The Problem of International Law

Modern institutions that hold back the rise of barbarism are being weakened, writes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson 
To the Point Analysis.com

Several recent events suggest that global warming is not the only thing threatening our future. As if they are running on parallel tracks, some of the modern institutions that help make for stable societies — the ones that hold back the rise of barbarism — are being weakened even as the atmosphere is heating up and the oceans swell. In pursuit of short-term state or personal interests, some national leaders are violating or ignoring international law and, by doing so, putting us all at long-term risk.

The first example is the subverting of the International Criminal Court.

International Criminal Court Building in The Hague, Netherlands. (Vincent van Zeijst via Wikimedia)

International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (Vincent van Zeijst via Wikimedia)

One of the most hopeful developments to follow the catastrophe that was World War II — the war that brought the world the Holocaust, the Blitzkrieg, the carpet bombing of Europe and the use of nuclear bombs against large cities — was the extension and strengthening of international law. In 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations, seeking to give such laws real force, called for the establishment of an international criminal court. That call triggered resistance because such a court would necessarily impinge on nation-state sovereignty. It took 54 years before the court was finally convened in order to enforce laws against the committing of war crimes and other evils, such as genocide. 

Still, there are some nations that refuse to recognize the court’s jurisdiction. Often these are the states most addicted to the barbaric behavior that came close to destroying a good part of the globe during the 20th century. These governments now threaten the very workability of the court. Thus, on Jan. 28 it was reported that “A senior judge has resigned from one of the international courts in The Hague” due to interference and threats coming from both the U.S. and Turkey. The judge’s name is Christoph Flügge.

In the case of the United States, the problem began when the International Criminal Court at the Hague decided to investigate allegations of war crimes, specifically the use of torture, committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

John Bolton: Nation-state supremacist

John Bolton: Savonarola of statism.    

At that point President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton (who reminds one of a modern Savonarola when it comes to ideological enforcement), publicly threatened the court’s judges. “If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen,” he said, “the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States — and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted.”

It must be said that (a) torturing Afghanis is not a “domestic concern of the U.S.” And, all too obviously, (b) Bolton is a deplorable one-dimensional thinker. Bound tightly by a lifelong rightwing perspective, he has never been able to get past the concept of nation-state supremacy. This means his perspective is untouched by those lessons of history which have shown the nation-state to be a threat to civilization itself. Thus, when in 2005, President George W. Bush appointed John Bolton ambassador to the United Nations, it was with the prior knowledge that the man felt nothing but contempt for this international organization and would disparage it at every turn. At present Bolton has turned out to be just the kind of fellow who fits into the reactionary White House run by Donald Trump. 

Turkey Ignores Diplomatic Immunity 

The leaders of the United States are not the only ones who can purposely undermine international courts. Christoph Flügge tells of another incident wherein the government of Turkey arrested one of its own nationals, Aydin Sefa Akay, who was a judge on the international court at the Hague. At the time, Akay had diplomatic immunity by virtue of his position, a fact that the increasingly statist government in Istanbul ignored.

Akay’s crime was to be judged insufficiently loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Flügge and his fellow judges strongly protested the Turkish actions, but they were not supported by the present UN secretary general, António Guterres (who is a former prime minister of Portugal). And, without that support, Akay lost his position as judge and was, so to speak, thrown to the dogs of nation-state arrogance.

Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, 2014. (Hesab? via Flickr)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 2014. (Hesabi via Flickr)

Upon resigning, Flügge had some seminal words of warning about the fate of international law. “Every incident in which judicial independence is breached is one too many.” The cases of Turkish and U.S. interference with the International Criminal Court set a fatal precedent, he continued,  “and everyone can invoke it in the future. Everyone can say: ‘But you let Turkey get its way.’ This is an original sin. It can’t be fixed.”

Commenting on the threat leveled by Bolton, Flügge said, “the American threats against international judges clearly show the new political climate. … The judges on the court were stunned.” Yet, this behavior was quite in accord with nation-state aggrandizement and American exceptionalism; national sovereignty stands above international law.

Suborning of Interpol

It is not only the world’s international laws and international court that are being undermined, but also Interpol, the world’s international police force. Nation-state leaders, particularly the dictators who place their interests and preferences above even their own domestic law, now seek to suborn Interpol and use it as a weapon to silence their critics.

The latest example of this comes out of Bahrain, a wealthy monarchical dictatorship in the Persian Gulf. It is run by a Sunni elite minority which systematically represses the country’s Shiite majority. By doing so, its major “achievement” to date has been to give the religion of Islam a bad name. It is also a staunch U.S. ally, and the U.S. 5th fleet is based in that country. If you want to know where much of the U.S. naval forces supporting the Saudi destruction of Yemen come from, it is Bahrain. 

U.S. Navy’s Coastal Command Boat lowered into water in its homeport of Bahrain, 2014. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Felicito Rustique)

U.S. Navy’s Coastal Command Boat gets lowered into its homeport of Bahrain, 2014. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Felicito Rustique)

So how is the dictatorship in Bahrain corrupting the world’s international police force? One of the players on Bahrain’s national soccer team, Hakeem al-Araibi, vocally expressed his dissent over the way Bahrain is run. He was then framed for “vandalizing a police station” even though he was playing in a soccer match, broadcast on TV, at the time of the incident. He was arrested, beaten up in jail, yet still managed to escape to Australia, where he was granted asylum.

At this point Bahrain managed to have Interpol issue a fraudulent arrest warrant. When al-Araibi showed up in Thailand on his honeymoon, he was taken into custody and now awaits possible extradition back to Bahrain, where he may well face torture. By the way, it is a violation of international law to extradite someone to a country where he or she risks being tortured. So far Thailand has not taken advantage of this legal and moral reason to defy the Bahraini monarchy. 

This is not an isolated problem. The watchdog organization Fair Trials has documented multiple cases of the corruption and abuse of Interpol by “governments” which do not feel themselves bound by the rule of law. 

21stCentury Assaults

There is little doubt that the 21st century has begun with an assault on both the climatic and legal atmosphere that underpins the world’s stability. 

