by liars who refuse them news,
and by fools who cannot govern.
--"The New Name," G.K. Chesterton
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights
have resulted in barbarous acts which have
outraged the conscience of mankind
--from the Preamble,
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Billy's joined the National Front
He always was a little runt
He's got his hand in the air with the other cunts
You've got to humanize yourself
--Rehumanize Yourself, The Police
Don't be tempted by the shiny apple
Don't you eat of a bitter fruit
Hunger only for a taste of justice
Hunger only for a world of truth
--All That You have is Your Soul,
When President Bush held forth on the "nation's soul," Ranger winced.
He usually discusses targets easier to hit than the soul, but has decided to give it a go: What is the soul of America, and what was it? How did we arrive where are today? Who drew this map for us, and why have we followed?
It is easy to say Hitler (Saddam, Mugabe or your tyrant du jour) was/is evil. But no tyrant exists without the support of his nation. One could say Germany was evil, independent of Hitler. He was merely a manifestation of the psychotic breakdown of a once civilized nation.
The U.S. and allies fought this evil and destroyed the Nazi regime, for a purpose. One outcome of WW II was the formation of the United Nations, and from this body was issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a general declaration of the rights of man.
The Chairman of the drafting committee, Eleanor Roosevelt, saw it as a universal "Magna Carta," though it is not a treaty and does not rise to the level of international law as it is not a ratified document. Then again, neither is the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Both are foundational documents for standards of civilized human interaction and direction.
The UDHR was a direct outgrowth of WW II to justify the expenditure of life by moving into a positive new world. 60 years ago, this is where we were, and the UDHR was an expression of our souls. These are the concepts for which our military personnel fought and died.
The U.S. now has quibblers for leaders, and we the citizens and Congress accept their blather and neglect. Whether we were deceived or whether we were hoodwinked in immaterial. We are at a crossroads and this is an indefensible location.
The last seven years have seen arguments and presidential pronouncements that the Geneva Conventions don't apply sometimes, and the constitutional concept of habeas corpus has been gutted when it applies to Terrorists.
The nice thing about the UHDR and 60 years ago was the recognition that even terrorists are primarily human, and as such are accorded basic rights, and we do this as much for us as for them. The Declaration of Human Rights is not spoken of much today, but it is relevant to the current road map of official actions toward the diminution of human rights in our Phony War on Terror ( PWOT ©).
The UDHR gives an expansive view of humanity accorded basic human dignities. The Preamble is a must-read, and Ranger will include a few of the articles below:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
How did the U.S. go from being the major proponent of the UDHR to following the twisted course laid out by some convoluted minds? And why have the people allowed it?