Dear Senator Obama:
I hope that you succeed in your campaign to become president. I was particularly impressed with your commitment to international law as revealed on your website when you affirmed that “As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions.” America’s flagrant and blatant dismissal of both American and international law is a foreboding and ominous step backward in the march towards a just and law-biding world. I wish to pass onto you some of the changes that I believe are necessary to move forward on the question of the rule of law.
As President, you need to commit yourself to abiding by the United Nations Charter, and in particular, Chapter 7, Article 39, which states that “The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.” In other words, the United States is prohibited from committing acts of aggression against any country without the approval of the Security Council. There is one exception to Article 39 which recognizes “The inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain international peace and security.” (Article 51)
In other words, no Member State shall take aggressive action against any other state without the approval of the Security Council or in the case of an act of self-defence, against an attack, without referring the matter to the Security Council for resolution. There are no exceptions to these two Articles authorizing the use of force against another nation. There is no provision in the Charter or anywhere else in international law for acts of aggression against another state under the rationale of “preemptive war” or “humanitarian war”. Unless an attack is substantial and immediate, a threat becomes merely speculation and can not justify the premature use of force. As for “humanitarian wars”, the Security Council is the proper body to decide when and how violations of human rights shall be resolved. Without compliance to these two Articles in the UN Charter, the world will descend into a state of lawlessness, violence and disorder which will self-perpetuate itself.
If you are serious about your commitment to international law, you must withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, cease any further attacks on Pakistan, and stop all subversive activities intended to undermine the sovereignty of such nations as Iran. None of these countries pose an immediate or substantial threat to the United States and aggression can not be justified under the rubric of the “war on terror”. The “war on terror” is a nebulous, misleading concept which does not implicate any specific country as an enemy posing a substantial and immediate threat. I hope that you will extend your commitment to international law to the United Nations Charter and recognize that obedience to the rule of law is indivisible. In other words, you can not choose which laws to obey and which laws to ignore otherwise the concept of the rule of law is meaningless. Yours truly:
State of Darkness: US Complicity in Genocide since 1945.