The Invasions of Pakistan and Syria

Within the past two months, we have launched two attacks to capture al-Qaeda leaders in other countries’ (that is, countries that aren’t named Iraq and Afghanistan) territory. Yes, I realize that we were potentially going after high value targets, but that doesn’t justify going into a sovereign nation’s territory and killing innocent civilians in order to track down a terrorist. Our government seems to forge that this is the real world, and that there are actual international laws to be complied with. To not do so, obviously, will have implications.

That is, if other countries, including our allies, are willing to call us out on it.

Here’s what I find most unsettling about our actions in the Middle East: Russia invades Georgia because of Georgia’s human rights abuses in Georgia’s own unethical invasion of their own territory (see here), and our leaders are up in arms, saying that Russia has no business invading a sovereign nation and we are all Georgians and all that other nonsense. (Let’s also note that Barack Obama jumped on that bandwagon as well, pandering to those whose primary source of news is cable television, which accounts for 70% of the population, if I were to estimate that figure.)

But we send troops into Pakistan and Syria to pursue our own agenda, capturing al-Qaeda members, without the consent of said countries. How is this not different than Russia’s “invasion of Georgia”, except on a much smaller scale? Violating a sovereign country’s territory is crime enough, no matter the size of the invasion.

Take this hypothetical, for example: suppose we received word that Russia launched a helicopter raid in the US, trying to track down a criminal ex-KGB officer, who killed innocent civilians, and so on. In the process of the raid, they killed a few innocent Americans. What’s more, the Russians failed to release an official statement regarding the attack, or its violation of the United States’s border security.

Would we not retaliate against the Russians, citing their unlawful “invasion”, even though the raid would only consist of a number of troops in the double digits (at most!)? Wouldn’t America be up in arms that Russia killed civilians? Wouldn’t we whine to our allies in the European Union and the UN that Russia broke international law? Of course we would. Now, when the Syrian foreign minister accuses us of using “criminal and terrorist aggression”, we know exactly where he’s coming from. If we were in his shoes, we’d think the same exact thing.

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  1. One of the many, many reasons the GOP should not be in office for 20 years, Brett. It will take that long to get back so much that has been lost through their foreign policy.

  2. thebeadden

    Everyone forgets to mention the truth. Georgia struck first.

    And yes, what Will said.

  3. Evidence has come out that Georgia commited war crimes, was that reported in the US?

  4. Will: Not much will change, since the “War on Terror” will continue. In the eyes of the government, regardless of whether it’s McCain or Obama running the show, al-Qaeda members must be caught by any means necessary.

    And no, no reporting out of the US that Georgia has committed war crimes. I’ve boycotted pretty much all news coming out of America, though it’s just because I happen to prefer British journalism more.

    Bead: Well, everyone but the BBC did. The BBC reported that Georgia did strike first, though they didn’t make a point about it in later coverage of the Ossetian conflict.




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