JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S WAR ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS OF ALMOST EVERY DESCRIPTION – THE UNITED STATES AND THE RULE OF LAW – EMPIRES, LIKE DICTATORS DO NOT RECOGNIZE THE LAWS AND RIGHTS OF OTHERS – ARBITRARY MEASURES REPRESENT A RETURN TO BARBARISM AND “MIGHT MAKES RIGHT” AND AWAY FROM ENLIGHTENMENT PRINCIPLES – BUT THAT IS JUST WHERE THE US HAS BEEN HEADED FOR A WHILE – NECESSARY QUALITIES REQUIRED FOR ANY CLAIM TO DEMOCRACY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY YASER ALASHQAR IN MONDOWEISS

 

“From Covid-19 to the ‘Deal of the Century’ — Palestine and international law”

 

Yes, Israel is a law-breaker, having broken international law a great many times in its relatively brief history.

It has been supported in the effort every step of the way by the United States, which, long ago, effectively suspended international law wherever it found it inconvenient, replacing it with American military and economic say-so. Empires do not recognize or respect the laws of others, just as dictators do not.

The United States intimidates and threatens every existing international organization, including the UN, for its own purposes, which frequently feature those of Israel. It often does so covertly, but not infrequently we see it operating in broad daylight. It no longer has any shame or reluctance in such matters. It’s almost as though the US believed that by destroying international organizations it could make everyone more dependent on itself.

Right now, the United States, which represents less than five percent of the world’s people, owes the UN about a billion dollars in back dues, which it high-handedly says can only be paid if the UN changes aspects of its organization to meet American demands.

Such obligations are set by treaties which are important parts of international law, ones America feels free to ignore when it chooses. Again, the US periodically denies foreign diplomats visas for attending meetings at UN Headquarters in New York, despite being bound by treaty always to issue visas promptly. Agreeing to do so was part of the deal for the prestige and benefits of having UN Headquarters in New York.

The US, not long ago, just impulsively quit such important UN organizations as UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency, for Palestine Refugees).

Trump has called into question the WTO (World Trade Organization), the very heart of international order for world trade.

The US manipulates the IMF (International Monetary Fund) about which loans to member states should be approved or refused, and it has no legal authority to do so.

Not very long ago, the ICC (International Criminal Court) was publicly threatened by American Secretary of State Pompeo. Trump’s officials compromised the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) during its investigations in Syria, effectively destroying the credibility of an important and once-independent agency.

Today, and during a world pandemic yet, Trump attacks the WHO (World Health Organization) and threatens to stop supporting it.

The American government in its behavior today more closely resembles a gang of hoodlums or anarchists than a responsible government and respected member of the international community.

Just who then is in any position to stop the US from imposing additional law-breaking measures in Palestine, or anywhere else, as in its recent theft of oil from Syria or the illegal imposition of the “deal of the century” which does nothing more than steal land and commit millions of people to live under the laws of a country in which they enjoy no rights and no votes?

Or even to speak up against such illegal activity?

The answer is, no one.

The rule of law is the very foundation for all enlightened societies. It took Western civilization many centuries of struggle to make it so.

But here, it is just selfishly cast aside. Just as Trump cast aside the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), a working legal agreement between eight countries which had operated perfectly for more than four years.

It did not have to be this way. But America and Israel chose to make it so.

It actually represents a return to a form of barbarism, of “might makes right,” “maximum pressure,” leaving behind the entire set of Enlightenment principles. When it comes to such principles, just as with human rights, you cannot pick and choose which ones you support and which ones you reject. The entire structure loses its integrity that way.

You certainly can make no claim to democracy when that is how you behave. Nationalist South Africa and the American Confederacy both held elections and regarded themselves as democratic states.

But elections only count if they held under respect for the rule of law and for the equal rights of every individual governed. Otherwise, they really are a prop in a theatrical production.

Posted April 19, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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