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Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein:

The trial of Saddam Hussein was mired in controversy from start to finish. Opponents of the Iraq invasion attacked it from the outset, and many international law experts questioned whether a domestic tribunal, such as that created to try Hussein and other members of his regime, was an appropriate means to prosecute a head of state for his alleged crimes against humanity. Many would have preferred a truly international tribunal, such as the International Criminal Court or a tribunal like that which had been used for the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. Others raised concerns about the tribunal's occasionally chaotic proceedings and its authorization of the death penalty, in accordance with Iraqi law. Such criticisms notwithstanding, it is likely the tribunal will be recognized as a landmark in international criminal law, and not simply because it successfully tried and convicted Hussein for some of the atrocities committed by his regime.

The story of the Hussein trial, from the creation of the tribunal through Hussein's conviction and execution, is told in Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein by Vanderbilt law school's Michael Newton and my colleague Michael Scharf. Both participated in the development of the tribunal. As a consequence, the book offers a detailed, inside account of the court's creation and its proceedings, including gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial itself and legal analysis of its decision. The book offers many insights and revelations omitted by contemporary media accounts, and places the tribunal in its broader international law context.

While some disparaged the decision to try Hussein before a domestic tribunal, as opposed to an international tribunal or the International Criminal Court, the book convinced me that such criticisms were misguided. Conducting the trial in an Iraqi court, and relying upon Iraqi law, helped legitimize the trial within Iraq and could serve to reinforce rule-of-law values in the country going forward. There is an inevitable hint of "victor's justice" in any trial of a former head of state, but relying upon a domestic court reduced the taint. The ICC was also not an option because the crimes for which Hussein was tried occurred before the ICC's creation in 2002, depriving that court of jurisdiction, and the tribunal took account of international law principles in its work.

The trial itself was hardly perfect — at times it was quite chaotic, largely due to the defense team's efforts to disrupt the proceedings — but I think it will become a landmark in international criminal law. I suspect it will influence future war crimes tribunals as well. In particular, the tribunal may encourage greater reliance upon domestic war crimes tribunals in lieu of international courts. At present, Michael Scharf is working with the government of Uganda to create a war crimes tribunal for the trial of Joseph Kony and other leaders of the LRA for their atrocities. Because the ICC was explicitly created as a court of law resort, it only makes sense for countries like Uganda to try and conduct domestic trials first. The Iraqi tribunal provides a model for how that can be done, as well as some lessons for what mistakes to avoid. As such, the precedents set by the tribunal are likely to be among the more important legal legacies of the Iraq war.

corneille1640 (mail):
I do have a question about the law(s) Hussein was convicted of violating. Were these laws already on the books when Hussein committed the crimes or where the laws ex post facto, passed after Hussein's ouster?
1.22.2009 9:17am
Houston Lawyer:
If Hussein had been tried before an international court of some kind, that trial would still be going on. Justice delayed is justice denied.
1.22.2009 9:22am
Oren:
My only problem with the whole fiasco -- Saddam Hussein was an officer in the Iraqi army and is entitled by the customs of war to be executed by firing squad.
1.22.2009 9:36am
UR Confused (mail):
Hellooooo, B. Obama is president. There will be no more war.
1.22.2009 9:38am
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
I had not realised - had never done the homework - that the ICC is supposed to be a court of last resort. Thanks for the info.
1.22.2009 10:00am
wfjag:

Were these laws already on the books when Hussein committed the crimes

Contrary to popular misconceptions -- many of which were spread by US State Dept personnel who were assigned to the Coalition Provisional Authority to set up a post-war gov't and "journalists" who reported from the Green Zone pools and bars -- Iraq had a well-developed legal system and, at least in areas that were outside the direct concern of the ruling Ba'athist Party, a reasonably independent judiciary that was well educated. Iraqi law and its judicial system were modeled on the French system, which had been adapted by Egypt to include fundamental tenents of Islam and Arab culture. The CPA screwed things up by ignoring the established body of law and legal system.

As far as laws on the books -- murder was already a crime in Iraq. Ordering others to commit mass murders (like the poison gas attacks on Kurdish villages) was a crime. Being "President" of Iraq wasn't a recognized defense.

