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     Question Forum :  War Without A Second UN Resolution    Date Posted:  14 - March  -  2003




What will happen if George W Bush and Tony Blair decide to go to war with Iraq without a second UN resolution? Is there anyway that we can prosecute Tony Blair or George Bush for war crimes? As Britons, we should be forthright in actively trying to ensure that Tony Blair is made to pay for dragging the whole country into a completely, unnecessary war all for the sake of pleasing the right-wing American government.

Whether with or without a second UN resolution, this war is a premeditated attack and thus unjustified as well as unlawful under the Charter of the UN. The current attempts to secure some sort of second UN resolution are intended to provide a fig leaf of legality to this aggressive action, and there are other lawyers working restlessly trying to construct a legal argument that this war is sanctioned in international war even without such a resolution. Whilst the prime minister and others responsible for the war should certainly be prosecuted if possible, ultimately this is about power not legal justification, and an indictment of the US or British administration will not change anything unless and until a balance of power is restored to replace unilateral US domination. For this reason the world-wide protests of people as an expression of opposition to this new Pax Americana is probably more potent than a legal battle as it will assist potential rivals (be it Europe or be it the Asian block) to stand up to American demands of total submission.

Follow Up-Posted 21st March 2003

Regarding your response to the March 14, 2003 posting, I can only assume that you have never read U.N. Resolution 687 (the cease fire resolution). 687 set forth terms of the cease fire which Iraq has by its own admission repeatedly violated. 687 passed the U.N. 12 -1 (Cuba was the dissenting vote). My question for you is should the French and German leaders be prosecuted for war crimes for supplying Iraq with military weapons and components clearly prohibited by U.N. Res. 687?

After having initially been given the green light for an invasion of Kuwait by American ambassador April Glaspie, the United States then used this invasion as a pretext for a punitive strike, but leaving the business unfinished in order to keep a back door open for entry. 

With resolution 687 - effectively a kind of Middle East Versailles - the victors were able to impose terms of compliance, for example the signing up to weapons conventions and the right of UN inspectors to oversee the destruction of chemical and biological weapons (internationally banned weapons which the US and others amongst her allies frequently use with impunity as they now do with depleted uranium for which calls to ban it are only emerging at UN level at the present time). 

Having forced an inspection regime on Iraq the dice was cast, as there was no way for Iraq to prove compliance satisfactorily. According to the UN Charter issues arising out of a dispute over resolution 687 should as far as possible be dealt with through submission to an International Court of Justice, but the US is unlikely to go down that route as it is the only country condemned, for example, by the World Court for the "unlawful use of force" for its aggression against Nicaragua, and it has consistently refused to cooperate with the new International Criminal Court. It is easy to a) construct legal frameworks and b) dismiss and ignore unfavourable judgments when in power (as absolute power corrupts absolutely), but there is always a price to be paid in the long term.

Just as the heavy imposition of Versailles upon Germany lead inevitably to a rise in German nationalism and ultimately the next world war (bringing in its wake the collapse of the empires of the European imperial powers), the imposition of Pax Americana on the Middle East will create a counter - reaction and usher in the final stages of American imperialism. The US may have the fire power to ignore world opinion and go it alone, but the cost of occupation will break its back. Other nations, e.g. North Korea, are already learning that withdrawing from treaties is the way to go in order to avoid the pretext of US/UN interference and policing. 

Finally, whilst European countries have contributed to the accumulation of arms in Iraq, their contribution is miniscule compared to that of the United States itself, and the US is careful not to put the spotlight on their arms dealings, as it could all too easily be reflected back.

Islamic Party of Britain

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