No, Condoleezza Rice is not a war criminal

Laws, by contrast, are written, enacted, and executed by governments, and they apply exclusively to those residing within territorially defined political communities (be they city states, nations, or empires). Citizens of liberal democracies hold, moreover, that laws gain legitimacy — and become binding — only with the consent of the governed. And that standard is (tacitly) met only when the laws have been crafted by the people’s democratically elected representatives.

“International law” fulfills none of these requirements.

Someday, perhaps, the world will have a single government, one to which the planet’s citizens have consented. That world state will be empowered to enact a body of binding international law and to punish transgressions of it.

But until that day, which is nowhere in sight, “international law” will remain a fiction — one concocted by politically unaccountable lawyers and bureaucrats, and enforced (or more accurately: imposed) arbitrarily and capriciously by ragtag coalitions of governments, egged on by equally unaccountable activists, and motivated mainly (as governments almost always are) by national self-interest.