National Sovereignty may be the greatest conceptual evil that mankind (women were not in political or religious power then) has ever created. Pope Innocent X (“the Tenth”) declared the Peace of Westphalia (which established this disastrous concept) null and void 370 years ago today.
Unfortunately, nation-states ignored him. They still do today.
By Chuck Woolery, Social Activist, (not the TV Host)
The Pope’s concerns were unacceptable back then because the whole purpose of the Treaty of Westphalia was to stop the perpetual slaughter from 30 years of religious wars with zero regard for national borders, like ISIS, Al Qaeda and Christian White Supremacists today.
Before the Westphalia ‘peace treaty’ each religion essentially assumed the right to kill whomever they wanted, whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted. The treaty essentially ended that chaos so mass murders were only allowed by governments within their own national boundaries. Or, if another nation interfered with or annoyed another government for any reason, the treaty was null and void. Mass murder could resume…but only against another nationality.
That government right still exists today. The right to kill anyone, anytime, for whatever reason it wants, as long as they are within its own borders. There is an exception to this “murder” rule. If one nation has an extraordinary military and thinks it can safely murder or mass murder people in another nation, it’s OK to do so on any scale they believe they can get away with.
This national sovereignty “peace” concept has lasted 370 years. Oddly, even after suffering two world wars, and the invention of weapons that could vaporize a hundred thousand people in seconds the world reinforced this ‘peace’ code of conduct with the UN Charter. The Charter’s Preamble laughingly begins “We the peoples of the United Nations” but gave zero power to this international law system and its various structures to protect inalienable rights of ‘we the peoples’.
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Nothing represents this reality more than the recent murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia’s henchmen in Turkey, done with the approval or acquiescence of the Saudi Prince. Or consider the continued bombing of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its acceleration of the starvation of up to 9 million innocent Yemeni men, women, and children. This is in addition to the tens of thousands that have already been murdered with the assistance (weapons sales, bomber refueling, and precise targeting) funded by US tax payers. And then there was the US shock and awe invasion of Iraq and it’s lengthy and bloody occupation just on a suspicion they might want to hurt us…in the land of the brave.
For nations that want to retain the supremacy of national sovereignty over the protection of human rights I wish they would really think through their worship of this insane concept. They may want to consider a few of the things that have changed over the last three and a half centuries. Border walls, rivers, oceans and castles that used to provide relatively good security don’t hold up well against a variety of new technologies. Technologies that give far more advantage to the attacker.
For the life of me (literally) I’m trying to figure out how this 370 year old national sovereignty concept is going to protect me (and others) from bio-security threats (pandemics, bioterrorism…), a collapse of the global economy, WMD proliferation, terrorism, global warming, international cyber criminals, or space weapons.
Many things have changed since 1648. Perhaps we should too.