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Legality an issue, but why?

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posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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I have noticed a lot on this board, that peoples idea of an 'illegial' war vary.
I am keen to try and understand why people have different understandings of 'INTERNATIONAL LAW'

People say, that the war in IRAQ is legal, simply because CONGRESS and such Approved the war.
Well, I hate to say but 1930's Germany APPROVED of the invasion of neighbours and the genocide too. But that was proven ILLEGIAL, and rightfully so.
So why does the USA get to demand status over its war crimes?

For all your information needs
www.un.org...

So, lets sum up Iraq:

An attack against a sovereign state, aimed explicitly at removing its internationally recognised government, without specific authorization from the United Nations Security Council, not in response to a prior act of aggression, and carried out not by a multilateral organization but by the world’s greatest military power, acting alone or with the backing only of a few loyal allies.


It is sometimes said that an attack would be justified because of Iraq’s refusal to allow weapons inspections in line with Security Council Resolution 687, which established a ceasefire at the end of the Gulf War in 1991. However the resolution did not make the ceasefire conditional on Iraq’s future cooperation with inspections; instead it said that the Security Council "decides to remain seized of the matter and to take such further steps as may be required for the implementation of the present resolution and to secure peace and security in the area



French President Jacques Chirac said on July 30 that an attack "could only be justified if it were decided on by the Security Council," and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder said there would be no support in Germany for a strike "without approval of the United Nations".


-Article 51 of the United Nations Charter-
''nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security''

meaning
the attack must be occurring before the use of force in self-defence is legitimate


you have the right of self-defence until such time as the Security Council takes action. And therefore it’s implied that if you have the time to deliberate and to go to the Council before you take pre-emptive action, then you have to go to the Council


I love this,
To me this says, you have the right to self defense if your attacked.
but if you have TIME, to plan, debate and exercise your method of self defense.. then your effictivley NOT in such a dire situation to attack, being your taking time, thus you have the obligation to go to the UN, not take matters into your own hands.

So, what do the International Experts, Law makers and policy gurus say?


"The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. "

War on Iraq Was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers" (Severin Carrell and Robert Verkaik, The Independent, May 25, 2003)

International Legal Experts Regard Iraq War as Illegal" (Peter Schwarz, World Socialist Web Site, March 26, 2003)

Tearing up the Rules: The Illegality of Invading Iraq," Center for Economic and Social Rights, March 2003 Superb

Canadian Law Professors Declare US-Led War Illegal" (Henry Michaels, World Socialist Web Site, 22 March 2003)

Robin Miller, "This War Is Illegal," March 21, 2003

Chirac: Iraq War Breaches International Law" (Middle East Online, March 21, 2003)

Is the War on Iraq illegal?" (Irwin Cotler, The Globe and Mail, March 21, 2003)

Joan Russow, "U.S. Enagaged in an Illegal Act," March 20, 2003"

I am keen to know, why people feel this war is legal, because the US government says it is, yet the war is ILLEGIAL going off all international standards.


www.robincmiller.com...
www.commondreams.org...



[edit on 17-1-2007 by Agit8dChop]




posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 08:36 PM
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I haven't read through your entire post yet.
But a thought does come to mind. Why should we be bound by the UN and its international law? Many feel the UN is a useless dinosaur that ever really lived up to its potential. Many feel it serves no purpose at all.



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 10:45 PM
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In MY mind, the UN lived up to its potential. It provided an alternative action to WAR, that would still allow a potentially dangerous position to be dealt with in a military matter if it was deemed NESSECARY.

Iraq wasnt given that label, Military action WASNT nessecary, Therefore a war was declared when there was no reason for it.

In all fairness, I agree that the UN hasnt performed to the extent people would EXPECT it to, at times.

The UN, sort of relies on the honesty, or .. humanity of people to step away from the brink, before too many lives are lost and use peaceful means to resolve conflicts.

But in saying that, the UN was setup, BY the US ( more significantly ) than the other allies, simply to save the world from repeating attrocities of WW2. How could we of changed our moralles/beliefs in 60yrs?

You dont go to war UNLESS you have no other choice. The US had a choice, to allow the UN 'they created' to continue investigating claims, which would of revealed the truth.
That Iraq had no weapons, and wasnt a threat.

