The War is Illegal

Olympia, Washington

 

Photo by Ana

 

The photo is of me holding a sign during a weekly peace vigil that I participate in.

 

The war was based on knowingly false pretenses. Iraq did not attack the USA. Iraq, in fact, did not pose a threat, or even so much as threaten to attack the USA. As such, the US invasion of Iraq was aggression. The occupation is a war of aggression. Hence, it is illegal. (The war is also undeclared, which makes it even further illegal.)

 

There is an abundance of information, publicly available, in order to make the claim that members of the Bush Administration knowingly made false statements to craft the conditions necessary for invasion. Numerous false statements were made over a period of years in order to attempt to draw a connection between the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein and Usama bin Laden's al Qaeada. They lied for the purpose of creating an environment of acceptability for war.

 

These connections between Saddam Hussein and UBL, as well as statements about an alleged threat to the USA from Iraqi WMD, were blatantly misleading at best and malicious intentional conspiracy to defraud the United States at worst.

 

Here are some links:

 

1) The center for Public Integrity released a study that chronicled over 900 false statements (in regard to the threat from Iraq), which were made by members of the Bush Administration during a period of two years following September 11th, 2001 when the WTC towers were destroyed. www.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/

 

2) The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3661134.stm

 

3) Lt Ehren Watada refused to deploy to Iraq because of his belief, which is based on a deep and careful understanding of the war, that the war is illegal. His website is a great resource about the legal problems in re: the war in Iraq. www.thankyoult.org/

 

4) Human Rights and Constitutional Rights (HRCR) has a collection of links and information to help ground yourself in the legal understanding of what constitutes an illegal war: www.hrcr.org/hottopics/Iraq.html

 

There are so many resources available. For example you can start by perusing any one of these websites.

 

www.truthout.org/

 

tomdispatch.com/

 

www.democracynow.org/

 

ivaw.org/index.php

 

check out Elizabeth de la Vega's indictment "United States v. George Bush et al." www.tomdispatch.com/post/143205/elizabeth_de_la_vega_indi...

 

Also see The New Yorker section on Iraq www.newyorker.com/reporting/index/Iraq/?yrail

 

Seymour Hersh writing on Iraq: www.google.com/search?q="seymour+hersh"+iraq

 

Seymour Hersh in Berkeley, October 8, 2004: www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/10/11_hersh.shtml

 

Seymour M. Hersh as Contributor to The New Yorker: www.newyorker.com/magazine/contributors/seymour_m_hersh

 

Article about David Addington by Jane Meyer "The Hidden Power" www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/07/03/060703fa_fact1

 

Robert Fisk: www.independent.co.uk/news/fisk/

 

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

www.mcclatchydc.com/iraq

washingtonbureau.typepad.com/iraq/ (written by Iraqi journalists in Baghdad)

www.mcclatchydc.com/galloway/

 

Inter Press Service ipsnews.net/

 

Harper's Magazine Online: harpers.org

 

The Nation: www.thenation.com

 

Raed in the Middle: raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com

 

 

...and so many others, too many to list...

 

Complete withdrawal must be the goal. The best avenue toward achieving that goal is to restore stable civil society in Iraq. Stable civil society can be achieved through economic opportunity. Economic opportunity can flourish when the basic elements of civilian infrastructure are up and running, schools, hospitals, water, sewage, electricity. The US military will be able to make a responsible - a gradual - withdrawal in the presence of a stable civil society (one that is not rooted in bribes and corruption.)

 

The US military must stop using bribes, and weapons as incentives. The mission must be changed from fighting an insurgency, because antagonism will only serve to provoke animosity and opposition. The US must begin the process of rebuilding the civilian infrastructure - much of which remains in a state of disrepair.

 

70% of Iraqis do not have reliable, safe or consistent access to potable water (www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/21753.html also see www.oxfam.org/en/news/2007/pr070730_iraq_humanitarian_cri.... This does not reconstruction make.

 

There is a humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

 

Reconstruct Iraq. Show the Iraqi people that the US cares for their well-being. We have the power. Now we have our mission. Let's make it so.

