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Bush and Cheney Tried for War Crimes when Kerry Wins?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 12:44 pm
Ticomaya wrote:
Using that rule, then, if it could be shown that Saddam's Iraq shielded, harbored, supported, and protected terrorists, the US's attack was legitimate under International Law?

If international law had only that one rule, then I suppose the US could attack any nation that harbored terrorists. Of course, under that single rule, any nation could attack the US, since there are terrorists here as well.

International law, however, embraces a wide variety of rules. One of the most venerable is the "principle of proportionality." This principle holds that a state's use of force must be proportional both to the threat and to the objective. A massive attack can be met with a massive attack, a minor threat must be met with proportionally less intensity. So, for instance, when Libyan agents were suspected of bombing a nightclub in Berlin, the response was to bomb selected targets in Libya, not invade the nation and overthrow its ruling regime. A nation is entitled to meet force with force; it is not entitled to meet everything with force.

Iraq undoubtedly had terrorists or terrorist wannabes living within its borders (every large nation does, even the US). And I think it is clear that Iraq supported terrorism to some degree (e.g. funding various Palestinian terrorist organizations). There is, however, a substantial difference between the al Qaida attack on the US and the limited assistance that Saddam Hussein gave to terrorists in the Middle East. International law required that the US recognize that difference and to calibrate its responses accordingly.

Although the UN Charter says nothing about the principle of proportionality, a military response that is not proportional is nevertheless directly contrary to international law. And any leader who authorizes a disproportionate military response would open himself to charges of war crimes, since breaches of traditional international law can form the basis of a war crimes indictment.
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Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 12:59 pm
Joe wrote:
Iraq undoubtedly had terrorists or terrorist wannabes living within its borders (every large nation does, even the US).


A large difference being, as I see it, that while they are undoubtedly here, we don't want them here, and we certainly don't support, harbor, or protect them -- any of them. So we are left with your "proportionality" principle.

Thanks for the lesson.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 01:17 pm
A useful article on the role of proportionality in international law can be found here (.pdf -- requires Acrobat reader).
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Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 02:08 pm
Quote:
Of course I think arguments could be made that would attempt to draw a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, and the attacks on 9/11, Saddam's support of terrorism. Whether those arguments would fly, is another matter.


Actually, MANY arguments have been made already via the lies of Bush and Cheney, and NONE of them have flown whatsoever.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 02:40 pm
I love the topic of this thread and the following it has attracted. The fact is, based on what has been posted here as well as on other threads, many of you could be tried for threats against the president, if you weren't all so irrelevent.

As far as the principal of proportionality is concerned, that is a joke. The use of overwhelming force minimizes casualties on both sides. I would say that the U.S. has exercised great restraint (perhaps too much) in both Afghanistan and Iraq. We could have turned them into parking lots.
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Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 02:48 pm
cjhsa:

WHAT threats, cjhsa?
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 03:06 pm
Dooks, just take a stroll through the politics forum.
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 03:56 pm
Joe is doing great. I admire the perceptive vision and the clear prose.

American military favour the air strike, and the forthcoming action in Fallujah, delayed because of the forthcoming election, is likely to bring civilian deaths in Iraq to nearer 200 000. The "parking lots" comparison by the graceless correspondent above was not too far off the mark.

Nazi leaders were executed after the Nuremberg trials for actions not materially different from this.
Sorry I can't couch the argument in legalistic language, but this is an illegal war all right, and these are war crimes.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 04:07 pm
A vote for Kerry is a vote for jihad. If Kerry wins we'll see armed muslims dancing in the streets of Bagdhad. It'll be a giant mullah-fest. Wait and see.
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Einherjar
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 04:10 pm
cjhsa wrote:
A vote for Kerry is a vote for jihad. If Kerry wins we'll see armed muslims dancing in the streets of Bagdhad. It'll be a giant mullah-fest. Wait and see.


Vote for Kerry and show me, I'm sure it will teach me a lesson. Smile
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 04:17 pm
cjhsa wrote:
A vote for Kerry is a vote for jihad. If Kerry wins we'll see armed muslims dancing in the streets of Bagdhad. It'll be a giant mullah-fest. Wait and see.


I mean, do you really get what you wrote?

A vote for Kerry is a vote for jihad.

If Kerry wins we'll see armed muslims dancing in the streets of Bagdhad.

Perhaps, you want to look up some things in a dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia?
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 04:21 pm
You mean 'cuz I misspelled Baghdad?
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 06:27 pm
That's my prediction. If Kerry wins, you'll see celebrations similar to the ones after 9/11 in muslim communities around the world. It'll be enough to make you wanna puke.
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Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 06:58 pm
If Muslims celebrate, and terrorism drops precipitously, then we should ALL have reason to celebrate.

