Official Washington honors international law when it’s politically useful, such as in condemning a global adversary, but then dismisses it as useless if it gets in the way of some desired U.S. action. This “international law a la carte” undermines the concept’s fundamental value, says Lawrence Davidson.
The Obama administration has refined the practice of “regime change,” moving away from old-fashioned tanks in the street or overt invasions by U.S. troops, opting instead for “democracy promotion” that relies on “information warfare” to unseat elected governments disfavored by Washington, says Ted Snider.
Bombing ISIS amounts to attacking a symptom rather than finding a cure. But the cure would require addressing politically sensitive issues, such as Israel oppressing Palestinians and Saudi Arabia financing Islamic extremism. So the U.S. does what it knows best – blowing stuff up – as Nat Parry observes.
The extremist group ISIS asserts that only brutality will drive Westerners, including Israelis of European descent, from the Middle East. But the flip side of that coin is the demand from the likes of Dick Cheney for ever increasing repression of political Islam, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.