Had the UN of been WRONG, and WMD's found all over baghdad to the extent they were accused of, then Youd have to say 'be gone with them'

But, everything worked. Had the USA not of decided on WAR long before any UN meetings took place, then the UN might of had a chance to succeed in the manner it was designed for.

the UN demanded MORE time to investigate claims, because they felt military action wasnt nessecary being nothing had been found.

Any organisation that serves for PEACE on planet earth should never be discarded.

How do you stop Radical leaders sending there patriotic troops to war with offers of hope and peace?
The UN relies on the goodness of MAN to succeed.

Saddam wasnt a good person, but he welded to the UN.
He destroyed his weapons, he obeyed his laws.
He made money on the side selling oil yes, he was guilty of that..
but DEATH? Invasion and occupation becuase of backdoor dealings?

The UN had saddam under control.

The USA has destroyed that .



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:40 PM
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It's hard for me to accept the UN as this great organization for peacekeeping.

Just look at all the scandal and corruption we've seen in the last several years.
Most importantly the Oil for Food.
You could argue, devil's advocate here, that the UN wanted to keep Saddam to keep their nests feathered.
There's been many topics on the Oil for Food scandal, here's one of the most current
www.abovetopsecret.com...

A search came up with this article on the UN:

Delay. Negotiate. Recommend. Study. Reconsider. Do nothing. This is the game the UN has played in nearly every international crisis. It is the reason
North Korea remains a threat after 50 years. And it is the reason why a terrorist nation such as
Syria can be given a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council.

The UN is buried under scandals. It has Oil-for-Food scandals. Smuggling scandals. And theft scandals.

UN peacekeeping missions - with their record of rob, rape,and pillage - can actually bring fear to the local citizens they are supposed to protect.

The UN is not just dysfunctional - it's a criminal enterprise



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:14 AM
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Originally posted by Agit8dChop
I have noticed a lot on this board, that peoples idea of an 'illegial' war vary.
I am keen to try and understand why people have different understandings of 'INTERNATIONAL LAW'

People say, that the war in IRAQ is legal, simply because CONGRESS and such Approved the war.
Well, I hate to say but 1930's Germany APPROVED of the invasion of neighbours and the genocide too. But that was proven ILLEGIAL, and rightfully so.

It wasn't proved illegal.

For all your information needs
www.un.org...

Please point out which part of that says 'war is illegal'.

An attack against a sovereign state,

Sovereignty is irrelevant in war.


aimed explicitly at removing its internationally recognised government,

Whether the government attacked is recognized or not is irrelevant.

without specific authorization from the United Nations Security Council,

Completely irrelevant.

not in response to a prior act of aggression,

Irrelevant. Nations don't have to wait to be attacked before a war is legal.


and carried out not by a multilateral organization

The coalition was multilateral.

but by the world’s greatest military power, acting alone or with the backing only of a few loyal allies.

IOW, multilaterally.


It is sometimes said that an attack would be justified because of Iraq’s refusal to allow weapons inspections in line with Security Council Resolution 687, which established a ceasefire at the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

That would be a poor arguement, and is irrelevant to whether or not the war was legal.


French President Jacques Chirac said on July 30 that an attack "could only be justified if it were decided on by the Security Council,"

Chirac has no authority on the matter.



and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder said there would be no support in Germany for a strike "without approval of the United Nations".

Good for Germany. Again, irrelevant.


meaning
the attack must be occurring before the use of force in self-defence is legitimate

Yes, and the US was attacked. The Iraq War is part of the Global War on terror. Italy never attacked the US, but it was part of the world system of fascist totalitarianism that the US was fighting against.



And therefore it’s implied that if you have the time to deliberate and to go to the Council before you take pre-emptive action, then you have to go to the Council

No its not.


To me this says, you have the right to self defense if your attacked.
but if you have TIME, to plan, debate and exercise your method of self defense.. then your effictivley NOT in such a dire situation to attack,

That would mean that there is never a legal war that is approved by the UN or the Security COuncil, which would make the Korean War illegal.



"The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. "

Meaningless. And notice he did nothing about it. Either he is a liar, or a criminal then.


War on Iraq Was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers"

Meaningless.

International Legal Experts Regard Iraq War as Illegal"

Again, irreelvant. They have no standing.


I am keen to know, why people feel this war is legal, because the US government says it is, yet the war is ILLEGIAL going off all international standards.

