-JACOBIN, 20 MARCH 2016, FEAT. PROF. WADIE SAID:
To view terrorism as a war or as a crime — on this, much turns.
Seen through the military lens, the 9/11 terror attacks demanded a military response: first against Afghanistan and then, preventively, against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Later, the threat of terror has licensed drone strikes against “al-Qaeda and associates” as an act of elastically defined self-defense — such is the legal rationale provided by Harold Koh, an esteemed human rights jurist and the Obama State Department’s top lawyer from 2009 to 2012.
The bulk of Beltway opinion — the Democratic Party very much included — continues to support a militarized response to terrorism. This is despite the catastrophe of the Iraq invasion, a stalemate in Afghanistan, and the failure, by any standard, of military tribunals in trying terror suspects. (The Guantanamo courts have fully adjudicated only six cases in fourteen years, even though speed is the war court’s main selling point.) <Read More>