February 11, 2005

Diplomatic Immunity... Free From Guilt By Association

What is one of the first things you learn when you get your driver's license? Please choose your answer from the following:

a. Red means stop.

b. The gas is on the right.

c. Avoid cars with Diplomat plates even if you have to drive on the sidewalk.

Yes, the answer is "c".

Even before being of the age to really think about driving I was told things by older kids like, "Hey, see that car with the plate that's red, white and blue? No, that doesn't mean they're American. See how it says Diplomat? Did you know that if the driver of that car like totally ran you over they wouldn't even go to jail? Did you know that Diplomats can do whatever they want - like anything?"

What I really wanted to title this blog was, "Diplomatic Immunity... the Whore of Politics". I thought that was a little harsh perhaps. But is it? If it only meant that you wouldn't be held accountable for every single law in another country, for example, if you're a diplomat you won't get your tongue cut out for spitting gum out on the street in Malaysia - then that would make sense. But it isn't that way. Being a diplomat means that you can be in the U.N. and can bribe, steal and lie your little shrunken heart away and know that getting caught only means you'll maybe get a suspension (even though you're already retired).

What a great idea! Let's not only give them power... let's make it impossible to hold them accountable. That shows respect! Didn't anyone else get that part in Lord of the Rings when the Lady of the Woods basically says that man craves power above all else? It's like giving your teenager a sports car, $10,000, a keg of beer, a fake I.D. and a suite at Ceasar's Palace and then reminding him to act responsibly.

I understand the overall concept of having diplomats but does it make any sense whatsoever that they are given every privilege known to man without having any reason to feel responsible for how they use them?


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