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INVADING IRAQ WOULD VIOLATE U.S. AND
INTERNATIONAL LAW

Professor Marjorie Cohn
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
JURIST Contributing Editor

Despite opposition by many prominent Republicans, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are mounting an intensive public relations campaign to justify their pre-ordained invasion of Iraq. A preemptive strike against Iraq would violate the Constitution and the United Nations Charter.

Article I, section 8 of the Constitution empowers Congress, not the president, to debate and decide to declare war on another country. The War Powers Resolution provides that the 田onstitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories, or possessions or its armed forces.

Congress has not declared war on Iraq, no statute authorizes an invasion and Iraq has not attacked the United States, its territories, possessions or armed forces. President Bush痴 lawyers have concluded that he needs no new approval from Congress. They cite a 1991 Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in the Persian Gulf, and the September 14, 2001 Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

These two resolutions do not provide a basis to circumvent Congressional approval for attacking Iraq. The January 12, 1991 Persian Gulf Resolution authorized the use of force pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 678, which was directed at ensuring the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait. That license ended on April 6, 1991, when Iraq formalized a cease-fire and notified the Security Council. The September 14, 2001 resolution authorized the use of armed force 殿gainst those responsible for the recent [Sept. 11] attacks against the United States. There is no evidence that Iraq was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

A preemptive invasion of Iraq would also violate the United Nations Charter, which is a treaty and part of the supreme law of the United States under Article 6, clause 2 of the Constitution. It requires the United States to settle all disputes by peaceful means and not use military force in the absence of an armed attack. The U.N. Charter empowers only the Security Council to authorize the use of force, unless a member state is acting in individual or collective self-defense. Iraq has not attacked this country, or any other country in the past 11 years. None of Iraq痴 neighbors have appealed to the Security Council to protect them from an imminent attack by Iraq, because they do not feel threatened.

Cheney and Bush cite the possibility that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction as the rationale for a preemptive strike. Iraq is in violation of Security Council Resolution 687, which requires full cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors. But this issue involves the Iraqi government and the United Nations. The Security Council did not specify any enforcement mechanisms in that or subsequent resolutions. Only the Security Council is empowered to take 吐urther steps as may be required for the implementation of the resolution. Although the Security Council warned Iraq, in Resolution 1154, of the 都everest consequences if it continued its refusal to comply, the Council declared that only it had the authority to 兎nsure implementation of this resolution and peace and security in the area.

Articles 41 and 42 of the U.N. Charter declare that no member state has the right to enforce any resolution with armed force unless the Security Council decides there has been a material breach of it resolution, and determines that all nonmilitary means of enforcement have been exhausted. Then, the Council must specifically authorize the use of military force, as it did in November 1990 with Resolution 678, in response to Iraq痴 occupation of Kuwait in violation of Security Council resolutions passed the previous August. The Security Council has not authorized any use of force for subsequent violations involving Iraq.

Moreover, the claim by Cheney and Bush that Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction is spurious. Scott Ritter, who spent seven years in Iraq with the UNSCOM weapons inspection teams, has said, 典here is absolutely no reason to believe that Iraq could have meaningfully reconstituted any element of its [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities. Ritter, a twelve-year Marine Corps veteran who served under General Norman Schwarzkopf in the Gulf War, maintains that the Iraqis never succeeded in developing their chemical and biological agents to enable them to be sprayed over a large area. It is undisputed that Iraq has not developed nuclear capabilities.

There is no legal justification for a preemptive attack on Iraq. Only Congress can authorize the use of United States armed forces, and only the Security Council can sanction the use of force by a U.N. member state. Both are necessary; neither has been forthcoming.


Marjorie Cohn, an associate professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, is on the national executive committee of the National Lawyers Guild.

September 2, 2002

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Discussion

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  • Tuesday September 03, 2002 at 10:06 am
    If the USA invades Iraq, the first people to suffer would be their allies, esp. those in Asia. These are small countries, e.g. Singapore, who are in no position to defend themselves against a determined suicidal mission/missions. Will Singaporeans die for the USA? If they do, then the position of the USA in Asia will become very fragile. As it is, the image of the US in Asia is dismal; the people of Asia have not forgotten the millions of Asians who died because of American paranoia about the march of communism. An invasion of Iraq will trigger a world wide wave of anti-US sentiment which will certainly work against the long term security of the US, esp in Asia. Today I read that President Bush did not turn up in South Africa, when every responsible leader is there. President Bush must grab the bull by the horns, and reverse the surge of anti-US sentiments sweeping the world. The world will become a happier place then.

    Chng Kooi Seng
    Malaysia.

  • Tuesday September 03, 2002 at 3:32 pm
    Preemptive Self-Defense is Widely Condemned Jordan J. Paust Predominant trends in decision demonstrate widespread expectations and intense demands that the use of armed force merely for preemptive or retaliatory purposes is inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations Charter and is proscribed under Article 2 (4) of the Charter. See, e.g., Ian Brownlie, International Law at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations Charter, 255 Rec. des Cours 203-04 (1995); Michael Byers, Terrorism, The Use of Force and International Law After 11 September, 51 Int値 & Comp. L.Q. 401, 401 & n.1, quoting U.N. S.C. Res. 188 (9 Apr. 1964), U.N. Doc. S/5650 (典he Security Council... [c]ondemns reprisals as incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.), 410 (填ntil 11 September, any right to pre-emptive action was widely contested...firmly rejected) (2020); Jonathan I. Charney, The Use of Force Against Terrorism and International Law, 95 Am. J. Int値 L. 835, 835 (2001); Tom J. Farer, Beyond the Charter Frame: Unilateralism or Condominium?, 96 Am. J. Int値 L. 359, 360 (2002); Sean D. Murphy, Terrorism and the Concept of 鄭rmed Attack in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, 43 Harv. Int値 L.J. 41, 42 (2002); Jordan J. Paust, Responding Lawfully to International Terrorism: The Use of Force Abroad, 8 Whittier L. Rev. 711, 713, 717-19 & n.21, 723 (1986); Sreenivasa Rao Pemmaraju, International Organizations and Use of Force, in 2 Liber Amicorum Judge Shigeru Oda 1575, 1578-79 & n.10 (Nisuke Ando, Edward McWhinney, Rudiger Wolfrum eds. 2002) (anticipatory self-defense is impermissible); Gregory M. Travalio, Terrorism, International Law, and the Use of Military Force, 18 Wis. Int値 L.J. 145, 157 (2000) (Israeli retaliatory raids have been constantly criticized by the U.N. Security Council or the General Assembly); U.N. S.C. Res. 573 (4 Oct. 1985) (condemnation of Israeli reprisal against the PLO Headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia as an 殿ct of armed aggression perpetrated by Israel against Tunisian territory in flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and norms of conduct); but see W. Michael Reisman, International Legal Responses to Terrorism, 22 Hous. J. Int値 L. 3, 18-19 (1999). The United States abstained with respect to U.N. Security Council Resolution 573 in 1985, noting the 兎scalating force and counter-force, 鍍he rising spiral of violence and Israel痴 途esponses to [prior] terrorist attacks, but stated that the U.S. strongly supports 鍍he principle that a state subjected to continuing terrorist attacks may respond with appropriate use of force to defend against further attacks as 殿n aspect of the inherent right of self-defense recognized in the United Nations Charter. See Statement of Ambassador Vernon A. Walters, reproduced in Reprisals, 80 Am. J. Int値 L. 165, 166-67 (1986).

