Monday, May 18, 2015

International law

"International law is that thing which the evil ignore and the righteous refuse to enforce." Barack Ben Canan, Exodus

When I was in eighth grade, my school had us spending one semester in shop and the other in home ec Consumer Sciences.  The latter was up in the high school, so glory of glories, I actually had access to books on my reading level for one semester of middle school, outside of the county library.  And the librarian (who'd been sneaking me a book from the high school, every now and then, when the idiot in my class reading Seuss books at fifth, sixth, and seventh grade wasn't there to be offended by someone who could read) didn't see a reason to ban me from checking out a new book every day.  I read, that year, The Thorn Birds, Dune, Wuthering Heights, and Exodus, among others. 

Leon Uris's Exodus has been one of my favorite books since then.  I re-read it often enough that my paperback started shedding pages like my cats do cat hair. 

I recently found a replacement at a used book store (in hardback!), and have been pecking at it again.  Exodus tells the story of the rebirth of Israel--and of the way the world treats the nation of Israel as the redheaded stepchild scapegoat that nobody likes. 

And shows how the application of international law is uneven, and always has been.

The uneven application of law is no law at all.  It is no more than just another stick with which those in power use to oppress those who aren't. 

Somehow, the Islamic nations are never slapped down for their blatant flouting of international law; somehow, Israel is constantly slapped down with it even when they don't break it.  Somehow, nations who never signed to nor abide by the Geneva conventions are given a pass, while civilized nations are crucified for harsh interrogation techniques that abide by the conventions.  

International law is bullshit.  The UN is not bullshit, but a clubhouse full of petty tyrants. 

I'm beginning to think, depending on the nation, the rule of law is bullshit, too, and that most nations are ruled by the same petty tyrants that infest the UN.


  1. Petty Tyrants are out there... EVERY DAY! They don't care about rule of law, they are their own law... sigh

    1. Very few in any government are anything other than petty tyrants. It's just a matter of scale.

  2. If you could here me, that's the sound of slow clapping in response to the awesome way your words capture reality.

    Having been where the rubber meets the road, international law is bullshit.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, sir.

      To be honest, it seems like our current administration is attempting to do similar to our national laws.