FAIR: Leading Papers Incite ‘Supreme International Crime’

Advocating for war is not like advocating for most other policies because, as peace activist David Swanson points out, war is a crime. It was outlawed in 1928 by the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and 55 other nations “condemn[ed] recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce[d] it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.”      

War op-eds in NYT, WaPo

After the New York Timesprinted John Bolton’s “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran” (3/26/15; FAIR Blog, 3/26/15), following the Washington Post publishing Joshua Muravchik’s “War With Iran Is Probably Our Best Option” (3/13/15), veteran investigative reporter Robert Parry made an excellent point (Consortium News, 3/28/15):

If two major newspapers in, say, Russia published major articles openly advocating the unprovoked bombing of a country, say, Israel, the US government and news media would be aflame with denunciations about “aggression,” “criminality,” “madness” and “behavior not fitting the 21st century.”

But when the newspapers are American – the New York Times and the Washington Post – and the target country is Iran, no one in the US government and media bats an eye. These inflammatory articles – these incitements to murder and violation of international law – are considered just normal discussion in the Land of Exceptionalism.


Subscribe or “Follow” us on RiseUpTimes.org. Rise Up Times is also on Facebook! Check the Rise Up Times page for posts from this blog and more! “Like” our page today. Rise Up Times is also on  PinterestGoogle+ and Tumblr. Find us on Twitter at Rise Up Times (@touchpeace).  Click here to help Rise Up Times continue to bring you essential news you won’t find in the mainstream corporate media.


Advocating for war is not like advocating for most other policies because, as peace activist David Swanson points out, war is a crime. It was outlawed in 1928 by the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and 55 other nations “condemn[ed] recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce[d] it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.”

Nuremberg defendants

Kellogg-Briand was the basis for the “crimes against peace” indictment at the Nuremberg Trials for Nazi leaders, several of whom were hanged for “planning, preparation, initiation, or waging a war of aggression.” At Nuremberg, chief US prosecutor Robert H. Jackson declared:

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.

The spirit of Kellogg-Briand was embodied in the formation of the United Nations, whose charter commits its signers to renouncing war and the threat of war:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

So to advocate for war, as the Washington Post and New York Times op-ed pages have done, is to incite a crime–“the supreme international crime,” as Jackson noted. How would we react if leading papers were to run articles suggesting that genocide was the best solution to an international conflict–or that lynching is the answer to domestic problems? Calling for an unprovoked military attack against another nation is in the same category of argument.


The Washington Post can be reached at  letters@washpost.com   or viaTwitter @washingtonpost. The New York Times‘ email is :letters@nytimes.com and Twitter account is @nytimes. Remember that respectful communication is most effective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: