Our comrade and friend Zeemax has drawn a fine distinction about UBLs not being indicted for 9/11.While theoretically sound this fine distinction is unfortunately no longer relevant .Why someone may ask ?
Although the USA was no guardian of liberty or human rights from 1941 till 2003 it did stand for something or some power fighting for some idealistic and some right causes albeit partially.International law as it was created in the aftermath of WW Two had a system in the form of the UN ,however imperfect,with shamelessly opportunistic and intellectually dishonest characters like Kofi Annan.
When the USA attacked Iraq however ,it lost all the high moral ground , however controversial with all the imperial faux pas of the CIA , that it had held since 1945.The US attack on Iraq represented the beginning of a great divide in international law.Unilateral action in an arbitrary manner disregard all previously accepted international rules of the game,ironically framed by various nations with the USA as a key actor ! The open adoption of the modus operandi at the state level that whichever state is stronger,allows this state to attack at will any weaker state and occupy it ! With lackeys like Blair,an apology of whatever good Britain had produced , shamelessly following the Bush regime,the USA attacked and occupied Iraq.The fact that Bush acted in the best national interest of USA is relative but cannot be debated seriously ! It was the decision of a commander in chief taken according to his best judgement ! The fact that the CIA shamelessly fabricated lies about WMDs and the fact that so called political giants like Colin Powell did not exhibit any intellectual honesty in differing with his commander in chief ! That reduced this giant to a pygmy at least in terms of intellectual honesty ! No US general resigned as a matter of conscience over the pedantic and highly incompetent troop assessments of characters like Rumsfeld who knew th division of battle less than a spinster !
We are not debating the fact that the Iraq war was a " just war" or " an unjust war".We are merely stating the fact that USA's unilateral and arbitrary action in attacking Iraq demolished " all ethics from international law". Now the rule was and remains so that whoever is stronger can attack the weaker party.As a matter of fact the US attack on Iraq falls in a category worse than the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan of 1979 .This is because the USSR had a valid treaty with the defacto government of Afghanistan ,while US action was based totally on the fact that might is right ! And the USA had moral poodles like Blair !
The rule of international relations since 2003 is that " Might is Right" .Thats the way th USA demonstrated to the world.Now any state actor or non state actor can follow this rule.Morality if any was removed from international relations in 2003.
Ironically the US attack on Iraq , damaged USA ,severely in long term strategic terms.A honogenuous Shia block was created from Hazarajat in Afghanistan to the coast of Mediterranean in Lebanon.The USA was caught in a strategic quagmire in Iraq which is being exploited by USA's enemies,both state and non state actors and the end is nowhere in site in Iraq.
The conclusion is that there were never no rules in war .And whatever rules existed in international relations were demolished by the USA when it attacked Iraq.Now when Russia attacks Georgia ,its the Bush doctrine,when China attacks Taiwan,it will be the Bush doctrine.When India attacks Pakistan it would be Bush doctrine.No one , no US president would be unable to undo this transformation.
The future wars will be a complex mix of state and non state actors.They will have absolutely no rules of any sort.No place will be sacred.Everyone will be a target.The combatants will have no uniforms.An age of barbarism was introduced in international relations in 2003 .The age of strategic anarchy as I termed it in 2003 will continue till the day of doom ! A good past time for all students of strategy and military history to blog about !
I am not a religious man , but all that the USA did in 2003 is sacrilege and a blasphemy against international law even when judged and viewed by a totally secular and agnostic man like this scribe !