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medea
Feb 17, 2003, 10:47 PM
An attack on Iraq designed to topple Saddam Hussein would breach international law and the UN charter, a British former senior military officer warns today.
The warning, from General Sir David Ramsbotham, former commander of one of the army's armoured divisions, reflects widespread disquiet among serving military officers over the lack of clarity about the objectives of an invasion of Iraq.
Writing in the Guardian, he questions the military aims of an attack on Iraq which would involve a "deliberate breach of international law" - a reference to a pre-emptive strike.
"Who is being threatened?" he asks. "Not the United States or the United Kingdom directly. Israel? Israel has already demonstrated that if it feels itself threatened it takes unilateral action, at once and without question, to eliminate that threat."
The threat posed by Iraq falls a long way below that posed by al-Qaida-linked terrorism, North Korea, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Indo-Pakistan arms race, conflict in southern Africa, international crime - including the drug trade - and conservation of the environment, he says, adding: "Iraq is by no means the only potential supplier of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] to terrorists, and has no proven link with the most dangerous of them.
"Furthermore Iraq has been subjected to such a degree of international scrutiny since 1991 that it would be difficult for the Iraqis to take any action that was not almost instantly detected."
Though Tony Blair has not explicitly described regime change as the objective of military action against Iraq, he came close to it at the weekend when he said the brutality of President Saddam's dictatorship provided the moral case for war.
Sir David was adjutant general of the army, responsible for its organisation, during the 1991 Gulf war. Major-General Patrick Cordingley, who then commanded an armoured brigade in that war and is now retired, has said Mr Blair has failed to make a conclusive case for war against Iraq.

indeed.....

macfan
Feb 17, 2003, 10:55 PM
It is a matter of opinion as to whether Saddam is a threat to the British or to the US. He has had his forces shooting at British and US planes unforcing the UN mandated no fly zones pretty much all the time. Were he a little more successful in shooting them down, we would probably have seen a war long before now. It is not, however, a matter of opinion as to whether Saddam is in violation of the UN resolutions that premit the use of force against him. The UN resolutions, along with the "threat" Saddam poses, offer a "legal" reason for removing Saddam. The nature of Saddam's regime provides a "moral" reason for removing him.

alex_ant
Feb 17, 2003, 11:13 PM
We've got more reasons than hairs on our heads. All that's missing now is a "common sense" reason.

MrMacMan
Feb 17, 2003, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant
We've got more reasons than hairs on our heads. All that's missing now is a "common sense" reason.

Let me twist that post and use it for my purpose.

Like we need OIL!

marcsiry
Feb 17, 2003, 11:27 PM
Any confilict in Iraq would be due to that country's refusal to honor the terms of the cease-fire that ended the Gulf War.

If you recall, the elite, million man army of Saddam Hussein's "Mother of All Battles" was busy surrenduring to pilotless drones when the conflict was stopped, unilaterally, in exchange for Iraq's promise to disarm.

Iraq has not kept that promise. Thus, operating under all normal rules of logic, the outcome should be: don't honor the terms of the cease fire, then the fire un-ceases.

However, the Iraq situation has spiraled out of the realm of logic, and into the realm of the United Nations- a body where a (hypothetical) despotic nation of fifty inhabitants has an equal voice on the world stage as Russia, China, and the United States of America.

So now we find ourselves paying lip service to a powerless body that draws most of its authority from the United States itself (none of the other member states save Russia, UK, and Aus have a credible military, the ultimate tool of diplomacy). It's like checking with the PTA before kicking the ass of the school bully who is egging your house.

Countries do what suits them- and, in the case of France and Germany, it suits them to "oppose" the US until the very last minute, when they will suddenly switch sides and become supporters. Happened during the last Gulf War, too.

idkew
Feb 18, 2003, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by MrMacman
Let me twist that post and use it for my purpose.

Like we need OIL!

hummmmmm... what do we spend thousands of dollars a year on that does not stay in the country?

oil is our achilles heel. we NEED to find a subsitute. i believed it to be the reason our economy is not so great right now. why employ middle easterners when we can find an alternative source and give that huge sum of money to americans. what better way to boost an economy than to inject billions upon billions into it for spending.

Backtothemac
Feb 18, 2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by marcsiry
Any confilict in Iraq would be due to that country's refusal to honor the terms of the cease-fire that ended the Gulf War.

If you recall, the elite, million man army of Saddam Hussein's "Mother of All Battles" was busy surrenduring to pilotless drones when the conflict was stopped, unilaterally, in exchange for Iraq's promise to disarm.

Iraq has not kept that promise. Thus, operating under all normal rules of logic, the outcome should be: don't honor the terms of the cease fire, then the fire un-ceases.

However, the Iraq situation has spiraled out of the realm of logic, and into the realm of the United Nations- a body where a (hypothetical) despotic nation of fifty inhabitants has an equal voice on the world stage as Russia, China, and the United States of America.

So now we find ourselves paying lip service to a powerless body that draws most of its authority from the United States itself (none of the other member states save Russia, UK, and Aus have a credible military, the ultimate tool of diplomacy). It's like checking with the PTA before kicking the ass of the school bully who is egging your house.

Countries do what suits them- and, in the case of France and Germany, it suits them to "oppose" the US until the very last minute, when they will suddenly switch sides and become supporters. Happened during the last Gulf War, too.


Beautiful post. I stand and applaud you!

Welcome to Macrumors!

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 18, 2003, 01:37 PM
The UN if they had any balls would just draft up a resolution against Saddam for all his crimes against humanity and go after him as a war criminal. Cant do that though because France and Germany and im sure a few others have been in bed with this murderer and have been making deals with the Butcher of Baghdad.

