April 14, 2018

Why Trump's Syrian attack was illegal

A statement released by a group of international law experts

We are practitioners and professors of international law. Under international law, military strikes by the United States of America and its allies against the Syrian Arab Republic, unless conducted in self-defense or with United Nations Security Council approval, are illegal and constitute acts of aggression.

The unlawful killing of any human being without legal justification, under every legal system, is murder. And an act of violence committed by one government against another government, without lawful justification, amounts to the crime of aggression: the supreme international crime which carries with it the evil of every other international crime, as noted by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946.

The use of military force by a state can be used in self-defense after an armed attack by another state, or, with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. At present, neither instance would apply to a U.S. strike against Syria.

We understand the urge to act to protect innocent civilians. We strongly condemn any and all violence against civilians, whoever the perpetrators. But responding to unlawful violence with more unlawful violence, bypassing existing legal mechanisms, is a road to a lawless world. It is a road that leads to Hell.

In 1986, in The Nicaragua Case, the International Court of Justice reprimanded the United States for arming and supporting contra militias and combatants, and for mining Nicaragua’s harbors, as acts which violated the U.N. Charter and international law. Perhaps the Syrian crisis would look differently today if the United States and its allies had consistently respected law for the last several years. They have not.

We urge the United States to abide by its commitment to the rule of international law and to seek to resolve its disputes through peaceful means. These means include recourse to the use of established and legitimate institutions designed to maintain international peace and security, such as the U.N. Security Council or the International Court of Justice.


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A botnet is a collection of computers across the internet that have been compromised and are running an attacker's software. Your computer could be hacked and running a bot silently in the background, and you might not even notice if you're not looking closely at activity.

The bots are controlled by other bots, which are in turn controlled by a human. To send messages these bots place comments on blogs, with the message, location, and timing containing the messages. Other bots continuously monitor the websites to get instructions.

My evidence for this is a web search on quoted snippets of these comments. The same messages appear in thousands-- even hundreds of thousands-- of places on the web, but with a variety of simple word replacements.