There is a great deal of huffing and puffing from terrorist loving politicians and commentators.
They don’t want us to go deal to the ISIS terrorist scumbags and want some sort of UN mandate.
The only problem with that sort of b.s. is that we actually don;t need UN mandates, ISIS is not a country they are a band of rampaging thugs and we can deal to them any time we want with or without a UN mandate.
In the UK the same types of terrorist huggers are saying the same things.
MPs who vote tomorrow on whether to go to war with Isis will not have the security blanket of a UN Security Council resolution, so it is important to understand why, as a matter of international law, they do not need it.
They are not being invited to overthrow the regime of a sovereign state, which they wrongly decided to do in the case of Iraq in 2003, or to support a feckless reprisal bombing of Syria, which they rightly rejected last year. Isis is a group of international criminals, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity with genocidal intent, and the right – arguably the duty – to protect their victims does not depend on Russian approval in the Security Council.
Isis has been killing innocent civilians because of their religion and issuing blood-curdling incitements to kill “all non-believers”. They have been executing without trial, recruiting children as soldiers, taking and killing hostages. They are, in the Latin phrase used in international law, hostis humanis generis, the enemies of humankind. As with the pirate, torturer and slave trader, no UN approval is necessary for law-abiding states to use force against such barbarity.
But our complicity in the invasion of Iraq has cast a long shadow; Ed Miliband, for example, has evinced a “preference” for a Security Council resolution. This is unnecessary and in fact undesirable – action in humanitarian emergencies should not be vulnerable to the veto of the Chinese, or of President Putin. A resolution was necessary for the invasion of Iraq – a sovereign state where there was no basis for humanitarian intervention. President Bush expressly excluded this justification for his (and our) war. As for last year’s proposal to bomb Syria, it was a one-off punishment reprisal of questionable legality and doubtful purpose and it was sensibly rejected by Parliament (and people).
Is there any difference (as some MPs seem to think) in the legitimacy of bombing IS in Iraq (which has expressly invited the coalition to do so) and bombing it in Syria? This is a pettifogging point – going to war should not depend on technicalities (the US justified the Vietnam war on the basis that it had been “invited in” by the puppet government of South Vietnam). In any event, Syria has not complained and its consent to the attack on its most dangerous enemy can be inferred. The real question for Parliament tomorrow is whether the attack on Isis is lawful and, if so, whether it is right. Read more »