Islamic Human Rights Commission
22nd September 2001
Dubious Ethics as West Prepares for War
As the build up to war continues, the Islamic Human Rights Commission is concerned that important ethical issues surrounding the imminent attacks on Afghanistan and possibly wider.
The request to hand over Bin Laden: IHRC notes that many commentators and experts are agreed that the USA has not provided sufficient evidence to meet the requirements of extradition for most countries considered to have advanced legal systems. Applying a different standard in this case belies a profound contempt for one’s own supposed standards as well as the country to which a request has been made.
Proposal to use military power to remove Bin Laden or kill him in the process: Whilst the perpetrators of the Omagh bombing are known to British intelligence services, they are unable to prosecute based on the evidence gathered so far. Their certainty may indeed be comparable to that of the US security and intelligence services. However as the British case proves, there is no international precedent to undertake such operations. To do otherwise is to act as judge, jury and executioner.
‘The war against terrorism’: As has been rightly pointed out terrorism does not solely take the form or origin of the attacks on America. If there is a serious war to be waged against terrorism then its perpetrators need to be identified on an inclusive basis. Whether its Republican and Loyalist terror groups in Northern Ireland or Israeli terror groups, these have all to be identified and included. Additionally the same zeal that has characterised the hunt for Bin Laden should be extended to cover the likes of Radovan Karadzic, Ariel Sharon and other perpetrators of genocide and terror world-wide.
If such a mission is to be undertaken there arises the further question of who is able to perform such a task. Following the lead of a superpower that has financed and supported not only terror regimes like Israel and Iraq, but groups led b y Bin Laden himself, augurs ill. The US has thus far led a campaign in pursuit of a genocidal sanctions regime against Iraq that has resulted in the deaths of over a million people over half of whom were children. Its record in Korea and Vietnam sees a death toll of 3 million in each country, including the mass bombings and massacres of civilians.
The failure of the US to take stock of its disastrous foreign policy that could have prompted the horrendous attacks against US and other civilians ultimately exposes its current actions as void of any ethical basis. The US lexicon still only recognises that might is ultimately right.
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