Tagged: international law
Law 36: The just war, or Free trade and therapeutic chewing gum
EN-FR March 2023
The just war
Both China and Russia agree that an act of “aggression” is not causeless, that an aggression may be provoked, that an attack may be defensive and may even be, in Napoleon’s words, the best defense, that, therefore, an attack is not by itself a breach of international law, and that American precedents buttress this view. Even if American aggressions had all been supported in the past by UN’s endorsement (which is clearly not the case: see Bay of Pigs, etc.), as in Libya, no one is obliged to see this as more binding than the US herself finds the numerous UN’s rebukes of international law violations by the United States’ protégé Israel binding.
The US administration shall be exposed as a duplicitous and irresponsible entity. When Russia strikes, it is an aggression, all of a sudden, after decades of claiming her protégé Israel’s strikes and territorial expansion have a just cause, namely, are defensive. An irresponsible fool cannot be world leader.
Free trade and therapeutic chewing gum
Commercium liberum means that if China doesn’t buy British opium from British India, the English will attack China and with their military power open Chinese harbors to opium imports. This is called Opium War and it’s real. Free trade is a völkerrechtlich (international-law) justa causa of aggression. Recently, Singapore wanted to ban chewing gum from its territory; the US objected, therefore Singapore keeps importing “therapeutical” chewing gum, and this is how everything can be therapeutic if need be. As the states are on a cannabis legalizing spree, prepare for the Cannabis Wars of tomorrow.
Cannabis Wars will be American aggressions against countries that oppose flooding by medical and/or recreational cannabis, this opposition being an impediment to free trade. Hong Kong’s colonial status was a result of the Opium Wars, so it cannot be said that these “free trade” wars are not for territorial gains. They are 1/ aggression wars, 2/ possibly ending in territorial changes, and above all they are 3/ just wars, having justa causa.
It’s in the books. As Iran is currently sailing two ships toward the Panama Canal, the US, according to Hindustan Times, expressed worry that “Iran’s presence may damage trade and the global economy market,” that is, the US is telling us they have a just cause for sinking these ships, as per the Opium Wars and other precedents.
Note. Above, I don’t mention that the two Iranian ships are warships, and one may question this. Here is my answer. It is “Iran’s presence” that is said by the US to be likely to “damage trade.” As I assume the presence of warships from some, probably most other countries does not elicit the same kind of response, the US statement was not elicited by the ships’ being warships but by their being Iranian. Had I included their quality of warships, people may have construed the affair as being elicited by the ships’ being warships, whereas, had the vessels been commercial ships, the US would have made no comment, which is wishful thinking.
Saudi’s “Won’t Sell Oil” warning to US if Biden imposes Russia-like price cap. (Hindustan Times)
Saudis should impose a price cap on American chewing gum.
China tells PLA [People’s Liberation Army] to get combat ready amid Russia’s war (Hindustan Times)
China might also benefit from inviting Taliban advisors. – Talibans’ strategy and tactics expertise is asked all over the world. Großmächte like Russia and China need Taliban advisers to improve the asymmetric warfare component of their military.
“US intelligence warned of NATO-Russia clash.” Allo? The US got intelligence about themselves from their own services? US intelligence warned the US administration that the US planned to support Ukraine “as long as it takes.” Good work!
The thin line between nothing and a promise
Finland backtracks after pledge [to send fighter jets] to Ukraine. (HT)
Apparently, Finland’s prime minister talked without the least clue about the situation, promising things Finland can’t give.
–If you actually read what she said, she did not promise anything. Doesn’t matter for smooth-brained Russian lovers.
Of course, these people never promise anything, especially to their constituents. I don’t know why people keep thinking these people’s words have any meaning at all.
But who can tell this interlocutor is not splitting hairs, “technically speaking, this was not a promise in the sense of an oath on the Holy Book,” when there was in the air an expectation of Finnish jets but the Finnish army eventually said “we need our jets, sorry”? What is the point of saying the latter if there was no expectation, and what brought about an expectation if not some statement about Finland’s will to send jets? I don’t care about hair-splitting, that’s what they’re always doing when they let people down.
