If We’re Not There, Start Without US

By David Glenn Cox

It is well-documented that Joe Biden has been known to speak out of

turn. Of course the flip side of such a reputation is the ability to

say things meant in earnest and then to simply laugh them off. On

Sunday the Vice President told George Stephanopoulos that Israel has a

sovereign right to decide how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions

whether the United States agrees or not.

His statements are

beyond absurd, more worthy of a Dick Cheney or of Genghis Kahn. The

Vice President of the United States is again preaching Bush’s

preemptive war doctrine, based yet again on dodgy evidence. The United

States is a founding member of the United Nations and preaches to other

nations about international law. Article two of the United Nations

Charter states:

“The Organization is based on the principle of

the sovereign equality of all its Members. All Members, in order to

ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from

membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them

in accordance with the present Charter. All Members shall settle their

international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that

international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. All

Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat

or use of force against the territorial integrity or political

independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the

Purposes of the United Nations.”

This leaves the administration

with a problem because no one has corrected the Vice President’s

statements. The government of the United States is in open breach of

the founding principle of the United Nations Charter once again. The

Obama administration inherited the Bush administration’s wars of

aggrandizement. President Obama went to Cairo, Egypt to speak to the

Arab public to offer a change and a new beginning. This makes Biden’s

comments even more troubling. Was the President lying when he spoke in

Cairo? Was Biden expressing the administration’s true feelings about

the region? The Arab public will not wait to find out and Obama will

not get a second chance to prove his good intentions.


Obama professes a desire for a new beginning, Israel continues to

expand settlements. Obama then tells the Arab audience that the United

States won’t tolerate that expansion, as predator drones kill over six

hundred Pakistani civilians. Six years into war and large segments of

Baghdad and Kabul have only limited electricity and water, while

billion-dollar American embassies rise into their skylines. We ignore

the occupation of Gaza; we ignore the arrests of humanitarian

activists, as the Vice President preaches that the United States has no

right to correct Israel.

First, Iran is a member in good

standing in the United Nations and is entitled to the full protection

of the UN. Secondly, Iran is a signator of the nuclear

non-proliferation treaty. They have every legal right to pursue the

peaceful use of nuclear power whether Israel likes it or not. Thirdly,

Iran is surrounded by nuclear neighbors, one of which has made repeated

threats of pre-emptive attacks against their nation. This nation has

gone so far as to stage and publicly announce plans for mock attacks

with it’s airforce against Iran. That nation is Israel, a nation that

operates its own illegal nuclear weapons program. The pot calling the

kettle black indeed!

Yet no one has threatened to bomb Israel’s

nuclear sites despite Israel’s threatened attacks on her neighbors. No

one calls for inspections of Israel’s nuclear sites or its weapons

labs. Iran is arguably working inside international treaties while the

claims that are made against her come mainly from a nation that has

never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, a nation that has no

legal right to nuclear power and is demonstrably acting outside of the

existing nuclear conventions.

The Vice President continued,

“We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot

do when they make a determination, if they make a determination, that

they’re existentially threatened.”

Following the Vice

President’s logic, Germany had every right to attack Poland in 1939;

The North Koreans had every right to invade South Korea. It is childish

baby talk. Saddam claimed that Kuwait was driving down the price of oil

to force Iraq to default on international loans, and under the new

Biden doctrine Saddam did the right thing by invading Kuwait. We send

the nation of Israel $3,000,000,000 each year in military assistance.

In each and every one of those contracts is the provision that the

weapons cannot be used in any way that is unacceptable to the United

States government.

Several years ago, due to US sanctions, Hugo

Chavez decided to sell his country’s fleet of American-built warplanes.

The US State Department quickly emerged out of the recesses of their

office waving contracts at the Venezuelans that they could not sell or

give away those planes without specific US approval. Nor could they

dismantle or sell parts from the aircraft, nor are they allowed to

share technology found inside the aircraft. The Biden doctrine says

different; if Chavez claimed an existential threat, Chavez is free to

sell those airplanes to China for a truckload of gumballs.


could the US do then? Go to the UN and complain? We voted for change;

we voted for that change because as a nation we were sick of arbitrary

action with only a pretense of legality. The Vice President’s

uncontested statement is a full promotion, acceptance and furthering of

the Bush doctrine. But what if Iran feels existentially threatened? Is

she free to use pre-emptive war to solve her problems? Are all nations

now free to use war to solve foreign policy problems, or is it just the

United States and Israel?

This nation helped to found the United

Nations and hosts its headquarters in New York. But when responding to

questions of international peace the Vice President doesn’t even

mention its name.

“If the United Nations once admits that

international disputes can be settled by using force, then we will have

destroyed the foundation of the organization and our best hope of

establishing a world order.” (Dwight Eisenhower)

Let me be

clear, I’m not pro-Iran or anti-Israel; I’m pro-peace and anti-war. I’m

pro law and anti unitary preemptive action. I don’t care about

religions or historical claims; the law is the law and you can’t just

bend it for your friends and double it on your enemies. Otherwise you

cease to be a leader and you become just a thug. Statements such as

those made by the Vice President and not repudiated by the

administration are saying, in effect: If we’re not there when you’re

ready, just go ahead and start without us. That’s not change, and

that’s not legal, and that’s not a responsible statement for a world

leader to make. It’s just more Bush thuggery.

“The heroes of

the world community are not those who withdraw when difficulties ensue,

not those who can envision neither the prospect of success nor the

consequence of failure — but those who stand the heat of battle, the

fight for world peace through the United Nations.” (Hubert H. Humphrey)

(photo from blackenterprisedotcom)

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.