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Washington Hawks Want Greater Middle East Spending

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Sep. 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM


MSM Ignore International and Constitutional Law

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed Obama's open-ended Middle East war. It flagrantly violates international and constitutional laws.

They're clear and unequivocal. The Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) states all US laws and treaties "shall be the supreme law of the land…"

Presidents and Congress have no authority to spurn them. Especially on issues of war and peace.

It doesn't matter. America's last legal war was WW II. Numerous lawless aggression ones followed.

International law is inviolable. No nation may intervene in the internal affairs of others.

None may attack another except in self-defense. None may do so without Security Council authorization. None exits. Expect none forthcoming.

It doesn't matter. Obama unilaterally declared open-ended Middle East war. He risks making a bad situation worse.

He threatens the entire region. He endangers world peace, security and stability. MSM scoundrels support what demands condemnation.

New York Times editors suggested he had "little (other) choice militarily or politically." They ignored core international law.

On September 11, they headlined "The Legal Authority for Fighting ISIS," saying:

Obama spent "much of his presidency seeking to wean the United States of a perpetual state of war…"

Fact: He's waged multiple direct and proxy wars throughout his tenure.

Fact: He's done so lawlessly.

Fact: He turned parts of the region into cauldrons of violence and instability.

Fact: Don't expect Times editors to explain.

Obama is "now putting forward unjustifiable interpretations of the executive branch's authority to use military force without explicit approval of Congress," Times editors said.

As a presidential candidate in 2007, he sponsored a resolution prohibiting Bush from engaging Iran militarily without congressional authorization.

He argued for repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Forces (AUMF). It authorized use of US armed forces against those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks. On September 18, 2001, Bush signed it into law.

Candidate Obama said "AUMF is now nearly 12 years old. The Afghan war is coming to an end."  

"Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States."  

"Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states."

"So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate."  

"And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further."  

"Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises.  That's what our democracy demands."

That was then. This is now. AUMF "gave (George Bush) a broad mandate to go after the perpetrators of the 2001 terrorist attacks," said Times editors.

"It's been used to strike Al Qaeda affiliates around the globe over the past decades."

Fact check:

A previous article called 9/11 the Mother of All Big Lies. It was state-sponsored terrorism.

So-called Arab extremists had nothing to do it. None were aboard the ill-fated flights.

Congress has no authority to circumvent international or constitutional law. The Security Council alone has final say on whether one nation may attack another.

New York Times editors suggest otherwise. "If lawmakers approve military action, the authorization should be narrowly defined for the explicit purpose of battling ISIS, perhaps limited in time and geography," they said.

"Any such document should not leave this president or his successor the ability to get the United States into wars without the people's consent."

Fact check:

Popular consent can't ignore rule of law principles. Nor override them.

It bears repeating. The Security Council alone has sole authority on deciding if one nation may attack another.

Not US presidents. Not Congress. Not public opinion. Not New York Times editors.

Separately, Times correspondent/Tehran basher David Sanger warned that engaging ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State (IS) risks losing focus on Iran.

"Until now, Mr. Obama's No. 1 priority in the Middle East has been clear: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," he said.

Fact check:

No evidence suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Annual US intelligence assessments say so. Sanger and likeminded correspondents, editors and commentators know but won't explain.

Alleging a nonexistent Iranian nuclear weapons program is longstanding US policy.

Sanger misreports on Iran. Pro-Western misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure.

He ludicrously called Iran's peaceful nuclear program a "direct threat to the US."

Iran hasn't attacked another country in over two centuries. It threatens none now. Western nations, Israel, and regional Arab states know it.

So does Sanger. It doesn't matter. He claims Iran is "testing whether America’s newest imperative will give it maneuvering room in the negotiations over its nuclear program."

Iran wants what it deserves. It wants to be treated like dozens of other nations with non-military nuclear programs.

Washington, Israel, rogue EU states and correspondents like Sanger perpetuate the myth of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

It's red herring cover for America's longstanding regime change plans.