    Professor Jordan J. Paust
    Law Center, University of Houston
    TX. USA

  • Thursday September 05, 2002 at 3:41 am
    If Iraq isn't making and hiding weapons of mass destruction, then it should allow UN inspectors to roam at will throughout the country to determine that fact. By expelling the inspectors, Iraq leaves the US no other choice but to bomb the suspected WMD sites. I sympathize with my liberal colleagues such as Professor Marjorie Cohn. But the stakes here go beyond legal regimes and affect the future viability of the human race. Back in 1981 I was a lone voice advocating the legality of Israel's preemptive strike upon the Iraqi nuclear reactor. If it hadn't been for that strike, the world might look a lot different today--the Gulf war might not have happened, Iraq might have most of the world's oil, etc. Today the stakes are even greater. If our legal arguments lead us to the conclusion that an unstable regime may develop weapons of mass destruction, then I say, as I said in 1981, that there is something fundamentally wrong with our legal arguments. My suggestion for the "Iraq war" is for the US to give Iraq an ultimatum--either let the UN inspectors in and allow them to look anywhere and everywhere, or else we will bomb every suspected site. On this issue (and not on the issue of "regime change", for example), I think that various other countries will join the US. But even if they don't, common sense cries out for a dismantling of Iraq's ability to bring down the human race.

    Anthony D\'Amato
    Northwestern Law School
    Illinois, USA

  • Thursday September 05, 2002 at 9:51 am
    By the same reasoning of Anthony D'Amato, if the US do not adhere to the International Penal Court is because they are afraid of being justly prosecuted (eg, Iraq is afraid of being justly bombed) for war crimes. If Iraq has weapons, show the proof, and strike only then. But do not justify actions with "ifs". That is not acceptable. I cannot kill my neighbour on the assumption he would rape my baby daughter 15 years later, no matter what I prove about his personality I do think a no country has the right to declare war on another, falling that "right" to the UN. Furthermore, no country should have the right to decide what other regime is allowed or not in another country. Corollary: a country has no right to depose a leader or a regime. So, Bush's wish to depose Saddam is in my view illegal. It has as much right as Bin Laden's wish to depose Bush and capitalism.

    Alexandre Pinto
    Portugal

  • Friday September 06, 2002 at 6:06 am
    Thankyou for your clear and easily understood legal interpretation of events concerning the push for a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. We have found your material valuable in our ongoing peaceful campaign in Australia with our elected Member Australian Foreign Minister Mr Alexander Downer- I do apologise, however I did not vote for him. We are constantly given meaningless rhetoric which mirrors the empty, verbalised meanderings of George Bush. Our protest is utilising cut-out white cardboard doves with messages from concerned Australians in the Adelaide Hills- in just one week we have 600 signed doves- perhaps people in other countries which may be affected by this dreadful situation could take this up as an idea- we have planted them in front of Mr Downer's office on the lawn. Each dove represents a thousand Iraqi children who have suffered or died since the Gulf War and also those children of War Veterens which share the tragedy of exposure to toxic agents. Felicity Martin Mt Barker, South Australia

    Felicity Martin
    Australian Greens- Mayo Branch
    South Australia

  • Saturday September 07, 2002 at 4:49 pm
    Our pro-Israel media is mercilessly pounding Bush, our Election 2002 candidates, and our people into attacking Iraq. Israel has publicly demanded we do so, and if we obey, its control of us will now be inescapably obvious.
    Although I agree with D'Amato that Weapons of Mass Destruction in the hands of minor states are now so dangerous that they pose an intolerable worldwide threat, forced de-proliferization must be universal and include Israel. What WMDs does Israel have? This disarming must be done via the world community, the UN. Only if the UN will not act universally will we have any self-defense right to act unilaterally.

    The Sudan offers an intriguing alternative. It practices slavery -- on Christians. It is only a hop across the Red Sea from what may be the real source of Islamic terrorism, and that is itself an intolerable threat to world peace and survival. And if the Sudan's financial/gold connection with El Queda is certifiable, our liberation of the Sudanese would be entirely defensible.

    Saddam Hussein cheered the attack on the World Trade Center and if Bush had demanded/gotten war powers then (as he should have) world opinion would have accepted our immediate taking of Iraq (by nuclear ultimatum, even), which would have given us a pivotal strategic Mideast base.
    But Bush fumbled our chance and has since turned our world against us with his threat-diplomacy which seems really intended only to appease our media ... until we have to make good on it.
    An unjustified attack on Iraq now will signal our reversion to force-rules -- militarism -- from the rule of law. We will lose any moral/legal right to oppose the Chinese similarly taking Taiwan by (nuclear) force ... which would not only be another international economic shock but would galvanize Japanese neo-militarists into turning that country into a terminally dangerous nuclear superpower. (We can safely assume Bush lacks the moral/political backbone to do whatever necessary to stop that.)

    If the Israel Lobby (via our media) succeeds in pressuring Bush/us into attacking Iraq, we will be starting the Third World War, which we will lose. International rage -- about our contemptuous rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, ICC, etc. -- is not only growing against us, it is focussng against the Israel Lobby and the international Jewish community.
    I do understand Jewish peoples' anxiety and desperation -- it is as if the Vatican were in Belfast, Northern Ireland -- and they are basically good people, but if they don't back off from their obsessive, ethnocentric political/military aggression, the ultimate outcome of the forthcoming conflagration will likely be the final Holocaust ... for all of us.

    Lou Coatney
    Macomb IL USA

  • Sunday September 08, 2002 at 12:00 am

    New thinking on International Law introduced on use of force in the middle of the 20th Century and with the advent of the UN Charter, needs time, 'realistically' like all things in life!

    Time for humanity and nations to appreciate the new dimension of the changed thinking with the ink on the UN Charter still wet, if we look at the long history of humanity.

    (2) Is it a premptive strike has been delivered? No

    Is the recent exercise a pre emptive strike? No

    The recent exercise is in some places reported as 'self defence against the prior no fly zones incident'

    (3) Thus the FIRST analysis should be on whether the recent exercise, is in self defence of a much earlier incident in the no fly zone.

    (4) Then the further and SECOND analysis is on the future possibility of a premptive strike. Only on this second segment, can it be said by Professor Marjorie Cohn, that, "There is no legal justification for a preemptive attack on Iraq. Only Congress can authorize the use of United States armed forces, and only the Security Council can sanction the use of force by a U.N. member state. Both are necessary; neither has been forthcoming."

    The second part of the First segment would be, if Iraq responses with force, is it self defence or a fresh initiative? This may have a bearing on the possible response by USA UK against the Iraq response, if any.

    We live in a fast moving era of great changes (technology, information , globalisation) affecting "all" our lives, across the globe.

    Use of force is one of the great changes that touches directly or indirectly all our lives.

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Tuesday September 10, 2002 at 6:48 pm
    It may be true that Bush needs congressional approval to invade Iraq, but the assertion that UN approval is somehow required is clearly untrue. Although treaties are the supreme law of the land under the constitution, the treaty itself can be unconstitutional, and therefore invalid, just as any federal law can be. The constitution gives the sole power of waging war to the Congress. A treaty, even a treaty with the UN, is unconstitutional to the extent that it moves the power of making war out of the hands of Congress. The U.N. Security Council therefore does NOT need to be consulted if Congress says we are going in.

    Darin Wilmert
    California, USA

  • Friday September 13, 2002 at 12:51 am
    Bush has made an ultimatum he must meet ... unless Congress removes him from office.

    It is July 1914.

    Lou Coatney
    Macomb IL USA

  • Saturday September 14, 2002 at 3:45 pm
    World War I was begun by a list of (Austro-Hungarian) demands which were made knowing they couldn't be met (by the Serbs).

