Monday, January 05, 2009

The Iraq War Is Now Illegal

From AlterNet:

In authorizing an invasion in 2002, Congress did not give President Bush a blank check. It explicitly limited the use of force to two purposes: to “defend the national security of the US from the threat posed by Iraq” and “enforce all relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

Five years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the government of Iraq no longer poses a threat. Our continuing intervention has been based on the second clause of Congress' grant of war-making power. Coalition troops have been acting under a series of Security Council resolutions authorizing the continuing occupation of Iraq. But this year, Bush allowed the UN mandate to expire on December 31 without requesting a renewal. At precisely one second after midnight, Congress' authorization of the war expired along with this mandate.

Bush is trying to fill the legal vacuum with the new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) he signed with the Iraqis. But the president's agreement is unconstitutional, since it lacks the approval of Congress.

More here.

Of course, the Iraq war has always been illegal. Never mind the fact that it was, from the get-go, an imperialistic war of aggression, which is the supreme war crime according to the judges at Nuremberg because all other war crimes stem from it. The Iraq invasion was illegal according to our own laws: there never was any threat posed by Iraq; there never were any weapons of mass destruction--the White House lied. And the UN Security Council blessing of the occupation was after-the-fact. That is, when Congress authorized Bush to go nuts in the Middle East, absolutely no one outside the US believed that existing UN Security Council resolutions authorized an all out invasion of Iraq.

So we violated both US laws and international laws.

But now, clearly, even by our own retarded standards, it is illegal for the United States to wage war in Iraq. Sadly, I'm sure this will make no difference at all in how Bush deals with our latest vassal state during his final two weeks in office. And I'm sure the cautious Democrats in Congress will let him continue to have his way. That's because the law in America no longer has any meaning. The Constitution has no meaning. Democracy, and increasingly freedom, have no meaning.

A nation turns its lonely eyes to our incoming savior-in-chief. He's got to be better than Bush--you just can't get any worse. But how much better? That's the question.