You have failed to demonstrate that.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:35 AM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
It's hard for me to accept the UN as this great organization for peacekeeping.

Just look at all the scandal and corruption we've seen in the last several years.
Most importantly the Oil for Food.
You could argue, devil's advocate here, that the UN wanted to keep Saddam to keep their nests feathered.
There's been many topics on the Oil for Food scandal, here's one of the most current
www.abovetopsecret.com...

A search came up with this article on the UN:

Delay. Negotiate. Recommend. Study. Reconsider. Do nothing. This is the game the UN has played in nearly every international crisis. It is the reason
North Korea remains a threat after 50 years. And it is the reason why a terrorist nation such as
Syria can be given a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council.

The UN is buried under scandals. It has Oil-for-Food scandals. Smuggling scandals. And theft scandals.

UN peacekeeping missions - with their record of rob, rape,and pillage - can actually bring fear to the local citizens they are supposed to protect.

The UN is not just dysfunctional - it's a criminal enterprise


I agree,

They have some rotten apples in their basket.
But the USA, Australia, Britian all contributed to the Iraqi scandals one way or another.
why is it fair to dismiss the UN?

I know some people find it hard to trust the UN, and well thats good cause in their minds.

But, Iraq is a textbook example of how they worked.

I mean, Had the weapons inspectors of find large stockpiles of VX, Sarin and all the supposid chemicals...

Do you really think the UN Would of stood there, to the world and said
'' dont invade them, lets talk it out ''

The UN would of given the green light for disarming them.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:40 AM
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Nygdan that is exactly the ignorant response id expect from a PRO-IRAQ american.

You dont care what the world community says, wants or hopes for.
Who cares what legal experts say.
Who cares what the UN says.
Because BUSH says its Legal... everyone who has CREDENTIALS is wrong.

This war, under international LAW is illegial.

Just because you, and your cosy white house friends refuse to listen to any one, and would rather look ' all shiney and new ' doesnt change the reality.

Iraq didnt attack you.
Iraq didnt threaten you.
You were NOT given authorisation from the United Nations to wage military action against a soveriegn state.

The evidence you used to support your invasion, was maniuplated, over stated and deliberatley forged.

To call this War 'legal' is truley an extreme failure in basic human logic.

Thats why you probably dont understand the fundamentals of it, your willing to listen to bush when he says the war is legal.
Who was I to think you'd understand there's more to the world, than America and its Government.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:49 AM
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Originally posted by Agit8dChop
Nygdan that is exactly the ignorant response id expect from a PRO-IRAQ american.

That is an insufficient legal arguement.

Thats why you probably dont understand the fundamentals of it, your willing to listen to bush when he says the war is legal.
Who was I to think you'd understand there's more to the world, than America and its Government.

You don't have a clue.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:56 AM
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Your brushing of various 'professionals' who state that this war is illegial based on VARIOUS legalities,

and you simply say

'' irrelevant ''

Tell me, why you believe this war to be legal.

what laws did the USA obey, when attacking Iraq that blacked out all the laws defining it as illegial.

Surely a mod will come to the debate and state his side instead of simply labeling something 'irrelevant'
and leaving telling a poster he 'doesnt have a clue' when he's clearly stated large amounts of supporting EVIDENCE.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 01:14 AM
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Pathetic, a mod comes in with no regard to add to the conversation accept drag the debate down with his negative stance to a mature argument., bringing nothing positive, only aiming to lower the quality of the topic at hand...

Dissapointing for an ATS Mod.




posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 01:53 AM
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Originally posted by Agit8dChop
Tell me, why you believe this war to be legal.

You have failed to demonstrate that it is illega in the first place.


what laws did the USA obey, [/quote
What laws did it break?

Surely a mod will come to the debate and state his side instead of simply labeling something 'irrelevant'

I have explained my reasoning.

and leaving telling a poster he 'doesnt have a clue' when he's clearly stated large amounts of supporting EVIDENCE.

But you don't have a clue. You were making statements about me, and, you're clueless.

As far as the war, you seem to be operating under the incorrect assumption that the UN has to approve of a war in order for it to be 'legal'. It does not. War Power belongs to the individual States, NOT the UN.


