The US Aggression on Syria and the Principles of a “Just War”

by Prof. Vladislav Sotirovic

The US military forces committed a classical example of the aggression on one sovereign and independent state on April 6th, 2017 by bombing the territory of Syrian Arab Republic with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Killing civilians who are proclaimed, as usual, as “collateral damage”. A formal excuse for the aggression was based, as many times before (from Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya), on traditional political false flags and mainstream media fake news used by the US propaganda machinery to sanction the Pentagon’s hegemonic policy of the Pax Americana.
The Fundamental Dilemma
The fundamental dilemma is why the US administrations of Obama & Trump were and are supporting different kinds of the Islamic fundamentalist jihad organizations in Syria and the Mideast regardless on the fact that they are called by the White House as “moderate terrorists”?
A terrorist is simply a terrorist and there is no any difference between “moderate” or “hardcore” terrorist if the first term can exist at all from both logical and moral reasons. It is already known that all of those terrorists in Syria, including primarily the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/DAESH), are armed and sponsored by the US (i.e. Israel) and their regional quisling states (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar…).
The terrorists’ original warfare of partisan strategy, like by the Muslim Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army in 1995−1999, was based only on direct provoking of the legal and legitimate Syrian state security forces to respond by attacking the terrorists’ posts. Later, well armed and equipped terrorists occupied huge portions of Syria and began establishing full scale of ideological and religious “terror” against the civilians. This simply forced the regular Syrian security forces to launch large scale military actions in order to stop the jihadist terror, and liberate the country from the criminals, but as is expected with unavoidable number of civilian casualties.
However, these civilian victims are not understood by the White House as a “collateral damage” but rather as the victims of deliberate ethnic cleansing and war crimes committed by the legitimate Syrian Government. Nevertheless, all civilian victims of the US bombing of Syria are (and will be in the future) presented by the US administration exactly as a “collateral damage” of the American “Just War” against the “oppressive” regime in Damascus.
The Principles of a “Just War” and the American Aggression on Syria
Here we will present the basic (academic) principles of a “Just War”:

  1. Last resort – All diplomatic options are exhausted before the force is used.
  2. Just cause – The ultimate purpose of use of force is to self-defend its own territory or people from military attack by the others.
  3. Legitimate authority – To imply the legitimate constituted Government of a sovereign state, but not by some private (individual) or group (organization).
  4. Right intention – The use of force, or war, had to be prosecuted on the morally acceptable reasons, but not based on revenge or the intention to inflict the damage.
  5. Reasonable prospect of success – The use of force should not be activated in some hopeless cause, in which the human lives are exposed for no real benefits.
  6. Proportionality – The military intervention has to have more benefits than loses.
  7. Discrimination – The use of force must be directed only at the purely military targets as the civilians are considered to be innocent.
  8. Proportionality – The used force has to be no greater than it is needed to achieve morally acceptable aims and must not be greater than the provoking cause.
  9. Humanity – The use of force can not be directed ever against the enemy personnel if they are captured (the prisoners of war) or wounded.

Nevertheless, if we analyze the last (but probably not the final) US military campaign in regard to above presented basic (academic) principles of a “Just War”, the fundamental conclusions are:

