Monday, April 30, 2007

Gary Kasparov's Call for a Global Magna Carta

I was intrigued by Gary Kasparov's brief article in the current issue of Foreign Policy. Kasparov is calling for a "global Magna Carta." This document would be combined with a new set of international organizations committed to the protection of transnational human rights and to the end of the moral relativism that has worked to keep the world's most brutal dictatorship in power, while simutaneously proping them up in leadership positions at the United Nations. Here's Kasparov's powerful opening paragraph:

The civilized world is in peril. Hezbollah, Iran, and North Korea continue to exist with minimal accountability for the danger they pose. Terrorists and dictators are welcomed to the arena of polite diplomacy, despite their total contempt, even hatred, for what Western civilization represents. Engagement and appeasement are failing as they always have. Today, a new framework is required to replace the old structures and agreements that dictate global diplomacy. I do not refer to reforming the United Nations. It is now so outdated that suggestions to reform it are themselves past their time. The United Nations was formed to freeze a crisis—the Cold War—not to solve crises. Our war today is a hot one, and it is not about territory, ideology, or commerce. It is about the value of human life. The world needs a new organization based on a global Magna Carta, a declaration of inalienable human rights that all member nations must recognize. Without guiding standards, we are being dragged down to the lowest common denominator. Communism was defeated not by moral relativism and long meetings but by an opposition possessing firm and unabashed moral leadership, combined with the increasing superiority of the West’s technology and standard of living.
Kasparov -- who was the world's chess champion for twenty years -- is now a Russian democracy activist who heads the United Civil Front. He made headlines a couple of weeks backs when he was arrested in Moscow's Pushkin Square for his role in a opposition rally protesting Kremlin policy.

Check out also Melanie Kirkpatrick's interview of Kasparov in the Wall Street Journal, from January 27, 2007. Also take a look at Wall Street Journal editorial on the implications of Kasparov's arrest for the right to dissent in Russia.

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