According to the transcript of remarks made by Barack Obama at the G-20 Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia and released by the White House website, Mr. Obama used the word ‘norms’ and ‘international norms,’ eighteen times in his speech.
Sociology terms like ‘folkways’, ‘mores,’ and ‘norms’ are taught in freshmen sociology courses throughout academia and are considered fundamental. The idea is that all conventional or traditional beliefs and behaviors are the basis from which all nascent laws or societal changes are viewed from or modified.
Mr. Obama’s almost excessive use of the term ‘norms’ leaves an acrid odor in the air when considering that on at least three fundamental levels, the use of this noun, even if it is only used to reflect the informal understanding of what society perceives as normal, is ridiculous and obscene.
1. If the Geneva protocol of 1925 is the norm Obama is citing, it must be noted that the protocol for the prohibition and use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases is an international agreement that clearly signifies that such gases will not be used in ‘war.’ Domestic struggles, civil war, or oppressive and deadly action against the citizens within a state are neither inferred nor suggested in the law. It is an agreement formed to govern fully existing states at war with each other.
If we must use the ‘norm’ word, we are forced to ask the question “what is normal about a dictator gassing his own citizens?” Mr. Assad is clearly a criminal (with or without gas), and negotiating with him on the basis of the 1925 protocol is blatantly absurd.
2. Since neither the 1925 protocols nor the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention have provided any enforcement mechanism, both agreements are essentially a toothless tiger. Over eighty percent of America’s stockpiles of chemical weapons have been destroyed, but other nations have largely failed to produce proof that their stockpiles have been eradicated or reduced. The 1993 terms call for complete destruction of all chemical weapons by 2012 – a deadline no nation has met as of this day.
The rub is that the lawful means of dealing with violators of the treaty is not bombs; it is prosecution by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Those prosecutions must be passed to the court by the Security Council of the UN.
There is no international or domestic law that calls for bombs to alleviate red tape and non-existent enforcement machinery. Enforcement measures are also obviously lacking in Obama’s imaginary ‘international community.’
3. The use of the word ‘norm’ seems abusive, contradictory, and hypocritical when considering the source. Mr. Obama has disregarded so many economic, social, and moral norms in his domestic policy that the word ‘perverted’ no longer seems excessive.
Announcing his ‘evolved’ thinking on same sex marriage has been a major frontal assault on every norm used to define marriage since the days of the Declaration.
His support of late term abortions, Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion organizations has produced the continuation of millions of abortions on a daily basis in the United States.
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