Saturday, April 02, 2011

Just who is responsible?

I want to make a comparison, because I thing it's apt. Bear with me.

A young woman decides to go to a party.  At that party, she has a bit too much to drink and passes out in a bedroom.  A young man takes this as an indication of her willingness to have sex, so he rapes her.  Is the rape her fault, for not knowing her limit?  Is it her fault for going to the party alone, or passing out in a bedroom?  Or is the rape, a crime of violence, not sex, the sole fault of the young man?

Different woman gets dressed for a night on the town.  She's meeting friends, and they are going clubbing.  She dresses to show off her figure, and parks near the club where she will meet her friends.  As she walks the short distance to the club, she is pulled into an alley and raped.  Is the rape her fault, for dressing provocatively, or for walking past an alley, or for any other reason, or is the rape solely the fault of the rapist?

In either case, in any case, does a woman (or a man) DESERVE to be raped?  Or is rape, of any kind, the fault of the rapist?

Let's apply our framework here to Terry Jones burning a Koran.

A pastor in Florida burns a Koran.  Mohammetans in Afghanistan cry "Infidel!  I Keel You!" and march downtown, protest at the UN headquarters in Mazir-e--Sherif, murder 20 UN workers, and burn a bunch of buildings.  Are Pastor Jones' actions the cause of the protest?  Did he incite the riot?  Encourage the mahommetans to murder?  Or was his action completely separate from them?  Or does the responsibility to live peacefully in a society, to not murder, to not burn and destroy,  rest on the shoulders of the people who live in that society?

Who is responsible for the rioting, murdering, and arson?  The people who committed it.  Who is responsible for inciting them to riot?  THEIR leaders.

When, in November 1979, Iranians stormed our embassy in Terran, and took our diplomats hostage, did Americans race to their embassy in DC, storm the gates, and take their diplomats hostage?  Or did we try diplomatic means to free them, and when that failed and we shuttered the Iranian embassy in April 1980, did we respect the diplomats' right to immunity and allow them to leave? 

The UN's response to attacks like these, in any country, should be to immediately pull ALL support, ALL personnel and missions, out, permanently.  Same applies for US missions and embassies.  Attack our embassies, attack our diplomats, and we're gone, and diplomatic ties (including our foreign aid) are severed.  Even if the rioting is done by "troublemakers," the country remains responsible for enforcing laws and lawful actions.  If a nation cannot control its own people--allowing peaceful protest, but controlling rioting, then the US has no business being there.   When the government can take responsibility, and actually enforce its laws, we might consider returning.

The responsible thing for that government to do is to round up 20 of the identified protesters, find their imams, find their "leaders" and chain all of them to the fence at the UN compound (what's left of it) and give them Soweto Necklaces Pour encourager les autres.

Let them hate us, as long as the fear us.


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