Iran-US tension: The legality of US presidents and wars

US President Donald Trump’s actions and statements against Iran have led his critics to accuse him of breaking international law. But he is not the first US president to tolerate this criticism in a war spectacle.

President Trump’s threat to attack Iran’s cultural sites sparked outrage, and his administration officials immediately denied that any such proposal was under consideration.

Earlier, he had allowed the assassination of Iran’s most important general, Qasim Suleimani. According to international law, if a government is defending itself, it can do so, and US officials say they were trying to stop the attacks.

But the UN special envoy to the extra-court killings, Agnes Colmard, did not agree with his review. He tweeted that it did not look like it was a legal attack because the attack was inconsistent with what was described in the UN Charter.

Trump has also grappled with US military personnel accused of war crimes, one of whom Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher called a “tough guy.”

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US President Barack Obama

Trump speaks of military personnel and acts in a way that obscures legal status.

The invasion of cultural sites under the 1954 Hague Convention for Cultural Protection violates international agreements, but they defend their position on targeting cultural sites, saying that enemy commanders use illegal means. And Americans should do the same.

“They are allowed to torture and kill our people,” he told reporters. And we are not even allowed to touch their cultural sites. It can’t run like that. ‘

Along with the dismissal of international law, he surprised a high level of American officials. “I am confident that the President, Commander-in-Chief, will not give us illegal orders,” said US Defense Secretary Mark Asper.

This was another extraordinary moment in Trump’s presidency over the years when conflicts with members of his own cabinet came to the fore.

However, Donald Trump is not the first president who surprised people with their flames or the use of aggressive military policies.

Disputes over these policies have been echoing for centuries, and public resentment with the presidents themselves has been part of American history.

Long before the 45th presidency took over, Republican and Democratic leaders secretly monitored military and intelligence operations, blurring the debate about legal and illegal.

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George W. Bush

Many of these US presidents contradicted the law to authorize the use of a law, the Authority for Military Force (AUMF), in their efforts to justify its policies.

The AUMF was created to allow the use of military force against individuals who helped invade the United States during 2001.

Since then the US Presidency has interpreted the law extensively and used it to justify military operations in locations around the world.

Barack Obama increased the use of covert drone strikes and allowed more than 540 attacks during his presidency.

Their advisers said that because the targets are individuals who were planning attacks against the Americans. Therefore, airstrikes against them are in accordance with international law.

Over time, criticism of Obama has ended. One presidential historian, Rutgers David Greenberg, said the president’s use of air strikes was seen as ‘a way to try to limit the worst casualties of the war’.

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Bill Clinton

Human rights advocates said airstrikes violated international and domestic law. But President Obama defended the legal basis for airstrikes.

Before President Barack Obama, US President George W. Bush signed only a portion of the airstrikes. President Bush, however, pushed the war further.

They justified the use of so-called investigative methods, waterboarding and other tactics that are widely described as violence.

In his case, strict policies were defined during his presidency.

Historian David Greenberg says President Bush will be remembered for the Iraq war and violence: ‘They paid the price.’

Earlier, President Bill Clinton ‘adopted’ extra-court decisions and moved terror suspects to a country where prisoners were tortured, legal experts say.

Clinton and other presidents tried to justify their policies. Decades ago, Andrew Jackson, who served as president in the early 1800’s, did the same.

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George H. W. Bush

He had signed a law to remove the Indians, and that law forced Native Americans to leave the country.


Greenberg says people said it was ‘barbaric’ to forcibly expel them from the US soil. But they resorted to the excuse of the law.

The historian says President Trump does not feel the need to set his policies this way. “Not only do you get sick in four cultural places of affairs but they are happy to make the values ​​ridiculous.”

He added that one way he appeals is to invite people who express more liberal views of international law.

Trump supporters say that despite his rhetoric, he has been more disciplined in resolving his military policies than the previous presidents.

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Andrew Jackson, who served as US president in the early 1800s

President James Trump has been careful that what he has done to the military is the most conservative and most serious, says James Carfaro, a conservative think tank Heritage Foundation analyst in Washington.

Some analysts say that the real problem is that presidents are given too much power and they take things too far.

“They used their authority to perform actions that we consider illegal, immoral, illegal,” says Andrew Bacevich, president of the Quincy Institute’s Foreign Policy Think Tank.

“The problem is not with President Trump,” he says, but because we did not pay attention to empowering the presidency, who should be allowed.

As Beskevich points out, presidents of all ages have pushed the boundaries of the law. Now the question is: what’s next?

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