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What complicates things is that the area I live in seems to be against the elections since one can hardly see any elections posters that I see in many other places in Baghdad.

Baghdad Blog

The Internet is good because you can get info from the ground up. I provide this link because I found it interesting. There are no doubt others.

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Baghdad has been unstable these last few days. We had several explosions this last week and although the number of explosions wasn't surprising, the force of a couple of them had us wincing. There's a real fear of the coming elections and what they might bring. I don't like the idea that they've selected schools as election sites. School is out right now, but the security threat is obvious- elections sites are most likely going to be bombed. Schools are having a difficult time as it is getting things fixed and replaced, they don't need the added trauma of an explosion. It's just a bad idea

Baghdad Burning

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What was the voter turnout in our last federal election?

Millions Cast Ballots Despite Violence

All around the country, Iraqis defied threats of violence and cast their votes. Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission (search) initially estimated that 72 percent of the country's eligible voters had turned out to cast their ballots but an official later said an estimated eight million Iraqis — or 60 percent of eligible voters — turned out to vote.
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All around the country, Iraqis defied threats of violence and cast their votes. Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission (search) initially estimated that 72 percent of the country's eligible voters had turned out to cast their ballots but an official later said an estimated eight million Iraqis — or 60 percent of eligible voters — turned out to vote.

No explanation of where they got those figures seeing as how the votes weren't counted yet. Perhaps they just took the Shiite and Kurd numbers and extrapolated?

So can we expect further revisions?

"No one's gonna buy 72 per cent. How's about 55?"

"Naw, too low. Freedom's on the march, remember?"

"Okay: how about 60 per cent?"

"Beautiful. Go with it."

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Maybe you're like me and have opposed the Iraq war since before the shooting started -- not to the point of joining any peace protests, but at least letting people know where you stood.

You didn't change your mind when our troops swept quickly into Baghdad or when you saw the rabble that celebrated the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue, figuring that little had been accomplished and that the tough job still lay ahead.

Despite your misgivings, you didn't demand the troops be brought home immediately afterward, believing the United States must at least try to finish what it started to avoid even greater bloodshed. And while you cheered Saddam's capture, you couldn't help but thinking I-told-you-so in the months that followed as the violence continued to spread and the death toll mounted.

By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.

But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?

It's hard to swallow, isn't it?

Liberal, admits Bush may have been right.
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No explanation of where they got those figures seeing as how the votes weren't counted yet. Perhaps they just took the Shiite and Kurd numbers and extrapolated?
BD, the Shiite and kurd numbers account for roughly 80% of the Iraqi population. There isn't much to extrapolate on to.

The Western Left was appalled at South African apartheid and demonstrated against the oppressing white regime and for "majority rule".

But in Iraq, the same Left sees no injustice with a dominant 20% Sunnite minority oppressing the 80% Shiite and Kurds majority. The Left sees the Sunni boycott of an election as evidence of the failure of democracy. Did you guys support the White South Africans who boycotted multiracial elections?

The Left's morality is completely arbitrary. I sometimes think it has no guiding principles at all except Eat the Rich, or those it believes to be rich.

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Bush could not have been right about Iraq. That has been demonstrated a thousand times over. The "war" was illegal and an act of aggression and a conquest for profit that turned out to be a loss for all participants. How could Bush be right.

It is to be hoped for the Iraquis' sake that this election leads to something better but not for Bush. Nothing can ever atone for his leashing the dogs of war on a weak and impoverished nation. To now say that he may be right is ti excuse all the lies and hypocricy; all the abuses and the shedding of blood; and to accept the lame explanation that it was done to bring freedom to Iraq.

There are many countries that Bush does not know the existence of that are in at least as great need of discovering freedom and democracy.

Beyond that, this election will not bring democracy to Iraq. It may, if it does not bring civil war and further horrors, sow a seed that, if the Iraquis are supported for a decade or two, lead to democracy in the not very near future, It may not even then unless there are also deep cultural changes to go with it.

The West took a couple of centuries to develop its rudimentray democracy - the democracy that has gone into hiding in Bushland. Why would it happen overnight in Iraq?

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The West took a couple of centuries to develop its rudimentray democracy - the democracy that has gone into hiding in Bushland. Why would it happen overnight in Iraq?

What about Japan and German post ww2?

Nothing is overnight, good things aren't easy but they may pull it off. My only concern was they might not pull it off but if they do......