And, "No" Oren, he wasn't entitled to a firing squad. He was not executed for acts as a Soldier, and so not entitled to the honor of a firing squad. He was hung, because that is how common criminals are traditionally executed.
1.22.2009 10:00am
Thoughtful (mail):
Titling the book Enemy of the State is surely wrong. Saddam Hussein WAS the State. Ibsen is surely rolling in his grave.
1.22.2009 10:01am
Anderson (mail):
explicitly created as a court of law resort

Aren't they all?

He was not executed for acts as a Soldier

Ordering the use of poison gas on alleged rebels isn't "an act as a soldier"?

Not that I'm terribly clear on exactly what he was convicted for, or what the relevant laws prescribe. We did hang the capital convicts at Nuremberg, all of whom were found guilty of crimes against humanity.
1.22.2009 10:04am
RPT (mail):
It seems very odd that for all of the Bush Adminstration's concern about gathering information form captured "terrorists", that there was apparently no such interrogation of or information gathering from SH. There was no practical barrier to such and he would have been able to address and resolve many of the controversies which remain today. Was this because the facts would not be helpful to Bush, Rumsfeld (his old friend), Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz, et al?
1.22.2009 10:05am
Oren:

And, "No" Oren, he wasn't entitled to a firing squad. He was not executed for acts as a Soldier, and so not entitled to the honor of a firing squad. He was hung, because that is how common criminals are traditionally executed.

He ordered the murder of those Kurds while acting in the capacity of Commanding Officer of the Iraqi Army. No matter how vile he is, he cannot possibly be considered a common criminal.
1.22.2009 10:07am
Anderson (mail):
Dunno if Wikipedia's reliable here, but:

On 5 November 2006, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging, for the killing of 148 Shiites from Dujail, in retaliation for the assassination attempt of 8 July 1982.

This was a reprisal against a village (not Kurdish) where some lively opponents of the regime fired on Saddam's convoy. I think it's arguably "military," but I'm not going to lose any sleep over exactly how Saddam met his end.
1.22.2009 10:16am
Sarge6 (mail):
RPT: Good Lord. Saddam was interrogated every day for months. Google "George Piro."
1.22.2009 10:21am
CrimeDog:
RPT:
Saddam was interrogated at length over time by a team of FBI Agents brought in to work closely with CIA. In fact, the lead interogator has published a book (title escapes me, but as Casey Stengel said, You could look it up), reocunting some of his experiences in forming a bond and trust with SH during the course of interrogations.

The "international community" was adamantly opposed to creation of a domestic Iraq tribunal, primarily because it blocked their desire to have a perpetual source of employment and cocktail party stories if they could recreate another ICTY in the Hague; also they opposed any regime that even hinted at a death pealty; and recall at that time, the world liberal cognoscenti and intelligetsia were already mobilizing to oppose anything associated with Bush Adminstration policy. European countries wouldn't send forensic or criminal investigators to assist the Regime Crimes Liaison Office for these and other reasons; nor would they let their indivdual experts "volunteer" unofficially even when they wanted to do so. Unfortunately, most of the career foreign service and State Dept lawyers were more closely allied in outlook and opinion with that mindset, than supportive of the administration, and their actions within State and CPA reflected that. AMB Pierre Prosper and his at large DOS office for war crimes were also eternally peeved that the lead agency appointed in USG was DOJ, and they had been passed over (for much the same reasosns stated above -- Condoleeza Rice, while still WH Nat Sec Adviser and before she went native at Foggy Bottom, directed AG Ashcroft to take the lead, as the federal prosecutors were seen as more likely to go in, do the job, and get out -- as opposed to the career international lawyers and human rights specialists. DOD on the other hand had their hands full and wanted no more responsibility than they already had.)
1.22.2009 10:25am
wfjag:
Dear Oren:
We hung Nazis as common criminals, too. That they were in uniform when they committed their crimes did not entitle them to the honor of a firing squad.

And, Saddam was not tried by a military tribunal. He was tried as a criminal, and punished as one.
1.22.2009 10:41am
wfjag:
Dear Oren:

To be a little more specific, the following military Officers were sentenced to death by hanging at the main trial at Nuremburg:

Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (committed suicide before his scheduled execution);

Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, Head of Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) 1938-1945. Sentenced to death by hanging and executed in that manner;

Generaloberst Alfred Jodl, Chief of the O.K.W.'s Operations Division 1938-1945. Sentenced to death by hanging and executed in that manner.

