Below is an extract from a recent exchange with commenter longsword on International law.
Longsword: “When Rumsfeld stated that the resort to law was "the strategy of the weak", he uttered the classic statement of fascism. Power trumps law.”
That is certainly true and I for one am happy to join you in your “howl of protest”.
Longsword: “Quite the contrary. The left-liberal hawks only reinforced, by their writings, contempt for the rule of law. In that, they were complicit and provided ideological cover for what has to be one of the most bizarre episodes in the life and times of liberal democracy (and certainly no over yet).”Perhaps because the conflict between the principles of sovereignty via Westphalia and the mandate of the UN Convention that sovereignty is no legal defence against intervention on humanitarian grounds introduces more complexity to the matter than your amateur but categorical legal pronouncements acknowledge.
Perhaps because the lack of one additional resolution did not mean that 14 others (many of them chapter 7 & therefore mandatory) had not already been illegally disregarded by Saddam.
Perhaps because so narrow a principle of law merely operates as a preservation order for dictatorships. L’etat c’est Moi says Saddam – and a clutch of legal bureaucrats rush in to the breach to agree with him.
Perhaps because the ceasefire mandated by the UN after Gulf War 1 was only a conditional suspension of legitimate military action against Saddam - and he violated the conditions.
Perhaps because the basis of an international law that rests on the arbitrary arrangement of the governments represented on the Security Council at any one time (many of them undemocratic and repressive regimes) doesn’t command the automatic respect in others that it clearly does in you. Particularly as four of them (Germany, France, China and Russia) were actively subverting international law via their abuse of the “oil for food” programme. Especially since the independent guardian of “international law” the permanent officials of the UN itself were also actively and personally profiting from the abuse of Oil for food programme.
No doubt you howled yourself hoarse at these abuses of international law – if not then perhaps international law needs a better class of “respect” then your shallow opportunism would seem to permit?
Longsword: “And there were certainly precedents set at Nuremberg for such savants de service. And had the notorious Houston Stewart Chamberlain survived long enough, he would no doubt have been in the dock at Nuremberg."
Really – on what charge?
Nuremberg had enough real crimes to deal with without introducing bogus thought crimes to its agenda.