INTERNATIONAL LAW: Is it Less Respected Today?

Randy Black says: It seems a bit disingenuous to state that the US, from George Washington to the 1960s, had more respect for international laws than more recently. Consider the facts of our history. Was not Eisenhower the commander who first sent US military into Viet Nam in the 1950s? Later, was not the US heavily involved in passing training, armaments and military secrets to the Taliban during the 80s in order to hinder the USSR in Afghanistan.
What about the various coups that the US supported around the world, from the 1950s? The Bay of Pigs comes to mind, as do various incursions in Latin and South America. Military actions against Libya seems like an action that might have violated someone’s international laws under Reagan in the 80s.
But let’s not only single out the USA. During the Iraq-Iran war that began in 1980, France became the major source of Iraq's high-tech weaponry, in no small part to protect its financial stake in that country. The Soviet Union was Iraq's largest weapon's supplier, while jockeying for influence in both capitals. Israel provided arms to Iran, hoping to bleed the combatants by prolonging the war. And at least ten nations sold arms to both of the warring sides.  And don’t forget France. It was the same Jacques Chirac who, as French premier in the 1970s, sold Saddam Hussein two nuclear power plants ("This deal with France is the very first concrete step towards production of the Arab atomic bomb," gushed Saddam). Chirac later declared himself "truly fascinated by Saddam Hussein since 1974". France went on to sell the Ba'athist regime $1.5bn of weapons.
In the Balkans, France still enjoys a cozy relationship with Serbia, despite the death of Francois Mitterrand and allegations about his son's business dealings. "Everyone has seen Radovan Karadzic chauffeured around the suburbs of Sarajevo," says Bernard McMahon, an aid worker in Bosnia. "It happens all the time. Karadzic gets out of the car and greets his people like he's a hero. The French peacekeepers must know he's there, because he couldn't be more obvious."

Even today, France has a secret war ongoing in the Ivory Coast, and has lost about a dozen French soldiers last week (Nov. 6, 2004). Yesterday, the French bombed the few airplanes of the Ivory Coast’s military forces. And Mexico? Echeverría, the Presidente, waged a secret war against his own people during the Nixon Administration. Many say the war is still ongoing. Ask the indigenous people of Mexican state of Chiapas and Michoacán if the Republic of Mexico is at war with them.

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Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: December 5, 2004