Pathetic, a mod comes in with no regard to add to the conversation
Dissapointing for an ATS Mod. accept drag the debate down with his negative stance to a mature argument.,Dissapointing for an ATS Mod.



This is dissapointing for an ATS member. I have made my case, you utterly ignore it, and then just whine and complain, without ever offering any kind of counter-point, other than that I am apparently 'mean and negative'. Thats simply not going to cut it. You have completely failed to demonstrate that this war was illegal.

You cited 'experts'. That is meaningless. I don't care how many 'experts' are saying that the war was illegal. I don't care how many experts say that the war was legal. I don't give a damn about what some 'experts' say about anything. They might have authority over you, and you might accept their pronouncments as genuine and correct (or at least when they pretty much already agree with what you are saying), but SOME of us here like to think for ourselves, not rely on the opinions of 'experts'.

Feel free to offer some kind of intelligible rebuttal at any time.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 02:08 AM
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If the US doesnt care, then why was it a pushing in force in having Germany convicted of war crimes?
Obviously the US is quite happy to listen to UN laws, as long as it is in favour of what they want.

Im sure the laws of the UN would of been greatly welcome had the UN of found weapons, and you'd all be saying '' it was LEGAL for the US to invade under UN LAW............. because we found weapons ''

but because the UN found nothing, you choose to IGNORE them, and brandish them ' irrelevant '

Your country, and YOU believe the invasion and occupation of Iraq are legal.

Under what premises do you beelive that the invasion was JUSTIFIED?
being you accused them of having these horrible weapons,
being you declared them a threat based on these weapons,
but in the end, you found the evidence was manipulated to dupe the public.

Do you still feel what the US did was justified?

I mean, Osama's still free, but saddams dead.
Is that going to ensure no more 911's occur?
Dont you believe this adventure has caused 1000's more terrorists to become battlehardned on the streets of baghdad?

dont you find it odd, how the UN wanted more time for inspections, to AVERT a tragedy should the US Claims be unfounded?
Especially being the claims WERE unfounded, and the US has now created a tragedy?

Dont you think you OWE it to the world to accept
' they were right, and we were wrong '

Instead of still sticking to the stubborn, egocentric view that the entire world is WRONG, and meaningless, while chanting
"IM the USA.. and what I say is right."

I hope every one like you, who has the opinion you do, dies on the streets of baghdad, for your 'brave, justified and legal battle ' I mean you obviously believe in it enough to lay your life down for it?

Because its blind patriotic nonsense like yours, where you fail to see/accept reality, that will cost mankind 100x more than saddam, or osama could even DREAM possible.

Congratulations, People like you have ensured this world is totally f'ked up, because you still think, Iraq was fair game.



[edit on 19-1-2007 by Agit8dChop]

[edit on 19-1-2007 by Agit8dChop]



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 02:27 AM
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And you know what the brilliant part is,

Is that its obvious to people that you dont give a damn what anyone says.
Its quite sad, your still clinging to this fake reality refusing to accept the fact that you have no feet to stand on. You cant even make a decent argument, you just wave your hand, shout 'irrelevant' and believe thats good enough to make yourself content with this illegial act your 'great leader' has committed.

People who have a heart, have a soul.. have morals.. understand the illegial aspect of this war, the i-moral aspect of murdering innocent men women and childeren and lying about its nessecity, about the unjust way in which the government purposley MISLED you.

We understand that it takes a black hearted, soul-less person to continue arguing the justification for this illegial war.

Do us a favour and go die your for struggle if you believe in it,
give real human beings a chance to make the world a place people like you obviously cannot handle.

peaceful.


[edit on 19-1-2007 by Agit8dChop]



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 02:45 AM
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Sorry, but this is hypocrisy of the first order.

Bush, Blair and other supporters of the Iraq war have been crucified for making assertions about Iraqi activities in support of their decision to invade because they were perceived to be manipulating the facts.

Both have been called liars, Blair was castigated for the "dodgy dossier" and the general tone from the anti-war camp has been that either both men lied to gain support for an invasion or they chose only to look at the evidence that supported their case.

Now, the anti-war camp are doing precisely the same thing.

The invasion of Iraq may well have been misguided and has certainly been shown to have been horribly mismanaged but no authority has said it was illegal. (The key word there is "authority"). So now it is the anti-war campaign that manipulates the evidence and fails to take account of that which does not support their case. Blair, for instance, acted on the advice of the most senior law officer inthe UK that an invasion would be legal.