Besides, before calling people “Russian lovers” (with savage expletives), one should consider who is distraught by the news: Russians or Ukrainians? Who is angry? Who is cursing the Finns in their heart? (In general, the disappointed curse.) Who will say this is an about-face if asked? – Am I a Russian lover for scolding the Finnish authorities to let Ukrainians down? Whose brain needs more training?
This lady, Finland’s prime minister, went to Kiyv in quality of head of government and said, in that official position, she’s “open to providing jets.” Was this saying something or saying nothing? Or does it mean, “I’m open to providing jets but it doesn’t depend upon me.” Was the news that some nobody in the remotest parts of the country said he’s open to providing jets to Ukraine but who cares, he’s a nobody? Now a Finnish general says the jets can’t be sent in Ukraine because they are needed at home. If he is correct, then this lady couldn’t materially be “open to providing jets,” because there was no material basis for such a declaration, which would have required available jets in surplus of needed jets, essential at home, and she should have been briefed about this before going to Kyiv, knowing Ukrainians would ask for support and formulate requests. The general is telling her, in her face, something very unpleasant, and he makes it known to the world. He might be a rebel, refusing to obey the government, as he’s not the person to tell the latter how the existing jets are to be used, whether kept at home or sent to Ukrainians. Given the solemnity of a declaration made within an official delegation in a foreign country, I assume the general will be sacked and the jets sent. Otherwise, the government must fall. I retract the term “promise,” however, having learnt from my interlocutor that governments around the world shouldn’t take the words of Finland’s authorities seriously; when this government says they’re “open,” one must add in petto “but that doesn’t depend upon them,” this is no commitment, only meaningless blah blah.
If it isn’t a promise when the government says to be open to something, then the government actually says to be “open but…” So what is the “but” here? Is it a vote from Parliament? Not at all. Is it a national referendum? Not at all. Is it a veto from allies? Not at all. A Finnish general is correcting the Finnish prime minister. The “but” was “I’m open to providing jets but it depends on a general who turns out to be, as a civil servant, under the hierarchical power of the government, that is, he does what I’m telling him.” The government can’t claim it renounces sending jets because its generals are opposed to the government’s idea, because it would be treason for the army to oppose the government. Therefore, no excuse. You send the jets or you never were open to sending them; you were just, for reasons I honestly fail to understand, deceptive with people you call friends.
–She was asked by a journalist in a press conference about the jets and she said it could be discussed if other countries think about sending them. She didn’t promise anything.
I left the last word to this other interlocutor. First, I had already taken back the word “promise.” Then, the answer to my question about this lady’s words, namely, “was this saying something or saying nothing?” has its answer: it was saying nothing. Poland is willing to send fighter jets to Ukraine and hasn’t waited for a common position of NATO countries. But again, the material basis for such a declaration by Finland’s head of government was lacking, because, as the general said in the meantime, Finland can’t afford to send jets abroad, no matter what a common position of NATO countries would turn out to be; the army’s position is not dependent on whether other countries can send their own jets.
Arms supply as principal-agent problem
US and UK officials are reportedly worried that Ukraine is firing thousands of artillery shells daily to hold on to Bakhmut. According to New York Times, there are concerns in the West that the pace at which Ukraine is burning through ammunition, is unsustainable (HT)
The arms suppliers worry about how the supplied army is using the material. However, the suppliers didn’t “supply” tactical command. It goes without saying that when you supply weapons you may do something very useless unless you can be sure the weapons will be used efficiently. Imagine the military operations were directed from or by the supplier countries instead to make sure the material is used efficiently: would these countries still be nonbelligerent? In other words, either NATO has no control over the efficiency of its doing as a non-belligerent party or it becomes belligerent.
There is a principal-agent problem (google these words) in the supply of weapons which remains undiscussed. In this kind of problems, suppliers could keep supplying for decades with guns a child who shoots at trees, thinking this is a soldier shooting at enemies. NATO can’t make sure its weapons are used efficiently, that is, make sure its doing is worth it, without taking control, and that means to become a belligerent party.
