If John Bolton Is Right, Pearl Harbor Was Perfectly Legal

John Bolton, President Trump’s new (and improved) National Security Advisor argues a nuclear first strike against North Korea is "legal."

I am just a country lawyer, but I read the Nuremberg Judgments to condemn aggressive war. Hitler was allegedly guilty of aggressive war when he launched first strikes against other countries. The USA hanged some of his followers for following Hitler’s orders to do so. In fact, the USA hanged some of his followers for planning and preparing for those aggressive wars before they started, arguing the law must condemn and punish those who planned for such criminal wars in times of peace, or else the planning and preparation would make the temptation irresistible.

Pearl Harbor, you may recall, was a criminal first strike aggressive war. The USA hung some of those accountable following the Tokyo war crimes trials. Aggressive war, a/k/a "first strikes" are criminal in all cases under the law of humanity. Claiming a first strike is defensive because the guy on the other side is preparing to strike first seems a weak argument for an exception. It sounds like an argument Hitler would make. Certainly, the Japanese believed they had to attack Pearl Harbor because US actions threatened to cut off the Japanese oil supply "necessary" for their military expansion they were undertaking in Asia.

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The Zionist Tango – Step Left, Step Right: Gideon Levy

Delivered to The Israel Lobby and American Policy 2018 conference March 2, 2018 at the National Press Club

The Israel Lobby and American Policy conference was solely sponsored by the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). This is a rush transcript.

Grant Smith: I’m very pleased to welcome back Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy. In his column in Haaretz, he’s called for greater Israeli empathy toward the suffering of Palestinians. He’s an extremely well-known commentator because of his willingness to take on tough issues. Consequently, he’s no stranger to very intense opposition. His columns about politics, money, how Israel’s military occupation is changing Israeli society, and U.S.-Israel relationships are very widely read, reposted and discussed around the world. Who doesn’t get in their inbox a Levy column once in a while? His vocal opposition to Israel’s last major invasion and bombing of Gaza took place against an enormous backdrop of widespread support for the military operation within the Israeli public, and so he gave voice to those who were secretly against the war but cautious about voicing such opinions openly. 

He was the recipient, with Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb, of the 2015 Olof Palme Prize for their fight against the occupation and violence. He has also received the Peace Through Media Award at the 2012 International Media Awards, the Euro-Med Journalist Prize for 2008, the Leipzig Freedom Prize in 2001, the Israeli Journalists’ Union Prize in 1997, and The Association of Human Rights in Israel Award for 1996.

I would like to encourage everybody to send in your comment cards. We have a number of students and interns who are circulating and picking those up so that we can have a very wide-ranging set of questions for Gideon when he finishes. 

His book, The Punishment of Gaza, was published in 2012 by Verso Publishing House in London and New York. He will be available to sign some copies of that book during the reception. But now please welcome Gideon Levy.

Gideon Levy: Thank you. Thank you, Grant. I was wondering whom you were talking about. Can I stay here and not go back home? 

It’s my third time here with these wonderful people and the third time – on one hand, I feel so much at home. I know so many faces. You all get younger, I get older. You all get more energized and more devoted, and I get more and more desperate. But it puts me also on a challenge because, already on my second time here I started my speech – as far as I can recall – with a concern that I’m going to repeat myself and bore you to death, because by the end of the day I’m a singer of one song and you’ve heard it already. But the organizers were sophisticated enough this time, and they gave a very strange title to my speech which doesn’t enable me to sing my song. I have to fit to a new song, so I’ll do my best. But I’m really, really so grateful for all the wonderful people who brought me here and Catrin, my partner. This day was so interesting for us, so enriching. In Hebrew we have this expression, “We came to strengthen and we came out strengthened.” And this is what I feel after a conference like this.

Maybe you are holding the key for any kind of change, for any kind of hope, because, as I’ll try to claim later on, the hope for change within Israeli society is so limited. It’s nonexistent. When the United States is still so crucial, people like you really can make the difference. People like you can really be a game changer, and I mean it. Never before have Israel and the United States shared the same values as in these days. The only place on earth that Donald Trump is beloved, admired, adored and appreciated is Israel. The only place that Binyamin Netanyahu is admired, adored, beloved is the United States. If this is not shared values, what is shared values?

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Why Are We Still in Syria?, asks Ron Paul

According to recent reporting, the US is building another military base in Syria, this time near the Syrian oil fields in the north east of the country. Why does the US want to control Syrian oil production? Is it looking to steal Syrian resources? After all, ISIS is all but defeated and the reason given for US involvement no longer makes sense. Is the US looking for a direct conflict with Russia? Is Washington staging for a war on Iran? US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has repeatedly warned that the US is ready for a large-scale attack on the Assad government. Why are we still in Syria? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Ron Paul on East Ghouta: Obama’s Last Stand In Syria?

With the impending fall of East Ghouta to Syrian government forces, former President Obama’s project of supporting jihadist rebels in hopes of overthrowing Assad seems to be near death. Will Trump be wise enough to finally change Obama’s disastrous policy? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.