For the types of crimes of which Saddam was convicted, there is no precedent supporting his receiving the honor of death by firing squad. However, there is precedent for death by hanging, like a common criminal.
1.22.2009 11:07am
Jonathan Rubinstein (mail) (www):
Why he was not simply assassinated with several missiles as was necessary since he clung to power only by making war is a question for the future. No doubt the trial was a novel experience for many Iraqis and may even introduce something new in Islamic jurisprudence, but do not hold your breaths. This was not Baby Doc Duvalier who could be trusted to play video games and chase tail. He needed to die, we did not need to create a bogus reason for it including the demeaning claims put forward by the fools who no longer are in charge.
1.22.2009 11:27am
Dennis Nicholls (mail):
Jonathan,

We did try to kill him at the outbreak of the war using Tomahawks with missions planned for a place he was staying. Unfortunately after they were launched he moved on to another safe-house.

In retrospect it would have been better if the soldiers who captured him had just shot Saddam. He came out of his hole brandishing a handgun, so he was technically in armed resistance and hence legal to shoot.
1.22.2009 11:48am
Rock On:
I need to get something off my chest. If someone is executed by hanging, they have been hanged. Not "hung".

There, I feel better.
1.22.2009 12:06pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
One point that is missing here is that the appearance of political motivation in an execution can be damaging in the long-term. Consider the following stanza from MacPherson's Rant:

Reprieve was comming o'er the brig o' Banff
Tae set MacPherson free
They pu'd the clock aye a quarter forward
And they hanged him frae the tree....

This commemorated a controversial hanging nearly four hundred years ago. Sometimes the perception of injustice can become larger-than-life. Nowadays, the folk music tradition suggests MacPherson was set up for his (probable) crimes.

In 2040, will we see Saddam living on as the hero of folk song? What a way to win undying fame.....
1.22.2009 12:18pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
the entire trial was a farce, NOT because it wa iraqi, but because it made no attempt to actually account for saddam's worst actions. rather, they tried him for one crime against shiites, because that is all that the shiite govertnment of iraq wanted him tried for. then he was quickly executed in such a sloppy and undignified manner that even president bush criticized it.

i am sorry, but despite this new book's valiant attempts at water carrying for the administration and movement consevativism, the trial and execution of saddam will be remembered as the farce that they were, nothing more than one tribe's revenge on another.
1.22.2009 12:33pm
JBJones (mail):
Dennis Nicholls-

Are you sure he came out with a handgun? I was stationed in Tikrit and several friends were actually present at the time of his capture, and I have never before heard he had a weapon.
1.22.2009 12:48pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

entire trial was a farce


So says you. Is there any doubt of his guilt? He was given an opportunity to defend himself, no matter how limited. Way more than he deserved.

Though why waste a trial? The Romanians and Italians had a better idea about how to deal with tyrants.


sloppy and undignified manner


Good. The more he suffered the better.

Dignity for Saddam!!!
1.22.2009 1:05pm
Kent Scheidegger (mail) (www):
"The ICC was also not an option because the crimes for which Hussein was tried occurred before the ICC's creation in 2002...."

Another reason for the ICC not being an option for crimes of the magnitude here is that the ICC is impotent when it comes to sentence. The most it can impose is life imprisonment, which would have been a travesty in this case.

The ICC should simply be abolished, given that it cannot impose an adequate punishment in the cases it was created to adjudicate.
1.22.2009 1:08pm
RPT (mail):
CrimeDog:

Thanks for that information. It still appears to me that a lot of useful and incriminating information was made inaccessible by his death. He should have been publicly tried for all of the crimes upon which, among other reasons, the war was rationalized.
1.22.2009 1:24pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Bob from Ohio:

You cannot both claim (as the authors do) that Saddam's trial will be remembered BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY as a great accomplishment, and simultaneously believe that Saddam should have been executed in the sloppiest and most undignified way possible, despite the condemnations of the international community (including Bush, who is no shrinking violet when it comes to the death penalty).

In other words, you could write another book about how it doesn't matter that Saddam wasn't tried for his worst crimes, that he was essentially executed in an act of tribal revenge, and that his trial and execution was seen as a farce by the international community, because justice was done. That might even be a very good book. But it isn't the one that was written or that Adler was praising. And the one that was written pretends that this farcical process will be viewed by future generations as a modern-day Nuremburg. THAT is clearly false.
1.22.2009 1:27pm
David Drake:
Dilan Esper--there were LOTS of other charges against him but the Iraqis decided to hang him for the ones he was convicted of. As they had a right to do. And which worked out best for Iraq, in my opinion, by potentially hastening reconciliation of Sunnis and Shia. You can only execute a man once, no matter how many crimes he committed.

