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Re: [iac-disc.] op/ed: U.S. bombing of Iraq is illegal

One has to exercise some care when interpreting the phrase 'in support of'
(see extract from Colin's e-mail below). In particular, it's worth noting
the following facts regarding the imposition of the southern no-fly zone in
August 1992:

'The formulation used in announcing the no-fly zone made no mention of
defending or protecting Iraqi civilians. According to a Pentagon spokesman,
'The purpose of establishing the no-fly zone - and I would emphasise it's a
no-fly zone, not a security zone - is to ensure the safety of coalition
aircraft monitoring compliance with United Narions Council Resolution 688.'
('Sanctioning Saddam' by Sarah Graham-Brown, page 109).

>The US and UK governments do not, though, claim that 688 gives them the
>right to "bomb at will".  Their formula is somewhat more subtle: the no fly
>zones are actions taken "in support of" 688.  Their actions are as well:
>their rules of engagement only allow force to be used in response to
>threats.  Their rules do, however, allow the response to come at any time
>after the original threat, and to be directed against any element of the
>system that threatened them.  Effectively, of course, this allows them to
>attack Iraq's air defenses "at will".
>Yet this also presents a real problem from the point of view of their
>ability to "support" 688, which called for the Iraqi government to cease
>repression of Iraq's civilian population: I have yet to read of a human
>rights violation in Iraq that has involved the perpetrators targetting
>passing US or British planes with radar.  Thus, the zones seem largely
>incapable of supporting 688, even in spirit.

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