Tuesday, September 20, 2005

News: buried but hugely important

Kofi Annan and almost all member nations managed to overcome objections from John Bolton (the US representative to the UN who had to be an interim appointee for Bush because Bolton has been such an asshole to so many people for so long) to retain language in the UN's 60th anniversary declaration that makes explicit the "right to protect." It was carefully kept out of the US press, but the Guardian website reports that "the world community has the right to take military action in the case of "national authorities manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity".

What this means, of course, is that the world community has a duty to take military action in such cases. Further, that any member nation which fails to take such action, in the case of "national authorities manifestly failing to protect their populations," is culpable in such crimes against humanity.

To quote Jeb Bartlett, "Congratulations, folks. We've got ourselves a doctrine."

Now it's a question of getting greedy and cowardly world leaders to employ that doctrine in cases of human rights, rather than only in cases of oil or imperialism.

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