Washington Post editors called Obama's war on IS "incomplete." They want America deciding on how Iraq and Syria will be governed.

They support what international and constitutional law prohibit. "A full-fledged strategy would not require US combat troops," they said.

"(B)ut it would take more than the 475 additional (special forces) Mr. Obama committed Wednesday."

"And it would take an understanding that a sustained, long-term commitment would be more fruitful over time than cycles of intervention and withdrawal."

WaPo editors support contravening international and constitutional law. Advancing America's imperium matters more.

USA Today editors said "(t)here was no missing the message in President Obama's speech to the nation Wednesday night."

"The United States is once again at war in the Middle East."

Obama "crafted…a patient, multiyear strategy that aims to 'degrade and ultimately destroy' ISIS without using US combat troops."

"It is a task from which the nation cannot shrink. ISIS is intent on attacking the United States and poses a unique threat."

Obama needs to use "every tool he has to rally the nation behind a common goal. (He) has the power to act on his own."

ISIS' threat remains if it's "not defanged before it can strike."

Fact check:

USA Today editors are in lockstep with administration fear-mongers.

No evidence whatever suggests IS intends attacking America. Or that it poses a unique threat.

Obama has no unilateral authority. Doing so violates core international and constitutional laws.

It's grounds for impeachment. Don't expect USA editors to explain.

On Thursday, John Kerry engaged Arab states. He did so in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. They vowed to "do their share" to confront IS.

A joint communique followed. Washington and 10 Arab nations endorsed efforts to disrupt ISIS recruiting, curtail its financing, and aid areas it controls.

Participating countries included Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

They called for military action "as appropriate." At the same time, they stopped short of agreeing to participate in Obama's war.

Turkey attended the meeting. It didn't sign the communique. Britain and Germany won't participate in air strikes on Syria.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Whitehall won't revisit the issue after parliament voted against air strikes last year.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said "(t)o be quite clear, we have not been asked to (participate) and neither will we do so."

It's unclear how many nations will join Obama's anti-IS coalition. Or which ones. Or precisely what role willing participants will play.

In late August, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said his government "is prepared to cooperate and coordinate on the regional and international levels to combat terrorism as per Security Council resolution no. 2170 within the framework of respecting Syria's sovereignty and independence."

On August 15, 2014, SC Resolution 2170 was unanimously adopted. It "condemn(s) gross, widespread abuse of human rights by extremist groups in Iraq (and) Syria."

It "called on Member States to take national measures to prevent fighters from traveling from their soil to join (terrorist) groups…"

"It expressed readiness to consider putting on the sanctions list those who facilitated the recruitment and travel of foreign fighters."

It left unexplained Washington's direct responsibility. That rogue NATO partners, Israel, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states and Jordan share it.

Al-Moallem correctly called "any violation of Syrian sovereignty (by) any party (an act) of aggression."

At the same time, he welcomed all countries willing to fight terrorism in Syria cooperatively with the Assad government.

Assad's political and media advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban responded to Obama's Wednesday address.

It was full of holes, she said. It contained nothing new. Counterterrorism involves all nations. Yet Washington excludes, Russia, China, Iran and Syria.

SC 2170 mentions IS and Jabhat al-Nusra. America addresses IS alone. Terrorism in Syria began years ago, Shaabam stressed.

Yet it's excluded from coalition partnership to combat it. There are cracks in Obama's alliance, Shaabam believes.

Obama's plan for more aid to the so-called anti-Assad "moderate opposition," doesn't mean anyone bearing arms against the Syrian people and government aren't criminals or terrorists, she stressed.

Western governments, rogue Arab states and MSM scoundrels wrongfully blame Syria for crimes committed against it.

What follows Obama's Wednesday night address remains to be seen. War without end looks likely.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. IS is the pretext. Syria is the target. Regime change is the objective.

Washington claims a divine right to replace independent governments with ones it chooses.

War is its strategy of choice. Obama's agenda is open-ended.

Advancing America's imperium matters most. Doing so reveals its dark side.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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