License to Kill – Luciana Bohne/CounterPunch

by Newsstand

Let’s face it: the United States feels entitled to a license to kill.

On 23 September, Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the United Nations, insisted that the Russian veto power in the Security Council was endangering its legitimacy. Russia had vetoed four Security Council resolutions on Syria. Understandably, the US rabid dogs of war are straining at the chain to which international law constrains them. How dare Russia oppose US plans for regime change in Syria and impede a further blood bath to achieve it?

An indefatigable humanitarian warmonger, Power resents Russia’s opposition to a resolution to bomb the hell out of “atrocities” in Syria, without specifying that the main “atrocity” in her government’s eyes is President Assad.

No, no—it’s her humanitarian concern over the 250,000 Syrian already dead [she means to add more by bombing in their names]; it’s the refugees’ flight she means to stem [by blocking their path with bombs].

Russia is preventing all this humanitarianism: “It’s a Darwinian universe here,” she tells The Guardian. “If a particular body reveals itself to be dysfunctional, then people are going to go elsewhere, and if that happened for more than Syria and Ukraine and you started to see across the board paralysis … it would certainly jeopardise the security council’s status and credibility and its function as a go-to international security arbiter. It would definitely jeopardise that over time.”

She’s right to say, “It’s a Darwinian universe,” but it’s one for which the US is solely responsible, set on insuring the survival of its species along a path of death, destruction, and chaos, shredding international law as it goes. Soberly (how alien feels the voice of reason compared to the screeching tantrums of American functionaries), Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN Ambassador, responded to Power’s allegations by pointing out the obvious:

Some countries were trying to involve the Security Council in regime change operations in Syria and we were telling them that it’s not the business of the Security Council to go into regime change mode. This is a fundamental difference and it’s not the fault of the Security Council that this difference is there.

It certainly isn’t. The task of the United Nations, as per its Charter, is “to prevent the scourge of war”; the task of the Security Council is to resolve disputes, authorizing war only after all other options for peace fail. This awesome responsibility is subject to veto. The veto is a restraining mechanism for members too fond of wars. Besides, nowhere in the Charter does it say that a single member should take it upon itself to go on humanitarian crusades for unilaterally perceived and selectively declared atrocities or genocides, but this option is what the US is beginning to argue for—an option that would permit the removal of the veto in cases of Right to Protect (R2P), the US policy which materialized out of the NATO assault on Yugoslavia. You kill a nation in order to protect it. And Russia is crazy enough to oppose this humanitarian medicine. Legalistic perverts.

Stalin was prescient at Yalta. He accepted to participate in the United Nations only if each of the five permanent members of the Security Council would be allowed veto power. His great concern was prevention of war, which, he argued, could only be achieved through unity and unanimity among the Big Three. Samantha Power’s teleprompters work her up in a lather, conveniently forgetting to tell her that the UN Charter is a treaty signed by the US in the name of the people of the United States and is, therefore, the law of the land, as per the US Constitution. Arbitrarily removing Russia from its veto rights in the Security Council violates the UN Charter and, thus, it’s unconstitutional.

But what does this lot of inept, ignorant, amoral, public-relations careerist frauds care about the Constitution—or about truth and justice and a harmonious world? They are drunk with the wine of desolation. Lies and injustice are for them signs of superior intelligence—a joke on the credulous mob. Injustice is a source of strength and happiness, and the privilege of the strong. As the Empire crumbles, only might makes right.

In Plato’s Republic, this was the view of Thrasymachus, who voiced the cynicism of a morally and politically deteriorating Athenian state and empire. Socrates counter posed the idea of justice as the bedrock of a harmonious social order, monitored by reason to keep the appetites in check. But the Empire is insatiable—it knows only appetite: more oil, more forests, water, and gas, more copper, iron, gold. As the appetite grows, reason wanes, and the result is a war against humanity and the planet, waged by moral midgets the likes of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama and the minions who descend like locusts to serve them. “The sleep of reason breeds monsters,” said Goya. These’RThem—our “public” servants outsourced to Appetite, Inc., the devouring breed.

How refreshing to think of a sensual, passionate quotation by D.H. Lawrence, embracing truth and justice, in contrast to the appetitive society’s lust for pleasure in power, a cold and death-embracing passion—a “waste of shame”:

The profoundest of all sensualities is the sense of truth and the next deepest sensual experience is the sense of justice.

Luciana Bohne is co-founder of Film Criticism, a journal of cinema studies, and teaches at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. She can be reached at: lbohne@edinboro.edu

License to Kill