    Iraq's claim that the President's UN speech was "unconvincing" is the kind of suicidal defiance we saw and have seen in the Balkans. The speech was a powerful, irreversible ultimatum to which all our credibility, including Deterrence, is now tied ... unless Congress removes Bush-Cheney from office ... as the unanswered questions about the administration's foreknowledge of September 11 and the anthrax attacks get louder ... in our media's silence about them. Is Bush's "resolve" the product of political/media blackmail?

    Kosovo seems to have been actually an attempt to get Clinton (dictatorial) war powers. Iraq as a (domestic) political diversion is an infinitely more dangerous adventure ... especially after Kosovo.

    Meanwhile, Putin threatens Georgia, signaling Russia's intent to return to her 1946 "buffer borders" ... fearing (further Western) attack. Coming from St. Petersburg as he does, the fate of the Baltic republics may be similarly sealed by our attacking Iraq. (This would also repay Blair's British for their treachery, considering Britain's sympathy for the Balts ... demonstrated by the PoW's trip there, where he was slapped by that beautiful ethnic Russian girl. I wonder what happened to her.)

    But Putin the Chessplayer is wise enough to keep out of this until Russia is left the stronger and it is time to recoup. It is the Chinese who are the direct danger, and those aren't Wal-Mart "sales associates" who have recovered and gone over to the attack in Nepal, they are (reportedly) Maoists.

    And our society has become more Czarist Russia than Austro-Hungary. Our radical/revolutionary Left -- not our self-deluding Right -- will win out of this ... if any of us do survive. We are regressing to the abyss decades by weeks.

    The Bush Bunch was supposed to be the national security dream team. Instead, they are proving to be the final nightmare.

    Lou Coatney
    Macomb Illinois USA

  • Saturday September 14, 2002 at 9:37 pm
    Ms. Cohn asserts that only it would violate the Constitution if we went into Iraq without a Congressional Declaration of War. That point is irrelevant. I don't believe there has been a Congressional Declaration of War since WWII. Therefore, all our military incursions since then were unconstitutional. Let's try to be less partisan and more consistent with our facts Ms. Cohn, shall we?

    Charles Cox
    North Carolina, USA (Thank God)

  • Wednesday September 18, 2002 at 10:55 am
    Mr Cox's statement that there has never been a Congressional Declaration of War since WWII, only shows up what the USA has been doing all these 60 years. America's involvement in Korea and Vietnam is therefore unconstitutional but who cares. It's might that matters. If you have the ordnance to throw at everyone you don't like, why not! Miliions died in Southeast Asia and thousands more are in a living hell because of Agent Orange dropped on innocent Vietnamese civilians. Americans have a double standard. They condemn detention without trial in some countries in Asia, but look what they are doing now! It's not just the illegality of America's "invasion" of foreign sovereign countries, it's the immorality of it's actions that really sucks. America really need to grow up.

    See Kay Es
    Malaysia

  • Wednesday September 18, 2002 at 12:45 pm
    I wish Professor Marjorie Cohn had devoted part of her discussion to arguments of the counter-restrictionists against literal application of Article 51 of the UN Charter, namely: (1) Literal application of Article 51's "armed attack" requirement would require states to absorb the first blow in an attack. See Louis Rene Beres, Israel and Anticipatory Self Defense, 5 INT'L & COMP. L.Q. 89, 93 (1991). (2) Where states acquiesce to conduct new customary international law is formed. See Michael Byers, Terrorism, the Use of Force and International Law after 11 September, 51 INT'L & COMP. L.Q. 401, 409-10, 410 n.46. State practice has been to acquiesce in acts of anticipatory self defense. See David B. Rivkin, Jr., Lee A. Casey, and Darin R. Bartram, Remember the CAROLINE, NATIONAL REVIEW 17, 18 (July 1, 2002). Examples include the 1962 U.S. blockade of Cuba, Israel's preemptive attack on Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in 1967, and the 1986 U.S. air strikes against terrorist camps in Libya. Ibid.; Thomas Franck, Iraq and the "Bush Doctrine" of Pre-Emptive Self-Defense, (August 20, 2002). Professor Franck observes that the Security Council has come to perform a "jurying function" where the Council evaluates the justice of preemptive attack on a case by case basis. Thus, the UN did not censure Tanzania's invasion of Uganda, ECOWAS's use of force in the Liberia and in the Sierra Leone civil wars, or the Israeli raid on Entebbe. Ibid. (3) Changes circumstances, among them the failure of the Charter system of collective security, permit deviation from the terms of the Charter. See Beres, supra, at 91; Frederic L. Kirgis, Pre-emptive Action to Forestall Terrorism, ASIL INSIGHTS, available on the web site of the American Society of International Law, (visited July 28, 2002). Article 51 itself declares that a state may exercise self-defense "until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security." What is implied is effective Security Council action, i.e. the defending state remains seised of the matter until the Security Council takes EFFECTIVE action. See Eugene V. Rostow, Until What? Enforcement Action or Collective Self-Defense?, 85 AM. J. INT'L L. 506, 511 (1991). As Saddam remains a menace after ten years of Security Council efforts to contain him I think it may be fairly concluded that Security Council action has been ineffective. Charles Pierson Pittsburgh PA Chapierson@yahoo.com

    Charles Pierson
    Pittsburgh PA USA

  • Tuesday September 24, 2002 at 2:15 pm
    What President Bush is proposing with his preemptive wars will destroy the nation. We are in a depression as the American dollar continues to lose value in the world market. Already many of our banking institutions are bankrupt. Scandals such as World Com and Enron have rocked the confidence of investors here and abroad. There is an anti-U.S. senitment brewing in Europe and the Middle East alike. Further U.S. aggression will provoke foreign investors to remove there currency from the stock market and into the Euroasian market. Many of our allies are against this war. If America persists with the imperialist dictatorship bullying attitude it will definetly result in the weakning our nation. Bush is not thinking about future generations. The only thing he and croonies want is the natural resources that can be exploited with the ousting of Saddam. It is morally wrong for Bush to propose sending off many American children to die and kill in the name OIL! How can he proclaim to be a loyal American when he is continues the erode the civil liberties of the American people in the name of war on terrorism. What the hell happened to Ossama Bin Laden? Why is the Bush administration so reluctant to really investigate the collapse of World Com and Enron? Thousands of people died on 9/11 and the Bush adminstration is doing a horrible job of telling the American people what really happened. It is time for the American people to wake up and look at what is taking place in the white house. TREASON! In 1991 Bush, Sr. said the persian gulf war was ushering in the new world order! What the president is currently doing is advancing a One World Government Doctrine instead of the constitution. Terrorist do not hate Americans because of our freedoms, the hate us because of injust foreign policies. Bush seems to think that America is not bound by international law and that we have the right to impose our way of life on other civilations. Saddam Hussein is not a threat, Bush, Wolfwitz, Rumsfield, Rice are a threat to the American people and future generations.

    Tiffany Houston
    IL

  • Thursday September 26, 2002 at 10:54 pm
    Promoting disarmament and enforcing peace through sanctions regimes in the nuclear age is not yet an approach so firmly estbalished that it can be safely abused. In principle, all sovereign states have the right to develop whatever weapons they wish. Iraq has complied at least in part with the embargoes, inspections and arms-destruction programs imposed on it, even though other countries (e.g. India, Pakistan) have recently produced nuclear weapons without facing serious adverse international reaction. If that compliance (albeit imperfect) is not rewarded but suddenly penalized by "pre-emptive" attack, might not other countries reason in future that such compliance is futile, serving only to "soften up" their capacity for self-defense so that they can later be attacked anyway? The rationale of pre-emptive force is at odds with the international community's future ability successfully to promote disarmament and enforce sanctions where and when they are truly necessary. Pre-emptive force is not just illegal but self-defeating: it will engender more future dangers than the present danger it would ostensibly defuse. James Nolan, J.D. New York

    James Nolan
    New York

  • Friday September 27, 2002 at 12:55 am
    Our international melodrama continues.
    British PM Tony Blair presented his evidence of Iraq's terminal danger, while a serving British Army general publicly opposed a war.

