We are often told the Australian military alliance with the United States allows us to adhere to the “International Rules Based Order”. A 2018 report issued by US group Code Pink questions the adherence of the US to these international rules, and offers scathing criticism of US arms traders. Our ASAP campaign aims to throw light on Australia’s own role in the international arms market, and our complicity with breaches of global peace and security.
Rules Don’t Always Apply
The Code Pink report criticises officially sanctioned terms such as “defense” and “security” used in the US, and says that since the 1980s the US has become increasingly offensive.
Examples of the disregard of the international rules shown by the US are as follows.
- In 1986 after the US had withdrawn from the binding jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, which had convicted them of using force illegally in Nicaragua, they used their veto in the UN Security Council to avoid paying reparations.
- Since the 1980s, the U.S. has vetoed more UN Security Council resolutions than the other four permanent members combined.
- The U.S. rejects the jurisdiction of international courts, ignores binding international treaties, and refuses to sign or ratify new treaties.
- The U.S. Congress has abdicated its constitutional war powers.
- US diplomats and politicians promote political arguments for war to override formal and binding rules of international law that prohibit it. This includes formulating and then abusing new concepts like “humanitarian intervention” and “the responsibility to protect.”
In addition we must add the events that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, including the role played by the arms traders. As just one example, the report states “In 2002, in the face of broad opposition to a U.S. invasion of Iraq among the international community and the American public, Lockheed Martin’s vice president Bruce Jackson left the company to chair the “Committee for the Liberation of Iraq,” an organization whose sole purpose was to build political support for a U.S. invasion. “
The report concludes “Far from bringing protection or ‘humanitarian intervention’ to suffering people overseas, America’s wars have instead plunged country after country into seemingly endless violence, chaos and insecurity.”
Download the full report at Code Pink.