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Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88. The former defense secretary oversaw Iraq, Afghanistan wars

Weinie

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I agree he should have been deposed in 1991, but he wasn’t. 2003 wasn’t 1991. I also didn’t say “without provocation”, I said “on a phony pretext [WMDs] without legal justification”. Much of what you listed would have justified a drive to Baghdad in 1991, but they chose not to. You don’t get to bank that for later.

I’m talking about international law. Law that America helped to establish and cajole others into becoming signatories to. America is a linchpin of the system that applies that law. And America, in this case, ignored it, invaded Iraq, and brought about all the horrendous stuff that came of that. It was a war of aggression, and the leaders of a less powerful state would face accountability for that. Rumsfeld never did because America’s might shields them from that.



What would have been a more viable option would have been not invading and focusing on the war they already had.
Hindsight
 

brihard

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Hindsight
shrug again, as I said previously, I’m not relying on the after effects of the Iraq invasion for my position. The legal onus is on a state party to demonstrate why military action against another sovereign state is lawful. My position does not rely on how badly they bungled the whole thing, but simply on that they did it in the first place in violation of the UN Charter around use of armed force. Obviously as a P5 nation, they have veto power over the mechanism that exists to try to curtail that. But they never used that same mechanism to be allowed to use military force the way they did in the first place. This is not ex post facto creation or application of law, and ‘hindsight’ does not serve to dismiss this.
 

mariomike

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Henry Kissinger was quoted as saying, "Donald Rumsfeld is the most ruthless man I ever met. And I mean that as a compliment."
 

Weinie

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shrug again, as I said previously, I’m not relying on the after effects of the Iraq invasion for my position. The legal onus is on a state party to demonstrate why military action against another sovereign state is lawful. My position does not rely on how badly they bungled the whole thing, but simply on that they did it in the first place in violation of the UN Charter around use of armed force. Obviously as a P5 nation, they have veto power over the mechanism that exists to try to curtail that. But they never used that same mechanism to be allowed to use military force the way they did in the first place. This is not ex post facto creation or application of law, and ‘hindsight’ does not serve to dismiss this.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441​

 

brihard

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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441​

Yes, I mentioned that earlier. Did you actually read it? 1441 was not a use of force authorization, and if you do further Googling you’ll see that the US ambassador to the UN explicitly described there being no ‘hidden triggers’ authorizing use of force when it was being considered. Section 12 of the UNSCR specifically stipulated that the Council would reconvene if there was a material breach. Negroponte went so far as to leave the door open to the US and allies acting without security council authorization, if they were unsatisfied with UNSCR responses to any real or perceived breaches. So yeah, 1441 isn’t what you think it was.
 

Weinie

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Yes, I mentioned that earlier. Did you actually read it? 1441 was not a use of force authorization, and if you do further Googling you’ll see that the US ambassador to the UN explicitly described there being no ‘hidden triggers’ authorizing use of force when it was being considered. Section 12 of the UNSCR specifically stipulated that the Council would reconvene if there was a material breach. Negroponte went so far as to leave the door open to the US and allies acting without security council authorization, if they were unsatisfied with UNSCR responses to any real or perceived breaches. So yeah, 1441 isn’t what you think it was.
I did read it. And I posted it because you had said that there was no legal basis for the invasion. The resolution passed unanimously, and warned Iraq there would be repercussions if they were not in compliance with it or previous resolutions. They decided to ignore it, so.......
 

brihard

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I did read it. And I posted it because you had said that there was no legal basis for the invasion. The resolution passed unanimously, and warned Iraq there would be repercussions if they were not in compliance with it or previous resolutions. They decided to ignore it, so.......
Again, the resolution explicitly said how a breach would be handled. It would go back to the UNSC for further consideration (UNSCR 1441, S.12) . It did not authorize unilateral invasion. No UNSCR did. Authorization for limited military force would likely have been the next step as 1441 very much read as a ‘final warning’, but it didn’t happen. As you’re quoting UNSC for use of force authorizations, I take it from that that you accept that to be the governing legal mechanism.

And don’t forget, the WMD pretext was a lie. The administration picked and chose how to present unreliable intelligence so as to drum up support, but in the years since, those on the inside have made it quite clear that the int about WMD didn’t say what the administration said it did.

So, we still find the US and coalition acting unilaterally, outside of the mechanisms they established and supported in the UN that should have been exercised to authorize military force. Even the Secretary General described it as illegal.

I retain my belief that Rumsfeld would have faced legal jeopardy for his part in launching a war of aggression, were the US not functionally immune from such things.
 
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