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Submitted by david kirk on Fri, 13/05/2011 - 11:12

Marxists used to know international law is largely a sham. The UN is a cartel of rich or powerful nations. Its edicts make actions lawful or not, not on the basis of justice but on whether China and Russia can be induced by whatever incitements not to veto an action. However going back to the Kossovo conflict many self professed Marxists plead that this or that action is illegal. Would the invasion of Iraq be right if the UN Security Council had voted a second resolution through? Of course not, but to hear many Marxists talk the issue with Iraq was that its an "illegal war". This may of originally been opportunism but it obscures and mis-educates to what the real attitde to international conflict should be guided by.

1, National Sovereignty- Guenter quotes from a NYT article stating the response to what Pakistan sees as a violation of Sovereignty. However Marxists must be clear, we support the self determination of peoples and nations, this is not the same as the bourgeois legal form of National Sovereignty. Sovereignty is about the almost absolute legal right of the rulers of a territory to deal with the population how they see fit, the right to self determination is the right of a self identified people to their own state. The limited attack on one compound in Pakistan by US special forces, is an infringement on Pakistan's Sovereignty, but it is not a infringement on the Pakistani's self determination or independence.

2, International War Crimes Trials- Guenter and others say the killing of Bin Laden was wrong because he could have been brought to trial. This could have happened only if he surrendered to the American forces or could have been taken alive, whether this could have happened we do not know. However if he had been captured and brought to trial, who would try him? Liberals and many dis-orientated Marxists would say the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague and like Guenter cite approvingly the example Nuremberg Trials. The Nuremberg Trails did bring some Nazi's to justice (and let many others off lightly), but should Marxists have given this court any more confidence than the French courts that tried Petain or Laval, the British courts that tried John Amery or William Joyce or even the NKVD tribunals that tried commandants of the death camps, I think not. Many jurisdictions could have tried Bin Ladin but The US courts (where Al Quida killed Thousands) had as much right as any others. If the US had tried him, we could not give the US ruling class's legal system confidence, but we should have no more confidence in the Hague.

As for the issue of whether he was already dead or if the US government is lying to us. I think Marxists have a special need to avoid conspiracy theories. Because we are not empiricists and do not take the ruling class at its word there is a danger of drifting off into the obscurantism or the obsession of the conspiracy nut. The Marxists world view is critical but it is also materialist. We know the US ruling class are not omnipotent, are relatively dis-united and not all that competent. They were unable to cover up Watergate, Cambodia, the Bay Of Pigs, the Gulf Of Tonkin incident, their involvement in Pinochet's coup in Chile etc for long. To fake the killing of Bin Laden would have taken thousands of people in the US government and I think its more likely that they did kill him then they are conducting a successful cover up.

Bin Laden was a fascist, a murderer and part of the leadership of a reactionary force who had no qualms about killing or contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of working class people (mainly Muslims). The utter military and ideological defeat of Al Quida, even at the hands of the U.S bourgeoisie is a positive thing for working class people everywhere. The destruction of Al Quida's command and control is part and parcel of that victory.

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