Middle East

Ukraine War, May 10, 2022 (II): The hard work ahead in the non-allied countries, to get them to joint the anti-Russian coalition

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates. To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine”…

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Ukraine War, April 1, 2022 (I): Donald Trump launches sharp attack against Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine; Ex-president calls for “harshest possible” economic sanctions, possible use of force ; Trump launches impassioned plea for international community to take decisive action to uphold U.N. Charter and international law


Ukraine War, March 29, 2022 (I): New Ukrainian position in Istanbul negotiations; Reparations–Russia must pay for this war for generations



Ukraine War, February 25, 2022: “We are all Ukrainians now”; U.N. Security Council resolution and vote (with links to video and text of resolution)


U.S.-Taliban meetings in Doha reach an impasse, as enormous humanitarian disaster approaches

With the Americans and the Europeans firmly set in their demands that the Taliban provide guarantees for the respect of human rights before assets can be freed or aid can flow, the Afghan economy appears on the verge of collapse.

As winter is fast approaching, a humanitarian disaster of enormous proportions becomes more likely very day.

It is difficult to see either side yielding, while diplomacy is awkward and takes a lot of time.

In these circumstances, it seems likely that millions of Afghans will starve to death before the assistance they so desperately need reaches them.



The U.S. “playbook” for drones and self-defense under international law

See, Charlie Savage, “Afghanistan Collapse and Strikes in Somalia Raise Snags for Drone Warfare Rules; But the Biden administration is close to finishing a new…



Israel and Gaza: The world without international law

Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip in violation of international law. Specifically, it has been violating the prohibition of the use of force contained in article 2 paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter. This prohibition is contained in a norm of jus cogens or peremptory law, from which there can be no derogation by agreement.

Israel has the right of self-defense against an armed attack in accordance with Article 51 if the U.N. Charter and general international law.

However, the exercise of this right is subject to two conditions:

First, the use of force in self-defense must be necessary to stop the armed attack to which the country is being subjected. Here, that means the force used must be aimed at stopping the armed attack, and rationally related to that objective.

Second, the use of force by Israel must be proportional to the threat posed by the armed attack by Hamas.

Regardless of whether or not Israel can sustain its argument under international law, as interpreted by impartial experts, that its use of force against Gaza is a necessary and proportionate response to Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israel, Israel is legally obligated to comply with international humanitarian law (the laws of war).

International humanitarian Law prohibits the targeting of civilians, including news agencies. The Israeli military gave residents of a residential building in which the Associated Press and Al Jazeera had their offices one hour to evacuate the building before it was bombed.

This warning constituted undeniable evidence that this residential building, filled with civilian residents and workers, was deliberately targeted.

Consequently, the bombing of this building would appear to constitute an egregious war crime by Israel. Bombings of other civilian targets also represent presumptive war crimes.

The United States should not veto any Security Council resolutions necessary to take these steps.

The steps suggested above would lead back to the path of international law and a cessation of hostilities.

The alternative is a continuation of the the illegal actions we have witnessed in recent days, and a progression toward a wider war.


Where can Trump go to escape the law? Israeli settlements in the West Bank?

First, because it is occupied territory it is far from clear that the U.S. extradition treaty with Israel would be held to apply. In any event, if an extradition request were made to Israel, the treaty’s dubious applicability to the occupied territories would offer Trump and his co-conspirators ample opportunity for litigation and delay–and, if need be, escape.

Second, if Trump becomes the object of an extradition request, or an INTERPOL “red ticket” for his arrest, should his West Bank settlement refuge become risky, he can always slip over the border into Saudi Arabia.

If Saudi Arabia represents a strong and secure fall-back location for Trump and his co-conspirators, the West Bank represents a huge potential for real-estate and other developments by Trump and his minions.

One can easily imagine one or more West Bank Trump Tower and Golf Resorts  in the West Bank.  The weather is ideal during the winter months in Europe, which is a relatively short plane ride away (six or seven hours from Paris).

But it is time to act.  The clock is ticking.




Kushner / Trump peace plan for Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Updated February 4, 2020)

UPDATE The Arab League has unanimously rejected the Trump/Kushner peace plan. The EU has rejected it, See, Louis Imbert et Benjamin Barthe, “Les pays arabes,…



International Law and the targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani

Developing The targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani (قاسم سلیمانی) in Bagdad on January 3, 2020 was a military action with strategic consequences. These include a…