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Iraq wmd war (2003)

Iraq attack: WarTalk-1

by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

War-talk: Day 10 March 28-30 2003

Iraq wmd war timeline: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008
Congress debates, votes
Iran uranium timeline
Israel/Palestine timeline:
Palestine Peace Not Apartheid
The Israel Lobby

Bill Dutton (473.93, Mar-28 9:44 am, in reply to 473.82):

“The US is paying for this war with American Blood.”

HWOODCJ (473.377, Mar-28 12:52 pm, in reply to 473.93):

The US is paying for this war with Iraqi Blood.

Bill Dutton (473.178, Mar-28 10:39 am, in reply to 473.164):

“Just a reminder to everyone:
After 7 days of war in Iraq: 47 Allied dead.
After ONE day, June 6, 1944: over 4000 Allied dead.”

HWOODCJ (473.523, Mar-28 2:50 pm, in reply to 473.178):

10,000 Iraqi soldiers dead?*
500 Iraqi civilians dead?
?????? Iraqi wounded?


* Includes what you don’t see on TV: B-52s carpet-bombing Iraqi soldiers south of Baghdad and in the north.

DOUG1213 (473.264, Mar-28 11:27 am, in reply to 473.241):

“I don’t mourn the loss of Iraqi combatants ... sorry.”

HWOODCJ (473.636, Mar-28 4:14 pm, in reply to 473.264):

Quote: We should remove Saddam to protect his own people, because he’s a killer. Unquote

WILLIAM2735 (473.289, Mar-28 11:43 am, in reply to 473.282):

“Civilians do get killed, but that is a just the way it goes.”

HWOODCJ (473.643, Mar-28 4:26 pm, in reply to 473.289):

... when you decide to launch a war.

TORYU889 (473.322, Mar-28 12:01 pm, in reply to 473.12):

“The benefits and security of being an American comes at a price. The protesters by and large are not willing to pay it, and to ease their collective conscience, they don’t want anyone else to either.”

HWOODCJ (473.667, Mar-28 4:53 pm, in reply to 473.322):

You mean they don’t want innocent, patriotic, valiant Iraqi soldiers and incidental civilians to pay with their lives the price you demand for your suppositions and imaginings about your security?

LISAMT (473.328, Mar-28 12:06 pm, in reply to 473.314):

“... it’s still a tragedy, and sadly, a reality, when civilians die.”

HWOODCJ (473.669, Mar-28 4:58 pm, in reply to 473.328):

And when enemy soldiers die? Is that a tragedy? Or a good riddance?

LISAMT (473.774, Mar-28 5:58 pm, in reply to 473.669):

“Also absolutely sad. Though in a volunteer army, I find it hard to believe that anyone signing up would not consider that danger is part of the job. Of course it’s sad for the families and for those who are sacrificing. But being a soldier and being a civilian are two very different things.”


I thought I replied to this, but I can’t find it. In any event, I either did, or would have, said this:

And what of the conscript soldiers in Saddam’s army? Who did not volunteer? Who were drafted to serve and made no such free choice of danger and sacrifice?

We want to protect the citizens of Iraq from death at the hands of Saddam. In computing who is the bigger killer, shall we exclude the soldiers we kill, including conscripts? Are they not citizens of Iraq? Equally deserving (with civilians) of protection from death at the hands of Saddam, or ourselves?

WILLIAM2735 (473.476, Mar-28 2:05 pm, in reply to 473.461):

“Why has no one asked how many American Lives is too many? Having two kids over there, I would like to get someone put a number to it !!”

HWOODCJ (473.858, Mar-28 6:48 pm, in reply to 473.476):

How many Iraqi lives is too many?

TEXASJIM5 (473.861, Mar-28 6:56 pm, in reply to 473.858):

“In my view, the best way to shock and awe them is to kill them. Bomb the bejesus out of them and let God or Allah sort it out.”

LARAIA (473.639, Mar-28 4:17 pm, in reply to 473.1):

“Sadly, our young people fighting in Iraq are paying the price for this Administration’s mistakes.”

HWOODCJ (473.1036, Mar-28 9:17 pm, in reply to 473.639):

Iraqis are paying the price.

JLB98 (473.648, Mar-28 4:36 pm, in reply to 473.646):

“I hate to see a lot of casualities including US, Brits and the Iraqi civilians.”

HWOODCJ (473.1043, Mar-28 9:23 pm, in reply to 473.649):

And Iraqi soldiers?

JLB98 (473.881, Mar-28 7:24 pm, in reply to 473.858):

“I think too many Americans and Brits have lost their lives already !!! I think we have lost to many Iraqi civilians also.”

HWOODCJ (473.1159, Mar-28 11:49 pm, in reply to 473.881):

No pity for the Iraqi soldiers? Don’t forget we’re in the middle of a body-count: Are we going to kill more Iraqis to remove Saddam than Saddam would have killed had we let him be?

Bill Dutton (473.527, Mar-28 2:55 pm, in reply to 473.523):

HWOODCJ: “Includes what you don’t see on TV: B-52s carpet-bombing Iraqi soldiers south of Baghdad and in the north.”


HWOODCJ (473.889, Mar-28 7:33 pm, in reply to 473.527):

I agree. The fewer Iraqis left alive following our liberation, the better: The fewer we’ll have to feed with their oil revenues. And that means the more of their revenues we can suck into our Treasury (to pay our occupation costs), the lower will be our defense budget we’ll have to pay ourselves, and the bigger will be my tax refund. Bring on the B-52s !

CPECHE1 (473.1233, Mar-29 2:35 am, in reply to 473.889):

“Can you awake one morning knowing that you had your tax refund on the cost of thousands of lives, do you have any conscience ????

To help you and being very sarcastic (and I tell you I don’t like it, but to put you in your place), the more American dead soldiers the less will be your defense budget too, if you understand me. That means a tax refund too.

One casualty — whatever side — it is one too much. Don’t forget: they are still somebody’s kid.”

HWOODCJ (473.1939), Mar-29 2:23 pm, in reply to 473.1233):

“Blood for oil”:– That’s the name of the game ... and the players aren’t troubled by the details.

CPECHE1 (473.2093, Mar-30 2:56 am, in reply to 473.1939):

“When you see your neighbour’s kid coming back in his coffin, tell his dad not to grieve:– He will have some tax refund. I’m sure he’ll be pleased.

If this is a game how do you play it? Las Vegas or Playstation ???”

HWOODCJ (473.2097, Mar-30 3:16 am, in reply to 473.2093):

Well, I recollect you said you are from Belgium and I gather English is not your first language, so let me explain what I said:

I (myself) do not endorse anything I said. I was adopting the voice of a persona — speaking *as if* I were a person who endorsed what I said.

Naturally, those who covet Iraq’s oil revenues and oil contracts and military bases in Iraq do not speak frankly and openly about their malevolent intentions and desires.

But my fictional persona does; s/he tells it exactly like it is (as I suppose it to be), with no apologizes.

Hence, your understandable and justified outrage at what I said (473.1939). I agree completely with you — 100% — and I share your outrage — 100%.

WILLIAM2735 (473.125, Mar-28 10:09 am, in reply to 473.115):

“The problem with this war is, I think, like Vietnam, the politicians had too much to do with the planning and have not let the military men do thier job. Rumsfeld is not a military strategist and historically this is a blueprint for failure, see Germany WWII.”

Bill Dutton (473.146, Mar-28 10:25 am, in reply to 473.125):

“Sorry, but comparing this war to Vietnam is ridiculous. In Vietnam, there was no goal to take the north ... just hold the south. ”

WILLIAM2735 (473.156, Mar-28 10:31 am, in reply to 473.146):

“[In Vietnam] the politicians wouldn’t let the military fight to win !! I am talking about the politicians’ interference with the military. Our military is trained for war; once the politicians make the decision, they should step out and let them do their job, as in Iraq-I.”

Bill Dutton (473.161, Mar-28 10:32 am, in reply to 473.156):

“OK ... I agree. We should take the gloves off and let the boys do their job.”

HWOODCJ (473.470, Mar-28 2:00 pm, in reply to 473.161):

And what job would that be? Bomb Baghdad to rubble?

We tried that in Korea, and the US Air Force had to stand down because, according to its commander, there were no more targets:— “not two bricks left stuck together”, was the way he put it in Congressional testimony.

But, wait a minute, we didn’t win that war, did we? Hummm....

So your view is that the US Military does not serve the political authority of the Government of the United States of America but, when war starts, is properly detached from that authority with license to act independently as its commanders see fit?

As in Pakistan, or Nigeria, or Chile (Pinochet)?

I agree this makes for a much more efficient form of government (by chain of command) and permits the military to run the country efficiently, without all that messy voting and arguing in Congress and such.

An excellent idea: Take the gloves off.

Bill Dutton (473.491, Mar-28 2:24 pm, in reply to 473.470):

“I believe that the rules of engagement should be softened enough so that our nation’s finest young men and women can carry out their mission with as few casualties as possible yet still come home alive.

And, yes, I believe that commanders in the field should have the authority to act as they see fit to complete the mission within the parameters of the normal conduct of war as laid out in international law and the Geneva Conventions.

They should not be hampered by a bunch of second guessing politicians thousands of miles away on the details of how that mission gets carried out. This was part of our undoing in Vietnam.”

HWOODCJ (473.870, Mar-28 7:09 pm, in reply to 473.491):

And so, to conquer the forces they face, US commanders should be free to attack them — even though they be mingled amongst civilians — and thereby get it over with?

Bill Dutton (473.873, Mar-28 7:10 pm, in reply to 473.870):


JUNE5101 (473.893, Mar-28 10:39 am, in reply to 473.523):

“Why are B-52s needed if the weapons are so advanced and on the spot accurate?”

HWOODCJ (473.1163, Mar-29 12:03 am, in reply to 473.893):

There’re too expensive. A JDAM tail-kit costs $21,000.

Bolted onto a $3,100 2,000-pound dumb-bomb (alias free-fall, alias general-purpose), a B-52 at 45,000 feet can put it through your letter-box from 15 miles away.

But, that same B-52 can also simply carpet-bomb without the JDAM, saving the taxpayer some big bucks. But US commanders only do that when they can find a military objective (eg: massed troops south of Baghdad) far enough away from civilians so that errant dumb-bombs don’t get the press in a tizzy. http://www.af.mil/news/factsheets/JDAM.html

JUNE5101 (473.1291, Mar-28 7:36 pm, in reply to 473.1163):

“I heard a radio report that if B 52s are being used then something is severely wrong with US planning.”

HWOODCJ (473.2451, Mar-30 8:35 pm, in reply to 473.1291):

This is a common misperception about B-52s.

The comment you heard is based on the assumption (as I suppose) that the B-52s will be carpet-bombing, as they did, famously, in Vietnam. And yes, were it true that B-52s were now carpet-bombing close to “civilians” and “civilian objects”, then yes, “something is severely wrong with US planning”.

However, B-52s can do *both*: They can carpet-bomb with dumb-bombs (without JDAMs) and they can also target-bomb (dumb-bombs with the JDAM tail-kit, and also air-launched cruise missiles).

And so the term “B-52” is no longer properly the icon of indiscriminate bombing it once was. Many in the public have not yet caught-up with this new reality about B-52s.

Those on the receiving end of a B-52 carpet-bomb run, of course, derive little comfort from such distinctions.

Yet, the sentiment behind the statement you heard on the radio is nevertheless pertinent to what’s going on:

We’re in the middle of body-count war, with a different war-aim (regime-change) from the one the UN Security Council was dealing with (disarmament).

Had Bush advanced this war-aim at the UN (he didn’t), we wouldn’t be watching this war-plan unfolding now.

For regime-change, the Security Council would have been looking towards an ultimatum from Kofi Annan, surrounded by nodding Arab leaders, for Saddam to step-down and, if he didn’t, that stamp of Arab authority would nevertheless likely have given many in the Iraqi armed forces the excuse they needed to surrender, honorably, without feeling unpatriotic. As further encouragement, the Security Council would likely have promised amnesty to most for any past crimes they had participated in.

And, the Security Council would have insisted on control of post-war government, thereby preventing the United States from arresting, detaining, prosecuting, and punishing whom they please; preventing the United States from exploiting Iraq’s oil (occupation cost reimbursements, and oil contracts to US oil companies); and preventing the United States from establishing permanent military bases in Iraq.

This trustworthy UN control over post-war government would also have removed much reluctance among the Iraqi armed forces to surrender (they’re patriots, fighting for their oil and to prevent permanent US military bases, as well as their own skins).

And, the war-plan the Security Council might have approved would have as its first objective the preservation of Iraqi life (both civilians and soldiers) and a lengthy patient time-line to serve that objective.

Regime-change, as a war-aim, must obey the rule of proportionality: Are we going to kill more Iraqis (both civilians and soldiers) than Saddam is likely to kill if we leave him in place?

The B-52s so far have target-bombed military targets in Baghdad with extreme accuracy, from the JDAM tail-fin kits (accuracy: less than 10-meters via GPS, less than 30-meters if GPS is jammed or fails, via the backup laser-giro inertial navigation system in JDAM).

And, they have carpet-bombed (unseen on TV) supposedly military targets (troop concentrations) sufficiently distant from civilians and civilian objects such that there has been no ‘collateral damage’ from errant bombs. At least that’s US propaganda. We don’t know if this is true, as there are no journalists witnessing the carpet-bombing.

The US Military has stated that the safety of its own troops is its primary objective. And, they’ve stated that preserving Iraqi *civilian* life is also an objective, but secondary to US life. The US has made no statement about the lives of Iraqi soldiers, and the US Military is doing its best to kill as many of them as possible.

If the US Military decides to attack Iraqi forces disbursed in town centers, *then* the body-count will explode; the United States will kill far more Iraqis (soldiers plus civilians) than Saddam ever dreamed of killing; and the number-one violent international criminal — world public enemy number-1 — will be the United States of America: “Wanted: dead or alive”.

If they go this route, then what you heard on the radio will certainly be the case, B-52s or no: “something is severely wrong with US planning”.

JUNE5101 (473.2595, Mar-31 2:04 am, in reply to 473.2451):

“Interesting analysis. I agree that if the government hadn’t have been so intent on going to war there could have been a solution that could have been an honourable end for everybody since the arab summit agreed in principle that Saddam had to step down. I think saving face is a big thing in politics.”

LEWISXXXUSA (473.2455, Mar-30 8:38 pm, in reply to 473.2451):

“U have too much faith in the UN.”

HWOODCJ (473.2589, Mar-31 1:41 am, in reply to 473.2455):

*My* faith in the UN is neither here nor there (not relevant to the issue). It’s what the Iraqi armed forces have faith in that matters (in my post about how this could be handled differently). The object is to induce the military to surrender and thereby minimize loss of Iraqi life (including Iraqi soldiers).

Iraqi patriots defending their homeland and national wealth will happily cock an attentive ear to any regime-change proposal.

