Like his predecessors, President Obama is relying heavily on aerial bombardment to wage war across the Mideast, but the vague notions of who is the enemy and the horrific civilian casualties have continued to generate an endless supply of new enemies, writes Nicolas J S Davies.
The future of world justice – with powerful nations held as accountable as the weak – may be decided by how the International Criminal Court handles allegations of Israeli crimes in last year’s war on Gaza. Will the same standards apply to influential Israel that are enforced against Third World violators, asks Lawrence Davidson.
The International Criminal Court brought hope that victims of serious crimes of state could finally get some justice, but instead the truly powerful have retained their impunity while alleged violators from weak countries are dragged before the ICC, a reality that may yet change, says Lawrence Davidson.
Israel and the Obama administration insist that Israel’s recent slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza was justified by indiscriminate rocket fire from the blockaded area, but some international law advocates think the disproportionate response justifies prosecution of Israeli and U.S. officials for war crimes, says Marjorie Cohn.
A key argument of the American Right is that treaties are an affront to U.S. “sovereignty” and “constitutional governance,” even though the Founders embraced treaties with other nations. Today’s anti-treaty bias threatens to undermine U.S. influence in the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
U.S. politicians often speak of “American exceptionalism” as some God-given grant of special status that puts the United States above the rules that apply to other nations. In geo-politics, this concept has meant that international law is enforced against countries that offend Washington but not against those in Washington’s good graces, as Lawrence Davidson explains.