Wednesday, October 10, 2007

International Law Under a Global Caliphate:
Think About It

A particularly nasty rape-and-murder case in Texas had nothing to do with the war on terror, until the International Court of Justice (IC) got involved.

Back in 1993, two teenage girls took a shortcut through a park, interrupted a gang initiation, and were then raped and killed: a process that took about an hour. Ernesto Medellin, the gang member who first grabbed one of the girls, and snapped a nylon belt while strangling one of them, is a Mexican national.

He informed police of his status, but was not informed that he could ask the Mexican consulate for help. Medellin didn't find out that he could appeal to the Mexican consulate until after he was sentenced to death.

Now, the International Court of Justice says that the rights of Medellin and 50 others were violated this way. As I understand it, the IC says their convictions should be overturned, and they should be given new trials.

The White House agrees.

What we have we have here is state law, federal law, and international law getting in each other's way. The IC and the White House point to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, or "1963 Vienna Convention" for short. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on the mess today.

I'm inclined to side with states' rights. On the other hand, I can't support the death penalty (It's a Catholic thing: If there's no other way to protect the innocent, the Church accepts executions - but given what can be done these days, it's rare that killing the criminal is the only solution (heavy paraphrase of the Catechism, 2267).)

And, although I think that eventually there will very likely be a global authority that's competent to rule, I don't think we're there yet.

Here's where the war on terror comes in.

A reasonable goal for Al Qaeda and all the other jihadists, from their point of view, is to establish a global caliphate. Then, we'd have their version of the Islamic dream: the entire world run along the lines of Afghanistan under the Taliban.

I suspect that many people would be more passionate about America winning, if they realized that, although the St. Louis Gateway Arch might be sufficiently abstract to survive, the Statue of Liberty would almost certainly join the Twin Towers as a former feature of the New York City skyline.

I'm not just being emotional here: an over-size, unislamic statue - of a woman - symbolizing freedom, of all things? If I had a Talabanoid mindset, that, and the Lincoln Memorial, would be among the first landmarks to go.

The, there are the dress codes that would be imposed. Women wouldn't be allowed to vote. Or drive. And certainly not go outside the home, unless accompanied by a male relative.

International law, under a Wahhabi Islamic caliphate, would enforce standards that I think many Americans would find more offensive than insisting on the re-trail of a convicted rapist.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.