The Myth of the Just War

The notion that war can be just is almost entirely utopian. The arguments used to justify wars seem morally sound in a vacuum, but when put into practice, the justifications fall apart. Justifying war becomes a slippery slope, especially when considering that those whom are most capable of waging war can do so asymmetrically. The rules for the use of force (AKA rules of engagement) and the Geneva Conventions have been enacted (and modified with alarming exceptions) to paint war as being more humanitarian (as ironic as that may sound), and when coupled with actions sanctioned by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the United Nations, and the United States, these rules and actions are subsequently utilized as means to justify engaging in armed conflict to further the geopolitical agendas of the most powerful and corrupt institutions with which humanity has ever been burdened. War is only justified as an act of self-defense in the face of an imminent threat, but this term, "imminent," must be further defined in light of the rampant abuse and perversion of the concept of "imminent threat" for the U.S. Empire’s Global War on Terrorism. Furthermore, due to the contemporary nature of limitless war on the idea called "terrorism," the definitions of the terms "noncombatant/combatant" and terrorism must also be revised.

It is imperative that a very specific definition for imminent threat be established, for this would eliminate all of the slippery slopes offered by just war theory. A threat is imminent if a foreign state or group formally declares war and expresses or proves intent to wage war on the state or people which it threatens; this would warrant self-defense. This definition can be amended by noting that it would not be morally impermissible for a third party (e.g. an ally) to come to the aid of the state or people being threatened. However, to eliminate this amendment from becoming a slippery slope, the third party can onlyact indefense of those facing an imminent threat, and must not wage an offensive war against the aggressor. An offensive war, though strategically sound, is never just due to the inevitable deaths of innocents.

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From Central America to Syria: The Conspiracy Against Refugees

Watching the ongoing debate between US liberal and right-wing pundits on US mainstream media, one rarely gets the impression that Washington is responsible for the unfolding crisis in Central America.

In fact, no other country is as accountable as the United States for the Central American bedlam and resulting refugee crisis.

So why, despite the seemingly substantial ideological and political differences between right-wing Fox News and liberal CNN, both media outlets are working hard to safeguard their country’s dirty little secret?

In recent years, state and gang violence – coupled with extreme poverty – have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras, among other countries in Central and South America.

US mainstream media, however, is rarely interested in the root cause of that reality.

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End the War In Yemen: Call Your Senators Today

Currently, US involvement in Yemen is under the authority of the Trump Administration without the consent or oversight of Congress. The US is not at war with Yemen but aiding Saudi Arabia with supplies, personnel, and a blockade that starves 130 children to death per day.

S.J.Res54 will end U.S. support in the Saudi Arabian led war in Yemen, crucial to ending this humanitarian disaster for up to 14 million men, women and children. The bill is before the full senate now.

Step one: Do not be intimidated by the telephone. Calling is more effective than emails or letters.

Step two: Find your individual senators’contact information by visiting here (or call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.)

Step three: When someone answers the phone, “Good morning, I’m [your name.] I am calling to urge [Senator’s name] to support S.J.Res 54, to keep us out of further involvement in Yemen.” Keep the call short. Be polite.

Call now: The vote is imminent.

Pompeo Promises New Liberal World Order – New Wine In Old Bottles?

Secretary of State Pompeo told the German Marshall Fund (which is funded by the US government and the military-industrial complex) that the Trump Administration is seeking to creat a “new liberal world order” where US military might – “engagement” – would create peace and prosperity across the globe. Does this sound a bit – or a lot – like the nonsense the neocons have been spewing for decades since the end of the Cold War? And where has that gotten us? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

GHW Bush’s Frustrating Funeral

This is a really frustrating day for me. My coming of age politically and historically (and musically, for that matter) mirrored what was essentially one long GHW-Bush-infused scandal … beginning with the 1980 Presidential Campaign and the October Surprise that put a CIA man in the White House … which, in turn, gave birth to Iran-Contra … which then spawned the BCCI Scandal and dovetailed with the illegal arming of Iraq, a.k.a. Iraqgate … which ultimately led to the Gulf War. Then there was the 1988 Campaign, which gave us the Willie Horton ad and ingrained into my consciousness a deep anger about, and greater awareness of, the power of American racism. And finally, there was the Savings & Loan Scandal his son helped to start and, not coincidentally, also helped me to understand the banal, repetitive scam at the heart of America’s financialized economy.

In effect, my understanding of America was forged during the apex of George H.W. Bush’s career and my sense of American political power was perpetually informed by my often angry observation of his impact on America and the world. My life’s coincidental cohabitation with his ascendancy and use of power was like a long, drawn-out graduate seminar on the seedy underbelly of American empire and the use of covert means to alter the course of history at home and abroad.

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Why Lies About the War on Yemen Matter

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

Tony Badran takes another crack at justifyingTrump’s subservience to Saudi Arabia. Inevitably, this means telling lots of lies about Iran and Yemen:

The lead paragraph of Trump’s statement identifies Iran’s destructive regional role, and correctly assigns to it, in the first line, responsibility for the extended war in Yemen. “The country of Iran,” the first paragraph begins, “is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen.”

Right at the outset, the president sets a tone of strategic clarity.

Strategic clarity appears to have the same relationship to sound strategy that “moral clarity” has to morality. “Moral clarity” usually means whitewashing and excusing the crimes of the governments and people on one’s own “side” while criticizing only adversaries in the harshest terms. Strategic clarity involves letting hostility to one state overwhelm all other considerations and justify supporting any actor or policy, no matter how senseless and bad for U.S. interests it may be, simply because it expresses hostility towards the hated regime. Trump “sets a tone of strategic clarity” because he leads off with a false accusation against Iran to defend a relationship with a reckless client that has involved the US in an indefensible war. The war doesn’t even have much to do with Iran, but the small connection that does exist is blown out of all proportion to distract from the fact that the Saudi relationship is now a huge liability. Take it as a given that these “clarity” phrases have the opposite meaning from what the words usually mean.

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