Friday, February 07, 2003

Do unto others? Last night, as I went to bed, after hearing some UN debate on NPR, reading so many blog entries on justifying war, and Virginia Postrel's book discussing what "natural" rights might be, I found myself questioning why I might it justifiable to overturn the leader of another country. I heard Chinese and Russian representatives to the UN defending sovereignty. What business of ours is it to "free" a people from the leadership that grew out of their own culture?

I do find it hard to simply declare things as "wrong" and go out to right those wrongs, even though I'm not a moral relativist. This is trite, but I guess I fall back on the golden rule. Do I want to be left alone by the UN and other countries, no matter what my country of residence does to me? No. If I was jailed for criticizing government policies or for marijuana possession, I would want other countries to pressure my jailors effectively to behave better. If the country I reside in forced me to wear a chador or leave my job, I would want real help from the international community to assert my rights. That doesn't even cover the proven danger Iraq poses to others besides its own citizens. The golden rule doesn't always make it clear what action to take, but in this case doesn't it suggest some effective action beyond proven ineffective UN resolutions?

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