BLOG: Cherry Picking the Perpetrators


People for a Nuclear Free Iran currently funds commercials that play during nearly every break on channel 9. The commercials are far from accurate and, in my opinion, use inadequate fear to encourage people to contact their congress members in attempts to stop the nuclear deal with Iran.

At one point, the commercial states “Iran has violated over 20 international laws.” This line involves such a large amount of fearful connotation. In all honesty, I’m not sure if this is accurate or inaccurate. What I do know is that a statement such as the prior is too vague and general to mean much to someone with a general understanding of where most countries stand in relation to international law.

Hiroshima, Vietnam, Korea, all incidents and wars that could’ve been avoided had countries that follow the preachings of democracy and human rights followed international laws. That aside, the U.S. and NATO, both who claim to follow international law, authorized the bombings in Kosovo and Serbia in the 1990s. Genocide in Rwanda and Sudan didn’t abide by international law, but countries such as the U.S. didn’t intervene to help.

One international law I’m aware of is that no country holds the right to torture citizens of other countries. The United States under George W. Bush’s administration had a political justification for such actions, saying that they were doing what was necessary for the betterment of both countries.

Another law, to my knowledge, is the right of each country to the air space above its territory. The United States and Israel are two of the most prominent countries in the struggle to prevent Iran from gaining any form of nuclear power. Both countries continuously break this agreement for many different reasons, some that may be viewed as positive and others that may be viewed as negative.

To provide a single, controversial circumstance, the usage of aerial drones by the U.S. to carry out targeted killings directly violates this treaty. It also has the power to allegedly violate laws against attacking places of worship and failing to discriminate between civilians and military personnel.

Israel continuously violates international law in committing acts of violence against Palestinians, and the U.S. has yet to condemn the actions in any way, instead supporting them as allies. Because Israel and the United States seem to have similar outlooks of spreading democracy (though the actual intentions are inherently debatable to some), not much is often said regarding violations of laws and treaties.

Ultimately, it seems the only time international law truly matters is when the United States and its allies are not under question for violating it. Countries who claim to fight for the right reasons completely avoid the fact that there are still fighting. By using the ends to justify the means, many countries undermine the importance of international laws and treaties and dissipate all progress towards diplomacy and peacekeeping efforts, bringing the law only back into picture when a country they don’t like is the perpetrator.

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