Thursday, May 29, 2008

The hypocrite

As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct,we
can be true or false, and the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness
against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice
of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices
except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the
perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the

Hannah Arendt

Norm asks this question:

Does a nation's sovereignty allow it to destroy its own people?

The answer is, or should be:

...we already know the answer. It shouldn't allow such destruction, as a matter not only of morality but also of international law. But too often it does allow the most blatant violation of every fundamenatal principle of both morality and law. Nothing happens. The 'realists' tut tut.

But, according to the humanitarian luminary, Jimmy Carter, there is no "of course" about such issues, as he said here:

"When I'm the president of the United States," he intoned, the voice still strong, "My country will never again torture a prisoner. When I'm the president of the United States, we will never again attack another country unless our security is directly threatened. When I'm the president of the United States, human rights will be the foundation of our foreign policy."...

This comes from the same person who said this:

There is a legal definition of genocide and Darfur does not meet that legal standard... Carter, whose charitable foundation, the Carter Center, worked to establish the International Criminal Court (ICC), said: "If you read the law textbooks ... you'll see very clearly that it's not genocide and to call it genocide falsely just to exaggerate a horrible situation I don't think it helps."

The finer points of "International Law" count only when Carter seeks to mitigate for Arab dictators' crimes. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights counts for nothing in his eyes when it comes to criticizing the foreign policies of his president.

As Norm astutely reminds us, here:

If military action is ruled out 'unless our security is directly threatened', then so much for the UN Genocide Convention, and indeed so much for human rights as a foundation of US foreign policy when their mass violation doesn't impinge on 'our security'.

The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself..


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