International law

Mr Larison says something that I have heard many other, fellow opponents of war say: "Since aggressive war is itself a crime and a violation of international law . . ."

 

Now, I'm no legal scholar, but it seems to me that there are only two sources of law; (1) natural law and (2) law imposed by a sovereign – or "unnatural" law.  I don't see how it's possible that "international" law could come from either of these sources.  Instead it strikes me as coming from a third, illegitimate source – namely, academic papers and international, non-sovereign agencies.

 

Obviously Saddam Hussein could have had no natural right to rule his country the way he did; so, an invasion of "his" country and the act of overthrowing his regime could not violate any natural law (at least as far as all the theories of natural law that I have read are concerned).  I think you cold make a case that a "good" ruler has a natural right to not be aggressed against, but making that case for an obviously terrible ruler is impossible.

 

Since there is no international sovereign, there can be international law imposed by a sovereign.

 

That leaves us searching for another source of international law and I can't think of any others that would have a reasonable claim on legitimacy.  It will lack legitimacy, if for no other reason, than it is totally unenforcable.  Why not condemn something as illegal under the Larison Code?  Both sources of law seem just as arbitrary and unlikely to be enforced.

 

I don't think those of us who are opposed to war (especially those of us on the right) will help our cause in the long term by throwing around prohibitions based on "international law" (perhaps we can consult the international Constitution for the basic tents of this law or refer disputes to the international Supreme Court which will surely be deferential to the international Congress).  Can’t we just be satisfied criticizing an action as bad, wrong and immoral without having to make up a new legal framework under which it is “illegal?”

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