Thursday, April 10, 2008

Illegal War in Iraq

In a dull repetition of melodramatic echo, never quite dying out but never fully explained, we hear the phrase "illegal war" applied to the conflict in Iraq.

"Illegal war" means that by the very existence of the war a law has been broken. But whose law has been broken? Is it a law of the United States, or some other law, say perhaps of France or Sweden, or more likely, of the United Nations?

The United Nations doesn't have laws, despite what some power-grabbing third worlder might think. It's an organization, not a nation or sovereign entity. At most, its leadership can say that a member country is in violation of its treaty obligations, which is a different thing from being "illegal".

But even so, the United Nations authorized the use of force against Iraq (not just against the government of Saddam Hussein, but of Iraq), though such authorization is not necessary for the United States, sovereign nation that it is, to go to war against some other sovereign nation. We are subject to United Nations edicts only by our own consent. And yet, in this instance and every other of which I'm aware, we have complied with U.N. dictates.

If a law of the United States, then which United States law is it that has been broken? It can only be that the very Constitution has been "shredded" by the use of the armed forces without a formal declaration of war, And yet the Constitution gives the President the authority as Commander in Chief, and to the Congress to declare war and to establish funding and regulations for the armed forces.

Of course in the United States our laws come to be laws when the Congress passes bills and the President signs them, or when a Court decides something (which is then subject to review by higher courts). Congress can change a law made either by itself or by judicial decision at any time, with or without the President's approval.

Now, Congress has issued several bills authorizing the use of force against Iraq (not only against the government of Sadaam Hussein, but of Iraq) which the President duly signed into law, both six months before and several times after the President followed through on that authorization. Congress can, at any time, rescind its authorization. Congress can defund the war at any time also, without the President's approval.

According to, the war is illegal because there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) found, but of course, the authorization says no such thing, and there were WMD found. They also claim that the authorization is only valid against the people involved in 9/11. But here is the text they claim says this:

... acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

But that says terrorist organizations including those responsible for 9/11, not only those responsible for it. That authorization included Saddam Hussein as a supporter of international terrorism, whether he was directly involved in 9/11 or not, and it includes our current enemies in Iraq, many of whom do belong to the Al Qaeda organization responsible for 9/11. It also includes Iran, when they operate in Iraq.

It therefore must be that the war is illegal despite Congress having authorized it, and having voted several times to continue its authorization; and despite the fact that the President has certainly given his authority for the work in Iraq; and that the Supreme Court has allowed these actions to continue in the numerous attempts which have been made to bring suit to stop it.

There must then be some other branch of the government which is violating the law.

My money's on Haliburton.

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1 comment:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/10/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

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