File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1999/bhaskar.9904, message 4

Subject: Re: BHA:International law a subset of critical morality (DPF:Chapter3)
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 20:09:24 -0400

Hi JMage--

You wrote:

> There is no question whether the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia violates the
> Charter; it does. There is no exception in international law to the UN
> Charter (and the powers reserved to the Security Council) for humanitarian
> wars of aggression justified by human rights as interpreted by NATO or any
> state no matter how powerful and certain of its own righteousness.
> Therefore as a matter of imminent critique, the merely constitutive
> actually existing international law - indeed legal/moral regime - that
> so-to-speak would peacefully coexist with the NATO bombing is
> theory-practice inconsistent and subject to a withering dialectical
> comment.

I'm confused, so maybe I missed something somewhere.  What exactly do you
think NATO (or some other body) should do instead?  Milosevic clearly is not
and never has been serious about negotiations, and has only contempt for
international law.  It seems to me that if one must violate a law
(international or otherwise) in order to do the right thing, one should.
(Though I do think the campaign has made several bad blunders.)
Also, perhaps in this instance the shoe is on the other foot--by not
intervening, it is the UN (which has, after all, produced a charter of human
rights) that is theory-practice inconsistent.  I don't think I'm merely a
dupe of the American news media regarding Serbian aggression, though
possibly my being Jewish plays a factor.  In relation to DCR, the question I
think is how DCR can help us decide what should be done; the relationship
between this and existing laws may have to come second.

But again, perhaps I've missed something.

Tobin Nellhaus
"Faith requires us to be materialists without flinching": C.S. Peirce

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