US Missile Strike on Syria Illegal Regardless of Assad Guilt

Mainstream Media Ignores Illegality of US Missile Strike on Syria in spite of censure from China

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In the aftermath of the US missile strike on Syria, China’s swift criticism of what amounts to an illegal act on the part of the US President has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, both in the US as well as in many other NATO aligned countries. With retired member of the House of Representatives Ron Paul among President Trump’s most vociferous critics, former Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Saunders has made it clear that the US President does not have the authority to launch a missile attack without the approval of Congress. In this particular instance no such approval was even sought, never mind given. Meanwhile, Assad’s actual guilt in relation to an apparent chemical attack against innocent civilians is still unproven.

In an interview published on Saturday afternoon by the Russian news service RT, Ron Paul told journalists that by attempting to intervene in the affairs of Syria without consulting the American people, the US Government, and the Neo-Conservative element within the administration in particular, were unable to justify an action which could in no way be construed as a defense of ‘our constitutional liberty’. Elsewhere he was quoted as saying that there was ‘Zero Chance’ that Assad was behind the apparent chemical attack that supposedly provoked the missile strike in the first place, whilst adding that the government ‘have to give a reason to do these things’.

Previously, on the other side of the Atlantic, the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, himself a prominent member of the Stop the War Coalition at the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, had already denounced the US missile strike in no uncertain terms. In a statement issued to all mainstream media channels in the immediate aftermath of the attack, the opposition leader criticized the US Government’s actions unequivocally.

‘The US missile attack on a Syrian government air base risks escalating the war in Syria still further’ he said, before adding that ‘Tuesday’s horrific chemical attack was a war crime which requires urgent independent UN investigation and those responsible must be held to account. But unilateral military action without legal authorization or independent verification risks intensifying a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. What is needed instead is to urgently reconvene the Geneva peace talks and unrelenting international pressure for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.’

Almost as soon as the Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, had spoken to the United Nations, denouncing the US missile strike as ‘a flagrant violation of international law’, TRNN’s Paul Jay spoke to Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project, and an acknowledged expert on the current conflict in Syria, about the legal ramifications of President Trump’s actions. In a lengthy interview broadcast by The Real News Network on Friday, Bennis confirmed that without UN Security Council clearance the US missile strike was a flagrant breach of both Domestic and International Law.

So, regardless of the hype, within three short months of President Donald Trump taking office, he has already breached Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. What happens next is anybody’s guess, but both Russia and Iran have issued a stark warning that they will likewise respond with force if a similar transgression of internationally agreed codes of practice occurs again in Syria. Given the fact that, within minutes of the US missile strike having taken place, a previously hostile mainstream media appears to have united wholeheartedly behind the US President, Trump’s decision to launch the attack may well have.been dictated by something other than the tragic deaths of a handful of innocent civilians.

 

Photo Credit: US Navy        Wikimedia Commons

Rupert Ferguson
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Rupert Ferguson

Journalist at Distract The Media
Rupert Ferguson is a published author, journalist and radical film maker with specialist interests in local government, politics, environmental issues and Traditional English and Scottish Folk Music. His academic work has been endorsed by the likes of Sir Melvyn Bragg, the late Sir James Watt KBE and the former head of Humanities at Bingley College in Yorkshire, England; James Reed.

Having begun his career as a junior researcher at Thames Television in London, he has written for a wide range of publications including 'The Brighton Reporter', 'Durham Town and Country', 'The Brighton and Hove People' and 'The New Celtic Review'. As an exhibited film maker he has been a regular contributor and award nominee at the Portobello Film Festival in London; and has seen his work shown at the annual London Film Makers' Convention at the prestigious Round House Theatre.

As well as receiving enthusiastic reviews from BBC Radio 4 and others for his book on Sir Walter Scott, his pioneering work as an Underground Film Maker on the fledgeling Goa Trance Scene has set him in a field of his own amongst many of his contemporaries; both in the UK, where he presently resides, and elsewhere. Current projects presently in hand include a book centred on his 'Legendary London' series of documentary films, which have stimulated an enthusiastic response from the likes of Glenda Jackson and others; and a novel set in France and Edinburgh during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.

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