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US/Syria Clusterf*ck & More Obama Admin Spittle on Int'l Law

Lawrence Wittner in “Pope Francis, ISIS and the United Nations”:

.... on August 17 ... Pope Francis told journalists how he thought the world should cope with the challenge posed by ISIS, the Islamic militant group engaged in murderous behavior in Syria and Iraq. “One nation alone cannot judge how you stop this,” he said, in an apparent reference to U.S. action against ISIS crimes. Instead, the United Nations is the proper forum to “discuss `Is there an unjust aggression’” and “`How should we stop it?’ Just this. Nothing more.”

Clearly, Pope Francis believes in a multi-partied humanist paradigm for global conflict resolution – one of cooperation, partnership and empathy whereby all the members of the global community bond together to deal with dangerous crises and threats to their common interests.

Wittner asserts that the major military powers such as the US would prefer to act unilaterally and extrajudicially – from a patriarchal paradigm of power and control, competition, profits uber alles -- and ignore a mutual commitment to international law for their own exclusive interests and for those countries to which they are allied.

The results of moral-compass-less rule by the US and its crony nations operating from the “patriarchal paradigm” include mass poverty, mass displacements, mass deaths, mass hunger, mass destabilizations of countries and societies. Often horrific bloodbaths, whether directly intended by the patriarchal “deciders” or not.

These collections of international tragedies perpetrated by flagrant “might makes right” anti-international law rogue-ness don’t seem to have much impact on the leadership of the major military powers to whom Pope Francis was appealing. Social justice and human rights on a global scale are not a priority for global bullies such as the US and its regime-changing cronies.

Stephen Lendman in “Obama Declares War on Syria” accuses the Obama administration of violating core international law by expanding US aggression from Iraq into Syria. He writes:

No nation may attack another except in self-defense. None may do so without Security Council authorization.

None exists.


Morning headlines reflect what's likely. Obama authorized surveillance flights over Syria. He did it lawlessly.

Violating another country's air space without permission is illegal. Doing it as likely precursor for airstrikes reveals Obama's real intention.

With the present lack of U.N. Security Council authorization for present surveillance in Syrian skies for upcoming air strikes, also without Security Council authorization, Lendman declares Obama is adding to an already substantial “war criminal” “rap sheet.”

Lendman cites an article in the The New York Timeson August 25th by Mark Landler and Helene Cooper that reveals the present level of Obama administration disregard for international law and its ready and casual willingness and willfulness to once again break it.

Lendman quotes;

"(D)rones and possibly U2 spy plane (surveillance) flights are a significant step toward direct American military action in Syria…"

"Administration officials said the United States did not intend to notify the Assad government of the planned flights."

"(T)he Pentagon is drafting military options…" On Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki justified unilateral US action, saying: "(W)hen American lives are at stake, when we're talking about defending our own interests, we're not looking for the approval of the Syrian regime." ... "(W)e're not going to be restricted by borders…And certainly we would not view (confronting the Islamic State in Syria) as being on (its) side just because there is a common enemy."

The NYT article cites US deputy national security advisor Benjamin Rhodes:

"It is not the case that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Joining forces with Assad would essentially permanently alienate the Sunni population in both Syria and Iraq…"

So the US continues its hostile posturing against Syria, yet is planning on violating its air space to fight the Islamic State aggression.

What could possibly go wrong?

What will the US do about Syrian forces of Assad, the legitimate government, while it is battling and bombing ISIS?

What will the forces of Assad do about the US forces defying international law by being there and refusing to communicate with the Assad forces fighting ISIS?

Lendman asserts that the declaration to fight Islamic State terrorism in Syria is a pretext used by the US for perpetrating and continuing Syrian regime change. The US wants “unchallenged” regional control in the Middle East, accomplishing this with its continuing exploitive and bloodbath colonization modus operandi through direct or proxy aggressions. It is Syria’s turn.

Paul Craig Roberts in “The Leninist in the White House” agrees with Lendman’s speculation.

Syria has every right to be nervous. The reason ISIS is operating on Syrian territory is that Washington armed them and sent them to Syria. Washington’s air strikes on ISIS could very well be cover for air strikes on Syrian armed forces.

