Morality in Politics                                                                               31 May 2011


Politicians in many countries are judged for their personal morality and pay the price for their personal shortcomings. Ideally, these issues of a personal nature should be of no concern or consequence to the general public and are matters to be decided by the families and / or related parties of the errant politicians. However due to the resurgence of family-based, conservative and religious movements, the politicians are being held to account in many cases and a number of the political leaders end up resigning from their posts.  


Based on the information listed on multiple websites, the leaders’ missteps and mistakes runs the gamut from minor slips such as pocketing a ceremonial signing pen to criminal incarceration for various offenses including ordering the killing of critics and whistle blowers and their family members.


Of far greater consequence are the public decisions taken by the leaders in their official capacity whether it be to schedule a bombing of suspected arms depots in a region in conflict (to deflect attention from personal problems) or initiating wars based on false premises. Targeting the family members of enemy leaders is morally wrong. The use of missile strikes to target suspected militants often ends in the death of innocent civilians including children and these deaths are indiscriminate killings and morally indefensible. Last but most immoral are the massive aerial and land assaults on unarmed civilian populations in densely packed areas resulting in the killing of countless civilians including numerous children.


The massive aerial and land assault on civilian populations in a densely packed area is clearly a major and reprehensible war crime by any standard. Some of these rogue leaders have not been charged with any crimes but instead are showered with unlimited attention, aid and arms. It is up to the people in the allied countries to hold their political leaders accountable and ensure that the leadership does not aid and abet rogue regimes that commit war crimes either on occupied civilian populations or on their own citizenry (Sri Lanka is a blatant example).  The political perpetrators that have not been held accountable may feel that they are untouchable or exempt from ethical expectations due to eminent empowerment and entitlement. These leaders and their regimes may have military might, political power and burgeoning bank balances but they are morally bankrupt war criminals.