Friday, February 15, 2008

The Moral Imperative - Where and When?

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the other day that the UK has a moral imperative to intervene to spread democracy.

"My plea is not to let divisions over those conflicts obscure our national interest, never mind our moral impulse, in supporting movements for democracy."

And generally I tend to agree. I would have supported the Iraq war if Blair had said it was intended to remove Hussein from office as Britain could no longer stand by while dictators perpetrate genocide on their own citizens. I would have welcomed it rather than opposing it, and asked if he'd be taking out Mugabe next.

So with Miliband saying that we have a moral duty can I direct him to one country in particular?

The country where an illiterate woman faces beheading for being a witch after hearings she and her representatives were unable to attend.

The country where flower and gift shops were raided this week to remove roses, wrapping paper and teddy bears in an attempt to stop the un-Islamic sin of celebrating (St) Valentine's Day.

The country where two gay men were recently sentenced to 7,000 lashes each for sodomy.

The country where rape victims are sentenced to lashings for adultery, and then further punished for speaking out.

Or does Saudi Arabia, a country with some of the most shocking human rights violations in the world, not count?

Hat-tip to Mr Eugenides for the Valentine story

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