chapter  4
13 Pages

The terrors of freedom: the sovereignty of states and the freedom to fear

WithAnthony Carty

This chapter demonstrates that 'the terrors of liberalism' have been recognised by 'mainstream' international lawyers for a very long time. Once this is appreciated, it can be seen most clearly how little there is which is new in Western reactions to Al Qa'ida, Osama bin Laden and Islamic fundamentalism. Brierly's obvious critique of the subjectivism of liberalism itself must affect the whole ideology of human rights. It is only to be expected that the human rights of the enemy should be disregarded, that innocents are caught with the 'guilty' and that the war against terrorism is self-destructive. The Taliban government of Afghanistan refuse to hand over Al Qa'ida suspects and Osama bin Laden in the absence of substantial proof, which is normal in extradition proceedings. The US and the UK convoke the Security Council merely to inform it of the steps they are taking under the cover of the inherent right of self-defence, recognised by Article 51 of the UN Charter.