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View Diary: Nuremberg Principles As Basis to Strike Assad (116 comments)

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  •  Thanks--I will now use that term (0+ / 0-)

    And, since you have knowledge of this area, and since I have apparently crudely aped Samantha Powers's views, and I assume you may know about them, care to comment further?

    •  with one caveat, I think your insight is pretty (0+ / 0-)

      smart.  you're exactly right that much international law is necessarily malleable because it is based on practices of states, and you're exactly right that Nuremberg is a prime example of how international law changes and can be changed.

      so if you've cone into this not knowing a whole lot about the subject, you've pretty Mich recreated its conceptual structure and hit on one of the real weird parts of it.  so, pretty impressive.

      and on to the caveat! in addition to customary international law (CIL), we have treaty law, and the problem for Obama is that the UN charter seems to say that an attack on Syria would be illegal.  and, unlike CIL, which is based on practice, treaty law is based on agreement, so it shouldn't be as susceptible to change (absent formal written modification of the instrument).  so, if we bracketed the UN Charter, your thesis is right.  but the UN Charter seems to override CIL and render the strikes illegal. (and maybe so much the worse for the UN Charter ala Kosovo, but that's a separate issue)

      •  The sticking point (0+ / 0-)

        But the League of Nations existed during World War II too.

        Or one could always say that there is an inherent exception when the UN is paralyzed...and becomes like the League of Nations.....

        I was never offended by the legal rationale of Griswold or Roe.

         

        •  well, the UN being paralyzed may be more (0+ / 0-)

          feature than bug.  after all, the structure was set up when the US and Russia nee USSR were even less likely to agree on matters of international affairs.

          •  we think that because of hindsight (0+ / 0-)

            But FDR hoped that, although there would be inevitable disagreements and conflicts among the Great Powers, that their wartime cooperation, imperfect as it was, could be continued into the postwar world. He assumed there would be jostling for advantage--the sort of stuff going on now, which is far far short of Cold War tensions. But he also assumed that faced with a threat of the magnitude of a Hitler, that the Five Great Powers would agree on crushing it. Short of that, everybody would be free to push their own people and their weaker neighbors around (the U.S. could practice racial segregation without anyone complaining, Stalin could send people to the Gulag without protests from anyone, and everybody could beat up on countries like Panama or Egypt when necessary). We know with hindsight that the occupation of Germany would produce tensions that grew month by month from May 1945 until they erupted in 1947 into full-blown Cold War. But no one knew that was going to happen at the time they created the U.N.

            "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

            by Reston history guy on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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