The Aggression Hit Parade
by Gordon Prather
to the Washington Post, on the eve of President Bush's second
inaugural, he believed his re-election constituted a "ratification"
of his "approach toward Iraq."
from being "ratified" in the rest of the world – including the United
Kingdom – Bush's "approach toward Iraq" has given rise to concern
about the current state of international law in general and whether
or not the prohibitions against the use of force on which the United
Nations Charter is founded are still respected by the United States.
summer, 40 members of Parliament asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan to seek the opinion of the U.N.'s International Court of Justice
on the "legality" under the U.N. Charter of the Iraq invasion:
look to the court for an advisory opinion on this war, not only
to address the casualties and damage done to the people and country
of Iraq, but also to offer clear guidelines for the future about
the legality of pre-emptive wars.
Iraqi Freedom was neither justified to – nor sanctioned by – the
United Nations Security Council and, hence, constituted a flagrant
violation of the U.N. Charter, applicable sections of which are
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat
to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression and shall
make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in
accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international
peace and security.
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the
use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions,
and it may call upon the members of the United Nations to apply
such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption
of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic,
radio and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic
Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for
in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate,
it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be
necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Such action may include demonstrations, blockade and other operations
by air, sea or land forces of members of the United Nations.
Plans for the application of armed force shall be made by the
Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee.
Military Staff Committee shall consist of the Chiefs of Staff
of the permanent members of the Security Council or their representatives.
… The Military Staff Committee shall be responsible under the
Security Council for the strategic direction of any armed forces
placed at the disposal of the Security Council.]
2002, the United States provided no evidence to the Security Council
that Iraq was a "threat to the peace." In fact, all evidence provided
by Iraq and by U.N. inspectors was to the contrary.
the Security Council didn't authorize any "actions" involving force
against Iraq by member states. Nor were any plans even made for
the application of force.
none of that matters to Bush. The American electorate has "ratified"
his approach to Iraq. His second inaugural address appears to promise
more applications of the Bush Doctrine to those characterized in
it as "rogue states," namely, those who:
to the Bush Doctrine, "The United States has long maintained the
option of pre-emptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to
our national security … To forestall or prevent such hostile acts
by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act pre-emptively.
… The purpose of our actions will always be to eliminate a specific
threat to the United States or our allies and friends."
you soccer moms have "ratified" the application of the Bush Doctrine
to Iraq – haven't you? How about applying it to other "outposts
of tyranny" identified by Bush's new secretary of state?
Burma? North Korea? Iran? Belarus? Zimbabwe?
you ratify that?
James Gordon Prather [send
him mail] has served as a policy-implementing official for national
security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency,
the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department
of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department
of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for
national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla.
ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the
Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather
had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory
in New Mexico.
© 2005 Gordon Prather