We, as a people, always tend to think of ourselves as ‘the good guys’ and we often hear our ‘leaders’ posit how great the United States of America is because we’re “a nation of laws, not men”. Yet, in their quest to rally support for our crusade against the bad guys our we are often treated to the (not so vague) warning by the president, the Secretary of State, Defense, media and military pundits that “Nothing has been taken off the table” in confronting the endless list of folks whom we oppose, and we all know what that’s intended to mean. Think carefully about that phrase. “Nothing is off the table”. Eventually, every nation to whom these words are directed finds themselves on the receiving end of bombings, invasion and the destruction of the infrastructure their people rely upon for day-to-day existence; in other words, ‘aggression’.
In contemplation of the self proclaimed belief (or myth) that we’re “the good guys” and that the United States is “a nation of laws, not men” it’s interesting to read a few passages from the UN Charter which America a signatory to and, as a lawful treaty, the US and her Citizens are lawfully and honor bound to uphold. In Chapter One the “Purpose and Principles” of that body and treaty are set forth. Article 1, states:
1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace,
4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
When a government or its would-be leaders openly threatens “regime change”, actively arms opponents/insurgents attempting to topple a member government, threatens that “Nothing has been taken off the table“, when it’s officials speak openly of the use of even nuclear weapons, then said government and/or leaders are threatening the “use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of…” a member state. This puts the United States in obvious violation of the UN Charter and the ‘Supremacy Clause’ of our Constitution states clearly “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Thus, when our government, its leaders, media or candidates for office, advocate the aforementioned airstrikes, regime change and general war against a member state of the UN they are committing crimes against United States Law. While some might allege that the 1973 War Powers Act allows for ‘Presidential’ discretionary use of force, it should be noted that it expressly limits the president to act within US treaty obligations; the principle treaty of use of war being the UN Charter.
So while we North Americans enjoy our fantasy of freedom, claiming to be a “nation of Laws”, the fact is that we are as close to “a nation of Laws and not men” as the Soviets or Nazis were back in their day. Our government pays lip service to Law in a jingoistic way while violating it on a daily basis. However useless we may feel the UN is (and I’m in that camp), the Charter is an integral part of United States Law. To violate it, breach it or undermine it is a clear violation of US Law but then, we should all be quite accustomed to our government paying little heed to the Law as I’ve pointed out in other pieces posted herein.
We might also give some thought to the fact that the very Law (the Charter) that those running our government routinely violate, provides for other members to combine and act against our breach of International Law. Article 6 allows other members to expel the United States (some may say wonderful) but then Article 51 also provides that member states may combine and carry out military action against us, in self defense, just as the “Allies” did against fascism last century.
So, let’s spare each other the hubris and self aggrandizement of the illusionary ‘American exceptionalism’ – that somehow, we’re better than everyone else. These same bozos who claim we’re “a nation of laws, not men” and therefore hold some ephemeral authority to rule over us because of enacted “Law” are the very statist, authoritarians who break enacted law by threatening all many of aggression in clear violation of law. Is there any surprise at how hollow the protestations may be that we’re fighting to preserve freedom and democracy when, in fact, we’re at the forefront of violating not just our own sacred Constitution, Laws as well as those International Laws we’ve codified.
The Germans didn’t fare very well when the world decided they had had quite enough of their aggressions and the United States may fare just as poorly if/when enough of the planet grows weary of our aggressions. Eventually the Europeans will turn their backs on us and a growing list of nations may just combine under Article 51 to remove us from the world stage. When our cities are targeted by other nation’s leaders saying “nothing is off the table” if the United States doesn’t submit to their demands, I wonder how that will play out with the electorate?