Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina and International Law

I have the unfortunate burden of being subscribed to the American Society of International Law's email list-serve. Never before have I seen such nonsensical drivel. As a conscientious scholar of international law, I do my best to sift through the garbage in order to find clear thinking analysis of important international law issues.

Recently, while attempting to do this sifting I ran across this (names omitted to protect the guilty).

Dear X,

With respect, I think you are mistaken: politics cannot be
from the law in any context. Further, neither law nor politics can
be separated
from ethics, logic, or linguistics, among other

And to whatever extent politics is thought of as being separate
from law,
or vice versa, to that extent we are not discussing politics or
law, but TYRANNY
and CRIME.

You can't separate anything from its
purpose, and the results matter:
Katrina was an act of god, but our response
to that act was ours and ours alone.
Wars happen because we instigate and
permit them; poverty and famine are
entirely the result political and legal
We have had the
capacity to live a "civilized" existence
for something like 4,000 years now, and
in all that time we have yet to
achieve it. That fact is entirely our fault, and
that fact could literally
be changed overnight by simply choosing to change it.

The only thing
stopping us is the fact that so many of us think being an
ignorant savage is
just a good idea.


It is enormously frustrating to hear such yip yap as a crisis still rages. I can only hope that the high handed arrogance of such individuals fades with experience.

1 comment:

Euan MacDonald said...

Fascinating post, Scott, but I would be interested to get some more detail from you on exactly what you found so distasteful in this exchange. Apart from an undeniable pomposity of tone, I'm not certain that, at first glance, there is much that I find particularly objectionable; indeed, there is much that I actively agree with...