(From Murray Rothbard’s talk at the Mises Institute’s Cost of War Conference) First, Rothbard lost credibility with me when he started spouting off about natural law (and without any justification for said law). He enumerated the virtues of the old brand of international law, that proposed by the Catholic Scholastics of Renaissance Europe which provided for rules of war to govern states. These rules, such as the respect of neutrality, the ideal of non-intervention, and the non-involvement of civilians were respectable and designed to keep battles between two kings between them only. Great and grand, no doubt, but when were battles ever fought solely between kings without the aid of conscripted soldiers? Further, how does the application of these rules have anything to do with intervention in a country such as Rwanda (the potential intervention thereof Rothbard criticizes) when the entire point of such intervention was that it was civilians who were being slaughtered? Under the rules of law we might justly sit idle while the armies of two states combat each other. Yet even if without sufficient cause to intervene, a situation like that in Rwanda or Serbia or Somalia does not so easily fall under the auspices of rules of war that strictly govern engagement between states. When civilians are involuntarily engaged either by a state or a state-proxy then extra-state intervention should not be written off as radical statism.