The United States claims exceptionalism among the nations of the world. It maintains that our burning cause of world freedom is supported by our religious and moral convictions, and therefore we have a right and a duty to support freedom fighters wherever they may be. I wonder, does our exceptionalism give us free rein to violate international law?
This plea seems to be spreading rapidly, as we see in the extensive use of drone aircraft over nations in situations where our jurisdiction is unestablished, or nonexistent. We may soon pay the price for our continued excursion into the affairs of others.
Iran in recent days captured a U.S. stealth drone spying in the skies over that sovereign nation. Iranian ministry made the response that, “The move is in violation of all international conventions and runs counter to regional and international peace and security. Surely the responsibility for the illegal move lies with the U.S. authorities." Iran has denounced the growing U.S. "provocative and secret moves" against the country. Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Kossari says the Iranian response will be “terrifying.” In the event of further provocation, Iran will “[t]arget all U.S. military bases around the world." The Iranian ambassador said, “In the continuation of such trend, ['provocative and covert operations against the Islamic Republic of Iran by the United States'] an American RQ-170 unmanned spy plane, bearing a specific serial number, violated Iran’s air space. This plane [flew] 250 kilometers deep into Iranian territory up to the northern region of the city of Tabas, where it faced prompt and forceful action by the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The ambassador said the “blatant and unprovoked air violation” is tantamount to an act of hostility against Iran in clear contravention of international law; particularly the basic tenets of the UN Charter.
Similar drone surveillance and air attacks have caused Pakistan to consider deployment of air defense weapons to the Afghan border. Pakistan, growing daily more hostile to the United States, refers to NATO airstrikes such as the ones last month that the Pakistani military claims were pre-planned and that killed 24 of that country’s soldiers. The U.S. denies that the deaths were intentional, and is still struggling to maintain a working relationship with Pakistan.