An Act Of War By Any Other Name

Imagine if Mexico decided the US needed “regime change” after Donald Trump gets elected, and then began destabilizing the country by pouring weapons and support to anti-government militias. But then, the Cliven Bundy militia in Utah breaks away and begins trying to establish the sovereign state of Utah. So the Mexican air force begins launching air strikes against the Bundyites. The US, to counter-balance the Mexicans, invite the Canadians to help. Then ensues a crazy proxy war, with the Mexicans bombing parts of Utah while the Canadians are bombing the Mexican-sponsored insurgency. Somehow none of this is warfare. It’s just a great big bomb-b-que or something.

Then there’s a cease-fire agreed between everyone except the Mexicans, who continue bombing parts of Utah and finally bomb a US military convoy and kill 62 and wound 103.

To top it off, the Mexicans say “Sorry. But you shouldn’t have been there because that’s where we were going to bomb.”

The madness in Syria must stop. Actually, there’s a cease-fire except the US has decided the cease-fire doesn’t apply to their bombing ISIS. So it’s not much of a cease-fire, is it? Remember, the US is not the country that was invited to come bomb Syria. Russia is the only military power in Syria (except the Syrians) by invitation of the Syrian government. Meanwhile, the US’ angling-to-become-a-tin-pot-dictatorship ally Turkey decided, “what the hell!?” to invade part of Syria with tanks and to attack an ethnic minority. I’m having trouble stretching my ridiculous analogy any further, but imagine that Nicaragua decided to invade Florida in order to stamp out Disneyland. Because, in terms of international law, it makes about as much sense.

A senior administration official told CNN late Saturday the US relayed its regret through Russia for the “unintentional loss of life.”
A statement from US Central Command said the coalition conferred with the Russian military before the strike.
“The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military,” CENTCOM said.
The Russian military said 62 Syrian soldiers were killed near Deir Ezzor Airport, according to the state-run Sputnik News Agency. It quoted Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov as saying two F-16s and two A-10s carried out four strikes.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 83 and said at least 120 soldiers were wounded.
A US official told CNN they broadly described the geographic area to the Russians — as is customary — before the strike but did not give a precise location. The coalition thought it was going after an ISIS tank position.
(Source: CNN)
It’s time to stop accepting this bullshit that the US is somehow complying with international law. The US is in a war of aggression in Syria: an attempt to overthrow the government through military force. Congress are a bunch of horrible weasels so busy worrying about how Donald Trump is going to crater their political party* that they’re not willing to come forward and oppose Nobel Peace Prize-winner President Obama’s war. The fig-leaf “no boots on the ground” dodge around the War Powers Resolution is a farce. Present troop levels in the region are on par with the US ground forces committment early in the Vietnam conflict (you know, the one that caused the War Powers Resolution to be written in the first place) It is utterly nauseating that the Congress, who manage to oppose Obama on virtually everything, are so in love with a good bombing that they overcame their loathing of Obama long enough to pretend it’s not even happening.
Coming up next in atheo-skeptical land, “Muslims hate us because their religion is a religion of hate” not “Displaced and pissed off people who we’ve bombed the fuck out of hate us because hating someone who uses your life as a toy in their political games makes perfect sense.” The knock-on effect from this is going to last a century.
(* on both parties)


  1. says

    They also hate our freedom, like the freedom to bomb them into oblivion, the freedom to torture without repercussions and the freedom from having any of those things done to them.
    So Syria is the next country to be “liberated”. Worked perfectly fine in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. Not to forget that Germany still gets a hige influx of asylum seekers from the Kosovo, if anybody cares to remember that little illegal war…

  2. polishsalami says

    This article is a little unfair to be honest.

    The US goes to the expense and trouble of arming every faction in this conflict (a very democratic and egalitarian idea) and people still complain. On ceasefires, it’s a well-established convention that ceasefires don’t apply to “humanitarian” bombing campaigns, which most American military actions are.

    All this talk of “International Law” has more than a whiff of anti-Americanism I feel.

  3. says

    All this talk of “International Law” has more than a whiff of anti-Americanism I feel.

    International law was constructed so that the US would violate it, that’s pretty clear. It is, therefore, international law that is wrong, not the US.

  4. Dunc says

    “[Y]ou know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

  5. says

    Thucydides. Damn, that reminds me I need to look for a better copy, my old edition’s falling apart.

    The problem with treating people like Melians is that someday, the high may be brought low, and paybacks are a bitch. And you’ve already demonstrated that you are absolutely ruthless and you deserve no quarter.