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Posted December 24, 2002
Chomsky presents a compelling case against Bush and Blair¿s threats and uses of force against Iraq, pointing out that they breach US and international law. The US Constitution declares valid treaties, including, and most especially the United Nations Charter, to be `the supreme law of the land¿. And the Charter declares that threats and uses of force against states are illegal. Yet Secretary of State Madeleine Albright put the long-standing US state position when she said that the USA will act `multilaterally when we can and unilaterally as we must¿. This amounts to acting within the law if it allows the USA to do what it wants, and illegally when it doesn¿t! President Clinton, to whom the Labour Party Conference shamefully gave a standing ovation, said that if Iraq failed Washington¿s tests of compliance, then the USA had a `unilateral right to respond at a time, place and manner of our own choosing¿. Not so! In 1990, UN Resolution 678 authorised member states `to use all necessary means to uphold and implement Resolution 660¿, which called on Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. It invoked `all subsequent relevant resolutions¿, and listed them: 662 and 664 - relevant in that they refer to Iraq¿s invasion of Kuwait. Jack Straw was wrong to say that 678 authorised the use of force to implement `all subsequent resolutions¿: especially, 678 did not invoke Resolution 687 of 1991, the cease-fire resolution, so 678¿s authorisation of force does not extend to imposing the cease-fire conditions, including the disarmament provisions. 687 has no enforcement mechanism, despite the British government¿s worst efforts: it started to call on the UN Security Council to authorise the `threat and use of force¿, as required by the Charter, but gave up as it became clear that the Security Council would not allow it. In sum, there is no UN authority to use force against Iraq. We must make the US and British governments abandon their plans for aggressive, preventive war. Most of the British people oppose Blair¿s planned attack. As President Harry Truman said in September 1950, ¿We do not believe in aggressive or preventive war. Such war is the weapon of dictators, not of free democratic countries like the United States.¿ Remember what happened to a previous Prime Minister named Anthony when he tried to start a war in the Middle East!
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Posted July 23, 2014
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