Before 1946 the world was a mess: one hot war after another, economic recessions and depressions, imperialism, colonialism, and racism galore. All of this was grounded in the nation state and its claim of sacred sovereignty. The world experienced a sort of climax to this horror show in the form of Nazi racism and the Holocaust, the use of nuclear weapons, and Stalinist Russia’s purges, mass starvations and Gulag exiles. 

Troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One) wading onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach (Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France) on the morning of June 6, 1944. American soldiers encountered the newly formed German 352nd Division when landing. During the initial landing two-thirds of Company E became casualties. (Wikimedia)

Troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division wading onto Omaha Beach (Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France) June 6, 1944. During the initial landing two-thirds of Company E became casualties. (Wikimedia)

After World War II, things got better in a slow sort of way. The trauma of the recent past spurred on the formation of international laws, international courts, a universal declaration of human rights, civil rights movements and the like. We also got the Cold War, which, for all its tensions, was a big improvement on hot wars.

Now things are falling apart again, and rest assured that U.S. leaders and their less-savory allies abroad are doing their part in the devolution of peace and justice. Shall we name just a few U.S. names? Well, there is Donald Trump and his minion Bolton. They go gaga over thugs passing themselves off as presidents in such nation-states as Egypt, the Philippines and that pseudo-democracy, Israel. There is also Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who has turned into the U.S. version of Cardinal Richelieu when it comes to Washington’s South America foreign policy. He is the one pushing for the overthrow of the legitimate government in Venezuela while simultaneously calling for close relations with the new fascist president of Brazil. 

And the list goes on. How do we do this to ourselves? Is it short memories of the wretched past or almost no historical memory at all? Is it some sort of perverse liking for group violence? This is an important question and a perennial one. But now, with global warming upon us and lifestyles soon to be under threat, things are going to get even messier—and messy social and economic situations are usually good news for barbarians. More than ever, we are going to need uncorrupted international laws, courts and police.

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

image_pdfimage_print

58 comments for “The Problem of International Law

  1. robert e williamson jr
    February 19, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    The trouble with international law is the that the countries that ignore it, those who are strong and wealthy or are excepting CIA backing are allowed to ignore it with impunity. And that was before the Village Idiot from New York city arrived on the scene.

    Conservatives call any one who doesn’t by their “party line”, liberals, when liberals kick their butts in debates, the libs are called socialist. Fascists are fascists who claim to be conservative, something that the repuniklan party created by going Far Right!

  2. Oz Perch
    February 14, 2019 at 7:31 am

    While I agree with your basic premise, this article is seriously flawed. John Bolton is not a “nationalist” — he’s an imperialist. The institution of the nation state arose under France’s Louis XI as a defense against the depredations of empire. The UN Charter recognizes the absolute sanctity of national sovereignty, correctly, in contrast to your assertion that “lessons of history which have shown the nation-state to be a threat to civilization itself.” If the Anglo-American axis can overthrow elected governments on a whim, claiming “Responsibility To Protect,” then International Law has no meaning.

    The ICC is a good idea whose reputation was soiled for years because they could only find war criminals in Third World countries.

  3. rosemerry
    February 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    A point about Interpol. Russia is one of the nations which in spite of all its tribulations, accusations by the “West” and assumptions of its evil nature, actually strives valiantly to keep to international law. The Crimean situation based on precedent and referendum of the population is “illegal annexation” while Israel is never sanctioned, or the ripping of Kosovo from Serbia by NATO.
    When the position of Interpol chief was available, wild scenes prevented the Russian candidate from being considered, on the assumption that he would be unfair. It may be that a known criminal,William Browder would be sought for multiple crimes, but he seems to have captivated the whole world and stopped any information of his international crimes to be publicised even on internet.

  4. HISTORICVS
    February 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    In the century and a half since the end of the American Civil War there has been an unprecedented outpouring of national laws and international treaties and conventions to regulate or even eliminate war. But in the same period some two hundred million human beings have lost their lives in war, carnage on a magnitude equally unparalleled in the long bloody history of humankind.

    The “recourse to war for the solution of international controversies” was outlawed by Kellogg-Briand Pact, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate with only one dissenting vote in 1928. It is still the law of the land, though the U.S. government has in fact never obeyed it.

    FDR, for example, in supplying warships and war materiel to Britain to prosecute the second war she contrived to declare against Germany, violated this treaty indirectly, as well as by directly ignoring the 1907 Hague Convention, which forbade neutral nations to sell armaments to all belligerent nations. Title 18 of the U.S. Law Code also explicitly forbade “the fitting out, arming, or procuring of any vessel with the intent that it shall be employed in the service of a foreign state to cruise or commit hostilities against any state at which the United States is at peace.” Section 3, title 5 of the 1917 Espionage Act further criminalized the supplying of a war vessel to any nation at war with another. The 1937 Neutrality Act required the President to declare an embargo on the shipment of all war materiel to all warring nations, and even forbade American citizens to purchase government bonds issued by belligerent foreign states.

    Nevertheless U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson (later chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunals) stated that FDR’s de facto declaration of war against Germany was perfectly legal and did not require the assent of Congress. But of course this was “the good war” so who cares about legal niceties when Hitler/Ho Chi Minh/Saddam Hussein/the Ayatollah/Kim Jung Un/Khaddafi/Assad/Putin/Maduro/(fill in the blank) is trying to make us his slaves?

    Among other things, war remains every elite’s most powerful tool for suppressing domestic dissent and a jim-dandy little profit maker to boot, which goes a long way to explain why this dreadful curse will never be erased from human experience, all the humane laws and popular activism notwithstanding. And there will always be aggressive young male primates, seduced by god and country and duty and honor, eager to do the killing and the dying to keep the past on his throne, as Emerson put it.

  5. Vera Gottlieb
    February 12, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Somehow the saying…”excrement always rises to the top” comes to mind. The problem is not the laws, the problem is these people so easily being able to reach the top.

  6. February 12, 2019 at 8:08 am

    A shame the excellent article ended on a blatantly partisan note when the villains, as to the United States, are so blatantly bipartisan. Tto ignore the cackling dowager’s role in the dysfunction described needlessly impacts the article’s credibility.