Video from the US-Mexico border shows chaotic scenes as hundreds of people attempted to force their way into the US, after problems with a new app aimed at processing their asylum claims. (Al Jazeera English)
To condition state decisions upon smartphone usage is unlawful subsidizing of a private sector. I think this administration is corrupt. – What is a public administration that conditions a public benefit upon the purchase of smartphones made by private manufacturers, if not a corrupt agency in the hands of private interests?
One may ask: Is it subsidizing the paper industry, to condition a public benefit on a written letter to the administration? Arguably, yes. However, the difference between the expense for one sheet of paper and a pen or pencil on the one hand and for a smartphone on the other hand, is not insubstantial, so if the administration so far requested a written letter, it doesn’t mean it is not more corrupt by asking to download an app on a phone now.
Les bras d’honneur d’un ministre au Parlement
Il n’y a pas si longtemps, un journaliste eut droit à un procès pour un doigt d’honneur. L’immunité parlementaire pour les propos tenus dans l’hémicycle protège, que je sache, les parlementaires et non les autres personnes présentes, par exemple un ministre. Et je ne crois pas non plus qu’un ministre ait une immunité générale vis-à-vis du code pénal, par exemple vis-à-vis de l’article relatif à l’injure, laquelle serait en l’occurrence facile à caractériser pour ces bras d’honneur dans l’hémicycle puisque le ministre a lui-même reconnu les faits (deux bras d’honneur), une admission sur le ton plaisant et cynique qui a choqué la présidente de séance. Des rappels au règlement, moi je veux bien, mais pourquoi un journaliste passe au tribunal, lui ?
Dans le cas du journaliste, comme son doigt d’honneur était adressé à des CRS, c’était un outrage. Or un député est également une personne dépositaire de l’autorité publique, selon le code : un bras d’honneur à un député est donc tout autant un outrage, c’est-à-dire une injure aggravée. Mais un journaliste passe en jugement et écope d’une amende pénale, tandis qu’un ministre peut se vanter de son délit. Surtout ne changez rien.
Note. S’agissant de l’affirmation selon laquelle « l’immunité parlementaire pour les propos tenus dans l’hémicycle protège, que je sache, les parlementaires et non les autres personnes présentes, par exemple un ministre », on pourrait sans doute répliquer que, si un ministre ne bénéficie pas de la même immunité que les parlementaires au sein de l’hémicycle de l’une ou l’autre chambre, il est désavantagé dans la discussion politique, étant contraint dans ses prises de parole quand les parlementaires ne le sont pas. Or l’immunité parlementaire n’empêche pas le bureau de l’Assemblée de prononcer des sanctions, telles que des suspensions, à l’encontre d’un parlementaire en raison de ses propos, tandis que le bureau d’une chambre n’a évidemment aucun pouvoir de sanction à l’encontre d’un membre du gouvernement. De sorte que si l’immunité s’étendait aux ministres, ce sont ces derniers qui seraient avantagés dans la discussion politique au sein du Parlement puisqu’il n’existerait aucune instance de sanction, judiciaire ou législative, à leur encontre tandis que les parlementaires seraient toujours passibles de sanctions prises par leur chambre. Dans ces conditions, l’immunité parlementaire servirait aux membres du gouvernement et non aux parlementaires, et même aux membres du gouvernement contre les parlementaires, ce qu’il est impossible de supposer pour un dispositif protecteur de la fonction parlementaire.
Law 35: The Chinese Takeover
The Chinese Takeover
Republican lawmakers have urged Blinken to tell Beijing that its aggression against India and Taiwan is not ‘acceptable’. They have also asked Blinken to raise human rights violations, unfair trade practices, expansion in the Indo-Pacific and China’s leading role in the fentanyl crisis in the United States. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023)
“China’s leading role in the fentanyl crisis in the United States”? China is responsible for American physicians’ prescribing opioids to Americans, of course! and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), “who is responsible for protecting the public health” according to its website, is responsible for nothing in an opioid crisis that has claimed more than half a million American lives. Of course!
The weather balloon conspiracy
(For details, see Law 33: Weather Balloon from China, as well as the comments section.)
When someone apologizes to you for an accident, you may scold them for negligence or clumsiness, but not for intentional wrongdoing (such as airspace violation for spying) because then you are calling them liars and reject their apologies.
The U.S. is provoking China, calling her a liar and rejecting her apologies, which means America refuses to turn the page and threatens China with retaliation. “Never again,” in this context, means “We are going to teach you a lesson.” This is a menace, and they know the implications of menace in international law.
The number of American provocations against China these last months and weeks appalls me, as a European. Next, they’ll say China gave Putin the green light for the military operation in Ukraine; they’ll say Putin asked Xi whether China minded if Russia started the operation and Xi said “You have our support.”
China’s Ukraine hypocrisy: Readies drones for Russia & calls out West for arms to Kyiv. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023)
When you’ve got, in this war, a party that has just made known it will send weapons to Ukraine “as long as it takes,” after a whole year of war already, you know their plans are not to reach peace in six months as a contrived CIA report that was pumped into the media made believe (just after a U.S. top general had publicly said it will be “very, very hard”). You know this party is on the contrary expecting a decade-long war. So, if you lend a hand to belligerent country A, although you began with opposing arming belligerent country B, you are not “duplicitous”; in fact, you are trying to deter the Brandon party to further carry out the bellicose strategy aiming at war “as long as it takes,” because you want a peace deal and your acts are no different from your words.
What prevented NATO from granting Ukraine their military shield, like the “oil for security deal” between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia? It is not right, after such a lack of anticipation, to try to amend one’s mistakes with precipitous sanctions and arms supplies. – Ukraine will be a battlefield “as long as it takes.” This is not weapons Ukraine should ask for: it is full belligerence of NATO countries or peace with Russia.
Arming Ukraine cannot make this country win the war in the foreseeable future, so, absent direct belligerence by NATO, Russia is the only possible winner. A ceasefire and peace deal should be agreed by Ukrainian authorities, and that probably means relinquishing the newly annexed regions, no more no less. NATO countries have failed to anticipate and prevent this; if they think Russia has more such operations in store for the future, they should provide some countries with a military shield, such as the shield with which the United States is covering her friend Saudi Arabia. Arming Ukraine cannot be a substitute for lack of anticipation, something that should be obvious after a whole year of sanctions and financial and military support.
One may question my expectations about the war as waged to this day, but what are NATO’s expectations to begin with? One American general said it will be “very, very hard” to chase Russians from the newly annexed regions, then, a few days later, a CIA report talked about ending the war in six months. So much for the consistency. Zero credibility. Let them admit publicly that their policy of arming Ukraine is a 10-year or longer war plan, and China’s position will become much clearer. “As long as it takes” means war for years, it’s not going to be six months. Those who oppose this are those who may be said to be for peace.
A non-neutral (although nonbelligerent) party to a conflict will be deemed tainted with partiality by a neutral, impartial judge. The non-neutral U.S.’s talking of Chinese “disinformation” regarding the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is therefore partial. It may or may not be true in the final analysis: an impartial judge will decide after hearing all parties. On the other hand, the U.S.’s talking about “poisonous” disinformation is hostile, and the statement will be recorded as such, as hostile toward China.
The American rhetoric and its use of fighting words shall be stressed in the record. Needless to say, “poisonous” hints at pests, such as snakes. And the idea that the Chinese “poison the well” (“The well has been poisoned by Chinese and Russian disinformation, said the special envoy”) hints at lepers and other outcasts from the European Middle Ages, who were accused of poisoning wells. The record shall stress that the American party has abandoned the language of diplomacy and is now resorting to the language of incitement.
The Americans are making believe there is no such thing as a “just cause” (justa causa), but their practice and precedents show that they cannot claim to have an international doctrine of nonaggression; the U.S. cannot claim to consider aggression by itself a breach of international law. On the contrary, their practice shows they act under the notion there are just causes of war, and therefore they shall be asked not to claim, without reason and evidence, that there are no or cannot be just causes whenever the U.S. herself is not involved in a conflict outbreak. For neutral parties, the question whether Russia had a right to send troops in Ukraine or not remains open, by application of the just cause doctrine.