    This new "Quartet" (U.S., Russia, EU, and UN arbitrating) approach to resolving the Israel/Palestine Gordian Knot shows promise -- so much so that both the Israelis and Palestinians are doing everything they can to keep things heated up. With the U.S. and Russia half the group, the Israelis should be reassured.

    Unhappily, much of the support and sympathy re-won by Bush's powerful UN speech was immediately lost after our kneejerk rejection of Saddam Hussein's offer to accept UN inspections. (Presumably, this was done by the White House, without bothering to consult the State Dept.) Even if Hussein's offer was bogus or inadequate, it raised international hopes and the Admin. should have paused to reassure world opinion that we were examining it thoroughly instead of just stonewalling it like our immediate rejection made it seem. Life is timing, and the Bush Admin.'s seems to be 180-out.

    Again, the Commonwealth Club proves to be a principal forum nationally, not just on the West Coast, with Gore's historic speech. Not only did Gore speak up for the rule of (international) law, he sundered himself from Iraq war mongerers (Hillary) Clinton and Lieberman. Coupled with Daschle's savage counterattack against Bush and his Iraq war supporters (like HC and JL) on the Senate floor, the Democrat Party has been given a chance to cleanse itself of the Clinton apparatchiks. (The political fates of R. Reich and J. Reno are additional inspiration.)

    And now C. Rice and D. Rumsfeld are claiming there is a tie between Iraq and El Qaida, after all. WHO are we to believe?
    Wouldn't Blair have used this in his white paper? And don't we still have our shared-intelligence agreement with the British? Is the source of this revelatory intel the Israelis??
    GW Bush has lied before -- claiming during his campaign that he would go with the Kyoto Treaty -- for political expediency. To save his Admin (and himself) from questions about Sep. 11 and the anthrax attacks, would he lie again?
    I urge Congress to table this resolution, so that all this (past and present) can be thoroughly investigated, before we go charging off, so lemminglike. If Hussein is guilty and/or does something sufficiently stupid/vicious, the resolution can always be passed when that time and proof is come

    Lou Coatney
    Macomb IL USA

  • Saturday October 05, 2002 at 11:19 am
    God, so much disinformation, so little time. let me try: 1- Bush I told Saddam that he understood that he needed to replenish his treasury after the Iran Iraqui war and that he (Bush) would not interfere if he invded Iraq. "On July 25, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, met with Saddam Hussein and indicated sympathy for his desire to raise oil prices to rebuild his country after the war with Iran. Glaspie told him that the United States had "no opinion" on the border dispute and other disputes with Kuwait.[4] On the same day, the U.S. State Department stopped the Voice of America from broadcasting an editorial stating that the United States was "strongly committed to supporting its friends in the Gulf" (Newsweek, October 1, 1990, pp. 24-25). On July 31, in a talk on Capitol Hill, John Kelly, the assistant secretary of state for Middle Eastern affairs, stated that the United States had no formal commitment to a defense of Kuwait (in Ridgeway 1991, pp. 57-58). He also stated that the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq was "a hypothetical," which "I can't get into" (Ridgeway 1991, pp. 57-58). Finally, Kelly stated that events since February had "raised new questions about Iraqi intentions in the region," but that "sanctions would decrease the [U.S.] government's ability to act as a restraining influence" (Economist, Sept. 29, 1990, pp. 19-21). The scene was set for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/gulfwar1.htm

    Contu Macious
    USA

  • Saturday October 05, 2002 at 11:25 am
    Dissinformation Item #2. Saddam gassed the kurds" This item of disinformation was debunked by a Pentagon report commissioned by Congress but which they have chosen to ignore: "Now I have come across the 1990 Pentagon report, published just prior to the invasion of Kuwait. Its authors are Stephen C. Pelletiere, Douglas V. Johnson II, and Leif R. Rosenberger, of the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The report is 93 pages, but I append here only the passages having to do with the aforementioned issue: Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East Excerpt, Chapter 5 U.S. SECURITY AND IRAQI POWER Having looked at all of the evidence that was available to us, we find it impossible to confirm the State Department痴 claim that gas was used in this instance. To begin with there were never any victims produced. International relief organizations who examined the Kurds -- in Turkey where they had gone for asylum -- failed to discover any. Nor were there ever any found inside Iraq. The claim rests solely on testimony of the Kurds who had crossed the border into Turkey, where they were interviewed by staffers of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee." http://www.polyconomics.com/searchbase/04-07-98.html

    Contu Macious
    USA

  • Saturday October 05, 2002 at 11:37 am
    Disinformation item #3. Saddam threw out the UN weapons "inspectors". They were NOT inspectors - they were CIA agents:United States officials said today that American spies had worked undercover on teams of United Nations arms inspectors ferreting out secret Iraqi weapons programs.... By being part of the team, the Americans gained a first-hand knowledge of the investigation and a protected presence inside Baghdad." A day later, a followup Times story pointed out: "Reports that the United States used the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq as cover for spying on Saddam Hussein are dimming any chances that the inspection system will survive." http://www.mediamonitors.net/solomon89.html

    Contu Macious
    USA

  • Monday October 07, 2002 at 12:56 am
    There have been good and bad:
    1. When the UN announced inspection arrangements had been made with Iraq, the Admin. did not immediately denounce them as inadequate, but waited 24 hours while pursuing (diplomatically) free-er inspections with the UN and other nations. Our timing is improving, and the UN seems more responsive to our concerns.
    If China, France, and/or Russia veto our UN resolution if it has the support of the UN, then they will be the renegades ... not us.
    2. After their meeting with the President, Russian foreign and defense ministers Igor and Sergey Ivanov emerged from the White House as elated as cats turned loose in a sardine factory. Did the President offer them(/Russia) Georgia in return for their agreement to our attacking Iraq? (And why not Mississippi instead?)
    3. The gun dealer from whom Robert Goldstein got his weapons of personal destruction is being prosecuted for allegedly selling them to him illegally. This is a good thing.
    4. Britain alleges the IRA stole some intelligence reports in Northern Ireland and is raiding Sinn Fein offices, which portends renewed killings and tragedy there ... or did the President promise Tony Blair and the British Conservatives Northern Ireland, in return for their support of the war??
    5. I see that Iraq is now (even) willing to allow surprise inspections of Saddam's presidential palaces. (If inspecting includes the presidential harem, where may I apply?) Now what is the Admin. going to be left with, as an excuse to attack? ??
    6. Anti-war protesters finally seem to be starting to mobilize, over here. Strange, that the Left seemed to have such trouble deciding which side of the Iraq attack issue to be on and to get going.

    Any official in the Administration who knew beforehand of the Sep. 11 attacks and did/said nothing, so that they could happen, should be tried as an accessory to multiple homicide (and for treason) and be (if convicted) hanged.
    Any member of the Admin. who has since tried to cover this up (if that did happen) can be presumed to have done so for the Country's sake -- the social and political implosion could well destroy us -- and should not be judged too harshly ... especially after some of the things our media allowed the Clinton regime got away with.

    Meanwhile, just to put all this in proportion, the icecaps are melting.