Some will say that this advice was flawed or even imposed onthe Attorney General by Blair himself but this has not been demonstrated.

The invasion was undertaken in response to the continued deliberate non-compliance by Iraq with UN resolution 1441 and that resolution, which was still in force implicitly authorised the use of force to ensure compliance.

So, the war has not been found to be illegal by any body with any authority but many cheerfully continue to ignore the facts of the situation, however unpaletable they may be, and state unequivocally that it was anillegal act.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 02:48 AM
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That resolution DID Not authourize FORCE

This is where you are WRONG!



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 03:22 AM
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Agit8ed,

The resolution warned Iraq to disarm, (in the fullest sense of the word), "or face serious consequences"

The wording is not explicit and was deliberately constructed in this way in order to get it passed by the Security Council, (which it was, unanimously). There is nothing new about UN resolutions using a form of coded language which may seem unclear to ordinary mortals, the fact is that after weeks of negotiation and horse trading within the Security Council the resolution was worded deliberately to allow objectors, (France, Russia and Syria in particular), to deny that they authorised the use of force when, in fact, they knew full well that that was what was intended by the US and UKamongst others.

The political bickering that goes on in the UN means that such ambiguous wording is frequently essential to allow it to take any effective decisions. Certainly, the level of response authorised by the phrase "serious consequences" is up for debate which is why such extensive and emotional political argument has followed but the fact remains that in the UK at least the legal opinion was, and remains, that the use of force was justified and was authorised by the UN in 1441.

Iraq was already subject to stringent economic sanctions, weapons inspectors had been put into the country, (and withdrawn due to interference), it had been the subject of military action on a number of occasions in the recent past in support of the disarmament process and it was ruled by a dictator with a track record of mass murder and military expansionism. In this context perhaps you could explain what you would think that further "serious consequences" might mean?



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by Agit8dChop
If the US doesnt care, then why was it a pushing in force in having Germany convicted of war crimes?
Obviously the US is quite happy to listen to UN laws, as long as it is in favour of what they want.

Im sure the laws of the UN would of been greatly welcome had the UN of found weapons,

Meaningless. The UN can sanction a war. If a war is not sanctioned by the UN, then that does NOT mean its illegal.


but because the UN found nothing, you choose to IGNORE them, and brandish them ' irrelevant '

The US is not subject to UN oversight when it comes to its own security. No nation is. The UN is not some world authority that decides when and if a nation can defend itself.


Under what premises do you beelive that the invasion was JUSTIFIED?

I am still waiting for you to demonstrate that it was illegal. Saying it is illegal is a specific statement that requires you demonstrate that there was some law that the US is subject to that was broken in it going to war.







I hope every one like you, who has the opinion you do, dies on the streets of baghdad

So, once again, when its pointed out that you have nothing to support yourself, when its shown that you have no ability to engage in discussion, you simply hope that the other person dies.

Disgraceful.




Congratulations, People like you have ensured this world is totally f'ked up, because you still think, Iraq was fair game.

That is still not a valid arguement for the Iraq war being, specifically, Illegal.



posted on Jan, 20 2007 @ 10:46 PM
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I guess as long as US administration have a private agenda to fulfill while on power . . . is legal to tag countries enemies, wag wars and invaded sovereign nations because US and the powers that rules our nation say its their right to do so.

Then . . . the American patriots that has been blinded by propaganda have the patriotic duty to support whatever the ruling powers in the government said because is for the good of the world and the nation.

And they also in the patriotic duty have to see the nations that do not agree with our nations foreign affairs to be . . .Jealous, weak and evil, because the propaganda machine behind the wars say so.

Them the Patriotic Americans have the duty to tag the Americans that disagree with the government and do no stand behind the ruling powers in the government as anti-Americas, pro enemies and a danger to Americas way of life.

funny but that is how the political leaders of our nation seems to work now a day.

Is a reason why the UN was created but since the Present administration has been in power with a private agenda in the middle east the propaganda has done a great job of deeming the UN . . . Useless, weak and corrupted.

While pointing fingers from the oil for food program they black out the American companies name that were also cahsing out on that program, and used their right to privacy that our government give to their entities, something that they do not give to the own American citizens.

