In 1986, the court found in Nicaragua's favor, condemning Washington for "unlawful use of force." The court also defined "humanitarian aid" explicitly, ruling all aid to the Nicaraguan contras strictly military, and hence illegal.
The decision had little detectable effect. The World Court was condemned as a "hostile forum", and therefore irrelevant, like the UN. Others claimed the court had "close ties to the Soviet Union," a claim not worthy of refutation. Congress responded with an additional $100 million in "humanitarian" aid.
Perhaps such memories help account for the low level of international support, especially from Latin America, for the US bombing of Afghanistan.
Israel also has a close military alliance with the other major regional military power, Turkey. The US-Israel-Turkey alliance is sometimes called "the Axis of Evil" in the Middle East. The term is understandable. There is always plenty of evil to go around, and this axis at least has the merit of existing, unlike the one concocted by George Bush's speechwriters, which consists of two states that had been at war for 20 years and a third thrown in because it is non-Muslim and universally reviled. The US-Turkey alliance might undergo some changes if the US is able to shift military bases from eastern Turkey to Iraq.
But the justifications for pre-emptive war do not hold for preventive war, particularly as that concept is interpreted by its current enthusiasts: the use of military force to eliminate an imagined or invented threat.
Preventive war falls within the category of war crimes.
[Bush's revision after discovering no WMDs in Iraq] suggests that the administration will act against a hostile regime that has nothing more than the intent and ability to develop WMDs. This revision grants Washington the right of arbitrary aggression.
Accordingly, as the new strategy was announced, the war drums began to beat to rouse public enthusiasm for an attack on Iraq. The target of preventive war must have several characteristics:
The above quotations are from Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky, published November 2003.
Click here for a profile of Noam Chomsky.
Noam Chomsky on other issues:
War & Peace
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: [email protected]
(We rely on your support!)