Nuclear Weapons and Law

By Arthur Selwyn Miller; Martin Feinrider | Go to book overview

9.

Nuclear Weapons Versus International Law: A Contextual Reassessment *

Burns H. Weston**

When they shell the telephone building in Madrid it is all right because it is a military objective. When they shell gun positions and observation posts that is war. If the shells fall too long or too short that is war too. But when they shell the city indiscriminately in the middle of the night to try to kill civilians in their beds it is murder.

—Ernest Hemingway 1

* Reprinted, with permission, from McGill Law Journal, Volume 28, Number 3 (1983).

** Murray Distinguished Professor of the College of Law, the University of Iowa; Member, Consultative Council, the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy, and Member of the Lawyers Alliance for Nuclear Arms Control [LANAC]. A.B., 1956, Oberline College; LL.B., 1961, J.S.D., 1970, Yale Law School. I acknowledge with appreciation the gracious help of my former research assistant, Mr. Mark A. Wilson, a recent graduate of The University of Iowa College of Law. I alone, of course, assume full responsibility for what is written.

1 This quotation is drawn from the typescript of an article entitled Humanity Will Not Forgive This, written by Ernest Hemingway for the special 1 August 1938 issue of Pravda on the occasion of the Spanish Civil War. The typescript was discovered recently in the John F. Kennedy Library by Professor of History William B. Watson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and first published in English in The Washington Post (28 November 1982) Fl. In an accompanying commentary, Professor Watson writes: “The Pravda article that is now being published in English for the first time is exactly as Hemingway wrote it. He wrote it out of anger, and he wrote it for Pravda not only because he was asked to, but because the Russians seemed then the only European power willing to confront Fascism head on.” Watson, Discovering Hemingway's Pravda Article, The Washington Post (28 November 1982) Fl, F13.

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