Toward the end of last year, leaked audio of
then-Secretary of State John Kerry went viral across the independent
media because it appeared to confirm that the U.S. was watching ISIS and
allowing the group to grow in order to exert pressure on the Syrian
government, a long-time adversary of the Obama administration.
However, more stunning than this apparent admission was the fact that Kerry confirmed what Anti-Media has been warning about for some time now regarding
the legality of America’s Syrian operation. In the leaked audio,
speaking to Syrian opposition members at a meeting that took place at
the Dutch mission to the United Nations, Kerry stated:
“The problem is that the Russians don’t care about international law, but we do. And we don’t have the basis – our lawyers tell us –
unless we have the U.N. Security Council Resolution, which the Russians
can veto, and the Chinese, or unless we are under attack from the folks
there, or unless we are invited in. Russia is invited in by the legitimate regime –
well it’s illegitimate in our mind – but by the regime. And so they
were invited in and we are not invited in. We’re flying in airspace
there where they can turn on the air defenses and we would have a very
different scene. The only reason they are letting us fly is because we
are going after ISIL. If we were going after Assad, those air defenses,
we would have to take out all the air defenses, and we don’t have the legal justification, frankly, unless we stretch it way beyond the law.” [emphasis added]
As a lawyer who is extremely concerned with human rights and
international law, I could have told John Kerry this for free. Though
this devastating truth is evident to anyone who has a basic
understanding of international legal principles, the fact that the U.S.
is still pressing ahead with this strategy despite being informed of the illegality of the operation by their lawyers is quite telling on its own.
It is laughable that before stating this damning fact, Kerry alleged that the Russians don’t
care about international law, but “we do” — before he went on to
explain that Russia was acting within the bounds of international law
while the U.S. wasn’t.
In all likelihood, the real reason Russia and Syria allow American
aircraft to fly in Syria’s airspace is not that they are targeting ISIS,
as Kerry pondered, but because there is very little that Russia and
Syria can do without risking an all-out war with the world’s largest
It is almost like saying that Iraq ‘welcomed’ the U.S. invasion in
2003 because there was little that Saddam Hussein’s military could do to
stop it. Make no mistake, a country’s inability to drive the U.S. out
of its country does not equate to tacit acceptance of its
military presence. The schoolyard bully is not welcomed by the silent
kids he or she wails upon. In fact, Syria’s president has made it quite
clear that the U.S. has invaded its territory, and this alone should be
all the knowledge we need to oppose yet another American-led war in the
Middle East. Just because the U.S. is targeting ISIL and not Assad does
not legitimize America’s operations at all, especially in light of
Kerry’s own assessment of the operation as referred to above.
How many countries does the U.S. have to invade illegally before its people decide it’s time to do something about it?
The 2003 invasion of Iraq had no U.N. Security Council Resolution, and the country has been plagued with rampant violence ever since. If the Russians had not been duped out of vetoing the misused U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 with regard to the Libyan conflict in 2011, then Libya would not be the failed state it
is today. The Libyan resolution did not authorize regime change and was
specifically worded so as to be concerned with protecting civilians on
the ground. NATO used the authorization to transform itself into the air
force of al-Qaeda-linked rebels and pounded Libya until Muammar Gaddafi had been assassinated.
Under President Trump, the U.S.’ bombing campaign in Syria makes even Obama pale in comparison. The U.N. estimated that in just the first week of America’s ramped up illegal bombing campaign in Raqqa, airstrikes killed 300 civilians.
Even if the U.S. does have some legal justification to bomb Syria, shouldn’t we still oppose military intervention? The U.S. has waged war in a number of countries since the attacks of September 11, andmillions of people have died as a result of these American-led conflicts. Terror attacks still run rampant; part and parcel of the vicious cycle of violence responding to violence across the globe.
In areas that have been liberated by the Syrian government, hundreds of thousands of
displaced Syrians are returning home. In Aleppo, in a
Christian-inclined district that was besieged by fanatic rebels who
abhor religious diversity, a Cathedral just reopened with a Mozart-inspired concert – something that would have been almost impossible under rebel-held rule.
It is also worth pondering why it is that the U.S., a majority Christian nation, is siding with Islamist rebels against a government that protects the rights of Christians. It makes no sense outside of ageopolitical lens, and Trump supporters who openly profess to be “good American Christians” should take note of this damning fact.
Forget the legality of the war for a minute, forget the mounting death toll that is only able to accrue courtesy of your taxpayer dollars, and take a moment to figure out where we are headed as a species. The U.S. has not only placed itself in a worldwide conflict with no foreseeable end that will continue to line the
pockets of the arms-dealing class for centuries to come, but it is also
bombing the same territory as another nuclear power with complete polar opposite interests.
It is a powder keg that has been waiting a few years to ignite, and the
two nuclear powers are becoming ever closer to bombing the exact same location with different ambitions as to which party to the conflict should emerge as the victor.
The potential for this conflict to dramatically escalate should be
high enough to warrant a mobilization of effective resistance. If you
don’t want your sons, daughters, partners, parents, and friends to go
and die in Syria propping up a failing empire concerned only with money
and resources, now is the time to act. You can’t afford to wait until
body bags of loved ones come parading home before you decide that enough
is enough — by then it may be too late.
Before anyone accuses me of sounding the alarm prematurely — and
though the corporate media has attempted to accuse Trump of conceding to
Putin inside Syria — can anyone name another conflict in which two
nuclear-armed powers were bombing the same country with completely
different intentions that was also concluded and de-escalated in a
timely, safe, secure, and low-risk manner?
Didn’t think so.
The battle against ISIS is still ongoing and involves multiple state
actors attempting to hoard as much Syrian territory as physically
possible. It is clear that the U.S. has no legal or moral right to be
inside Syria in the first place, so does it seem fair to endanger
countless more lives in order for the U.S. to gift its proxies a chunk
of Syrian territory after ISIS’ downfall?