    • February 12, 2019 at 8:10 am

      As a professor of international law for almost a decade, it was my sad function to start explaining why the reality of international law was an illusion. The term reflects not a legal system but an organized branch of international relations without general applicability where impunity is rampant and all too frequently applauded by those who most demand enforcement. Not that it couldn’t be real, the theoretical framework and required institutions exist, they are just ignored by the most powerful and most vocal, as usual, enabled by the “fake news” (Trump is not always wrong) mainstream media.

      It’s as if the Mafia were running the United States from behind the façade of our judicial system.

      Hmmm, come to think of it, if not the Mafia, … What the heck is the Deep State?

      • February 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm

        Guillermo Calvo Mahe,

        “The term (international law) reflects not a legal system but an organized branch of international relations without general applicability where impunity is rampant and all too frequently applauded by those who most demand enforcement.”

        The ongoing legal obscenity of there being no internationally-effective deterrent to prevent or stop the commission of war crimes, a situation on-the-ground where identified war criminals and potential mass murderers maintain impunity, leaves persons concerned about stopping unnecessary wars and violence feeling like deer in the headlights, impotent and/or helpless to move forward in ways capable to actually stop wars.

        One simple reform at the United Nations – making it mandatory for all member states to join the International Criminal Court, or face certain expulsion from the United Nations organization – offers the solution to wars of aggression. The historic, immeasurably divisive position of the Trump administration, as presented by John Bolton, regarding the International Criminal Court must be seen for what it is – the rejection of legal constraints and deterrents by one sector of humanity, offering no recourse for victims, while simultaneously an alternative Earthly legal system construction is pushed in the form of Magnitsky legislation.

        Many around the world are gaining awareness of the historic-magnitude scandal surrounding hedge fund manager William Browder and Magnitsky Act legislation becoming enacted, enforced, and further proposed in larger measure covering nations and regions on planet Earth. In that the International Criminal Court once achieving universal jurisdiction is the sole path for humanity to effectively deter, prevent and stop wars of aggression, it is therefore as a first necessary step of ultimate importance and incumbent on humanity to acknowledge and expose the William Browder-Magnitsky Act scandal.

        Peace.

        • Sam F
          February 12, 2019 at 6:41 pm

          The ICC would need UN enforcement against defendant states, including embargoes by all other states, and would have to tax its members and actively exclude corrupt influence in many ways, to prevent economic or other corruption of its enforcement ability and decision processes.

    • rosemerry
      February 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      You are correct, and the “Democratic Party” showed its vicious hatred for Venezuela’s elected government right through from 2014 with Obama’s sanctions, to this year’s new House with several new severe punishments for the embattled government unable to use its own resources because of US control of them.

  7. Peter Loeb
    February 12, 2019 at 7:37 am

    It’s wonderful to see you back in print.

    I would, however, exercise extreme caution in using the word “barbaric”.

    Who is “barbaric and who is not? Who is “us”, who is “them?

    See Francis Jennings: INVASION OF AMERICA , early chapters.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA USA

  8. CitizenOne
    February 11, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    The author asks, “How do we do this to ourselves? Is it short memories of the wretched past or almost no historical memory at all? Is it some sort of perverse liking for group violence?”. He is referring to the destabilization of both the environment and the rule of international law by drawing a parallel. The argument and juxtaposition of two seemingly disparate current events reveals a common denominator which is corporate greed. Whether it is the Koch brothers spending hundreds of millions of dollars to break down public anxiety over the potential effects of global warming or the military industrial complex lobbying for supplying their manufactured arms to any government on a nationalist rampage, the reason is the same. These corporations stand to make a lot of money by perpetuating and expanding their business models. On the one hand, global warming and the scientists who ring public alarm bells threatens the petrochemical industries since it aims its blame for the condition as being created by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. On the other hand international law stands in the way of the USA supplying rich nations who buy huge amounts of arms from the USA to conduct their right wing nationalist war campaigns for various reasons which all boil down to eradication of anything or anyone who is not part of the inner circle of the ultra nationalists who control the countries they rule.

    The destabilization of international law or the weakening of global warming treaties is just one piece in a larger scheme paid for and supported by corporations to continue and expand their business models even though those business models threaten society at large. It turns out that these corporations be they arms manufacturers, oil producers, pharmaceutical companies or health care providers all oppose any legislation that prevents them from maximizing their profits. The damage they do to society and the citizens of nations is of no concern. Armament manufacturers long for war. Insurance companies dream of devising ways to deny payments. Oil companies seek to crush science that might hamper their grip on global energy supply.

    Here in the US, we see the effects in the republican corporatism party which is the avowed enemy of government regulations as well as the party of Bolton and Pompeo who handle the international laws by attacking the official offices of international law threatening them continuously in order to destabilize them and ultimately bring them down to reduce and eliminate their ability to control international militarism which feeds the military industrial complex and its corporate defense contractors.

    The answer to the question of why in every case is money. There is money to be made by enacting laws that prevent the government from regulating drug pricing. Money to be made by fighting laws that cancel insurance companies ability to deny coverage, Money to be made by denying global warming science and pollution regulations in general since protecting the environment costs money. Money to be made by attacking international courts that can prosecute violations of international military laws. Money to be made by ensuring that no regulations come forth from any agency of government that might threaten the bucks that the regulated industry gets. It includes the banking industry which loathes financial regulations to consumer goods manufacturers who loath the ability of the justice system to create class action law suits which target defective products.

    The “tear down all regulations” mindset of the republicans is in service to the corporations who perceive regulations as just eating into profits. Behind all of this is an utter lack of concern for consumers or the victims of military campaigns. No defense contractor cares who dies in some foreign land and no insurance or pharmaceutical companies give a damn who dies as a result of denied coverage or overpriced unaffordable drugs.

    It is for the very reason that corporations routinely fail to care about the detrimental effects on society they cause that caused the regulations in the first place. The governments role was formerly to redress the grievances of citizens and scientists and physicians investors, teachers, human rights activists, environmentalists, the oppressed and the poor by enacting regulations to curb the abuses. Today, the government has been overrun with republican deregulation zealots packing a big bag full of stories designed to appeal to voters to help vote in politicians that will reverse all regulations on corporations and maximize their profits no matter how much damage they to to people or the environment.

