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May 17, 2011

Better Than US: Eurotrash Continues Posturing On Bin Ladin's "Extrajudicial Assassination"

Eurotrash, pure and simple. Nothing but fads and poses. And stupid. And also evil, as stupid frequently is.

An "extrajudicial execution," that's what many in the international community are now calling the killing of Osama bin Laden. The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an investigation. According to a U.N. special rapporteur, if the U.S. commandos were under shoot-to-kill orders and did so without offering Bin Laden a "meaningful prospect of surrender," his killing could have been a "cold-blooded execution." In that case, the soldiers who shot him, together with President Obama and any other U.S. commanders who issued the kill orders, would in principle be guilty of murder and should be prosecuted as war criminals.

These claims are absurd.

They're only absurd if you assume the claims are offered for their surface content. They're not. They're offered to signal high-minded and superiority.

People who wear monocles as fashion statements don't wear them because they believe they need a monocle. They wear them to signal they're the sort of person who would wear a monocle without needing a monocle.

They fail at this, except among those stupid enough to want to signal this as well, but they're the only ones who count.

The article is by a Yale Law Professor, who I do suspect would not have mounted so fulsome a defense for President Bush. However, his case is strong. After discussing the inherent risk of accepting a "surrender" from a man who flouts every law and every decency, and uses trickery to murder civilians with hidden bombs, he sums up:

International lawyers today see the law of war as "humanitarian law." That's what they call it. They see the waving of a white flag as the exercise of a human right. This is moral and legal confusion. Surrender isn't a human right. It's a privilege of lawful combat. Terrorists don't lose all legal protections — for example, they can't be sadistically tortured, even if they torture their prisoners — but they forfeit the special rights earned by lawful combatants, including the right to stop the shooting by raising one's hands in purported surrender.

Most of the laws of war depend on a modicum of reciprocity: We give our enemy's soldiers certain rights in the hope that they will do the same for ours. Men who make war on innocent civilians and behead their prisoners live by a different law. They should expect to die by it as well.


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posted by Ace at 01:29 PM

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