0829 GMT July 21 2017
Hoenig, a former Green Party candidate for Congress, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday while commenting on a statement by US Senator Tim Kaine who condemned recent US military strikes on Syrian forces as “completely illegal.”
“I think the military action that is being taken against Syrian government assets is completely illegal,” Kaine, a former running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, said on Wednesday.
The US military has attacked Syrian government forces at least four times in recent months, including a missile strike in April against a Syrian airfield from which Washington said a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched. And last week, a US Navy fighter shot down a Syrian warplane.
The Pentagon says it has legal authority to attack Syria under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, which effectively permitted the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama cited that legislation as the legal justification for the so-called war on terrorism.
“Regardless of whether or not the US has a coherent, or incoherent, policy on Syria, an attack on a sovereign nation that does not pose a threat to the US is illegal,” Hoenig told Press TV.
“Trump, Obama, Bush and everyone else that support attacking Syria use the Authorization for the Use of Military Force as their justification. But you cannot pass a law and use it for every military, imperial objective that you have. It specifically targeted those that attacked the US on September 11, not anyone who Wall Street and the military-industrial complex see as a threat to US’s imperial designs on the Middle East or as an opportunity to expand military operations,” he said.
“In the UN Charter and the International Criminal Court they clearly outline what is considered a war of aggression, which the US as a signatory to the former, is in violation. The judgment passed on down by the Nuremberg Trials stated, ‘War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole,’” he noted.
“As a signatory to both the UN and the Geneva Accords, its laws are our federal laws. AUMF clearly contradicts these as the US is using their fight against ISIS [Daesh] as justification when the country they are attacking is also fighting ISIS, not the US,” Hoenig pointed out.
“What is surprising is that it is Sen. Kaine who is making hay of this. As the vice presidential candidate with Hillary Clinton, one would have suspected that he would be all for attacking Syria, as she went even so far as to threaten nuclear powered Russia for its military role in Syria,” he stated.
“It is not surprising when Sen. Rand Paul speaks out against this, but for Kaine to do so is very unusual,” the analyst concluded.