    Then there is the meta-filter of the media which acts in unison with these corporate objectives by attacking itself “the free press” which might provide people with information about the damages that corporations are causing. The press is reviled and attacked and any honest reporting is attacked as a socialist liberal agenda which by now has been programmed into our brains to be a bad thing. Abuses by corporations go unreported as the corporate media and their profit motives are inextricably linked to the corporate state in increasing financially motivated ways by laws enacted by the Supreme Court and other corrupt government agencies to eliminate campaign finance laws, eliminate media regulations, eliminate environmental regulations and attack international laws. All these actions have created an iron triangle of money between corporations, politicians and the media. Each one depends on the wealth and spending of the other to preserve a corporate state where politicians serve the interests of corporations and the media supports that as well being the end recipient of all the campaign money. Add to that the increasing monopolization of the media by just a handful of giant media corporations with the ability to control the message and turn public opinion at will and we see a perfect storm of corporate greed hidden by a beholden media which is the giant machine for advancing corporate profits no matter what the actual cost to society or the environment which ultimately also affects human society.

    I hope that this answers the question asked by the author as to why all this is happening.

    • CitizenOne
      February 11, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      President Eisenhower warned about the rise of unwarranted influence by the military industrial complex in his farewell address to the nation on January 17th 1961.

      In one part of the speech he said:

      “Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

      In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower%27s_farewell_address#The_speech

      Video of his speech is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyBNmecVtdU

      • February 12, 2019 at 12:32 am

        Yes, Yes, Yes! Correct on all points, Citizen One. It all starts with the banksters. A deep look into history, particularly the evolution of how private banksters came to control the COMMON CURRENCY of their particular sovereign nation, how they relied on intrigue and murder to get control of the creation and issuance of money. Once they got sanctioned by their crown or government they now could manufacturer money and lend it back to their governments at interest and multiply that scheme through fractional reserve banking. With total control of the flow of money they virtually owned anybody who also had desires to become rich and powerful.

        The early Gnostics recognized this flaw in humans and became dualistic, believing materialism evil and spiritualism divine.

        Today we could do ourselves a service if we took back the language. We should not consider ourselves consumers in an economy but rather citizens in a society. We should not allow them to call bribery, lobbying, making it legal. We should boycott and voraciously protest and demonstrate against the corporate media, I.e., propaganda machine. The media people should be challenged to explain why certain newsworthy stories are ignored while the fritter away our time on gossip and trivia. They get away with murder and mayhem BECAUSE WE LET THEM!

        • Steve Naidamast
          February 12, 2019 at 3:57 pm

          That speech by Eisenhower was about the only thing of note he ever did. He too committed war crimes by holding Patton back from taking Berlin in light of the atrocities expected to be leveled on the German population by advancing Soviet Forces. By holding Patton back Eisenhower literally gave all of Eastern Europe to Stalin and his barbarity.

          Eisenhower was also responsible for the dislocation of millions of German refugees after WWII while allowing for the deaths of 1.5 million German POWs in American run concentration camps where food, medicine, and shelter were denied its inhabitants allowing them to die from exposure and diseases.

          The hell with Eisenhower’s famous speech as he never lifted a hand to do anything about the situation himself. Instead of building up convention forces in the US he had a passion instead for using US Special Forces around the globe where such endeavors were more easily kept from the public.

          People will of course remember the Suez incident in 1956. However, Eisenhower let it get as bad as it did because he was too stupid to delegate certain aspects of his presidency to Vice President Nixon who was more than able to handle the situation at the time with the help of Foster Dulles as the then Secretary of State. At the time Eisenhower had suffered a serious heart attack and was too weak to concentrate on the serious matters of state but nonetheless, Dulles had been warning of presidential action before the situation got entirely out of hand, which it did finally.

          People love to bring up Eisenhower’s speech but have little knowledge about the man who made it…

          • CitizenOne
            February 13, 2019 at 7:36 pm

            I agree with you. Eisenhower was not a force for peace and he escalated the cold war rather than doing anything about it. He pushed for an arms race, got it and warned us all it was a terrible thing as he slipped out the back door. Way to go. I always looked at the speech as more of a two faced gesture warning everyone about the thing he himself created. So he didn’t actually create it but he certainly didn’t lift a finger to stop it and urged it along as much as he could.

            I also agree that the terrible fate of Germans especially those who were dislocated is an untold harrowing history all its own. Millions starved to death. The Germans treated the Russians in similar ways such as the siege of Leningrad and similar tales on both sides abound.

            However at the end of the day any ad hominem attack on Eisenhower does not diminish his words or the legitimacy of his warning. I for one agree that there are serious conflicts of interest on many levels that can and have led to actions which by most standards are abuses where self interest was a consideration in making military plans.

            Perhaps Eisenhower was even selected because he was a true believer. A man who absolutely believed that building massive stockpiles of atomic weapons with the delivery systems too was our best shot at survival or of even winning a future nuclear war. Perhaps he found out he was a tool for the defense industry and discovered he had been fed exaggerated figures about USSR military capabilities in order to keep assembly lines rolling. Who knows why he said what he said but what he said was full of wisdom learned the hard way in charge of the largest military might in the world. I kinda think we shouldn’t shrug this off as “Screw Eisenhower”.

        • CitizenOne
          February 12, 2019 at 7:34 pm

          Having been to these media protests I can say first hand that there can be thousands of folks marching in the street and 99.9% percent of the population will not even know it happened. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have been at global financial meetings like G8 and the only thing you will ever see is the money shot of some hooligan (probably a Goldman Sachs employee) throwing Molotov cocktails while the narrator explains how “anarchists” tried to start trouble. This is to plant the seed that any opposition to the well ordered society that the banksters have created will surely result in anarchy. In Noreena Hertz’s book The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy, she recounts attending one such protest with an estimated 800,000 people in the first chapter aptly titled “The Revolution will not be Televised”.

