FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Brazil Takes the Lead in Trying to Stop Another Senseless War

Brazil’s foreign minister, Antonio Patriota, made a courageous and very important statement last week about the rising threat of a military attack on Iran.  He asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to weigh in on the legality of a threatened military strike against Iran.

“One sometimes hears the expression, ‘all options are on the table.’ But some actions are contrary to international law,” said Patriota.

The people who keep saying “all options are on the table,” with respect to Iran, include various U.S. and Israeli officials, and most importantly President Obama himself.

And everyone knows what they mean when they say “all options are on the table”:  they reserve the “right” to bomb Iran if they don’t get what they want through non-military means, including economic sanctions.

But such an action would indeed be “contrary to law,” as Patriota suggested.  In fact, it is a very serious crime under international law, and a clear violation of the United Nations Charter (Article 2).  Even threatening to use military force against another UN member state – which President Obama and the Israeli government have done– is a violation of the UN Charter.

Here in the United States, the media – especially the biggest TV and radio media that have the largest audience – have been producing war propaganda about the “threat” from Iran, in a virtual replay of the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  The U.S. Congress, led by neoconservatives and the AIPAC (Israel) lobby, has been pushing to cut off diplomatic solutions.  A resolution currently before the U.S.  Senate would encourage military action against Iran for merely having the “capability” to produce a nuclear weapon – something that Brazil, Argentina, Japan, and other countries with peaceful nuclear energy programs already have.

And all this despite the fact that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, including the required inspections, and has shown no intention to violate the treaty. And the consensus view of America’s sixteen intelligence agencies, the New York Times reported on Saturday, is that “there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.”

It is vitally important that nations who have an interest in maintaining the peace, and in a world more governed by international treaties and diplomacy – rather than by force – speak up, as Brazil has now done, before a war begins.

Patriota’s statement is very important.  There is much more that can be done.  Brazil could work with the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations) to get further statements and commitments.  These groups or their member countries could issue statements about how they would respond to a country that carries out an unprovoked military attack on Iran. For example, they could pledge to recall their ambassadors from that country; break diplomatic relations; or review their commercial relations, with a possibility of selective economic sanctions.

It’s worth the effort, to prevent another unnecessary war and its inevitable atrocities.

Mark Weisbrot is an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: the Phony Crisis.

This article originally appeared in Folha de São Paulo (Brazil)

More articles by:

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. and president of Just Foreign Policy. He is also the author of  Failed: What the “Experts” Got Wrong About the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2015).

December 13, 2018
John Davis
What World Do We Seek?
Subhankar Banerjee
Biological Annihilation: a Planet in Loss Mode
Lawrence Davidson
What the Attack on Marc Lamont Hill Tells Us
James McEnteer
Breathless
Ramzy Baroud
The Real Face of Justin Trudeau: Are Palestinians Canada’s new Jews?
Dean Baker
Pelosi Would Sabotage the Progressive Agenda With a Pay-Go Rule
Elliot Sperber
Understanding the Yellow Vests Movement Through Basic Color Theory 
Rivera Sun
The End of the NRA? Business Magazines Tell Activists: The Strategy is Working
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Historic Opportunity to Transform Trade
December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail