Noam Chomsky, an antiwar activist and world-renowned author, said today that a strike on Syria, regardless of approval from Congress, would be a “war crime.”
In an email to HuffPost, Chomsky said, "As international support for Obama’s decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world.”
84-year-old Chomsky made a recent trip to the region around Syria to learn more about what exactly was going on, and says that negotiations should be tried first, rather than military intervention, in stopping the Syrian regime. “Honestly and objectively I reckon that both options offer only a slim chance of success,” said Chomsky. “I believe you should choose the negotiating track first, and should you fail, then moving to the second option becomes more acceptable.”
The situation in Syria has gotten increasingly worse over the last few months, with top officials saying that the government has used chemical weapons on its own people. Just today, the United Nations announced that nearly 2 million refugees are believed to have fled from the war-ravaged country.
President Obama said in a statement last week that he will seek Congressional approval before ordering a strike against Syria, and while this stance has evolved from prior belief that he would strike regardless of a vote, people like Chomsky still believe it is unacceptable.
"That aggression without UN authorization would be a war crime, a very serious one, is quite clear,” said Chomsky, “despite tortured efforts to invoke other crimes as precedents.”
The President is currently pressuring Congress to approve his proposed strike against Syria, with a vote from Congress expected sometime next week.