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J. W. Murphy

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Iraq, An Illegal War?
by J. W. Murphy   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, October 04, 2004
Posted: Monday, October 04, 2004

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Relative perspective--I am all about putting things in historical and contextual perspective. I am not interested only in the now, I am interested in the then and the why and what went on then and how it relates to now.
Furthermore, I understand the UN's point on illegality but it is not the first time its desires have been ignored.



I’m confused.

I don’t understand how that the war in Iraq can be called an illegal war—perhaps one could make the argument that it is ill advised or perhaps not prudent but how may one say it is illegal? Especially for the Secretary-General of the UN to say: "I've indicated that it was not in conformity with the UN Charter from our point of view, and from the Charter point of view it was illegal" (September 15, 2004).

He also said he believed that there should have been a second resolution, post UN Resolution 1441, of November 8th, 2002, which states "that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations[.]" However, how many times must one pass a resolution and warn Iraq of "serious consequences" before actually delivering said "consequences"—how many time outs does it take?

When is credibility lost?

I am confused.

The UN fails to act and the United States, Great Britain, and Australia (among other nations) act and fulfill the affirmation of UN Resolution 1441 and that is illegal? So, is it better that one should wait around and give Saddam Hussein another second chance while he continues to defy the UN and all the Resolutions and treaties for twelve years?

Even more, the United States Congress authorized force in Iraq, as did the Parliament of Great Britain (Statements and Debates, 18 March 2003, cc760-901) in one sense to uphold the intent of the Resolutions on Iraq in light of the fact that a second "serious consequences" for non-compliance Resolution would not pass as France, a permanent member and a required vote, would veto it.

And, may I add, or rather quote, what the third paragraph of UN Resolution 1441 states: "Recognizing the threat Iraq’s non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security"—apparently the UN also, and not only Congress and President Bush, felt that Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction."

So, how is this war illegal? The President of the United States was granted by Congress to use force, as was the Prime Minister of Great Britain by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, to carry out the warning of Resolution 1441 to the government of Saddam Hussein in lieu of the fact that France would not—while Saddam Hussein continued to "breach" the treaty his country made with the UN in allowing weapons inspectors in with full cooperation.

What really confuses me is how President Bush is being accused of waging an illegal war when he was given the approval of Congress to do so, unlike the President before him who launched "wars" in Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo without Congressional approval under the auspice of NATO (in the cases of Bosnia and Kosovo), without approval of the UN.

In other words, it was not illegal for President Clinton to wage pre-emptive wars without Congressional approval but it is illegal for President Bush to go to war with the approval of Congress?

I am confused.



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