David Stockman in “Bombs Away Over Syria! Washington Has Gone Stark Raving Mad':

Now the White House is threatening to bomb Syria again, but this time its “regime change” objective has been expanded to include both sides! In 12 short months what had been the allegedly heroic Sunni opposition to the “brutal rule” of the Assad/Alawite minority has transmuted into the “greatest terrorist threat ever”, according to the Secretary of Defense.

So Obama has already unleashed the drones and surveillance apparatus to identify targets of attack that will help bring down a regime in northern and eastern Syria—the so-called Islamic State—which did not even exist a year ago. And a regime that is now armed to the teeth with America’s own latest and greatest weaponry as previously supplied to the disintegrated Iraqi army and the Syrian rebels trained by the CIA in Jordan.

Adding to this blinding farce is the warning of Syria’s Foreign Affairs minister that Obama should please to request permission before he rains destruction from the sky on the Opposition—-that is, the opposition to the very same Damascus regime which the White House has vowed to eradicate. Needless to say, the Washington apparatus is having nothing to do with aiding the enemy of its new enemy...

William Rivers Pitt quoting the news site Vox in "The US Bombing Its Own Guns Perfectly Sums Up America's Total Failure in Iraq."

The absurdity runs deep: America is using American military equipment to bomb other pieces of American military equipment halfway around the world. The reason the American military equipment got there in the first place was because, in 2003, the US had to use its military to rebuild the Iraqi army, which it just finished destroying with the American military.

The American weapons the US gave the Iraqi army totally failed at making Iraq secure and have become tools of terror used by an offshoot of al-Qaeda to terrorize the Iraqis that the US supposedly liberated a decade ago. And so now the US has to use American weaponry to destroy the American weaponry it gave Iraqis to make Iraqis safer, in order to make Iraqis safer.

It keeps going: the US is intervening on behalf of Iraqi Kurds, our ally, because their military has old Russian-made weapons, whereas ISIS, which is America's enemy, has higher-quality American weapons. "[Kurdish forces] are literally outgunned by an ISIS that is fighting with hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military equipment seized from the Iraqi Army who abandoned it," Ali Khedery, a former American official in Iraq, told the New York Times.

Stephen Lendman emphasizes that not only does Obama not have UN Security Council authorization to violate Syria’s sovereign boundaries for surveillance and bombing, but he also does not have congressional authorization nor does he have the general approval of the American citizenry, though the “establishment” corporate mainstream media is busily hustling to “manufacture consent” for US bombing (priming the pump of hysteria and fear, never encouraging authority-challenging critical thinking among the populace) as the usual faux-recipe for promoting international stability and US security. Of course the bombing will provide the exact opposite of international stability and US security.

Americans want their domestic economic and social needs addressed by their government. That is clearly not going to happen Lendman asserts. In fact even more economic destabilization will be happening in the US from the costs of the US violent militarism.

Lendman mourns:

Obama is the latest in a long line of warrior presidents. Permanent war is official US policy. So is waging it preemptively.

Rule of law principles don't matter. Or democratic values. Advancing America's imperium is longstanding official policy.

Millions of lost lives are a small price to pay. So is unspeakable human misery. America's so-called war on terror is a war of terror.

It rages extrajudicially. It does so against largely defenseless populations. Direct US intervention against Syria appears likely. ....

Lendman cynically declares that the Obama administration is busy making “the world safe for war profiteers.” Its goal is keep Big Oil happy, to make Israel happy, to further isolate Iran. To prove to neocons the Dem political elites are just as murderous as their fellow Republicans. Ask Hillary!

Lendman on Washington and its covert and overt use of extremist proxies:

Washington uses the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups as both allies and enemies. It does so in different war theaters. At times simultaneously.


Unexplained is US support for Islamic State fighters and likeminded extremist groups. It's been US policy throughout three and a half years of Obama's proxy war on Syria.

It includes importing death squad killers from dozens of countries. It's about funding, arming, training and directing them.

