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Dear Bert & List, Elga has made the same comments I had intended to post and saved the trouble of a longer reply!! I am grateful to Bert for correcting my misquote.. But his interpretation of the term "all neccessary means", which in his learned opinion would mean "including military means", is not based on the Charter of the UN or on legal interpretation by experts.. It is simply based on the reality that the US or any super power can do what it wants regardless of whether or not it is legal... And this is at the heart of the catastrophe in Iraq. In 1991, the US and its Western allies interpreted the term to mean the use of force. In 2003, the US/UK interpreted resolution 1441 as giving them the right to attack Iraq... That is a reality, and it does not make these actions "legal"... Bert makes an amazing statement: the UN is not a pacifist organisation.. That is a bit misleading. Article 2 of the Charter of the UN states: The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles. 1.The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members.... 3.All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. 4.All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. Chapter Vl: Pacific Settlement of Disputes Article 33 states: 1.The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice. 2.The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their disputes by such means. Thus the first and main aim of the UN is to solve problems "peacefully". The UN was not established to use force, rather to prevent its use in conflicts. In its handling of the Kuwait issue, the US prevented any peaceful settlemnent of the crisis and "forced" the world to join it in a war. That subject was extensively investigated by the International War Crimes Tribunal established by Mr. Ramsey Clark and others. Their findings are available at: http://www.deoxy.org/wc/warcrime.htm. I would also suggest reading the article "International Law and War Crimes" by Mr. Michael Ratner, who is an attorney former director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and past president of the National Lawyer's Guild. The article can be found at: http://www.deoxy.org/wc/wc-ilaw.htm I will quote a relevant passage from that article: "And what of this infamous resolution that authorized all necessary means to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait? Did this authorize war? Not by its own terms. The resolution was left specifically vague, stipulating only "all necessary means." Nowhere did it mention war and certainly many other means were readily available for achieving the goals of the UN resolutions. All other means were never exhausted. >From the U.S. standpoint, massively violent war was the first and only option. All other means had to be precluded at any cost. Finally, on the point of the U.S. commission of crimes against peace even if we get over all of the other illegalities and assume that the UN had the authority to authorize war and did so in this case, what did it authorize? It authorized the use of force only to obtain the withdrawal from Kuwait. It certainly never authorized the incursion into, much less the occupation of, Iraq and the total subjection of that nation to the dictates of the UN acting out policies originating in the U.S. government. No one has authorized the U.S. to have even one soldier in Iraq. This is aggression in the classic sense. U.S. forces moved in from the north down to the 36th parallel and have set up camps for displaced Kurds. Nor did the resolution authorize any bombing of Iraq, certainly not the bombing of Baghdad or Basra or the near complete destruction of the economic infrastructure." Bert says: "But, whatever opinions one might have, the historical facts have to be accepted. Many sources would prove that the UN were involved. Such as UNIKOM (= United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission).." These are not "historical facts".. These are realities created by the full control of the UNSC by the US, using money, threats and coercion. And the fact that the UN was involved AFTER the end of the military aggression does not mean that the aggression itself had the blessing or approval of the UNSC. At least China did not vote in favor of that resolution... Bert is either trying to mislead us or himself when he quotes a UN press release. Press Release SG/T/2013, 27 December 1995 refers to the first visit by Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Kuwait in December 1995. The press release includes the following: "The President (of the Kuwaiti National Assembly) pointed out that the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 and its liberation by a multinational coalition in 1991 under the authority of the Security Council had been one of the United Nations success stories." As anyone can see, that was NOT the statement of the Secretary General of the UN nor an official statement by the UN. The President of the Kuwaiti National Assembly is entitled to his own interpretation which is not shared by legal experts... If Bert believes that telling the Coalition (composed of only two countries...) that they are contravening the letter & spirit of the Geneva Conventions is useless, then have we all been wasting our times trying to tell the same "coalition" that their sanctions, bombings and war are illegal and violate international law?? Or should international law be applied ONLY to small and weak states? Why is it alright to make Iraq pay compensations, but not alright to demand compensations from the US/UK for similar (if not worse) violations of International law?? Isn't it our moral duty to struggle to bring justice to an injust world where outlaw states (US/UK) can violate international law without being punished?? greetings Hassan __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Tax Center - File online, calculators, forms, and more http://tax.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk