Is United States Above Law?

By Muqadas Saleem

From the very existence of the man, he was taught to follow rules to live in this world otherwise; there will be consequences for which he might not be ready. These rules are present in every part of the world from a simple society to a complex county but the terms keep on changing as the level of importance increases. Today in the modern times these rules are said to be binding statutes, laws and constitutions but again there are some states which keep on breaking these rules, especially The United States of America.

Throughout the history U.S made us question the validity of international law on multiple occasions by breaking the most fundamental laws in the international arena for its own interests and still no organization is powerful enough to question her just because U.S is one of the most important benefactors of these organizations. Facts such as this one, makes a thinker, curious about the fate of other less developed states that actually look up to these organizations and laws to seek justice in this anarchic world. These organizations and laws were formed to deal with the states on equal levels so no powerful state can exploit a weaker state for its interest. These organizations and laws are there to provide protection, justice and to maintain law and order. But if we consider the case of U.S solely, these laws and organizations totally fail to stop US’s conquest of the world on the expense of innocent.

On 9 September, 2001 when a disaster like, an attack on world trade happened, U.S received sympathies from around the world. This incident changed foreign policy of U.S with 24 states of the world but still the world stood united with the U.S to fight against terrorism. No one even took a moment to consider the cause of such brutal terrorist attack. Afghanistan has always been considered as the land of brave as never in its history Afghanistan ever submitted to its invaders. When U.S invaded Afghanistan he formed Taliban with the help of Pakistan to fight communism but U.S also left those Islamic militants with the same mind set in Afghanistan when the war ended in 1991. They had a full decade to plan against U.S and as a result 9/11 happened. Obama in his era gave an exit strategy of U.S troops from

Afghanistan but even today, after almost 30 years, U.S troops are still present in Afghanistan. Why nobody ever bothered to inquire U.S’s stance of Afghanistan rather U.S was much encouraged to fight in Afghanistan. Why the fact that the geography of Afghanistan allows anybody to monitor the whole region including the regional powers such as India and China, was repeatedly ignored?

Further in 2003, U.S invaded Iraq by accusing Saddam for holding the weapons of mass destruction. Why U.S was not questioned for its Iraq invasion when the UN team had did its research and it was clear the Saddam had destroyed all his weapons just to avoid invasion. Why it was ignored that the invasion of Iraq was personal in its nature because Saddam actually tried to attack Bush senior. Bush junior even voiced this fact in his election campaign speech of 2002. Is it legit for the superpowers to go on wars just for personal rivalries? Moreover, why the fact that Iraq holds fifth largest crude oil reserves, surely it developed U.S interest in Iraq. No wonder the way U.S left Iraq after Saddam, today the world is facing ISIS.

Exactly after seven years of Iraq invasion, in 2011, Obama invaded Libya on humanitarian grounds. The intervention was solely on humanitarian grounds as to protect civilians in Benghazi from the Libyan forces but soon this intervention turned in to toppling of Muammar Qaddafi’s government and a whole new regime change took place by bringing a democratic system after Qaddafi’s authoritarian rule . Even after such cosmic change the world is still blinded from U.S’s true intentions in Libya. Before the intervention, Libya was on its way to achieve UN Millennium development goals (MSG’s) status and was the riches state of Africa but after the intervention Libya is unfortunately a failed state. Why nobody held U.S accountable for the failure of Libya?

U.S not only intervenes through ground forces rather where it feels ground forces are not necessary, it opts for air strikes in those scenarios. In the case of Syrian crisis U.S performed air strikes and provided weapons to the rebels to fight against Bashar al-Assad . In case of Pakistan, U.S performed drone strikes in northern regions of Pakistan without Pakistan’s approval . Pakistan alone, who was the front row ally of U.S in war of terror, lost more lives in this war then both world wars caused unanimously. Since the intervention, Iraq and Afghanistan have lost around 3 million lives. Why was U.S, never accused for such an enormous massacre? Why was it so easy for U.S to target the sovereignty of less developed states?

Looking in the light of these scenarios, unfortunately, international organizations and laws have completely lost their reason of creation especially in the case of U.S. Russia is repeatedly criticized for its interventions and authoritarian rules because it has a history of rivalry with U.S but never in the history U.S was forced to close the cells of Guantanamo Bay which are openly violation the UN convention against torture. There are many other examples of the conventions which the U.S is currently violation such as; convention on refugees through Muslim ban than the convention on human rights by massive surveillance. After such violations the international organizations and laws, if working justly, should have the audacity to call U.S on its acts but sadly, even after years no such thing happened. U.S is not wrong in believing in its invincibility because these organizations and laws have made it clear that they are helpless in front of U.S, which makes one think, is U.S above law? Is there no one who has the authority to inquire US? What is the status of U.S accountability?

The writer is a student of international relations at International Islamic university, Islamabad. She can be reached at#

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