Monday, November 14, 2005

Morality Monday

My apologies for the lateness of the post, but I've been quite sick today. Without further ado, here's the question:

Is it right for America to invade and overturn Islamic theocracies? Is it something we should do more often?

My answer is yes. When a country or dictator is oppressing its people, especially its women, the United States has an obligation as the world's sole remaining superpower to make sure people aren't being tortured and killed across the globe. In Saudi Arabia (and many other mideastern countries) women are imprisoned and stoned to death for crimes from adultery to being in public without a male escort. My problem with these dictatorships and theocracies is mainly their treatment of women. Obviously America can't legislate its own morality with an iron fist, invading any country with different cultures than us, but there are things about which reasonable people cannot disagree. One of those things is the right of women to an equal place in society.


Anonymous big brother said...

Warrior Politics by Robert Kaplan addresses this issue. A government should only be destabilized and replaced if the new regime is going to be better than the current situation. This is an extremely difficult evaluation to make.It might seem like you have the answer beforehand, but a friend one day can be your worst enemy tomorrow. You have to weigh the current "known" evils to potential "evils".

1:19 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

One of those things is the right of women to an equal place in society.

Obviously America can't legislate its own morality with an iron fist, invading any country with different cultures than us,

And there's the problem. The invasion/overturning thing is legislating our own morality with an iron fist. As Iraq shows, this is a difficult and often hopeless task. We don't have the resources to go right all wrongs like superman, and unlike superman, our actions would be considered imperialist, which they surely would be (again unlike superman).

1:51 PM  
Blogger Fishfrog said...

Brother brings up a good point about the future being more uncertain and potentially worse than the present. However, if the United States had unlimited manpower and fewer financial constraints (neither of which is the case), I would be in favor of roling the dice again and again until we find a regime that does not systematically abuse human rights.
Matt, if we did have unlimited resources, would you still be against intervening to stop stoning and genital mutilation? To put it in terms of superman, would it be OK for superman to fly in and save a Saudi Arabian woman from being flogged or raped, or would supeman be bound to respect the controlling norms of the societies into which he flew? Does he fight for the American Way only because he's in America, or would he fight for those same values anywhere on earth?

3:19 PM  
Blogger Xeno said...

My question is why is the question always about Ialamic theocracies? There are several places around the world that have governments just as bad or worse. If we really were to try to act on our beliefs of right and wrong we would be obliged to go to all these places.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Fishfrog said...

Agreed Xeno, I just used Islamic theocracies to typify the type government I was talking about. Some of the worst human rights offenders are in Africa. Probably the biggest offender is China. Whenever a government singles out specific groups and subjects them to hideous treatment, they go on my list of countries to overthrow. Actually, check back soon and I'll publish a list of countries to overthrow.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous CDAWG said...

I think that invading another country to free people from an abusive and tyranical government is not a bad thing, the french did it for us. I think we cross the line when we stick around and try to tell these newly freed people how to run their country. They need to run their own country

7:21 PM  

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