[extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Thu Aug 26 00:38:04 UTC 2004

Stephen J. Van Sickle wrote:
> > When Bush bungled the handling of the UN after getting resolution
> > 1441 agreed to unanimously and invaded Iraq on a timetable that he
> > alone was setting and against resolution 1441 and against the UN
> > Charter he squandered an opportunity to strengthen civilization
> > (a more capable President could have handled the UN situation
> > better and made the UN a better institution in the interests of the
> > US and of the rest of the world) instead, working to a timetable
> > and/or an agenda of his own, he decided to just go ahead and
> > invade.
> How would a more capable President have handled the situation?

He'd have threatened to revoke the Charter and withdraw the US
from the UN in the media if Chirac of France did not come up
with a general standard for determining when the UN Security Council
should go to war. The security council has to be willing to go to war
sometimes or their can be no peace. At a critical point Chirac
of France was saying that France would "never, never" go to war.

Had Saddam had weapons of mass destruction Chiracs position would
have given him confidence that the UN would not and could not invade
because the French President would not make the necessary call and
as a permanent security council member could veto and resolution that
would have required force.

So Bush should have challenged Chirac in the media to come up
with a standard (in murder trials its 'proof beyond reasonable doubt',
in civil trials its 'on the balance of probabilities') and should have
in the media that unless France was willing to be practical international
laws aimed at maintaining internation peace and security were meaningless
so Chirac should either come up with a standard (a standard that would
have been applied in the case of Iraq) or that he George W Bush would
deem that the UN Charter had been revoked by France.

Chirac would have had to come up with a standard.

The standard would have been applied.

If Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction it would not have been
invaded but the UN would have had a standard to use for go-to-war
don't-go-to-war decisions in the future.

In a world where terrorists could have weapons of mass distruction
it is not unreasonable that the sovereignty of countries be put aside
provided that it is done in the right way. There is not currently a
workable right way. Bush could have made it so that there was
- but instead he chose a wrong way.

> The only alternative I can see was standing down the troops and
> letting the sanctions collapse.  And how, exactly, was the invasion
> in violation of 1441 and the Charter?

The charter makes it unlawful to invade sovereign countries (except
in self defence - eg Afghanistan) or with security council approval
which would come in the form of a resolution.

1441 was the unanimous resolution that threaten "serious consequence"
on Iraq if it did not comply with previous resolutions and did not show
that it did not posses weapons of mass destruction.

The security council with 1441 gave Iraq one "final opportunity" to
comply. And the security council advised that it was "seized of the
matter" ie. the security council had assumed jurisdiction and the US
has concurred in the assumption of jurisdiction.

Because "serious consequences" did not explicitly authorise invasion
another security council resolution was required to authorise it. The UK
and the US argued that it wasn't necessary that the authorisation to
invade was contained in previous resolutions relating to the cease
fire after Kuwait. That was arrant rot which the UK and the US only
fell back on as a peice of obscrure legalese able to be slipped past
the public.

Because the security council gave Iraq one "final opportunity" and
because it was "seized of the matter" only the security council
could determine when the "final opportunity" was over.

The security council never made such a determination because
Bush was not willing to go back to it to loose his legalistic pretext.

To have done so would have made it clear to the whole world
(if it wasn't already) that the UN security council did not think
the use of force at that time was warranted - inspections were
still going on etc.

The UK, Spain and the US had prepared another resolution
that effectively said only that the "final opportunity" granted
Iraq under 1441 was up. But they never tabled the resolution
to be voted on because it was clear that it would not have
gotten up and in failing to get up the PR battle would be

So Bush and the coalition of the willing invaded before
the security council had deemed Iraq's final opportunity
over. That was clear cut illegal. And as it turned out
Iraq didn't have the weapons.

The tradgedy is that the concerns over weapons were
not unreasonable and the criticisms made of the UN
were not unreasonable - there can be no peace under
the United Nations if the United Nations Security Council
would not enforce it - but it was within the range of
Bush's possible diplomatic moves to make the UN
security council live up to its mandate - he either just
didn't see the move (to challenge Chirac to produce a
standard or he would deem the UN Charter revoked)
- or he didn't want to see it - he wanted to invade Iraq
whether it had weapons or not.

Brett Paatsch

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list