Will Trump's March to War on Iran Include Blockade?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Though no match against the formidable US military, Iran is far more powerful militarily than other nations Washington attacked post-9/11.
If attacked, it's able to hit back hard against regional targets, including US forces, anywhere in Israel, and against Middle East nations allied with its aggression.
Trump regime strategy involves weakening the country as much as possible by cutting off its revenue sources.
Sanctions are porous. Iran has had 40 years of practice circumventing them. The Trump regime reduced but failed to block its oil exports to world markets directly, through third countries, and by other means it hasn't disclosed.
Thing are moving in slow-motion fashion toward war, what appears to be the Trump regime's endgame, Pompeo and Bolton pressuring other nations to join a belligerent coalition of the willing against Iran — what their travels to the Middle East and elsewhere are pursuing.
Ahead of waging hot war, will Trump try blockading Iran to weaken it further and try preventing it from blocking seaborne oil traffic through the strategically important Strait of Hormuz?
Put nothing past what hardliners running his geopolitical agenda might try.
Under international and US law, blockades are acts of war, defined as:
-- surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;
-- isolating an enemy;
-- encircling and besieging it;
-- preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces, or aid in time of or as an act of war; and
-- a naval warfare to block access to a targeted country's coastline, denying entry to seaborne and air traffic.
Blockades have been recognized as acts of war under international and US rules of warfare since at least the mid-19th century.
Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, and other US presidents called blockades acts of war.
The Supreme Court addressed this issue several times, notably during the US Civil War (1961 - 1865).
The so-called Prize Cases (1963) involved Lincoln's blockade of coastal southern states, ruled constitutional by a 5 - 4 High Court majority, ships captured considered prizes of war, the president acting "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
The ruling stated that "(t)he power of declaring war is the highest sovereign power, and is limited to the representative of the full sovereignty of the nation."
"It is limited in the United States to its Congress exclusively; and the authority of the President to be the Commander-in-Chief...to take that the law be faithfully executed, is to be taken in connection with the exclusive power given to Congress to declare war, and does not enable the President to (do it) or to introduce, without Act of Congress, War or any of its legal disabilities or liabilities, on any citizen of the United States."
The Constitution's Article I, Section 8, clause 11 grants Congress exclusive authority "to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning capture on land and water."
The framers believed that no single official, including the President, should have sole authority over this most crucial of constitutional powers.
Establishment of the UN's Security Council changed things, affording its members exclusive power to declare war, permitting one nation to attack another only in self-defense if attacked or if one is imminent, never preemptively for any reason.
On Monday, Trump turned truth on its head, saying he's empowered to take military action on Iran on his own volition alone.
Taking this step would be unconstitutional and would violate international law, making him more of a war criminal than already.
"(W)e've we've been keeping Congress abreast of what we're doing," he said, adding: "I don't have to do it legally."
Attacking another nation preemptively without Security Council authorization is flagrantly illegal.
Throughout the post-WW II era, it never deterred a US president from going to war, authorized by no one but himself together with other White House officials and Pentagon commanders, at times congressional leaders involved with no formal authorization by anyone, according to international and constitutional law.
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the Trump regime's "B-Team," tweeting "they despise diplomacy and thirst for war."
His spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted: "Trump's desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security."
His war by other means appears heading toward making things hot.
In her book titled "The Guns of August," Barbara Tuchman explained how WW I began and its early weeks.
One thing led to others. Events spun out-of-control. Deadly consequences followed.
Before it ended in 1918, over 20 million died. Many more were wounded and/or maimed. An entire generation of youth was lost.
Weapons used then and in WW II were toys compared to now. A possible armageddon scenario looms if the Trump regime attacks Iran and things explode to much greater conflict.
George Bernard Shaw once said: "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."
Humanity's fate hangs in the balance because of the US rage to dominate, naked aggression its favored strategy.
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