    Lou Coatney
    Macomb Illinois USA

  • Monday October 07, 2002 at 11:16 pm
    Generally speaking, the world has punished Iraq adequately. Iraq had been suffering alot not only physically but emotionally. Iraq is free now. Iraq has every right to do anything within the country including to produce any weapons to protect the country from any invasion. The position of Iraq in the world now is equivalent to USA, Rusia etc. USA should be shameful to the world to invade a country who has no means to defend itself. Mike Tyson was never asked to fight against Prince Nassim because they are not matching. So, in this case, UN should protect any invasion against Iraq sovereignity and not otherwise. Eight years for inspectors to be in Iraq is too long. UN at that time should give three years period to the inspectors to conduct all activities. The inspectors could have done something else if they spend more time than it should be. Iraq government has every right to deport the team of inspectors if they are found to be deviated from original mission and they do not have the right to come back to Iraq because they are the one who have breached the agreement (They were the undercover agents for USA). Iraq who suffers from the economic blockage entitles to receive international aids and not to punished them. What is clear now that USA and other western countries are very hostile against Islamic countries. One must consider that under the strict Islamic teaching, if USA hits one Muslim, USA is considered to hit the whole Muslim. The time will come for that. Retaliation in Islam to some extend is mandatory as life for life, eye for eye and so on to protect Muslim interest. USA must consider that if every Islamic country decides to withdraw from UN and to form an organisition to take care its members economically and millitarily, USA will disappear from the world map permeanatly as Roman and Persian Empires did. USA will be disintegrated. Fighting for the God is everything. Islam as everybody knows is boarderless and raceless a way of life and it refers to one centralised government for the whole world. UN what can be seen now is hopless. It become a tool for its permenant members to achieve their goals. Think about it and act fairly to other as you wish other to act on you. The mouse has always forgotten the mousetrap but the mousetrap has never forgotten the mouse. If you hurt someone you may have forgotten him, but he will never have forgotten you. Wassalam.

    Mohammed
    NGO
    Malaysia

  • Tuesday October 08, 2002 at 6:58 am

    Mohammed NGO Malaysia said "USA must consider that if every Islamic country decides to withdraw from UN and to form an organisition to take care its members economically and millitarily, USA will disappear from the world map permeanatly as Roman and Persian Empires did. USA will be disintegrated"

    Mohamad, your statement above especially in italics has NO FOUNDATION whatsover.

    The Muslim states have OIC. If you check that web site, which you would be familar with; you will find their various programmes. None of it approximates what you envisage and consider.

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Tuesday October 08, 2002 at 7:24 am

    Mohammed NGO Malaysia said "Islam as everybody knows is boarderless and raceless a way of life and it refers to one centralised government for the whole world."

    Mohamad, there is NO reality to your statement "Islam ..refers to one centralised government for the whole world."

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Tuesday October 08, 2002 at 10:25 am

    Mohammed NGO Malaysia

    The key today is the World Trade Organisation, information technology and liberalisation of trade , services , intellectual property rights. It all points to the attempts, by all states, including Islamic states, successful , partially successful , unsuccessful, to integrate into the world economy.

    Islamicists also have to contend these global forces today.

    Thus any trend of seclusionism is retrogressive and counter productive. It is the facing of these challenges in a positive and integrative way that will bring up the developing states, Islamic states included.

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Tuesday October 08, 2002 at 11:30 pm
    Yi Ling Malaysia, Thanks to your valid arguments. However, understanding Islamic principle is the key to my above comments. Islam is borderless because the Islamic principle stands on the principle of worship oneness of God (Allah) and fully abide rules brought by the Prophet Mohammad who is the latest God's Messenger. All borders that exist now is human created and it can be abolished any time and it can be further divided any time as people wish (Germany, Irian Jaya). Western people and some Muslims do not understand Islam in the way that it should be.To understand Islam and to embrace Islam is two difference matters. Sometime people embrace religion but they do not understand and vice-versa.[for your information Islam came to this world as earliest as the first man, Adam was created, it could be million years ago. There were altogather about 25,000 prophets. Prophet Adam, Noah....Moses..Jesus Crist and Our Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (last prophet) were the series of God's messengers sent to human being during their time to embrace Islam. Judaism and Kristianity originally were Islam. But over the period, thousand years, deviation had taken place (The God Stated in Quran). Quran is the unique documents as the God promises to keep it originality and it is proved that its originality is maintained (tested by a computerised programme). That why some of them (Christian/Judaism teaching/principle/stories available in Bibles) are still similar to Quran today. Other religions are all human created (the line of authority could no be easily traced). The completeness of Islamic teachings, from worship to God, family matters, ruling a country/world tell us everything. Strictly speaking, every human being lives today has no right in the eyes of God to follow other religon except Islam and the God will not accept other religions(stated in Quran). The most probable reason that I can think (my opinion) is that every one of us today lives during the Mohammaden time. The Jesus Crist's time was over)]. Back to our original discussion, I would stess that any invasion is probihited by law of the universe (Islamic laws) except invasion for the God's will is permissable. Then what is the God's will? (i.e. equivalent act of retaliation (Comments made by Osama when he was under payroll of CIA make sense), to ask people to embrace Islam voluntarily, people who declare war against Islam etc). THe issue here not the issue of voiliting USA or international law but voiliting the law of universe as the whole (Islamic Laws). .

    Mohammed
    NGO
    Malaysia.

  • Wednesday October 09, 2002 at 10:43 am
    Mohammed had better explain some of his sweeping statements. 1. "Islam came to this world with the first man." How?. Islam is the religion of Muslims who are the people who believe in Mohammed. So, how did Islam arrive with the first man. This appears to be the idea put forth by some Muslims. In my 60+ years in Malaysia(a predominantly Muslim country), I have not heard of this until recently. One Muslim told me that the term "Muslims" refer to anyone who believe in God, not just the followers of Mohammad! Is this a political move or it correct, factually. I would object to that myself, just as Mohammad would surely object if all believers in God were called Christians, or Buddhists for that matter, since Buddhism existed long before Prophet Mohammad came to this world. 2. "Islam is borderless." All religions are borderless. What is important is that each should realise that the other religions all preach the same thing, but using different tongues and approaches. In Malaysia, all the religions have formed an inter-faith society, so that they can meet and exchange ideas and discuss spiritual matters, except Islam. The Islamists have remained aloof. Our Prime Minister has said something to the effect that the Muslims in Malaysia are not quite ready to discuss freely, spiritual and other matters. The real reason is that the situation in Malaysia is not quite understood by the rest of the world. Malays(i.e. Muslims) are deemed to be "superior, racially and religiously". This is the foundation of UMNO's political belief(UMNO is the predominant Malay(Muslim) political party). There is no freedom of religon among the Malays. They have to be Muslims from birth. Recently there was a proposal to put to death, Muslims who forsake their religion. Apparently there were some Malay Muslims who have given up their religion to become Christians. So you can see that Race and Religion is very strongly intertwined among the Malays. They fear that apostasis will lead to a weakening of their political power as well as their religious beliefs. But unity among them, in racial and religious terms, have not led to anything substantial. The Prime Minister himself have berated the Malays for their failure to be "successful" without government help. Many examples can be read in the newspapers and will not be repeated here. The point I want to make is: Can a Muslim country give ALL its citizens equal opportunity and equal rights. Can Mohammad cite Muslim countries which practise this basic humanity requirements? 3."All Muslims are brothers. Strike one and you strike all". This is reason why USA and Canada have issued new visa requirements for Muslim countries. All these countries are accusing the USA of racial targetting. What do you expect them(USA) to do, when you say that all Muslims are one. If Muslims all over the world do not wish to be targetted, then they, in the first place, should not tell the world that all Muslims are one. They must be clear what their stand is, objectively. What is wrong cannot be condoned; just because the murderer is a Muslim does not mean that all Muslims in the world should come to his support and proclaim him innocent. 4."Everyone alive today has no right to follow any religion except Islam". What kind of extremist thinking is this. What NGO do you belong to? Is this the kind of Muslims that Malaysia is producing? 5. "Muslims going to war is fighting for God". Mohammad must be deluded. He is using God's name in vain.

