Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, now in its third week, was a justified response to aggression based on self-defence. The threat from the NATO-backed Kiev regime is made all the more dangerous with the apparent discovery of bioweapons in Ukraine that were being developed covertly by the Pentagon.
Of course, the US and its NATO allies, their governments, media and think tanks, and so on, have all triggered a tsunami of propaganda claiming that Russia launched an “unprovoked war” and is a criminal aggressor. They are compelled to do that because of the need to conceal their primary responsibility and guilt over the conflict.
Christopher Black, a Canada-based international lawyer and authority on laws of war, contends there is a just cause for Russia’s actions in Ukraine. In a recent article, he says that under the UN Charter, Article 51, Russia had several legitimate grounds for self-defence. In follow-up personal communications, Black discussed his legal reasoning and historical background for this column.
The NATO-backed Kiev regime was ramping up deadly offensive attacks on the Russian people of Donbass in southeast Ukraine. Those attacks included artillery strikes and incursions into the territory of the Russian Federation. This was but a continuation of the war that the Kiev forces had launched in 2014 with the support of the United States and NATO powers. But the offensive intensified in the weeks leading up to Russia’s operation on 24 February.
Western media dismiss these claims made by Russia and the Donbass republics as if they are fabricated or exaggerated. That’s largely because these media virtually ignored the aggression by the Kiev regime, again because their governments were weaponizing and supporting the regime.
However, there is a much bigger threat problem, says Black. That emanates from how Ukraine was being gradually used by the US as a projection point for NATO to destroy Russia. The neighbouring country was being established as a de facto member of NATO and a staging territory for US missiles capable of hitting Moscow within minutes. This is made all the more disturbing in light of the discovery of biowarfare laboratories in Ukraine sponsored by the Pentagon. Again the Western media dismiss Russia’s claims because the implications are so damning and incriminating for their governments.
“We remember that in the past few months, the NATO nations have conducted military exercises that included practicing launching nuclear attacks on Russia. We also remember that the US has a first-strike nuclear war policy, claiming the right to use nuclear weapons wherever and whenever they deem fit. It was evident that they were practicing attacks because that was and is their intention.
Russia demanded the Americans withdraw those systems, and to withdraw NATO from Eastern Europe. They flatly refused. Ukraine talked of acquiring nuclear weapons and threatening Russia with them. It would take time for them to manufacture but there was nothing to stop the Americans from giving them nuclear weapons, under their control, as the Americans have done with Germany, for instance,” Christopher Black said.
In Black’s opinion, Russia had no choice but to act in order to pre-empt the growing existential threat to its security. “Russia could do nothing and watch as the weapons for its destruction were installed and made ready to fire; to commit suicide in other words, or it could defend itself,” says the lawyer. “It warned the US that it would do so… It had to act or face destruction and subjugation.”
The bitter irony is that American and other NATO powers are trying to condemn Russia while they have a historical record that is as criminal and bloody as it is long.
How many wars have the United States and its Western allies waged since the Second World War? How many nations were destroyed? How many millions of lives were destroyed? It is an awesome, disturbing toll.
And yet the ultimate condemnation is that not one of those wars was legal or justified. They were all criminal.
From the US-led Korean War (1950-53), through the Vietnam War, wars in Latin America and Africa, to the bombing of former Yugoslavia, the Middle East’s Gulf Wars and the ongoing military operations in Syria and Iraq. More than seven decades of non-stop wars of aggression including covert and proxy wars. The death toll from all of these US-led conflicts is estimated to be 25-30 million.
The United States launched all of these military operations unilaterally without any authorization from the United Nations. All it had in support was a so-called “coalition of the willing” – a small group of Western nations, primarily Britain, that were willing to violate international law to give Uncle Sam some dubious moral and political cover with a veneer of consensus.
According to Christopher Black, every war that the US engaged in along with its allies has been illegal. None of them meet the criteria for just cause. Under Article 51 of the UN Charter – to which all nations are signatories and therefore bound by – the only criteria for a just war are authorization by the Security Council; and, secondly, a claim to self-defence from attack by another nation or group of nations. The latter is what gives Russia just cause.
In all of its dozens and dozens of wars (the sheer number is itself indicative of rogue conduct), the United States never had a UN Security Council mandate. Claims of self-defence – as in attacking Afghanistan in 2001 after 9/11 and occupying that country for 20 years with NATO accomplices – were flagrantly baseless.
What the US and its allies indulged in were self-anointed authorizations, such as “war on terror” or “responsibility to protect human rights” or “eliminating weapons of mass destruction”. None of these supposed principles are recognized in international law, says Black. They all boil down to imperial might is imperial right.
The US is right now illegally occupying parts of Syria while its bombs are massacring Yemeni civilians. Its economic sanctions are killing thousands of innocents in Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, among others. The distorted condemnation of Russia by Western powers is a window to the audacious brainwashing that the US and its NATO allies propagate through their media.