FW: Subject: Re: José

Mark Jones jones118 at SPAMlineone.net
Thu May 3 15:53:45 MDT 2001

Nestor dijo:

> I am on the contrary arguing for *more* law. That the judge of an imperialist
> country extends its territorial jurisdiction to crimes committed elsewhere (and
> particularly in a country that is being sucked dry by the very State this judge
> is a central part of) does not look like the empire of law to me. On the
> contrary, it is the law of the strong ones against the weak ones.

It is the exercise of judicial power without the control of the franchise, since the
extra-territorial judges were not elected by the citizens of the third country who
also did not vote for the laws thus invoked. This is obviously in contradiction with
basic elements of bourgeois right and law. It is also obviously a case of force
majeure. Thus the arrest of Pinochet, like the bombing of Serbia at the behest of
non-existent entities ("the international community") are obviously, self-evidently,
cases of flagrant hypocrisy, the denial of elementary rights, of treachery and
political cynicism. That all this is true does not alter the fact that it was
nevertheless right to arrest Pinochet. What we need to have is MORE law, not less,
and the framework of international law needs to be strengthened to take account of
these obvious inconsistencies, errors, hypocrisies etc. The current framework of
international law is the UN Charter which is the recognised foundation of all
international civil, criminal and treaty law. But that was set up in 1945, when
there were strong currents of social reform and anti-colonialism. Today we live in a
reactionary world and it is clear that bourgeois states and the bourgeois world
order as a whole is incapable of improving, reforming and making more consistent,
the working of the rule of law, and of giving it a strong constitutional basis. To
do that would requite moves towards true world government, i.e. towards genuine
global democracy and the extension of the franchise,. But we live in a world of
imperialist plunder and predation, and therefore we are not going to get a rational,
enlightened universal republic any time soon.

The fact is that it is true that the use of 'human rights' issues serves as a Trojan
Horse for the subtle and duplicitous exercise of imperialist hegemony in defiance of
the rights and sovereignty of weaker states. But all this does is to further reveal
the shallow, false, artificial basis of the so-called sovereignty of the
neocolonial, comprador states of the so-called peripheries; and indeed of apparently
large and powerful imperialist states, for example Great Britain itself, which is
about to be used as a base of Bush's Star Wars-2 radars, thus making the UK a prime
target for Russian or anyone else's missiles, without the permission of the British
people being sought, of course--and it seems unlikely that most British people would
agree to become targets in the cause of defending the US homeland, since it seems
clear that the US National Missile Defence will not defend Europeans. So much for
*anyone's* sovereignty, then. But what did you expect? We live in a world dominated
by rival imperialisms and under US hegemony. Only World Revolution, only the
overthrow of the capitalist state, can change that. But for that to happen, workers
and their organisations must also defend the franchise, the rule of law, human
rights etc, and demand that these things be served and enforced equally and fairly
and that justice be truly universal. So you are right to say that we should demand
that Kissinger, Solana, Thatcher etc should ALSO face justice; but to argue this you
must also argue that it is right to arrest Pinochet, as indeed you do and I am glad
of this:

> In a sense,
> it has been good that Pinochet was arrested,

and of course, you are also right that:

> a simple glance
> back to the last 25 years demonstrate that we should take nothing, NOTHING, for
> granted.


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