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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Killing Jews is bad

Greville Janner is the British secretary of the all-party parliamentary War Crimes Group. He writes that only one Nazi who found sanctuary in Britain after the war was prosecuted and jailed. That man, Anthony Sawoniuk, has just died.

Perhaps Janner would like to consider more contemporary war criminals. Israeli Generals who boast of killing Palestinian children? American soldiers who kill Iraqi civilians? Australian leaders who participate in an illegal war?

Western consciousness is still immune to the thought that "we" cause mayhem, chaos and death. That's something only "they" do. State terrorism causes far more destruction than any other kind of terrorism.

We should live in a world where justice is divided equally. A Serbian murderer can be brought to justice alongside an American Secretary of State who wilfully orders the bombing of innocent civilians.

That day is coming.

13 Comments:

Blogger Ibrahamav said...

When that day comes, anthony better find a cave to hide in because they are coming for him next.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 3:03:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Essentially it seems like you're proposing a definition of terrorism such that only the most surgical act of war would become a crime - civilians die, and tough moral calculuses are always made in times of war - but the end result of your system would be to paralyze any nation that felt like abiding with the system while letting everyone else off the hook.

Going back in time, I'm sure you would have liked to have had Curtis LeMay and FDR in the dock at Nuremberg - just for balance, of course - on charges of bombing civilians and leading a nation to war on a pack of lies.

Plus ca change, plus la meme chose!

Thursday, November 10, 2005 4:56:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

A growing number of figures across the world are proposing this. All states and players should be playing under the same rules. Unless, of course you believe in Western exceptionalism.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 4:58:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Isn't it an incredible manifestation of Western exceptionalism to put together an entire international cross-border judiciary, based essentially on Western traditions and Western models of justice (courts, judges, adversary argument, rules of evidence, loss of liberty as punishment, etc), that will be applicable to American Secretaries of State, African mercenaries, Middle Eastern potentates, and so on?

Just to think aloud and play with the intellectual argument here, different parts of the world have different systems, and instead of judging everyone on essentially Western notions of Just War and such (I imagine this being a secular Thomas Aquinas-lite kinda thing), why not under a shari'a system of just war and war crime? Or some other thing? The Koran - to take one example of an alterate belief system - has much different rules about what you can and can't do in wartime, and prescribes much different penalties for wrongdoing. Isn't it presumptuous to put people who follow that system to trial under what you propose, which is even if you don't wat to admit it essentially a Western Judeo-Christian system?

Thursday, November 10, 2005 5:37:00 pm  
Blogger smiths said...

curtis le may, yes definately, absolute psycho

Thursday, November 10, 2005 5:38:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"Just to think aloud and play with the intellectual argument here, different parts of the world have different systems,"

Oh, it's okay. I'm sure people could get together and come up with something everyone could agree on IF they're willing to NOT be exceptionalists. E.g. the international criminal court's not a bad idea ... it's just that some people want to be exceptionalists about it.

"and instead of judging everyone on essentially Western notions of Just War and such (I imagine this being a secular Thomas Aquinas-lite kinda thing), why not under a shari'a system of just war and war crime? Or some other thing? The Koran - to take one example of an alterate belief system - has much different rules about what you can and can't do in wartime, and prescribes much different penalties for wrongdoing. Isn't it presumptuous to put people who follow that system to trial under what you propose, which is even if you don't wat to admit it essentially a Western Judeo-Christian system?"

I think you'll find, on doing some book learnin' that Aquinas-like Just War doctrines are specifically Christian, rather than "Judeo-Christian" (always a big fat misnomer). Have a read of Aquinas on the matter (nooooo - don't go and read some hack-summary on the net; read Aquinas himself). It might be worth looking at what later Christian thinkers said about Holy Wars are well. Aquinas gets the boot and psychotic bloodlust gets shown in the front door. And as for shari'ah, it is worth going to the sources for instructions on the rules of armed conflict. For a start, have a look at the 'chapter' in the Qur'an called "al-Baqarah", starting at about verse 190. Also have a look at The Law of Nations by Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. This provides a medeaval precursor to modern international law (centuries ahead of anything comparable in Europe). Or if you're looking for something modern and scholarly (and thus boring), try Ramazani's The Islamic Conception of Justice .