          In another occurrence of media control, the famous Howard Dean scream still played and mocked on some venues came just weeks after he made the tragic error of publicly stating he would enact tough regulations on the media. Within weeks, the “Dean Scream” along with a propaganda blitz questioning his sanity and fitness for office had done its job and Dean was finished. In the four days that followed the Iowa Caucus, according to the AP, national television stations—network and cable—played the clip of what became known as “The Dean Scream” 633 times. The number of times it aired on local stations has never been determined, but is in the thousands.

          And today we have a hyper sensitive, thin skinned, porcelain brittle, media gone amok where the mere allegation of impropriety is enough to cause the endless hyperventilation to drag the entire nation into a crisis mode and call for the heads of elected leaders, or at least some elected leaders, but not other elected leaders. For those leaders, they boast they could murder someone in Times Square and get away with it and I for one believe it.

          The media are truly the puppeteers and the politicians are all puppets dancing to the media’s tunes…or else. We are in the audience enjoying (or not) the show.

      • Sam F
        February 12, 2019 at 12:38 pm

        That “unwarranted influence” acts through improper funding of elections and mass media.
        This is clear on all fronts of improper influence: MIC, zionists, business interests, rich anti-socialists, etc.
        But the mass media and elections so controlled are the very tools of democracy needed to end that control.
        An “alert and knowledgeable citizenry” is necessary, but is now hardly a first step in restoring democracy.

  9. February 11, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Stimulating article, with great comments.

    Would someone with authority here please request that the webmaster here to please use “left justification” (not an intentional pun, but noted when typed) to better format these articles to make them easier to read. Left justification means a straight left margin plus a jagged right margin.

    The rationale for this is to allow the eye to make equal steps by providing equal spacing between the words on a line. By analogy, this is like walking on a sidewalk where you can just walk without thinking about it. In contrast, providing unequal spacing is like walking on large cobblestone road, or hiking off trail. Here, one must look where they place their feet, thus taking their mind’s eye off of the scenery, the big picture that the article strives to draw.

  10. Andrew D. Thomas
    February 11, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I was surprised that the case of Nicaragua vs. USA was not mentioned. The USA, in that case, refused to even participate after its fatuous argument that the ICJ had no jurisdiction to decide the case, which, among other things, complained of the mining of Nicaraguan harbors. It then withdrew completely from the ICJ. This was in 1986- 33 years ago. The sad fact is that international law can be boiled down to this: whatever a country tries to do, if it succeeds, it was big enough to do it. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t. The US can do whatever it wants, regardless of international law. Other countries cannot succeed in actions undertaken which are wholly within international law. The actual provisions of the law are, per se, meaningless, except when they can be enforced by the powerful against the weak in circumstances when the provisions of the law suit the powerful. No law at all and the “principles” of victor’s justice being applied in all cases would be a lot less dishonest than what is going on now.

  11. John Gilberts
    February 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Sorry, ICC stands for International ‘Cangaroo’ Court and is only used as persecution masquerading as prosecution for official enemies of western imperialism aka the ‘rules-based order’. It is also almost exclusively used for brown people. The ICC is a stack deck in a fixed game and part of the disease not the remedy.

  12. Tom Kath
    February 11, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    The obvious paradox in espousing the potential virtue of these global bodies, is that very often they are upheld by people who are very much AGAINST globalism or one rule.
    Even Bolton wants international law to be respected, provided it is “OUR” law.

  13. Babyl-on
    February 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I am posting for second time. In the past when I have done so 2 identical posts show up – sometimes. I post, it shows as posted but when I return later it is absent. So I post again. Quite frustrating, this site generates good comments.

    “After World War II, things got better in a slow sort of way. The trauma of the recent past spurred on the formation of international laws, international courts, a universal declaration of human rights, civil rights movements and the like. We also got the Cold War, which, for all its tensions, was a big improvement on hot wars.”

    From August 6, 1945 to this date and with momentum taking int well into the future the US has been slaughtering innocent people – every single day approaching 75 years. The list of atrocities is long, including a million throats cut one by one and in small groups in Indonesia few even know about.

    Sy Hersch reported recently that the US has “kinetic” operations – meaning killing innocent people, in about 60 countries.

    The atomic bombs were NOT dropped for military reasons, several high ranking officers stated on the record that there was no need to use them. They were doped to make it clear that the US owned the world now, and the US proceed apace to intervene everywhere to maintain the empire.

    Perpetual war is the health of the empire. There are no “calm” periods imperial aggression must never stop.

  14. February 11, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    “After World War II, things got better in a slow sort of way. The trauma of the recent past spurred on the formation of international laws, international courts, a universal declaration of human rights, civil rights movements and the like. . . .

    Now things are falling apart again, and rest assured that U.S. leaders and their less-savory allies abroad are doing their part in the devolution of peace and justice.”

    After World War II, Harry Truman carpet bombed North Vietnam, killing possibly 25% of the civilian population. If that wasn’t a war crime, what was?

    And even before that had happened, there was the ethnic cleansing of large numbers of Palestinians from their land.

    The situation today may not be good, but it doesn’t look much worse than the situation between 1945 and 20oo.

    The fact is that

    • bevin
      February 11, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      “.. carpet bombed North Vietnam,”
      North Korea

      • February 13, 2019 at 6:13 am

        Thanks, bevin. My mistake.

  15. KiwiAntz
    February 11, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Planet Earth, did you not get the Memo? America, the “Exceptional Nation”, is not subject to International Laws or any norms of Human morals or decency? That’s for you suckers to obey, not us? Tou must ibey the ICC & United Nations, but we don’t have too because America is “Exceptional” & above the laws of God & Man?The US is a Criminal, Mafia run Fascist, Obligarchy masquerading as a Democracy, hence its lowly rating of #21 on the List of World Democracy scales! The only area this Nation is Exceptional in is for its lawless, crimminal & immoral behaviour? Add that subclause to the worthless US Constitution document that your Nation claims to abide to?

  16. Babyl-on
    February 11, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    “After World War II, things got better in a slow sort of way. The trauma of the recent past spurred on the formation of international laws, international courts, a universal declaration of human rights, civil rights movements and the like. We also got the Cold War, which, for all its tensions, was a big improvement on hot wars.”

