International Law, Terrorism, and Self-Defense
The original thinking of this commentary was inspired by an insistence on the part of Alan Dershowitz that defense against terrorists required the sanction of "international law."
There are things beyond the reach of law. To accept that self-defense against terrorists is permitted only with the imprimatur of "international law" is to insist on prior approval from an artificial construct in place of what Americans know as an inalienable right.
Note that phrase, "inalienable right". And remember that we acknowledge those inalienable rights as pre-existing any form of government. They also survive in the interregnum should we choose to change our form of government.
[Would anyone propose that rights to self-defense, speech, property, et cetera, disappear when there's no government to "grant" them, or some other collection of rights?]
Dersh, like the man with a hammer, is the archetypal lawyer: to him, everything must look like a law.
In the dark alley that Muslims are trying to make of this world, the right of the intended victim to fight can't wait for approval.
"If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail."
~~ General Ulysses S. Grant
Reliance on "international law" leaves us in the hands of people who "think" like this:
"It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists."
~~ European Commission President Romano Prodi