This was not the Nuremberg tribunal. It was simply a way to bring the case and Hussein's life to closure.
1.22.2009 1:30pm
David Drake:
Sounds to me like RPT and Dilan Esper would like to have had more trials in which, they surmise, some of the reasons underlying the decision to invade Iraq and depose Hussein were exposed as false or fallacious and the horrors of the Bush Administration were rehearsed yet again. Gentlemen, am I wrong?
1.22.2009 1:37pm
Crunchy Frog:
Dilan Esper - The reason the Iraqis tried SH on the charges they did was that those were the easiest to prove, and that he could be tried for purely internal Iraqi crimes, not requiring any international input.

It's not like there isn't precedent for this. Al Capone was charged and convicted for tax evasion - not the more heinous behavior he was involved in. Why? Because they could, that's why.
1.22.2009 1:48pm
Let's See:
Kent,

Your suggestion that the ICC should be abolished merely because it cannot mete out a death penalty is absurd. A life sentence is punishing and incapacitating - and for many convicts, a fate worse than an "honorable" soldier's execution.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia - in all - cost over $400 million. Saddam's trial was faster and cheaper and more legitimate, and it reached the correct result.

But I disagree that it "legitimized the trial within Iraq and served to reinforce rule-of-law values in Iraq." The executioners were shouting "Go To Hell" and partisan and Shi'a slogans like "Long Live Muqtada!" which, in the execution of a Sunni, gives the impression of a sectarian lynch mob. Yes, they ostensibly killed him pursuant to the court judgment, immediately upon after gaining custody of Saddam from the Americans.

But I have no doubt that they would have killed him in the same manner anyway had the Americans transferred custody to them without a judgment, without a conviction.
1.22.2009 1:57pm
The Unbeliever:
<blockquote>Because the ICC was explicitly created as a court of law resort,</blockquote>That was my understanding of it as well. It speaks well to a country that they did not NEED to export their criminals due to lack of a will to prosecute.
<blockquote>He ordered the murder of those Kurds while acting in the capacity of Commanding Officer of the Iraqi Army. No matter how vile he is, he cannot possibly be considered a common criminal.</blockquote>Which is an interesting point, I suppose: if a soldier commits a crime and is subject to military justice, then that military organization is presumably responsible for his trial and sentencing. However, the Iraqi Army was famously disbanded (the wisdom of that move and de-Baathification is still debatable) shortly after Sadaam was toppled; who, then, actually has authority to try him?

I suppose the new Iraqi Army could try him, but there's not an obvious continuity that I'm aware of which makes them hold the obvious jurisdiction. Presumably the sovereign <i>country</i> of Iraq never ceased to exist during the Coalition invasion, only its government was eliminated; so Iraq itself, and its civilian courts, get the first shot at him (no pun intended).

IANAL or an expert in international military law, but it seems to me that you can only try someone as a solidier under the codes of the military organization he was a member of. Incidentally, can you try a soldier for violation of military law, if that solidier <i>created</i> the law for the military in question? Has anyone checked the old Iraqi Army field manuals for a line that said "do not gas citizens for political reasons"?

In any case, I suppose I would not object if Sadaam demanded to be hung in uniform, instead of his prison garb. But it's too late to argue his final fashion statement, I suppose.
1.22.2009 1:57pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Dilan Esper: I was not defending the book. I have not and will not read it. I would not have supported original Nuremburg* so I am not interested in defending a "modern-day Nuremburg".

I was merely pointing out that the trial was not a farce. It gave a great deal of process to a man who was not deserving. It was probably better run than OJ Simpson's, for example.

Once he was sentenced to death, what use is dignity during the execution? The "international community" does not believe in death penalties anyways.


*(Kietel, Jodl and the others should have been executed but there was no justification for a procedure where Soviet "judges" participated. Tainted the whole proceeding. Not to mention the "aggressive war" charge was totally ex post facto. And stupid.

The later US only trial system was also an error since it resulted in many evil men being either released early or not tried at all because we needed Germany against the Soviets.)
1.22.2009 2:30pm
Let's See:

Once he was sentenced to death, what use is dignity during the execution?


