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America’s New Era of Leadership

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by Gordon Prather

4 Apr 09 | AWC

Obama needs a primer on int’l law.

President Obama declared shortly after his inaugural that “the gravest danger to the American people is the threat of a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon and the spread of nuclear weapons to dangerous regimes.”

He vowed to “crack down on nuclear proliferation by strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty so that countries like North Korea and Iran that break the rules will automatically face strong international sanctions.”

Well, at least Obama didn’t threaten to automatically launch “preventative” wars of aggression – a la Bush the Younger — against countries like North Korea and Iran who break the “rules” imposed by the Bush-Cheney-Bolton Proliferation Security Initiative.

No, Obama appears to be merely threatening to ensure that “strong international sanctions” are “automatically” imposed by the UN Security Council on countries who “violate” the NPT and/or the UN Charter.

Well, that lets out Iran, which has violated neither.

And, as a direct result of the Bush-Cheney-Bolton unilateral abrogation, in the fall of 2002, of the 1994 Agreed Framework between President Clinton and Kim Jung-Il, North Korea withdrew from the NPT, and now has – quite legally — a nuke stockpile, with ballistic missiles capable of delivering them.

As for North Korea violating the UN Charter, at the insistence of Bush-Cheney-Bolton, in July, 2006, the Security Council adopted resolution 1695, which did “condemn” the “multiple launches” by North Korea of ballistic missiles that month and “demanded” that North Korea “suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme”.

And the Security Council did “require” all UN Member States to “prevent” — consistent with international law — “the procurement of missiles or missile related-items, materials, goods and technology” by other states from North Korea, as well as the “transfer of any financial resources” to North Korea related to its missile programs.

But, even the Missile Technology Control Regime is a voluntary arrangement, involving 27 countries, agreeing to coordinate their export policies with respect to (a) ballistic missiles, (b) space launch vehicles, (c) cruise missiles and (d) remotely piloted vehicles. The Security Council is essentially exceeding its authority by “requiring” those 27 countries to enforce – or violate — their own export laws.

In any event, the Security Council stopped well short of determining – under Chapter VII of the UN Charter – that North Korea’s actions thus far constituted an “act of aggression” or a “breach of the peace” or even a “threat to peace”. >>>

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Written by Editors

4 April 2009 at 12:17 pm

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