Sunday, September 19, 2004

Failure to Enforce the Murder Laws: Life in this Pre-Civilized World

Midfielder Ahmed Manajid of the Iraqi Olympic soccer team said of President Bush: "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" (Sports Illustrated website, August 19, 2004). The answer is: fairly easily. The Bible is full of massacres, as are the Koran and the Torah. Much religious authority seems based on slaughter: if you don't obey God, God will get you -- or, more precisely, his messengers will. Many aspects of many societies have advanced beyond such barbaric thinking, but the right of authority figures to massacre is still embedded in the modern state.

Bush has said:"The hand of God is guiding the affairs of this nation." (Bush clip in "CNN Presents: The Mission of George W. Bush," August 28, 2004). But he doesn't really need to invoke the Almighty to assume the right to bomb Iraqi cities or to sponsor a local military that assassinates labor leaders in Colombia. He could be a strictly secular president leading a strictly secular nation and his right to cause the death of civilians would still go equally unquestioned.

This is because in today's pre-civilized world the murder laws are not enforced when the crimes in question are committed by people acting in a high state capacity.