 

[May 11th 2008, I found a link to this important story attached to another photo: Read this: Dick Cheney's Song of America: Drafting a plan for global dominance

An essay exploring the real origins of the Iraq War, written before the war started.

by David Armstrong,

Harper's Magazine]

 

Additionally, please refer to Vincent Bugliosi's new book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder: www.prosecutionofbush.com/

 

Update August 2008: additional reference: Ron Suskind's The Way of the World, which documents an Administration effort to use forged documents to justify the war.

 

[Warning: Some of the below comments are offensive, belligerent, and abusive. Please be advised before reading further.

 

Update: Commentators who were engaging in obfuscation, and offensive, dishonest, harassing commentary have been blocked. Their commentary has subsequently been removed.]

Chaney, Frizztext and 22 more people faved this
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    Change to a Peaceful Foreign Policy

    I agree about the sentiments behind all war being illegal. However, war is only illegal if it is entered into without consent. If two parties willingly enter into war, then it is not illegal.

    If one party attacks another party, without consent from the attackee to be attacked by the attacker, then it is illegal on the part of the attacker.

    That's what happened with Iraq.

    The governments of the USA, UK, Israel, and whichever others were in on it said that they were attacking Iraq in self-defense.

    That's the problem. You can't attack in self-defense. The attacker does not get to claim self-defense.

    That's why the perpetrators of this war ought to be held to account in special tribunals for crimes against peace.

    Secondly, yes, it takes some courage to stand on the side of the road. But I have been up to it for years (twice a week.) It's become a labor of love. And also, I figure that I am earning a metaphorical approximately $3,000 / hour when I stand on the side of the road interacting with people and spreading the message of peace and justice, spreading the message that THERE IS ANOTHER WAY.

    As far as it being too easy? For some it's easy. For others no.

    For myself, It's not easy. But I still don't feel that just standing on the side of the road is enough.

    Human Blockade
    That's why I got arrested while nonviolently sitting in the road to block the transfer of military cargos through my local municipal seaport.

    That's why I do other stuff, like talk with people about how we can have a better world to live in, and organize projects and events that focus on social change and peace.

    I also served as a witness to the brutal application of state violence in the form of extra-judicial punishment (pepper-spraying) of an uncounted number of my fellows during protests against military shipments through the local municipal seaport.

    Getting it in their faces and lungs
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    What do we do? Good question.

    The first step that I suggest we do is to hold the perpetrators of the war accountable.

    The second step is to rebuild Iraq. Provide assistance to Iraqis as they rebuild economically. Make it so all Iraqis have economic opportunity, basic necessities, food, shelter, education, health care.

    Lifting people up and facilitating sustainable / nonviolent economic activity is the way toward a peaceful world. War is not the way to peace. (*nonviolent in the sense of "do no harm")
  • liquidzfury431 6y

    Berd you said---What do we do? Good question.

    The first step that I suggest we do is to hold the perpetrators of the war accountable.

    The second step is to rebuild Iraq. Provide assistance to Iraqis as they rebuild economically. Make it so all Iraqis have economic opportunity, basic necessities, food, shelter, education, health care.

    Lifting people up and facilitating sustainable / nonviolent economic activity is the way toward a peaceful world. War is not the way to peace. (*nonviolent in the sense of "do no harm")

    I say this_______It is not our job to rebuild a country that has been going at it and killing its own citizens for hundreds of years. Ever hear of Jihad, good luck getting rid of that, not going to happen. All of you people can have you Golden Egg Top Shelf view of how you want the world to be or how it should be. You forget people are a naturally violent species, we are predators. No matter how much you hold up your damn signs somebody is dying at the hands of another whether it is here or in another country. Personally I think that we need to take care of us here before we take care of people that are doing nothing to help themselves except kill the "bad" guy wait that’s what we're doing right. And also you're from the United States Right??? Do me a favor go over to Iraq or Afghanistan find some terrorist and offer them piece, I would be curios to see how you come back stateside. I give my upmost respect to my country, myself and my friends that are fighting the United States and treasonous swine like yourself.

    Think about this you hate our government so much, you hate that were at war. But in the beginning you were probably one of those people jumping on the band wagon say lets go get em’ (Iraq, Terrorist). Now look at you, scared. Ironically you’re still in this country, and for what, so we can see you standing on the corning like a hooker advertising yourself, avoiding car accidents that you cause. Getting arrested for blocking a military convoy was within the rights of the officer doing it,, it’s called obstruction of traffic. That is illegal! Usually only punishable by a ticket, unless you ran your mouth off which there is a 99.9% chance you did, then it can be escalated to arrest.