On the other hand, absent a just cause doctrine, aggression of one state by another cannot be a just cause to be hostile to the former, because to claim to have a just cause, one needs a just cause doctrine. Furthermore, absent such a doctrine, any country has the discretionary and unaccountable right to remain neutral, that is, nonbelligerent and neutral.
In other words, faced with the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, if foreign countries 1/ abide by a just cause doctrine, then a decision not to remain neutral supposes a just cause, which can only be that the Russians themselves have no just cause, and if 2/ they do not abide by such a doctrine, the decision to remain neutral or not is unrelated to any such ground. If it is unrelated to the issue of causes, it remains out of discussion: it is entirely discretionary, the people of these states are, for all intents and purposes, mute. Therefore, NATO’s so-called free countries are expected to abide by a just cause doctrine: that their decision not to remain neutral remains undiscussed, namely, the fact that it is taken for granted that Russia does not have a just cause for intervention in Ukraine, is self-contradictory.
U.S. fighter jet destroys object over Canada. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023) – User: Canada has no Air Force?
The North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD is combined U.S.-Canadian surveillance. The U.S. consisting of two mainland parts divided by Canada (see Alaska), for all intents and purposes Canada is not sovereign over Canadian skies vis-à-vis the U.S.
German FM [foreign minister] concedes ‘War with Russia a mistake.’ (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023) [The German minister of foreign affairs had said Germany is in war with Russia, before conceding it was a mistake.]
She is incompetent. There could hardly be another utterance proving she is “unfit for the job” as much as the one she made. Her government’s position, in terms of international law, is that Germany and other NATO countries are not belligerent parties in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and therefore eschew any responsibility if Russia takes hostile military measures against them, in which case they would act, accordingly, in self-defense. A foreign minister so blatantly ignorant of the international-law underpinnings of her government’s stance, is unfit for the job, there’s no other word.
NATO Nation [Germany] defends India’s oil trade with Russia despite sanctions; ‘None of Our Business’. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023)
Last time I checked, Germany was a member of the sanctions party. Therefore, India’s buying cheap oil from Russia is 100% Germany’s business, for two reasons: 1) the sanctions party is the cause of the discount, while Europe gets its energy at inflationary price from the U.S., Qatar, and others, & 2) the sanctions party should ensure that its sanctions policy is effective, and that means it should ensure that all friends dance to the same tune, otherwise the party is only harming itself. A sanctions party that looks the other way when India and others benefit from hampering the sanctions is a joke.
Let the situation be known to the Germans (but I doubt the speech will make news there, to start with), some will begrudge their government for the nonsense, others will begrudge India for her non-cooperative “friendship,” others will begrudge both.
At some point, it was thought by some that winds blow on the moon because the NASA pictures of the manned moon landing show the stars and stripes waving in the wind, but in fact the stars and stripes was just creased because of storage, and the first men on the moon did not care to straighten their flag before saluting it, and the flag is still.
I’ll believe there are female soldiers fighting when I see one die on the battlefield. It’s easy to put a woman in uniform in front of cameras for the show.
They are always showing us women in uniform, in time of peace, but now and then you hear or read that this or that army’s doctrine is that women are not sent to the battlefield. Typists in uniform! Wonderful equality where I will be asked to sacrifice my life and my female colleagues will wear the same uniform and sport the same medals while being exempted from this little service, a mere trifle. You think I’m a dog? – Oh yes, it’s teamwork, we all contribute: I contribute with dying, and you with staying alive.
Anti-racism protests in Tunisia after President Kais Saied’s migration speech [Kais said, according to journalists, “migration from Sub-Saharan Africa was aimed at changing Tunisia’s demographics”] (Al Jazeera English, YouTube, Feb 26, 2023)
The social democrats in power in Denmark say the same as Kais and implement the most restrictive immigration policy of the whole of Europe, while singing antifascist anthems like the others.
(I don’t know if “was aimed at” is a correct report; if correct, the assertion is problematic: aimed by whom? Is there a mastermind behind these migrations? If Kais’s speech is rightly reported, then I am not claiming Denmark’s authorities “say the same” as strictly as if it were only about demographic change.)
–Denmark has a population of just 4M, it would be so easy to become outnumbered in your own land. Who wants that?
On Google, I find Denmark’s population to be 5.8M. But this is not the relevant demographic figure, which is, rather, the percentage. Does Denmark have a greater percentage of foreign population than other European countries already to make a valid claim that its native population is being outnumbered compared with more populated nations? If, with a small population, Denmark has an even smaller percentage of foreigners, the argument is contrived.
However, this was not my point, which was the irony of finding a social-democratic party implementing the most restrictive immigration policy in Europe when the same parties in other countries have been so vocal for immigration. My interlocutor is saying, in her own way, that the platforms of social democracy depend on demographics, but I don’t believe this. It’s just that political parties scramble for seats and they’ll say anything. And Danes voting for social democrats to carry out an anti-migrant policy is just as comical as their remaining loyal members of their national church without believing in anything according to polls. (See Law 13: Is the church of Denmark a religious organization?)
Speaking at Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, [Giorgia] Meloni without naming [India’s minister of foreign affairs] Jaishankar said that “Europe’s problem has become World’s problem”. Last year, Jaishankar said that “Europe thinks that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.” Jaishankar made these comments amid persistent efforts by Europe to make India take tough position on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, March 2023)
I don’t want to be harsh with a woman but this lady campaigned on a platform for family values while being a single mother. The true message of such a campaign, therefore, was that she was too busy, as a VIP, to build a family for her child and that family is a loser’s thing. So much so that she eventually married her –I don’t know how to call that– boyfriend or comfort toy in a flurry, a few days ago. Europe’s problem is its inescapable decadence, and this is not a world’s problem but the problem of those who are dying and will be replaced.
Europe’s decadence is inescapable because the measures available to these countries against decadence cannot be genuine any longer. For instance, the “reaction” against decadence of family values is Giorgia Meloni, a single mother. This is not reaction, but aggravation and acceleration.
A single-parent home (and in these I include any home where the mother has a boyfriend instead of a legitimate husband) may have many causes, such as death; I may retract what I just said about this lady if I am told she had actually bonded with a man and the man died or they had to separate because of force majeure, not the banal, predictable story of people incapable of bonding because family makes no sense to them.
When the beacon blinds you
A blogger from France using WordPress, which is owned by the American Automattic, Inc., and writing a good deal of contents in English, I have always had daily clicks from the U.S., but I think I am noticing a pattern. Lately, I took positions against the U.S. administration in its relationships with both Russia and China, and that stopped the clicks from the U.S. It comes back slowly after a few days. I had noticed the same pattern before and I can’t help thinking this is not coincidental. It is a temporary drop or stop of clicks, noticeably from the U.S., provoked by some kinds of content, and it has become somewhat predictable. It’s as if there were a software somewhere intent on deterring bloggers to post some kinds of content, lest blog stats be impacted. I guess they don’t make it permanent because they don’t want to lose platform users, and they probably hope that a temporary impact can be deterrent enough.
One user (about me): Here’s the 50c. wumao. Another user (to the former): Sounds lame…
Thank you. I reported the (former’s) post as “intimidation,” as it is inconvenient enough to be denounced, without reason, as a foreign paid agent, but contrary to a couple of previous experiences with reporting this one still shows up for me. Apparently, this kind of one-word expletives is content with which YouTube is okey, and while it is fond of flaunting its harsh speech rules and regulations, it is full of such pollution, as everyone knows. It makes one think they reserve their censorship for articulate thought-of criticism.
If what was reported [about the Nord Stream sabotage] is not right, why the US, Norway and leaders involved did not sue the award-winning journalist?
Journalism on issues of “general interest” is protected by the American First Amendment, public officials cannot hope to win a libel case in these conditions. But this stops at the American border, and the lack of response by Norwegian personalities, if some are named, might be a clue of guilt. At least, these Norwegians may be challenged to sue the writings, they may be asked why they do not, whereas that would be irrelevant in the U.S., where libel suits by public personalities are a nonstarter.