The flight of reason has struck again. Against all common sense the Senate (99 to 1) and the House (348 to 77) has overridden President Obama’s veto and thus allowed 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.
The relatives of the 9/11 victims have been the poster children for America’s compassion. These relatives lost Eddie’s compassion when many of them turned down the government’s (i.e. the taxpayers) offer to give them $1 million each. With no fault of the government nor the taxpayers, they deserved more. The relatives, according to Obama, ended up getting, on average $2 million each. (That’s $600,000 for the lawyers of each family — 33%.)
But this wasn’t enough. They want justice. They want to sue the Saudi Arabia government for Lord knows how much. But even if they got another lottery, they would say, “This doesn’t compensate for my loss” – the same statement that U.S. citizens say to the taxpayers when they sue our government for a negligence.
To understand this phenomenon we have to understand the concept of the lawyer con. Lawyers, in general, probably support this override of Obama’s veto. After all, they get around 33% of the pay out. And what is the Senate and the House largely made up of? Lawyers. And how about the courts? Lawyers. There is a trend to pass laws – and sustain them in courts – that are good for the profession of lawyers and against the interests of the citizens in general. Duhhhh. Is this rocket science?
We can’t leave out Israel. Socking it to Saudi Arabia can be seen as an extension of the Middle East crisis, which the U.S. has been inescapably pulled into. Senator Schumer has been one of the main sponsors of the veto and he has also been one of the most ardent supporters of the interests of Israel. Giving Saudi Arabia a gut punch can be seen as a response to the Arab world wanting to destroy Israel.
This is fine. And the U.S. must defend Israel – they stand for the values of Western civilization. However, this defense shouldn’t be dysfunctional for world peace.
International politics is a complicated game, and the President has been elected to be the U.S. player. He (or now she) is able to see the complexity and the long-term strategy from an inside perspective. This game can be best played by the use of reason – that is common sense and logic.
What the advocates of “financial justice” ignore – as Obama clearly pointed out – allowing American citizens to sue other countries has the unavoidable consequence of allowing citizens from all over the world to sue the U.S.! (This is Kant’s categorical imperative.)
This is just what we need. If the relatives of the victims of 9/11 deserve more than $2 million, how much do the innocent victims of the U.S. bombing in Iraq deserve? There are over 100,000 of them. Let’s see, 100,000 times $2 million, that’s around $200,000,000,000 — $200 billion. That’s not a bad price to pay for justice. Then multiply that times the suits of victims of U.S. intervention all over the world. And, hey, isn’t it time we paid relatives of innocent Vietnamese for those we killed in the Vietnamese war? I understand that might be a million of them.
This is not to say that Saudi Arabia is innocent. What it is saying is that we are living in a profane world. And it is best to do what is practical — using reason. As much as Saudi Arabia may have been culpable for 9/11, they are one of our best allies and they supply much of our oil. Compare them to Russia, Iran, ISIS, and the rest of our competitors. Perhaps it’s best to let our elected leaders play this complicated, profane game.