Spot the Rogue
You know it's bad when yours is the 1st country that comes to mind when asked to 'Spot the Rogue.'
In six short years this administration has set the world back over three hundred, putting US at serious risk of becoming the target of a coordinated retaliatory attack by state actors unwilling to tolerate the threat of our repeated, uprovoked, and increasingly aggressive violations of international law.
[Iran is breaking no law.] On the contrary, it is the US and the EU that are doing so when they seek to deprive it of [its right to nuclear energy]. Their justification is that they simply know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Iran is developing enrichment technology and facilities only to make nuclear weapons. Their action is, therefore, a pre-emptive defence of the NPT. What they are congenitally unable to admit is that they have themselves created the justification for not only Iran, but any country to ignore the NPT. Indeed they have gone beyond that and undermined the very foundations on which international law rested so far.We're not just asking for it - we're begging for it.
The purpose of law is to regulate relations between individuals. It is founded upon the surrender by all members of society of those natural ‘rights’ (such as the right to rob or kill) that they would not like others to exercise against them.
International law applies this principle to relations between States. The principles of international law were first codified in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 and progressively refined into the body of international law we have today. But the two pillars on which the Westphalian State system rested were the sovereignty of States and the non-interference in the internal affairs of other States.
Peace was maintained through deterrence and war was only justified when it was waged in defence of one’s people, territory or vital interests. Grotius, the father of international law, was absolutely convinced that the only just war was a war fought in self defence. The danger, moreover, had to be immediate and the force used to repel it had to be proportionate to the threat.
Both these pillars [were] blown to smithereens by Bush’s national security doctrine of preventive defence and its application to Iraq. [T]he doctrine substituted the intention to do harm with the capacity to do harm. America would be justified in declaring war not just on a country that unmistakably intended to attack it, but one that had or was trying to develop the capacity to harm it. For good measure, it also claimed the right to militarily intervene in any country at any time to identify and destroy this capacity.
The US has thus plunged the world back into the ‘state of nature’ from which it had emerged in 1648, and as Thomas Hobbes pointed out, this was also a state of war, at least until another powerful hegemon emerges which can restore order. All the international treaties signed over the past hundred years and more have implicitly assumed the existence of the Westphalian order and acceptance of its basic principles. In destroying the former and repudiating the latter, Bush has destroyed the premises, and thereby invalidated not the just the NPT but all the major international treaties.
The repudiation of the Kyoto Protocol, the use of cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells, white phosphorous bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan and the contemplated use of nuclear bunker busters in Iran shows how rapidly other international agreements are unravelling before our eyes.
The US is the motive force and sometimes the sole perpetrator of all these renegade acts. It is, therefore, truly ironical that this, of all countries, should be seeking to indict Iran for breaking ‘The Law’.
The sooner other governments recognise that they are living under a tyranny and join together to oppose it, the safer the world will be.
If we don't reign in these war criminals, we're going to find ourselves in the middle of a Third World War with only Israel at our side.