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In response to a suicide bomb which killed 19 people in an Israeli restaurant, Israel has launched a bombing strike on a target near Damascus. It's the first Israeli attack so deep inside Syrian territory since the 1973 war.

Charlie Skelton

2 October 2003

So, Israel has bombed a target in Syria. An Islamic Jihad training base, they said. A "measured defensive response" they called it.

Well fine.

Bomb away. Everyone just bomb the fuck out of everyone else. Because the UN doesn't matter, right? Getting an international mandate for your military actions? Pah! Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

And so what if Kofi Annan condemns the attack. He's ancient history. So what if the French Foreign Ministry spokesman says that the bombing "constitutes an unacceptable violation of international law and rules of sovereignty." International law doesn't apply - because this was a terrorist target.

"Any country who harbors terrorism, who trains [terrorists], supports and encourages them will be responsible to answer for their actions."

- Israel government spokesman Avi Pazner.

Any country - right? - any country who "harbours terrorism" will be held "responsible to answer for their actions."


But responsible to answer to whom?

This is the question. This is what makes my head spin.

Responsible to answer to Israel?
Responsible to answer to America?
Responsible to answer to Finland?
Responsible to answer to my mum?

Surely, if you're going to have any sort of international law then you have to have genuinely international policing. You can't just decide to bop someone in the face because you're pissed off. THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT OF LAW. Isn't it? Or have I just gone stupid in the head? The only point of having law and police is so that retribution is taken out of the hands of the injured parties and put in the hands of people who aren't seething with personal resentment.

A world in which everyone's a policeman is a world without police. In the same way that Krypton isn't a planet of Supermen. It's just a planet.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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