The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [casi] Compensations!

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
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

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

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:

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
"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

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??


Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Tax Center - File online, calculators, forms, and more

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]