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Reese finally goes over the edge

September 23, 2006|by ROBERT GARY

In the article The Herald-Mail published on Sept. 7, Charley Reese has finally gone over the edge.

First, the idea of national sovereignty is essentially a European idea. The further concept that national sovereignty was something that had a legal status that nations were bound to respect arose primarily in the Anglo-American jurisprudence following the French and American revolutions.

We see in Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau and Locke the ideas that took further shape in the minds of Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison and Jay. Then we see the establishment of the United Nations in New York City, mainly with Rockefeller money, and with a globalist perspective. This organization created the final touches on giving the national sovereignty concept a legal status that nations were bound to respect.

Iran and Iraq and Syria and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and North Korea simply were not in existence when the national sovereignty concept was created, coming as it did out of the Euro-American revolutionary cauldron. Those sovereign nations received their sovereignty as part of treaties and agreements made by the so-called colonial powers, England, France, Germany, U.S. and Spain.

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It has always been the firm intent of the terrorists to use anything they can find in their legal system or our culture as a verbal weapon to alter our conduct. They think that metaphysics is as good a weapon as physics. Sea-lawyer argumentation is as good a destroyer of the West as actual bomb blasts. They will undermine us with our own cultural predilections and weaknesses if they can.

Our weakness is our guilt about doing what's necessary. Our inclination is to be law-abiding and universally respectful of other nations due to our globalist tendencies, which, in turn, arise out of "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith.

But hard cases make bad law. If it comes to a choice between a multi-kilotons bomb going off in New York City versus abiding with the niceties of disant international law, we will opt for survival.

This is not a game we are playing here. We need to be able to see past all words, all rhetoric, all metaphysics. We need to look directly at reality. The reality is that these hate-filled Islamists want to, and plan to, blow us to smithereens and will do so as soon as they can. Their ability to do so will be enormously increased when they have an atom bomb.

What would Washington say? Or Jefferson, or Franklin? Would they say the security of the nation comes second after legal niceties? I don't think so - and you know I'm right. Half of the Constitution is all about protecting the national security. The founders did not have any metaphysics in their heads that took precedence over existence itself. You see, Charley, life is the source of all rights. Life comes first, rights come second. Read "The Leviathan." It's all there. It's also in Rousseau and Machiavelli, of course.

So your idea to just let them have the bomb is dumb and very misguided, which is unusual for you, Charley Reese. You get so many things right, but then you get this big thing so terribly wrong. Did this idea come to you from outer space; were you floating in outer space as you received this idea? It seems that you are.

I won't deny that your article has a certain objectivity, and even-handedness about it. It puts the U.S. in its place as a nonexceptional nation, (i.e. as a nation that has perfect equality with all other nations). The problem with your idea is not that it is unbeautiful or unappealing to the ACLU or the Wobblies. The problem is that it is nutty and suicidal and tends to lead your readers astray. This is not a game. The ethics of intention do not apply in international real politics. In that arena, the ethics of results are all that count. If people followed your advice and let the Iranians build a bomb, and Washington, D.C., goes up in a mushroom-shaped cloud of nuclear fire, I know you would be the first one to step up and say "It was me, Charley - this was my doing - I am at fault - please forgive me - I didn't know what I was saying - I didn't intend this result - that article on Sept. 7, 2006 - I didn't mean anything by it."

Right, Charley, you didn't.

To be fair to you, I will point out that not everything you say in that article is incorrect or misguided. Your comments about Bush are true.

He has a screw loose when it comes to transforming the Middle East and he is woefully ignorant about all aspects of what he's doing over there. Well, almost all aspects - he's not wrong about the idea that there will be no Iranian atom bomb. He's probably the most knowledge-free, most destructive president the U.S. has ever had, but he's not wrong about his doctrine of pre-emptive war.

When he wages one to take away the nuclear facilities in Iran, I will be on his side, not because bombing other nations is a fine and good thing to do, but because it is good to do what it is necessary to do. And life comes first, ahead of legal niceties.

Robert Gary is a retired officer of the Judge Advocate General Corps who lives in Hagerstown.

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