Os falcões adoram as leis internacionais!
Apparently, context is everything. So, the United States attacking
Grenada or Nicaragua or Panama or Iraq or Serbia is justified even if
the reasons sometimes don’t hold water or don’t hold up before the
United Nations, The Hague or other institutions of international law.
However, when Russia attacks Georgia in a border dispute over Georgia’s
determination to throttle secession movements in two semi-autonomous
regions, everyone must agree that Georgia’s sovereignty is sacrosanct
and Russia must be condemned.
U.S. newspapers, such as the New York
Times, see nothing risible about publishing a statement from President
George W. Bush declaring that “Georgia is a sovereign nation and its
territorial integrity must be respected.”
one points out that Bush should have zero standing enunciating such a
principle. Iraq also was a sovereign nation, but Bush invaded it under
false pretenses, demolished its army, overthrew its government and then
conducted a lengthy military occupation resulting in hundreds of
thousands of deaths.
When asked questions about international law, Bush would joke: “International law? I better call my lawyer.”
neocons’ contempt for international law goes back even further – to the
1980s and the illegal contra war against Nicaragua and the invasion of
Panama. Only in the last few days have the neocons discovered an
appreciation for multilateral institutions and the principles of
Bush has applied these legal principles a
la carte for years (for instance, ignoring the Geneva Conventions when
he chooses), and many longer-serving U.S. officials have viewed events
through the lens of American exceptionalism for decades.
instance, even as the Reagan administration condemned terrorism in the
1980s, it secretly armed the Nicaraguan contras who engaged in acts of
terrorism inside Nicaragua. In 1990, when President George H.W. Bush
denounced Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, everyone conveniently forgot that
he had invaded Panama in 1989.
has been as if the rules moved on separate tracks, one set for the
United States and one set for everyone else – and it was impolite to