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US Uses ‘Humanitarian Intervention’ To Advance Economic And Strategic Interests

US Uses ‘Humanitarian Intervention’ To Advance Economic And Strategic Interests

US Uses ‘Humanitarian Intervention’ To Advance Economic And Strategic Interests2020-05-19PopularResistance.Org

Above photo: Cropped image of Dan Koalik’s new book, “No More War.”

A review of Dan Kovalik’s book No More War.

No More War focuses on the one nation in recent times that has been continuously engaged in wars of aggression. In fact, that nation has been engaged in wars or military occupations in all but five years since its founding in 1776. Author and professor of human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh, Dan Kovalik, contrasts international law designed to keep the peace to the contravening ideology of “humanitarian intervention” used to excuse the US imperial project.

Besides being a compelling exposition on US imperial adventures and its epigones, No More War is also a primer for law students and the general public on international law. The two most seminal documents of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the International Court of Justice, are included as appendices.

Vietnam War veteran S. Brian Willson’s forward explains, “peace is impossible in a predatory capitalist society [with] bipartisan support for [the] military.” Willson, an esteemed peace activist, suffered having his legs severed while protesting US munition shipments.

Kovalik explains that the UN Charter and associated human rights covenants are intended to provide the legal basis to end wars of aggression. In the words of the Nuremberg Justices:

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

The UN Charter only allows states to use of force for self-defense, and then it must be pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution and with the consent of the host state. Citing numerous examples – Nicaragua, Vietnam, Libya, Syria, Iraq, etc. – Kovalik shows that “nearly every war the US fights is a war of choice, meaning that the US fights because it wants to, not because it must do so in order to defend the homeland.”

Kovalik credits the Soviet Union as having been a check on US interventionism. Since the Soviet Union’s demise in 1991, US interventions have increased. In 2001 on the border of the former Soviet Union, the pursuit of Saudi national Osama bin Laden was the US justification for the invasion of Afghanistan. However, bin Laden never was on the FBI’s most wanted list because of lack of evidence. And since his murder by US Navy SEALS in 2011, the US has continued its war in Afghanistan with no end yet in sight.

Kovalik documents in instructive detail how US intervention is “not about protecting human rights…[but] about profit, power, and imperial domination.” He comments how the US military devastates a country so that US corporations can profit in rebuilding it:

‘Vulture capitalism’ is indeed too kind a term for this type of creative destruction, for vultures feed on carrion that is already dead; in this case…the US creates the carrion for its corporations to feed on, and at someone else’s expense.

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg is quoted, “It’s not really that the US is on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.”

The obscene oxymoron “humanitarian intervention” is used to contravene international law. No More War makes the case that this concept is neither humanitarian nor has a place in international law. The Uruguan poet and political analyst Eduardo Galeano observed, “Every time the US ‘saves’ a country, it converts it into either an insane asylum or a cemetery.”

Democratic party luminary and former US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, is credited with being a major purveyor of the “humanitarian interventionist” justification for US wars of aggression for economic gain and imperial domination. Power, author of  the Pulitzer-awarded A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, condemns genocide except when it is committed by its principal perpetrator or by allies of the US.

The billionaire-funded so-called human rights groups are also exposed for their ideological service to the US imperial project. Amnesty International has the distinction of being the only major human rights organization failing to condemn apartheid in South Africa or to protest the US designation of Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.

Likewise, Human Rights Watch and especially its director Kenneth Roth are criticized for promotion of the “responsibility to protect” pretext for US aggression.  According to Kovalik, Roth believes “the US, by definition, simply does not commit mass war crimes or genocide. It is only people of the undeveloped world who do such things.” Ajamu Baraka with the Black Alliance for Peace observes, “The ‘responsibility to protect’ is a white supremacist construction – the 21st-century ‘white man’s burden.’”

With leading “human rights” organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch running cover, it is little wonder that the US is in “almost total denial of international law obligations,” including rejecting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Criminal Justice.

Kovalik’s international perspective describes decolonization as the truly defining international law issue of the 20th century. Peace, Kovalik argues, is a paramount human right upheld in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international covenants.

A consequence of the US “spending more on its military than nearly all the other countries of the world combined” is domestic neglect. Of the developed (i.e., members of the OECD) countries, the US has the highest youth poverty, infant mortality, and incarceration rates. The UN High Commission for Refugees found that conditions in Syrian refugee camps were better than those for the homeless in Los Angeles (now numbering nearly 60,000 in LA County).

Kovalik entreats, “from a moral and legal point of view, going to war to defend imperial domination of other nations is not defensible and must be resisted.” Revealing is this brazen confession by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman:

For globalism to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is…The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist – McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

To which, former New York Times columnist Chris Hedges observes, “We have, as always happens in war, become the monster we sought to defeat.”

No More War is not a rant. Given his meticulous presentation of the particulars of US imperialism, Kovalik’s insightful critique is restrained, allowing the facts to speak for themselves. Kovalik concludes, “the American people are much more in tune with the spirit of international law than their rulers, and it is because this law, borne of human experience, simply makes sense.

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Defence News

NORAD fighter jets practice intercept of strategic bombers – Defence Blog

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, under the control of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), practiced identification and intercept of U.S. Strategic Command bombers on May 11 to demonstrate the air defense capabilities of Canada and the United States.

