(April 9) Very few commentators seem concerned about whether the actions of Trump in attacking an Assad regime air base in Syria were against international law. Most consideration of the legality of the action has to do with its constitutionality under U.S. law.
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|The main debate in the U.S. appears to be about whether Trump needed authorization from the Congress for his actions. Almost all discussions simply assume that there is no question of Assad being guilty as in this article. The whole framing of discourse has been altered. The question of Assad's guilt has long been settled. The question now is how to punish him and what would be justified. I discussed this issue in a recent article.|
A Kremlin spokesperson said Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the missile strikes as an act of "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law." Iran issued a similar statement. A Kremlin spokesperson said Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the missile strikes as an act of "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law." Iran issued a similar statement.This may be mentioned in mainstream press reports but that is all. It can be safely assumed that this will automatically be rejected by the reader as what Iran and the Russians would be expected to say. One would expect that Trump would blame Assad but of course that is not to be used as a reason to reject what is said since Trump is a good guy, even though a few days ago many called him a liar, moron, clown, Putin puppet etc. He is punishing that ogre Assad for killing beautiful babies as he saw on TV. A recent article headline shows the situation: 'Five Top Papers Run 18 Opinion Pieces Praising Syria Strikes —
This attack was violation of international law. Donald Trump authorized an unjustified attack on a sovereign country. What is even more disturbing is that people like Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and NSA Director General McMaster went along with this charade. He committed an act of war without justification. But the fault is not his alone.
The U.S. strike may be legal under Article 51 of the UN charter, which says, “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”But there was no armed attack against a member of the UN. Syria has not attacked the U.S. The section simply does not apply.
President of the United States of America Barack Obama and his administration has defined "imminent" to mean that (they) have 60 days to find and kill an individual human being. Under this theory of law "imminent" therefore means that a threat over, at least, up to 60 days (two months) in the future is considered "imminent".Trump accepted Hillary Clinton's advice to bomb Assad's airbase. Given the Obama administration's definition of "imminent" he would likely take the advice too — although there is no evidence that Assad intended to attack the U.S. within 60 days. The evidence is overwhelming that the U.S. act is against international law but no one is overwhelmed except the bad guys.