Big democracy in the middle of the middle east, a geographic barrier and a political influence. This could help create the perceptual shift that may reduce the terrorist network. Now that you must say would be good for everyone.

I wish them well.

Go Bush Go

;)

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The "war" was illegal

Where is your proof for that?

Here is mine you've failed to disprove the legality of it before, and, offer nothing but opinion. Opinion of Kofi Annan, who does not make laws but rather fills paper clip dispensers and makes sure order is maintained while others make laws. you quote hans Blix who looks for weapons but does not make laws. Yet you have never shown how an instruction from the UNSC can be rescinded (para 2 res 678) without a vote.

You add nothing to your arguments by flailing about with rhetorical lies such as that.

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KK, how does it feel to be the only one in the world outside of the White House to hold that opinion? Is it a lonely emptiness that you inhabit or does it fill you with pride (like Bush) to be so out of step with the world?

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One of our own August's favorite catch phrases is "the left confuses symbols for reality." Of course, such confusion is not limited soley to the left side of the spectrum as all the hoo-hah over the Iraqi election demonstrates, as people across the board trip over themselves to crow over the "triumph of democracy in Iraq". Well, the election, while an important step for Iraqis, is a symbol. What remains to be seen if Iraqis can overcome ethnic divisions and military opccupation to craft a viable democratic state. "Demonstration elections" are an easy sop to democracts, creating the illussion of democracy even as the elctions themselves are managed (South Vietnam had very successful elections as well, but there was never much doubt who was really calling the shots).

BD, the Shiite and kurd numbers account for roughly 80% of the Iraqi population. There isn't much to extrapolate on to.

But how did they get their numbers so quickly and why were initial estimates revised so fast?

The Western Left was appalled at South African apartheid and demonstrated against the oppressing white regime and for "majority rule".

But in Iraq, the same Left sees no injustice with a dominant 20% Sunnite minority oppressing the 80% Shiite and Kurds majority. The Left sees the Sunni boycott of an election as evidence of the failure of democracy. Did you guys support the White South Africans who boycotted multiracial elections?

Strawman argument.

Big democracy in the middle of the middle east, a geographic barrier and a political influence. This could help create the perceptual shift that may reduce the terrorist network. Now that you must say would be good for everyone.

Hmm....Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, the Gulf Emirates are all U.S. client states and utterly undemocratic. Egypt is ruled by a military dictatorship backed by the U.S, a sis Pakistan. It seems to me, given how many of these "terrorist" states have ties to the U.S.A, that if promoting democracy in the Mid Eastwas the real goal, surely it could have been accomplished in a way that didn't destroy a country, kill thousands of its citizens, and stoke the fires of anti-western sentiment and terrorism.

Yet you have never shown how an instruction from the UNSC can be rescinded (para 2 res 678) without a vote.

Illegal war.

Resolution 678 gave Iraq until January 15, 1991, to withdraw from Kuwait and, if that deadline was not met, authorised the use by UN members of all necessary means for the specific purpose of upholding earlier resolutions.

The specificity of the authorisation is made clear in paragraph two of resolution 678: member states must co-operate with the Government of Kuwait in any action to force Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.

Resolution 678 thus provided an enforcement mechanism for resolution 660 of August 2, 1990, adopted the day Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the subsequent reiterations of that resolution between August and November 1990. Resolution 660 made the determination required by the UN charter as a precondition for the collective use of force, that the invasion constituted a breach of international peace and security.

It could be argued that, were Iraq to re-invade Kuwait, the authorisation for UN members to use force in resolution 678 could be revived, although a more cautious view would be that resolution 678 is tied to a particular historical event, so a new resolution would be needed. In the absence of an invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, however, resolution 678 cannot be read as a standing authorisation for the use of force by a UN member against Iraq.

Resolution 678 thus clearly identified the invasion of Kuwait as the breach of international peace and security that triggered Security Council powers under the UN charter. It does not constitute a general power for the use of force.

...

Two further resolutions relied on to support the "continuing authorisation" theory are 687 and 1441. Resolution 687 of April 3, 1991, set out the terms of the ceasefire. Section C deals with Iraq's obligations to destroy all weapons of mass destruction. But no provision of resolution 687 links Iraq's duty to destroy all weapons of mass destruction to the authorisation to use force set out in resolution 678. Indeed, the final paragraph of resolution 687 gives the Security Council the power to decide "such further steps as may be required for the implementation of the present resolution and to secure peace and security in the area", implying further Security Council consideration will be needed.

