Are we in a war? Do we have an enemy?

Old Blog Import

An article by Slavoj Zizek:

When Donald Rumsfeld designated the imprisoned Taliban fighters unlawful combatants’ (as opposed to regular’ prisoners of war), he did not simply mean that their criminal terrorist activity placed them outside the law: when an American citizen commits a crime, even one as serious as murder, he remains a lawful criminal’. The distinction between criminals and non-criminals has no relation to that between lawful’ citizens and the people referred to in France as the Sans Papiers’. Perhaps the category of homo sacer, brought back into use by Giorgio Agamben in Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1998), is more useful here. It designated, in ancient Roman law, someone who could be killed with impunity and whose death had, for the same reason, no sacrificial value.”

(London Review of Books)