    Ali Muthu Wong
    Malaysia.

  • Wednesday October 09, 2002 at 11:58 am

    This is the Malaysian Corner Time! :- )

    Mohamad NGO Malaysia, I was trying to draw to your attention, the distinction between ideology and worldly reality. Your further comments of Tuesday October 08, 2002 at 11:30 pm are ideological statements, not worldy reality. This is not to say that for a believer the particular ideology is not his personal reality and his personal worldview of the world. As there are 1.2 Billion Muslims in the world today, it could be the shared ideological reality of 1.2 billion Muslims. When one Muslim meets another and converses in the manner you have done, it would be more acceptable, than in a mixed audience here where many do not share your ideological reality. You then do not come across well to a mixed audience and give a poor impression of yourself as a Muslim in Malaysia. It then invites remarks like 的s this the kind of Muslims that Malaysia is producing?

    When ANYONE is deeply immersed in an ideology, they usually fail to realize that it is an ideological view point and think it is the sole and only reality. It is part of the deepening and maturing process to be more open minded and tolerant of others and recognise the difference between ideology and worldly reality.

    When we debate here, we usually refer to worldly reality and not perceived spiritual reality. Thus you would have to equip yourself with the arguments of worldly reality. A case in point is the ban of Islamic party Refah in Turkey. If you refer to the minority judgement that decided against the ban, at http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/kirchenrecht/nomokanon/urteile/eughmr010731.htm see pages 38-44 , then you will grasp the kind of acceptable manner that the legal counsel of the Refah Islamic party, puts forward in a court of law. Learn another discourse, the western discourse to put forth your arguments, and you will come across better and you will also gradually come to realise and appreciate the difference between worldly reality and ideology.

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Wednesday October 09, 2002 at 12:13 pm

    Ali Muthu Wong of Malaysia,

    I beg to disagree with your averment that "Malays(i.e. Muslims) are deemed to be "superior, racially and religiously". This is the foundation of UMNO's political belief(UMNO is the predominant Malay(Muslim) political party)."

    As there is POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION among natives of other countries, so there is for the native Malays (derivative of Malaya and later Malaysia).

    It is another issue, outside the debate here, whether POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION works elsewhere as in Malaysia.

    On your query, "The point I want to make is: Can a Muslim country give ALL its citizens equal opportunity and equal rights." it may be helpful to refer to the ECHR majority judgement that decided for the ban,of an Islamic party in Turkey at http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/kirchenrecht/nomokanon/urteile/eughmr010731.htm , see pages 28-36 para 64-84

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Wednesday October 09, 2002 at 9:50 pm
    Yet MORE evidence that it was Iran NOT Iraq that caused the death of the Kurds:>Well, I?m afraid that the CIA?s report published last Friday, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publi cations/iraq_wmd/Iraq_Oct_2002.htm, pulls the props from under not only your story, but much of the conventional wisdom about Saddam Hussein?s use of poison gas If you check the CIA report, you will find they say there is only evidence that ?hundreds? were killed at Halabja in March 1988, and that only mustard gas and a nerve agent was used by Iraq. Just a few days earlier the NYTimes casually noted that Iraq had killed 5,000 of its citizens by dropping poison gas on them. The CIA now seems to be fully supporting the U.S. Army War College report of April 1990, as the Kurds who died at Halabja were killed by a cyanide-based blood agent, not mustard gas or a nerve agent. Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, who co-authored the 1990 report, also notes the CIA does not mention any Iraqi use of chemical weapons (CW) after March 1988. It has been conventional wisdom that it won the war with Iran with extensive use of CW. As you well know, Jeffrey, Pelletiere has never believed those stories. You simply chose to believe the people you talked to at Human Rights Watch, who now have egg all over their faces. The one reporter who took Pelletiere seriously was Roger Trilling of The Village Voice, who wrote ?Fighting Words,? in the May 1-7 Voice. The piece is worth reading in its entirety, but in these closing graphs he does quote you after discussing the War College report: Most of the report's chapter on chemical weapons is devoted to Iraqi military tactics, but one sentence stands out: "Blood agents [i.e., cyanogen chloride] were allegedly responsible for the most infamous use of chemicals in the war--the killing of Kurds at Halabjah. Since the Iraqis have no history of using these two agents--and the Iranians do--we conclude that the Iranians perpetrated this attack." (The report is available at ww w.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/war/docs/3203/. http://www.polyconomics.com/showarticle.asp?articleid=2243 >>>>>>>>>

    Contumacious
    USA

  • Wednesday October 09, 2002 at 9:51 pm
    Yet MORE evidence that it was Iran NOT Iraq that caused the death of the Kurds:>Well, I?m afraid that the CIA?s report published last Friday, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publi cations/iraq_wmd/Iraq_Oct_2002.htm, pulls the props from under not only your story, but much of the conventional wisdom about Saddam Hussein?s use of poison gas If you check the CIA report, you will find they say there is only evidence that ?hundreds? were killed at Halabja in March 1988, and that only mustard gas and a nerve agent was used by Iraq. Just a few days earlier the NYTimes casually noted that Iraq had killed 5,000 of its citizens by dropping poison gas on them. The CIA now seems to be fully supporting the U.S. Army War College report of April 1990, as the Kurds who died at Halabja were killed by a cyanide-based blood agent, not mustard gas or a nerve agent. Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, who co-authored the 1990 report, also notes the CIA does not mention any Iraqi use of chemical weapons (CW) after March 1988. It has been conventional wisdom that it won the war with Iran with extensive use of CW. As you well know, Jeffrey, Pelletiere has never believed those stories. You simply chose to believe the people you talked to at Human Rights Watch, who now have egg all over their faces. The one reporter who took Pelletiere seriously was Roger Trilling of The Village Voice, who wrote ?Fighting Words,? in the May 1-7 Voice. The piece is worth reading in its entirety, but in these closing graphs he does quote you after discussing the War College report: Most of the report's chapter on chemical weapons is devoted to Iraqi military tactics, but one sentence stands out: "Blood agents [i.e., cyanogen chloride] were allegedly responsible for the most infamous use of chemicals in the war--the killing of Kurds at Halabjah. Since the Iraqis have no history of using these two agents--and the Iranians do--we conclude that the Iranians perpetrated this attack." (The report is available at ww w.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/war/docs/3203/. http://www.polyconomics.com/showarticle.asp?articleid=2243 >>>>>>>>>

    Contumacious
    USA

  • Saturday October 12, 2002 at 9:37 am
    Yu Ling is not in touch with the political reality in Malaysia. In 1957, its was decided that the Malays should have some form of assistance to catch up with the other races. This however, has become entrenched in the Malay psyche as a right, not to be encroached upon. Hence you see only Malays being employed in the civil service, army, police and air force. Even in the private sector it is by law compulsory to give 33% of the equity of the company to Malays. There are numerous examples of how the Malays have given themselves "the wealth of the country" but I won't into them here. I point I want to tell Yu Ling is that Dr Mahathir when he went to talk to the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party of Malaysia, he talked of achieving "ketuanan bangsa" and "ketuanan ugama", which means "racial superiority" and "religious superiority". Fortunately the talks to achieve these aims did not succeed. The special rights of the Malays were supposed to end in 1990 but UMNO used its clout to continue Malays without a time limit. Hence you see Malay students going to USA, UK or Australia on scholarships accompanied by 7 to 8 members of his family, staying in 4/5 star hotels. A Chinese family will only to the airport to send off their son/daughter. What's the point of saying all this? The Muslim/Malays will use religion to perpetuate their rule over the other races in Malaysia, so that they can carve out the wealth of the country for themselves. People like Mohammad, religiously narrow minded and bigoted who form the voting masses and also provide the future leadership for the Malays.

