It’s just amazing to watch liberals fall head-over-heels in love with the sort of cowboy unilateral military strike they used to fulminate against. Almost every left-wing columnist in the land has torn away their dove costumes to reveal a bloodthirsty war hawk who just can’t wait to kill them some Syrians. Nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of their righteous fury.
To hell with the Constitution, Congress, and even the “global test” they spent half of 2004 defending when now-Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned it. Weapons free, damn the torpedoes, lock and load, bombs away! Set phasers to “charbroil,” Mr. Sulu! What the heck is our magnificent lightworker President waiting for? Faster, pussycat, kill, kill!
“Bomb Syria, even if it is illegal!” howls Ian Hurd at the New York Times:
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.
It sure is, Mr. Hurd! Especially to anyone who remembers a single word John Kerry said during his 2004 presidential campaign! Happily for Democrats, they can rely on a healthy degree of amnesia from their supporters. They can barely remember what Barack Obama said ten days ago, never mind what John Kerry was talking about almost ten years ago.
Strangely, Hurd proceeds to invest most of his column inches in reviewing all the laws and treaties Syria is not subject to, culminating in this little “global test,” to borrow a phrase from our now-bloodthirsty Secretary of State:
Arguably, the key legal obligation of nations in the post-1945 world is adherence to theUnited Nations Charter. It demands that states refrain “from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” The use of force is permitted when authorized by the Security Council or for self-defense (and countries like Jordan and Turkey are considering this route to justify joining an anti-Assad coalition) — but not purely on humanitarian grounds.
All righty then. What was the point of this column, again? Oh, that’s right: screw both domestic and international law – the Savior of Mankind wants to kill enough people to look “just muscular enough not to get mocked,” as one Administration official put it, so let the bodies hit the floor:
But if the White House takes international law seriously — as the State Department does — it cannot try to have it both ways. It must either argue that an “illegal but legitimate” intervention is better than doing nothing, or assert that international law has changed — strategies that I call “constructive noncompliance.” In the case of Syria, I vote for the latter.