My high school and college friend, Bill Hulsy, now living in Southern California, offers his analysis of Obama’s justification for attaching Syria:
This e-mail will discuss the various flaws in the arguments provided by the Obama Administration for an attack on Syria. There are seven major flaws in the argument, to wit: 1) the predicate proof is unsatisfactory and unpersuasive, 2) the action is illegal under our law and international law, 3) the Chemical Weapons Convention does not provide a legal basis for this action, 4) the ostensible beneficiaries and cheerleaders of this action are bad actors, 5) this action is a pretext for War with Iran, 6) the United States has no moral standing since we have both used and aided and abetted the use of chemical weapons, and 7) U.S. loss of face is the problem of Obama himself, and a lesser alternative to bad policy.
This proposed action is predicated on alleged use of chemical gas by the government of Syria. This contention is illogical as the Syrian government was winning the civil war, and the use of chemical agents is an act of desperation. Much of Syria has been overrun by the rebels and they have captured many munitions and that includes chemical agents. The Internet is full of pictures and stories showing that the Syrian rebels have chemical agents. Logic suggests their use of the gas as a “false flag” operation.
The whole post-WWII peace process has been based on the use of the United Nations. The United Nations Charter was adopted and ratified by the United States in 1945. It is a treaty and is United States law. Article 42 provides that force may be used individually or collectively by signators only if approved by the Security Council. The only exception is the right of “self defense.” which is permitted under Article 51. There is no special exception for chemical warfare.
The Chemical Weapons Convention was adopted in 1993. Syria is not a signatory. That convention has no enforcement mechanism. Hence, there is no right to wage war or commit acts of war (such as proposed) pursuant to some “norm” of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The rebels in Syria are Sunni jihadis. These are the same people who attacked the United States on 9/11. Syria is a secular, not a religious state. The Christians (numbering 2 million souls) make up 10% of the population. The government protects the interests of the minorities in Syria of which the Christians are one. The Sunni jihadis want to commit a sectarian cleansing, driving the Syrian Christians into Lebanon. For a look at what a Sunni jihadi victory would look like, from a religious point of view, see what happened to the Christian community in Iraq after the Iraq War.
This attack is nothing but a pretext for a War with Iran. This attack will provoke counter-measures by Syria’s allies. Either an agent of Iran (or one of our agents operating in Iran) will fire a missile at a U.S. ship or tanker and, then, immediately we will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the war will be on. Israel will attack Hezbolla in Lebanon, reactively or pre-emptively, Russia will cut off oil supplies to Europe. United States assets all over Arabia and the Moslem world will be at risk. I believe that is the real reason for the attack on Syria–to promote war with Iran. It is the American Way.
Not only does the United States have no legal standing for this attack, but, also it has no moral standing to attack Syria. We used Agent Orange in Vietnam, which was a chemical agent. We used phosphorus in Fallouja, and we aided and abetted Iraq in its use of gas in warfare in its war with Iran. We provided the intelligence for where the gas was to be placed to devastate the Iranians where they were massing troops.
It is said that America will lose face if Congress does not approve an attack. Well, even if that is true, the fault will be Obama’s since lacked any legal or moral power to draw “red lines” regarding the conduct and internal affairs of independent states. The alternative to the “loss of face” is much worse. Mr. Obama styles himself a Constitutional Scholar. He should have known better.
William S. Hulsy
Attorney at Law