But when it comes to corruption I wonder who is more corrupted . . . the politicians in private agendas that are ruling our nation and using our nations power to serve their private interest or the UN.

I wonder . . .



posted on Jan, 20 2007 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
I guess as long as [the] US administration have[has] a private agenda to fulfill while on[in] power . . . [it] is legal to tag countries [as]enemies, wag[wage] wars and invaded[invade] sovereign nations because US and the powers that rules[rule] our nation say its[it's] their right to do so.

Then . . . the American patriots that has[have] been blinded by propaganda have the patriotic duty to support whatever the ruling powers in the government said because[it] is for the good of the world and the nation.

And they also in the patriotic duty have to see the nations that do not agree with our nations foreign affairs to be . . .Jealous, weak and evil, because the propaganda machine behind the wars say so.

Them[then] the Patriotic Americans have the duty to tag the Americans that disagree with the government and do no stand behind the ruling powers in the government as anti-Americas[americans], pro enemies and a danger to Americas way of life.

funny but that is how the political leaders of our nation seems[seem] to work now a day[days].

[it]Is a[the] reason why the UN was created but since the Present administration has been in power with a private agenda in the middle east the propaganda has done a great job of deeming the UN . . . Useless, weak and corrupted.



I dont mean to seem rude, but your an american and you write in broken english. I have such a difficult time reading your posts marg that they dont even seem coherent. This is one of the problems in our country, not the war in Iraq. I dont think you should be able to obtain citizenship unless you can write something in english that isnt broken nearly to the point of an incoherant childish rant.

Mod Note: Please Stay on Topic

Mod Edit: Please Review the Following Link: Courtesy Is Mandatory


[edit on 22-1-2007 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Jan, 20 2007 @ 11:58 PM
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Here we go again. The usual suspects will be here eventually and I'm going to be called an unenlightened warmonger. I may settle for being called a trojan jackass to the anti-war movement, but at least do me the courtesy of acknowledging that I'm not promoting war, even if I don't walk as hard a line as many.

Why is the legality question so popular?
I believe the primary reason we hear so much about this or that war being illegal, or about war crimes, is because to many people the words just go together. Many people seem predisposed to accepting the idea of a war being illegal or a warcrime being committed simply by virtue of the fact that there is a war, reason being that there is a growing suspicion in humanity that war is an inhumane, immoral affair which goes against the spirit of all law. Based on the often shallow understanding displayed by the people who espouse the "illegal war" viewpoint, I have difficulty trusting that they have examined the legality of an individual case. Obviously this is not an all-inclusive statement, no need for anyone to get defensive with me.

Can any war be just?
Justice is of course in the eye of the beholder; ask anyone who's ever been in a debate over the death penalty.

That being said, I believe that war can fall within the founding spirit of law in general. I refer you to my explanation of rule by force in UK Wizard's politics of federal service thread. Here's a quick clip to elaborate


Preemption of unilateral violence, which is the very kernel of government, is arbitrary apart from the application of a subjective moral of some kind, as the very concept of opposition requiring forceful intervention negates the possibility of a concensus within the body politic.

Certainly the aggressor never surrendered his sovereignty to any government; he is ruled wholly by force. We do not normally shed any tears for him of course, for we have only done to him what he did to another, and done it for the purpose of stopping him, but never the less we have tyrannized a sovereign-born man, or gone to war with him if you will.


As the emergence of law between individuals would have to begin with someone sitting down and originally creating a list of things that people can't do to one another, which will be forcibly stopped from being done, so it is with law between nations. This is observable even in the birth of the United Nations. In some scenarios, war as it currently exists could be seen as a precursor to law enforcement among nations.

The emergence of international law
The question at issue in the case of Iraq is when the inequal, unilateral enforcement of our precursor system will give way to codified law and uniformed enforcement, which are in their infancy in the form of the UN and subject to strenuous debate in regards to its present viability. (That is the issue for those interested in the practical evolution of our future as opposed to those who are just saying "can't we all just get along" [to whom my answer is no- there will always be criminals and they must be countered]).

The answer is that the answer is complicated. There won't be a magic moment when unilateralism becomes illegitimate and its international action or bust. International organizations and their standards must continue to evolve in response to the wars that occur, providing ever stronger alternatives and disincentives and negotiating gradual concession to these terms.

