The Supreme Court and the President both speak

My, my! So many things to talk about over the last few days, and so little time in which to blog! I’ll see what I can get to.

Nice to see, in today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Guantanamo Bay detainees, some branch of the federal government finally making some effort to check this administration’s abuse of power. It’s just a small step, but it is a start.

The President’s press conference this morning with the Japanese Prime Minister was, rather typically filled with unintended irony. One particular anecdote stood out.

I also talked about one of the most touching moments of my presidency, when the mom of the abducted daughter came to the Oval Office and talked to me about what it was like to have a young daughter abducted by the North Koreans. And it really broke my heart. I told the Prime Minister it was — it was a moving moment for me. I just could not imagine what it would be like to have somebody have taken, you know, my daughter — one of my daughters — and never be able to see her again. And the woman showed such great courage, Mr. Prime Minister, when she came and shared her story with me. It took everything I could not to weep, listening to her.

It also reminded me about the nature of the regime — what kind of regime would kidnap people, just take them off offshore, you know; what kind of person would not care about how that woman felt.

As I recently noted, the U.S. is responsible for the abduction of hundreds of innocent citizens of Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan. Many have been taken “offshore, you know;” to Guantanamo Bay. They have been kept indefinitely, without legal recourse or civil protections.

I wonder if the President cares about how their mothers, wives, and families felt?

How does this differ?

Of course, the President once again made the false claim that the detainees had been “picked up off of a battlefield,” implying that they were dangerous, criminals, terrorists, and enemies.

Both the President and Prime Minister Koizumi took North Korea to task for their plans to test fire a missile. They insisted that Japan and the U.S. should not be “held hostage to rockets.” But the U.S. seems to have no qualms about holding Iraq hostage with the threat of rockets and other arms.

I have no desire to see the Iraq or North Korea armed with WMDs. But as long as we claim the right to nuclear weapons, what right have we to deny that same right to others? By what virtue are we the arbiter of military might? What makes us more worthy of firepower? Just because we have the biggest military? Does might make right?

Who are we, who invaded Iraq against the concensus of the world community and the U.N, to go scolding North Korea for being isolated?

President Bush has in the past complained that North Korea’s pursuit of long-range missiles and potentially nuclear weapons violates agreements he has made with the world and the U.S. But this is the very same president who only a few years ago decided to “withdraw” from various international agreements on those same sorts of weapons. His administration has sought to pursue new WMDs and strategic weapons, such as the “bunker-buster” bombs which may yet be tested in Nevada.

This is a president who apparently very much believes “Do as I say, not as I do.”

3 Responses to “The Supreme Court and the President both speak”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    … The difference between the US kidnapping and abducting and the Koreans doing the same thing is, uh, I mean, we are fighting terror. Which means we’re always right and always justified…….
    Now unfortunately, many people do not see this kind of hypocrisy and doublespeak. They want to believe that we as a nation always do the right thing, with the same morals that many individual citizens use carefully everyday… Unfortunately, the lack of oversight/watchdog mechanisms allow the administration and others to promote their version of reality – and many people buy it happily.
    Thank you Derek for your remarks – but I have a suggestion: include a discussion about health care access as a civic right (as opposed to a for-profit, corporate driven industry). MESJ has a well -written speech by Dr. Joseph Jarvis on the topic – you can see it under library under speeches. Mass., Maine and (I think) Vermont have various state policy trials for addressing this issue. The topic of health care is near the surface across America, and really illustrates core Christian values.

  2. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Sorry, Jennifer. I don’t take requests.

    Seriously, I agree that health-care is a key issue, and one about which I am very concerned (see my prior post “Are YOU feeling Well?”). I am definitely interested in fully exploring the issue in a future blog entry. But there are no guarantees about when I’ll get to it. There are so many different issues to address! I’m trying to balance entries on the basic issues and ideology versus commmenting on events of the moment. I hope tonight to finish off an entry on patriotism, and want very much to address in the next few days such events as the recent resurgence of violence between Israel and Palestine, and Senator O’Bama’s recent speech.

    But never fear, I shall fully address health-care at some point. Thanks for the suggestion and input!

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Great ! I didn’t want to give the impression of putting pressure on you;) Your blog already covers a wide variety of topics – and I did read Obama’s speech the other day and I found it even better than people said it was. Definitely worth further examination and all.
    Best wishes and keep it up! I will check back in a few days to read the patriotic one, as we are going out of town. Have a happy and safe holiday yourself!

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