So that the judgment is seen as carried out by the People of Iraq, not by fanatics shouting "Go to Hell Sunni Bastard" and "Muqtada"?

So that a country in a slow-boil civil war isn't further divided by sectarian factions?

In America, when a sentence is handed down, often you hear "May God have mercy on your soul." What happened in Iraq would be the equivalent of "I hope you suffer in hell n*gger."
You don't see how this could cause resentment and ethnic tensions?
1.22.2009 2:52pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"You cannot both claim (as the authors do) that Saddam's trial will be remembered BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY as a great accomplishment, and simultaneously believe that Saddam should have been executed in the sloppiest and most undignified way possible, despite the condemnations of the international community (including Bush, who is no shrinking violet when it comes to the death penalty)."

The people who call themsleves the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY didn't like it. So what? One sign of a healthy nation state is that it handles its own affairs without regard to what the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY thinks.

Can anyone tell us of a single case where the US has handed over an American to the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY for trial? I'm not aware of any.

Can anyone tell us what the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY is?

Why does the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY capitalize itself?
1.22.2009 3:14pm
Anderson (mail):
Anyone who dismisses Dilan's point that the Shiite gov't didn't care to convict Saddam for the murder of Kurds, is out of touch with reality.

I mean, hell, the Shiites probably wanted to reserve for themselves future Kurd-killing privileges; they sure as hell didn't want to establish it as a crime.
1.22.2009 3:33pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Sounds to me like RPT and Dilan Esper would like to have had more trials in which, they surmise, some of the reasons underlying the decision to invade Iraq and depose Hussein were exposed as false or fallacious and the horrors of the Bush Administration were rehearsed yet again. Gentlemen, am I wrong?

You are. This is a complicated question-- there are all sorts of options for deposed leaders accused of human rights violations, from exile to simply stringing them up.

The merit of having a trial is that you get a chance for a full and fair airing of the human rights violations, and some sort of accounting to the victims. That's why Nuremburg is such a great model-- whatever else you want to say about it, it makes Holocaust denial a lot harder to pull off.

The process that Saddam went through didn't achieve any real advantage over just stringing him up. Indeed, it made his execution look even less legitimate, just a dressed up form of tribal violence. And it is way too early to tell whether it will really bring closure to the matter, or whether Sunni radicals and Baathists or their successors will remember this the next time they are in power.
1.22.2009 4:08pm
Benjamin Davis (mail):
Michael Scharf and Michael Newton are hardly neutral observers. They are defending their work in the book I suspect which is their right of course. The problems of the trial have been noted extensively by so many people in international criminal law that I am fairly certain it will only be a landmark in the sense of how not to do this and have a fair procedure.
Best,
Ben
1.22.2009 6:30pm
TCO:
We should have hung him 2003. And then left Iraq. Give me a battalion of marines and I could literally eliminate Somali pirates. Little shores of Tripoli action and some beys twisting in the wind. Let's do it. Really. Let's do it. Then the lawyers here can chat about split verbs related to it.
1.22.2009 8:04pm
RPT (mail):
"David Drake:

Sounds to me like RPT and Dilan Esper would like to have had more trials in which, they surmise, some of the reasons underlying the decision to invade Iraq and depose Hussein were exposed as false or fallacious and the horrors of the Bush Administration were rehearsed yet again. Gentlemen, am I wrong?"

It is certain that we would have learned the answers to many questions. With so much support for the interrogation of everyone else, why is there such conservative opposition to the appropriate interrogation of this guy? It reminds me of the scene in "Valkyrie" where the general involved in the coup planning tried to save himself had the others plotters killed before they could be questioned and implicate him. Of course, that only bought him another few months.....
1.22.2009 8:29pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
elliot:

One sign of a healthy nation state is that it handles its own affairs without regard to what the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY thinks.


One sign of an educated citizen is that he has some awareness of statements made by our Founders. The first sentence of the Declaration of Independence talks about having "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind." In Washington's first inaugural address, he talked about creating a government which could "command the respect of the world."

What a shame that Jefferson and Washington didn't have you to advise them about the proper characteristics of "a healthy nation state."

=====================
rpt:

With so much support for the interrogation of everyone else, why is there such conservative opposition to the appropriate interrogation of this guy?