1. Last Resort – The US administration did not use any real diplomatic effort to settle the Syrian crisis as Washington simply gave the political-military ultimatum only to one side (the Syrian Government) to either accept or not in full required blackmails.
2. Just Cause – This principle was absolutely misused by Washington as the USA was never attacked or occupied by Syria. The legal Syrian Government is waging a classic anti-terrorist war against the illegal military movements sponsored by the Mideast America’s quisling regimes and the US administration itself. In other words, the second principle of a “Just War” can be only applied to the anti-terroristic operations waged by the state authorities of Syria against the jihad militants and other terrorists rather than to the US military intervention against Syria.
3. Legitimate Authority – The Legitimate authority principle in the Syrian conflict case can be applied only to Syria and her legitimate state institutions and authority which are recognized as legitimate by the international community and above all by the UN.
4. Right intention – The morally acceptable reasons officially used by Washington to justify its own military action against Syria are quite unclear and above all unproved and misused for the very political and geostrategic purposes in the coming future. It was the same case with the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 but today we know that the NATO military campaign was not based on the morally proved claims to stop a mass expulsion of the ethnic Albanians from their homes in Kosovo as a mass number of refugees appeared during the NATO military intervention but not before. If Washington with its Western quislings was lying in the 1999 Kosovo case, it is logically quite expected to lie and today in the case of Syria.
5. Reasonable prosect of success – The consequences of the fifth principle are selectively applied as only the terrorists will benefited from both short and long term perspectives by the US military engagement in Syria if somebody will not stop further American (in fact Israeli) imperialism in the Mideast.
6. Proportionality – The sixth principle is also practically applied only to the jihad terrorists in Syria, especially to the Islamic State, what is in fact and the ultimate task of the US policy in the Syrian conflict from its very beginning in 2013. In other words, the benefits of the American military intervention in Syria are overwhelmingly single-sided. From the long-term geostrategic, political as well as economic aspects, the intervention is considered to be very profitable with minimum loses for the US military during the further aggression on Syria.
7. Discrimination – The practical consequences of the seventh principle is and it is going to be mostly criticized as the US obviously did not make any difference between the military and civilian targets similarly as it was in the case of the aggression on Serbia and Montenegro by the NATO in 1999 when it was even deliberately bombed much more civilian objects and non-combat citizens than the military objects and personnel – something what Syria can expect if Washington will continue with its aggression on the country. In this case, all civilian victims of the bombing of all nationalities will be simply presented by Washington as an unavoidable “collateral damage”, but in fact it is already and probably it will be a clear violation of the international law and one of the basic principles of the concept of a “Just War”.
8. Proportionality – The eighth principle of a “Just War” surely was not respected by Washington on April 6th, 2017, and it is not going to be respected in the future, as the used force was much higher as needed to achieve proclaimed tasks and above all was much stronger that the opposite side had. However, the morally acceptable aims of the American policymakers are based on the wrong and deliberately misused “fact” in regard to the use of the chemical weapons (ChW) against civilians by the regular Syrian army. In this context, we have to remind ourselves that Washington used the same false flag strategy against Serbia and Montenegro in 1999 when the “brutal massacre of forty-five civilians in the Kosovo village of Račak in January 1999” by the Serbian security forces became a formal pretext for the NATO aggression. Nevertheless, it is known today that those Albanian “brutally massacred civilians” were in fact the members of the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army killed during the regular fight but not executed as the civilians as it was deliberately presented by the neocon warmongers in Washington.
9. Humanity – Only the last principle of a “Just War” is respected by the US in the case of the American recent aggression on Syria but for the very reason that there are no captured soldiers from the opponent side. The same case was and concerning the NATO aggression on Serbia and Montenegro in 1999 when the Serbian authorities respected this principle as all (two) NATO captured pilots were treated as the prisoners of war according to the international standards and even were free very soon after the imprisonment.

Make America a Global Empire Again!
The US post-WWII imperialistic foreign policy of global hegemony is obviously not to be changed by a new 45th US President who only after three months obliterated all his electoral campaign promises to keep hands off from Syria and to finally stop with the American practice of interventionist policies across the world.
Unfortunately, the unlimited US imperialism is going to be on agenda and of the 45th American President whose motto “Make America Great Again” is nothing else but only the intention to restore the US role of the post-Cold War global policemen “for behalf of the American people” as it is written on his presidential Twitter account (@POTUS). Therefore, Donald Trump(enstein) as international law breaker and another war criminal in the Oval Office is going to be a good American President like his predecessor Barack Obama the Bomber who created the civil war in Syria by direct sponsoring the jihad Mideast terrorists.

Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic is a Professor at Institute of Political Sciences Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania and director of the NGO Kosovo-Metochia


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Richard Wicks
Richard Wicks
Nov 22, 2017 1:10 AM

Why don’t you report on what the Syrian war is really about? Israel sold the oil mining rights of the Golan Heights to the US company Genie Energy in early 2013. On the strategic board of directors of Genie Energy is Richard Cheney (war criminal), Rupert Murdoch (famous propagandist), Jacob Rothschild (banking criminal), Roobert Woolsey (ex CIA director) – among other criminals. Syria also contains Russia’s only foreign military base. The Neocon proposal from the Project for the New American Century has been adopted and is being implemented. The paper “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” are being followed to the letter – although ineptly. The United States is funding and arming terrorists in Syria, and all the attacks using chemical weapons have been carried out by them with US intelligence agencies approval as a false flag. The only excuse the United States has for being in Syria is the US’ false claims… Read more »

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
May 4, 2017 8:04 PM

Where’s Louis Proyect? We’re already 5 comments into the article, and nobody’s called us ‘Assadists’ yet!

