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Thread: Iraq War -- Illegal? Legal?

  1. #1
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    Iraq War -- Illegal? Legal?



    UN secretary General Kofi Annan caused quite a stir recently when he stated in an interview that he believed the Iraq invasion was illegal. Leaders of countries who contributed troops to Iraq, including Japan, were quick to reassure their publics that their actions were legal, but were they?

    From my perspective, the invasion was completely unjustified from the beginning and has been made even more so now that the main reasons for it have been proven false. What is at stake here is whether the Bush doctrine of "pre-emptive self defence" is at all a legitimate concept. Under even minor consideration it seems evident to me that it is not. Not only had Iraq not attacked the US or threatened to do so, even if it had WMD it would have been completely incapable of using them against the US. The rationale therefore, is that all you need is the mere possibility that at some unspecified time in the future an as of yet undetermined threat to your security may develop in order for you to invade another country.

    When using this as the standard, it is clear that any act of aggression, no matter how blatant, could be justified as "pre-emptive self defence." To take one example, Pearl Harbor would be considered a completely justified act of self defence if this new standard were to be applied retroactively. The US battleships at Pearl Harbor represented, if anything, a much graver and more immediate threat to Japanese security than Iraq's alleged WMDs (which, given Iraq's lack of missile technology, would have had no way of reaching the US in the first place) ever did to the US. If we cannot take into consideration (as the Bush doctrine demands)the fact that the US had neither attacked nor threatened to attack Japan, then Pearl Harbor would fall into the category of a 100% justifiable and legal action. Ditto with the Nazi invasion of Poland, the North Korean invasion of South Korea, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and just about every other act of blatant aggression commited in the 20th century. If the Nuremburg tribunals are to be taken as a precedent, then the Iraq war was an illegal act of aggression and the people responsible for it should be brought before a judge.

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    yeah, illegal, the US invaded the place without support from UN, NAT(T)O, or me so its bad (im in a hurry)... I loved Annan's responce, it was so good: you could just see he new his answer would start a big ass argument, but he was ready for it...
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    Senseiman said it all, I think.

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    Both illegal and unethical.

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    The problem is that the world is becoming governed by an establishment of rich people from the US and their "allies". After reading Gold Warriors, I understood that some high-ranking US politicians, CIA officers and top business people (from Citibank and all the so-called axis of corporate evil ) had an immense control over world politics. The US has financially supported (=bought) elections or top politicians/parties in Japan, Italy and Greece (and surely also in South Korea, Eastern Europe, etc.), has placed and supported dictatorial regimes in the Philippines (all presidents since Marcos), Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua, and many other countries.

    Would you be surprised to know that even British Prime Ministers since Thatcher have been very good friends with those US officials rigging elections worldwide ? After all, where did general and ex-Chilean dictator Pinochet go when he was prosecuted at home for the political assassinations he orderedduring his long regime ? He went to the UK and met his good friend Thatcher.

    What about John Major ? He is one of the directors of the Carlyle Group (see this thread about Fahrenheit 9/11) who manages the Bush and Bin Laden assets. But he is not the only head of state there. There is also the Philippies' ex-president Ramos and even ex-US president George H.W. Bush Sr and plenty of ex-US Secretaries of State, Defence or others (just check their website, FAQ no 7). That is why the immensely rich and influential Carlyle Group can be called a former Head of State's club, and Micheal Moore tells us that they wanted the US to attack Iraq and Afghanistan through the Bush administration (their administration), as they have huge investments in "defence" (arm-makers) and the "media " (which will of course cover the war).

    That only add to the fact that the Japanese leading political party, the LDP, has been a puppet of the US government since its creation in 1957, and has never lost an election since then (even recently amidst serious public disconent and disillusion). They just buy off any political opponent asking them to join the LDP or give up politics, and convincing them with their huge US-fed funds.

    Now, Tony Blair seems a pretty good friend of George W Bush. Has he also been bought by the Bush & Co's oil and Carlyle money ?

    It seems to me that several governments (UK, Italy, Japan, Philippines...) have long (since the aftermath of WWII or at least since the early 1980's for Britain) been bought by the US, with their leaders joining the Carlyle club and others I don't know about. Isn't it strange that all these countries have had so few heads of state or political parties leading them since their supposed affiliation with the US ? Let's check one by one :

    - Japan : LDP ruling since 1957 (all the US involvment explains in Gold Warriors)
    - Philippines : from 1965 to 1998 => Marcos (1965-86), Aquino (1986-92), Ramos (1992-98).
    - UK : Thatcher (1979-1990), Major (1990-97), Blair (1997-now).

    Aren't these unusually long period in power, especially that most of them had and have little public support. In Britain, Major was unpopular but stayed 7 years. Blair had 2 million people protesting against him, the war in Iraq and other policies, but is still in power after 7 years. Needless to mention that Marcos was not popular and feared in the Philippines. Japan's LDP has completely lost public confidence since the burst of the economic bubble in 1990. Before, they were already heavily corruped, but at least the country was doing well. Nothing changes because the economic situation is still enviable by international standards. In Italy ? Berlusconi is no better than Bush. He is also a rich, right-wing businessman who bought his way to power, among severe public anger. No wonder they should be friends. What is more, Italian politics is as corruped (by the US) as Japan, which explains why prime ministers (Berlusconi excepted) have not lasted longer than in Japan since the 1950's (check list here).

    But why should leaders notoriously known as Bush's friends (Blair, Berlusconi, Koizumi) stay in power while the public in each country is mostly against them, especially in Italy and Japan where Prime Ministers usually change so quickly. Berlusconi is in office since June 2001 and Koizumi since April 2001. Bush came in in January 2001. Coincidence ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Now, Tony Blair seems a pretty good friend of George W Bush. Has he also been bought by the Bush & Co's oil and Carlyle money ?
    It would appear so, from this video:

    God, King, and Law:

    http://www.ericblumrich.com/brits.html

    Brilliant post, btw. I'm definitely going to have to read Gold Warriors. I don't know what else to add to what you and Senseiman have written, except to say that I think it's an excellent topic!

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    Anyone who only has the faintest clue knows that it is totally illegaly, and that there aren't (and never were) any WMD. It's a war just for the war's sake, nothing else.

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    In my opinion, it was illegal because the UN did not accept it and approve of it...

    I think Kofi Annan is a wise man...

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    Just received this newsletter on the subject:

    Institute for Public Accuracy
    915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
    (202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * [email protected]
    __________________________________________________ _

    PM Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    With Bush at U.N.: Iraq War Illegal?

    Heads of state, including Geroge W. Bush, address the U.N. General Assembly today. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan recently stated the invasion of Iraq "was not in conformity with the U.N. Charter from our point of view, from the Charter point of view, it was illegal."

    Here are some relevant excerpts from the U.N. Charter:

    "All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. 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, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations....

    "The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice....

    "The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken ... to maintain or restore international peace and security."
    -- U.N. Charter (Chapter I, Article 2; Chapter VI, Article 33; Chapter VII, Article 39)
    [See: <http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter>]


    FRANCIS BOYLE, [email protected], http://www.bookmasters.com/clarity/b0024.htm
    Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois and author of the new book "Destroying World Order." He said today: "The entire legal argument for the invasion of Iraq was a fraud and that was clear before the invasion took place. The U.S. government drove towards war, it did not attempt to avoid it as the Charter calls for. Kofi Annan should have clearly said that it was illegal at that time. But stating it now does pull the legal rug out from under continued U.S. military occupation of Iraq. The United Nations must ensure the immediate departure of all foreign military forces from Iraq, and the exercise of their sovereign right to self-determination by the Iraqi people freed from the current U.S.-imposed puppet government."

    [See Boyle's quote on the IPA news release of Nov. 1, 2002, "Interviews on Iraq: U.N. Endgame," at: <http://www.accuracy.org/press_releases/PR110102.htm>]

    JOHN QUIGLEY, [email protected]
    Professor of law at Ohio State University and author of the book "The Ruses for War: American Interventionism Since World War II," Quigley said today: "Kofi Annan is correct that the war was not justified based on the resolutions the Security Council had adopted. Iraq complained at the time that this was aggression, but the U.N. did not respond. The U.N. should have been demanding that the U.S. stop its threats and would be responsible for any damage caused by an invasion. Of course it's virtually impossible for that to happen since the U.S. is a permanent member of the Security Council; but that's what should have happened."

