Crying “Self-Defense” To Cover Up War Crimes

by Daniel Larison

“Whenever the U.S. or one of its client states launches attacks on others or commits war crimes against a civilian population, they claim they are acting in self-defense. This takes a legitimate exception to the U.N. Charter’s prohibition on the use of force and twists it into a catch-all justification for criminal aggression and violations of the laws of war. … When the US illegally invaded Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration asserted that this was a case of ‘anticipatory self-defense’ on the absurd grounds that Iraq’s government might pose a dire threat to the US someday in the future. … Then there is Israel, which routinely launches attacks on targets in other countries in the name of ‘defending’ themselves and dresses up its bombing of civilians in Gaza as defensive in nature.” (05/26/21)