Resolution 1441, of November 8, 2002, can be read as a further and more detailed response to Iraq's failure to satisfy the relevant authorities that it has fully complied with the obligation to destroy all weapons of mass destruction set out in resolution 687. It leaves open the issue of what will happen if Iraq does not comply with its terms, implying that the Security Council will need to consider the matter when further evidence appears.

Although, in standard Security Council style, all previous resolutions on Iraq are referred to in the preamble of resolution 1441, there is no paragraph that suggests UN member states may take "all necessary means" to implement the resolution.

Indeed, France, China and Russia made a public interpretative statement on resolution 1441 on the day it was adopted, noting they could vote for the resolution precisely because it contained no "automaticity" in the use of force. This understanding was confirmed in the United States's and Britain's formal explanation of their votes.

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promoting democracy in the Mid Eastwas the real goal, surely it could have been accomplished in a way that didn't destroy a country, kill thousands of its citizens, and stoke the fires of anti-western sentiment and terrorism.

Two little points BD.

Democracy is not the point, but rather the moderating of the region. If you think putting a physical divide between the likes of Syria and Iran is not a step forward go figure. I would never suggest this is a fix but it is a big step forward. Democracy for the people of Iraq is a fortunate but was not the point.

You think yourself smart so please share with us your non violent intervention that would reduce tyranny and terrorism.

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Democracy for the people of Iraq is a fortunate but was not the point.

That's been my point all along. Democracy in Iraq will survive so long as it serve American interests. Those interests (such as strategic control of the oil supply and a regional power base) trump any reform.

You think yourself smart so please share with us your non violent intervention that would reduce tyranny and terrorism.

Well, for starters, not propping up corrupt regimes in terrorist states like Saudi Arabia would be a good start. Withdrawing support from these regimes would force them to stand on their own feet. In many cases, without that support, the regimes would fall to domestic forces. This would also remove one of the main griveances of terror groups like Al Qaeda. However, it's worth noting that radical militant Islam became the dominant idealogicval opposition in the region after the secular Arab nationalism of the 50's and 60's was squelched by the west in the interests of maintaining access to the region's resources.

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Democracy was not the point, but it has been made the excuse for less altruistic ambitions and the "physical divide" between Iran and Syria" will be a less concrete one than existed before. Democracy is also something that will not be achieved in this way.

The reduction of terrorism in Iraq was also not the point since terrorism is the consequence of the violent intervention. The reduction of tyranny was also never the point. Tyranny exists in possibly half of the nations of the world and needs to be dealt with everywhere.

A start could have been made if the US had supported the UN in efforts to ameliorate conditions around the world. Doing its fair share in foreign aid would have gone a long way towards non-violent intervention in reducing both tyranny and terrorism.

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KK, how does it feel to be the only one in the world outside of the White House to hold that opinion? Is it a lonely emptiness that you inhabit or does it fill you with pride (like Bush) to be so out of step with the world?

Yes indeed. Good proof. So I can show it legal but you cannot come up with any solid proof that it is illegal except to cite opinion. OK, fair enough. Say you THINK that it is illegal then. HOwever, saying that it is then, you must have a recognised court above the UNSC that has determined that it is. Who is this court?

Now, a counter question. How does it feel to be one of the many in the world who believe something only because you want it so when in fact, it is otherwise?

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Picking the easy fights then, eh KK?

Yes indeed. Good proof. So I can show it legal but you cannot come up with any solid proof that it is illegal except to cite opinion.

...which is pretty much all you've done too, since, as I pointed out earlier. 1441 was passed only with the understanding of certain members that it did not authorize the use of force, a view the resolutions sponsors agreed with. So the war was waged without the support of the international community. It was a de facto unilateral act of aggression.

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Skeptics of President Bush's attempt to bring democracy to Iraq have been largely silent since Iraqis enthusiastically turned out for Sunday's elections.

    Billionaire Bush-basher George Soros and left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore were among critics of the administration's Iraq policy who had no comment after millions of Iraqis went to the polls in their nation's first free elections in decades.

            Mr. Soros, the Open Society Institute founder who contributed millions of dollars to groups seeking to prevent Mr. Bush's re-election, had denounced as a "sham" the administration's plans for a democratic Iraq.

