Rule of Law vs Rule of Person (round 2 in Lebanon)
George Galloway is quite good at rhetoric. He understands that an effective speech has patterns of words in it.
I spoke yesterday at a meeting of the Pakistan People's Party in Birmingham when Benazir Bhutto visited. I approached the issue of the Middle East from the perspective of the "Rule of Law". One of my favourite phrases partly because it mixes an element of poetry with a number of good concepts is.
"You cannot have justice without security, but also you cannot have security without justice."
The point about this is that if you really want secure peace and calm you need to follow the rule of Law.
The link is to George Galloway at a demonstration where he says that he is there to "glorify" Hezbollah and their leader.
The conflict in the Middle East is one in which all sides have committed heinous acts of barbarism. Israel and the US and the UK governments are using the excuse of the capturing of soldiers to attack Hezbollah (and kill hundreds of children as a result). Hezbollah are keeping the conflict going by chucking random missiles at Israeli cities.
The obvious first step is a ceasefire. There a number of conspiracy theories which involve Messrs Bush and Blair being instructed by God to widen the boundaries of Israel until it reaches the Euphrates. My own feeling is that the Civil Servants and Ministers are so exacerbated by the activities of organisations such as Hezbollah that they have stopped thinking objectively.
It is important to remember that on both? sides in the Middle East there are people who want revenge more than peace. After this there will be more, exactly how many more is unclear. As with the concept of Social Capital which is measured by opinion survey I think it is worth having a concept of Peace Capital which would be measured by knowing what proportion of the population of a state would prefer peace to revenge. The movement of this balance of opinion drives military action.
Taqiyya assists in ensuring that we cannot really be clear as to what is happening in Southern Lebanon.
However, there is a danger that more and more people will take the "Rule of Person" approach of taking sides in this conflict rather than attempting the objective application of the rule of laws such as International Humanitarian Law.