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[casi] Blair Warned Iraq Regime Chnage War Is Illegal

Dear List,

I have included an article (below)  that was sent to me by a friend.

My question is, what will happen as Blair considers a regime change illegal, when Bush wants it? 
How will the UK help the US with this war? Does anyone think Blair is appeasing the UK by saying it 
is illegal to fight for a regime change, but will support it anyway with the UK's military?

How can the UK join the US in a "fight" against Iraq when it (UK) clearly does not meet eye-to-eye 
on the reasons to justify this war?

~ Anai Rhoads

TONY Blair has been warned by his senior law officers that a war waged to bring about regime change 
in Iraq would be illegal.

Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith and Solicitor-General Harriet Harman say if it pursues a war 
against Iraq Britain could be hauled before the International Court of Justice.

The Financial Times says they have given clear advice that military action with the goal of 
toppling Saddam Hussein would breach the UN charter.

The advice to Mr Blair is that international law permits military action in support of existing UN 
Security Council resolutions requiring Saddam to give up his weapons of mass destruction.

And a new resolution which the US and UK have proposed would make military action to eliminate such 
weapons more acceptable in legal terms.

Mr Blair has always been careful to stress that any military action must take place within the 
framework of international law, and has not followed Mr Bush in stating an explicit policy of 
"regime change" in Iraq.

Meanwhile, George Bush has been criticised by Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Menzies 
Campbell for his apparent determination to remove Saddam, whether or not he has secured 
international backing.

"To be consistent with international law, military action must always be the last resort when all 
other diplomatic and political options have been exhausted," said Mr Campbell.

"The language of the President is increasingly inconsistent with these principles. The more 
bellicose he sounds, the less likely it is that the United Nations will endorse the use of force. 
The President gives the impression of not being willing to take 'yes' for an answer."

As senior Democrats in the United States have already observed, the present rhetoric of the Bush 
Administration seems designed to maximise support in the mid-term elections rather than seeking a 
sensible solution to the problem of Iraq."

(c) Copyright Ananova Ltd 2002, all rights reserved.

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