Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Iraq: No Chance Of Perpetual Peace?

In 1795, Immanuel Kant wrote an essay with a ‘charter’ detailing the steps that should be taken for perpetual peace:

1. "No Treaty of Peace Shall Be Held Valid in Which There Is Tacitly Reserved Matter for a Future War"
2. "No Independent States, Large or Small, Shall Come under the Dominion of Another State by Inheritance, Exchange, Purchase, or Donation"
3. "Standing Armies (fulltime professional soldiers) Shall in Time Be Totally Abolished"
4. "National Debts Shall Not Be Contracted with a View to the External Friction of States"
5. "No State Shall by Force Interfere with the Constitution or Government of Another State"
6. "No State Shall, during War, Permit Such Acts of Hostility Which Would Make Mutual Confidence in the Subsequent Peace Impossible: Such Are the Employment of Assassins (percussores), Poisoners (venefici), Breach of Capitulation, and Incitement to Treason (perduellio) in the Opposing State"

Three Definitive Articles would provide not merely a cessation of hostilities, but a foundation on which to build a peace.
1. "The Civil Constitution of Every State Should Be Republican"
2. "The Law of Nations Shall be Founded on a Federation of Free States"
3. "The Law of World Citizenship Shall Be Limited to Conditions of Universal Hospitality"

Kant’s general idea holds a close resemblance to modern democratic theory. In essence, his articles seem simple in theory yet they are certainly difficult to implement.

The case of Iraq, an alleged attempt by the US to proliferate democratic ideals within a dictatorial ridden society has probably invalidated every step of Kant’s charter to perpetual peace.

Steps 2, 3 and 6 of the aforementioned steps are relevant to the case of Iraq. All three have certainly been violated. Iraq is far from any chance of perpetual peace at this point. The recent events in Haditha have yet again brought the US in the ‘wrong’ spotlight. Along with the Abu Ghraib incident, the US should start to be careful with its seemingly endless effort to ‘eradicate’ human rights abuses around the world when the country itself has been a perpetrator itself.

The US administration is certainly not using Kant’s charter to perpetual peace as its guidance in Iraq. How long will it be? Does the US have a threshold? How will the international community react when the US continues to use its double standards in Iraq? In light of Abu Ghraib and Haditha, does the US really value human life the way they portray in the eyes of the public?


Blogger programmer craig said...

Criminality will never cease to exist. Some societies punish criminals (including those who violate somebodies rights or commit war crimes) and some don't. Some even reward mass murderers and torturers, for a job well done.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why are the "crimes" of Abu Gharib, Gitmo and Haditha ANY DIFFERENT to the countless crimes committed by muslims??

Why the double standard?

What about every hostage who gets their head sawed off by muslims not matter? What about the countless crimes committed by Zarqawi, Bin Laden, Zawihir...does "Kant's Charter" not exist for them...only America?

If you hate this countr so damn much then what the hell are you doing here??

Sounds like you might another one of those Apologists that I'm so sick of...whatever.


11:12 AM  
Anonymous jodetoad said...

Kant is a big name, but nobody has ever been able to match his points you enumerated. This is the real world.

As programmer craig said, we in the US do prosecute and punish our criminals. No society or army in history has been free of criminals, and we are human beings like everyone else.

You ask, "does the US really value human life the way they portray in the eyes of the public?".
I say Yes, we do. We are imperfect, but we try. It is better to try than to sit back and whine.

1:49 PM  
Blogger The Egyptian Observer said...

@progammer craig. Absolutely, criminality will certainly never cease to exist. Kant is an idealist par excellance. He would be very disappointed to see the modern world manifest in to a racist and violent-ridden place to live.

Kant is a good place to start, to see how the world has deviated from a POTENTIALLY safe, free and happy place.

Those societies which reward criminals for a job well done do not consider them criminals. The problem of the 'eye of the beholder' has plagued all conflicts around the world. Who would ever think they are wrong? It is the most difficult thing to admit.

9:15 AM  
Blogger The Egyptian Observer said...

@anonymous. The difference between the atrocities I mentioned is the nature of the perpetrator; i.e. state and non-state actor.

The United States (a state actor) is responsible for Haditha, Gitmo and Abu Ghraib whereas al-Zarqawi (a renegade Muslim outcast; a non-state actor) is responsible for the killings in Iraq.

Kant's charter is only applied to nation-states and countries NOT multi-national organizations (al Qaeda) whose members come from all over the globe. Al-Qaeda does not represent anything close to what Islam advocates whereas the US government has a responsibility for its own citizens and for the world.

I am here because I am gaining the best I can out of this country, nothing else. Please think of the initial antagonist in every single conflict in the Middle East and then wonder who's the Apologist.

Remember the first Iraq war, the US' support of Saddam, the Iran-contra scandal, the creation of Bin Laden in the 1970s against the Soviet Union etc etc etc.

So where the should charter be applied? To the perpetrator and creator of the seed of evil OR the product of that seed of evil?

9:23 AM  

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