The B-1B bombers as it entered the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone and again as it entered the Continental U.S. NORAD Region were intercepted by RCAF CF-18 Hornets and USAF F-16 Fighting Falcons.

NORAD CF-18s and F-16s, supported by KC-135 stratotankers, conducted intercepts of the USSTRATCOM B-1s as it entered the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone and again as it entered the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, according to recent service statement.

“Conducting multiple intercepts across NORAD’s Canadian and Continental U.S. Regions exercised our ability to defend the homelands,” said General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Commander NORAD. “While we are combatting COVID-19 we remain closely linked with our other combatant commands. Our collective work enhances our ability to deter, detect and, if necessary, defeat any threat to North America.”

NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response. The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a U.S. or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.

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News Sputnik

Why Operation Gideon Failed & What Strategic Goals Washington is Pursuing in Venezuela

Washington is seeking to get rid of prominent Venezuelan military figures including dissident generals in order to undermine the country’s resistance potential and Chavista movement, suggests former Hugo Chavez adviser Heinz Dieterich explaining the amphibious botched raid.

On 3 May, the Venezuelan Armed Forces thwarted an amphibious mercenary operation and captured 13 individuals including two American citizens. As it turned out later, the botched naval raid was part of a broader plan masterminded by a group of dissident Venezuelan military personnel and the US private military company, Silvercorp USA, to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

US Seeking to Get Rid of Both Maduro & Dissident Chavista Generals

“A brief analysis of the 3 May paramilitary intervention in Venezuela shows that it was an operation patterned after Washington’s historic covert operations against the Cuban and Sandinista Revolutions”, says Dr Heinz Dieterich, director of the Centre for Transition Sciences (CTS-UAM) and former advisor to President Hugo Chávez. 

According to him, “the strategic objective of this armed incursion code-named ‘Operation Gideon’ was not to ‘capture, stop, or eliminate Nicolas Maduro’ and instigate a coup” – the real purpose was “to prevent the reconstitution of the Christian-Democratic Chavista movement in Venezuela by eliminating its military action and resistance potential” which includes Venezuelan Major General Cliver Alcala, one of the Chavista generals who broke ranks with Maduro over political disagreements.

A week before the failed amphibious invasion retired Venezuelan Major General Cliver Antonio Alcala Cordones, who was discharged from the army in July 2013 and lived in exile in Colombia, admitted that he was orchestrating a coup plot against Maduro.

Alcala went public after Washington indicted him on narco-terrorism and offered a reward of “up to $10 million” for information leading to his arrest on 26 March 2020. The retired major general resolutely denied the accusation, stressing that he had previously met with US officials on no fewer than “seven occasions“.

He also specified that an arms shipment seized by Colombian authorities earlier in the month was intended for the operation.

​”On 24 March, the newspaper El Tiempo published a story about a war arsenal that was seized”, Alcala tweeted on 26 March. “These weapons belong to the people of Venezuela and were being transported in Colombian territory to begin liberation by our National Armed Forces”.

As the Associated Press revealed on 2 May, Alcala had amassed at least 300 heavily armed volunteers who were expected to stealthily invade Venezuela from the north. The plot was developed together with former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau.

In a 26 March interview with W Radio and in Twitter videos, the retired major general stated that self-proclaimed president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, and his counterpart Leopoldo Lopez were aware of the operation. He accused the opposition figures of leaking the plan.

“On 26 March, Washington decided to abort the armed resistance project, which Chavista Major General Cliver Alcala was developing in exile, in Riohacha, Colombia, in accordance with Washington and Bogota”, the former adviser for Hugo Chavez opines, adding that the next day Alcala “gave himself up to US authorities in Bogota, accepting an offer from Washington to become a witness against Maduro.

“I am a soldier. Thanks to all those who have given their support today. Always, in my 58 years, I have behaved in accordance with the collective good. This has been very difficult when the most extreme selfishness and anti-values ​​prevail. God knows everything”.

After Alcala’s Arrest Coup Plan Was Doomed

Having been left without strategic direction and leadership, the coup d’etat plan morphed into an “amateur operation carried out by bounty hunters, Venezuelan, US political fortune seekers and entrepreneurs, which never had a chance of ‘capturing, stopping, or eliminating Nicolas Maduro’, in order to collect the US reward of $15 million”, Dieterich notes.

While Washington has denied any prior knowledge of the failed amphibious operation, Democratic congressmen on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are demanding answers from the Trump administration about the raid aimed at capturing Maduro.

“Either the US government was unaware of these planned operations, or was aware and allowed them to proceed. Both possibilities are problematic”, a Thursday letter signed by three Democratic lawmakers said, alleging that the failed endeavour ran counter to American support for diplomatic engagement to settle the South American country’s political standoff.

Regardless of Operation Gideon’s failure and US lawmakers’ calls for a peaceful resolution of the Venezuela crisis, Nicolas Maduro is still under threat, Dieterich presumes, referring to Washington’s illegal drone assassination of Quds Commander Qasem Soleimani earlier this year. According to the professor, one of the failed operation’s tactical goals was to “keep Maduro in limbo” until the US deems fit to try to remove him.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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