President Barack Obama, in a press conference at the end of the G-20 meeting yesterday, essentially declared the UN to be an outdated and dysfunctional institution which will therefore be totally ignored. Later in the day his psychotic ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power reiterated the call in even more precise terms. Both said, in almost these terms (with apologies to Alice in Wonderland): international law is what we say it is.
Obama, trying to justify his plan to launch war on Syria in criminal disregard for both the U.S. Constitution and the international laws established under the UN, said that (emphasis added):
"It is my view that given Security Council paralysis on this issue, if we are serious about upholding a ban on chemical weapons use, then an international response is required, and that will not come through Security Council action. And I respect those who are concerned about setting precedents of action outside of a U.N. Security Council resolution. But ultimately what I believe in even more deeply, because I think that the security of the world and my particular task looking out for the national security of the United States requires that when there's a breach this brazen of a norm this important, and the international community is paralyzed and frozen and doesn't act, then that norm begins to unravel; that there are times where we have to make hard choices if we're gonna stand up for the things that we care about. And I believe that this is one of those times.
"And if we end up using the U.N. Security Council not as a means of enforcing international norms and international law but, rather, as a barrier to acting on behalf of international norms and international law, then I think people rightly are going to be pretty skeptical about the system and whether it can work to protect those children that we saw on those videos....
"And they always look to the United States. Why isn't the United States doing something about this? The most powerful nation on Earth. Why are you allowing these terrible things to happen? And then if the international community turns around when we're saying it's time to take some responsibility and says, 'Well, hold on a second, we're not sure.' That erodes our ability to maintain the kind of norms that we're looking at."
Obama at least admitted that Syria was no direct threat to the U.S. or its allies, thus admitting that his war policies were outlawed under the Constitution. "I put it [war on Syria] before Congress, because I could not honestly claim that the threat posed by Assad's use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians and women and children posed an imminent, direct threat to the United States.... I could not say that it was immediately directly going to have an impact on our allies."
Three times Obama was asked if he'd go ahead with the bombing if the Congress said no, and three times he refused to answer.
Later in the day Samantha Power spoke at the Center for American Progress in Washington. She read her speech and scurried out the door without Q&A. Sounding extremely defensive, and wallowing in fake tears over the victims ascribed to Assad, Power said:
"Russia, often backed by China, has blocked every relevant action in the Security Council.... In Assad's cost-benefit calculus, he must have weighed the military benefits of using this hideous weapon against the recognition that he could get away with it because Russia would have Syria's back in the Security Council....
"People are asking, shouldn't the United States work through the Security Council on an issue that so clearly implicates international peace and security? The answer is, of course, yes. We would if we could, but we can't.... The international system that was founded in 1945, a system we designed specifically to respond to the kinds of horrors we saw play out in World War II, has not lived up to its promise or its responsibilities in the case of Syria. And it is naive to think that Russia is on the verge of changing its position and allowing the U.N. Security Council to assume its rightful role as the enforcer of international peace and security. In short, the Security Council the world needs to deal with this urgent crisis is not the Security Council we have."
She ended by saying that she knows "I have not addressed every doubt that exists in this room, in this town, in this country or in the broader international community," and fled the room.