    Ali Muthu Wong
    Malaysia

  • Saturday October 12, 2002 at 9:38 am
    Yu Ling is not in touch with the political reality in Malaysia. In 1957, its was decided that the Malays should have some form of assistance to catch up with the other races. This however, has become entrenched in the Malay psyche as a right, not to be encroached upon. Hence you see only Malays being employed in the civil service, army, police and air force. Even in the private sector it is by law compulsory to give 33% of the equity of the company to Malays. There are numerous examples of how the Malays have given themselves "the wealth of the country" but I won't into them here. I point I want to tell Yu Ling is that Dr Mahathir when he went to talk to the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party of Malaysia, he talked of achieving "ketuanan bangsa" and "ketuanan ugama", which means "racial superiority" and "religious superiority". Fortunately the talks to achieve these aims did not succeed. The special rights of the Malays were supposed to end in 1990 but UMNO used its clout to continue Malays without a time limit. Hence you see Malay students going to USA, UK or Australia on scholarships accompanied by 7 to 8 members of his family, staying in 4/5 star hotels. A Chinese family will only to the airport to send off their son/daughter. What's the point of saying all this? The Muslim/Malays will use religion to perpetuate their rule over the other races in Malaysia, so that they can carve out the wealth of the country for themselves. People like Mohammad, religiously narrow minded and bigoted who form the voting masses and also provide the future leadership for the Malays.

    Ali Muthu Wong
    Malaysia

  • Saturday October 12, 2002 at 12:35 pm

    Malaysia is ranked top 20-30 in terms of competitiveness in the world, and World Bank classifies her as an upper middle income developing country.

    With China's entry into the World Trade Organisation, some businesses in Malaysia have relocated to China. Previously foreign investment coming to South East Asia was shared between Malaysia and her neighbour. Some of that expected foreign capital has now re routed to China.

    Malaysia faces challenges of competition, especially her 40,000 small medium entreprises, who together with the major corporations and multi national corporations, form the back bone of the economy.

    So anon. Ali Muthu Wong, it is how Malaysia uses AFTA (Asean Free Trade) that will make Malaysian market of 23 million, become an Asean 10 (10 members of Asean) market of 500 million, that will then enhance Malaysia's industries and businesses.

    I am a citizen who has lived in Malaysia for more than 40 years with a few years abroad (about 20 years Ali Muthu Wong's junior), and would and do participate in efforts to raise the competitiveness of Malaysia in the face of stiff global competition , so that Malaysia can maintain or improve her citizens' standard of living and be even more competitive.

    Thus anon. Ali Muthu Wong, have a vision of a brighter future and recognise the challenges and opportunities of the new global and regional forces.

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Saturday October 12, 2002 at 1:03 pm
    Convergence to war: President Bush and his team clearly and effectively won a very decisive political victory, achieving unconditional Congressional (if not public) support for a war against Iraq.

    Now, will he use it wisely?

    Meanwhile, the Iraqis are reported to be reneging on their commitment to the UN to open up their country to inspection -- to the (also reported) exasperation of (UN Security Council veto-holding) France and Russia.

    If we can believe these reports from our media, Saddam Hussein apparently was just making such promises only for their effect on U.S./world public opinion, after all. Or he now believes we will attack regardless of the UN -- that war is inevitable -- and wants to prepare his defenses in secret. Of course, this gives the Admin. the justification it maneuvered Congress into agreeing to, for war, and a properly conceived/prepared/ executed takeover of Iraq could be over in only a few days with minimal U.S.(/British?) casualties.

    Again, if the above is true, Hussein has kicked a stool out from under those of us opposing attacking/taking Iraq without adequate justification. He proves himself to be as untrustworthy as the Admin. has painted him. Saddam should have instead put his faith in the UN (and international law) and world opinion, but such trust is not in a militarist's nature.

    Nonetheless, a Sep. 11 justification for the attack remains unproven -- to the rest of the world, especially Muslims -- and our attack could still start something far bigger. I see where a Lebanese mullah has publicly taken issue with our Rev. Jerry Falwell's claim that (the original) Muhamed was a "terrorist." (This reminds me of Northern Irish Protestant extremist Rev. Ian Paisley's baiting of Catholics, in the 1960s ... and what that has produced. Falwell deeply embarrassed our country by his inadequacy to his 1995 debate with New Zealand PM David Lange, about "nuclear free zones" -- this, after SecDef Caspar Weinberger's brilliant refutation of E.P. Thompson's anti-U.S.-deterrence position, there, the year before.)

    Islam is an aggressive, warrior's religion based on force for law and rule and on fanatical doctrine for belief. While it is true Muhamed and his sons and followers put many Christians and other "unbelievers" to the sword and terrorized others with the prospect of that, such methods were typical of the times (and even of many Christian rulers). Falwell's calling M. a "terrorist" imperils Christians everywhere and is sewing a planetary whirlwind.

    We've got runaway petro-use and melting icecaps, and these clowns are trying to restoke religious hatred and war?! Grim comedy indeed. Read Subscriptions Search Post Message

    Lou Coatney
    Macomb IL USA

  • Wednesday October 30, 2002 at 10:37 am

    The Agence France Presse reported on Tuesday 29 October 2002, inter alia, that: "... Earlier this month, CIA Director Geroge Tenet caused a stir here by predicting that, if cornered, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was more likely to resort to weapons of destruction - the very outcome a proposed US invasion of Iraq is meant to ward off..."

    CIA stands for US "Central Intelligence Agency".

    Yi Ling
    Malaysia

  • Tuesday February 18, 2003 at 8:35 pm
    A fascinating and illumating article. Thank you for adding an informed voice to this discussion at a critical time. Those interested in reading more might wish to consult http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/ , a primer on international law, the United Nations, and US plans to attack Iraq.

    Elaine Josephus
    United Kingdom

  • Friday March 28, 2003 at 4:53 am
    Dear Friend, I am a patriotic citizen of the United States of America. I love my country and would die for it. I cannot condon nor endorse what the US is doing and has done to Iraq, it's people and to those in the Middle East whose lives are also in peril as a result of this war. I am a Christian, God fearing who maintains the right to life and liberty for all men on God's earth. I am an environmentalist who respects the earth. How can my government ignore the millions of Americans who feel as I do? We are being slammed with lies and propagranda here in the US. Those that support the war are under the impression that Iraq was responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center and that we will be attacked again if we do not take action. The President has lead us to believe that Iraq is evil, has WMD and will use them on America and its allies. Where is the evidence. It has been said that the first casualty of war is truth. I feel that our government has lied to us.

    Melinda Sue Wallace
    mother
    Utah, United States of America

  • Tuesday June 03, 2003 at 1:12 pm
    To my opinion we should consider the case from the point of view of clear sovereignty misuse commited by Iraqy leaders. Here is the english extract of my ( mch larger) article which is going to be published in June in Saint-Petersurg. I would be greatly interested in common and scientific response to the idea. Thank u Andrey E. Zuev Faculty of law Saint-Petersburg State University Post praguation researcher Barrister The private concept of trust and the international law One of the problems faced by the contemporary international public order is the abuse of the sovereign discretion by national governments put into power via technically democratic technique. Based on the UN Statute clauses considering the sovereignty as an absolute right some national governments misuse this right to the detriment of the their own people and against the international public order. This situation is further complicated by the increasing contradiction and cultural distance between the annuity holder nations on one hand and the annuity payer nations on the other hand, the object of the annuity being of course the natural resources situated on the sovereign territory. The author of the article uses Robert Nozick痴 terms treating the natural resources as 砥nowned objects, being in natural trust of the national governments which are only entitled by the public international order (which the national orders make integral part of) to use the resources in the advantage of the people of the country and of the international civil and cultural turn over. According to the author national governments abusing their sovereignty commit the breach of natural trust and therefore expose themselves to the authority of the inland nation and of the international public order conveyors. The author states that the USA in Iraq are playing the role of the international public order conveyer which possibility arises from the inside American public order based on the concept of trust and good faith presumptions. The earliest roots of contemporary theory of the international law lay in the scripts by Hugo Grotius who stood for the possibility of a public just war led by a sovereignty against private persons. Today痴 history shows by many examples that such a war is very much possible and would be just as the international public order conveyer does not aim at the sovereignty termination of the nation in trouble but is only targeting the happened sovereignty abuse effects. Finally the humanity arrived at the point the no tyranny can feel secured by the absolute sovereignty right and the international community has to work out concrete mechanisms of sovereignty abuse neutralization, the trust concept seeming to be a ready to use tool for the purpose.

