The US has claimed the moral high ground in its recent wars. But how is this position tenable if those wars were in fact illegal?
Through a thorough exploration of the recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, and the attempts of the US to legitimise them, Michael Mandel casts a critical eye on the claims the US makes for its wars – "humanitarian intervention" and "self-defence" – and unpacks the complex moral and legal issues underpinning recent US military action. Michael Mandel shows how international law is a malleable entity which the US can bend in its favour, but even then there are many times when it goes against the law and fights wars illegally.
Mandel also explores the recent war crimes trials of those who lose their battle with the US, and the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in particular. Mandel argues that the trials are not actually about ending war crimes, or impunity for war crimes, but about selectively punishing "the usual suspects" as part of the imperial strategy of the great powers – primarily the United States. Mandel also highlights how hypocritical such trials are – Milosevic is tried with great ceremony for his crimes, while America is not. In fact, Mandel shows how these tribunals shield America and its allies from responsibility for what is termed "collateral damage", but what is in reality murder on a vast scale.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Pluto Press (July 20, 2004)
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Aug 11, 2009, 22:22:06
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