Lendman explains that an August 15th U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 2170 was adopted unanimously, condemning human rights abuses by extremists in both Iraq and Syria. It asks member nations to prevent extremists from travelling from their own "soil" to Iraq's and Syria's to fight and also invites the member nations to join Syria in its efforts to battle the terrorism of ISIS.

Walid al-Moallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister, announced that the Syrian government is prepared to “cooperate and coordinate” with any governments willing to help Syria combat ISIS. The Syrian Foreign Minister also emphasized that the resolution requires that Syria’s “sovereignty” and “independence” be respected.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, supports Syrian and Iraqi efforts to push back against Islamic State terrorists with support from allied countries but he underlined that "each military effort cannot be granted without the consent of the country concerned."

Lendman asserts that Washington defiantly is claiming a “unilateral right to operate extrajudicially.”


Shamus Cooke in “Obama’s No-Win War on ISIS” does an excellent job in presenting the stupefying scenario of US, Syria and ISIS.

By attacking the Islamic State in Syria, Obama will become a de facto ally of the Syrian government, just as Obama and ISIS were de facto allies when they were both targeting Bashar al-Assad. Most Americans are likely fed up with Obama’s zig-zagging foreign policy, and with each new u-turn support drops for the next war.


The situation has become so absurd that the U.S. is now spending millions of dollars bombing U.S.-made military equipment in Iraq — itself worth millions, previously gifted to the Iraqi government and then taken by ISIS.

Cooke speaks of Obama’s continuing Middle-East "flip-flops." How Obama strove to build a coalition for a proxy war against Assad in Syria, but didn’t go far enough according to his regime change lusting cronies.

Obama said he supported the two-state solution in Palestine but then put 100% economic and political support behind Israel in the slaughter war and settlement building.

Obama’s continuation of war on (really “of”) terror ended up strengthening jihadist movements in the Middle East since these extremists were “de facto” allies of the US and thus empowered and enabled covertly by it against the targeted government of Syria. Same history as Al Qaida!

Cooke maintains that the majority of people across the Middle East HATE the US.

Why do they hate the U.S. government? Unlike the American media perception of U.S. foreign policy goofily stumbling from one good-intentioned mishap to the next, the average person in the Middle East views the American military as a sociopathic power hell-bent on annihilation.

Cooke declares that Israel is the only country more hated in the Middle East than the United States and for the same reason.

According to Cooke, Obama also seems to be leaning toward revving up an old idea that has failed for three long years now. (Recall the definition of insanity, doing something over and over and expecting different results?) Obama wants to organize and foster a “moderate” opposition in Syria.


The Syrian opposition is completely dominated by Islamic extremists, a fact which nobody seriously contests. But Obama would like to create a whole new “moderate” fighting force out of his armpit, powerful enough to tackle both the Syrian government and the Islamic State. Fantasy quickly reaches its limits in war.

Cooke focuses on another “reckless” alternative considered by Obama and his imperialist cohorts. Super-arming the Kurds. This is a guaranteed way to sow seeds for future regional problems but when has that stopped these war addicts before?

Cooke explains that the Kurds have large populations in many countries such as Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They are an oppressed minority who sure would like their own country. But as Cooke writes: “carving a country out of land already claimed by other nations isn’t done without war, and lots of it.”

Cooke accuses the US of promoting an IRRATIONALLY contradictory and never-ending cycle of war with dire and predictable – you would think, predictable – consequences.

And with each new military intervention in the “war on terror” the jihadist movement grows exponentially, born amid the rubble of U.S.-destroyed Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and groomed to maturity by U.S. allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and other Gulf States.

Yes, "folks", what we have here is US/Syria clusterf*ck and more Obama administration spittle all over International Law!

Pope Francis has it right. As for the anti-international law Obama administration, global human welfare is of little consequence and the bloodbaths from the schizo gamesmanship of doomed and insanely amoral imperialism will continue.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I loved that line about O's foreign policy being to make the world safe for war profiteers, big oil and Israel.

So true.

With Hillary in the neo-con camp and Warren not far behind, I foresee a Democratic Party in the wilderness the next few elections. The "debates" should be interesting, though. How does one distinguish between different variants of vanilla?