal realists” who pinned the legitimacy of ousting Saddam Hussein on the success of the subsequent nation building must have a feeling of the sand slipping out from their feet about now.
While I have posted comments on those torture photos at other peoples’ blogs, I’ve not blogged on the issue yet myself (I blame the exams that start tomorrow).
But this astonishes me. They let a General who believes Hussein and Bin Laden are the direct tools of Satan (and are waging war on the US on behalf of said anti-Christ), implement the Guantanamo-isation of the Abu Ghraib prison system.
Is it any wonder people under his command treated detainees as sub-human?
Is it any wonder the coalition has been demonised as a “new Crusade”?
This on top of a White House where a lawyer produced a memo (which admittedly sent Powell through the roof) that described the Geneva Conventions as “quaint”.
The imposition of democracy is beginning to look a lot like the imposition of the law of God, which I for one find rather disturbing.
(I had the impression God had left the day to day administration of law up to humanity about the time Moses came down from the mountain. Less flippantly, I though Christian philosophy since Aquinas had been fairly clear that while God may grant the ability to distinguish good and evil, the detail of law was up to us.)
I may have history and theory tomorrow, and maybe that’s why it comes to mind but dear old John Locke (Considerations on Representative Government, 1861) said some time ago:
“When … a set of institutions, has the way prepared for it by the opinions, tastes and habits of the people, they are not only more easily inclined to accept it, but will … be … better disposed, to do what is required of them both for the preservation of the institutions, and for bringing them into such action as enables them to produce the best results.”
In other words, if the majority aren’t behind them: “representative institutions are of little value, and may be a mere instrument for tyranny …”
Welcome to western, liberal democracy Iraq. Whether you like it or not.
For lighter fare, with equal rantage, read on ...