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Things Fall Apart: When Pride Comes Before Justice

The world looks for peace from its leaders and an end to the suffering of its children. One wonders if many leaders are even capable of working towards the greater good. Many have become obsessed with victory at all costs and seem incapable of envisaging or tolerating a reality that is not completely submissive to their paradigms.

The failure of the second United Nations Human Rights Council to agree on how to address the world's worst abuses is an excellent example. There might be some parties who are rejoicing in its failure as they see it as a threat to their attempt at monolothic overseer to the world. There are others who rejoice at any setback to an impartial monitoring body, as they only want the fingers pointed at their enemies and desire that recorded history overlooks their own guilt.

When the world has gone mad from narcisstic greed and anger, it is unrealistic to claim that one party is above reproach and all the blame and restitution must be made by the other. Similarly, in a world of ever diminishing resources (or rather a world where the expanding human population exceeds the planet's carrying capacity) then we all have to accept inadequacies. With no new frontiers, elminination or removal from an enemy from a parcel of land merely defers the day of reckoning for irresponsible birth control and environmental descration through unsustainable economic models.

If we are to create a viable future for the generations to come we must take on the paradigms that lead to irresponsible economic systems and destructive power mongering. As one clever writer wrote this week: "We need a War on Error, not a War on Terror".

Some of the errors that must be taken on is posturing for publicity's sake and our reputations sake, especially where that involves nursing grudges and fueling the fires of hatred. Rather than trying to come up with resolutions that accuse and slander individual nations or leaders, the United Nations Human Rights Council would be better to start with coming up with a vision of what is justice and how to define and measure that is being achieved. Once there is a commitment to what could be, there can then be dialogue around specific case examples.

At the moment, the passions of hatred or obstucting finding true peace, and souls need to remember that there are parties who have a vested interest in sabotaging the Council because they do not want to be bound or scrutinised or held accountable for meeting that standard themselves. They are thus enemies of the truth, other nations, their own citizens and the generations to come. Any leader who thinks that it is acceptable to sabotage attempts at true peace lest it interfere with their narcisstic pursuits is an enemy of humanity.

The following bible passages seem pertinent to this discussion:

Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and conflict abounts. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. (Habbakuk 1:3-4)

For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice, no one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. (Isaiah 59:3-4)

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9)

By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. (Proverbs 29:4)

Even in the Human Rights Council, some excellent general points were made. For example. Martin Scheinan's presentation cited five current trends by States that risk violating human rights whilst trying to combat terrorism, which were:

  • resorting to the notion of "terrorism" to stigmatise political, ethnic or other movements they simply do not like;
  • questioning or compromising the absolute prohibition of torture and all forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;
  • going beyond the criminalization of incitement to commit serious crime, by penalzing "glorification" or "apology" of terrorism, or the publication of information that "could be useful" in the commission acts of terrorism;
  • justifying tightening immigratin controls by the risk of terrorism; and
  • the issue of terrorism largely replacing drug-related crime as the primary public justification for extending the powers of the police, coupled with the abandonment of many of the traditional safeguards.

Fortunately, there are some souls who are looking beyond foolish point scoring, and are asking the deeper questions. For example Australia's Chief Justice has come out against torture and fighting for the Rule of Law. There are many souls around the world praying that other nations' Court of Justices will take a similar moral position as some leaders seem hell bent on pursuing reckless paths of repression and destruction.

Links: Swiss Info Khaleej Times UN News Centre Sydney Morning Herald The Australian

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