[thechat] what if ...

Judah McAuley judah at wiredotter.com
Tue Mar 4 00:27:00 CST 2003

Erik Mattheis wrote:
> I read this to mean that if the US were to attack Iraq, anybody who
> wishes can retaliate against the US (in "collective self-defense")
> until the Security Council decides what to do.

The US argues that they have authority under prior UN resolutions to go
to war against Iraq.  That's why they insisted on the "material breach"
language in the last resolution.  France (and others) maintain that a
second resolution explicitly authorizing the use of force should be made
before anything happens.  The US says that the UN has already taken the
necessary legal steps.  International law is a tricky field, inimately
tied in with politics. Witness the "No Fly" zones, which are considered
an enforcement of an existing UN resolution, but are not actually
explicitly authorized by any resolution.  Hence we bomb large parts of
Iraq and call it legal and Iraq fires on our planes and says that we are
illegally attacking their soverign soil without UN authorization.  It
all depends on how you read it and who has the power at the moment.


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