Now for an aside, because one might ask, work them out with whom? With "good nations" only? All nations? The majority of nations? Nations representing a majority of individual people? A quorum from every continent? Tricky question. Again there is no objective answer. So long as there is a need to enforce, there will obviously not be concensus, and this is not necessary any more than is necessary for our present laws. In the end, what matters is that the system is stable. The embodiment of international law, government to be brief, though I hestitate to call the UN a government for a number of reasons, must arbitrarily evolve to a point of stability- a point where few enough waves are made against its authority that it can rule effectively. If it hasn't got majority support, it probably won't stand long. If it hasn't got broad geographic support it probably won't stand long. It will be a long road to a UN that is trusted broadly enough with sufficient power to be stable.

As this happens, and the UN develops a track record of predictable, reliable, fair, effective response to violations of international law (not only war, but nuclear proliferation, cross border crime, etc) and diffuses situations before they come to blows, war will become less acceptable in perception. The closest thing we'll ever have to date when things changed is the date that we realized it... when one day (if I had to guess, 20-200 years from now, depending on how aggressively certain powers pursue the objective) two nations will be wronging one another, and without either of them requesting it, the UN will step in, correct them both, and put them on notice that most of the civilized world is going to contribute to making this the shortest war in history if either party persists... and, amazingly, both parties will know that it's true and back down.

Granted it still involves military force. What laws don't? Even tax law requires men with guns to a small degree (granted there are abuses there, but that's another subject). When we see a war get resolved the same way the buildup to a street fight is handled and it is stopped, we'll suddenly look around and say, "hey, at first I thought it was just a peaceful decade but apparently that really just isn't done anymore".

What does that mean for the war in Iraq?
Even if Iraq is against international law, that international law has not yet developed much relevance for lack of enforcement power. To develop that power it must gain trust. To gain that trust it must use the power it has well. International law isn't ready for this level of play yet. Those who believe in the idea, including our new Democrat congress, need to put the UN into high gear and start dealing with problems before they get out of hand, in Somalia, in Darfur, wherever its current authority will suffice, without limiting itself to the narrow short term interests of individual member nations. If we think international law is in our long term interest, we'd better start pushing that agenda in the UN.

WE SHOULD RESPECT IT UNILATERALLY TO THE EXTENT PRACTICAL IN THE CURRENT GEOPOLITICAL SITUATION. Let me be extremely clear about that. Just because the UN isn't ready to stand up to America DOES NOT make America above the law. They can't protect us; we'll have to do that. We'll have to preserve the unilateral last resort initiated through our appropriate constitutional process when we are threatened.
We should abide by the spirit of it and set the example. We should not undertake unnecessary aggression, etc. That however, is up to the citizens of America insisting on the exercise of their own constitution, which enshrines treaties as a part of our law; subject to repeal as law, but not to be unconstitutionally ignored on the sole power of the executive branch.

Is the war in Iraq contrary to international law?


www.un.org...
Article 33
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.


Shall, as in will. Not should. Not can if they want to. All indications are that unless it is argued we fulfilled all of these criteria, and can cite some other article as justifying a final violent resort before the threat becomes immenent, the war in Iraq is contrary to the charter.


from article 37
Should the parties to a dispute of the nature referred to in Article 33 fail to settle it by the means indicated in that Article, they shall refer it to the Security Council.

If the Security Council deems that the continuance of the dispute is in fact likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, it shall decide whether to take action under Article 36 or to recommend such terms of settlement as it may consider appropriate.


A little ambiguous in that the security council can make recommendations but I believe it is implied that these are to be followed since it says the Security Council will decide on taking action.

It really isn't completely explicit as far as I've read it. Unless I haven't found the right article yet, there is a lot of room on both sides and don't be shocked if I argue both sides just to stimulate the thread, because I have not yet seen anything that says "thou shalt never fight, or else".

What do we do about Iraq now?
My personal opinion, though I maintain this is for the people of the US to decide through constitutionally established processes, is that we should reaffirm our belief in the organizations principles and offer to make this a building block of a credible future. We'll scale back and support on the level agreed to between us, the Iraqis, and the UN, so that neutral peacekeepers can take up legitimate operations with due respect to Iraqi sovereignty. Deprive the enemy of an exploitative invasion (or the perception thereof, if you believe in the war) to fight against while continuing to support the establishment of law and order.



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