Nothing to puke about that except in cjhsa's little world.
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squinney
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 07:20 pm
Joe - You reminded me of my love for law. Thanks for the thoughtful and informed posts.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 08:55 pm
This stuff is really starting to get insane.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 09:27 pm
McTag, squinney: Thanks for the kind words. I welcome the opportunity to engage in an intellectual discussion on this forum -- they're so rare. Speaking of which. . .

cjhsa wrote:
I love the topic of this thread and the following it has attracted. The fact is, based on what has been posted here as well as on other threads, many of you could be tried for threats against the president, if you weren't all so irrelevent.

To whom are you referring?

cjhsa wrote:
As far as the principal of proportionality is concerned, that is a joke. The use of overwhelming force minimizes casualties on both sides. I would say that the U.S. has exercised great restraint (perhaps too much) in both Afghanistan and Iraq. We could have turned them into parking lots.

Not engaging in needless wars minimizes casualties even more.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Nov, 2004 04:32 am
cjhsa wrote:
That's my prediction. If Kerry wins, you'll see celebrations similar to the ones after 9/11 in muslim communities around the world. It'll be enough to make you wanna puke.


My guess is that if Kerry wins...you'll see celebrations like this in London, Rome, Madrid, Paris, Mexico City, Ottowa, Lima, Belfast, Berlin, Oslo, and goddam near every other city on this planet.

So get a doggy bag ready!
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Nov, 2004 06:08 am
War Crimes
joefromchicago wrote:
. . . .The United States is a signatory to the United Nations Charter. That document recognizes that "nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations" (art. 51). Thus, the right of self defense is specifically conditioned on the occurrence of an armed attack -- no armed attack, no right to self defense. Instead, if there is a dispute between two member nations (such as the US and Iraq), they must seek peaceful means of resolving their dispute (art. 33). If those means fail, they are to bring their dispute to the Security Council (art. 37), which is to make recommendations, including referring the dispute to the World Court (art. 36). Only if its recommendations are inadequate or ineffective is the Security Council then permitted to authorize coercion (art. 41) or force (art. 42) as a means of resolving the dispute.

In the case of the present conflict, the US was never attacked by Iraq. As such, the US had no claim to a right of self defense, under article 51 of the UN Charter, as a pretext to attack Iraq. It was, therefore, obligated to seek peaceful means to resolve the dispute, and, if necessary, to refer the dispute to the UN for resolution. The US submitted the dispute to the UN, but the UN Security Council never authorized the use of force (pursuant to article 42 of the Charter) for resolving the dispute. Indeed, the US never sought UN authorization for its use of force, despite Bush's promise to the contrary.

The US is obligated, both by international law and the US constitution, to abide by the terms of its treaties. The UN Charter is such a treaty. The attack on Iraq, therefore, violated the terms of the UN Charter. And since the US was the aggressor, and the war was a breach of the peace, the invasion constituted a war of aggression and a crime against the peace. Furthermore, pursuant to the precedent set by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, the leaders of a nation that has waged a war of aggression are directly culpable for the resulting war crimes.

The conclusion, therefore, is obvious: George Bush, in launching a war of aggression in contravention of binding international treaties, is guilty of a crime against peace, and he should be held accountable for that crime.
. . .


I agree with Joe. The president is not immune to a prosecution for war crimes. See, e.g., the following:

Former president to face war crimes court

Quote:
January 17 2003. Serbian officials will hand over former president Milan Milutinovic to the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague, the Yugoslav foreign minister said yesterday.

Goran Svilanovic told the Blic daily newspaper that he and Milutinovic agreed on the terms of his surrender to the court, which has charged him with war crimes during a government crackdown against Kosovo Albanians in 1999.

Svilanovic did not say when he could be handed over. He said he hoped the UN tribunal would set Milutinovic free pending the start of his trial partly because of his poor health.

Milutinovic has had two heart operations in recent years.

Though regarded as merely a figurehead, Milutinovic, who was Serbia's president from 1997 until last month, was a member of the inner circle of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Milutinovic has denied he had any role in war crimes in Kosovo, saying that he had no control over the Serb-led security forces in the southern Yugoslav province.

Any testimony he might offer could prove damaging to Milosevic, who is facing genocide and other war crimes charges before the UN court.


President Bush ordered a preemptive attack against Iraq in violation of a treaty (the supreme law of the Land.) He broke the law, plunged our country into war, and must be held accountable. The U.N. War Crimes Tribunal ought to be demanding Bush's surrender.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Nov, 2004 06:15 am
Constitution
Ticomaya wrote:
I sincerely doubt a reasonable reading of the Constitution would require the US to abide by the terms of a treaty if to do so would not be in the best interests of national security.


United States Constitution:

Article. VI.

Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
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