In an interview with "Democracy Now," MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky said that U.S. military intervention would not just be against international law, but also largely ineffective. Instead, he said, the country should back an international ban on all chemical weapons.
The current plan, under which the Syrian government hands over its chemical weapons to an international coalition and has them destroyed "is a godsend for Obama," said Chomsky.
"It saves him from what would look like a very serious defeat," he continued. "He has not been able to obtain virtually any international support, and it looked as though Congress wasn’t going to support it either, which would leave him completely out on a limb. This leaves him a way out: He can maintain the threat of force, which incidentally is a crime under international law. We should bear in mind that the core principle of the United Nations Charter bars the threat or use of force. So all of this is criminal, to begin with, but he’ll continue with that."
"The United States is a rogue state," he averred. "It doesn't pay any attention to international law."
Furthermore, he said, "(t)his would be a perfect opportunity to ban chemical weapons, to impose the chemical weapons convention on the Middle East." The U.S., of course, Chomsky noted, will never go along with that because of one nation in the Middle East "which has chemical weapons and is in violation of the chemical weapons convention and has refused even to ratify it -- namely Israel."
"Of course, chemical weapons should be eliminated everywhere," he said, "but certainly in that region."
Chomsky called Pres. Barack Obama's assertions that the U.S. has been a cornerstone of international law and an agent of peace and stability "hardly even a joke." He cited the U.S. role in overthrowing the government of Chile on September 11, 1973, as well as atrocities and unintended consequences of the Iraq Wars, like depleted uranium munitions left behind in that country and the "millions of victims" who were killed or displaced.
Watch the video, embedded below via Democracy Now:
[image of Noam Chomsky via Flickr user Andrew Rusk, Creative Commons licensed]