    "To claim that we are invading Iraq for the sake of establishing democracy is a sham, and the rest of the world sees it as such," Mr. Soros said in a Washington speech in March 2003, adding that "the trouble goes much deeper."

    "It is not merely that the Bush administration's policies may be wrong, it is that they are wrong," Mr. Soros said in the speech. "Because we are unquestionably the most powerful, [the Bush administration claims] we have earned the right to impose our will on the rest of the world."

    Mr. Soros' Web site (www.georgesoros.com) has no reference to the Iraqi elections. Its latest comments are in a Jan. 26 op-ed article on what Mr. Soros calls Mr. Bush's "ambitious" second inaugural address.

    "Mr. Soros has not released any statements about the elections in Iraq," said Soros spokesman Michael Vachon. "He has been traveling since Sunday on various foundation projects and hasn't had occasion to comment."

   

        There has been no comment since the Iraq elections from Mr. Moore, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker who characterized the Iraqi insurgents as "Minutemen," and predicted "they will win."

    The last posting from Mr. Moore on his Web site (www.michaelmoore.com) is dated Jan. 10 and concerns "Fahrenheit 9/11" being named best dramatic movie in the People's Choice Awards. An e-mail to Mr. Moore requesting comment was not returned.

    On the day before the elections, Mr. Moore featured a link to a column in the New York Times with the headline, "A Sinking Sensation of Parallels between Iraq and Vietnam." On the day after the elections, Mr. Moore linked to a story in the left-wing Nation magazine titled "Occupation Thwarts Democracy."

    Moorewatch.com, a site dedicated to countering the filmmaker's political statements, knocked Mr. Moore for "failing to acknowledge [the Iraqi people's] achievement."

    "I find it telling that the man who has lamented such great concern for the kite-flying, tea-sipping Iraqi people featured in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' can't be bothered to string together a few words of admiration for those same people who braved the threat of death to cast their votes this past weekend," the anti-Moore Web site said. "It seems Moore only admires the Iraqi people when they validate his agenda of hating George Bush."

    Some administration critics, however, saw the Iraqi elections as reason to revise their opinion of Mr. Bush.

      

Naysayers

Every now and then we get a few moments of peace when the naysayers are humbled. The liberation day in Iraq, Bush's re-election, and the Iraqi election. I remember before we went into Afganistan, the same people were saying what a blood bath it would be. That it'd be another Vietnam. But now after successful elections we here very little about it. I suspect Iraq will be similar. Slowly as the country becomes a viable democracy we'll here less and less from the press. Unfortunately in ten years from now people will forget those who were so wrong calling it another Vietnam.

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Every now and then we get a few moments of peace when the naysayers are humbled.

Ah, the right wing propaganda machine spins away.

I'm not humbled. It's one thing to cast a ballot in a flawed election (let's not forget Iraqis were voting for party lists, not individual candidates and that there were reports from Iraqi bloggers that there were threats that food rations woukld be witheld from people who didn't vote) held under military occupation, it's another thing for that vote to translate into anything meaningful. Afghanistan is a good example. There Afghanis voted in Karazi, the U.S. handpicked interim president over a slate of unknowns. Karazi, meanwhile, has little authority over the country outside Kabul.

Iraq, Afghanistan and sham elections

Vote for food.

It is well known all over Iraq now that if you didn't go to vote, the government will cut your monthly food rations. EVERYONE is talking about this, and EVERYONE believes it too!!! and this is one of the main reasons of why millions of poor and destroyed Iraqis were dragged out of their homes today and sent to election centers in the middle of explosions and bullets. They don't give a damn about elections, they want food. Millions of Iraqis don't have the possibility of testing whether this rumor is true or false, this is about surviving. They are ready to put their lives in danger to go get their monthly food rations.

Baghdad Burning

People in many areas are being told that if they don’t vote- Sunnis and Shia alike- the food and supply rations we are supposed to get monthly will be cut off. We’ve been getting these rations since the beginning of the nineties and for many families, it’s their main source of sustenance. What sort of democracy is it when you FORCE people to go vote for someone or another they don’t want?
I remember before we went into Afganistan, the same people were saying what a blood bath it would be. That it'd be another Vietnam. But now after successful elections we here very little about it.

Well, the mainstream media hasn't said much about Afghanistan since the U.S. attacked Iraq, barring a few election puff pieces. Most, of course, don't bother with the very pertinent facts (as reported by NGOs on the ground in Afghanistan) that the situation in most of the country is no better and often worse, than it was under the Taliban. It doesn't fit the narrative that "freedom is on the march", so it's chucked down the memory hole.

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Picking the easy fights then, eh KK?

No. His was actually more valid than your misinterpretation of the resolutions, hence I addressed it as yours was nothing. However, I'll respond if you wish. Here is what para two actually says.

2. Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the above-mentioned resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;

Not as you so errently have it in this piece

The specificity of the authorisation is made clear in paragraph two of resolution 678: member states must co-operate with the Government of Kuwait in any action to force Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.

So now, did Iraq fully implement 'the above-mentioned resolutions' and 'all subsequent relevant resolutions' avove mentioned resolutions? In effect, did Iraq make ecological settlements, did they release all Kuwaiti POWs, did they make full restitution with Kuwait, did they cease all WMD production and destroy all material, facilities, research and efforts to procure same and allow unfettered verification, did stability come to the region, did they implement human rights in their country? If the answer to any of those is NO, then the member states can 'use all necessary means' as Iraq was not adhering to the conditions of the ceasefire.

The use of the term co-operating is not to designate the command structure but rather to identify who it is they are talking about. Namely those nations that are co-operating with the Government of Kuwait - the US led coalition. This incidently is the first I have heard of this really weird argument and frankly, wonder if the author of the article you quoted uses English as their first language.

As Iraq actually left Kuwait in 91 it would seem that this term (Memeber States etc) would become redundent yet it appears in ever subsequent resolution pertaining to Iraq and it's continual violations. Reason: as above, to identify and show that the member states still have the authority to enfoce the cnditions of the ceasefire, not to say they must be subservient to the will of Kuwait .

It could be argued that, were Iraq to re-invade Kuwait, the authorisation for UN members to use force in resolution 678 could be revived,

Who wrote this anyways? I don't rember there being a UN force in the Gulf War. Hence, the author must be ferrering to the Member States in para 2 of res 678.

1441 was passed only with the understanding of certain members that it did not authorize the use of force, a view the resolutions sponsors agreed with

If, like all previous resolutions reffers to para two of 678. That is the authorization. If it does not wish the Member States to have that power then I would imagine that the UN has the ink and paper to put that rescinding para in. However, it's not there. have you got it hidden someplace?

Although, in standard Security Council style, all previous resolutions on Iraq are referred to in the preamble of resolution 1441, there is no paragraph that suggests UN member states may take "all necessary means" to implement the resolution.

Hmmm, selectve ommissions happening here Black Dog. Here in the 1441 it spells it out yet again

Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area,

And, thanks for bringing this piece up as it gives me yet another opportunity to show the board that yes, even though no WMDs were found in Iraq, the whole world knew that Iraq was in violation of the ceasefire agreement and hence, justifiably targeted for regime change and invasion.

Recognizing the threat Iraq’s non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,

Deploring further that Iraq repeatedly obstructed immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to sites designated by the United Nations Special Commission

Deploring also that the Government of Iraq has failed to comply with its commitments pursuant to resolution 687 (1991) with regard to terrorism, pursuant to resolution 688 (1991) to end repression of its civilian population and to provide access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in Iraq, and pursuant to resolutions 686 (1991), 687 (1991), and 1284 (1999) to return or cooperate in accounting for Kuwaiti and third country nationals wrongfully detained by Iraq, or to return Kuwaiti property wrongfully seized by Iraq,

Deploring the fact that Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, and complete disclosure, as required by resolution 687 (1991), of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction

Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991)

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Wrong. Since 660 simply stated

The Security Council,

Alarmed by the invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 by the military forces of Iraq,

Determining that there exists a breach of international peace and security as regards the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait,

Acting under Articles 39 and 40 of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Condemns the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait;

2. Demands that Iraq withdraw immediately and unconditionally all s its forces to the positions in which they were located on 1 August 1990;

3. Calls upon Iraq and Kuwait to begin immediately intensive negotiations for the resolution of their differences and supports all efforts in this regard, and especially those of the League of Arab States;

4. Decides to meet again as necessary to consider further steps with to ensure compliance with the present resolution.

then the anlysis by the Australian law professors Hilary Charlesworth and Andrew Byrnes who authored the piece I linked to is correct.

Here's an additional opinion:

Legality of war on Iraq

Resolution 660 had the sole aim of restoring the sovereignty of Kuwait. 687 imposed a formal cease-fire conditional on Iraq’s acceptance of certain terms. It did accept those terms. (emphasis mine)

...

The wording of the Gulf War resolutions shows that, when the Security Council intends to authorise the use of force, it does so in clear terms. Resolution 678 referred to the use of ‘all necessary means’, phrasing which does not appear in any subsequent Resolution relating to Iraq. The phrase ‘all necessary means’ has also been used when the Security Council 24 authorised intervention in Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti.

Resolution 686, para 4, which marked the provisional

cessation of hostilities, expressly preserved the right to use force under Resolution 678. However, Resolution 687,

which marked the permanent ceasefire, uses no such

terms. This demonstrates a clear recognition that the right to use force requires express terms if it is to be continued.

The absence of any clear terms in any resolution after 686

leads us to the conclusion that no such use of force was

authorised. (emph mine again)

...

Further, the Gulf War ended with a Security Council

commitment to remain ‘actively seized’ of the situation.

This strongly implies that they will apply their judgment

afresh to any new proposals for the use of force. As Loeb

and Ratner express it,

‘It should not be presumed that the Security Council has authorised the greatest amount of violence that might be inferred from a broad authorisation. For

example, Resolution 678 clearly authorised force to

oust Iraq from Kuwait, but the broad provision on

restoring international peace and security ought to be

read in the context of that purpose. It should not be

interpreted to authorise an escalation of the fighting that would remove the Government or enforce weapons inspections.’

In other words, your interpretation that 678 authorized the use of force (in perpetuity?) is wrong.

If such were the case, then 1441 would have been completely uneccesary. I think the simple fact that the U.S. and UK did not use your argument in trying to obtain support for the invasion speaks to the invalidity of your position.

That's not to say they didn't try. In 1998, during the crisis over inspections, a majority of the Security Council disagreed with the U.S. position and argued that no existing Security Council resolution authorized the U.S., Britain, or any other member state to enforce Iraq's disarmament obligations imposed by Resolution 687. A majority of the Security Council have argued that it is up to the Security Council as a whole, and not individual states, to decide how to enforce resolutions.

That's why 1441 was put forward, but even that resolution did not explicitly authorize the use of force.

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I'm not humbled.

Oh BD, the eternal contrarian. The eternal conspiracy theorist. Just once admit the possiblity that you could be wrong. It's ok no one will think you're stupid.

that the situation in most of the country is no better and often worse, than it was under the Taliban.

:rolleyes:

Really? better than when Hindu's were forced to wear nazi-like armbands? Better than when women weren't allowed to read and were executed in front of crowds for taking off their Burkas? Wow. Why do I even respond to this insanity. Reminds me of a clip I saw of some peace protesters talking about how life is so much better under a dictator (refering to Sadam Hussein). How you get free health care etc. Funny they didn't mention the hundreds of thousands murdered and tortured by Sadam. Nor did they mention how pleasant it would be to have your tongue cut off or raped "for peace protesting".

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Oh BD, the eternal contrarian. The eternal conspiracy theorist. Just once admit the possiblity that you could be wrong. It's ok no one will think you're stupid.

Coming from someone who still believes in WMD (and possibly, Santa), that's a laff. In any case, I'm not a conspiracy theorist (whatever that means), nor do I think that I'm wrong for not breathlessly regurgitating the latest White House talking points.

Really? better than when Hindu's were forced to wear nazi-like armbands? Better than when women weren't allowed to read and were executed in front of crowds for taking off their Burkas? Wow. Why do I even respond to this insanity.

Losing the Peace in Afghanistan: a Human Rights watch report

Afghans are right to worry. The signs are troubling. Despite the initial enthusiasm for rebuilding the country, the world seems to have forgotten them. International support has been scarce. Comparisons with recent peacekeeping and nation-building exercises are troubling. As pointed out by the humanitarian organization CARE International, in Rwanda, East Timor, Kosovo, and Bosnia, donors spent an average of $250 per person annually in aid. If that average were applied in Afghanistan, the country would receive $5.5 billion in aid every year for the next four years. Instead, it has received pledges amounting to less than one-fourth of that sum. The Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank, has pointed out that in Kosovo the international community spent twenty-five times more money, on a per capita basis, than it has pledged in Afghanistan. Similarly, in Kosovo the international community committed fifty times more troops per capita than it has in Afghanistan. Comparisons with Iraq, of course, are even worse: while Iraq received U.S.$26 billion in reconstruction aid in 2003, Afghanistan received less than $1 billion.

