Originally Posted by SDW2001
I don't know about that. I'd actually say at the very most
. It was unquestionably legal from the standpoint of US law. "International law" is basically meaningless in this regard. If it was followed, there would never be another war again. But whatever...the problem wasn't even the opinion. [b] It was where he said it, why he said it, and to whom he said it.
According to US-law any war that the congress authorises or declares is legal, since there are no limitations to the US' souvereignity to lead wars as long as the congress agrees.
But there is an international law trying to reduce the occurrences of war, and the US is liable to that international law like all UN-members.
According to that international law war is only legal for the purpose of selfdefense from direct attacks and from imminent dangers.
The use of force is also allowed within the body of the security-council in order to maintain peace and security.
The Bush-administration although already authorised by Congress to use force, made the deliberate attempt to gain international legality for the planned invasion by trying to convince the UN.
In front of the UN, Powell made the case that Saddam Hussein violated the UN-resolutions put in place against Iraq by not cooperating fully with the UN-inspectors, and secretely maintained an active WMD-program developing nukes, chemical and biological weapons, and thus justifying the US as a member of the SC to enforce militarily the resolutions, which would make the invasion legal.
There are a few problems with that argumentation:
1. Individual members of the SC don't have the right to unilaterally use force to enforce resolutions. Only the SC can decide if force should be applied.
2. The decision that Iraq was or was not in compliance with resolutions can't be made by individual members of the SC, but only by the organizations tasked with the controlling of Iraq, ie. the IAEA and UNMOVIC. In fact neither organization found that Iraq was not in compliance, and stated shortly before the invasion that it would take months to verify Iraq's compliance one way or the other.
3. The resolutions have no passage aiming at regime-change. Even if IAEA and UNMOVIC had concluded that Iraq was in violation and the SC ordered that force should be applied to enforce the resolutions, there is no rationale or justification based on the resolutions to conduct a regime-change.
That's why the UNSC did not authorise a military intervention, and that's why the US formed its own coalition of the willing to do the job outside of the UNSC.
The US tried to justify their unilateral action on the basis of selfdefense in face of imminent danger, but since that could not be explained rationally, the US-administration invented a new category, preemptive selfdefense, against a danger that will probably come to fruit in the future, citing the claim that Iraq and Al-Qaeeda cooperate, and therefore the danger would be there that WMD's espescially nukes could be given by Iraq to Al-Qaeeda in order to smuggle them to the US and to use them in a terror-attack...
a claim, the US-administration knew was wrong before the invasion, but was so convenient to instrumentalise in the post-9/11-world.
Therefore the invasion was internationally illegal the whole way through.
In fact the invasion's goal of regime-change was made in 1998 under Clinton and the decision to remodel the middle-east according to US' strategic and ressource-interests was made in 1990 and 1975, and this whole project served only to establish permanent US-military bases in Iraq, in order to have a secondary guaranteed access to oil-fields in the ME, as well as to have leverage against Russia and China.
Now that the US and the coalition of the willing have illegaly invaded a souvereign state for the purpose of regime-change, getting access to fossile ressources and installing permanent military bases, why doesn't the world form another alliance to throw out the US and its allies out of Iraq, just like the world did it when Iraq illegally invaded Kuwait?