Monday, September 9, 2013

What if they gave a war...

...and everyone left?

I've wondered before if there's a nonviolent way to put an end to a situation like the one in Syria, and it suddenly strikes me that this is it: if we were not simply to offer much more support to refugees from the conflict than we do, but massively encourage them to flee, offering accommodations not only in Turkey and Jordan and Iraq but in the United States, Australia, Canada—and Russia and China and Brazil! If we could get ten million people, fifteen million people out of Syria, especially women and children, so that the country was no longer viable!

It wouldn't be cheap, but then it's not going to be cheap anyhow. If you want really cheap you could forget about Syria and do something cute like eradicating malaria from the world (upwards of $4 billion a year, or about a third the cost of one no-fly zone in Syria).
Image via Newslyne.

Obama as legal pioneer, per Charlie Savage:
the proposed strike is unlike anything that has come before — an attack inside the territory of a sovereign country, without its consent, without a self-defense rationale and without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council or even the participation of a multilateral treaty alliance like NATO, and for the purpose of punishing an alleged war crime that has already occurred rather than preventing an imminent disaster.
Anything that has come before? Seems to me Israel does it all the time (as Richard Nixon said to David Frost, "If Israel does it, that means it is legal").
Photo by Dane at
And speaking of Israel, how about that Steve and his buddy Tom?
Washington, D.C.— Today, Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Tom Cole (R-OK) introduced a resolution calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be tried before the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity. This resolution was introduced in response to estimates by the United Nations that, since the uprisings in Syria began in January 2011, more than 10,000 people—mostly civilians—have been killed and tens of thousands have been displaced.
It's just amazing to me how many Americans have been demanding that Assad's case be taken up by the ICC, in particular those who oppose the President's proposed strike like Cole (who was hawking his special Republican pacifism on the NPR this morning), without seemingly realizing that the US has little ability to influence the court, given that we have refused to recognize it—
On 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining.[6] The seven countries that voted against the treaty were Iraq,IsraelLibya, the People's Republic of ChinaQatarYemen, and the United States. (Wikipedia)
(That is of course the old Saddam Iraq, but I don't believe our new ever-so-democratic Iraq has made any move to join.) We have refused to recognize it, of course, because of the United States Senate (Clinton knew they'd never ratify the treaty), and the wondrous theory of American Exceptionalism (as Nixon told Frost, "If my homeys do it, that means it is legal"). We cannot participate fully in the ICC because that would mean they'd be able to charge Donald Rumsfeld and Big Dick Cheney. Who are already unable to go to Spain, and isn't that punishment enough? No, actually.

No comments:

Post a Comment