Kethoticus
Feb 18, 2003, 02:09 PM
Let us not forget this man's crimes against the environment. It seems like all the anti-war supporters (whom I'm sure are in large part environmentalists also) forgot all about that little detail at the end of Gulf War I: the deliberate dumping of oil into the ocean. But they say that the US is the "real" bad guy here. Who'da thunk it?

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 18, 2003, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by Kethoticus
Let us not forget this man's crimes against the environment. It seems like all the anti-war supporters (whom I'm sure are in large part environmentalists also) forgot all about that little detail at the end of Gulf War I: the deliberate dumping of oil into the ocean. But they say that the US is the "real" bad guy here. Who'da thunk it? Good point ! This guy had done things to piss off everyone and all we here is how bad george and his america is! WORLD WAKE UP! America wants Freedom and Peace for all mankind! We just differ in our methods. I Like a direct approach. Saddam is part of the Disease. Remove Saddam and we will all feel better. Look at what He did to the enviroment in the mid east if you refuse to look at what he has done to all those people of his that he has murdered.

Rower_CPU
Feb 18, 2003, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by Kethoticus
Let us not forget this man's crimes against the environment...

Sorry, you lost me when you started talking about Saddam. ;)

idkew
Feb 18, 2003, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by marcsiry
Any confilict in Iraq would be due to that country's refusal to honor the terms of the cease-fire that ended the Gulf War.



agreed... nice post.

people have very short memories these days. it is always "what have you done for me LATELY," instead of thanks for saving our ass in WWI and WWII.

not to mention, since when do i care what a country who systematically murdered millions of people says? those people are still alive who let it happen.

Rower_CPU
Feb 18, 2003, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by idkew
people have very short memories these days. it is always "what have you done for me LATELY," instead of thanks for saving our ass in WWI and WWII.

Speaking of short memories...how about the Revolutionary War? ;)

medea
Feb 18, 2003, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Speaking of short memories...how about the Revolutionary War? ;)
yeah no kidding, France aided the colonists during the revolutionary war by providing military armaments and loans. France's support deepened after the Americans beat the British in the October 1777 Battle of Saratoga, proving themselves committed to independence and worthy of a formal alliance. King Louis XVI approved financial assistance to the American colonists only four days after Franklin and his comrades requested it. During the Revolution, France sent an estimated 12,000 soldiers and 32,000 sailors to the American war effort, the most famous of whom was the Marquis of Lafayette. He became a good friend (ami) with American commander in chief George Washington in the process.....

And I belive our beloved Statue of Liberty came from.....yep the French. :rolleyes:

medea
Feb 18, 2003, 06:27 PM
And as far as Britain goes, do they forget who was your biggest ally during the Falklands "war." As soon as the conflict began, France made available to Britain Super-Etendard and Mirage aircraft - which it had supplied to Argentina - so Harrier pilots could train against them. And the French gave Britain information on the Exocet - which sank the Sheffield and Atlantic Conveyor - showing how to tamper with it.

here's an interesting piece of an article about the war:"A remarkable worldwide operation then ensued to prevent further Exocets being bought by Argentina," Sir John says.
"I authorised our agents to pose as bona fide purchasers of equipment on the international market, ensuring that we outbid the Argentinians, and other agents identified Exocet missiles in markets and rendered them inoperable."
He contrasts the French attitude with America's attempts to find a face-saving deal for President Galtieri, the Argentine dictator."For all Margaret Thatcher's friendship with Ronald Reagan, he remained a West Coast American looking south to Latin America and west to the Pacific. Sometimes I wondered if he even knew or cared where Europe was."

Kethoticus
Feb 19, 2003, 12:19 AM
"But it is rather less selfish and small-minded than that pursued by the US, a country for which the concept "ally" works only, it would appear, in one direction."

Umm... this was meant to be humorous, right?

Rower_CPU
Feb 19, 2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by Kethoticus
Umm... this was meant to be humorous, right?

I think you mean ironic.

Who's it attributed to, medea?

LethalWolfe
Feb 19, 2003, 12:39 AM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
I think you mean ironic.

Who's it attributed to, medea?

Maybe I'm dense but if it's ironic I don't see the irony. Unless it's ironic in an Alanis Morisette<sp?> sorta way...


Lethal

Rower_CPU
Feb 19, 2003, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by LethalWolfe
Maybe I'm dense but if it's ironic I don't see the irony. Unless it's ironic in an Alanis Morisette<sp?> sorta way...

Lethal

Ironic in that the country crying foul (the US) is guilty of exactly what they are charging others of.

Hmmm...maybe hypocritical is a better term.

mikulashek
Feb 19, 2003, 08:55 PM
Hypocritical is a much better term, we are all hypocrites and use our history to suit our needs best. But that is in the past and this is the now, what is best for the world as a whole should not be based on who did what for whom in the past, governments change and so do ideals. It is in my opinion that a war would be a grave mistake, we ended the war with Iraq already once and we should not be so eager to start it up again, some say that we had to go to war before, people were dying, that is not the case right now so there are other options, the U.N. just needs to get a little edgier, if they want to stop this war from happening then they must either oust Saddam or find something that will suit us all.

Perci Mac
Feb 20, 2003, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Speaking of short memories...how about the Revolutionary War? ;)

Wow, going waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back again are we?

Remember this little argument?

And actually the French have taken over sovereign nations (remember Napolean? Hey we're going waaaaaay back).

Great times, great times, yethere (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=18084&perpage=25&pagenumber=10) the arguement still continues..

Rower_CPU
Feb 20, 2003, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Perci Mac
Wow, going waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back again are we?

Remember this little argument?

Great times, great times, yethere (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=18084&perpage=25&pagenumber=10) the arguement still continues..

Indeed...and I've yet to see a well grounded rebuttal. :p