Letter: Rule of Law or Pitiless War for Survival
Dembo, Prof Micah, The Independent (London, England)
Sir: Richard Goldstone advocates the application of the international criminal law to terrorists (Comment, 2 October). The premise that Osama bin Laden and his evil crew are simply a bunch of rather sophisticated criminals that should be prosecuted under some international legal authority is both dangerous and wrongheaded.
These men are pious, selfless and courageous Islamic warriors. They are dedicated to their cause and to their views of justice and morality. What would be the point of prosecuting and incarcerating them like so many garden variety bank-robbers? Is the purpose to reform them and convert them to a life of Christian piety? Or perhaps Mr Goldstone is suggesting that locking up some ringleaders will somehow make us safe from the millions ready to die for the holy cause.
We live in an age of nuclear and biological weapons and it is only a matter of time before these will fall into the hands of men like Osama bin Laden. …