In a previous column I wrote about the criminality and immorality of lethal U.S. unilateral sanctions that cover about one-third of the world’s population. This column goes into more depth showing the criminality of U.S. interventions.

For example, two key articles in the United Nations Charter stress the importance of non-intervention:

U.N. Charter

Among other points in Article 2, Chapter I states:

  • “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”
  • “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter also states that any intervention requires the approval of the U.N. Security Council. However, Article 51 of this chapter also states that a nation may act in self defense against an armed attack until the Security Council can act.

These are some crucial planks of international law describing how nations should relate to one another. The sovereign equality of all nations helps to protect smaller nations from attacks by more powerful nations.

Shameful U.S. record

Unfortunately we have seen numerous occasions when the U.S. has failed to comply with international law, and this failure has often led to disastrous results for the victims of U.S. crimes.

William Blum’s powerful and informative 2004 book “Killing Hope” documents over 50 U.S. interventions since 1945. The 2003 U.S.-led attack on Iraq, without support of the U.N. Security Council, is one of the more egregious 21st-century war crimes committed by the U.S. This attack led to the destabilization and devastation of much of the Middle East.

Besides this devastation, U.S. violations have greatly undercut international law and made a mockery the idea of a rules-based order. Making matters worse, the U.S. has faced no punishment for its war crimes, including no requirement to pay just reparations for its wanton destruction of nations.

Undermining responsibility to protect

Another piece of international law adopted in 2005 is the responsibility to protect people at risk of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This principle calls upon international intervention to pressure an offending nation into stopping the abuses.

Unfortunately the legitimacy of the implementation of this law has been weakened due to its politicization by the U.S. and its NATO allies, as well as horror at the level of devastation wreaked on the targeted nations.

Libya and Syria are two appalling 21st-century examples of nations that have been targeted and devastated.

Western media and human rights groups

The U.S. and other Western media play vital roles in these crimes by hyping U.S. claims of alleged human rights abuses in an attempt to create popular support for these interventions.

Disappointingly, human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also have a very spotted record of calling out alleged abuses of nations the U.S. views as enemies, while often downplaying those of the U.S. and its allies.

As a result of this complicity, the U.S. public, in particular, is kept in the dark about U.S. war crimes and crimes against humanity. If the U.S. public believes anything, it’s that the U.S. is acting for a good cause in its interventions, whether they be the use of military force, the use of sanctions, the use of threats, or the plotting and implementing coups against non-compliant leaders of other nations.

People of other nations understand better the criminality and reality of U.S. actions. They also are concerned about the stationing of U.S. troops in a large number of nations around the world.

Thus, when U.S. political and military leaders and pundits pontificate about the rules-based order, people around the world are not taken in by U.S. hypocrisy. Instead, they view the U.S. as the biggest threat to world peace and as the biggest threat to democracy, according to surveys.

Unless the U.S. public finally learns the truth and forces our leaders to join the community of nations working collaboratively on climate change, the future is incredibly bleak.