No matter the reasons we went to Iraq
August 2, 2007 –
Does it matter why the United States invaded Iraq? According to Senator Lindsey
Graham, it does not. In his editorial titled U.S. should move ahead in Iraq,
which appeared in the July 24, 2007 edition of Charleston, South Carolina’s daily newspaper, the Post & Courier,
the reasons we went to Iraq and regardless of the mistakes made along the way, I passionately believe Iraq is part of a global
struggle affecting our national security. Iraq is the central battlefront in
the war on terror and we must prevail.
It is mind-bending
that Graham, a senator who proudly and often claims his allegiance to the rule of law, who during a July 17, 2007 PBS
interview said his hope for Iraq was “that the rule of law will replace the rule of gun”, does not think the reasons
why the United States invaded Iraq matter. If the rule of law really matters
to Lindsey Graham, then the reasons the U.S. invaded Iraq should matter greatly to him.
But apparently, in this instance, the rule of law is not the standard. Graham
is picking and choosing where the rule of law should be applied. When government
decides when and where to apply the rule of law – its called tyranny. If
Graham has become so compromised that he can now wink at the scales of justice in this regard, then he is principally bankrupt
and should be removed from office along with all other elected and appointed officials that are determined to display the
same lack of principle.
false pretense is illegitimate and illegal. The Bush administration presented
two justifications for invading Iraq. First, it claimed that Iraq was an imminent
threat because it had weapons of mass destruction and would use the weapons against the United States or its allies, or provide
weapons of mass destruction to terrorists that would in turn use them against the United States or its allies. The second excuse for invading Iraq was the assertion that there was a link between Iraq and al Qaeda. The evidence provided to substantiate both of these justifications for pre-emptive
war has proved beyond a reasonable doubt to be false. Therefore, the war in Iraq
is a war launched under false pretenses. Whether knowingly or not, it is still
a war under false pretense.
It also is
not accurate to call the invasion a pre-emptive strike any longer because no weapons of mass destruction were located and
no link to al Qaeda found. There was nothing to preempt. What Lindsey Graham is left with is at best, a preventive war, or a war of choice – neither of
which are consistent with the rule of law – domestically or internationally.
clings to what remains – that Saddem Hussein was a brutal dictator and that Iraq is now the central front on the war
on terror. In regard to the first, Saddem Hussein, there was no armed attack
by Iraq against the United States nor was there any substantiated threat. The
UN Charter clearly states that wars of aggression are prohibited. Article 2(4)
shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political
independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Article 51 of the
UN Charter grants a provision for self-defense. Paranoia or imperialistic designs
are not recognized as mitigating factors. Article 51 states in part:
in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense 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.
If an armed
attacked occurred against a Member…Iraq did not attack the United States or any of our allies.
must know that the defense for the legality of the Iraq War that the Bush Administration is using to justify its invasion
of Iraq without just cause – Security Council Resolution 678 – approved in 1990 to authorize “all
necessary means” to uphold previous resolutions in response to Iraq’s unlawful invasion of Kuwait, was clearly
superseded by UN Security Council Resolution 1441 that called for Iraq to disarm of its weapons of mass destruction and allow
the UN weapons inspectors to do their work unfettered with full cooperation from the Iraqi government.
1441 did not authorize the use of military force against Iraq. The Security Council
was specific that it would remain “seized” of the matter. What this
means in legal terms is that the Security Council stated that it had authority of the matter and therefore would be the final
arbiter regarding any future and escalated actions to be taken against Iraq if it did not comply. As we now know, the Bush Administration and its supporters such as Senator Graham decided to defy the Security
Council and invade Iraq anyhow. This is why, shortly after the U.S. invasion
of Iraq, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the U.S. led war in Iraq was illegal and did not conform to the
also recognize that as a Member of the United Nations, the United States cannot pick and choose portions of the rule of law
it wants to prosecute or comply with itself. If Graham wants out of the United
Nations, if he thinks it is a waste of time and bad for America, then he should work towards that end. But don’t pay it lip service – because that’s not the rule of law at all – but
something abominable to the rule of law – the rule of men with guns.
even brutal dictators, is not authorized under the U.N. Charter without Security Council approval. The United States is a Member nation of the United Nations. Until
it is not, the rule of law should apply and Senator Graham should be demanding as such instead of suckling on his illusions
of Iraq grandeur.
The last hope
for the Bush Administration, and the only remaining rationalization that Graham and the dull, diehard Republican base, the
25 percent of Americans, is to hang onto the farcical notion that Iraq is the central front on the war on terror – that
we need to fight them over there so that we do not have to fight them over here – as if one day all those with a propensity
towards terrorism will be killed or reformed.
childlike is it not? The idea that there is a central battlefront on which to
fight terrorism and that front is Iraq, as if the only way for terrorists to enter the United States is through Iraq –
some 7000 miles away. Iraq isn’t a bulkhead. Some say it’s a breeding ground for al Qaeda and a recruitment tool.
Clearly, if people in that region of the world want to kill Americans because of their hatred for American foreign
policy in the Middle East, it is easier for them to take such actions against the United States in Iraq. I’ll grant Lindsey Graham that fact. But Iraq is no
central battlefront – terrorists can simply go around it.
fact that there are many aspiring and active al Qaeda types growing up in Iraq, thanks to the U.S. occupation of that nation,
this does not somehow negate the rule of law and make the illegal invasion legal. All
it does is provide lame justification for our continuing presence on Arab land. History
dictates that this never works out in favor of the occupiers.
Hope for Iraq
and improved peace opportunities for the region and the United States requires that the reasons why the U.S. invaded
Iraq be settled under the rule of law. If the U.S. should be sanctioned, it
should be sanctioned. Domestically, the Bush Administration should be punished
either because it purposely deceived this nation into supporting the invasion or just was negligent.
We send people
to jail for involuntary manslaughter everyday in America. Criminal negligent
homicide is a crime. With well over 150,000 Iraqi civilians dead, some put that
number as high as 600,000 dead, with nearing 4000 U.S. service members dead, with a price tag of a half trillion and climbing,
with one-third of Iraqis living in desperate poverty - without food, water, and shelter, with nearly 2 million Iraqis living
in neighboring states because they had to flee their homes, with Turkey and the Kurds in Northern Iraq readying to battle,
the people that were wrong about the reason to invade Iraq must be brought to justice.
is served according to the rule of law, we the people will have to decide how best to make restitution to the Iraqi
people and the greater Middle East. As Americans, we are responsible and accountable
for the actions of our government. It is high time we start acting accordingly. If the federal government does not cooperate, then it is the duty of the people to
abolish it using all necessary force, and start anew.
"...That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the
Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."
Declaration of Independence