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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Over in Great Britain, Tony Blair is taking a lot of heat because those weapons were the primary reason for our unpopular invasion. Over here in "love it or leave it" America, you don't hear a lot about it. Colin Powell cites plagiarized intelligence reports (which Britain later admitted) and forged documents (that no one claims to know the origin of) and yet no seems to care.

    So we're going after Saddam for the weapons but we couldn't find them. Eh, maybe we were going after him for his role in 9/11.

    • The justification to invade Iraq was that Iraq didn't live up to their commitment to 'fully, proactively and immediately' disarm as required by Resolution 1441. Everyone who signed on to Resolution 1441, the entire UN Security council, was clear on the fact that Iraq did possess such weapons.

      It was clear that they were playing games with the UN Inspectors. It's also clear from what we are finding that they had an active program to develop or research WMDs.

      The fact that they may have been busy destroying

      • It was clear that they were playing games with the UN Inspectors.

        You don't invade a country because they're playing parliamentary games.

        Certainly, if Iraq had no WMD, they could have fully cooperated with the UN Inspectors and made a mockery of the US and probably gotten the sanctions lifted in no time.

        I'd love to see how the US would react to UN weapons inspectors and what sort of reception they'd get (and, of course, our subcequent invasion of ourself based on their shoddy treatment). Just th

          • I'd love to see how the US would react to UN weapons inspectors and what sort of reception they'd get (and, of course, our subcequent invasion of ourself based on their shoddy treatment).

          The US didn't lose a war where one of the conditions of Armistice was full accounting and destruction of their Weapons of Mass Destruction. Iraq signed on to conditions of inspections in 1992, thus no sovereignty was being violated. We were just enforcing the terms of that Armistice.

          No matter how hard you try to spin

          • I'd love to see how the US would react to UN weapons inspectors and what sort of reception they'd get (and, of course, our subcequent invasion of ourself based on their shoddy treatment).

            The US didn't lose a war where one of the conditions of Armistice was full accounting and destruction of their Weapons of Mass Destruction.

            You miss the point. You put forth Iraq playing games with UN inspectors as an admission of guilt. Consider the hypothectical situation of UN weapon inspectors in the US. Yo

            • See, here's the problem with that: That Armistice was signed with the UN, not the US and Britian. We can't charge in under the pretext of enforcing an argreement signed with a different political body.

              That is an eminently fair point to make, but it misses something, IMO. Resolution 687 was not merely a warning to Iraq to comply or else; it was a promise to the United States that the UN Security Concil would handle the situation. It was a cease-fire between Iraq, Kuwait, and the other nations involved.

              There are several ways war can end. In this case, the goal of the war, on the UN's part, must be fulfilled for the war to end. That goal was elimination of the Iraqi threat. The two obvious ways to achieve that is by force or voluntarily. Res. 687 was an attempt to do it voluntarily. That attempt was given 12 years, and it failed. Once it fails, the UN has a built-in obligation -- the very last clause of 687 -- to take "further steps." It refused to do so.

              So where does that leave the US? It agreed to a cease-fire, that it would not advance on Baghdad and take out Hussein, on the basis that the UN would eliminate the threat. The UN did not. It broke its promise in 687. So the cease-fire becomes, legally, null and void. And the US goes back to what its plan was initially: to eliminate the threat by force.

              Ideally, yes, the UN Security Council would live up to its obligations to take care of the problem. But that the Security Council took on the problem does not mean that the memeber nations cannot act on their own, should the Security Council not fulfill its obligations.

              Now, there is the part of the UN Charter that says all member nations must resolve disputes not by force on their own, but through the UN. But that part of the Charter has no legal force, as it has been rendered obsolete by precedent. It has never been enforced. And even if it were to be asserted by the UN -- note that Kofi Annan dared not quote that part of the charter in his criticisms of the US -- then the US could simply say, "we are still at war with Iraq, at the approval of the UN Security Council, because war does not end until the terms of the cease-fire are completed, which by everyone's admission they never were," and be entirely legally justified.

              The only question at that point would be if the Security Council were given ample opportunity to live up to their end of the bargain of Res. 687, and it would be hard to argue that they were not.

              All this just to say that while it is important to talk about whose role it is to use military force, the answer is not as clear-cut as you make it, and I think the reason why Annan never said that the U.S. actions are illegal is because he knows full well than the U.N. breached its own resolutions by not enforcing them.