Thursday, November 20, 2003

Perle admits invasion was illegal: Say what?

[November 20, 2003]

As of this writing, the geurilla war in Iraq is only getting worse. Massive car bombs with many deaths, including over the last week several suicide car bomb attacks in Turkey.

This week GW Bush is making a "State Visit" to Britain. This is said to be the first State Visit by a U.S. President to Britain for a long time (if ever). A "State Visit" is when the Queen makes the invitation, and hosts the guest, rather than the it being the Prime Minister.

As can be expected, given the massive NO WAR protests in Britain last spring, leading up to the war, there are massive protests against GW Bush's visit this week.

Among the meetings and speeches made is one containing an astonishing set of statements from Daniel Perle. He is a leader of the NeoCon's ensconsced in the Defense Department.

[November 20, 2003; The Guardian (UK);,2763,1089158,00.html]

War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal

International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal. ... Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."

Uhm, what's this? The U.S. is a nation of Laws, as GHW Bush was proclaiming leading up to the prior war with Iraq, but in this war with Iraq we're going to ignore the law?

President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq ... or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law.

But Mr Perle, a key member of the defence policy board, ... "international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable.

Here's one of the points of the article, that Perle is diverging somewhat from the party line. The administrations formal line is that UN Security Council Resolution 1441 gave the authority. Perle is going further that the U.S. has the right to ignore international law? That it's morally correct to ignore international law? Just how is ignoring the law moral?

Oh yeah, these were the people that lied through their teeth to create this war in the first place. They must not know what morality is anyway?

"They're just not interested in international law, are they?" said Linda Hugl, a spokeswoman for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which launched a high court challenge to the war's legality last year. "It's only when the law suits them that they want to use it."

... The Pentagon adviser's views, he added, underlined "a divergence of view between the British govern ment and some senior voices in American public life [who] have expressed the view that, well, if it's the case that international law doesn't permit unilateral pre-emptive action without the authority of the UN, then the defect is in international law".

... On the night bombing began, in March, Mr Bush reiterated America's "sovereign authority to use force" to defeat the threat from Baghdad.

The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, has questioned that justification, arguing that the security council would have to rule on whether the US and its allies were under imminent threat.

What we have here is a strange view of when it's morally correct to launch war. That pre-emptive action (war) can be taken at will?