But we complicate their decision by packaging within our proposal: US seizure of their oil fields and another military dictatorship (the post-war US military government). And this scenario is indefinite, because nobody can make the US leave, once they get there. Not to mention a new military dictator (G.W.Bush) who shoots first (and doesn’t even bother to ask questions afterwards) when it comes to detaining indefinitely those who cast him an angry eye.

Now what would you do: Surrender or fight?

But in my scenario, there’re no negatives: The Security Council installed government can protect their oil fields from US exploitation, prevent the US from settling-in for the long-stay on their new military bases, and protect them from a new gun-slinging military dictator.

It’s 100% certain they won’t trust anything G.W.Bush promises, because they just finished watching him double-cross Saddam and launch war in violation of his promise not to (without a subsequent UN resolution under 1441).

Would *they* trust the UN?

I have no doubt they would, because they’re looking for an excuse to surrender with honor. And if the UN (with Arab-leader backing) said it was the right thing to do, that’s all the excuse they need. And though they may have pangs of doubt about their oil fields, I don’t suppose they’ll find those doubts persuasive: Faith in a 15-member public body, instead of a single military dictator (G.W.Bush), is an easy faith to have, a natural faith.

It’s not too late to do this now: A cease-fire in place; a new confab at the UN; an Arab-leader caucus; a US surrender to the UN of its right to install a post-war military government; an amnesty promise for past crimes by members of the Iraqi armed forces (with or without exceptions); public announcements to the Iraqi armed forces with time to think about it; an exile offer to Saddam and his henchmen; and (if necessary) a resumption of war on a new war-plan with a long time-line and a primary objective to preserve Iraqi life (more like a house-to-house search, a police action, for hold-outs).

HITOBITO (473.141, Mar-28 10:23 am, in reply to 473.131):

“Whether you are for or against this war, the accuracy of the precision guided weapons, the ability to deliver these weapons and the command and control has been unparalleled.”

HWOODCJ (473.439, Mar-28 1:32 pm, in reply to 473.144):

This is certainly so: JDAM is the best thing we’ve ever done.

And, it gives us confidence that we can now attack countries in circumstances we wouldn’t have previously, due to public revulsion against our previous weapons.

And, it makes for great TV. I’m particularly grateful to western TV companies for rejecting the despicable policy of Al Jazeera to show the facts of war as they are. It’s in extremely bad taste, and unnecessary, to show mangled bodies, intestines, brains, and such, especially as many children are watching the war. And watching such unnecessary facts might turn them against war as they grow up, and then we might not have such good TV in the future.

WILLIAM2735 (473.2455, Mar-28 1:36 pm, in reply to 473.439):

“Good Point, hiding the realities of war, makes it easier for the next one !!!”

HITOBITO (473.896, Mar-28 7:39 pm, in reply to 473.439):

“Thank you for your reply. On the other side of this coin is the terrible effect our bombing is having on the children of Iraq. The sooner this is over, the better their situation will be. The sanctions against Iraq to punish Saddam, succeeded in punishing those who cannot fend for themselves:— the children. I have a 9 month old grandson who has everything. As I look into his clear eyes, my own eyes fill with tears for the terrible situation of those little children in Iraq. Adults can sure screw things up.”

JPS1142 (473.863, Mar-28 7:00 pm, in reply to 473.677):

“When Donald Rumsfeld was asked today in a news conference to clarify Syrian and Iranian help to the Iraqis, ie their arms shipments and some personnel presence, his response was: anyone aiding the Iraqis would be considered a “combatant”.

So therefore anyone aiding the USA is also a fair target for the other side.”

VILIDBRO1 (473.875, Mar-28 7:15 pm, in reply to 473.863):

“You have a good point:— using the Bush Doctrine of Pre Emptive Strike for any country, and influenced by the US, who can see a threat at the present, or in the future, imagined or otherwise from any country large or small, has the right to run to the UN and make the same demands the US made on the UN to handle their perceived threat with Iraq.”

HWOODCJ (473.1156, Mar-28 11:45 pm, in reply to 473.875):

Syria and Iran have no need to run to the UN. We have an offensive war in progress, not sanctioned by the UN [ and in violation of a UN resolution which the US agreed to (1441), to disarm Saddam peaceably unless the 15-member Council (not the US acting alone) determined that was not possible ].

Any nation who wants to can lawfully attack the US in defense of Iraq. But I don’t suppose many will.

VILIDBRO1 (473.1282, Mar-29 6:55 am, in reply to 473.1156):

“I do. Maybe not directly, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

I think the Americans are in for “big time” problems from this day forward. And evidently do many legislators: Security budgets have gone through the roof. The “credibility gap” has started again.

North Korea evidently has nukes that can reach the US, or at least the Hawaiian Islands. Any whacko that throws a ‘Molotov cocktail’ through a school window at 3 o’clock in the morning will leave a note that they were ‘terrorist’ group. The government will try to convince the people that it was unrelated, but nobody will believe the government by then anyway (don’t believe them now, when they show bunker busters on TV and say nobody got hurt) and 75pct of the mothers in the US will drag their children out of school and keep them safe at home. So much for education. In fact last week’s Newsday had article about the class trips that are cancelled this year. Foreign travel is a thing of the past, as is our tourist trade in the US (too much hassle). Our legislators and their families are ‘sitting ducks’. The Suffolk County NY county legislature has three cops assigned to him.

I’m drifting on this, but the point I’m trying to make is where the World in general was sympathetic and cooperative toward the US after 9/11, the attitude now will be “so what”.

“If you’re not prepared for the enemy to shoot back, you don’t go to WAR”.”

Bill Dutton (473.146, Mar-28 10:25 am, in reply to 473.125):

“In Vietnam, there was no goal to take the north ... just hold the south.”

HWOODCJ (473.448, Mar-28 1:38 pm, in reply to 473.146):

...which did not desire to be held by the United States but, instead, to vote for Ho Chi Minh in 1956, as President Eisenhower promised in 1954 he would permit them to do. But, when 1956 arrived, and the CIA assured Eisenhower that 80% of the vote would be for Ho Chi Minh, Eisenhower decided, as you say, to hold the south. No reply


Geneva Declaration, July 21 1954, to hold a nationwide election in July 1956 {copy}. US declaration, July 21 1954, agreeing: “to achieve unity through free elections” and “that it will not join in an arrangement which would hinder this.” {copy}.

“I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that—had elections been held as of the time of the fighting {1954}—possibly 80% of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader”

Dwight D. Eisenhower (US President, Jan.20 1953-1961 Jan.20) Mandate for Change: 1953-1956, p.372 (Doubleday and Company, New York City, 1963), quoted by Ralph W. McGehee Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA, pp.133-134 (Sheridan Square Publications, New York City, 1983).

“A CIA ‘national intelligence estimate’ in the autumn {1956} concluded that the Diem regime (which Lansdale himself called ‘fascistic’) “almost certainly would not be able to defeat the communists in country-wide elections.” {CIA Saigon station chief Edward Geary Lansdale}.

William Blum The CIA: A Forgotten History, p.138 (Zed Books, London and Atlantic Heights New Jersey, 1986) citing: Joseph Burkholder Smith Portrait of a Cold Warrior, pp.172-174 (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York City, 1976; Ballantine Books, New York City, 1981). Smith helped install the US-puppet police-state in South Vietnam (the Diem regime), beginning while he was CIA station chief in Singapore.

John F. Kennedy (US President, Jan.20 1961-1963 Nov.22), and his brother Robert (US Attorney-General, Jan.20 1961-1964 Sep.3), felony-murdered the Diem brothers on November 2 1963 (via a violent military coup engineered by the CIA on orders of Kennedy), three weeks before John F. Kennedy himself received swift justice in Dallas (November 22 1963), and 4 years, 7 months before his brother received his just desserts in Los Angeles (June 5 1968). Addendum end

Bill Dutton (473.225, Mar-28 11:00 am, in reply to 473.552):

“In Vietnam, there was no resolve to win the conflict.”

HWOODCJ (473.602, Mar-28 3:41 pm, in reply to 473.225):

I believe the Vietnamese would disagree with your assertion.

It’s understandable that US resolve faded in the face of a superior resolve.

And I wonder if the unlawful, unjust, and corrupt objective of the US war on Vietnam affected US resolve (to prevent the people of Vietnam from electing the government of their choice, a fundamental human right, according the UN Charter). No reply

Nor (SRIMBERG) (473.168, Mar-28 10:34 am, in reply to 473.155):

Bill Dutton: “The UN had a clear mandate spelled out in 1441. It’s failure to act on it is it’s own undoing. This was yet another in a long list of failures of the UN to enforce it’s resolutions.”

“According to your answer it looks like it’s OK if any country in the UN at any time does exactly what it wants to do. Remember back and think of senator Fulbright (Arkansas) and what he wrote about the Arrogance of Power.”

HWOODCJ (473.492, Mar-28 2:24 pm, in reply to 473.168):

Senator William J. Fulbright (Democrat, Arkansas).

Is that the guy who was told in secret by LBJ about the CIA secret attacks on North Vietnam without a declaration of war by Congress?, providing legal justification [ self-defense ] for North Vietnam gunboats to attack the US warship providing tactical assistence to the CIA in the Gulf of Tonkin — had that attack actually taken place? And that the attack was a fiction? And then sat silent in the Senate as US military officers lied to the Senate about the incident and concealed from the Senate the CIA attacks? And then voted with the Senate for the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Resolution’ [August 7 1964], initiating war by the US on North Vietnam?

Nor (SRIMBERG) (473.653, Mar-28 4:40 pm, in reply to 473.492):

“Sorry, but I know nothing of that. Even if it’s true, it does not change the Arrogance of Power and what power/ superpower can lead to.”

WILLIAM2735 (473.244, Mar-28 11:12 am, in reply to 473.225):

“Vietnam is and always will be relevant to any war we fight from now on. It is the shining example of how anything and everything can be done wrong.

It is the yardstick for all US wars from now ’til my generation has been dead and buried for a long time. Only an idiot does not use lessons learned in the past to avoid those same mistakes in the future.

And saying that Vietnam should not be used in this way is showing disrespect to those of all the Americans (including my relatives and friends) who died.

Because the only good thing that resulted from Vietnam was those lessons learned !!”

HWOODCJ (473.620, Mar-28 3:58 pm, in reply to 473.244):

And which lessons are those?:

  If the politicians had let the military “take the gloves off”, we would have won?

  If you aren’t with us you’re against us?

  It’s a criminal offense to advocate a third-way (negotiation with the North)?

  The US public will accept unlimited enemy deaths but not more that 50,000 US deaths?

  A war based on a lie will bite you in the ass?

  A people are entitled to elect the government of their choice?

  We should not stand-by and permit a people to vote for a government with policies we don’t like?

I’m confused. Where is the book where the agreed lessons of this war have been written down?

WILLIAM2735 (473.908, Mar-28 7:51 pm, in reply to 473.620):

“Some of what you listed, but the major one is DON’T BELIEVE the ADMINISTRATION when it comes to WAR !!!”

BDTHRILL (473.668, Mar-28 4:53 pm, in reply to 473.647):

“The Vietnamese, a vastly inferior army, beat back the US using exactly the same tactics.”

HWOODCJ (473.1075, Mar-28 9:52 pm, in reply to 473.668):

I presume you mean inferior-*equipped* army. I never heard a US Vietnam Vet say his enemy was inferior. I’ve heard many describe their enemy with a string of superlatives, to do with their valor, endurance, resourcefulness, determination, and such.

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.167, Mar-28 10:33 am, in reply to 473.126):

“Perhaps, but the UN was unwilling to provide Iraq with a deadline for compliance and enforce any “serious consequences” if they failed to do so. Endless inspections and “containment” is not what the unanimously passed Resolution 1441 demanded ! The Security Council took a “pass”.”

HWOODCJ (473.482, Mar-28 2:12 pm, in reply to 473.167):

And the United States agreed, in voting for S/Res/1441, to *not* impose a deadline but, instead, to disarm Saddam peaceably, without resort to war, if that was possible. And, it agreed that the decision whether this was possible was for the 15 of them acting together, not the US acting unilaterally.

The United States launched a war in violation of the Security Council resolution it agreed to obey. No reply

CASEYC69 (473.173, Mar-28 10:36 am, in reply to 473.167):

“Oddly it was Britain and Spain (on behalf of the US) that tried to get a resolution authorizing war, but when they couldn’t convince anybody else but Bulgaria they ‘took a pass’ and pretended they didn’t need it anyway.

The security council was quite happy to vote, and the US would have lost.”

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.180, Mar-28 10:39 am, in reply to 473.173):

“Only because France said it would veto *any* resolution with an ultimatum and consequence ! That arrogance in pursuit of the “Le Monde, C’est Moi” strategy of Chirac erased any need for a vote on a new resolution.” {asterisk-emphasis added}

HWOODCJ (473.526, Mar-28 2:55 pm, in reply to 473.180):

France said it would veto the March 17 deadline resolution [ war-now ]. It promised to vote for war later *if* Saddam could not be disarmed peaceably.

I see Bush’s lie about what France said worked with you.

KIWIMARACUJA (473.191, Mar-28 10:46 am, in reply to 473.180):

“Not quite right. Bush would have gone for a second resolution if he would have been sure to get 9 votes — but as we know now, Bush wouldn’t have gotten more than 4 votes. Blair had suggested as well, that an “unreasonable veto” wouldn’t stop him, as long as there would be at least a majority for the war, he would have taken that as a “yes” from the world. ”

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.477, Mar-28 2:06 pm, in reply to 473.191):

“I don’t agree. An important part of the failure to get nine votes was France’s statement that it would veto it.”

HWOODCJ (473.860, Mar-28 6:55 pm, in reply to 473.477):

On the contrary, France’s announcement let the little nations off the hook: They could suck-up to the United States by voting with the US/UK, knowing that France would save the day.

So what are we to make of this? That even though they could have done that, they had decided not to and, instead, to vote on principle against the US/UK, because no rational impartial informed reasonable adult could reasonably vote for what the US demanded in the face of the progress then occurring with the inspections. They could only vote with the US/UK in good conscience if they — like the US — decided to disobey a resolution they had agreed to obey.

CASEYC69 (473.189, Mar-28 10:44 am, in reply to 473.180):

“So then they could have voted on it, got the moral majority, and then let France veto it. Having a moral majority they would have got support of 80pc of the British public easily (including mine). ... But as everyone knows, they couldn’t have got even half the security council.”

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.475, Mar-28 2:05 pm, in reply to 473.189):

“Why bother when France states in advance that it will veto *any* meaningful resolution ! {asterisk-emphasis added}

I am not anti-Clinton, but note that he failed with the Camp David negotiations — not through any personal fault or lack of effort, but — because the two parties involved could not agree. So, I am not at all certain that diplomacy would provide a solution.”

HWOODCJ (473.856, Mar-28 6:47 pm, in reply to 473.475):

I see Bush’s lie is working with you. France said nothing of the sort. France said it would veto war on a March 17 deadline (the then pending US/UK resolution). France promised to vote for war later, if inspections reached impasse.

jimaniprivac: “So, I am not at all certain that diplomacy would provide a solution.”

But could inspections provide a solution? This we’ll never know, because Bush abruptly terminated the inspections, violated his agreement to obey S/Res/1441, and attacked Iraq.

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.531, Mar-28 2:57 pm, in reply to 473.526):

“That is incorrect. The French favored unlimited inspections and stated that they would veto any approach that contained an ultimatum and consequence. See you have fallen for the leftist dogma !”

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.891, Mar-28 7:33 pm, in reply to 473.856):

“No lie involved, but you are engaged in a lot of spin !”

HWOODCJ (473.900, Mar-28 7:44 pm, in reply to 473.531):

France certainly said it would veto the US March 17 deadline [ war-now ].

But the rest of your claim is your misunderstanding, which G.W.Bush successfully installed in your mind by his lie about what France said. Here’s a few actual facts to face:

The President – Not sufficiently. But it isn’t for you or for me to decide that, that’s for the inspectors to whom the UN has entrusted the responsibility of disarming Iraq to say.

The inspectors have to tell us: “we can continue and, at the end of a period which we think should be of a few months” — I’m saying *a few months* because that’s what they have said — “we shall have completed our work and Iraq will be disarmed”.

Or they will come and tell the Security Council: “we are sorry but Iraq isn’t cooperating, the progress isn’t sufficient, we aren’t in a position to achieve *our goal*, we won’t be able to guarantee Iraq’s disarmament”.

In that case it will be for the Security Council and it alone to decide the right thing to do. But in that case, of course, regrettably, the *war would become inevitable*. It isn’t today.”

Jacques Chirac (President of France), interview on TF1 and France2 television, Mar. 10 2003 {asterisk-emphasis added}: http://special. diplomatie.gouv.fr/article_gb91.html and http://www.info-france-usa.org/news/ statmnts/2003/chirac_irak031003.asp.


The President – They { inspectors } have to go on with their work, to find these weapons *if there are any* and then destroy them. And the inspectors are telling us: “This is a job we can do”.

So when for one reason or another, it appears that they can’t or can no longer do it, then of course, it will be the time to resort to other methods, *including war*.”

Jacques Chirac (President of France), interview, CBS and CNN television, Mar. 16 2003 {asterisk-emphasis added}: http://special. diplomatie.gouv.fr/article_gb91.html Addendum end

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.926, Mar-28 8:04 pm, in reply to 473.900):

“There are many factual errors in your reply but I will concentrate on just one:

The President – Not sufficiently. But it isn’t for you or for me to decide that, that’s for the inspectors to whom the UN has entrusted the responsibility of disarming Iraq to say.”

The inspectors were not sent to disarm Iraq, as Resolution 1441 made it clear that it was Saddam’s responsibility to comply, and that he was in breach. The inspectors were sent to VERIFY that Saddam had disarmed !”

HWOODCJ (473.1172, Mar-29 12:32 am, in reply to 473.926):

And that’s exactly what Chirac meant. The inspectors said they need a few more months to verify Saddam’s accountings; instead, Bush has given us a few more months of war.

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.1299, Mar-29 7:20 am, in reply to 473.1172):

“Another few months would have effectively forestalled any “serious consequences” for another year because of the onset of the hot season ! It was a disingenuous delaying tactic once again displaying the incestuous nature of the Chirac/Saddam relationship.”

HWOODCJ (473.1819, Mar-29 5:46 pm, in reply to 473.1299):

By all means, we don’t want our boys and girls sweating while they’re doing their killing; it’s unhygienic.

But what’s the alternative?— Dead Iraqis. Is concern for Iraqis a “disingenuous delaying tactic”?

The *threat* of military action is what broke the ice with Saddam: It took him awhile, but his impending doom finally began to dawn on him and, in his own mind, he began to make the adjustments in his thinking that would take any of us some time to get used to.

So, war may not have been necessary and the troops could have watched TV in air-conditioned comfort. Had Bush not terminated the inspections, Saddam’s accountings (which he gave Mr Blix in the previous two weeks) might have proven true.

But if needs be, our troops can fight in the heat. They train for it in the US deserts. [ And, they can fight in the cool of the night, with their night-vision gear. ]

“The military agenda must not dictate the calendar of inspections. We agree to timetables and to an accelerated calendar. But we cannot accept an ultimatum as long as the inspectors are reporting cooperation.”

Dominique de Villepin (French Minister of Foreign Affairs), UN Security Council, March 7 2003: http://special.diplomatie.gouv.fr/ article_gb70.html and http://www.un.int/france/documents_anglais/ 030307_cs_villepin_irak.htm

The Minister – I have a lot of respect for Jack Straw, and he’s a friend. So I respect what he said, and I believe that he believes what he said.

But I’m forced to say that behind this presentation, there is the idea of an ultimatum. 17 March, this is a war-based approach. We don’t accept it. Why? Because the inspectors are saying that they have active cooperation on the part of Iraq. You don’t go to war because of a timetable.”

Dominique de Villepin (French Minister of Foreign Affairs), press briefing, March 7 2003: http://www.un.int/france/frame_anglais/latest_news/ new_york/frame_ang_iraq.htm

Question – Because the military threat, surely Minister, is what is keeping Saddam on his toes?

The Minister – So we should go to war because we have an army there? We should use it? A military threat is made to put pressure. If you change your position, and if you go from a military ... to taking the risk to go to war — saying that because you have an army there, you want to use it — then you are taking a very strong risk. President Chirac said that already the US have achieved most of their goals because we are in the process of disarming Iraq. We should face reality.”

Dominique de Villepin (French Minister of Foreign Affairs), interview on NewsNight, BBC TV, March 14 2003: http://special. diplomatie.gouv.fr/article_gb141.html and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ programmes/newsnight/archive/2857249.stm

jimaniprivac: “... the incestuous nature of the Chirac/ Saddam relationship.”


Chirac was questioned on US TV about this supposed relationship:

Question – The fact is that in America many people think it’s just because you are a friend, a pal of Saddam Hussein, that you have had contacts with him for a long time, that you helped build the nuclear reactor, that there are the oil contracts. You invited Saddam Hussein to France. There is a famous picture of you toasting him. They think your relationship is a personal, business one.

The President – That’s what you call a tall story or, if you’re less indulgent, being polemical. I met President Saddam Hussein when he was Iraqi vice president, twice, in 1974 and 1975 or 1976. I haven’t had a meeting with him since. That was a time when everybody had excellent relations with Saddam Hussein and with the Ba'ath party, which was then seen as a modern party. Everybody.

Personally, I’ve not had any contacts since. That isn’t the case for everybody. Some important figures of the current US administration had contacts with Saddam Hussein as late as 1983. I haven’t. So let’s not confuse things and let’s not be polemical.

As for our interests, which you mentioned, here too, things must be clear. France’s trade with Iraq accounts for 0.2% of total French foreign trade, i.e. we have no economic interests. As far as I know, Iraq isn’t in the list of the 60 trading partners, with whom France’s trade is even significant. As for our oil imports, these account for only 8% of Iraqi exports. The US is importing five or six times more Iraqi oil than us. So the motives you’re talking about, if you don’t mind me saying, aren’t serious.

Question – There have also been persistent allegations that Saddam Hussein put money into one of your electoral campaigns. How do you respond to that?

The President – That’s preposterous. Anything can be said about anyone of course. As we say in French, “The more exaggerated it is, the more likely people will believe it.” I think that is the level of that sort of statement.”

Jacques Chirac (President of France), interview, CBS and CNN television, Mar. 16 2003: http://special.diplomatie. gouv.fr/article_gb91.html

JIMANIPRIVAC (473.2119, Mar-30 7:33 am, in reply to 473.1819):

“Whatever spin Chirac wants you to believe.”

HWOODCJ (473.2228, Mar-30 2:10 pm, in reply to 473.2119):

So killing Iraqis (soldiers and civilians) is justified by your doubts that Jacques Chirac is telling the truth, when he (and the rest of his officials) said France would vote for war if inspections reached impasse?

You demand a stiff price that others must pay for your speculations, imaginings, suppositions, supposings, and suspicions. [ And, you’re in a rush to collect your blood-price: If Jacques Chirac were a liar, when he promised to vote for war-later, we’d have found out soon enough, because the inspectors only wanted another “few months” ].

The price you demand, a majority of those on the Security Council (unlike you) had the responsibility to ensure was a fair price.

They decided that price was not justified, at this time, because the goal they set themselves (which the US agreed to) was disarmament of Saddam peaceably via verification through the inspectors.

And (unlike you), the vast majority of the 190 member nation governments of the United Nations agreed with France as well as the overwhelming majority of the population of the world.

So the next time you see a skyscraper collapsing on TV, grieve by all means for the innocent victims. But don’t whine about it.

Those grieving for the victims in Iraq (both Iraqi civilians and innocent, patriotic, valiant Iraqi soldiers) are justified in whining about what they are justified in viewing as unlawful killings by the United States, which the United States is responsible to pay for, in the future.

DOUG1213 (473.130, Mar-28 10:13 am, in reply to 473.87):

“The UN has no will. And, it is not a democratic forum. It is an international forum with many flavors. We discovered that long ago. The UN is a failure in that the ideas it shares within its forum cannot be effectively brought to action. Prime examples: Kosovo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, need I go on?”

HWOODCJ (473.408, Mar-28 1:08 pm, in reply to 473.130):

DOUG1213: “The UN is a failure in that the ideas it shares within its forum cannot be effectively brought to action.”

This is certainly true. The UN was unable to disarm Saddam peaceably. They had to remove their inspectors to protect them from US bombs.

DOUG1213: “The UN has no will.”

Are you suggesting a UN army to attack the United States for violating a Security Council resolution (1441)? No reply

WILLIAM2735 (473.141, Mar-28 10:21 am, in reply to 473.137):

KIWIMARACUJA: “To get inspectors into Iraq was a good start.”

“The inspectors were put there 12 years ago, the only reason these did any better was the stationing of US troops in Kuwait and the threat of invasion.”

HWOODCJ (473.425, Mar-28 1:21 pm, in reply to 473.141):

So? The threat of invasion was working ... and ... ? No reply

Bill Dutton (473.148, Mar-28 10:27 am, in reply to 473.126):

KIWIMARACUJA: “...‘serious consequences’ is NOT the UN-term for war.”

“Sure it is ... that is what is called ‘diplo-speak’ for military action. That was the clear intention of 1441.”

HWOODCJ (473.452, Mar-28 1:40 pm, in reply to 473.148):

...*if* Saddam could not be disarmed peaceably. No reply

Bill Dutton (473.155, Mar-28 10:30 am, in reply to 473.128):

Nor (SRIMBERG): “When the UN passes a resolution, it is up to the UN to tell when there is no compliance.”

“The UN had a clear mandate spelled out in 1441. It’s failure to act on it is it’s own undoing. This was yet another in a long list of failures of the UN to enforce it’s resolutions.”

HWOODCJ (473.458, Mar-28 1:46 pm, in reply to 473.155):

Let’s see if I understand your assertion: The UN agreed to send in inspectors with the aim of disarming Saddam without resort to war. And this, the UN failed to do? No reply

Bill Dutton (473.202, Mar-28 10:48 am, in reply to 473.175):

“More inspectors? They were not there to detect ... they were there to verify whatever the Iraq’s were telling them ... which were lies and coverups.”

HWOODCJ (473.546, Mar-28 3:07 pm, in reply to 473.202):

And the two accountings Saddam provided of his chem/bio weapons (their destruction) — in the two weeks before Bush intervened and declared war? Mr Blix verified these and pronounced them “lies and coverups”? No reply

Bill Dutton (473.216, Mar-28 10:57 am, in reply to 473.175):

Nor (SRIMBERG): “A collective decision should be changed by the same collective.”

“1441 did not require any additional resolution for the use of force. Certain UNSC members forced the issue of another resolution even though they knew full well that the purpose of 1441 was the full compliance of Iraq (although this was not expected by anyone given 12 years of deception) or face military action.

The other UNSC members opposed to the US position essentially stabbed Britain and the US in the back on this.”

HWOODCJ (473.566, Mar-28 3:19 pm, in reply to 473.216):

Bill Dutton: “... the purpose of 1441 was the full compliance of Iraq ...”

So why did the United States prevent “the full compliance of Iraq” by attacking Iraq instead?, in violation of what the United States agreed to do?, namely: abide by the inspection process which sought to verify Iraq’s compliance? No reply

SEEPLAN (473.385, Mar-28 12:57 pm, in reply to 473.371):

“Anyhow, it was not up to the inspectors to find the WMD, it was up to Saddam to prove he didn’t have them or show them to the inspectors so they could be destroyed. A lost opportunity for him.”

HWOODCJ (473.707, Mar-28 5:23 pm, in reply to 473.385):

An opportunity taken from him by force by the United States in violation by the United States of its agreement (1441) to allow the inspectors time to verify Saddam’s accountings.

SEEPLAN: “Now, I wonder if he’s wishing he would have disposed of the WMD or at least proved he had.”

Now I wonder if he’s wishing he hadn’t been so foolish as to destroy his missiles, trusting that the United States would obey the UN resolution it had agreed to obey, and give Mr Blix time to audit the accountings of the WMD he destroyed. He knew better: You can’t trust a liar and a violent thug.

JUNE5101 (473.737, Mar-28 5:38 pm, in reply to 473.707):

“Which one is the thug?”

HWOODCJ (473.1106, Mar-28 10:33 pm, in reply to 473.737):

I’m surprised Saddam didn’t regognize his own reflection in Bush.

SEEPLAN (473.413, Mar-28 1:12 pm, in reply to 473.396):

“Iraq had the opportunity to prevent this and did not.”

HWOODCJ (473.728, Mar-28 5:34 pm, in reply to 473.413):

Iraq had the opportunity to prevent this and — while in the process of doing so — the United States abruptly attacked them, in violation of its agreement not to do so without prior Security Council consent.

HOLWAY5 (473.1072, Mar-28 9:48 pm, in reply to 473.1072):

“They were absolutely NOT in the process of doing so. The inspectors were in the disarmament actions of a compliant Iraq. Iraq didn’t comply and Hans Blix said so many times. The burden of proof as stated many times was not on the inspectors, but on Iraq. Instead Iraq chose to play hide and seek. The inspectors did their job—they proved that Hussein had no intention of complying. On with the show.”

HWOODCJ (473.1208, Mar-29 1:44 am, in reply to 473.1072):

An excellent summary of the US propaganda; I see you’ve been paying close attention to the lies of Bush & Co. But, don’t go to Blix’s site on the UN webpage — it would spoil your fantasy.

[ Had I elaborated, I would have confronted his two erroneous claims with the facts, namely:—

(1) Saddam’s two chem/bio accountings in the two weeks prior to Bush’s declaration of war, illustrating Saddam’s evolving compliance, and

(2)  the inspector’s statements that these accountings were promising, that their audits of them were underway, and that this and other developments promised reasonable expectation at that time that the inspectors could succeed in their goal (verifying Saddam’s disarmament).

And, I would have recalled the objective of S/Res/1441 (not a pretext for war but, instead, disarmament without recourse to war, if such was possible) and the mechanism for authorizing war, made plain by all members, including the US, in statements at the time of adopting S/Res/1441, namely: a collective decision by the 15 members, not the US acting alone, that inspections had reached an impasse.

I had confronted this claim previously: 469.1024 (above) ].

DIANNEF51 (473.1210, Mar-29 1:47 am, in reply to 473.1208):

“Iraq had 12 years to comply. Do you really think a couple more weeks would have made a difference? You can’t negotiate with the Hitlers, Husseins and Bin Ladens of the world.”


I didn’t reply to this. But had I done so, I would have said this:

What *I* think is not relevant. The inspectors stated that *they* thought a “few more months” would have made a difference, and held promise that they could accomplish the objective of the Security Council, namely: disarmament of Saddam without resort to war.

The inspectors destroyed an extremely large amount of WMD during those 12 years. And, following a 4-year hiatus, the Security Council again seized control of this issue, to finish the job. The United States agreed with the other 14 members of the Security Council, unanimously, to decide as a group whether inspections had reached an impasse.

Instead, the United States abruptly terminated the inspections with the threat of death, if they didn’t leave on 24-hours notice; defied the will of the international community; and launched a war in violation of a Security Council resolution it had agreed, instead, to obey.

YAKYAK3 (473.521, Mar-28 2:50 pm, in reply to 473.454):

“Apparently each member of the UNSC has its own interpretation of the term, “serious consequences”. Some say that a serious breech then means war, while many others say it means something less than that.”

HWOODCJ (473.884, Mar-28 7:27 pm, in reply to 473.521):

All 15 members of the Security Council knew what they agreed to, namely: war with Iraq, *but only if* Iraq could not be disarmed peaceably.

The confusion which you perceive in their thinking does not exist in reality, only in the propaganda of G.W.Bush who — besides lying about what France said — pretended to the American public that the state of mind of the 15 members was as you describe it, namely: that they would not agree to war under *any* circumstances:— a blatant lie.

You confusion is precisely the result G.W.Bush sought to achieve. Victory to him.

YAKYAK3 (473.1589, Mar-29 1:36 pm, in reply to 473.884):

“The words in UNSC resolution are Iraq is given “one final opportunity” to carryout its disarmament obligations or face serious consequences. It goes on to say that Iraq will give its full and complete cooperation to the UN inspectors in the disarmament process. Since the war started the Chief UN inspector stated that while there was some progress, Iraq did not fully cooperate with the inspection process. That is after 12 years of resolutions and nearly four months of UNSC resolution 1441. Remember this, at the time of UNSC 1441, Iraq was already in material breech of a multitude of UNSC resolutions propagated since 1991. I don’t know what “one final opportunity” means to you. Obviously, it doesn't mean “one final opportunity”.

I did not perceive any confusion; it was obvious. Two of the five permanent members of the UNSC interpreted resolution 1441 one way, and three interpreted it another way. That is defined as confusion. It should also be noted that in its history the United Nations has never taken military action against any country except at the insistence of the United States. So, without the United States it is not too far off the mark to say the United Nations would not agree to war under any circumstance.

On November 8, 2003, George II stood in the rose garden and said if Iraq did not cooperate fully and disarm immediately it would face the “severest consequences”. He was saying in effect if Iraq did not cooperate with the UN Inspectors and fully disarm there would be war. That is something different than “serious consequences”.

My post did not support, neither did it attack George II's actions. So, your point, whatever it might be, is lost.”


I didn’t reply to this. But had I done so, I would have said this:

“One final opportunity” is not a moment in time, it’s a period of time. And during this period of time, Saddam’s percentage cooperation increased, and dramatically so during the two weeks prior to Bush’s abrupt, unilateral declaration of war (Saddam’s two accountings, for his chem/bio weapons).

S/Res/1441 was not a pretext for war. It was a path to peace. And perceptions regarding Saddam’s percentage cooperation are subordinate to the objective of the resolution. namely, disarming Saddam of WMD without resort to war, if such was possible. This could possibly be done with less than 100% cooperation, and his cooperation might grow to 100% during the period.

It was only *if* the Security Council, relying on the opinion of the inspectors, determined that inspections had reached an impasse that a resolution for war was called for. According to Mr Blix, this was not the case at the time Bush panicked and declared war (fearing, as I suppose, that Mr Blix would succeed in his mission, preempting Bush’s war for regime-change).

Your imaginings about what the Security Council would have done, are contradicted by what France *actually* said (not Bush’s lie about what France said). Jacques Chirac (President of France) promised, in TV interviews on March 10 and March 16, to vote for war, if inspections reached impasse. Ditto, his Foreign Minister on several occasions. Quotes and links.

I elaborated on this previously: 469.1024 (above).

War now?

Miscellaneous topics

JIM9710 (473.177, Mar-28 10:50 am, in reply to 473.193):

“There would never have been rich Arabs had it not been for America.”

HWOODCJ (473.498, Mar-28 2:28 pm, in reply to 473.177):

Nobody in the world has automobiles but America? You’re losing me... No reply

Bill Dutton (473.223, Mar-28 10:59 am, in reply to 473.214):

CASEYC69: “What I did say stands — both Bush and Blair constantly refer to 9/11 and Iraq in the same speeches and sentences, the implication is clear.”

“There were no implications beyond that of an Iraq in possession of WMD, and having ties to terrorism could lead to a massive terrorist attack that could dwarf that of 9/11.”

HWOODCJ (473.577, Mar-28 3:10 pm, in reply to 473.223):


“2.  An implying, or that which is implied, but not expressed; an inference, or something which may fairly be understood, though not expressed in words.”

18 U.S.C. 1515(a):

“(3)  the term ‘misleading conduct’ means — * * *

 (E)  knowingly using a trick, scheme, or device with intent to mislead”. No reply

SEEPLAN (473.442, Mar-28 1:34 pm, in reply to 473.417):

“I think my reasoning is very logical. The world had 2 groups tell us different things and the choice is to belive the group you feel is telling you the truth. Based on Saddam’s history, I do not believe him. Does that mean he was lying? Maybe not. Bush does not yet have the history of lying. Does it mean he never will? No.

If you caught me lying several times before, how will you know if I’m telling the truth in the future?”

HWOODCJ (473.835, Mar-28 6:27 pm, in reply to 473.442):

Bush, March 17 2003 (referring to France):

“Yet some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced that they will veto *any* resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq.”

Is this true? No reply

JUNE5101 (473.662, Mar-28 4:48 pm, in reply to 473.604):

“We know he takes the Bible literally and years ago he spoke of his belief in the Apocalypse.”

HWOODCJ (473.1067, Mar-28 9:44 pm, in reply to 473.662):

Out of curiosity, I wonder what percentage of the US public believes that God answers prayer? No answer

JLB98 (473.757, Mar-28 10:50 am, in reply to 473.739 (since deleated)):

“Yes I heard about that { gas masks and chemical protection gear with Iraqi soldiers }. I’m sure it was because they are trying to make people believe that our troops were going to use it on them ... lol { laughing out loud }.”

HWOODCJ (473.1118, Mar-28 10:44 pm, in reply to 473.757):

I imagine 80-90% of the Iraqi army is just as in the dark as everybody else, whether Saddam has chemical weapons [ not least due to relentless US propaganda warnings to them on the topic ]. And, I imagine they believe that Saddam wouldn’t hesitate to kill them while trying to kill his the enemy (US/UK).

If I was them, and I had access to the various stores of WMD defensive gear left over from the days when Saddam definitely did have chemical weapons, I’d sure help myself, and my friends, because I wouldn’t trust Saddam any more than anybody else does.


And, the Iraqi Information Minister had publicly announced previously that Iraq had issued gas masks to its forces. An excellent ruse to instill doubt and fear in the minds of their enemy (US/UK), to deter or slow or modify their war-plan, to encumber their forces with chem/bio defensive gear, and to dampen their aggressiveness in the interests of their own security.

On the merits, the US military has a long history of using chemical weapons. For example, tear gas in Vietnam, deadly in confined spaces (bunkers, tunnels, houses). Whether the US military, or the CIA, currently has stocks of such weapons deployed in Iraq, I don’t know, but they have long admired non-lethal weapons to disable opposing forces — ‘Calmatives’ (eg: fast-acting on the brain, interrupting neurotransmitters) — though these are equally deadly in confined spaces, as we saw in the recent Moscow theater-siege (Oct.23 2002, 117 of 763 hostages killed). Also, the US military poisoned Vietnam, permanently, with dioxin (Agent Orange), causing extensive birth defects still today, both in Vietnam and among the families of Vietnam Vets in the US.

This, in addition to depleted uranium munitions (U-238), creating uranium oxide dust upon explosion, a DNA-mutating alpha-emitter when inhaled or absorbed into a cut or skin abrasion. And, as well, with trace contamination from ‘transuranics’: beta-emitters (U-235) and even gamma-emitters (plutonium-239, neptunium, Americium). The people of Iraq attribute extensive birth defects in the Basra area to US use of these munitions in the 1991 Gulf War: 320 tons, from A-10 aircraft 30-mm guns; AV-8 aircraft (Harriers); and M1 Abrams tanks. As do many US vets of that war, for their debilitating health and birth defects in their families. Many US Gulf War vets have, still today, exceedingly high levels of U-238 oxide in their urine.

As for biological weapons, hopefully CIA/US military use of these weapons (developed extensively by the US military) is in the past: The CIA is widely believed to used these weapons in Korea, and there’s some persuasive evidence they did. The CIA apparently attacked North Vietnamese forces with an intestinal flu virus on the Cambodian border, preparing the battlefield for a US assault a few days later, as a CIA memorandum suggests, evaluating the results of the apparent attack. The CIA attacked Cuba with swine fever and turkey fever. And the CIA is widely believed to have attacked Cuba and Nicaragua with dengue fever, though (as far as I know) there’s no conclusive evidence of this. Yet, belief and uncertainty justifies precaution by forces opposing the CIA/US military in combat. Addendum end

CASEYC69 (473.556, Mar-28 3:13 pm, to All):

“Here’s an update on the world from the UK tonight ... A short documentary followed the news. It was about the right to free speech in America, and how you have already eroded your own rights significantly, and how this war was leading to loss of even more rights.

A man arrested for wearing a T-Shirt saying ‘Give peace a chance’; an Iraqi immigrant who was accepted to the US but has lived in fear her whole time there and can’t leave her house as people call her a terrorist and she is watched by the Government; parents of victims of 9/11 that were arrested when they protested against the war.”

SEEPLAN (473.592, Mar-28 3:36 pm, in reply to 473.556):

“Where did this occur? ... I think you’re receiving the anti-American version of the news. Nobody gets arrested for wearing a “Give Peace a Chance” T-shirt. What’s the rest of the story? What law was he breaking while wearing the T-shirt?”

HWOODCJ (473.1005, Mar-28 8:53 pm, in reply to 473.592):

He was arrested for ‘trespass’, for refusing an order to leave private property (the shopping mall), following his refusal to obey their order to remove his T-shirt. [ I’m glad you agree this fascistic police response is anti-American; I agree with you. ]

WILLIAM2735 (473.1012, Mar-28 9:02 pm, in reply to 473.1005):

“The guy was in NY at a mall; the security guard asked him to remove it, and he refused; the guard called the cops. Funny thing was that the guy bought the T-shirt at the mall !!”


For a pending criminal prosecution of a 54 year old protestor, for refusing to put down a sign saying “No War for Oil”, which he was holding across the road from an airport hanger where G.W.Bush was to deliver a speech later, see Leslie Eaton ‘A Flashback to the 60’s for an Antiwar Protester’ (New York Times, April 27 2003). He faces 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine, under 18 U.S.C. § 1752(b), a Class B misdemeanor: 18 U.S.C. § 3559(a)(7). Fine amount: 18 U.S.C. § 3571(b)(6). Addendum end

GSUMNER4 (473.1108, Mar-28 10:35 pm, in reply to 473.1085):

ROBUSTUS2: “... And the liberal press will never admit their hysterical judgments were wrong, just like in Afghanistan.”

“Do you mean to suggest that the war conducted in Afghanistan is to be considered a “success”? Could you please remind us what has been accomplished?”

HWOODCJ (473.1219, Mar-29 1:59 am, in reply to 473.1108):

We’ve got a new mayor of Kabul, with a handsome green cloak, and he’s providing employment for a number of US gunmen as his bodyguards. That’s an accomplishment. You’re too picky.

TOM32963 (473.487, Mar-28 2:17 pm, in reply to 473.48):

“I am outraged about the KIAs and MIAs of the 507th Maintenance Company in the aftermath of the ambush by the Iraqis on 23 March 2003. Someone is covering their butt on this one: “They made a wrong turn”. Be serious!

During tactical movements there are such things as traffic control points, usually manned by combat support military police. This obviously wasn’t done. I’m pretty sure of the fate of the missing and hope that I am wrong about my feelings. If it was an ambush per se, an ambush is designed to kill everyone that enters the ambush site. I’m surprised that there were any American prisoners to display on TV.

Where was the security? Why wasn’t that place where they turned a designated TCP? Why were they out there by themselves? There are many questions that need to be answered.

I’m a retired army infantry officer who has a daughter the same age as PFC Jessica Lynch. Something in this story stinks.”

HWOODCJ (473.865, Mar-28 7:02 pm, in reply to 473.487):

As part of Rumsfeld’s “rolling start” the MPs you refer to haven’t started yet. Nor many other units normally associated with such a drive to Baghdad.

CASEYC69 (473.567, Mar-28 3:20 pm, in reply to 473.563):

HOLWAY5: “I can tell you that if we find out it was ours, we will admit it and not deny it” [ re: whose missile it was which fell in a market-place ].

“Oddly, America has a great tradition of denying it’s own war crimes and mistakes. Why do you think that you will be told the truth? You haven’t been about a lot of other things.”

HOLWAY5 (473.572, Mar-28 3:25 pm, in reply to 473.567):

“Faith in my country and its ideals—not the cynicism and fatalistic vitriol that you spew.”

HWOODCJ (473.975, Mar-28 8:34 pm, in reply to 473.572):

The ideals are written-down on a piece of paper. And so, you can justifiably have faith in them.

But as for whether the leadership at any particular time is obeying those ideals, or violating them, that’s where the citizen’s duty to be vigilant arises. And on that topic, I believe the past 50 years has well demonstrated that “faith” in our leaders is “blind faith”, and unwarranted.

Bill Dutton (473.206, Mar-28 10:50 am, in reply to 473.193):

TIN_MAN78: “‘27 Allied dead’? Is this a typo? Is it that British casualties don’t count as Allied? I’ve read at least 47. But yes, you’re right, times change and wars change. They become less bloody. And we become accustomed to seeing them as almost casualty-free. Yet, however smart the bombs, they still bring death and destruction.”

“That is a typo ... I meant 47 { above, was: 27 }.

Still ... it has all the indications of a rout.”

HWOODCJ (473.552, Mar-28 3:10 pm, in reply to 473.206):

Adolph Hitler was equally satisfied with his blitzkriegs.

Bill Dutton (473.557, Mar-28 3:13 pm, in reply to 473.552):

“Please spare us the Hitler = Bush hystrionics. They do not further the debate and undermine your point because there is simply no moral equivalency.”

HWOODCJ (473.916, Mar-28 7:56 pm, in reply to 473.557):

Ah ! You’re right: There was no UN then. Hitler did *not* launch war in violation of a UN resolution he had agreed to obey. My mistake – a faulty analogy.

Bill Dutton (473.927, Mar-28 8:05 pm , in reply to 473.916):

“‘I bring peace in our time’. –Neville Chamberlain (commenting on his diplomatic efforts with Hitler. Less than a year later, Hitler started WWII.)

Sometimes putting off the fight can cost humanity more in the long run. This was a fight that was better to be fought on our terms ... not Saddam’s.”

HWOODCJ (473.1174, Mar-29 12:38 am, in reply to 473.927):

So waiting the “few more months” Mr Chirac asked for, so the inspectors could finish auditing Saddam’s accountings — putting off the fight for those several months would give Saddam time to do ... what exactly?, to alter the impending battle to better suit his terms? No reply

JUNE5101 (473.922, Mar-29 12:25 am, in reply to 473.918):

“Maybe Bush should have agreed with the Canadian compromise which would have ended March 26.

Why was the rush to war? I forget.”

HWOODCJ (473.1171, Mar-29 12:25 am, in reply to 473.922):

Bush panicked.

When Saddam produced his accounting to Mr Blix for his chemical weapons and, a week later, his biological weapons — together with a new list of 135 WMD workers for him to interview — Mr Blix and his crew went to the site where Saddam says he destroyed WMD in 1991 and started digging. And they started uncovering a whole lot of WMD artillery shells and such.

Bush (in my opinion) feared Mr Blix would successfully audit Saddam’s accounting and demonstrate that all prior WMD and component chemicals would be accounted for and Bush wouldn’t get regime-change. Ie: Saddam could be disarmed and left in place.

While regime-change is very desirable, Bush never advanced a case for it, because it would take another year for the world community to devise a plan to do it, by killing as few Iraqis as possible.

Imagine — instead of Rumsfeld ordering Saddam to leave — if Kofi Annan made the demand, surrounded by all the Arab leaders in the area, nodding in agreement. There would be no Arab multitudes in the street shouting hatred of the US under this scenario. But another year crowds the election (2004).

JUNE5101 (473.942, Mar-28 8:12 pm, in reply to 473.930):

“But one thing I don’t understand is that the Canadian government clearly stated they would not be a part of a war that was not endorsed by the U.N. And they did what they said they would do. So why is US so pi**ed off, since the administration was aware of this from the beginning?”

HWOODCJ (473.1177, Mar-29 12:46 am, in reply to 473.942):

Because Canada didn’t do what Bush said they must do, naturally. They didn’t obey his orders: “You’re either with us, or against us”.

WILLIAM2735 (473.314, Mar-28 11:58 am, in reply to 473.307):

LISAMT: “Those poor, poor people.”

“You must remember, that many civilians died during the revolutionary war. Do you think it should not have been fought? And that we were aided by a foreign power, and without their aid would be part of Canada now.”

HWOODCJ (473.659, Mar-28 4:44 pm, in reply to 473.314):

Thank goodness for that aid; otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to bomb Baghdad.”.

XMAPLELEAF (473.1399, Mar-29 10:01 am, in reply to 473.1234):

“No, you are wrong. There was often horrific retaliation against entire families if one member was perceived to have crossed the Regime. It was an effective way to keep everyone in line.

I don’t know how you can say the Iraqi people don’t want “regime change” when they are suffering under a government of well organized torture and murder as a policy tool.

I wish, as well, some other means could have been found to prevent this war, and to remove Saddam. But we are where we are, so crying over spilt milk — as my momma used to say — isn’t going to help us one whit with where we are now.”

HWOODCJ (473.1585, Mar-29 1:26 pm, in reply to 473.1399):

Spilt blood is not spilt milk (and I never said the Iraqi people don’t want regime-change; perhaps you are thinking of some other post).

This is certainly a violent crime, to torture or murder a family-member of a perceived opponent of the regime. It’s reminiscent of Israel’s less drastic ‘collective punishment’:— destroying the homes of Palestinian families whose son attacked Israel, or did something else Israel didn’t like.

But, your general overview omits some considerations and issues:

The vast majority of Iraqis do not suffer any violence from Saddam. They do like Americans do: They mind their own business, get on with their lives, and stay away from politics. They suffer only from the US-imposed sanctions regime.

(Many Security Council members oppose this regime, but the United States arranged it so that it remains in effect as long as the United States dictates, because the US can veto any resolution to stop the sanctions. When you hear in the news that the Security Council “decided to continue the sanctions”, that’s US spin, concealing this disagreement: No resolution to end the regime was tabled because the US would veto it).

Saddam was once a much-loved character, because he did what many in the US would label “communism”. He used Iraq’s state-owned oil reserves (and G.W.Bush wants to privatize this national asset), like Cuba, to provide free health-care and free education to the entire population; built water and sewer-works, and such.

Most, or maybe all, of this vast majority of Iraqis would now prefer regime-change, as you postulate. But so too 55% of the US public would not vote for G.W.Bush if the election were held today. Should we initiate a war to oust G.W.Bush?, or just bide our time.

Trading blood for regime-change is a serious topic and warrants a lot of thought and patience. G.W.Bush has justified this war on disarmament, not regime-change. Had he advanced regime-change as a war-aim, and been patient, I believe the world community would have accepted this war-aim, but not the war-plan we now see unfolding. [ Regime-change on the theory that Saddam and his circle are international criminals, and not entitled to the normal immunity from regime-change by force ].

It’s not too late to do this now: A cease-fire in place, and a month or two of discussions at the UN, looking forward to an agreement to the war-aim and a demand that Saddam step-down: An ultimatum delivered — not by Donald Rumsfeld and G.W.Bush, but — by Kofi Annan surrounded by all the Arab leaders in the area nodding in agreement.

This stamp of approval would likely make a big impression on the minds of the Iraqi army and militia.

And here’s another issue: Amnesty. G.W.Bush has made a mess out of this war by his intemperate and bellicose talk and posturing about all the Iraqis he’s going to prosecute and imprison following the war.

I imagine that whatever violent crimes Saddam has committed don’t involve a large number of people, at least at the decision-to-do-it stage. So, in order to encourage the rank-and-file of Saddam’s armed forces to surrender, an amnesty could be promised to all those who may have participated in any previous violent crimes, including or excluding the actual killers. They could be informed that they would be ineligible for (say) 5 years from holding a government job in any armed force (eg: police, army, intelligence, and such), but that their pensions or salaries would be paid— They’ve all got families to feed. (Iraq’s got plenty of money, until G.W.Bush privatizes its oil wealth).

Such promises are, of course, worthless in the mouth of G.W.Bush and would not produce the desired result. This, because G.W.Bush is a perfidious liar (Bush’s lie about what France said, in order to start the war) and cannot be trusted to honor his agreements (Bush’s violation of his agreement to obey S/Res/1441, and give the inspectors time to audit Saddam’s accountings).

The whole world watched Saddam trust Bush (destroying his missiles in reliance upon Bush’s promise not to initiate war, pending the inspectors’ audit of his accountings) and then watched Bush double-cross Saddam and launch war.

Such promises of amnesty and prosecution decisions would have to be in the hands of the United Nations, before any Iraqi could trust what s/he hears.

But G.W.Bush will not surrender government of post-war Iraq to the UN, because he would then be unable to hand out oil contracts to his Texas buddies. The UN would administer Iraq’s state-owned oil resources properly — and in the interests of Iraq, not in the interests of the United States — and use proper governmental procedures (public tenders, group negotiations, or whatever) to develop Iraq’s oil resources. And, G.W.Bush could not be guaranteed permanent military bases in Iraq — if the UN were in charge of Iraq’s post-war government — another motive for this war.

XMAPLELEAF (473.1695, Mar-29 3:06 pm, in reply to 473.1585):

“I cannot disagree with many of the things you post.”

MADDOG (DFRANTSEN) (473.1709, Mar-29 3:33 pm, in reply to 473.1585):

“Well thought out post. Some very good thoughts.”

XXPORTXXX (473.416, Mar-28 1:15 pm, in reply to 473.139):

“The US has not created the problems in the middle east. They come from the corruption, the violence, the terrorism that is used to suppress the freedoms of middle eastern states. ... Anyways, good buddy, the USA is not responsible for problems in the middle east, and your service to the nation, like those boys in the middle east has been for good”

HWOODCJ (473.745, Mar-28 5:42 pm, in reply to 473.2041):

XXPORTXXX: “The US has not created the problems in the middle east. They come from the corruption, the violence, the terrorism that is used to suppress the freedoms of middle eastern states.”

You mean like the Shah of Iran? His SAVAK (secret police)? Installed by the corruption and violence of the CIA in overthrowing Mohammad Mossadeq (August 19 1953), a democratically-elected leader of Iran? [Details: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/ NSAEBB28/index.html].

Bill Dutton (473.1852, Mar-29 7:12 pm, in reply to 473.1529):

“How did American foreign policy oppress the people of Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, Iraq?

Other than the support of the Shah of Iran and Israel, there is rather thin evidence of overt oppression and suffering by the US. Rather, the non-representative governments of these countries are much more to blame for the oppression of the Arab people.”

LEWISXXXUSA (473.1858, Mar-29 7:20 pm, in reply to 473.1852):

“How does the support of Israel equal oppression? I am sure you are aware of the history of this entire mess.”

HWOODCJ (473.2036, Mar-29 11:36 pm, in reply to 473.1858):

We “facilitate” Israel’s oppressive actions against the Palestinians — not any one-off action, but actions [ by Israel ] pursuant to a systematic predictable foreseeable practice or national policy.

The US has the power to influence Israel and won’t do it:— $3 billion?/year aid plus arm-sales, eg: $2.5 billion for 30 F-15s (1998) used to attack Palestinians. (The US provides no such aid to the Palestinians, as far as I know).

“ A person is guilty of criminal facilitation in the second degree when, believing it probable that he is rendering aid to a person who intends to commit a class A felony, he engages in conduct which provides such person with means or opportunity for the commission thereof and which in fact aids such person to commit such class A felony.”

N.Y. Penal Code, § 115.05

And this is no odd-ball Muslim rationalization of how to blame the USA for what Israel does. “Facilitating” is a US criminal offense in some states, for example in New York, the home, formerly, of the World Trade Center, though the penalty for “facilitating” is not death.

The US is arguably guilty of “facilitating” Israel’s wrongdoings against the Palestinians (if they be wrongdoings):—

We don’t want them to do it; we don’t agree with them to do it; but we know they’re going to do it; and we help them anyway (eg: with money and arms when we could instead try to disuade them by withdrawing our aid and arms).

This equals “facilitating” what they do, at least arguably so.

LEWISXXXUSA (473.2041, Mar-29 11:45 pm, in reply to 473.2036):

“Who gives F16s to all Arab countries we are allied with?

Who armed the Arabs in Israel?

Not your Land.

Not your problem.”

HWOODCJ (473.2044, Mar-29 11:57 pm, in reply to 473.2041):

Have the said Arab countries used our F-16s to attack Israel? At least could we foresee such?

As for what the said Arab countries may have otherwise done (eg: arming Palestinians), I see no responsibility on the part of the USA for that (the topic of my post).

However, as you raise the subject (and it has no apparent connection to the USA):—

Did the said Arab countries arm the Arabs in Israel? [ as you ask ]

Or, instead, did they arm the Palestinians living in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel?

And did they provide the arms to enable the occupied Palestinians to attack Israel proper, or only Israeli forces in the occupied territories?


“Not your Land.
Not your problem.”

... unless we “facilitate” wrongoing in the foreign land, in which event it is our problem.

MISSKNOWALL (473.1258, Mar-29 4:52 am, in reply to 473.274):


“Killing people is brutal and babaric. There is nothing “professional” about that !!!!!! ”

“Taking into consideration the type of people Israel is dealing with — to wit: the Palestinians — is not Israel then within her rights to destroy the homes of the families of suicide bombers who massacre hundreds of innocent Israeli lives ?

Destroying their homes is, I think, far more humane and civilized for punishing massacrists of innocent lives, rather than murdering them barbarically ... would you not agree? Where there is a life, there is always Hope !

As with the Iraqis, so it is with the Palestinians. And I would not be wrong if I say with all those of their Ilk !”

HWOODCJ (473.1997, Mar-29 10:33 pm, in reply to 473.1258):

And the now-homeless family of the dead suicide bomber: They participated with him in the planning and execution of that suicide bomb ?

DIANNEF51 (473.1204, Mar-29 1:35 am, in reply to 473.1182):

“I was a teenager during Vietnam and had friends who fought in that war ... I saw what the American public did to those soldiers when they came home and was repulsed by it ... Just as I am repulsed by celebrities who go to other countries and say how embarrassed they are by the U.S., or that they hate the leaders ... I’d like to invite them to leave then.

If you’re awake, and watch the Iraqi soldiers holding women and children as human shields in front of them while they fight, you understand why we’re there.”

HWOODCJ (473.1234, Mar-29 2:39 am, in reply to 473.1204):

It’s because we’re there that they have any need for human shields.

UNCLESMRGOL (473.1236, Mar-29 2:47 am, in reply to 473.1234):

“So you think that the use of human shields is justified in war?”

HWOODCJ (473.1238, Mar-29 2:56 am, in reply to 473.1236):

Certainly not. I’m giving you the Muslim view that, though it be wrong, that wrong would not have occurred had another wrong not induced it (US Military trying to kill them).

Ditto a SAM which falls back into the city killing innocents: Had there been no US warplanes bombing Baghdad, that SAM would never have been fired in the first place. This is why it makes no difference to the victims and their friends and neighbors whose missile it is: It’s the fault of the Americans.

UNCLESMRGOL (473.1239, Mar-29 2:59 am, in reply to 473.1238):

“Ah. Taking your reasoning to the next level, the Americans wouldn’t be there if the Muslim World hadn’t taken care of the Iraqi Government’s propensity toward building and using weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, it is the fault of the Muslim World.”


I didn’t reply to this. But had I done so, I would have said this:

No. It’s the fault of the Americans, because the United States launched war in violation of its agreement to not launch war without agreement of the Security Council, or an unreasonable veto (the Blair addendum). As for the Muslim World, they had no greater responsibility than anybody else did for Iraq’s behavior. So a racist view of this issue is unwarranted.

UNCLESMRGOL (473.1240, Mar-29 3:06 am, in reply to 473.1238):

“Besides, it is that God-given gift, gravity, which is really responsible for things like SAMs and anti-aircraft shells coming back down after failing to hit whatever they were aimed at. Therefore, it’s either the errant aimers or God who are responsible for this reprehensible behavior.

Since the Iraqis can’t kill God, maybe they should just execute whoever fails to hit their targets.”


I didn’t reply to this. But had I done so, I would have said this:

If we’re going to execute somebody, then let’s identify (as the Muslims do) those responsible for the Iraqis’ need to defend themselves: The person responsible for this unlawful offensive war in violation of a Security Council resolution, based upon a lie about what France said. He lives at the White House.

AJ12754 (473.1784, Mar-29 10:05 am, in reply to 473.1238):

“See — in the much maligned Christian world view, two wrongs don’t make a right. In fact — I very much doubt that the above represents the Muslim view either. Maybe it’s the viewpoint of paramilitary thugs who have some experience of abusing their own people? Yes — that sounds right.”

HWOODCJ (473.1844, Mar-29 6:41 pm, in reply to 473.1784):

I agree with you that I’m presumptuous in attributing this view to Muslims — and I’m sorry I did it — as I haven’t yet heard any Muslims commenting on this issue. If I hear any such, I’ll post them.

However, my other example is not a guess:— The SAM which falls back into the city killing innocents. I’ve heard many, and unanimous, statements from Muslims that this is the fault of the USA, because had US war-planes not been bombing Baghdad, the SAM would not have been fired.

Here, of course, is an important distinction, because the SAM is an unintended mechanical or design failure, and the hostage case involves willful intent.

Thank you for confronting me about this.

AJ12754 (473.1849, Mar-29 12:25 am, in reply to 473.1844):

“I certainly see your point on the SAM although, even with regard to the SAM, I would argue that the Muslims who say this are more likely to be speaking as Arabs or Iraqis or Syrians or Arab-Americans (in their political or national incarnation) rather than as Muslims (their religious incarnation).”

HWOODCJ (473.2026, Mar-29 11:14 pm, in reply to 473.1849):

Indeed, they could be speaking as Americans generally, regardless of religion, because, under US tort law, a SAM falling back into the city is *foreseeable*, and the launching of a SAM is foreseeable, if we send a war-plane to bomb a target in a city.

Thus, if we commit a negligent act, or an intentional act (sending a war-plane to bomb a city) which is unlawful, we are financially responsible for the foreseeable consequences of it.

An offensive war without sanction by the UN Security Council is arguably unlawful. And especially so when in violation of a Security Council resolution (1441) which provided a peaceable solution to the problem we claim justifies our war. And doubly so when the resolution provided a method for authorizing the war (a subsequent resolution if inspections reach impasse).

Thus, those on the receiving end of the SAM falling from the sky in Baghdad have a solid legal basis justifying (from a US standpoint) their feelings that the resulting killings are the fault of the USA, even though the faulty missile was Iraqi.

They could win that lawsuit in a US Court. Except, of course, the United States will not obey the rule of law and permit a lawsuit against it in a US Court, on such an issue, or in a foreign or international court.

MAMETRK (473.1103, Mar-28 8:51 pm, in reply to 473.310):

“A treaty cannot override the constitution of the US.”

HWOODCJ (473.1192, Mar-29 1:20 am, in reply to 473.1103):

I think the import of your assertion is that nothing to do with the UN is part of US law.

Under the Constitution, a treaty and a statute of Congress have equal validity, meaning that in the event of a conflict the later in time controls. The UN Charter is a US treaty.

But what you’re suggesting is essentially true — not because the UN treaty is not part of US law (it is) — but because US Courts will not decide issues pertaining to actions the President decides to take, or to not take, even if they violate US law (pertaining to the President’s authority to conduct the nation’s foreign affairs).

US law, on this point, is identical to Nazi law.

The constitution we imposed on post-war Germany (which they still have) changed Nazi law to prohibit the German Government from acting in violation of international law. The US retains its Nazi-type law.

AJ12754 (473.2032, Mar-29 11:24 pm, in reply to 473.2026):

HWOODCJ: “An offensive war without sanction by the UN Security Council is arguably unlawful.”

“Arguably being the operative word, since no nation has yielded its sovereign rights to the UN.

I think people are really overstating the power/ authority of the UN and Security Council here. It is simply not a government for the international community however much it may wear those trappings.

Nor is the international court of justice comparable on the international level to our courts on the national level.

Realistically, I see no solid legal basis in either American tort law or international law for the scenario you suggest.

But of course reasonable people can disagree on issues like these.”

HWOODCJ (473.2055, Mar-30 12:41 am, in reply to 473.2032):

Well, what makes this topic sort of irrelevant is not that UN law is not part of US law (it is: a treaty) — and ditto the law of all 190 member nations (it’s our ‘common law’, as de Villepin put it).

It’s that the United States will not permit any Court to hold the United States to account for violating this law. Thus, there might as well not be any such law (because victims can get no remedy for violations of the law).

And this is why Americans and US government officials laugh-off international law. As did Adolph Hitler, because Nazi law is identical to US law on this point.

But the law exists nonetheless. And, contrary to your assumption, many nations submit to the jurisdiction of the UN’s International Court of Justice in The Hague, where the issue I raised can be litigated (namely: can the United States lawfully initiate an offensive war under these circumstances).

Indeed, Nicaragua did just that: It sued the United States there (1984) for the US war against Nicaragua (1982-1990) and won (1986).

Reagan revoked the US consent to ICJ “compulsory jurisdiction” a few days before Nicaragua filed suit (but not in time to prevent it) and then ignored the orders of the Court to terminate the US war against Nicaragua (an unlawful war of aggression, the Court held) and to terminate US tactical military assistance to the Contras (constituting the US a “co-belligerent” with the Contras, the US war-aim being unlawful) and to pay damages to Nicaragua.

This is the “rule of law” in action, and it’s action an empire-builder wants no part of.

It’s the refusal of the United States to submit to the rule of law in this way — and to provide a peaceable remedy to the victims of its wrongdoings (via a lawsuit) — which is (in my opinion) the source of terrorism against the United States.

And not only because the United States denies its victims a remedy (which justice and the rule of law entitles them to have), but because US officials perceive no legal limits on their activities (because you can’t sue the United States for anything it does internationally, with scant exception). A constant irritation of lawsuits challenging US actions would be a salutary check-and-balance upon their violent impulses.

The United States is above the law. And this explanation is the source of the claim, sometimes heard, that the United States is a “rogue state” which will not be held to account for its wrongdoings, except by force (eg: 9/11).

UNCLESMRGOL (473.2057, Mar-30 12:53 am, in reply to 473.2055):

“If an unenforceable law is broken, what happens?

I repeat: The United Nations is irrelevant.”

HWOODCJ (473.2068, Mar-30 1:25 am, in reply to 473.2057):

I agree the United States makes the UN largely irrelevant to the US (because the US won’t allow itself to be sued for violating UN law).

But it remains relevant (in my opinion) in a non-legal domain, as a forum for gathering international support for actions like we are now witnessing. Support could have emptied the streets of protestors. And in gathering that support we have to make our case in that forum on the basis of law, as France rightly insisted, not power.

The ‘what happens’ is the international law of countermeasures, which does not depend upon consent by the United States, or war (not an option against the powerful United States).

We often see non-violent countermeasures (trade sanctions, embargoes, tariff tiffs, and such). But there’s also violent countermeasures, a species of self-defense (to induce the wrong-doing nation to terminate its unlawful activity).

If we evaluate Pan Am 103 as a violent countermeasure, for example: the bombers were law-enforcement officers implementing a countermeasure on behalf of Iran (in this scenario), and the criminals were US officials, guilty of involuntary manslaughter, because Pan Am 103 [270 innocent victims, Dec. 21 1988] was the foreseeable consequence of their wrongful refusal to admit wrongdoing for ambushing Iran Air 655 [290 innocent victims, July 3 1988] and pay damages, or else agree to litigate the issue.

They stonewalled Iran instead, and Reagan pronounced the matter closed, a few months before Pan Am 103 [ and in the teeth of a public promise by Iran to exact a countermeasure, if the US wouldn’t apologize or litigate ].

HOLWAY5 (473.2058, Mar-30 12:53 am, in reply to 473.2055):

HWOODCJ: “The United States is above the law. And this explanation is the source of the claim, sometimes heard, that the United States is a “rogue state” which will not be held to account for its wrongdoings, except by force (eg: 9/11).”

“Very logically argued—until that last line. Which demonstrates a point worth making.

You transferred your sophisticated logic onto the bunch of wackos that got their inspiration from something way more mystical than US or even international case law.

No, I’m afraid this is just your plain old garden variety religious fanaticism—like the wierdo that took the 14 year old girl to be his second wife.

Let’s be careful about ascribing 20th-21st century Western solutions to Al Qaeda. The next thing you know we’ll have people conjuring up visions of Al Qaeda as noble savages that somehow have a better vision of the world the we could ever have.”

HWOODCJ (473.2077, Mar-30 2:13 am, in reply to 473.2058):

Well, I’m not undertaking to offer a legal justification for what Mr bin Laden did (mainly because I don’t know why he did it).

But the point I think worth making, as you brought that subject up, is well illustrated by Pan Am 103. That case (the scenario of it as I described it [ above ]) was a simple to understand eye-for-an-eye (a violent countermeasure restriction).

But the United States has committed so many wrongs to so many people that — instead of taking each, and fashioning a countermeasure for it (impossible to do because the United States is so violent) — the mind-set of our foreign observers is formed by the accumulation of our wrongdoings, such that a 9/11 (3000 dead) is well within the eye-for-an-eye rule, if the accumulation of wrongs is taken into account.

I don’t suppose it figured in Mr bin Laden’s mind-set, for example, but we killed 30,000 Nicaraguans and wounded another 30,000 in a war (1982-1990) which the UN ICJ held to be an unlawful war of aggression by the United States (the war-aim of the Contras is a separate issue).

And, we’ve done a lot of things in the Middle East which I imagine did affect his mind-set:— Providing tactical military support in various wars in Africa from CIA/DoD stations inside US embassies there, for example. Bombing an animal medicine factory in Sudan, for example. Attacking a meeting of elders in Somolia (an act of war), when our UN mandate required us, instead, to obey the law of peace. And I won’t string-out the list, because from what we know of Mr bin Laden, “religious fanaticism” may, as you postulate, be a dominate factor in his mind-set.

When viewed in this way, 9/11 is not the outrage generally perceived in the US. In many foreign minds, it was long overdue justice (for a package of wrongs), and well short of what the United States deserves. This, even if Mr bin Laden had other motives in his particular mind-set.

And I decided to make this point, because I have a solution to this problem (‘terrorism’ or violent countermeasures, depending on your point of view). And it’s a whole lot cheaper than what’s going on now:

Congress could pass a simple law, waiving the sovereign immunity of the United States to suits based on claims of foreign wrongdoing by the United States (both contracts and torts), thereby giving US federal courts jurisdiction to entertain such suits (by individuals, companies, and nations).

And, resubmitting the United States to the ‘compulsory jurisdiction’ of the UN International Court of Justice (suits by nations), as was the case from 1945-1984 (when Reagan withdrew that consent). Whether Congress can require the President to make this consent, I’m not sure, but I imagine they can find a way to do it, if they want to.

This would, of course, constitute a sea-change in US history and would transform the United States into a nation governed by the rule of law (in its foreign activities), as Germany is today (because we put exactly these provisions into Germany’s constitution before we turned the government of Germany back to its people).

DIANNEF51 (473.2079, Mar-30 2:17 am, in reply to 473.2077):

HWOODCJ: “...the United States is so violent...”

“Oh brother ... Do we torture, rape and murder our own people for simply voicing their opinions? ... You have a skewed view on violence.”

HWOODCJ (473.2091, Mar-30 2:50 am, in reply to 473.2079):

I’m referring to the US violent response to a countermeasure.

For example, had Iran stated publicly that it blew-up Pan Am 103 as a countermeasure (because the US would not admit responsibility for wrongly ambushing Iran Air 655, or else consent to litigate the issue), the United States would likely have attacked Iran — a countermeasure to a countermeasure. [ If the first is lawful, the second is unlawful ].

This spiral of violence (each side asserting its own view of the facts) is avoided by litigation (the rule of law) and consent to be bound by the outcome (even if you don’t like the outcome).

This is the regime we all live under domestically inside the US. If you couldn’t sue your neighbor, or even have him arrested, when he came over and burnt your house down, gun-deaths in America would soar.

AJ12754 (473.2219, Mar-29 11:24 pm, in reply to 473.2026):

HWOODCJ: “many nations submit to the jurisdiction of the UN’s International Court of Justice in The Hague, where the issue I raised can be litigated (namely: can the United States lawfully initiate an offensive war under these circumstances).”

“Again — difference of perspective — I believe nations submit to international jurisdiction *when they can expect to win* there. When they can expect to lose, I feel confident they’ll claim their sovereign rights.” {asterisk-emphasis added}

HWOODCJ (473.2270, Mar-30 3:04 pm, in reply to 473.2032):

No. It’s a difference in principle.

The nations (including the United States, 1945-1984) which submit to the ‘compulsory jurisdiction’ of the UN International Court of Justice (The Hague) decided to bind themselves to the rule of law and thereby eschew the label “rogue state”, with the view that human affairs should be governed peaceably by the rule of law and not violently by the rule of force (as we are now witnessing in Iraq).

AJ12754: “... when they can expect to win there ...”

Here, you misapprehend ‘compulsory jurisdiction’.

It’s not ‘arbitration’, which your comment describes (a case-by-case assessment of whether we’re likely to win or, at least, that settling the particular case peaceably by arbitration is desirable even if we’re likely to lose).

‘Compulsory jurisdiction’ is what it says: We agree *in advance* that other nations may sue us in the UN ICJ for what we may do *in the future* and we agree to obey the resulting orders of the court.

And this is exactly what happened in Nicaragua v. United States of America. Reagan discovered that Nicaragua was preparing to file a lawsuit against the United States in the ICJ, for the US war against Nicaragua (1982-1990) which the CIA launched in 1982 by blowing-up a bridge in Nicaragua (Casey was CIA Director).

Reagan, desperate to block the lawsuit, abruptly filed with the Court (April 6 1984) a revocation of the United States consent to ‘compulsory jurisdiction’.

But the ‘compulsory’ part of ‘compulsory jurisdiction’ is enforced by an ‘advance notice’ provision: The withdrawal of consent takes effect only after passage of a notice period, precisely to prevent what Reagan was attempting to do. (I think the notice period is 30-days, but I’m not bothering to look it up for this post).

But Nicaragua’s lawyers (including US lawyers) were polishing-off the last details of their complaint and easily filed it (April 9 1984) within the notice period, 3-days after Reagan filed his notice.

So when the Court issued its decision and its orders (June 27 1986), Reagan simply violated the binding United States obligation to obey those orders (to stop US involvement in the war and to pay damages, estimated $3.5 billion), and all this just washed over the US public with indifference, laughed-off by US officials.

Goodbye rule of law, and Hello “rogue state” and 9/11.

ICJ opinion:

http://www.icj-cij.org/ icjwww/Icases/iNus/inusframe.htm (5000 kb pdf) {later out of date, current link below}

http://www.gwu.edu/~jaysmith/nicus3.html (404kb.html)

http://www.studiperlapace.it/english/nicaragua86.html (428kb.html)

Nicaragua v. United States (“Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities In and Against Nicaragua”) (I.C.J.: U.N. International Court of Justice, The Hague, Case No.70), filed April 9 1984, announced, “Nicaragua Institutes Proceedings Against the United States of America” (I.C.J., Communiqué, No. 84/10, April 9 1984) {170kb.pdf, source, source}, judgment, November 26 1984 (“jurisdiction of the court and admissibility of the application”), 1984 I.C.J. 392, 398 ¶ 13, 421 ¶ 65, 442 ¶ 113 {6.5mb.pdf, source, excerpts} (rejecting the U.S. challenge to the court’s jurisdiction), announced, “Judgment of the Court” (I.C.J., Communiqué, No. 84/39, November 26 1984) {1.1mb.pdf, source, source}, judgment, June 27 1986 (“merits”), 1986 I.C.J. 14 {16.5mb.pdf, source, 404kb.html, 428kb.html, summary, source}, announced, “Judgment of the Court” (I.C.J., Communiqué, No. 86/8, June 27 1986) {3mb.pdf, source, source}.

The United States remains subject to suit in the UN ICJ — no longer for torts generally, but — for violations of a selected group of treaties (not all treaties).

To prevent US lawyers (who are best qualified to confront the US Government in Court) from again representing foreign victims of US Government crimes and torts in the future (as they successfully did for Nicaragua), Reagan issued an Executive Order, making it unlawful for US lawyers to provide legal services to Libya, or any person in Libya, without a license from the US Government.

“Prohibiting Trade and Certain Transactions Involving Libya,” Executive Order 12543 (January 7 1986) {6kb.html, 8kb.pdf}, 51 F.R. 875.

Lybian Sanction Regulations, 31 C.F.R. § 550.422 (‘Exportation of services; performance of service contracts; legal services’), § 550.517 (‘Exportation of certain legal services to the Government of, or persons in, Libya’), current version July 1 2001 {129kb.pdf}.

This, doubtless, in contemplation of his then secret battle-plan to attack Libya (April 15 1986), at the next plausible provocation. And, the other US ‘whipping boys’ are also on that list (Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and such — the President dictates a new list every now and then).

Iran managed to construct an ICJ lawsuit (May 7 1989) for the US ambush of Iran Air 655 (July 3 1988, 290 killed), based on violation of some of these treaties. Their suit prompted Bush 2 months later — and for the first time — to offer money to the victims (July 15 1989), but not to Iran for their AirBus.

The US ambush was the result of a string of negligent acts (tort law, which the US would not permit the ICJ to examine) in the equipping and operational protocol of the US warship USS Vincennes (CG-49). It was also the proximate result of an intentional tort: a secret Reagan war against Iran, unlawful (without consent of Congress).

Yet, Iran managed to show that these torts were *also* treaty violations [ though Iran couldn’t challenge the full extent of the US tort via this restricted treaty approach ].

Clinton eventually settled the lawsuit (Feb. 22 1996) for a higher amount than Reagan belatedly offered, before the ICJ could issue their decision. Iran agreed to the settlement because it included a lot of other disputed issues as well, between the US and Iran; it was a package deal.

AJ12754 (473.2296, Mar-30 3:21 pm, in reply to 473.2270):

“I think you’re missing my point — which your post actually makes for me.

I’m simply saying nation-states essentially do what they feel is in their national interest — regardless of whether or not they have agreed to “compulsory jurisdiction”.

I wasn’t referring to any process of case-by-case arbitration. Your Nicaraguan and Iranian examples make that point nicely — but I don’t think the US is the only country to behave this way ... just the one that people expect more from because of their stated ideals.

Realistically, on the international level, legal niceties will always yield to power politics.”

HWOODCJ (473.2356, Mar-30 4:12 pm, in reply to 473.2296):

The 66 nations which have accepted the ‘compulsory jurisdiction’ of the UN International Court of Justice (15 judges), do not share your opinion that the rule of law is a ‘legal nicety’. And they reject your opinion that ‘power politics’ is an acceptable basis for the government of human affairs.

These nations accept and submit to the rule of law, meaning that they surrender to an international tribunal the authority to judge what they do against international law and — if that Court finds they violated international law — they agree to pay damages as the Court determines to be appropriate, and they agree to obey whatever other remedial orders the Court fashions to remedy the wrong, eg: to terminate their unlawful activities.

But, in confronting a “rogue state” which will not submit to the rule of law, and will not submit to be held to account peaceably in a courtroom for its wrongdoings, then yes:— Usama bin Laden agrees with you that power politics is the final resort:— Force then being the only remaining remedy.

The 66 nations consenting to UN ICJ “ compulsory jurisdiction

AJ12754 (473.2365, Mar-30 4:29 pm, in reply to 473.2356):

HWOODCJ: “The 66 nations ... accept and submit to the rule of law.”

“To which I would answer — “For now”.

I don’t expect that these 66 nations will share my opinion, at least not publicly — until such time as they decide that the “rule of international law” doesn’t fit with some aspect of their national interest.

They may well reject power politics in theory — but they will accept it in practice should they feel their national interest is threatened.

Nationalism (at least for now) is still stronger than internationalism. (But I did see yesterday where astronomers think they may be receiving messages from life on other plants —seriously. Now there’s an incentive for internationalism.)

Perhaps we should just agree to disagree on this point, although I do appreciate the tutorial I’ve received from you on international law (really ... not being facetious here).”

HWOODCJ (473.2383, Mar-30 5:22 pm, in reply to 473.2365):

There have been many lawsuits in the UN International Court of Justice, and in its predecessor court. And each lawsuit involved high-powered intense assertions about ‘national interests’ and, in some cases, perceived ‘threats’ as well. In each lawsuit, one nation won and one nation lost.

But, as far as I know, only one nation has ever been so bold to do as you predict, and repudiate its binding agreement to obey the orders of the Court in a lawsuit they lost:— And that one nation is the United States of America, in Nicaragua v. United States of America (UN ICJ, June 27 1986). The US, at that time, accepted the ‘compulsory jurisdiction’ of the Court, and was bound by the Court’s decision, as I explained previously: 473.2270 [above].

AJ12754: “Perhaps we should just agree to disagree on this point, although I do appreciate the tutorial I’ve received from you on international law (really ...not being facetious here).”

I agree that you have accurately described the existing state of affairs in so far as the conduct of the United States is concerned.

I disagree with your speculation that any of the 66 nations presently accepting the ‘compulsory jurisdiction’ of the UN International Court of Justice will, at some time in the future, follow the lawless law-breaking “rogue state” lead of the United States and violate orders of the Court which it had agreed to obey, as the United States did.

And so I guess we both agree and disagree.

AJ12754 (473.2387, Mar-30 5:30 pm, in reply to 473.2383):

“Had to get that last little jab (US = “rogue state”) in there, huh? (Smile).

Time will tell — and now I really have to get off or I won’t have a job left tomorrow.”

HWOODCJ (473.2390, Mar-30 5:52 pm, in reply to 473.2387):

It’s certainly a jab, and I put it my response to keep focus on the *consequences* of US law-breaking “rogue state” conduct.

Just because the US does what it wants to do — eg: violate orders of the Court it agreed to obey, or launch a war in violation of a Security Council resolution it agreed to obey — doesn’t mean there are no consequences for its unlawful conduct.

And this, the American public needs to keep firmly in mind, when we witness our skyscrapers collapsing and our airliners blown out of the sky.

We don’t have to put up with this law-breaking conduct by our US officials. It’s our choice. We can choose to submit our nation to the rule of law and require our nation to pay for its wrongdoings, and obey court orders, just as each of us, in our private lives, are required to do.

SHOOTER242 (473.455, Mar-28 1:43 pm, in reply to 473.106):

VILIDBRO1: “We should have “toughed it out”. We’re the country “under the microscope”. Our deportment is extremely crucial if we’re courting world approval, in ALL our enterprises.”

“Aren’t you familiar with the expression: ’Tis better to be p*ssed off than p*ssed on?

Why are you pre-occupied with what other people think? Who cares?”

HWOODCJ (473.844, Mar-28 6:34 pm, in reply to 473.455):

Is Usmma bin Laden the author of that expression?

Trakei (473.9, Mar-28 7:16 am, in reply to 473.5):

Nor (SRIMBERG): “Is it an Empire in its birth we are are seeing?”

“I think the hope is that we’ll see an age in which nations will understand that either they fulfill their commitments or they suffer the consequences.”

HWOODCJ (473.302, Mar-28 11:50 am, in reply to 473.9):

–Usama bin Laden

Lindsay Howerton (473.422, Mar-28 1:18 pm, in reply to 473.415):

“In WWII the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on two civilian cities. Surely that was not considered part of the rules of engagement.”

Bill Dutton (473.431, Mar-28 1:26 pm, in reply to 473.422):

“First, the Geneva Conventions that limited war to legitimate military targets were signed in 1948. Four years after the dropping of the bomb.

There was the argument made then (and later) that the dropping of the bomb on these (albeit questionable) military targets shortened the war and saved an estimated 100,000 US killed and 1,000,000 Japanese killed, if we had undertaken a conventional invasion of the Japanese Island.

Since the (specific) rules of engagement as you put it did not exist prior to 1948, that argument is not valid.”

HWOODCJ (473.803, Mar-28 6:12 pm, in reply to 473.431):

The Geneva Conventions to which you refer have nothing to do with this issue — not only due to their post-war date, but — because they do not contain targeting law (except incidentally for specialized situations).

The Hague Convention IV (1907, ratified by the US in 1909) prohibits use of weapons causing poisoning or unnecessary suffering, such as lingering death from radiation poisoning and burns from the heat rays. [ Hague-4, Annex, article 23(a), (e) ].

In addition, the customary laws of war then (as now) prohibit targeting civilians. The US fire-bombed the heart of 58 cities in Japan, carefully preserving Hiroshima for a test. The US knew Hiroshima (Japan’s 8th largest city) was not a military target, because US submarines had mined its harbors, rendering it harmless.

The test came on August 6 1945. President Harry Truman — in announcing what he had privately enthused to be “the greatest thing in history” (the A-bomb) — lied to the American public when he stated that Hiroshima was a “military target”.

[ Hiroshima had few actual military targets. It’s principal military significance was as a transit point for the embarkation of troops onto troops ships and this military operation no longer existed, due to the mined harbors. The atomic bomb blast could not be confined to the few military targets dotted around the city; hence, the target was “civilian”, with collateral damage to a few incidental military targets. This, in addition to a violation of the Hague Convention prohibition on weapons which cause poisoning or unnecessary suffering. ]

Curtis LeMay, Commander, US 20th Air Force (the B-29s):

“We didn’t worry about civilians. After all, they were the enemy.”

“I’ll tell you what war is about: You’ve got to kill people. And when you’ve killed enough, they stop fighting.”

TEXASJIM5 (473.818, Mar-28 6:18 pm, in reply to 473.803):

“I hate to say this, but General Lemay was right.

With all the comparisons of Hussein to Hitler in the Bushite party, one would do well to recall how Hitler met his end. As I recall, Hitler died in a bunker after the allies had bombed Germany and Berlin into rubble and killed a lot of innocent Nazis along the way.”


I didn’t reply to this. But had I done so, I would have said this:

Lemay was certainly correct. Lemay admired ‘Bomber Harris’ (Arthur T. Harris, Commander, UK Bomber Command) and his targeting of civilian residential areas in Germany, on written orders of the Air Ministry (February 14 1942), most dramatically: Hamburg (July 28 1943 firestorm, 45,000+ killed). With no fear of criminal prosecution, that’s exactly what Lemay proceeded to do in Japan, beginning with Toyko (March 10 1945 firestorm, 83,000+ killed). As Tacitus observed, about the Roman Army:

“They make a desert and call it peace:
Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant

– Agricola 30.

XXPORTXXX (473.436, Mar-28 1:30 pm, in reply to 473.422):

“Since you brought this up Lindsay I would like to bring this fact to your attention. Not one single US military general supported the use of atomic weapons in Japan. From MacArthur in the Pacific to Eisenhower in the Atlantic. All of them felt the weapon was inhuman and unnecessary. One General even expressed the logical concern: “What happens if it doesn’t explode?”

For the record, the bomb was dropped not for military reasons but for political ones. The first simple one, was a message to the Russians....

Last item: The second bomb was not even supposed to be dropped. It had no military significance because there was no attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of the first bomb.

Why was it dropped? Another political decision ... not military.”

HWOODCJ (473.824, Mar-28 6:21 pm, in reply to 473.436):

Both bombs were a scientific experiment (as well as impressing the Russians): The Nagasaki bomb was plutonium-239. The Hiroshima bomb was uranium-235.

They wanted to see which was best.

BERTRANDH (473.657, Mar-28 4:42 pm, in reply to 473.647):

“Tokyo fire bombing was an insult to humanity too, and more than an insult to 500,000 Japanese.”

HWOODCJ (473.1063, Mar-28 9:38 pm, in reply to 473.657):

“In Japan, 900,000 people were killed, 1,300,000 were injured and over 8,500,000 evacuees were produced through air bombardment. In the attacks on Japan, the allies concentrated largely on area bombardment, although certain specific systems, such as aircraft factories, airfields, and other specific target categories were attacked.”

Raymond S. Sleeper (Colonel, US Air Force) ‘Air power, the cold war, and peace’ in James T. Stewart (Colonel, US Air Force) Air Power: The Decisive Force in Korea, p.295 (D. van Nostrand, Princeton New Jersey, 1957; reprinted, Arno Press/New York Times, New York City, 1980).

MARINEMOTHER (473.2499, Mar-30 10:40 pm, in reply to 473.2479):

“We will all see what the outcome will be. Honestly, I think even if the outcome is that Iraqi is free, fed, and not living in constant fear there are still going to be those bashing the President. The most spectacular outcome would not satisfy these people.”

HWOODCJ (473.2534, Mar-30 11:39 pm, in reply to 473.2499):

The dead Iraqis will not be bashing the President. But many of their loved-ones might. They might not feel satisfied.

USMOM (473.2544, Mar-31 12:03 am, in reply to 473.2534):

“I am confused. The Iraqi people allow psycho Saddam to brutalize their people, killing at will. Assuming this goes as planned you now state the Iraqi people will not welcome the opportunity to be out from under the rule of this lunatic? Why is that?”

HWOODCJ (473.2626, Mar-31 3:53 am, in reply to 473.2544):

1.  There’s a price to be paid for this. Not by you, not by me, and not by MARINEMOTHER.

2.  The extent of Saddam’s killings-at-will has not been documented, but I believe (from listening to them) that the vast majority of Iraqis are not fearful of this and most don’t know anybody this has happened to (personal to their lives). Certain groups are fearful, eg: the Kurds who have been free from Saddam for the past 10 years. And certainly their liberties are curtailed (eg: free speech), but they tolerate it.

