Monday, March 17, 2003

Frontier Justice Rides Again

48 Hours. Is that product placement strategy, or what?

Go here, please: Back to Iraq 2.0

Something has been nagging at me in reaction to the Bush Administration decision to take the football - whomever it belongs to - and go home. The whole nose-thumbing at the UN Charter, on the heels of his Kyoto accord rejection and the International Criminal Court recision, reminded me of something. Then I ran across this text from the The Handbook of Texas Online:

"Lynching is the illegal killing of a person under the pretext of service to justice[.] Though it often refers to hanging, the word became a generic term for any form of execution without due process of law. Though it is hard to estimate the frequency of lynchings before the 1880s, it seems that they ... were likely to be the result of "frontier justice" dispensed in areas where formal legal systems did not exist.

In antebellum Texas and earlier, vigilantes instigated most lynchings. Often acting under the leadership of the local elite, the vigilante mob usually handled its victims with considerable formality, imitating legal court procedure. The captured offender was "tried" before a vigilante judge and a jury consisting of either a select group of vigilantes or the whole of the assembled mob."

The Bush Administration agenda does not fit neatly into a developing international law. So, after doing what he could to extricate this country from emerging international rules of conduct, the President reached back into local history for his own game plan.


We need to build recognition of global law initiatives and existing treaties. When more citizens learn about these rules, it will be difficult for future leaders to ignore the laws' requirements. I am just not sure how to do this.

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