Thursday, November 10, 2005 10:06:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

"Oh, it's okay. I'm sure people could get together and come up with something everyone could agree" - Eddie

Yes, every time some yahoo in the UN comes up with an antisemitic one-sided resolution condemning Israel's defence against war mongering adherents of islamist nazi groups, almost everybody agrees to sign it.

Friday, November 11, 2005 3:26:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Tell me ibraham, are those "antisemitic one-sided resolution" printed on different letter-head to the other UN resolutions?

Friday, November 11, 2005 9:28:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Oh Edward, there you go again. You really have gone native what with your constant apologias for Islam, and your ignorance of my argument - namely that an international court of justice would necessarily be imposing values, almost surely Western ones, on the entire planet.

I actually took an entire course on Aquinas at university, and there's a Summa of the Summa sitting in one of these many boxes I never unpack but just shift from house to house, so I'm not as ignorant a redneck as you think. (Actually, I'm a quite edumacated redneck!)

Regarding your "Oh, Islam is so great, and once upon a time was so much more advanced than the savage Franks" argument, my question is, what have they done for me lately? Today Islamic jurisprudence seems to consist of hanging gay kids in Tehran, punishing Pakistani women for being raped, and torturing Christians in Saudi Arabia, and the scholar who seems to have the most sway these days is Sayeed Qutb.

Friday, November 11, 2005 9:59:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

You make a good argument Shab, but while you present a good case against the viability of an international cross-border judiciary based on Western traditions and Western models of justice, it seems that this is what we are left with regardless.

The US has appointed itself judge, jury, and executioner and gotten away with it thanks to it’s overwhelming power and influence. This system pays no heed to regional sensibilities, and responds exclusively to US interests, whether they be geopolitical or financial.

The other thing that prevents any international agreement is that countries demand that exceptions be made to their situation. The US expects that it’s arbiters be immune from prosecution or oversight. Israel expects that it’s security concerns put it in an exceptional position.

Friday, November 11, 2005 10:20:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 5:34:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"You really have gone native what with your constant apologias for Islam"

While I appreciate the 'talli-ho old chap' regarding associations with 'the dark skins', I wonder if you actually bothered to read the books. Did you get round to it? Or did you ignore them on the grounds that such information would be wasted on someone with rock-hard preconceptions.

"and your ignorance of my argument - namely that an international court of justice would necessarily be imposing values, almost surely Western ones, on the entire planet."

Oh, I don't know. I think it would depend on what people would be willing to agree to in negotiations.

"I actually took an entire course on Aquinas at university, and there's a Summa of the Summa (Actually, I'm a quite edumacated redneck!)

Geee - I'd LIKE to believe you, but your ignorance of all matters theological prevents me from doing so.

"Regarding your "Oh, Islam is so great, and once upon a time was so much more advanced than the savage Franks" argument, my question is, what have they done for me lately? "

As I said before, try Ramazani's The Islamic Conception of Justice. That's an interesting starting-point on the modern foundations of Islamic jurisprudence. Then you can look at the scholarly critiques of it by other eminant jurists, and so on. You really are totally ignorant of the entire world of scholarship out there, aren't you? Tsk tsk.

"Today Islamic jurisprudence seems to consist of hanging gay kids in Tehran, punishing Pakistani women for being raped, and torturing Christians in Saudi Arabia, and the scholar who seems to have the most sway these days is Sayeed Qutb."

You really are a complete dill, albeit an amusing dill. This isn't even in the same room as jurisprudence. Please check what you are arguing about before you start arguing.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 5:39:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Shab, you have given Islamic justice to much credit. It isn't that good.

Monday, November 14, 2005 2:25:00 pm  

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