The US as a rogue world police force


The US has sent missiles to attack Syria. Not only is this a violation of international law, it is also a violation of the US Constitution in that nowhere has congress granted authority to take military action in Syria. The administration claims that it has ‘secret authority’ to wage war though why it should be kept secret is not clear. The administration did not even go through the pretense of an investigation or any public presentation of whatever evidence they have. They have simply asserted that they are justified in taking the action, the same way that they have done many times in the past and later been shown to have lied. And as usual, the UK has been its craven lackey, this time joined by France, both of whose leaders seem to enjoy being part of the macho posturing by Trump.

But we are way past such niceties as following laws. The US has long been a rogue state, out of control. Many police in the US are rogue actors, attacking and killing people with impunity just because they can. It is not surprising that they think they have the right to ride roughshod over the rights of people when their own government behaves in just the same way with respect to other countries. And just as the police are careful to act in this high-handed manner only against those who are powerless, such as the poor and minorities, while protecting their friends and the wealthy, so is the US selective. It attacks some countries while it conveniently collaborates with nations such as Israel and Saudi Arabia as those countries create immense misery, suffering, and death for so many people, with weapons supplied by the US and provided with political and military cover for their actions.

We cannot blame this just on Trump. He is just the current person in the office and doing what every president, Republican and Democrat, has done going back to the mists of time. All those Democratic supporters of Barack Obama who twisted themselves into pretzels to defend his unlawful actions because he was a ‘nice guy’ and seen as ‘one of them’ have to share the blame for what Trump is doing.

A state department spokeswoman was quoted as justifying the latest US military action by saying that no country (she was of course referring to Syria) can be allowed to violate international law. Yeah, right. I wonder if any reporter at any of these briefings will bring up the extremely long list of violations of international law by the US and ask the spokespersons about them. Don’t hold your breath. The US media knows well how to avoid asking uncomfortable questions while also exploiting the jingoism of the public, to ride the patriotic fervor, the thrill that people feel at the show of muscle by someone else supposedly acting on their behalf while they themselves are safe and secure

I recently watched a good British police drama called Collateral. In it, a Labour member of parliament tells his party leader that the party’s hostile and xenophobic attitude towards refugees and immigrants is wrong. He says that the one thing we know for sure from history is that things change and that nations that were once powerful will later become weak, those who were once wealthy will become supplicants, and those who treat refugees and immigrants with contempt will one day find their own people in the position of seeking refuge elsewhere. The course of action that should be taken is that based on the assumption that roles could be reversed in the future, however unlikely that may seem at present.

At this moment in time, the US is the world’s bully with little or no respect for the law and acts as if that state of affairs will last forever. Like all bullies, one day it will get its comeuppance.

Comments

  1. polishsalami says

    US & UK liberals seem to be the most enthusiastic supporters of war in Syria. So much for “Never Trump.”

  2. says

    Just yesterday, one of my students and I, in reading Chapter 11 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, came across this passage:

    Book after book showed me how the white man had brought upon the world’s black, brown, red, and yellow peoples every variety of the sufferings of exploitation. I saw how since the sixteenth century, the so-called “Christian trader” white man began to ply the seas in his lust for Asian and African empires, and plunder, and power. I read, I saw, how the white man never has gone among the non-white peoples bearing the Cross in the true manner and spirit of Christ’s teachings — meek, humble, and Christ-like.

    I perceived, as I read, how the collective white man had been actually nothing but a piratical opportunist who used Faustian machinations to make his own Christianity his initial wedge in criminal conquests. First, always “religiously,” he branded “heathen” and “pagan” labels upon ancient non-white cultures and civilizations. The stage thus set, he then turned upon his non-white victims his weapons of war.

    We want to pretend that our president is somehow different or special. He is neither.

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write

  3. jrkrideau says

    One of the interesting things is that US as a rogue world police force is so counterproductive.
    The Iranian coup back in the 1950’s led almost directly to Iran becoming an Islamic Republic with a visceral hatred of the USA

    Cuba is still independent and communist. Vietnam is still, more or less communist last I heard. And the Vietnam war was a major contributer to the opioid crisis in the USA in the 1970s and later. Air America you know.

    Declaring a “War on Drugs” has led to a huge refugee problem in the USA while destablising a number of Latin American countries.

    THe Afganistan invasion has led to an unwinable 15 year (?) war, the mujahideen controlling about half the country and a huge boost in opium production.

    The US reaction after the 9/11 incident was pretty much a textbook example of how to encourage recruitment Islamisist terrorist groups. I often thought that George W. Bush was an agent. There seemed to be nothing that he did on the international scence that did not aid Al Quaeda.

    Abu Grahaib and Guantanamo were brilliant moves, just not for the USA. Then there was the Iraq invasion overall. It is not easy to execute an invasion with all the finesse of a smash and grab with a sledge hammer and create both a civil war and ISIS.

    I won’t even go in to the Russian failures where US “help” let to criminal gangs, the creation of the oligarchs and Putin as President of the Russian Federation. This last was probably appreciated by most Russians.

  4. says

    I am sure that if someone ever rains high explosive on the US, we’ll just accept it as justice.

    In fact Osama Bin Laden declared war on the US and claimed he was retaliating for US imperialism. His unilateralism was not appreciated. At this point I feel anyone would be justified if they dropped a JDAM on Mar A Lago or the White House – fair’s fair.

  5. says

    @ jrkrideau, No. 3

    “One of the interesting things is that US as a rogue world police force is so counterproductive.”

    For the 99.9 percent, you’re absolutely correct. For the remaining 0.01 percent? They continue to laugh all the way to their banks.

  6. lanir says

    Unfortunately the really rich already feel like they can go anywhere in the world and they’re the ones whose opinions seem to count. Until you convince the assholes making money on guns and planes and warships that they’re building a wall that will fall on them, they’ll keep pushing and pushing for constant war everywhere.

    Money buys US politics. Just about everyone who cares about politics in any way agrees that money has a disturbing influence in politics. They just haven’t necessarily connected the dots that when half the money in the government goes to an industry with a decided interest in war, the country will go to war a lot. For any reason. At the drop of a hat. For made up reasons. For secret reasons. Even just because we’re already at war for stupid reasons so would we need better reasons to keep going? That last is for the people still deluding themselves that Obama was better than this. He wasn’t.

  7. rjw1 says

    Some estimates put the total of US ‘interventions’ since independence at more than 200. As to the death toll, 10-20 million depending on the method of accounting. The hypocrisy is of course, infuriating. Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s crimes are ignored.

    Members of the US political elite are moral imbeciles. America’s loyal poodles aka ‘allies’ don’t seem to realise that they could refuse, however the urge to bomb the crap out of Third World countries seems contagious. The latest attacks are puzzling, perhaps the US and its allies are testing their weapon systems.

  8. jrkrideau says

    @ 6 hyphenman

    For the 99.9 percent, you’re absolutely correct. For the remaining 0.01 percent? They continue to laugh all the way to their banks.

    I have had to think about this for some time. My first thought was that I don’t see the validity of the argument, then suddenly (head-slap) of course.

    I am off for remedial logic 1 tomorrow.

  9. jrkrideau says

    @ 10
    . America’s loyal poodles aka ‘allies’ don’t seem to realise that they could refuse

    True but at what cost?

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