Archiv: libraries


14.11.2019 - 18:55 [ Harvard International Law Journal, Forthcoming / papers.ssrn.com ]

Cut These Words: Passion and International Law of War Scholarship

(12.11.2019)

First, and perhaps the most fascinating mystery, is the near-total erasure of the Vietnam era,
and its vociferous doctrinal and policy debates, from the War on Terror international legal debate. The more one reads, the stranger it becomes—particularly once the invasion of Cambodia becomes publicly known in 1970, and the U.S. Department of State justifies the intervention in international legal terms. The doctrinal debate is eerily similar to those underlying key controversies between 2009 and 2018. The underlying law is, in many respects, largely the same. The contours of the international legal questions and their purported implications for the future disclose remarkable similarities. And yet, with the exception of that single footnote in the Al Aulaqi memorandum, there is almost no reference to the raging scholarly discourse that occurred barely two generations earlier. This would perhaps be understandable if I had gone deep into the national archives of, say, Bangladesh, and had found obscure texts that had never been published in English, or had never been made available in libraries or on the internet. But we are talking more or less about similar substantive debates occurring in similar journals by scholars contending with the same government offices. And it all just disappeared. Why?7