UN envoy declares 'official beginning' to Syria peace talks

Reporters wait in front the UN building after Syria talks were rescheduled at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016.  (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

As the Trump administration publicly and repeatedly considers attacking a sovereign nation (Iran) let us remind ourselves of the international laws which the U.S. and its allies demanded be developed after the horrors of World War II.

In 1945, the Nuremberg trials, which prosecuted Nazi leaders, codified categories of crimes, including “crimes against peace.”

It is a crime against peace to threaten another nation with violence. The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened Iran with “obliteration” for not following our dictates.

Subsequent Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Charter further addressed the circumstance in which a nation feels it is threatened by another nation. Under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, pre-emptive self-defense is considered a crime against peace.

The only exception is when a nation feels that it is threatened, and the certainty that an attack is “imminent, instant or overwhelming and leaving no other means” than using force.

Does Iran fulfill these criteria of an imminent and overwhelming threat to the U.S.? Hardly.

Did Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya or any other nations which we have bombed represent an “instant, imminent and overwhelming threat” to the U.S.?

International laws are not suggestions. They are bodies of laws which all nations are legally and morally bound to honor. We must ask ourselves why we repeatedly violate these laws.

Should it surprise anyone that all reputable international polls conducted during the last two decades identify the U.S. as the country representing the greatest threat to peace in the world?

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to letters@tulsaworld.com.

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