The initial surprise by the selective killing of the general iranian Qasim Soleimani is giving way to an emerging legal debate on the lace of this action, first, in the diffuse limits of the “war against terrorism” that the united States invented almost two decades ago, and second, the strategy of the country in the middle East. The framework of the debate is to try to define if it is an “act of war”, as they have criticized some democrats, or a retaliation against a terrorist, the argument of the White House, which ensures that Soleimani was an imminent threat against american targets.
“we don't need this president's us goal in a war so clumsy and impulsive,” said the leader of the democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer. The chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives, democrat Adam Schiff, asked in an interview in The Washington Post that it will open a series of hearings to discuss the decision to kill Soleimani, and threats of Trump in the middle East. Schiff was skeptical with the explanation of the White House over alleged intelligence information that justified the murder. The comparison is more usual among critics is that, despite the crimes of Soleimani, is the number two in the iranian regime. The equivalent would be that another country would have killed the vice-president of the united States during an official trip.
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The decision of Trump has put on the table in a way especially raw discussion latent and unresolved two decades on the “war against terrorism”, the legal framework created by the George W. Bush Administration to respond to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The axis of this basic new way of making war was to increase the discretionary powers of the White House and create the status of “enemy combatant”. The wars of the TWENTY-first century no longer going to be against countries, but against specific individuals motivated by an ideology that is fanatical. Under these guidelines, it created the prison settlement of Guantánamo, more dozens of prisons, illegal CIA all over the world, and authorized the torture programs. The wars, however, continued to be relatively conventional, with the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.
The White House has not offered an explanation legal in public of their arguments to kill Soleimani. Through the media, the government tries to fit the murder of Soleimani in a conceptual framework already accepted by the public: it was a terrorist and he was also preparing attacks imminent against american interests. The problem is that the terrorist was, in addition, the Army chief of another country. The democrats are beginning to question the supposed intelligence information about the immediate plans of Soleimani, that the White House has not revealed. Even within the broad margins that has given himself to the united States to kill people in foreign countries, Trump has succeeded in entering unexplored terrain.
the united States is not party to the Rome Statute, which governs the International Criminal Court, and denies that this agency has jurisdiction over any country that has not expressly requested. Recently it has raised its confrontation with the ICC to deny visas to members of the Court to participate in research on acts committed by americans, especially in Afghanistan.
The vagueness of the law in the “war against terrorism” was deliberate to deal with a new form of threat. But at some point, the expansion of this criterion pisaría red lines in the understanding of citizenship. Barack Obama faced the first serious issues of the public when it ordered the targeted killing of Anuar The Aulaki, ideologue of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The Aulaki was a us citizen, and therefore did not fall in the " gray area legal “enemy combatant”.
Whatever his crimes, as a U.S. citizen, he had constitutional rights and was assassinated without charges and without trial by order of the president, which opened a legal debate unexpected when you began this practice. Despite the criticism, the condition of being a terrorist declared The Aulaki created the consensus in the political sphere, although civil rights organizations denounced the dangerous precedent.
The decision of Trump's crossing a new red line in a way of acting in the world that, basically, has no more rules than what you want to do the president of the united States. Soleimani could be an enemy, even their activities can be characterised as terrorists without too much debate, but it is clear that this is a high charge of another country, not an “enemy combatant” indefinitely.
According to The los Angeles Times, the White House is using as a precedent in their argumentario the death of admiral japanese Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1943, the plane in which he was travelling Yamamoto was killed over the Pacific by us fighters americans. The Administration avoids the little detail of the U.S. and Japan were officially at war. There are other episodes that could serve as a basis to kill Soleimani, as the attempts of the CIA for years for the killing of Fidel Castro. In 1986, the U.S. attacked Libya to kill Muammar Gaddafi. It has always failed, which does not have precedents.Updated Date: 07 January 2020, 02:00