This inattention has had a tremendously negative impact. Taliban forces are resurgent and emboldened in their attacks on U.S. troops as well as on the government of President Hamid Karzai and the foreign community supporting him. Warlords, militias, and brigands dominate the entire country, including the city of Kabul. Many women and girls, freed from the Taliban’s rule, have again been forced out of schools and jobs due to insecurity. Poppy cultivation has soared to new highs, providing billions of dollars to the Taliban, warlords, and petty criminals who resist the central government. Foreign states with long, mostly destructive histories of interference in Afghanistan’s affairs—­Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, Uzbekistan, and Russia—are again picking local proxies to push their agendas.

Reminds me of a clip I saw of some peace protesters talking about how life is so much better under a dictator (refering to Sadam Hussein). How you get free health care etc. Funny they didn't mention the hundreds of thousands murdered and tortured by Sadam. Nor did they mention how pleasant it would be to have your tongue cut off or raped "for peace protesting".

Kinda like how Bush and friends talked about Saddam gassing his own people without mentioning the fact that the U.S. was cool with it at the time, eh?

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The wording of the Gulf War resolutions shows that, when the Security Council intends to authorise the use of force, it does so in clear terms. Resolution 678 referred to the use of ‘all necessary means’, phrasing which does not appear in any subsequent Resolution relating to Iraq.
Resolution 686, para 4, which marked the provisional cessation of hostilities, expressly preserved the right to use force under Resolution 678.
However, Resolution 687,

which marked the permanent ceasefire, uses no such

terms. This demonstrates a clear recognition that the right to use force requires express terms if it is to be continued.

The absence of any clear terms in any resolution after 686

leads us to the conclusion that no such use of force was

authorised.

687

687  Recalling its resolutions ........678 (1990) of 29 November 1990 and 686 (1991) of 2 March 1991,

1. Affirms all thirteen resolutions noted above, except as expressly changed below to achieve the goals of this resolution, including a formal cease-fire;

Lots of stuff was mentioned and changed but Para 2 of 678 was not.

The phrase ‘all necessary means’ has also been used when the Security Council 24 authorised intervention in Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti.

And it is used in 1441 as well,

Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area,

Along with a further prod of:

the Council has repeatedly warned iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations
Further, the Gulf War ended with a Security Council

commitment to remain ‘actively seized’ of the situation.

This strongly implies that they will apply their judgment

afresh to any new proposals for the use of force. As Loeb

and Ratner express it,

Strongly implies uh? Kinda like a 'little pregnant.' This is international law at the hisgest level, not whackamole. It either says or it does not.

If such were the case, then 1441 would have been completely uneccesary.

Wrong. 1441 was the UNSC giving Iraq one last chance to live up to the conditions of the ceasefire. They did not.

I think the simple fact that the U.S. and UK did not use your argument in trying to obtain support for the invasion speaks to the invalidity of your position.

They did. It is a fact that everybody knew, like the law of gravity hence the US and Britain did not push for the second resolution as they already had this authorization. If they had of done so, they would endanger their tenuous postition of legality.

Anyhow, still waiting for the UN to pass a resolution saying that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. There must be one if all you people are runing around saying it is. I would like to see it very much as it supports your position. In it's absence, I guess we have to go back to a default postition of it being legal.

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And it is used in 1441 as well,

No. That was a citation of the text of 678.

They did. It is a fact that everybody knew, like the law of gravity hence the US and Britain did not push for the second resolution as they already had this authorization. If they had of done so, they would endanger their tenuous postition of legality.

Then why did China France and Russia all state that their endorsement of 1441 was contingent on the fact it did not automatically authorize the use of force?

Anyhow, still waiting for the UN to pass a resolution saying that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. There must be one if all you people are runing around saying it is. I would like to see it very much as it supports your position. In it's absence, I guess we have to go back to a default postition of it being legal.

So by your logic then, a murder is only a murder if the perpatrator is caught and charged. If you happen to get away with it, then you've done nothing wrong. Awesome.

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