    [See Quigley's quote on the IPA news release of Feb. 10, 2003, "U.S. Credibility Problems," just after Colin Powell presented the U.S. case for war at the U.N.: <http://www.accuracy.org/press_releases/PR021003.htm>.]

    For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
    Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
    I have always believed the Iraq war was illegal.


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    Don't care whether it's legal or not. war is just wrong!


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    Legal or illegal seems irrelevant. Wrong, yes. But the "legality" of conflicts is always decided by whoever wins the conflict. Laws are written by the people who are in power, so that means that America is incapable of doing anything "illegal", because they have the power to make the rules.

    Like the case with Nazi leaders after WWII, if America were to loose this war to a mightier power, I'm sure all of America's leaders would spend the rest of their lives in jail or be executed. In that case their actions would be deemed "illegal".

    So, illegal according to who? According to the U.N? Yes, illegal. I think the question is a little flawed, so I can't answer it. Although the discussion of the issue is valid.
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    AFAIK, there are actually no international law, only treaties and agreements, as within WTO, the UN and such. So, the way it is "illegal" is that it is going against a lot of those treaties and agreements that the US has once agreed to abide by.

    But I guess that is not as important when there's noone around with a bigger stick to poke at you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    Legal or illegal seems irrelevant. Wrong, yes. But the "legality" of conflicts is always decided by whoever wins the conflict. Laws are written by the people who are in power, so that means that America is incapable of doing anything "illegal", because they have the power to make the rules.

    Like the case with Nazi leaders after WWII, if America were to loose this war to a mightier power, I'm sure all of America's leaders would spend the rest of their lives in jail or be executed. In that case their actions would be deemed "illegal".

    So, illegal according to who? According to the U.N? Yes, illegal. I think the question is a little flawed, so I can't answer it. Although the discussion of the issue is valid.
    Yeah, but the ironic thing about this war is that the Americans are breaking the very laws that they themselves established. The UN (and its charter, which the Iraq war clearly violated) was set up at the behest of the US during the second world war. And the legal precedents from Nuremburg and Tokyo, some of which are very relevant to the Iraq war, were established by American judges. That is what really astounds me. 13 years ago the first president Bush went to war against Iraq in order to uphold the rule of law and the principles of the UN charter. Last year the second president Bush went to war against Iraq in flagrant defiance of the law and the principles of the UN charter. What a difference 13 years can make!!!

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    I thought this was interesting ...

    * Broadcast Exclusive: James Baker's Double Life in Iraq: The Carlyle Group Stands to Make Killing on Iraqi Debt *

    In a major expose published last night on The Nation magazine's website, columnist Naomi Klein reveals that President Bush's special envoy on Iraq's debt, former Secretary of State James Baker, has been using his position to benefit his corporate clients and the Carlyle Group, the powerful merchant bank and defense contractor where Baker serves as a partner.

    Listen/Watch/Read
    http://www.democracynow.org/article....4/10/13/144220

    And here's the link to the article they're talking about:

    James Baker's Double Life:
    http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041101&s=klein


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    Of course not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hachiko
    Of course not.
    Of course not illegal, or of course not legal?

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    Let's see... in '91, Saddam signed a cease-fire agreement. As part of that agreement, he was to destroy his WMDs and a list of traditional weapons. Instead, he used chemical and/or biological weapons to commit mass murder against the Kurds. He also blocked attempts by UN inspectors over the next 12 years to confirm that he had destroyed his weapons, as he had claimed.

    The UN (since some people think they are a litmus test) passed 14 resolutions calling for action to be taken against Saddam. The same UN passed no resolutions barring the US from taking that action. Once invaded, the US found and destroyed about 400,000 tons of traditional (non-chemical/biological) weapons that Saddam posessed in violation of the '91 cease-fire agreement.

    The war was delayed so that the US could attempt to persuade the UN to enforce its own resolutions. The UN would neither enforce its own resolutions nor stop the US from enforcing them. Does this have anything to do with the Oil-for-Food scandal? Could be. Kojo Annan (Kofi's son) has personally admitted to brokering millions of barrels of oil in that scandal.

    The score so far:

    UN resolutions: 14-0
    point: legal
    Saddam violations of cease-fire agreement: Several
    point: legal
    Number of confirmed mass graves so far: 270
    point: legal

    Iraqis writing their own constitution and choosing their next leaders: Priceless

    Now you're free to believe whatever crackpot conspiracy drivel you want, Michael Moore and his kind are happy to get rich off of your hate. But as evidence goes, documented history carries more weight than the theory and speculation of professional protestors.