    From August 6, 1945 to this date and with momentum taking int well into the future the US has been slaughtering innocent people – every single day approaching 75 years. The list of atrocities is long, including a million throats cut one by one and in small groups in Indonesia few even know about.

    Sy Hersch reported recently that the US has “kinetic” operations – meaning killing innocent people, in about 60 countries.

    The atomic bombs were NOT dropped for military reasons, several high ranking officers stated on the record that there was no need to use them. They were doped to make it clear that the US owned the world now, and the US proceed apace to intervene everywhere to maintain the empire.

    Perpetual war is the health of the empire. There are no “calm” periods imperial aggression must never stop.

  17. February 11, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    We need only watch how the “great powers” of Western Europe have lined up like either sheep or hungry wolves, take your pick, behind the latest illegal, immoral, and in complete violation of international law, U.S. led regime change operation in Venezuela to see the deep respect the West has for “international law.” I must admit that I once thought that if there was a silver lining to the Orange One’s presidency it would be that the European heads of state like Macron, May and Merkel would never with a straight face be able to proclaim to their citizens that their nations were now following the odious one into the latest greatest illegal U.S. regime change operation. How wrong I was about that! It just goes to show that no matter how low the Western neoliberal capitalist war machine stoops, it can always go lower. Especially if it is uttering it’s inane mantra about supporting and “bringing democracy.”

    Assigning “personalities” to this Western led assault on international law I would say misses the rather bigger picture and history on this matter. We have 500+ years of Europe and her colonies pillaging the rest of the planet, and today’s neoliberal order is simply the current incarnation of that process. This “process” never ended, it simply morphed. We used to enslave you, slaughter you and steal everything that wasn’t nailed down in your general locale because we wanted to “save your soul,” or “bring you civilization,” you know “the white man’s burden” and all those oh so noble reasons to have no choice but commit genocide. While today we engage in the same illegal, immoral uber-violent behavior and engage in the same plunder for “humanitarian” reasons, or in the name of “democracy,” you know, to “protect human rights” and all that. The Western led pillage and mayhem targeting their once openly enslaved colonies remains unchanged, only the declared rationale is updated to stay current with massive MSM propaganda operations needed to keep Western populations appropriately self-absorbed and stupefied.

  18. mbob
    February 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Mr. Davidson makes a strong case for the importance of limits to national sovereignty. However, the situation is more complicated than he describes. Nation-states themselves are subverted by global corporations which seek to both free themselves from unwanted regulation and to impose their will on subservient nations.

    The ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) provision of the (defeated) TPP was an attempt to formalize corporate supremacy. It would have permitted corporations to be financially compensated for any reductions in their expected profits due to subsequently passed legislation. The claims would be judged by a 3-member arbitration panel and would bypass national courts. Moreover, the decision would have been unappealable. Nations could pass any laws they wished, but corporations would not be obligated to follow them. An illusion of democracy would remain, but its substance would be gone. Joseph Stiglitz, in particular, has warned about this danger. Moreover, national leaders, such as Merkel, Macon, Trudeau, Obama (former) are fully on-board with this abhorrent corporate agenda. (Trump, fortunately, is apparently not.)

    So weakening national sovereignty poses the enormous threat of strengthening the power of global corporations and removing whatever vestiges of democracy we still possess. Any effort to limit the sovereignty of nations should recognize and avoid this danger. It’s not at all clear (to me) how to do so. The current ability of nations to disregard international law is unfortunate, but perhaps necessary until a solution which maintains democratic principles is devised.

    • Skip Scott
      February 12, 2019 at 8:36 am

      mbob-

      I am all in favor of national sovereignty in the economic sphere, and think that businesses should be subservient to governments, and governments should control the economy for the welfare of the citizens, not the oligarchy. Obviously the reverse is true today, and it’s only getting worse. We are on a path to becoming an empire ruled by global corporations backed by the power of the MIC.

      However, in matters of war and peace, I think there has to be an international forum where a “code of conduct” for nations can be agreed upon and then enforced. That was the goal of the Geneva Conventions and the origin of the United Nations. Article VI of our constitution makes signed treaties the “supreme law of the land”. Our problem is that our government is so utterly corrupted that no one gets prosecuted for violations in US courts. Each successive administration is forced to ignore the war crimes of the previous one, and each new president becomes the next “war criminal in chief” out of fear of being JFK’d. I think part of the answer is to downsize our military with the aim of protecting our borders and nothing more, rein in our so-called “Intelligence Agencies”, and get the influence of Corporate power out of government. Then we could join the international community as an equal partner in upholding a “code of conduct”.

      • Sam F
        February 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm

        Yes, good steps, and the UN should prevent economic control of its institutions by taxing members on pain of complete embargo by the others, and move towards a more powerful federation as the US did, when it approved the Constitution to replace the weak Articles of Confederation. Of course there are further dangers in central power, and better designs than the preliminary checks and balances of the Constitution, and further provisions needed to isolate those institutions from economic power and other improper influence. The UN should also have provisions to expel, tax, and militarily defend other members, against any member that mounts economic or physical war against its members, outside of UN channels.

  19. Mike Perry
    February 11, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    And of course everyday, we are (..they are..) hyper expanding on the McDonald’s franchise model. (.. but, they could still improve/exploit with those accounting rules a little more favorable to themselves (smile)) .. This would include some examples like: Integrity Initiative, White Helmets, Correct the Record, etc.. … This means, that we have all become McDonald’s Workers, AND Stockholders; as well as our own opiated consumers in our own, McDeath.

    For a blast from the past, here is a quote from from the campaign stumpin’ Gov Bush on October 17th, 2000:
    ~” Gov. BUSH: Yeah, I’m not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, `This is the way it’s got to be.’ We can help. And maybe it’s just our difference in government, the way we view government. Now I want to empower people. I don’t–you know, I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do. I just don’t think it’s the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, `We do it this way, so should you.’ And I think we can help. And I know we got to encourage democracy in the marketplaces.

    But take Russia, for example. We went into Russia. We said, `Here’s some IMF money.’ It ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin’s pocket and others, and–and yet we played like there was reform. The only people who are going to reform Russia are Russia. They’re going to have to make the decision themselves. Mr. Putin is going to have to make the decision as to whether or not he wants to adhere to the rule of law and normal accounting practices so that if countries and/or en–entities invest capital, there’s a reasonable rate of return, a way to get the money out of the–out of the economy. But Russia has to make the decision. We can–we can work with them on security matters, for example. But it’s their call to make. So I’m not exactly sure where the vice president is coming from, but I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, `We do it this way, so should you.’

    Now we trust–we trust freedom. We know freedom is a powerful, powerful– powerful force, much bigger than the United States of America, as we saw in–recently in the Balkans. But maybe I misunderstand where you’re coming from, Mr. Vice President. But I–I–I think the United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course. “~
    .. https://www.npr.org/news/national/election2000/debates/001011.transcript2.html

    And now for that Russian interference in elections? .. Let us recall that the Supreme Court could not have proven itself to be a more of a sham, than it did with it’s 5 to 4 partisan interference of the election back in November of 2000.

    … One foot on the moon, and one foot still in the cave..

  20. February 11, 2019 at 11:44 am

    The author is a little naive in his choice of institutions. The ICC was used as a NATO court for punishing the Serbs in the 1990s. Milisevic died after spending years in ICC custody, without ever being brought to trial.
    Interpol is famously corrupt – it has perhaps the worst reputation of any police agency in the world.

  21. JDD
    February 11, 2019 at 11:30 am

    While the disregard for international law is a deep concern of anyone today seeking peace, the author’s memory is quite short indeed. While properly noting that Natipnal Security Advisor Bolton is one of its greatest offenders, to chaacterize him as one who ‘fits into :the reactionary White House of Donald Trump” is quite a distortion of the truth. The president is often contradicted, not just by Bolton, Pompeo and Pence, but also by his own party and the majority of the Senate which rebuked him over his plans to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan. Like the president’s intention to end the 70 year undeclared war in Korea, he finds little support among either party. Nonetheless, on these issues, if not Venezuela, Bolton and Pompeo have reluctantly towed the president’s line despite their own inclinations, thus the president and Kim are now scheduled to meet in Hanot at the end of this month.
    Moreover, one would think that such violations began on Jan 21, 2017. This author takes no notice of the violations of the Vietnam war, that of GHW Bush in Panama and Iraq, GW Bush in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Barack Obama in Libya, Syria and Ukraine. It is important to note that while Obama’s invasions have cost upward of 500,000 lives and millions left homeless, as of today, barring a calamity in Venezuela, this administration has not started a single war. The only thing holding this president back from pusuing an overall strategic peace with Russia, as he has repeatedly sought, is the insane Russiagate hoax which has poisoned the minds of Americans to such a degree that a John Bolton can be taken seriously at all.

  22. Riva Enteen
    February 11, 2019 at 11:19 am

    I believe what Davidson addressed is one of the biggest challenges we face, but I was disappointed in a few points he made. First, Afghanistan isn’t the first time the US ignored international law. It began with the ICJ ruling against the US for its mining of Nicaraguan harbors, when the US said it didn’t recognize the ICJ’s jurisdiction. Rampant war crimes continue with impunity, such a knowingly bombing schools and hospitals. Secondly, I was surprised by this comment: …U.S. leaders and their less-savory allies abroad…

    I don’t know who is less savory than the US.

    • Tom
      February 11, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      I don’t know who is less savory than the US.

      Exactly…….In a million years I never would have imagined that I would be defending despicable actors like Putin and Trump……and yet here we are.

      Putin didnt lie the world into wars for fun and profit…….Putin doesn’t overthrow democracies like The Ukraine and Honduras and now Venezuela while the world watches in horror.

      Trump tries to get us out of Syria and Afghanistan and its democrats who push him from the right and push the Russia gate conspiracy with zero evidence and pine for WW3?

  23. February 11, 2019 at 10:48 am

    The problem isn’t with international law per se. The problem is that the United States is full of sycophantic lawyers practicing “international law” who can manipulate language and come up with virtually any justification for neo-liberal warmongering and lawless criminality abroad. They concoct arguments that sort of have the veneer of plausibility, then the mainstream corporate media are off and running.

    It happens time after time and could happen again with Venezuela.

    The only way any of this will stop is when the people are out in streets. Same with Medicare-for-All, the only way we’ll ever end the madness of higher co-pays, deductibles and outlandish premiums is when tens of thousands are in the streets of our major and medium sized cities gumming up the works for the staffers (hello Pelosi staffer!), wonks, politicians, executives, media mavens, etc. When it gets to the point where they cannot comfortably sit for their two martini lunches inside the beltway and Manhattan then things will start to move.

    • Skip Scott
      February 11, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      Bush AG Roberto Gonzalez was quoted as saying the Geneva Conventions were “quaint”! No justice- just us.

  24. mike k
    February 11, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Might makes right is the only law the US Mafia Government abides by. You want a gentler more peaceful Mafia? Ain’t going to happen. This rotten criminal government needs to be eliminated root and branch. A new society based on cooperation rather than competition is the only real answer to our fatal problems.

  25. Joe Tedesky
    February 11, 2019 at 9:17 am

    While reading this fine essay of Lawrence Davidson the thought which entered my mind was, this is what happens when the ‘crooks’ are left in charge.