May 5, 2017 9:10 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

Louis has become shy of posting here since he has been embarrassed several times by well-informed commenters. 🙂

May 5, 2017 3:40 PM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

Funny you should mention him. He made his first ever comment on my own blogsite, below my post the other day: French Intelligence, Monbiot’s stupidity

May 3, 2017 6:56 PM

Let me be clear. The Syrian Regime are using starve or surrender tactics. That is abhorrent and a clear breach of International Humanitarian Law. My old friend Matthew Rycroft has been at it again, after all, willful lying is his job. Or should I say vocation? In condemning the massacre of innocence at Rashideen; he managed to feign outrage at the unnamed terrorists whilst including praise for the White Helmets. That is some sort of weird moral relativism that I just can’t fathom – they are the same people you cynical liar! We support both of them. My understanding is that the White Helmets turned up for their photo-shoot after the blast, just as the traumatized mothers were let off the bus to search in vain. They (WH) posed valiantly among the carnage made for their heroic exploitation. It takes a strange carcass of living dead amorality to function in… Read more »

May 4, 2017 10:35 AM
Reply to  BigB

Not to mention those “starve or surrender tactics” are being used in Yemen by the saudi’s, under direct guidance by both US and UK military, and they are doing it to an entire nation, not just the odd city. Never hear a word in the media about it though.

May 4, 2017 2:29 PM
Reply to  Nogginthenog

Perhaps if Assad bought our weapons, sanctioned the Qatari pipeline, and asked the Russians to go home – he could stay as a vassal of London/Washington? Maybe he could collect the knighthood Tony Blair was going to give him? The House of al-Saud provide a service and spend wisely, propping up the money markets; providing a plentiful supply of oil; sponsoring terrorists for us; buying our weapons… Now they are even leading the way in Womens Rights at the UN! The fact that they have de facto invaded Yemen by air, destroyed the entire infrastructure of an already poor country, brutalised the population and are slowly starving them to either death or capitulation is superfluous – they are a model Western ally! Perhaps Assad should come over to the dark side – ours! He would have to have his critical faculties lobotomised first – to join Rycroft and the rest… Read more »

Richard Wicks
Richard Wicks
Nov 22, 2017 1:22 AM
Reply to  BigB

Isn’t it amusing that the Nazi’s turned out to have won WWII after all?
We have a propagandized population, a Goebbels press, a bunch of scumbag propagandists being called journalists, all wars are now started with complete lies and maintained by them, with a bunch of dirtbag leaders who lie about all their motivations.
None of us live in a Democracy or Republic. We live under a totalitarian state. Sure, you can say whatever you like, but nobody will listen – or that’s how it used to be. In the United States, the corporate BS media is starting to lose it’s credibility after 15 years of individuals exposing it, so now, anybody that just tells the truth is being branded as Russian propaganda today, and later, enemies of the state.
I saw the collapse of the USSR, I hope to see the collapse of this stinking group of criminals next.

May 3, 2017 3:21 PM

There is something very very wrong with this 59 Cruise Missile story ? Nobody ever gave an order to fire 59 missiles – the order was 60. Its like having 9 Commandments or 11 it was 60 not 59. This is only the start of what’s wrong. BTW since we hear from Aviation Week hidden in the text of lies that it was 60 http://aviationweek.com/defense/pentagon-says-all-59-tomahawks-hit-syrian-targets – So we know one fell out of the tube – embarrassing! The World’s supposedly Greatest Military could not take out an undefended air-base ? We know by drone footage no runways were damaged & 2 non-operable planes were damaged. So Russian story of only 23 out of 59 missiles arriving at the air-base is correct meaning 36 went somewhere else? Different speculative theories are possible: 1. US & Russia are playing a theatre & in cahoots ? 2. Russians intercepted the missiles an EWS… Read more »