April 21, 2003

THE CRIME OF SARINDIPITY:

Bush and Blair and the Big Lie (ERIC MARGOLIS, April 20, 2003, Toronto Sun)
A California superior court judge sent me the following quotation, which is well worth pondering:

"We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy."

This declaration was made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel L. Jackson, America's senior representative at the 1945 Nuremberg war crimes trials, and the tribunal's chief prosecutor.

Those now exulting America's conquest of Iraq should ponder Judge Jackson's majestic words. Particularly now that the U.S.-British justifications for invading Iraq are being revealed as distortions.


This is an emblematic expression of the modern Left's position, but the important thing to note about it is the silent corollary: "We must make it clear to the Germans that had they merely gassed Jews and gypsies and not attacked neighbors, we'd have no quarrel with them." This notion, that so long as you restrict your atrocities to your own population your sovereignty will be kept inviolable by the international community, has the advantage of providing a logic for pacifism, but the obvious drawback of making even genocide a right of any state. It is in this sense that it seems fair to say that the anti-war movement is fundamentally selfish, placing their own personal desire to avoid the difficult conditions of war above the very lives of people in oppressed nations. Mr. Margolis got his wish, as Canada stayed out of the war, but it did so by siding with Saddam Hussein and his regime and against the Iraqi people. That seems a high moral price to pay for your own comfort. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2003 9:59 AM
Comments

Distortions?

Starting wars?

Hitler/Bush/Blair?

Nuremberg trials and majestic words of law?



Alterman has undoubtedly learned his craft from the Pravda school of journalistic excellence, accuracy, and (tendentious) context.



Distortions, indeed.



To paraphrase Dr. Johnson, if this be reasoned argument, then Alterman's an ass.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at April 21, 2003 12:12 PM

To Mr. Margolis:

To confuse Justice R.H. Jackson with the movie star says something about your thesis. I know it's all relative to guys like you but c'mon, make some distinctions here.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at April 21, 2003 1:25 PM

I just followed the link...



It says "Robert H. Jackson" now. Can you shed some light on this for us, Orrin?

Posted by: James Haney at April 21, 2003 1:38 PM

oj- Sorry. Thought I had Mr. Margolis in a cheap "GOTCHA". To err is human...

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at April 21, 2003 1:54 PM

I didn't change anything. They must have made the error and corrected it. It's a rather amusing one.

Posted by: oj at April 21, 2003 3:34 PM

Well, I don't know how comfortable the Canadians are.

They seem kind of upset. The honorable ones are ashamed. The dishonorable ones are concerned about the honorable ones and seem rather defensive.

Few who've written on the subject seem calm.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at April 21, 2003 3:36 PM

Well, I don't know how comfortable the Canadians are.

They seem kind of upset. The honorable ones are ashamed. The dishonorable ones are concerned about the honorable ones and seem rather defensive.

Few who've written on the subject seem calm.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at April 21, 2003 3:37 PM

Well, it's a slam dunk to say, let's invade Germany because he's offing all the Jews (although, in fact, that's not what happened). Shall we invade Mexico to save the Indians?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 21, 2003 4:06 PM

Harry:



That's not the question raised. The question is would it be morally wrong to do so?

Posted by: oj at April 21, 2003 4:58 PM

Or not to. That's the hard part.



Besides, I think you've overanalyzed Jackson's original statement.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 21, 2003 5:23 PM

I think Samuel L. Jackson would probably have said something more like "This'll teach you to f--- with us, m————---s." Which is more along the lines of what I think most people would prefer to hear.

Posted by: Timothy at April 21, 2003 5:30 PM

I don't think it's true that the left would have protected Saddam's sovreignity to point of genocide. Actually enforcing the internaltional treaty to prevent genocide strikes me as a left-wing idea, not right-wing. It's mostly left-wingers who complain that the US dimally failed to fulfill its treaty obligation to stop the genocide in Rwanda.

Posted by: Peter Caress at April 21, 2003 8:53 PM

Are they complaining about Sudan now? Not so's you'd know it.



Plenty of blame to go around, and I don't see anybody entilled to take a bow.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 21, 2003 9:18 PM
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