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Kouchner: Let’s Get Physical

Let us not get sidetracked into arcane analysis. We know that there is only one valid approach: to examine the reality on the ground. There is always only one valid approach when it comes to the Arcane vs. the Reality … Read More

By / September 10, 2007

Let us not get sidetracked into arcane analysis. We know that there is only one valid approach: to examine the reality on the ground.

There is always only one valid approach when it comes to the Arcane vs. the Reality on the Ground and how fortunate we should be to have at least a few grounded politicians on the global stage saying so. Bernard Kouchner's proven a reliable fellow in that department thus far, and one of the central themes of this address to the European Ambassadors Conference was the need to prioritize the human above all else:

In Iraq, first and foremost, people are suffering. I went to Baghdad to listen to the Iraqis, to convey to the people and the leadership a message of solidarity. It is difficult to tell what may come of this visit. But I know that this human approach – the first underpinning of policy – was appreciated. We must bear in mind that people have to take precedence over ideas or institutions.

It's too often forgotten that forces greater than George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden are at work in the world, that trends in human evolution and technology govern the outcomes of events as much if not sometimes more than nefarious men plotting in conference rooms and caves. On the ground in Iraq, there has been an over-dependence on sophisticated weapons technology and computerized satellite intelligence. A real lack of people in general, though saying so is nothing particularly new or revelatory. But what's not as often said is that the reason for this is that it was believed that people weren't necessary. That's not a PNAC or a GOP thing. This is the world of Web 2.0, textphones, Second Life, Internet porn, and mp3s. Kouchner's programme, the prioritizing of the living body, of the citizens who speak and suffer, is a lesson to the future Donald Rumsfelds of the world as much as it is a warning to all of us who tacitly consent to the ideology of technological bliss, superiority, and transcendence.

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