Monday, May 02, 2011

Let the Bad Times Roll

If Bush and Co. could hold a trial for Sadaam Hussein, and if the Israelis could kidnap and then try Eichmann, and if the allies could try many of the Nazi war criminal at Nurenberg, why couldn't Obama bring back Bin Laden for a trial in the USA or at the ICC in the Hague. Coming on the heels of the killing of Gadaffi’s son and grandchildren, this is another blow to the rule of law and return to unbridled chauvinism. The crowds shouting USA! USA! (and the crowd in Benghazi dancing at the news of the death of Gadaffi's son) are sad indicators of the bad times we live in.

I have no doubt that Bin Laden deserved it. But Gadaffi's grandchildren did not, and the next guy taken out by a U.S. or NATO or Israeli hit squad may not either. The rule of law is all that stands between us and the rule of "might makes right." Rather than a victory over terrorism, this is a setback for an ethical world civilization.

Ironicly, today's JTA has an article, for Holocaust Memorial Day, praising war crimes tribunals and the ICC process as a milestone in human progress. The article ends by asking how we can make such trials unnecessary in the future. What the author clearly meant was how do do prevent the underlying war crimes and crimes against humanity - not how do we just do away with trials. Equally ironically JTA also reports Israeli and Jewish leaders praising this assassination.


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