The Facts Make All the Difference on the Iran War Scenario
David French and Jay Sekulow respond to Bruce Ackerman’s legal argument about the use of force against Iran with a factual claim: Iran has already attacked the U.S.
There has, in fact, been an “armed attack” against the United States. Iran has been waging a low-intensity war against America and Israel — both directly and by proxy — for more than two decades. Iran’s Quds Force has planned and directed attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and on Israelis in Israel and abroad. Iran has directly supplied our enemies with deadly weaponry in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is responsible for hundreds of American military deaths — including the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut and the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.
In other words, Iran attacked us long ago, and our forbearance to this point is neither required by international law nor does it bind us to continued forbearance. In fact, when a declared and hostile enemy escalates its military capabilities dramatically, that presents a direct challenge to American security and the security of our allies.
I don’t know if this is quite right, but it builds on my argument that there is a factual disagreement that will go to the heart of a legal analysis of the use of force. I don’t know if folks on both sides will ever be able to agree on the set of facts, before they even get to legal principles.