legal space and the space of war

Today’s supreme court ruling comes as no surprise to me. Legal space, like a fog, will and should extend into the legal issues around warfare. This is essay at SSI (links to pdf) has some relation, but I’d claim two issues:

1. The supreme issue today about war is not how to fight, but when to fight.

2. Defining war is also key to number one: here the war simulation is relevant. I don’t think you can have a war on terrorism, which is part of the locus of the court’s ruling against the administration. There is a spatial question here. War is a circle (theater) and a modus and a force. But how to define it from the point of view of al Qaeda?

4 thoughts on “legal space and the space of war

  1. Maureen

    It was the administration’s point that this “new war” [on terrorism] allows for new rules..that given that the enemy is not “fixed” [to one country], Bush and co. are allowed to skirt the Geneva convention…

    I suppose today’s ruling is the Supreme Court’s way of saying..”Nice try, but no dice”…

    Most Graciously,

    *A Mayde in her own little woode

  2. Jason

    There’s no way that they couldn’t have foreseen this result. I was telling someone 6 months ago how this whole throwing away the key thing was never gonna fly. Americans see themselves as the good guy in this fight, and that’s just not something the good guys do.

    War has one more thing. An objective. And our ‘enemies’ have pretty much accomplished every single one of their’s.


  3. Neha

    Good point Jason. We all choose our own wars to a certain extent, but the outcome is never in our hands.

  4. gibb

    “Defiant Saddam Rejects War Crimes Charges

    Jul 1, 9:57 AM (ET)


    (AP) Saddam Hussein rejected charges of war crimes and genocide against him in an courtroom at a U.S….

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A defiant Saddam Hussein rejected charges of war crimes and genocide in a court appearance Thursday, telling a judge “this is all theater, the real criminal is Bush.”

    “I am Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq,” Saddam twice said, according to a reporter in an official media pool. He was alternately downcast and defiant, becoming more animated in his exchanges with the judge as the hearing went on.

    Saddam appeared most agitated when the subject came to the invasion of Kuwait – one of the broad charges against him.

    “The armed forces went to Kuwait,” Saddam said. “Is it possible to raise accusations against an official figure and this figure be treated apart from the official guarantees stipulated by the constitution and the law? Where is this law upon which you are conducting investigations?”

    He also said the invasion was carried out “for the Iraqi people.” When he referred to the Kuwaitis as “dogs,” the judge admonished him for using such language in a court of law.”

    Perhaps we must learn to leave people like this to run their countries any damn way they please. It’s none of our business, right?

    It will always be difficult to decide where one draws the line to go to war, aside from defense of the United States boundaries. Who do we help, and who do we leave to the whims of a madman?

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