    • Sam F
      February 11, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      Exactly. I am seeking a venue for a RICO suit against political racketeers stealing state conservation funds in Florida, almost all Repubs, who include the local federal judges. So a trial in Florida won’t work. But there are really no good alternatives with more Dems than Rep-appointed judges: those districts that are Dem cannot be connected with the case, so would demand that it go to Florida. The FBI in Florida refused to investigate despite the offer of very good evidence, even though FL has the largest rate of public official corruption convictions in the nation (over 70 annually). So the corrupt are in charge of prosecuting the corrupt. When that fails, it will go to the 11th Circuit and then the Supreme Court will (as always) refuse to take the case, which makes it a case against the US, which will ridicule the idea that any judge could do anything wrong. Not a gangster, not a patriot.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm

        Sam it’s good how you frame your annoyance over corrupted government, specifically the Dem’s deceitful betrayal of their hyped up rhetoric pretending themselves to be of the people. It’s interesting to watch them eat their newly elected Muslim congress woman who bemoans the over abundant AIPAC contributions her fellow congress people accept with open and greedy hands. It’s a sorry thing to watch as they trash a congressional female member announcing her run for the presidency as her being a Putin/Assad puppet when all she describes for a better world is an American foreign policy not so bogged down in continual death and war. There is no doubt more of us who feel this way but in these days and times it is very conveniently ignored by our MSM gate masters and mistresses who spread the message of liberty and freedom in a most destructive and peculiar way. A country who runs ruins over other sovereign nations is a country without a soul. It’s going to take a whole lot of good to undo the whole lot of bad Sam, good luck with that in Florida. Joe

        • Sam F
          February 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm

          Yes, I have no more respect for most Dem leaders, who clearly take the MIC/zio/WallSt campaign bribes just as eagerly. A Dem Senator Menendez of NJ was prosecuted by the FBI for taking bribes, but the court apparently accepted his excuse that he “always” gets big contributions from his “friends.” So perhaps the FBI is reluctant to investigate such things without proof of “quid pro quo” services for payment received. I have just a corner of the problem in Florida, but it is a valuable glimpse of systematic corruption, probably visible only because they are very casual about “business as usual” down there.

          Comments after about 7PM seem to go into “moderation” until the next day.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 11, 2019 at 10:01 pm

        Sam I wrote you something but it disappeared …hope it returns

    • bevin
      February 11, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      Not crooks but a self appointed policeman of nations..

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 11, 2019 at 10:00 pm

        Good point. To further that thinking, then think of how many civil liberties we have loss since 9/11. I won’t list them all, but between the redundancy in the banking financial world coupled with the evasive maneuvers we face when boarding a plane gateway and now public entertainment and sporting events is a sample of the kind of thing I’m referring too. It use to be I would have warned you Bevin that someday we will be living with inside a ‘police state’ well, we are definitely here now. ‘Achtung identification required’ should now be inserted into our pledge of allegiance. We have crossed the Rubicon, this train has left the station, whatever cliche works for ya Bevin you are right. Joe

  26. Jeff Harrison
    February 11, 2019 at 9:17 am

    The problem with international law is that there is no independent enforcement mechanism. The Great Powers can ignore it at their leisure. The US is violating the same Nonproliferation Treaty that Israel accused Iran of violating. Iran’s violation was never proven (quite the contrary) but the US’s development of new nukes is a blatant violation and one that is openly declared by the US. Will the UN call for international sanctions as they did for Iran? Don’t hold your breath.

    • Sam F
      February 11, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      Indeed the UN needs to prohibit unlawful influence by taxing members per GNP and embargoing those that do not pay. Only thus can it prevent being controlled as an instrument of oligarchy.

  27. February 11, 2019 at 8:45 am

    So many thoughts about international bodies like the International Court of Justice..

    Interest in it seems to follow calamitous wars, most recent WWI and the League of Nations, WWII and the United Nations and such institutions as the international court.

    Internal courts apply to losers, not winners like the United States and those it chooses to protect. That is not a good thing, but it is a reality.

    Nation-States may be a bad idea but the alternatives are worse. It is not nation-states per se but nation states behaving badly which the world hasn’t been able to fix.

    As to prescriptions, fixing the lawless behavior of our nation in our relations with other nations would be a start. Without that happening everything else is a non-starter.

  28. neal
    February 11, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Sounds like fawning neoliberal garbage to me. The international institutions have always been been manipulated by the US. The ICC never prosecuted the US’ decades of “nation building” war crimes from 1945 onward (Arbenz, Mossadegh, etc). Bolton is certainly a unilateralist fascist, but these ChErIsHeD InTeRnAtIoNaL InStItUtIoNs have only turned on US in very recent times. This defense of them feels quite hollow.

  29. Sam F
    February 11, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Law fails when those in power seek injustice. The US is the first nation to pass legislation to militarily attack the Hague if its personnel are prosecuted for war crimes. Its own judiciary is completely corrupt, serving only the political gangs of oligarchs that appoint the judges. Once the most promising of democracies, its unregulated market economy has substituted gangsterism for law. With its mass media, elections, and judiciary controlled by money, the people of the US cannot restore democracy; the US has become the principal force in opposition to democracy. The first nation to oppose colonialism became the last colonial power.

    • Anarcissie
      February 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      I think that what we are observing is the panicky reaction of a declining power to the threats naturally rising against it. Previous versions of the US would never have openly threatened the ICC; they simply undercut and hamstrung it from behind. Bolton’s lawlessness suggests that we are fairly near the end.

  30. john wilson
    February 11, 2019 at 4:19 am

    The problem with international law is that it is arbitrary, where the weak nations have to abide by it and the strong nations can ignore it.

    • Realist
      February 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      The United States uses it as a cudgel against whomever is expedient and pompously exempts itself from prosecution of the most heinous of war crimes. It has about as much to do with justice as the capricious economic sanctions that Washington lays down and demands the entire world adhere to. It’s like some Hollywood Western in which the main character is a life-long criminal gunslinger who has managed to be appointed some small-town sheriff, except that in the movie the killer cop usually morally redeems himself. It is the most blatant example in the real world of the “do as I say, not as I do” principle. For these and many other reasons, Washington is not only loathed by the world but by many Americans who hate injustice and hypocrisy.

  31. Sean
    February 11, 2019 at 3:59 am

    The noble ‘international community’ deliberately ignored the US declaring itself a rogue nation in 2002 when Congress passed the Invasion of the Hague Act, acquitting the US of ever committing war crimes. It was voted for by Hillary, Joe, and all the other familiar humanitarians. Mirroring its attitude toward homeland cops, the world’s humanitarian policeman declared itself above laws that apply to everybody else. Venezuela is just the latest theater where this is being blatantly manifested.

  32. February 11, 2019 at 1:15 am

    People around the Earth reading Professor Davidson’s timely, insightful article would be wise in making certain not to underestimate the immense importance of the message for humanity in 2019, and well beyond with respect to real consequences for future generations.

    Peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.