Monday, May 12, 2008

Without Merit

From An Interview with Tom Farer, Author of ‘Confronting Global Terrorism’ by Scott Horton:

The Bush “doctrine” when first announced in the heady days when the President-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove quadrumvirate were sweeping all before them, seemed to declare a right to attack, without regard to borders, persons and groups deemed to be America-threatening “terrorists” even if no attack was thought to be imminent. In effect they were adopting a policy Israel had been employing for years.

In the normal use of the word pre-emption in diplomacy or law, this was not a doctrine of pre-emption, because it had specifically excluded the condition of imminence with which pre-emption had been associated even before the adoption of the UN Charter. Rather it sounded like the doctrine of “preventive” war, that is war in anticipation of threats that are not imminent and may never materialize. In defending themselves at the post-World War II Nuremburg War Crimes against the charge of having committed as one “crime against peace,” the invasion of Norway, some Nazi defendants in effect invoked a preventive war justification, arguing that they believed the British would occupy Norway as a base for operations against Germany if Germany did not do so first. The Nuremberg Court found the defense to be without merit.

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