lawfare update

Jonathan F. Keiler describes A Double Blow to the Laws of War at American Thinker taking note of the distinction societies have made between war and civil affairs, a distinction that is now suffering political play.

Nations over the millennia have sought, with varying degrees of success, to apply the rule of law to warfare. This, on balance, has been a good thing. Unfortunately, that finely wrought effort is steadily unraveling, in of all places, Manhattan.

Yet both developments are devastating to the laws of war. Goldstone’s logic may be laughable, but it is now embedded in “customary international humanitarian law.” Likewise, the decision to try Mohammed in federal court establishes a precedent that so muddles and confuses traditional distinctions between lawful and unlawful combatants as to sanction the latter and thus make the former irrelevant.

Alan Dowd, at Front Page Magazine says it is The Wrong Battlefield.

It’s one thing to try out a new policy, especially when an existing policy isn’t working. That makes good sense. It’s quite another to dust off an old policy, especially when that policy has already been proven a failure. … the enemy isn’t impressed or intimidated by the long arm of American justice. … Far from being fear-struck by indictments, government findings and judicial decisions, the masterminds of modern terror wear the notoriety as a badge of honor.

The courts are something we are familiar with as we deal with them every day. War is something else. The penchant for small groups filled with hate and spurred by religious rationalizations to act out their passions is yet another, Different problems require different tools even if we are not comfortable with new things.

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