An example of this is the widespread condemnation that Israel is suffering for the Human Rights abuses it allegedly perpetuates in Palestine and against the Arabs in Palestine. Often these condemnations come with little regard for the numerous injuries and deaths suffered by Israeli citizens at the hands of terrorists. In fact, in 2006when Israel launched punitive raids into Lebanon the world at large condemned them ignorant of the fact that Hezbollah was being sheltered by Lebanon and that Syrian sponsored terror group had been launching numerous kidnappings, suicide bombings and general mayhem in Israel.
There were even moves for U. N. sanctions to be imposed on Israel for its aggression. Thankfully, the short war was resolved before any international action, besides saber rattling, could be imposed. That scenario was a repeat of the 1973 hypocrisy that followed the oil embargo. Israel was the victim of a sneak attack by Egypt, Syria and other Arab states.
Any unbiased observer would have seen that the they were not to blame for the war or their own counter-aggression. However, because the Arab states threatened those who supported Israel with an oil embargo nearly every nation in the world chose to condemn them for the war. Another illustration of this point that American “realists are trying to make is the frequent examples of states as a mater of rational choice still pursue their preference by recourse to force.
Examining state practice, Professor Micheal Glennon finds it impossible “to avoid the conclussion that the use of force among states simply no longer subject, assuming it ever was, to the rule of law ” Jack Goldsmith and Eric Posner both agree on the sweeping statement that “International law does not pulls states toward compliance contrary to their interests, and possibilities for what international law can achieve are limited by the configurations of state interest and the distributions of state power.
” While this statement can not be empirically verified they nevertheless assert the fact that there is a universal tendency to disregard or to de-emphasized, international norms when they interdict the pursuit of national self-interest. Posner and Goldsmith lead the recent effort by international law scholars to unmask the law’s fecklessness. Significantly, there is practically no echo among legal scholars outside the United States. Yet within the walls of American governance this claim of a “limit” to international law resonates with a frightening timbre.
Using Similar reasoning, U. S. political leadership derive impetus and justification for their recurrent recourse to national interest, legal or otherwise . In America there is an increasingly apparent grip of mutually reinforcing “realist” symbiosis between intellectuals and government. One where the thinkers and doers are often the same persons who have sought to demonstrate in thought and deed, that both law-adherent and scoff-law state behavior are more or less equivalent options of the exercise of sovereignty.
Law then is not privileged and has no independent value, States, it is proposed, do not obey the law not because they ought to but rather because it serves national policy interests. Since this is what states, in fact, do, it would be narrow-minded to pretend, or worse to believe, otherwise. Law’s power to pull states towards compliance, in this analysis, derives solely from its occasional coincidence with “real” motives, such as the states’ perception of the advantage to be gained from compliance, or the perceived cost of noncompliance.
Likewise, states never obey law solely because of some non-case-specific belief in the rule of law per se. A fairly obvious example of this is the estranged alliance between France and the U. S. during the Cold War. France, and the rest of Europe as NATO allies, depended upon the U. S. for military aid and in the final instance Nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction. The opposite side of the spectrum was the Iron Curtain led by the U. S. S. R. with its vast military arsenal. France foreign policy followed where the U. S. went.
Today freed of the Iron Curtain’s looming threat, France has established herself as an independent player on the International scene. In fact, it is often at logger heads with the U. S. with respect to foreign policy. Especially the direction the war on terror is headed. No longer bound by its self-interest in mutual defense against a Communist threat the French have let the old alliances rest and have forgotten the thousands of Americans who died in the two World Wars for their sakes. Still another example, is the unilateral invasion of Iraq.
The dictates of international law required that UN weapons inspectors be given the opportunity to check to verify the absence of weapons of mass destruction. In his hawkish fervor Bush demanded that an international force immediately attack and take over Iraq. Despite repeated warnings not to do so and even possible international sanctions if he proceeds Bush went ahead and assembled his coalition of the Willing. Today, the War on Iraq remains a divisive issue in the international sphere. Especially since it has surfaced that the war was fought largely to support Bush’s self-interest.
While the theory that self-interest is all that drives international law is a purely descriptive-empirical observation. It also has enormous prescriptive potential. If the power-realism is the prism through which law’s purchase is to be understood in the future, that perception right or wrong can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In any society the compliance pull of law or its coercive power, is based upon the expectation of every participant that most others, most of the time, will obey the law.
Under this theory there is no point of following the law if others can not be expected to follow it. That the law has an inherent capacity to generate compliance is a Grundnorm as fundamental to the state system as it is ephemeral. It can not be proved by reference to some antecedent norm. It is an article of faith that underpins the verifiable reality of a world in which sovereign states interact in a structured system of rules and an expectation of compliance.
That such rule-based systematic interactions exists at all among stats is now being seriously debated, much to the surprise of those who had prematurely celebrated international law’s arrival at a post-ontological moment . This argument has focused on the law that attempts to limit a states’ right to have recourse to force in their relations with peers, the discourse is increasingly implicating not only that one inconvenient norm, but also the legitimacy of International law in general.