    Pepper spray, be happy your friends didn’t get shot, that’s why cops carry pepper spray so they don’t have to kill you.

    Complain all you want, protest all you want nothing is going to change.

    I tip my cover to the boys fighting by my side for what we believe in most. For all the people out there that hate us, just remember if we die here we died protecting you.
  • mikescottnz 6y

    The first sentence above seemed sensible then it deteriorates in logic or mixed confused arguments .From an anonomous. Yes perhaps the US does have some moral duty to rebuild Iraq after two wars partaking in destroying it over a decade. Sad false ideas belong to the last eight years? There is a new presidency so there is more hope.
    In the last item there is no sense of more than 'doing duty' like WW2 as the German generals defence was ; no thinking beyond the present problem and assuming the market 'god' would fix it ? I'd tip my hat to real leadership when we gather some not the angry fearful types (like Cheney the draft dodger) who think pepper spray is fine so as not to shoot your own democatric people called protesters.That's often how real change begins.
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    The war is still illegal.

    I will fully support an Obama administration effort to prosecute those who launched this (and other) campaigns of aggression.

    Policies of economic dominance - imperialism - are just plain wrong.
  • Branden Fontanez 6y

    First off what gives you the right to say this war i s illegal? This conflict is not illegal the president can send troops to where ever he wants with out a decalration of war. If you did a better job at your research you would have known we did the same thing it the Vietnam conflict.

    Second we are rebuilding Iraq. the only reason it does look that way is the damn terrorist are blowing up the same things we made. But the only way to see this for yourr self is to go the and try rebuilding the nation with all the people who agree with you and when I watch the video of you getting you head cut of (not chopped) by the Taliban I will know that you didnt do anything you set out to do. I fight for me country my friends fight for this country some of them died for this country. Let us do are jobs we can take care of this we dont need your help. And if you really want to help go donate some blood and thank an American servemeber for putting their life on hold to do something they believe in and its not the war or for bush when he was in office it was for the american people, freedom and are way of life.
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    Well -- I can say the war is illegal because I am a human being. Being human gives me the right to have an opinion.

    Secondly, Iraq has been utterly decimated since the March 2003 invasion. Millions of Iraqis have been forced to flee their families, their homes, their work, their communities. It is estimated that 1,500,000 have been killed as a result of war-related hostility and/or disease.

    The rebuilding argument does not work for me, because it doesn't make sense to destroy civilian infrastructure, only to take years to rebuild it, all the while standing by while people suffer.

    The USA would do the world a favor by abandoning policies of global dominance. All people deserve liberation from oppression. The people of the world do not deserve to suffer harm related to the policies of the USA.

    All people deserve to live in Freedom - not only the people of the USA. We are all part of one human family.

    Rather than to seek domination over others - we can seek to treat each other fairly, equally, respectfully, kindly, and with tolerance and appreciation for personal difference. That's freedom.

    Real freedom is in economic and ecological stability and sustainability. Real freedom is to leave a healthy and prosperous planet for all of the members of all future generations.

    Real freedom is to stop harmful economic activities -- most notably, war.

    Americans have been horribly bamboozled, swindled and hoodwinked. The USA is an empire. A horrible rotten empire. A downright nasty empire.

    It doesn't have to be this way. Another world is possible. A world of peace, justice, nonviolence, respect, kindness, equality. A world of tolerance and appreciation for all of the wonderful personal differences that exist amongst people.

    Peace!
  • Branden Fontanez 6y

    There is no such thing as the human family we are animals and war death and choas is what animals know. As for the U.S. global dominan the U.S. is not about taking over the world before the Iraq war their so called lead killed millions of his own people that sure was very peaceful back then when sadaam was in charge right ? Also have you seen what they do to the buildings well rebuilt for them? Do you know what they do to them? they rig the building to blow next time a U.S. patrol goes by. There will never be peace as long as their is evil you will have war. And the U.S. isnt the only country thats an rottan empire you have China Great Britian France Russia Countless other countries. Just get over that evil empire crap because they lie to all of us even the fish. People are evil that is how we are this is how we will always be. If you dont like the fact their is a war that you dont believe in thats fine I cant change the fact that you believe this war is evil and that peace will win the hearts and minds of the world. I just want people to know that this will never happen their will always be war and people like me to fight them and if you dont like American then move to Canada and if your arent an American then shut the fuck up already.

