Sunday, July 23, 2006

The United States of America v. Osama bin Laden

Alan Dershowitz, for the defense:

There is a vast difference — both moral and legal — between a 2-year-old who is killed by an enemy rocket and a 30-year-old civilian who has allowed his house to be used to store Katyusha rockets. Both are technically civilians, but the former is far more innocent than the latter. There is also a difference between a civilian who merely favors or even votes for a terrorist group and one who provides financial or other material support for terrorism.

Finally, there is a difference between civilians who are held hostage against their will by terrorists who use them as involuntary human shields, and civilians who voluntarily place themselves in harm's way in order to protect terrorists from enemy fire.

Osama bin Laden, April 27 2006: ("Bin Laden calls for attacks on civilians" was a common headline.)

Furthermore, I say this war is a joint responsibility between the people and the government. War continues and the people [are] renewing their allegiance to their rulers and politicians sending their sons to armies to fight us, and continuing the moral and financial support while our countries are being burned, our houses bombed, our people killed and no one cares about us....

Someone in the Israeli foreign service might want to put a phone call in to Mr. Dershowitz' office. This kind of help, they don't need. It's pretty much the only rule of war we have left that attacks on civilians are to be avoided, not rationalized.

2 comments:

Mike said...

Check out Billmon's version of that little essay...much better and more accurate, in my opinion.

http://billmon.org/archives/002554.html

Adrian MacNair said...

Murder of civilians as collateral damage is the only way the U.S. and Israel can continue to justify military excursions in the middle east. By making the world believe that terrorist live inextricably within the same houses as civilians, the deaths of 360 Lebanese civilains seems far more justifiable than it would otherwise be.