Friday, October 21, 2005

Imagine there's no international law

Anonymous confuses the pretty words of the Declaration of Independence for law. Then he goes on to confuse international law for law. This is a common enough mistake; even LAGuy makes it and he should know better. It's a naming problem. "International law" has about as much relation to law as law does to the laws of physics. But, since international law and law both involve governments and law professors, a lot of people become confused easily (including law professors, althought I have to think many of them are cynical, not confused).

Law presupposes government, which itself is based on a monopoly over lethal force. Government has also generally been associated with geography, although this association is weakening, to the point we now have a war on terror that seems to have no geography.

Even treaties are not law, nor, certainly, are any of the metastasizing so-called international courts. These things can and do become law, but only when a government adopts them as such. It's the difference between "model codes" adopted by various lawyer's committees, which are merely interesting academic and policy exercises, until such time as a state adopts them as law.

Lots of people get their knickers up over this, wondering how it's possible for nations to relate to each other without "international law." The answer is, they do use international law, but it's custom, not law, because it's not enforceable and there is no government to enforce it. What this leads to, often enough, is war. Is there anyone out there who wants to claim war no longer exists?

Actually, yes, there is. But of course Kofi and his boys are shouting into the wind, pretending that the U.N. Security Council holds any monopoly on the use of force.

Today we find ourselvses at war in Iraq and on a war footing around the world. That's a good thing, because there are fascists who need killing. In Iraq, we are winning fabulously, and so are the Iraqi people. Around the rest of the world it is less sure, but this is as much because of Kofi Annan and those who want a world government (by which they understand only a weakening of U.S. power, not a limit to their own use of power) are more concerned about a powerful, free people than they are terrorists. This is understandable enough; both bureaucracies and terrorists work from a fascist instinct. And in any case, we are indeed largely prevailing in the world at large, too, despite the relatively small if vocal coalition of the UN, the French and Germans and the Manhattan media.

Oh, and we are also at war with Spain. It's not likely to break into a shooting war, although if they ever laid a hand on a U.S. soldier it certainly should.

All of this could certainly change, of course. Ultimately any government works only by submission of the governed, and many people are working overtime to give up U.S. sovereignty. Really, we're within an administration of doing it, I'd say. But we haven't so far.

UPDATE: For anyone who doubts that there are people working to give up U.S. sovereignty (which is to say, your individual rights and freedoms), here's a nice little bit about people protesting Colin Powell this week, when he spoke the obvious truth (albeit one misrepresnted by the Manhattan media) that Iraq and the world is a success for the U.S.

Powell did not refer to the February 2003 speech during his hourlong address to the university. It was a primary topic, however, among the roughly 50 protesters who gathered outside to denounce Powell, Bush and the war.
"We're sorry so many people think he's a celebrity. We think he's a war criminal," said James Ulrich, a university photographer who held a sign: "Colin Powell, Have you no shame?" "He should be fighting against the war," said Valerie Niederhoffer, one of a half dozen members of a group called the "Raging Grannies" who sang anti-war songs.
The university did not disclose Powell's speaking fee for the address. "Anything is too much for someone who has done as much damage as Colin Powell has," said James Holstun of the UB Progressive Alliance, whose members handed out fliers questioning Powell's record outside the venue. Most headed inside declined to accept them.

Make no mistake. The Manhattan media, the Democrats and the war protesters all want a world in which U.S. leaders and soliders are subject to arrest by someone other than Americans. The only question is, by whom?

7 Comments:

Blogger AnnArborGuy said...

I don't know what anonymous meant but I thought she was talking about the basis for law, which I assume the founders were asoo talking about. And them ain't just pretty words if you are in the revolutionary war fighting for them.

6:47 AM, October 21, 2005  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Why are you denigrating pretty words by saying "just"? They're probably more important than law.

But, they're not law. One way you know that is you're in a war fighting for them.

7:11 AM, October 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You claim: Law presupposes government, which itself is based on a monopoly over lethal force.

It seems to me that guns have lethal force, so any country that allows it citizens to freely use them, such as to legally protect themselves by killing others (sounds like any country you know?) has farmed out this monopoly, and thus can't have "real" law under your defnition.

2:08 PM, October 23, 2005  
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