Peace vs. Justice
Posted by aogMonday, 29 March 2004 at 10:58 TrackBack Ping URL

This post at Daimnation! brought up a subject I’ve been thinking about, that of what to do with the ruler of Libya (to whom I will refer as “The Colonel”), who has now become far more accomodating of the West.

This is a classic case of progress over justice. On the one hand, the Colonel is murdering thug of a dictator. On the other, if he gets away with it and is rewarded for coming clean, giving up so publically on WMD, and cooperating with the West in the war against Caliphascism, then we’re likely to have a lot less such murdering in the future. I’m in favor of progress, on the grounds that the dead will always be dead and there’s nothing we can do to the Colonel to achieve justice.

Certainly, there’s no doubt that this is a very difficult, troubling issue. The danger of looking at progress is the moral hazard of letting go of the past and sliding down a slippery slope of accepting ever greater atrocities in exchange for ever smaller bits of progress. But like much of life, it’s greater and lesser evils instead of good vs. evil.

P.S. I’ve written on this subject before and even commented on a previous post at Daimnation!, although that time it was the same situation with respect to Mugabe.

P.P.S. Via Little Green Footballs we have this tidbit about the cancellation of the Arab Summit

The Tunisian government news agency said Tunisia had insisted that the summit explicitly endorse democracy and reject what it called “extremism, fanaticism, violence and terrorism” — and that other countries had balked at this.

Not enough by itself, but a good sign, especially that it wasn’t perceived as sufficiently pro forma to allow the summit to proceed.