Re Eric‘s and Anthony‘s comments about Paul on international law (Anthony wrote: “The fact that even many in the audience cheered Ron’s comment on international law (the others probably ignorantly thought he meant the UN, not the great libertarian tradition of international codes of civilized behavior such as the law of neutrals and non-aggression) is heartwarming and breathtaking.”) — on a libertarian Republican email list, one of the posters criticized Paul for referencing international law–in particular Paul’s condemning the war on Iraq because it was illegal under international law. Why would any liberty-lover oppose the rules of international law as another limit on the behavior of states? The rules of international law, being based on “the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations” (as well as on international custom and treaties), and far less corrupted by legislation than municipal legal systems have become, are far more civilized and libertarian. A return to international law, just like a return to constitutional limits, would move any modern state in the direction of liberty.
So the neocons just hate international law. They hate the idea of the state being limited by anything–a constitution, international law, whatever. They seem not to understand that the United States is bound by international law. The do not recognize the limitations it places on waging war, and that this is a good thing. They apparently are oblivious to the fact that all treaties, all international relations, are governed by international law–that without the international law principle of pacta sunt servanda, for example, no treaties between nations would be binding–including treaties the US has signed. They apparently believe that a President, a country, should flout international law–that it should not abide by international agreements; that we should not recognize international law as binding.
It’s a wonder more neocons aren’t anarchists, if they believe the 200 nations of the world co-exist in an utterly lawless order.2:58 pm on September 6, 2007