Because Saddam may have decided to mention the way Reagan and Rummy assisted him with lots of useful goodies, like cluster bombs, anthrax, bubonic plague and deadly pesticides (deadly against humans, that is).

And of course Reagan and Rummy did this right around the same time that Saddam was gassing civilians. We were helping a war criminal, but that was OK, because he was our war criminal. Better for all that to be forgotten.
1.23.2009 10:20am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Saddam was tried by his enemies. What happened to the idea of trial by an impartial judge and jury?

Rock On said,
I need to get something off my chest. If someone is executed by hanging, they have been hanged. Not "hung".

Reminds me of that joke in the movie "Blazing Saddles" --

Charlie: They said you was hung!

Sheriff Bart: And they was right!
1.23.2009 12:50pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"The first sentence of the Declaration of Independence talks about having "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind."

That has always been an interesting idea. So, which opinions and which men?
1.23.2009 1:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
which men?


The ones who are worth taking seriously. Not you, in other words.
1.24.2009 12:05am
Elliot123 (mail):
"The ones who are worth taking seriously. Not you, in other words."

Does that mean other opinions are rejected? Even if they are held by members of the international community?
1.24.2009 12:11am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Even if they are held by members of the international community?


I think you're more likely a part of the interplanetary community, but that's not what the Founders were talking about.
1.24.2009 12:30am
Elliot123 (mail):
Well, can you tell us how an educated citizen respects the opinions of mankind when they are contradict each other? How does an educated citizen follow Washington's advice? How does an educated citizen determine which of the differing opinions to respect?
1.24.2009 9:26pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
can you tell us how an educated citizen respects the opinions of mankind when they are contradict each other?


I could probably explain it to someone else, but I couldn't explain it to you. You'd have to travel to Earth first. When you do, drop us a line.
1.25.2009 4:34am
Elliot123 (mail):
You told us, "One sign of an educated citizen is that he has some awareness of statements made by our Founders. The first sentence of the Declaration of Independence talks about having "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind."

OK. Can we presume you quoted that for some reason? How about just explaining to the general readership how an educated citizen respects the opinions of mankind when they contradict each other?
1.25.2009 2:04pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
How about just explaining to the general readership


I'll seriously consider addressing "the general readership" if and when I hear a question from "the general readership." So far I just hear some incoherent mumbling from a distant galaxy.
1.25.2009 2:30pm
Elliot123 (mail):
OK. Although you quote the Declaration of Independence to us, can we then presume you don't know how an educated citizen maintains its call for a decent respect for the opinions of mankind when those opinions contradict each other? What advice do you think Jefferson would have for the educated citizen?
1.25.2009 5:58pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
can we then presume you don't know how an educated citizen maintains its call for a decent respect for the opinions of mankind when those opinions contradict each other


No.
1.25.2009 10:36pm
Elliot123 (mail):
I would agree the quote from the Declaration is a nice touch, and the reference to the educated citizen is good. But when challenged, it all falls apart. For all the talk we hear about the international community, and now the Declaration's respect for the opinions of mankind, it seems few have given any thought to how we discriminate among various competing ideas of both mankind and the international community.

So, I'll stick with my initial statement that:
One sign of a healthy nation state is that it handles its own affairs without regard to what the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY thinks.
1.26.2009 12:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
it seems few have given any thought


Not exactly. It's more like few are interested in sending messages to distant galaxies. Let us know when you get closer to this one.
1.26.2009 6:56am
Elliot123 (mail):

At the time of the Declaration, what was the opinion of mankind regarding the ideas in the Declaration? Did mankind hold to a single opinion that supports theDeclaration, or were there a variety of opinions? How did Jefferson respect the opinions of mankind? How did he discriminate among them in choosing the ideas he then wrote into the Declaration?
1.26.2009 12:03pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
How did he discriminate among them in choosing the ideas he then wrote into the Declaration?


He probably started by ignoring people who obviously don't intend to be taken seriously.
1.26.2009 8:55pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Perhaps Jefferson believed a sign of a healthy human being is that he can think for himself, and handle his own affairs without regard for what the rest of the world thinks. With a firm and well developed set of personal principles, he could then examine the various competing opinions of mankind, discard those at odds with his principles, and embrace and contribute to those in accord with them.

Likewise, a sign of a healthy nation state is that it handles its own affairs without regard to what the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY thinks.
1.26.2009 11:01pm

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