Posted on 20-10-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

A few links to follow up on the post a couple of days back.  Matt Yglesias on the standards of international humanitarian law, the much maligned Richard Goldstone speaks up about his report, and Andrew Sullivan chimes in here and here.  I have never been an amnesty international absolutist on international human rights law.  Countries do bad things.  Sometimes there are legitimate national security threats to act contrary to obligations.  And every country is entitled to defend itself.  But you cannot have a special set of standards or absolutely no limits for the exercise of military power for certain actors.  That is essentially what the Bush administrations expansive reading of executive power attempted to do.  That is the privilege Israel is claiming today.

It is also something the Cheneyites should ponder.  Do the United States and Israel really want to stoop to the standards set out by Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda?  And when they win in the face of international opprobrium will they like what they have become when they look at themselves in the mirror (assuming they have the objectivity left to make an honest self appraisal)?

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