For those of you who just got out from under your rock, headlines have been buzzing about how President Obama now has major figures in Congress supporting his plan to attack Syrian forces for their alleged use of chemical weapons. Now, there are already multiple articles on PolicyMic that tell us why this is a bad idea, but none of them have had the level of aggressive anger that this issue calls for.
I'll be frank: The United States is slowly becoming a nation that believes not only that it is the world enforcer of international law, but also that it is exempt from international law. While many (including myself) are outraged by the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons, President Obama and members of Congress seem to forget that the breaking of the Geneva Protocol, while it most likely happened, still does not allow for the invasion of a nation. That would also be a grave violation of international law. Despite what interested parties want you to think, there isn't much of a real legal case for attacking Syria (lawyers are still searching for a case to make). The case for attacking the country is a purely moral one.
But really, the United States shouldn't exactly be the country making the moral argument. President Obama recently asked, "What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?" But what message will the U.S. send by further violating international law? What message will the U.S. send when it selectively punishes the regime's forces but ignores the opposition's apparent use of sarin gas? Why should the nation that has gotten away with torturing children in the past 15 years be the one to punish other people who have killed children? The current United States government, like those in the past, has supported war criminals, tyrants, and violators of international law, and continues to do so (Meles Zenawi, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo both come to mind). Indeed, as previously mentioned in another article, the United States even covertly supported Iraq's use of chemical weapons in the 1980s. It's clear as day that not only does the United States lack the legal justification for invasion — it lacks the moral justification too.
Oh, and that's without even mentioning the spying.