3 March 2004 — The New Dark Age
“UNDER SECRETARY FEITH VISITS ROMANIA, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN AND ITALY
“Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith will travel to Romania, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Italy this week.”
In Romania, Mr. Feith will meet with President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, Foreign Minister Mircea Dan Geoana and Minister of Defense Ioan Mircea Pascu. The visit to Romania presents an opportunity to convey the U.S. government’s appreciation for Romania’s contributions to the War on Terrorism and for Romania’s conclusion of a bilateral Article 98 agreement with the U.S. dealing with the International Criminal Court. Romania is the first country to conclude this important agreement with the U.S. Feith will also discuss U.S.-Romania defense cooperation and Romania’s NATO candidacy
In Romania, the group will meet with national leaders. They will discuss the country’s NATO candidacy, and the U.S. delegation will thank Romania for its help in the war on terrorism and for supporting the U.S. position on the International Criminal Court.”
Press Release, September 23rd 2002 US Embassy Romania
At their August meeting 2002 Bush gave Blair his instructions about invading Iraq. These plans were settled in detail by Rumsfeld a week later in New York when Minister of Defence Geoff Hoon (with, we now know, a very unhappy bunch of MOD stars including Dr David Kelly ). After he and his military men got their marching orders, the leaden lawyer Hoon, with a delightful sense of irony, addressed his old American alma mater, Louisville U. in the appropriately named Muhammed Ali Peace Hall.
The above little noticed visit by one of the self confessed neo-cons, whose mission and vision were still a guilty little secret unknown outside the Beltway, was doing his best to drum up support for US refusal to recognise the International Criminal Court.
Few criminals decide they don’t recognise the courts jurisidiction in advance of committing the crime. Proof, if it were needed, of the wicked and criminal intention to illegally invade and occupy Iraq.
Crime cannot be justified
In launching the imperial invasion and shock and awe inspiring blitzkrieg on March 8th 2003, the UK and US are unquestionably in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and other international agreements by which the US and Britain as signatories are bound. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan repeatedly said before the invasion that a unilateral attack would be in violation of the UN Charter.
This violent and aggressive invasion, unleashing over 30,000 bombs, napalm, and all the terrors of aerial bombing against a civilian population, was a Hobbesian, “War of each against all”. Raw power, military might, not morality, not legitimacy was the only currency. The Bush Administration and Parliament were well aware this attack had no legal basis. The legal justifications offered then, and over which much squalid sophistry is being used and cyinically offered are transparently fraudulent.
Simply put. The invasion of Iraq was illegal. It’s authors are criminals and should be tried as such.
The White House Legal Brief
On March 13th 2002 at a Press Briefing in the White House, Ari Fleischer, then but now, ex- Presidential spokesman, was asked about the legality of a war on Iraq.
He read, from an obviously prepared statement,
“The UN Security Council Resolution 678 authorised use of all means to uphold UN Security Council resolution 660 and subsequent resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.”
In fact 678 authorised the use of force only to remove Iraqi military forces from Kuwait, not to invade Iraq.
“Thereafter,” Fleischer stridently continued, “687 declared a cease fire …. And provides then legal grounds for the use of force.”
The UN Charter
The 1945 UN Charter Article 2 , states,
“must refrain..from the use of force against or the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”…except under certain narrowly defined circumstances.”
“Member states must seek a solution to disputes through the Security Council (Art 33) and the Security Council, which will determine what action to take” (Art 39)
It is only the Security Council that can decide upon the use of force :
“Plans for the application of force shall be made by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee..” (Art 48)
“Member states may use force but only the Security Council is empowered to provide the authority to use force.” (Art 48)
An exception is the attack by another state (Art 51), this includes an imminent attack. There is no suggestion either before, during or after the invasion that there was any prospect of such an attack on any member state. Although of course the Murdoch press had given a lot of the people who look at the headlines on the front page before the tits on Page 3, the idea that Cyprus was under imminent threat from missiles, and remotely controlled planes spraying God knows what.
So when the Bush / Blair gang invaded Iraq, it was not simply “by-passing” the Security Council, it was flagrantly ignoring it.
That’s what criminals do.
Nuremburg Trials. A precedent
Launching an aggressive war is a violation of the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, to which both the UK and US are bound as signatories and whose principles were adopted by the UN General assembly in 1950.
The four power agreement creating the Military Tribunal for Germany, included
“a) Crimes against peace – planning, preparation, initiation, or waging a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements and assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of the foregoing”
It is little wonder then that Ms Wilmshurst, the Treasury brief with 26 years experience was unwilling to accept that any such planned invasion of Iraq had no legal basis and resigned rather than supportsuch national illegal action..
What is an Aggressive war?
Should Mr Bush and Mr Blair and their friendly and obedient lawyer, Mr Goldsmith (although evidently a somewhat frightened man) require a definition of what an aggressive war is, they need look no further than the 1974 UN General Assembly definition –
“Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations “… which includes,” the invasion or attack by armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation,” which gave legitimacy to Resolution 678 which gave the US authority to remove Saddam and his army from Kuwait.
Resolution 678, to which Mr Fleischer’s neo-cons, and other apologists on both sides of the Atlantic and their Antipodean side-kicks cling to, to fraudulently justify their unleashing Armageddon.
Warren Austin the Chief Delegate of the US to the UN told the UN General Assembly on October 30th, 1946, that the US was bound by the principles of law encompassed by the Nuremberg Charter, as well as by the UN Charter. He said, “The Charter…makes planning or waging a war of aggression a crime against humanity for which individuals as well as nations can be brought before the bar of international justice, tried, and punished.”
Douglas J Feith / The Life and Times and quotable quotes
From March 1984 until September 1986, Mr. Feith served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy to Defense Secretary Perle..
Strategy and the Idea of Freedom / by Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Heritage Lecture #OL1 November 24th 2003. “My association with The Heritage Foundation goes back a ways, twenty-six years, to 1977, when you were still located on Stanton Park at 5th and C, Northeast. That was a time when we neo-cons, of which I was a junior member, and the folks we called the paleo-cons, made common cause:”
November 26, 2003 US Embassy Press release Sofia, Bulgaria
President Bush on November 21, The provision of military assistance projects in Bulgaria. He approved similar assistance to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, all NATO invitees.
In Bulgaria, the President’s approval will permit a number of U.S. military assistance programs (with a total value of $11.3 million) to go forward: These approvals override a prohibition that had been placed on U.S. military assistance to Bulgaria, among other countries, as a result of the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2002. This act required the administration to freeze U.S. military assistance to non-NATO countries that would not enter into bilateral agreements under Article 98 of the statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). The agreements seek a pledge from co-signing governments that U.S. persons would not be surrendered to the ICC for prosecution or turned over to third countries that intend to do so. The U.S. continues to have major reservations about the ICC, especially regarding the ICC’s power to disregard national court decisions.
December 9th, 2003 US Embassy Press release Sofia, Bulgaria
“The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith will lead a delegation of Defense and State Department officials on an official visit to Sofia for consultations with senior Bulgarian government officials.”
Edward Teague firstname.lastname@example.org