There has ben a lot of discussion by the academic left about whether the killing of Osama Bin Laden was justified. The people questioning the OBL killing don’t seem to question that a nation has a right to defend itself from a direct attack, but are raising the question of whether that is applicable here.
I’m sure there are other relevant sources but I thought I’d point out the UN’s charter. Chapter VII, Article 51 reads in part:
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations…
My read of the charter is that “individual or collective” refers to nations not to individual citizens.
My point is actually not about the OBL killing. It’s simply the illogical position that many people on the left seem to have: that a nation has an inherent right to self-defense against attack by another nation but individual people do not have an inherent right to self-defense against attack by another person.