    Peace thru superior firepower

    Have
    No
    Hope
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    Fontanez, that is racist hate speech.

    Human beings are animals, but we are so much more. We are different from other animals for a number of reasons, not the least of which is our conscience - our ability to separate moral right from moral wrong. We have values. We care about each other, our families, our communities, our environment.

    When we realize that we are all interconnected, then we will realize that we are truly, all of us, individual parts of the greater whole.

    It sounds like you are hurting, Fontanez. I hope that you can find a way to feel better about yourself and the rest of the world.

    Peace through justice.
  • Branden Fontanez 6y

    Really now I'm a racist. Where did I say anything about race. I bet you think I'm some racist hick from the south well if you were thinking this you're wrong. I'm mixed. i'm Black Mexican Puerto Rican and Indain, i hate everyone equally.

    Oh and your right we are different from other animals. Animals kill and fight out of necessity, humans on the other hand kill, steal, fight, lie and destory because most of them just like to do it they don'tt care about another person. People getting killed because they were wearing the wrong colored shit, or because their friend was in a gang and the known them. But you most likely never seen this or had it happen to you. i had my ass kick so many times because my friends ran their mouths or because they were in a gang so i dont believe that conscience and morals crap.

    Also about me hurting thats just a load of shit. I may have my problems but everyone does. I am pefectly fine about my self and the present state of global chaos. Have no hope in people life is a lot easier if you don't.

    Once again,

    Peace thru superior firepower
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    Sorry for the curtness of this reply.

    If you read what I wrote, you can tell that I never called you a racist. What I did was identify your speech as being racist.

    Just because you're not of European descent, doesn't mean that you are immune from being racist.

    Fontanez, it sounds like you have a lot of fear in your heart. A lot of hate. Does it feel good to you to bear so much hate and ill-will for your fellow human beings?

    I think you understand that caring is good. It is good to care about other people.

    If it makes any difference, you can know that I care about you. And I hope that you find healing, and that no one ever hurts you again. I also hope that you don't hurt anyone else.

    Peace through reconciliation. Peace through the restoration of friendly relations between all people.

    "Happiness is every human being's birthright."
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    Also, since we are on the topic of racism, I would like to point everyone to this excellent article in The Sun Magazine. The full article isn't available on the web, but the intro is quite an excellent standalone. Here's a direct link to the article, and a short excerpt:

    By the Color of Their Skin
    Tim Wise On The Myth Of A Postracial America
    by David Cook


    There are two different types of racists. First there are the overt racists: the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists. Then there are the ones we might consider “passive” racists. In a society like ours, where racism is so prevalent, the vast majority of us — maybe all of us — silently collaborate with systemic racism. We don’t consciously believe in racial superiority or inferiority, but we’ve become so used to the existing policies, practices, and procedures that we don’t question them. To the extent that we don’t challenge this system of racism, we are collaborating with it.

    I think the second type of racist is actually more dangerous. The first type we can easily recognize, and it doesn’t take much courage to condemn them. The second type is like an invisible gas: you don’t know it’s there until you’ve been lulled unconscious by it.
  • mikescottnz 6y

  • Laura B 6y

    The war is illegal? what sign will you wear when muslim radicals are in your back yard killing your family?
    Saddam was an evil dictator, responsible for killing his own kind. He killed his own brother in law. If you stick up for some idiot like him, then you must like Obama as well.....the Nobel Peace Prize Winner....and the hater of American culture and freedoms.
    Keep holding that sign up....it only encourages the enemy to attack us again if you do not support your own country's wars.
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 6y

    The war is still illegal.

    U.S. Foreign Policy creates terrorists.

    Best anti-terrorism policy is for the USA to stop terrorizing the world.
  • John Coyle 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called DISCUSSION: Politics and current affairs {Australia, the US, and, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 5y

    John, Thanks for the invite.
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 5y

    Now I am thinking that I wish I hadn't deleted those nasty (but interesting) comments!
  • Robert F. W. Whitlock 5y

    David, it's sent. Thanks for the comment and the invite!
  • Daniel 3y

    verdad pura , pura verdad!
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