Tuesday, September 13, 2005

International war crimes laws are an anachronism

The war crimes charges brought in Britain against a retired Israeli general under that country's assumption of univerisal jurisdiction reveal how anachronistic international war crimes laws are today.

General Almog is accused of killing "innocent" civilians when Israel assassinated a Hamas leader being hidden with the active participation and consent of the local population. Nazi Germany and imperial Japan could never have been defeated had the Allies not incinerated the enemies' cities to break their political will and economies.

America lost in Iraq because it's one thing to win on the battlefield, particularly against the former regime's poorly equipped forces, but quite another to crush its base of political support.

Were I president every international law treaty the United States has signed, or adheres de facto, will be reexamined for their continued relevance in the context of today's world of asymmetric war and the dangers of terrorists using WMDs.

Adherence to the rule of law should not be construed as a suicide pact.


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