Stat Counter

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Iraq & Illegality

An article in Saturday's NYTimes (p. A8) stated: "Mr. Bush this week accused Iran of arming, financing and training what he called 'illegal militant groups' [in Iraq]. " wtf ! ! ! We're accusing the Iranians of illegality when we're in the middle of an immoral occupation of a sovereign state? This is propaganda that crosses the line from misleading to deranged. This is an area where the Times itself falls down on the job. It will refer to the Iraq occupation as "misguided" or "disastrous," etc., etc., but I've noticed that it does not use the one word that is perhaps most accurate and most devastating, having the potential to lead to the initiation of proceedings before the International Court of Justice at the Hague--"illegal." As one embittered observer put it: "The Times is somebody's bitch." But perhaps it isn't. Though a preemptive US invasion without UN authorization of a sovereign state, and an occupation that, according to Naomi Klein, resulted in an estimated 655,000 Iraqi deaths and created 4 million refugees as of July 2006, together would appear to represent a violation of international law, one is not an attorney and cannot state unequivocally that this is the case, legal technicalities and hair-splitting being what they are. (The invasion and current occupation are certainly an outrageous insult to a civilized conscience.) Be that as it may, one's preliminary legal research has turned up the following statement by the Global Policy Forum, an organization monitoring the United Nations: "In his legal advice [given in March 2003] to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the legality of the Iraq war, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith describes regime change in Iraq as a disproportionate response to Saddam Hussein's alleged failure to disarm, illegal in the eyes of international law. Goldsmith stresses that in terms of legality, 'regime change cannot be the objective of military action.' "

The law has a long arm. Chile's Pinochet was on trial for murder at the time of his death, according to Naomi Klein.

No comments: