Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan
I had a lengthy discourse on this board in 2008 (primarily with Preacher) in which I contended W was a war criminal with regard to "enhanced interrogations" (aka torturing) of detainees in violation of the Geneva Convention - so I am not defending W
But as far as the two wars launched by W - both of them were supported by a majority of the American public and Congress when they were launched - if you have any polling data to the contrary feel free to link to it - do not confuse your views (or mine with regard to Iraq) with "the wishes of the majority back home"
And as far as international treaties, I agree the treaties are the law of the land once ratified (whether certain treaty provisions governed treatment of detainees was a big part of what Hamdan was about). I do not understand those treaties to require UN approval before the U.S,.commences military action - the US may go to the UN for PR purposes but if the UN wants to stop the US from declaring war or having Congress otherwise authorize military action (something notably missing from our current excellent adventure in Libya) I doubt the US has signed a treaty that gives the UN the right to do something about it
You and I have a different view as to what constitutes uncontroversial assessments of reality on this point insofar as you contend George W. Bush is clearly
a greater criminal than Bin Laden
The war in Afghanistan was largely opposed here at home... until it became clear that it was an inevitability, and then good Americans all, we rah-rahed all the way to Kabul, and then downward ever since. We see the exact same arc with the war in Iraq. I mention it's popularity (or lack thereof) in passing, and only to underscore how truly undemocratic we are. The more important the decision, the less we are consulted, either directly or via our elected representatives, who are clearly in office to rubber stamp anything the king - Oops! I mean, the president - wants to do. None of this has anything to do with war crimes, however.
We're discussing two different things here. The first is the reality that the US is the Big Don on the block, the capo di tutti capi, and they can do as they please, ignoring the United Nations at will. I'm not contesting that at all. Ours is a rogue state, a criminal state that does as it pleases without regard to international law, individual lives, or any other considerations.
The second thing we're discussing here is what international law actually says. What it says is that:
- A war of aggression, sometimes also war of conquest, is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense usually for territorial gain and subjugation;
- Wars without international legality (e.g. not out of self-defense nor sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council) can be considered wars of aggression;
- Waging such a war of aggression is a crime under the customary international law. Nuremburg, Tokyo, the Rio Pact, Resolution 3314 and the Rome Statute all clarify this;
- And these laws are adjudicated by the United Nations, and tried in the ICC.
So, will Obama or Bush ever see the inside of a jail cell? No, of course not. Well, maybe Obama, but only because he's lying about his birth certificate. But no Tea Partier in his right mind would ever question Obama's prerogative - nay, duty - to assassinate anyone and everyone he sees fit to kill, so long as it boosts his reelection chances. That includes, by the way, American citizens
. It's good to see that the Right has its priorities in order.
As far as Chomsky's fanatical views, though... Look, let's put it in grotesque terms: Who's commited the greater crime? Someone who murders one person, or someone who murders one hundred? Just because one of them is "our" criminal, we're not allowed to do the most basic math? That's exactly how Stalin got a pass for so long in this country and around the world, despite being by far the greater criminal than Hitler; he was "our criminal". Don't fall for it.
And MoP: Ron Paul is a bad ass, no doubt about it. There used to be one or two on the other side of the aisle I held in high regard, but no longer. Paul is just about the only guy with any spine left in Washington worth mentioning.