I didn't mean to imply in my last post that criminal activity should be accepted, or that one shouldn't protect one's own in self-defense, I wanted to merely point out that these two arguments are often abused in the name of further atrocities.
The methods employed for achieving what are usually lofty goals are what makes one's actions either solutions or complications or even greater crimes than the instigator's. Waterboarding or any kind of torture contaminates any claims to a higher purpose, as does any action that undermines human life, dignity or wellbeing. Pre-emtive strikes, attacks on foreign soil, these are the things we often condemn when launched by "the other side". What differentiates who's who is not who's labeled as part of some "axis of evil", or who's a "demonic imperialist empire"... These are oversimplistic terms. In anybody's view "we"(meaning us or they)are always the "good guys"... So it is through our actions that we define who we are.
Unfortunately, here in the US, as in other countries, deep-rooted and easily manipulated xenophobia sometimes lurks under the veil of faith. But if one believes one's god to be generous, pure, understanding, and above all else good, wouldn't He despair at our discrimination and our hostility towards other human beings? Wouldn't He, (I'm using the Christian religion as an example) in his infinite kindness, encourage our benevolence towards our fellow men and women, no matter their color, their race or even religion?
I don't think it's very pure, benevolent or compassionate to consider anybody who doesn't share one's religion a sinner who should be looked down upon, or worse prosecuted. Even if you were the type of Christian, for example, who considers believers of different religions a lesser kind wouldn't isolation, discrimination and prosecution go against Jesus's treatment of Mary Magdalene? (Please note, I myself wouldn't make such comparison in the first place. Also, I don't want to point the finger at Christians in particular, it just so happens it is the predominant relgion where I live and as such the first example that comes to mind.) My point is that those who are worshiped were and are often revered because of the way their goodness and compassion exemplified their holiness. Isn't that at least part of what elicited adoration? Their goodness and purity, their ability for compassion?
When Einstein said that patriotism or nationalism was a dangerous human folly, or
something to that effect, I think he wasn't referring to how terrible any sense of belonging is or how terrible it is for us to love those close to us, it's not, but rather to how terrible it is when that love turns into hate towards those different than us, sometimes through the manipulation of power-hungry leaders. Hitler and the Nazis were more than likely in Einstein's mind when he denounced this.
Such tyranny, the intention to homogenize and control the world, obviously generates
resistance and if superficially successful would still leave an eternal resentment and widespread anger that would constantly pop up in a violent manner. Except for arm dealers no one would benefit from eternal war.
Since any unilateral action into foreign soil is charged with all sorts of subjective economic and political interests, it would take a more impartial multinational body representing the whole world and the common good, such as the United Nations, to prevent injustice by launching the initiatives deterring governments from invading or attacking other countries.
For one country to assume the mantle of world police would/or has led to the oppression of less powerful nations and ensuing resistance.
To blatantly bypass the United Nations, to shun the more impartial position of the international community when launching a preemtive strike without solid proof of an offense, for example, is to become the perpetrator, the offender in the eyes of the world, and even when one's economic power affords a certain degree of diplomatic immunity, the initial justification erodes, corrupted, resulting in worldwide animosity and distrust: not only abroad but also within the invading country.
I think this inner distrust was glaringly evident in the recent mid-term elections.