If any work of political science characterizes the modern age it must surely be Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. Our political leaders do whatever they can get away with to attain and retain power. Period. It’s almost enough to make me a Quaker.
Case in point. It is now becoming clear that a team of elite US Navy Seals entered Pakistan without the knowledge of the Pakistani government for a targeted assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Might makes right. Imagine the idea of Pakistani soldiers entering the United States without the knowledge of Washington to conduct an assassination. The mind boggles.
But the US doesn’t harbor terrorists, right?
Wrong. Consider Orlando Bosch, a man who just passed away a couple days ago at the age of 84. Bosch was a Cuban who fled to Miami after the rise of Castro. From that point on he undertook an endless series of efforts to terrorize Castro and the Cuban people. For instance, in 1966 he was stopped by police in Miami. After the police discovered he had six one hundred pound bombs in the car Bosch explained that he was planning to use them to bomb Castro. Then in 1968 Bosch fired a bazooka at a Polish freighter in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. (He hit, but did not hurt, the ship.) In 1976 Bosch was arrested for his part in the shooting down of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 in which 73 people died. Included among the casualities were teenagers and a pregnant woman. When the Justice Department tried to deport Bosch in 1990 President George H.W. Bush overruled the decision and this terrorist who had committed literally dozens of acts of sabatoge and killed many people lived out his days in Miami in peace.
Imagine if Cuban commandos had entered Miami and conducted a targeted assassination of Bosch. Try to picture the degree of moral indignation and outrage that would result from Americans everywhere, to say nothing of the repercussions that would rapidly hit Cuba.
Now look at Pakistan, a country that can hardly dare express any disapproval at this flagrant invasion of its national sovereignty and flouting of international law. Yup, everybody’s “friends” with Big Tony because he carries the biggest stick.
The really infuriating thing from a Christian perspective is that I know countless Christians who seem to have a greater loyalty to the nationalist state than the kingdom of God. How else can one explain the fact that Christians justify the flouting of international law and violation of national sovereignty against others but would absolutely decry it against themselves? Somehow the Golden Rule got lost in our commitment to Machiavelli’s realpolitik.
Yes, there are some days I’d like to be a Quaker.