Play It Again Sam! (A Look Back on The Bush Administration Urging the Will of The United nations on Iraq: October 7th, 2002)
he seemingly never-ending war against Iraq over the past four years has certainly had a checkered history. It all began when Bill Clinton “wagged the dog,” bombing Iraq in December 1998 in a bid to delay the House impeachment vote. The Bush administration opted to continue this perpetual and largely pointless low-grade air war against Iraq in order to enforce the will and dictates of the godless, anti-American United Nations upon a sovereign nation that lacks the ability to defend itself from overwhelming US military power.
On October 10 and 11, first the House and then the Senate voted overwhelmingly to ignobly and unconstitutionally surrender their war-making authority to the president of the United States, leaving the decision as to whether or not to invade Iraq solely to him. In submitting his draft of the congressional authorization for the president to engage in war against Iraq, Pres. Bush and his lawyers declared that they didn’t think they needed congressional permission to wage war against Iraq and were asking congressional permission solely as an afterthought in the interests of building public support for their plans for war against Iraq.
The Joint Congressional Resolution passed by the House and the Senate, referred 16 UN resolutions which Iraq is alleged to have defied; those resolution were cited as justification for a US invasion, but not one single reference was made to Congress’ exclusive constitutional authority to declare war. Since when does defiance of the resolutions of the anti-American United Nations provide justification to send hundreds of thousands of US troops into harm’s way against a CBR-armed dictator who has nothing to lose? With all the attempts by the administration to justify an invasion of Iraq by citing as authority UN resolutions and violations of UN resolutions by Iraq, one wonders if the president’s primary concern is to further the interests of the United Nations or the interests of the United States which he was entrusted by the American people to champion.
If UN resolutions provided one of the principal justifications for the US decision to wager war, the US would have fought a war against Israel long ago as they have been equal if not more flagrant violators of UN resolutions over the past few decades. What US interest is served by enforcing the will of the United Nations, a world body which consists of at least 60-70 countries led by dictators nearly as brutal as Saddam Hussein, many of them totalitarian, Communist, and/or direct or indirect supporters of global terrorism? Nearly two thirds of the nations who are members of the United Nations are countries with largely socialist economic systems led by corrupt leaders who regularly register their opposition to US policies. Indeed, Syria, a nation long on the list of state sponsors of terrorism is a member of the UN Security Council, which continues to pass judgment over the world’s sovereign nations. What moral authority can such an unsavory group hope to provide to the world? What gives the UN the authority to pass resolutions condemning Israel, Iraq and many of the other sovereign countries of the world and requiring them to comply with its will and whim?
Three of the House’s most conservative members opposed the war with Iraq on the grounds that giving the president war-making authority would violate 226 years of Judeo-Christian “just war” doctrine. As congressional opponents of the President’s Iraq war resolution stated at the time, a US invasion of Iraq would not merely be unprovoked, but would be in violation of the laws of war, which comprise part of international law and expressly forbid pre-emptive attacks. It would also be in violation of the laws of God, as summarized by the Judeo-Christian just war ethic, which confines war-making to self-defense and defense of another and which forbids unprovoked attacks against other countries.
The fact that US and British warplanes have bombed Iraq on an almost weekly basis demonstrate that the administration had not waited for congressional approval before beginning the air campaign of Gulf War II in earnest. Given the fact that we have been bombing Iraq nearly every week for the past four years, that literally thousands of sorties have been flown without a single casualty or a single act of retaliation on the part of Saddam, one wonders how Bush administration officials can claim with a straight face that Iraq is the greatest threat facing America today. Either Saddam has shown tremendous restraint by not trying to fight back or Iraq simply lacks the capability. Iraq has not been successful in shooting down even one of our fighter-bombers and has demonstrated neither the capability nor the intent to kill American citizens at home.
This unprovoked war against Iraq has been waged without congressional approval under the aegis of enforcing the unprecedented UN “no-fly zones.” In fact, when a pair of F-16s shot down a couple of US helicopters to enforce the “no-fly zone” over northern Iraq in 1994, it was Vice President Al Gore who eulogized them, stating that “they died on behalf of the United Nations.” One is left to wonder how promoting the godless, anti-American United Nations and sacrificing the lives of hundreds and perhaps thousands of US soldiers fighting on behalf of the UN in a future invasion of Iraq furthers the US national interest. Successive Iraqi attempts to defend itself against US bombing raids and patrols enforcing the UN no-fly zones have been cited as aggressive acts and provocations by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as justifications for a full-scale invasion of Iraq.
On Nov. 8, under heavy pressure from the United States, the UN Security Council passed a new resolution against Iraq mandating that it disarm itself of any remaining WMD capabilities or face “serious consequences.” However, many of the nations that agreed to the new resolution were quick to point out that the resolution did not give the US authority to attack Iraq. The US has stated in response that it would use the resolution as authority to invade Iraq if it became evident that Iraq had failed to comply with the will of the United Nations. Iraq has since accepted the new UN resolution and agreed to allow inspectors to resume their inspections without conditions.
While world opinion remains dead set against the US plan to invade Iraq due to an absence of any convincing pretext or justification, the Bush administration has warned that even the least sign of non-compliance with the UN resolution will be grounds for invasion and that only the forcible overthrow of Saddam would suffice to avert such serious action. The administration has not given Saddam any hope to believe that UN sanctions would be removed were he to be in full compliance with UN resolutions. Iraq does not appear able to avoid a US invasion without overthrowing Saddam, which the weak Iraqi opposition is completely incapable of doing. It seems that the Bush administration has been hell-bent upon invasion from the start and that the entire outcome of the so-called ‘debate’ has been decided from the beginning. War with Iraq appears inevitable. ***
David T Pyne currently serves as DUV-PAC Chairman, President of the Utah Republican Assembly, and as Vice President for the Association of the United States Army’s Utah Chapter. A former national security expert, he has served as President of the Center for the National Security Interest, worked as a defense contractor and International Programs Manager, as an International Analyst for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Department of the Navy, and as a Research Assistant for the Center for Security Policy.