Military strike against Syria must be brought to the International Criminal Court

by attorney Dr iur. Eva Maria Barki*

Only Switzerland’s foreign minister, Ignazio Cassis, who two months ago spoke out against the notion of might is right in international relations before the UN, criticised the US in an interview in the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, pointing out that wars have already been waged on false claims, such as it was in Iraq.

United States military strike in alliance with France and the United Kingdom shows with alarming bluntness that the United States, the only superpower left since the collapse of the Soviet Union, continue its power politics consistently and unhindered claiming to assert its interests in violation of the obligation to respect the sovereignty of a state and the prohibition of threat and use of violence as specified in Article 2 of the UN Charter.
In line with the 1999 amendment to the NATO doctrine – presuming to operate militarily for conflict prevention and prophylactic danger prevention also outside NATO territory and also without UN mandate – military interventions against sovereign states are declared politically legitimate (R2P – Responsibility to Protect). Yugoslavia was the precedent, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria.
As former NATO commander-in-chief Wesley Clark announced in 2003, already since the war against Iraq, Syria was planned as the target of an American war effort. President George W. Bush in 2003: “ In Iraq it is not just about Iraq. It’s part of a pattern.” Washington foreign policy expert James Steinberg explained that Syria worried the US because it could disrupt the post-war order.
This is therefore the real reason for the military strike: Sykes-Picot (note: division of the Middle East in the wake of the First World War analogous to Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy) should be revived, now under the leadership of the United States. Its influence endangered by Russia is to be restored. The Americans seem to have forgotten that the war aim of granting the right of self-determination as stated by former president Wilson had been missed and is still missed yet by most governments, despite having been anchored in two UN human rights covenants since then.
The military attack was obviously a test, Gorbachev called it “preparatory training”. The US explicitly reserved the right to further military operations and threatened President Assad with further military strikes, especially since, according to the French government, the chemical weapons arsenal “was just for the most part destroyed”. Apparently they wanted to test the response of the international community. Only Switzerland’s foreign minister, Ignazio Cassis, who two months ago spoke out against the notion of might is right in international relations before the UN, criticised the US in an interview in the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, pointing out that wars have already been waged on false claims, such as it was in Iraq. The equally neutral Austria refrained from criticism. The weapon of a small country is international law. This weapon, which was still successfully used by Felix Ermacora** and had given Austria great reputation in the world, was relinquished carelessly.
However, the real scandal is that European Union “backed its allies” and welcomed the military action as a complete success. The German Chancellor called the military strike “necessary and balanced”. While Hungary is accused of lack of democracy due to false facts and information; while Hungary is even reprimanded for complying with European standards; while the Catalan people’s right to self-determination is ignored by the EU tolerating the illegal and brutal policy of  Spain; while the lawfully exercised right to self-determination of the people of the Crimea is not respected and the Russian Federation is illegally sanctioned due to false charges of annexation; the now repeated policy of the United States is not only not condemned but even approved and praised regardless the fact that this policy corresponds to the crime of aggression illegal under international law!
Both, the support of the terrorist militias in Syria, aimed at overthrowing the legitimate government, and the now second military strike against Syria constitute a crime of aggression falling under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. In international law, there are only two rules that constitute compelling law (jus cogens): the ban on the use of force and the right of the people to self-determination. Both rules are ignored and violated by the European Union. This means the complete annulment of international law, the end of international legal certainty and thus a serious threat to the entire world peace!     •

* Dr iur. Eva Maria Barki was born in 1943 in Nikitsch (Austria). She is of Hungarian-Italian-Croatian descent. After studying law in Vienna she became an attorney and runs her own law firm in Vienna. She is an international expert on human rights, ethnic and minority rights.

**     Felix Ermacora was a professor for international law and a human rights expert from Austria. He was member of Parliament for the Austrian People’s Party from 1971 to 1990 and member of the European Commission of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee 1959-1980 and 1984-1987.

Source: Wegwarte. Folge 2, May 2018, Mitteilungen der Initiative Heimat & Umwelt, ihu(at)a1.net

(Translation Current Concerns)

Article 2.4 of the UN-Charter

[…]
4. 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.