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August 29, 2013

Real New York Times Op-Ed Headline: "Bomb Syria, Even If It's Illegal"

Well! We've come quite a long ways since the New York Times' fulminations against presidential warmongering and foolish Wars of Choice, eh?

Just to be clear (why won't anyone ever let anyone be clear?): This isn't the editorial board talking, this is an op-ed submitted by some outside party (but which the New York Times chose to publish). And they probably made up that headline.

But it's still pretty extraordinary to see the New York Times' conception of the power granted by the Constitution to the President expand and contract according to the "D" or "R" after his name.

THE latest atrocities in the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people, demand an urgent response to deter further massacres and to punish President Bashar al-Assad. But there is widespread confusion over the legal basis for the use of force in these terrible circumstances. As a legal matter, the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons does not automatically justify armed intervention by the United States.

There are moral reasons for disregarding the law, and I believe the Obama administration should intervene in Syria. But it should not pretend that there is a legal justification in existing law. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to do just that on Monday, when he said of the use of chemical weapons, “This international norm cannot be violated without consequences.” His use of the word “norm,” instead of “law,” is telling.

I continue to be baffled by liberal interventionists' lunatic belief that there exists an "international law" on war, apart from treaties. (And even treaties are routinely ignored or repudiated -- especially when countries want to go to war with each other.)

Liberals have this unshakable faith in bureaucracies, institutions, councils, and so forth. Even in a situation in which institutions which exist, supposedly, to stop or at least regulate war, have plainly failed, and international law (which does not exist) has gone quite out the window, they still want to talk in these terms.

Even when a guy, like this writer, has come to the conclusion "Oh the hell with international law" -- which should not have been the conclusion, but the starting premise -- he still feels the need to babble on about how his plan to disregard international law, which doesn't really exist, somehow vindicates international law, which still doesn't exist, even after the vindication.

This just shows how hollow this entire premise is. Everyone ignores it, including the liberal interventionists who are the only sops who kind of halfway believe in it.

Incidentally, the Constitution provides for an example of a mechanism for limiting the number of wars countries might fight: a democratic process for voting the country into war.

But that's so old-fashioned. Now we have a UN that can, in liberal interventionists' theory, vote us into war even if the people of the country (and their representatives in Congress) refuse to do so.

And even if the UN doesn't give us the green light for war, we can still go to war if one country, France, says it's okay. (And by the way, most of the UMP (the DeGaullist center-"right" block, opposes the war.)

But anyway. There's your New York Times, Wagin' Peace, now expressly advocating Illegal Wars of Choice because Obama is Lord and King and we must follow him into his every divine folly.

Thanks to @benk84.

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posted by Ace at 12:16 PM

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