In Kosovo, America claimed its war was a 'humanitarian intervention,' in Afghanistan, 'self-defense,' and in Iraq, it claimed the authority of the Security Council of the United Nations. Yet each of these wars was illegal according to established rules of international law. According to these rules, illegal wars fall within the category of 'supreme international crimes'. So how come the war crimes tribunals never manage to turn their sights on America and always wind up putting America's enemies - 'the usual suspects' - on trial? This new book by renowned scholar Michael Mandel offers a critical account of America's illegal wars and a war crimes system that has granted America's leaders an unjust and dangerous impunity, effectively encouraging their illegal wars and the war crimes that always flow from them.
An exciting, original, and completely convincing demonstration that the US wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the institutional apparatus that has given them legal support, such as the Yugoslavia Tribunal and UN, have been a travesty of law and are returning the world to the law of the jungle. This book is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand how the law really works in international affairs, and it throws a great deal of light on those international affairs themselves. -- Edward S. Herman This closely reasoned and carefully documented study is sad and grim, and necessary. Unless its lessons are heeded by citizens of the rich and powerful states, the fate of the world will be left to the whim of those with the guns and the faith to enforce their will. The prospects are not attractive. -- Noam Chomsky