    Edited to add: It's kinda funny to hear so many US foreign policy experts cry about WMDs, imminent threats, comparing Bush to Hitler and calling him a terrorist. I bet if you were to ask the people actually affected, the Iraqis, I'd say that at least 67% of them don't give a flying rat's butt about WMDs or UN permission.

    Here's an article from one of them: Naseer Flayih Hasan
    Last edited by Censport; 31-01-05 at 18:35.

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    I think war should always be a last resort--
    A pre-emptive war, a war of agression-- even if you let the people vote after is clearly illegal. We have set a really bad precident with this one.

    Michael Moore not withstanding, even if you claim that there is an imminent threat (Hitler said that about Poland), you better back it up with real evidence at some point... and we can't do that.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Ah, but what Bush said was that we shouldn't wait until Saddam became an imminent threat. We also couldn't prove that Saddam wasn't a threat at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Censport
    Ah, but what Bush said was that we shouldn't wait until Saddam became an imminent threat. We also couldn't prove that Saddam wasn't a threat at the time.
    Yeah, but you can't haul off and slug someone at a bar because they might hit you at some future date. You can't beat up your neighbor because they might someday steal you lawn mower, or because they looked at you wrong.

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    Actually, I remember a case from the late 80's where a guy went into a bar and shot a man in cold blood. His defense was that he feared the man would kill him in the near future.

    Acquitted.

    I know, I know. You're actually making good points. But there was no other way to unseat Saddam or hold him accountable.

    As for your assertion that any pre-emptive war is illegal, it's a tough point to argue. I'd have to refer to the violations of the cease-fire agreement. At that point, and considering the world scene right after 9/11, we were working with what we knew at the time. We had to compare the risk of leaving Saddam in power with the risk of unseating him and turning the country over to its citizens. Could you imagine Clinton being forced to make such a decision? (or any substantive decision, for that matter)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Censport
    Actually, I remember a case from the late 80's where a guy went into a bar and shot a man in cold blood. His defense was that he feared the man would kill him in the near future.

    Acquitted.

    I know, I know. You're actually making good points. But there was no other way to unseat Saddam or hold him accountable. (bold print added)
    As for your assertion that any pre-emptive war is illegal, it's a tough point to argue. I'd have to refer to the violations of the cease-fire agreement. At that point, and considering the world scene right after 9/11, we were working with what we knew at the time. We had to compare the risk of leaving Saddam in power with the risk of unseating him and turning the country over to its citizens. Could you imagine Clinton being forced to make such a decision? (or any substantive decision, for that matter)
    Cens, I don't wanna stir up this pot too much but hold him accountable for what? What crimes did he commit against US citizens or US Sovereignty? These are reasons to go to war. Even threats to US property might be a reason to attack another sovereign nation, but have any of these things occurred?

    And pre-emptive wars can be a short slide down the slippery slope if you make them an exception to prohibitions against agressive war. What we committed when we attacked Iraq is an agressive war. The kind of thing that Nazi Germany did to Poland in 1939. In another thread I stated that I was not comfortable being in the same company as Nazi Germany, this is another such example.

    I am not against war. War is a great solver of problems between two nations, but the righteous nation does not always prevail, so I think war is the very last stop on the resolution flow chart, unless yours is a agressive, expansionist country. Sucn nations have not faired well in history. Is this really the way we want to go?

    I did not answer the poll. I don't know "illegal" and "legal" in the case of warfare. It sounds like a lawyer's definition that gets hammered out long after all the dead are buried and we forget just how horrible war can be...to the participants...to the by-standers.


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    Last edited by Shooter452; 01-02-05 at 01:08. Reason: Correcting duplications

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    Illegal. ******* illegal.

    And people want Iraqis to be thankful? For what? You know the CIA brought Saddam Hussein to power in a coup they backed in the first place? And that's no conspiracy, it's fact.

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    I didn't vote in this poll because I am not sure whether this war is legal or not, but I am happy for the Iraqi people today. They are allowed to vote for their own government! Oversea Iraqis can have a say too. This morning there're over a thousand Iraqis in Ontario have already casted their vote in the ballots.

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