Obama Is Planning to Commit A War Crime in Syria

John Glaser, September 04, 2013

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve written multiple times about the illegality of the Obama administration’s plan to bomb Syria. But the lack of legal legitimacy in what Obama is preparing to do should be reiterated.

Even if Congress grants Obama authorization to strike Syria, actually carrying out the act will be illegal under international law. It will be a war crime, in fact, as there has been no approval from United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“As international support for Obama’s decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world,” Noam Chomsky told the Huffington Post.

“[T]hat aggression without UN authorization would be a war crime, a very serious one, is quite clear, despite tortured efforts to invoke other crimes as precedents,” he added.

And here is an Op-Ed in yesterday’s New York Times by Yale law professors Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro, making the case against waging war without UNSC approval:

It is no surprise that both liberal interventionists and neoconservative realists are advocating American military intervention, even if it is illegal. As President Obama said on Saturday, “If we won’t enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules?”

But this question ignores the obvious: If the United States begins an attack without Security Council authorization, it will flout the most fundamental international rule of all — the prohibition on the use of military force, for anything but self-defense, in the absence of Security Council approval. This rule may be even more important to the world’s security — and America’s — than the ban on the use of chemical weapons.

One can quibble with the effectiveness of the UN in general, or with the comparative moral implications of Assad’s act versus Obama’s, but it remains an undeniable fact that Obama is planning to commit a war crime.

Quibbling still, one might say “who cares?” War crimes are committed all the time by the U.S. and other governments around the world, right? Indeed they are: in similar cases, both Clinton (Kosovo) and Bush (Iraq) committed clear cut war crimes with total impunity. But while U.S. foreign policy is rotten and hypocritical to its core, the fact that Washington repeatedly claims to enforce international law by violating it should be wholly unacceptable to Americans and to the world.




43 Responses to “Obama Is Planning to Commit A War Crime in Syria”

  1. OBAMA is huntincc Quraneyoon just like cCitichenney

  2. Why does acting “without the authorization of the UN” constitute a war crime? If this war were just, such a in the case of self-defense, then even if the UN says it doesn’t give authorization for an attack then the action would be a crime? Natural law determiners what are crimes, and not any government body.

  3. Yes he is, IPKhalfa, but he has no other choice because he has the very same bosses as did Chenney and Bush – they all work for the same people.

  4. IS IT FRACKING TIME TO REVOKE THAT NOBEL PEACE PRIZE YET????!!

    Oh wait, Kissinger still got his. Never mind.

  5. Obama is a chump. Where has he been for the last ten years? On what does he base his conclusion that an American intervention, of whatever type, will have any positive effects on anything?

    What a fool that man is. Doesn't he realise he will be hung for Bush's crimes? (Since he decided to embrace the continuing "evil of the whole")

    And yes, Obama, Boehner, McCain, and the rest of the Repubs cheering you on have your best interests at heart.

    What a chump.

  6. I'm pretty sure Obama could murder his own kids at this point and his follower-drones would find a way to defend it.

  7. National security.

  8. ALL THE MILITARY BRASS CONTINUES TO WARN AGAINST THIS… …. MOVE…. ONE SAID THIS IS LIKE PUTTING A CHIP ON THE SHOULDER OF A BABOON … AND TRYING TO FORCE THE WILD BEAST TO NOT RILE OR PROVOKE THE MOB OF GOONS THAT SURROUND HIM….. LEST HE DROP THE CHIP ON HIS SHOULDER……. AND ARM THEE BIG-ONE ,,, SET OFF THE WHOLE ZOO….
    …… YEA SOMEONE DID USE GAS, VICTIMIZING DEFENSELESS PEOPLE…..THEE GOLDEN QUESTION IS WHO??? AND WHY ??? DE JA VOO ……SOMTHIN FISHY AT THE WALDORF BUFFET…??

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  10. @John Glaser: "Obama Is Planning to Commit A War Crime in Syria"

    Me: Yes (assuming that the poison-gas event was a false-flag, IMHO 99.9%+, proof is a looong history of same).

    Of course, it's not the 1st such war crime by the US.

    It follows a "standard modus operandi:"

    1. Begin by demonising the 'target tyrant.'

    2. Create a false-flag outrage.

    3. Misreport it, blaming said tyrant.

    4. Aggressively attack = supreme international crime.

    The true puzzle is that they (the criminal regime, here the US but Zs included, both on their own account (before, during and after Plan Dalet, plus all similar outrages down to the current moment) and as filthy 5th-column US-Congress 'owners') – will probably get away with it – AGAIN. Where's an honest cop when you need one? Kofi Annan: "Yes, if you wish. [B,B&H+ invasion of Iraq] … was illegal", means Annan = incompetent and/or corrupt, you choose, and Ban Ki-moon ditto.

    It used to be that 'getting away with it' was easier, back when the MSM+PFBCs had a 'lock' on news flows, now not so easy. Anyone with internet can now make up their own mind, and many decry the vicious US+Z-crimes, like many reading antiwar. But obviously, sadly, not enough objectors.

    Under 'standard' law, ignorance is no excuse. All those who actually do the crimes = perpetrators, all those who assist the crimes = accessories, all those who 'merely' argue for the crimes = apologists, even down to inactive bystanders, all share the guilt, according to involvement-level.

    Only active objectors may assume the moral high-ground. Most decent people, given honest, full and fair reporting, would be such objectors.

  11. @Ben Busby
    September 4th, 2013 at 9:13 am
    «Why does acting “without the authorization of the UN” constitute a war crime? If this war were just, such a in the case of self-defense, then even if the UN says it doesn’t give authorization for an attack then the action would be a crime? Natural law determiners what are crimes, and not any government body.»

    Me: Yes and no. The UN Charter does allow war in strict self-defence – IMHO the only possible 'just' war. Under that scenario, IF all attacks were successfully forbidden, THEN there'd be no war at all.

    Also under that system, any aggressive attacker was 'automatically' a war-criminal, and morally, certainly so. That was my understanding of the UN system – until I found out that it's been corrupted.

    Ben: "If this war were just" … Ah, but that's the problem, it is *not* just.

    The UNSC is politicised – code for 'corruptible.'

    So the aggressive attacker (US) claims that Russia and/or China are blocking some resolution calling for an attack, which the attacker maintains is 'legitimate' (but is clearly not), R&/C blocking on allegedly corrupt grounds, like 'Russia is Syria's major arms supplier.' In fact, and as all who wish to can see, the attacker is the corrupting influence – but alleges his own corruption is on the other 'side.' (A bit repetitive perhaps, but such is life.)

    The attacker depends on a manufactured, false-flag outrage.

    The attacker's motives are *not* the false-flag outrage, but a) attempt to maintain the fiat-$US-fraud, attempt to monopolise oil/gas/pipelines/routes, attempt to support the illegitimate entity illegally squatting on most of improperly alienated Palestine, and 'the road to Tehran runs through Damascus' = Iran next on US/Z-rapine-list.

    It's just another in a series of similar supreme international war crimes, starting with Afghanistan (outrage = 9/11; partly 'inside-job' = false-flag), Iraq (outrage = partly non-existent WMDs (Rice's mushroom-cloud, say), partly *non-involved* 9/11), Libya (outrage = partly non-existent viagra-boosted rape, partly non-existent threat of massacre in Benghazi), and now Syria (outrage = partly externally fomented and supported 'revolution,' partly false-flag poison-gas attack.)

    *Precisely* since this war is *not* just, the UNSC would criminalise itself by allowing it, AND because this war is *not* just, it is correctly regarded as illegal. What's not to understand?

    Suggestion: IF US voter THEN lobby your representatives; they (like the wise majority of UK representatives) should *not* allow the US into yet another illegal, country-crushing, innocent-murdering war for spoil.

  12. Dear President Assad,
    I understand you and your people are killing each other in Syria. My colleagues Pelosi, Macain, and my Secretary of State say it is Ok, they are good American sports like me. I am educated, and I know killing people in Syria is Ok, this is why I am sending CIA trained killers to go there and kill too. Killing with poison gas is against the rules however, I reminded you of this and I am pretty confident you decided to kill with gas anyway. Let me make this perfectly clear, killing people is ok except for killing by poison gas, you broke the rule, Kerry says he knows, so I am going to kill some of your people with missiles. I have asked our Congress if they want to play. By the way, how is your golf game? President O blame U.

  13. I don't mind my country policing the globe.. even if they sometimes act in ways that only benefit the west.

  14. [...] Syria would be a much more serious war crime than even a chemical weapons attack.  (And history shows that the U.S. is guilty of more [...]

  15. [...] Syria would be a much more serious war crime than even a chemical weapons attack.  (And history shows that the U.S. is guilty of more serious [...]

  16. [...] Syria would be a much more serious war crime than even a chemical weapons attack.  (And history shows that the U.S. is guilty of more [...]

  17. [...] Syria would be a much more serious war crime than even a chemical weapons attack.  (And history shows that the U.S. is guilty of more [...]

  18. your country should go to hell – and so should you, if you approve it. Dick.

  19. [...] Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  20. [...] when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  21. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  22. [...] Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here,here and here)? [...]

  23. [...] Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  24. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  25. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  26. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  27. [...] Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  28. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  29. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  30. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  31. [...] Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  32. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  33. [...] Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  34. [...] – Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  35. [...] Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)? [...]

  36. ?

  37. Sometimes, the when people gets indulged in violence, it literally cause great harm to everyone involved in the scene. Moreover, it becomes difficult for them to defend themselves in the court, so they have to hire the best lawyers in the region to get over with the legal complications.

  38. hile the fight continues, Mr. Obama stressed that troop reductions will continue past the initial 33,000. By 2014, he said, Afghanistan will be responsible for its own security. Next May, the U.S. will host a summit in Chicago with NATO allies and partners to shape the next phase of the security transition.

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  40. Doesn't he realise he will be hung for Bush's crimes? (Since he decided to embrace the continuing "evil of the whole it becomes difficult for them to defend themselves in the court, so they have to hire the best lawyers in the region to get over with the limite. thanks

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  42. Speaking to reporters, Kerry inveighed against what he sees as a tendency within the United States to retreat from the world even as he defended the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts from Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  43. Wow, I thought they had finished when the rain stopped falling :) Thanks John, I will have to reconsider.