Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Illegal Root of It All

In all of the mainstream discussion of Amreica's wars, very few note their illegal nature. Dahr Jamail is one of the few who remind me that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are illegal under a treaty ratified by the United States. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked the United States which, therefore lacks a legal basis for using military force in either of these nations.

Each of these adventures, aside from its dubious legality, has its share of atrocities. Occupying forces, desperately seeking a foe who seems to melt into the population, will, of necessity and habit, attack the population. Even if not attacked directly, the populations can easily be in the way of the highly lethal force that the US military can unleash. Just ask those Afghanis who were siphoning fuel last week. None of this makes America "safer". It just digs deeper the hole into which we are pouring our sons and daughters, our ethical traditions, our treasure and our future.

The article has an interesting comment thread that offers some useful historical context.
...[I]t may be true that the Soviet Union went [to Afghanistan] to die, but I don't think it was where the British Empire went to die. Britain, after a bloody reign of denial, got to die peacefully in bed with India at its side.We should be so lucky.

Another comment reminds us that the British played havoc with tribal areas when it drew post-colonial boundaries. Remember,too, that the same story is played out in Africa.

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