    Andrey E. Zuev
    Department of international law SPb State UNiversity researcher
    RUssian Federation

  • Saturday September 06, 2003 at 8:43 pm


    Correction
    Correction

  • Thursday October 16, 2003 at 9:30 am
    If Iraq had WMD would this legitimise the attack on Iraq? If there was evidence that Iraq was aiming to attack the US then would this result in legalising their attack? As quoted by Ms Cohn, "is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories, or possessions or its armed forces. At whose discretion does the above lie? Is not the phrase National Emergency subjective. Thus implying on this premise that had the President felt a threat, be it because of WMD or even because of words of incitement made by Saddam Hussein or his ministers, with effect of urging and encouraging other people to attack the US and hence this too in itself is a declaration of war against the US? For we have I am all sure heard if not read extracts of Hussein痴 loathing of Bush and American globalisation and his wish to see both annihilated. In English law the act of Incitement carries with it a heavy penalty. Whilst it would be wrong to prosecute all those who speak their mind for fear of damaging freedoms, does the former Iraqi leader fall within this ambit? Moreover, would it not be enough with knowledge of Hussein痴 resentment towards the US to work on the premise that he may not have WMD, but does he have the necessary funds to cause a threat to the US, is he willing to cause a threat i.e. would he cause a threat, if the answer to both these points is yes then US action becomes legal. Furthermore with reference to Cohn痴 early paragraphs, what then are we to make of the US's entry into World War two surly then they did not meet any of the above criteria to enter war? Food for thought!

    Joseph Zekaria
    Law School at the University of Birmingham
    UK

  • Thursday October 16, 2003 at 9:32 am
    If Iraq had WMD would this legitimise the attack on Iraq? If there was evidence that Iraq was aiming to attack the US then would this result in legalising their attack? As quoted by Ms Cohn, "is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories, or possessions or its armed forces. At whose discretion does the above lie? Is not the phrase National Emergency subjective. Thus implying on this premise that had the President felt a threat, be it because of WMD or even because of words of incitement made by Saddam Hussein or his ministers, with effect of urging and encouraging other people to attack the US and hence this too in itself is a declaration of war against the US? For we have I am all sure heard if not read extracts of Hussein痴 loathing of Bush and American globalisation and his wish to see both annihilated. In English law the act of Incitement carries with it a heavy penalty. Whilst it would be wrong to prosecute all those who speak their mind for fear of damaging freedoms, does the former Iraqi leader fall within this ambit? Moreover, would it not be enough with knowledge of Hussein痴 resentment towards the US to work on the premise that he may not have WMD, but does he have the necessary funds to cause a threat to the US, is he willing to cause a threat i.e. would he cause a threat, if the answer to both these points is yes then US action becomes legal. Furthermore with reference to Cohn痴 early paragraphs, what then are we to make of the US's entry into World War two surly then they did not meet any of the above criteria to enter war? Food for thought!

    Joseph Zekaria
    School of law, at the Univeristy of Birmingham
    UK

  • Thursday October 23, 2003 at 11:42 am
    Marjorie Cohn has failed to define the word preemptive. Until this has been determined not much else can be said.

    Kooshie Tayar
    UK

  • Thursday October 23, 2003 at 11:42 am
    Marjorie Cohn has failed to define the word preemptive. Until this has been determined not much else can be said.

    Kooshie Tayar
    UK

  • Sunday December 14, 2003 at 8:11 pm
    The American mass media especially the most well known media companies like CNN and the Voice of America (VOA)and the Iranian run TV and radio stations in the U.S soil have been in illegal conspiracies with the mass media of every nations includind those which are on the terrorist list of the U.S government over a criminal and internationally known illegal and harmful matter and they continue this illegal conspiracy quite indifferently. By this behavior the American media has been betraying the American people and especially those who were killed or will be killed or injured by terrorists and the families of those who were killed on Sep 11,2001. The conspiracy I will talk about is just one known out of many which must be revealed and disclosed by the help of the American officials like in the CIA and in the homeland security. The full report will be sent to the officials so that the case to be investigated completely and those 層ho do encourage terrorists and criminal behaviors by the enemies of the American people to be punished correspondingly like American people would desire. The American media has been and is encouraging the terrorist regimes like (like even Saddam's media in the past) to remain what they are and to believe what they have been doing is nice and acceptable. All of the activities must be recorded in a book (the justified treason by: alireza naghzgoo) to be published in the U.S so that American people (the most damaged and betrayed) find out about the TRUTH. The American media like the VOA, CNN, CBS, ABC, and many many others (all of them) has become very dangerous for American lives at least and to the opposition groups or persons to terror since they even teach the spies of those regimes which are in the terrorist list of the U.S government how to spy better with a higher technology on their freedom seeking oppositions by teaching them and cooperating with them how to hack computers and to spy on people's computers, how to use spy wares made by them which can not be detected, how to intercept people's phone line conversations by putting their phone conversations on the Internet using their servers, etc. The Internet companies like Netscape and Hotmail and the telephone companies directly help the media in exchange of many things. What other crimes the U.S media does or has done together with terrorists or non terrorists abroad behind the American people's back MUST BE DISCOVERED OFFICIALLY and the American people to know about that completely. Sincerely alireza naghzgoo

    alireza naghzgoo
    none
    Iran

  • Monday February 09, 2004 at 10:39 pm
    well if it is illegal what are they going to do arrest the president of the us and the us joint cheifs of staff and congress... goodluck ever heard of roasty.. if they have a problem with wmd why do they make them and keep them.. double standard here security council members right well its a politically weighted story.. if ANYone actually tried to tell the us they cant all hell would break out and as you can see most nations under threats of being seen as an enemy of the state that has the combined military spending of all other nations on the planet and some pretty heavy long term allies what are you nuts? to actaully think law has more weight over politics these days is a hard pressed debate if that were true politics would be pretty much useless on a national level and people wouldn't have vetos and the security council would be all states and it would be next to redundant its just enforcing hell when utopia is around the corner if people wake up and be responsble for making good choices note I'm not for war I'm for peace isn't that the fundamental of the united nations.

    William Ashley
    Intracircumcordei
    Intracircumcordei

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CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

JURIST Contributing Editor Marjorie Cohn is an associate professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and International Human Rights Law. A news consultant for CBS News and a commentator for Court TV, she has co-authored a book on cameras in the courtroom with former CBS News Correspondent David Dow. Professor Cohn has also published articles about criminal justice, international human rights, U.S. foreign policy and impeachment. She is editor of the National Lawyers Guild Practitioner and is on the Roster of Experts of the Institute for Public Accuracy. A criminal defense attorney at the trial and appellate levels for many years, Professor Cohn was also staff counsel to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. She has lectured at regional, national and international conferences, and was a legal observer in Iran on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

Professor Cohn is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara School of Law.