Saturday, April 14, 2018

Illegal aggression?

International bodies are scrambling to meet in the wake of the US-led strike against Syria, which was conducted without a UN mandate, just hours before the OPCW was to begin its on-site inquiry into the Douma gas attack.
US President Donald Trump's decision to rain missiles down on Damascus in the early hours of Saturday, along with the UK and France, was not sanctioned by the United Nations, and bypassed an on-the-ground fact-finding mission into the alleged April 7 gas attack in Eastern Ghouta. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was scheduled to begin its on-site investigation on Saturday.
Numerous international bodies and governments are now convening to take stock of the situation.
Moscow calls for emergency UN Security Council session
Moscow has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss "the aggressive actions of the US and its allies,"according to a Kremlin statement. The meeting will be held Saturday afternoon, according to Reuters.
The strikes represent an "an aggression against a sovereign state which is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism,"Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement released on Saturday. Putin stressed that the multi-national strikes were carried out "in violation of the UN Charter and principles of international law" and will have "a devastating impact on the whole system of international relations."
Moscow repeatedly warned the US and its allies against attacking Syria, urging instead for an impartial investigation into the alleged chemical attack.
Responding to the US-led airstrikes on Damascus, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that all countries are obliged to "act consistently" with the UN Charter. "There's an obligation, particularly when dealing with the matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nationals and with international law in general."
Looks like Trump, May and Macron have some explaining to do why they are exempt from the UN Charter.

Meeting after the missiles: UN, EU, NATO to hold urgent consultations on Syria

All countries must heed UN Charter – Secretary-General after US-led Syria strike

US-led strikes in Syria without UNSC mandate a violation of international law – Putin


Lavrov: Swiss lab says ‘BZ toxin’ used in Salisbury, not produced in Russia, was in US & UK service

The single most important thing that happened last night when the US military on President Trump’s orders launched a wave of over 100 cruise missiles against Syria was that once again the US violated the most profound international law of war: initiating a war of aggression against a nation that posed no threat, imminent or otherwise, to the US or its allies.

Called a “Crime against Peace,” this violation (whose perpetrators, under the precedent set in the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War II, can face capital punishment), is considered worse than any other war crime because, as US Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson explained in his argument at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals, a war of aggression is “not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
President Trump, during his televised White House announcement just after the launching of his bombing attack on Syria, said, “The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons…We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”
He was making the argument that the US, acting on its own authority without any sanction from the UN Security Council as required under international law, somehow had a duty to, on its own, punish Syria for its alleged violation of a Geneva Convention against the use of chemical weapons.
This Can't Be Happening
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Dave Lindorff

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