3.  Hence, what price are *they* (not we) willing to pay? I did not state (as you attribute to me) “you now state the Iraqi people will not welcome the opportunity to be out from under the rule of this lunatic”. I have no doubt they would welcome this opportunity, *if* the price is right.

4.  I describe this price as a ‘body-count’: Are we going to kill more Iraqis than Saddam would have killed had we let him be? (And this includes Iraqi soldiers as well as civilians). The only Iraqis who will be able to enjoy the freedoms promised by their new military dictator (G.W.Bush) will be those who survive this ‘liberation’. And one-by-one the survivors will now live under a new fear: trigger-happy US military occupation forces who shoot first and ask questions later, when they feel threatened.

5.  But there’s another price as well: Indefinite military occupation by the United States and US exploitation of their national asset (oil) in a way that serves US interests, not Iraqi interests, plus draining of their oil revenues into the US Treasury to pay for US occupation costs. Bush claims the US will quickly leave, but they have every reason to not believe his claims and to not trust him. And once he’s there nobody can make him leave. And when he does leave, he will surely retain his new military bases there forever. These are prices they have to pay as well.

6.  “Assuming this goes as planned”, you say. It hasn’t. There’re no flowers in the street. There are violent military forces regarding every citizen as a potential hostile ‘terrorist’ and killing them on the slightest suspicion.

7.  Hence my suggestion for another way to do this, at a more attractive price: 473.2451 (above) and 473.2589 (above).

Bill Dutton (473.424, Mar-28 1:19 pm, in reply to 473.403):

REVZOT: “.. Iraq is caught up in a war of national survival ...”

“The US and it’s allies will be returning the Iraqi nation to those that deserve it ... the Iraqi people.”

Bill Dutton (473.288, Mar-28 11:42 am, in reply to 473.281):

WILLIAM2735: “So you actually believe that a democratic goverment will follow. I agree, until the first miltary coup occurs after we leave.”

“There is no other course for the US and it’s allies but to ensure that democracy follows.

The US will be in Iraq for many many years to come. Iraq will replace Qatar as a mid-east base of military operations. Um-Quasar will become a US Naval Base. And the airstrips in the North and West will become permanent US military bases. Iran and Syria’s governments will be very nervous.”

HWOODCJ (473.961, Mar-28 8:22 pm, in reply to 473.288):

*Now* ! This is more like it ! And this is what I wanted to hear, because Iraq hasn’t had a proper oil-field operation since 1979.

If we get to stay a long time, *then* we’ll have time for the Texans to punch those shallow wells, get the oil flowing, and boost Iraq’s oil revenues way up high. Then, in addition to taxes from the oil companies over that long time, the US defense budget will drop way down — as we shove a bigger chunk off us and onto Iraq (occupation costs) — and then I’ll get some *big* tax refunds. And, for many years.

[ And, by ballooning Iraq’s oil production, Bush can torpedo OPEC’s cartel-control of world oil prices, flood the market with Iraqi oil, drive-down the price of gasoline, diesel, jet-fuel, and heating-oil in the USA:— a big-kicker in the bargain ].

Who said Bush was nitwit. This is pure genius.


Source:  http://forums.washingtonpost.com/wpforums/ messages?msg=473.1 (Forum: ‘Discussion: War In Iraq 3.28.2003’, Mar-28 6:27 am–Mar-31 6:02 am, 2651 messages) (The Washington Post Company, Washington DC).

day 10

War-talk: Hiroshima April 14 2003

HWOODCJ (505.1561, Apr-14 12:02 am, in reply to 505.1330):

GHADAHIJJAWI: “I believe Hiroshima was the biggest crime in history ...”

You’ve got plenty of company:

“The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is a war-crime or an attempted war-crime because such use would violate international law by causing unnecessary suffering, failing to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and poisoning its targets by radiation.”

Alphonse F. Witt, Judge, jury instruction, People v. Jarka (Illinois Circuit Court of Lake County, Waukegan Illinois, docket number 2170, jury acquittal: April 15 1985), quoted in Francis A. Boyle (Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign Illinois) Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law, pp.9-10 (Transnational Publishers, Dobbs Ferry New York, 1987): http://www. mothersalert.org/boyle2.html


Details:  Hiroshima: August 6 1945, 140,000 killed, half of a lingering death over several weeks, plus an additional 78,000 early entrant rescuers poisoned by secondary radiation. Nagasaki: August 9 1945, 70,000 killed, plus an additional 11,000 early entrant rescuers poisoned by secondary radiation.

Source:  Hiroshima and Nagasaki—The Physical, Medical, and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombings (Committee for the Compilation of Materials on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Basic Books, 106 pages, translators into English: Eisei Ishikawa and David L. Swain; full text: Hutchinson, London, 1981, in English).


“A new-type cruel bomb ignoring international law

Imperial Government protest
to the Government of the United States

With regard to the attack by a new-type bomb on the city of Hiroshima by a B-29 bomber on the 6th instant, the Imperial Government filed the following protest on the 10th instant to the Government of the United States through the Government of Switzerland and gave instructions to the Japanese Minister to Switzerland, Kase, to make the explanation of the same effect to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Protest against the attack of a new-type bomb
by American airplane:

On the 6th of this month, an airplane of the United States dropped a new-type bomb on the urban district of the city of Hiroshima and it killed and wounded a large number of the citizens and destroyed the bulk of the city. 

In a declaration, President Truman has asserted that he would destroy docks, factories, and installations for transportation. However, this bomb, provided with a parachute in falling, explodes in the air and its destructive force extends to a wide sphere. It is clear that it is technically impossible to limit the attack by this bomb to the special objectives designated by President Truman and the American authorities are perfectly well aware of this. The bomb blast and heat radiation damaged a great area and indiscriminately killed combatant and non-combatant alike, men and women, old and young.

Consequently, there is involved a bomb having the most cruel effects humanity has ever known—not only as far as the extensive and immense damage is concerned, but also—for reasons of suffering endured by each victim.

It is an elementary principle of international public law that in time of war the belligerents do not have unlimited right in the choice of attack and that they cannot resort to projectile arms or any other means capable of causing the enemy needless suffering, {citing: Hague-4, Annex, articles 22 and 23(e)}.

Since the beginning of the present world war, the Government of the United States has declared repeatedly that the use of poison or other inhumane methods of warfare is regarded as illegal by the public opinion in civilized countries and that the United States would not use these methods of warfare unless the other countries used them first.

However, the bomb in this case, which the United States used this time, exceeds by far the indiscriminate and cruel character of poison and other weapons, the use of which has been prohibited hitherto.

The United States has already disregarded the fundamental principles of international law and humanity by its indiscriminate aerial bombardments on cities of the empire in very wide areas and it has already killed and injured a large number of old people, children, and women and collapsed or burned-down shrines, temples, schools, hospitals, and ordinary private houses.

Now, the United States has used the new bomb which is indiscriminate and cruel beyond comparison with all weapons and projectiles of the past.

This is a new crime against the civilization of mankind.

The government of Japan—in its own name and in the name of all mankind and civilization—impeaches the government of the United States and demands that the government of the United States stop using it immediately.”

Source: Japanese Foreign Ministry, protest note, telexed August 10 1945 to Switzerland and forwarded to the US by the Swiss on August 11 1945. (The US concealed this note for 25 years). A compiled translation based on the version released by the US Government in 1969 in ‘Diplomatic papers 1945’ Foreign Relations of the United States, volume 6, pp.472-474 (US Department of State, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1969), and the version printed as Annex 3 to the Court’s opinion in Ryuichi Shimoda v. Japan (Tokyo District Court, December 7 1963, cited more fully below).


“However, the legal principle of the aerial bombardment on an objective zone cannot apply to the city of Hiroshima and the city of Nagasaki, since it is clear that both cities could not be said to be places where such military objectives concentrate. ...

[W]e can safely see that besides poison, poison gas, and bacterium, the use of the means of injuring the enemy which causes at least the same or more injury is prohibited by international law. ... It is a deeply sorrowful reality that the atomic bombing on both cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took the lives of many civilians and that among the survivors there are people whose lives are still imperiled owing to the radial rays, even today 18 years later. In this sense, it is not too much to say that the pain brought by the atomic bomb is severer than that from poison and poison gas and we can say that the act of dropping such a cruel bomb is contrary to the fundamental principle of the laws-of-war that unnecessary pain must not be given. {Hague-4, Annex, article 23(a), (e)} ...

It is an established principle of international law that when a belligerent causes damage to the other belligerent by illegal acts of hostility, in international law the belligerent must compensate the other belligerent for the damage.” {Hague-4, article 3}.

Ryuichi Shimoda v. Japan (Tokyo District Court; December 7 1963; complaint filed in May 1955; Judges: Toshimasa Koseki, Yoshiko Mibuchi, Akira Takakuwa), 8 Japanese Annual of International Law, pp.212-252, at pp.239-242, 250 (Japan Branch of the International Law Association, Tokyo, 1964); 32 International Law Review 626. The court ruled that the 4 plaintiffs’ claim for damages, though valid, was not enforceable against either Japan or the US in the courts of Japan or the US.

REVZOT to Oppenhiemer: (505.1374, Apr-13 1:56 pm, in reply to 505.1214):

“Generals Eisenhower, MacArthur, and LeMay (commander of the 20th Air Force—the air force that was bombing out the Japanese cities and under whose control the atomic bombs were dropped—were all of the opinion that the atomic bombs were not needed whatsoever to end the war rapidly, with relatively light loss of life.”

Oppenhiemer: (505.1455, Apr-13 7:13 pm, in reply to 505.1374):

“Again, I’d like to view your actual source material for your statements.”

HWOODCJ: (505.1576, Apr-14 12:27 am, in reply to 505.1455):

“We’d had a nice evening together at headquarters in Germany”, the Supreme Allied Commander remembers, “nice dinner, everything was fine.

Then Stimson got this cable saying the bomb had been perfected and was ready to be dropped {Secretary of War, Henry Lewis Stimson (1867-1950)}. The cable was in code. You know the way they do it: ‘The lamb is born’ or some damn thing like that.

So then, he told me they were going to drop it on the Japanese. Well, I listened and I didn’t volunteer anything because, after all, my war was over in Europe and it wasn’t up to me. But I was getting more and more depressed just thinking about it.

Then he asked for my opinion, so I told him I was against it on 2 counts. First, the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.

Well ... the old gentleman got furious. And I can see how he would. After all it had been his responsibility to push for all the huge expenditure { $2 billion } to develop the bomb, which of course he had a right to do, and was right to do. Still, it was an awful problem.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) (Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and subsequently US President (Jan.20 1953-1961 Jan.20)) ‘Ike on Ike’ Newsweek, November 11 1963, p.108, quoted in: Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb, p.688 (Simon & Schuster, New York City, 1986; Viking/Penguin, New York City, London, and other cities, 1988). Eisenhower also recounts this conversation in his book Mandate for Change: 1953-1956, p.380 (Doubleday and Company, New York City, 1963).

MacArthur didn’t know about it in advance; he condemned it afterwards.

Oppenhiemer: (505.1636, Apr-14 3:47 am, in reply to 505.1576):

“Thanks, I’d heard that story somewhere before, and I know about the considerable debate surrounding its use, at the time.

McArthur may have condemned it after, but he wanted to use it in the Korean war, after the Chinese got involved. One of the reasons Truman recalled him.

Scientists at Los Alamos, and around the country were concerned about the firebombing of Japanese cities, and in those days, you didn’t question the Gov. in wartime. Even so, they petitioned Washington to demonstrate its use, within site of Tokyo, offshore, before using it on a city.

That letter sat unopened, on a desk in Washington, until the 11th of August, 1945.

Would it have made a difference? Who can say?

As I said to PLAS22, the “Sho-gun” mentality that the Japanese military had was far different than Hirohito’s, and the coup attempt did much to disrupt communication with regard to surrender. There was talk of surrender, and Japan was ripe for it, but the diehard Japanese elements that stood in the way of this, caused these tentative feelers to the Soviets to be ingnored, and Hirohito’s attempts to surrender after Hiroshima were delayed in the coup attempt, as the radio transmitter at the palace was damaged in the battle with palace guards.

That the US rejected anything other than Unconditional surrender is also clear, Hirohito was only allowed to stay on as a figure-head, after he had unconditionally surrendered, and he was deemed valuable as a stabilizing factor in the reconstruction.

There was an old documentary, done by the National Geographic after the war, on Hirohito, that included the coup attempt, and showed the palace grounds, including the damaged transmitter tower, and the replacement.

I couldn’t say if it is on the website’s archives, but if I can find it, I’ll post the link. ”

Oppenhiemer to LURCH194: (505.1601, Apr-14 1:15 am, in reply to 505.1549):

“Everything I’ve seen, from declassified Government documents, to talking with members of the Mahattan Project personally, say that figure is not to be believed, that a million was conservative { anticipated US combat deaths from an invasion of the Japanese home islands }, and 5 million Japanese was conservative as well.”

HWOODCJ: (505.1609, Apr-14 1:44 am, in reply to 505.1601):

These estimates have nothing to do with this issue. They were overtaken by events.

Nobody in the US Military responsible for preparing invasion plans had knowledge of Japan’s attempts to surrender. And ditto the opinions of the Manhattan Project personnel. But President Truman did; he got his copy of Japan’s letter the same time Stalin got his (they were both at the Potsdam conference (July 16–August 2 1945):

The Japanese statement of its desire to surrender, preceeded the arrival of Japan’s former prime minister, prince Fumiharo Konoye, in Moscow on July 12 for talks on how to end the war:

“His majesty the emperor is greatly concerned over the daily increasing casualties and sacrifices faced by the citizens of the various countries in this present war, and it is his majesty’s heart’s earnest hope that peace may be restored as speedily as possible for the welfare of mankind.”

Truman did not want the emperor to surrender before Truman had time to drop the two atomic bombs to impress the Russians:– the first move in the Cold War.

Oppenhiemer: (505.1643, Apr-14 4:21 am, in reply to 505.1609):

HWOODCJ: “These estimates have nothing to do with this issue. They were overtaken by events.”

“That’s how this thread started, when I stated that figure of 1 million and 5 million, as the number of casualties that were spared by not invading the Japanese home islands, as the bombs resulted in Japan’s surrender.”

HWOODCJ: “Truman did not want the emperor to surrender before Truman had time to drop the two atomic bombs to impress the Russians:– the first move in the Cold War.”

“Now that conclusion on opinions is a bit of a stretch, as I’ve read the declassified conversation on target selection, that Groves, Oppenhiemer and others on the the project attended in Los Alamos.

As for Truman’s “agenda”, how you get to this from a “feeler” put out by the Japanese is beyond me, but there was a Manhattan Scientist who traveled to Washington to deliver the petition I mentioned, but his attitude put the Chief of staff off, and he never got to Truman, instead the letter sat unopened. He was trying to warn the president that using the bomb would start an arms race with the Soviets, which it did.

No one knew at the time that the Soviets has stolen the plans from Los Alamos. Though they had done some prior research, which concerned Truman, but ending the war was job #1, with a minimum of further casualties.

Look on the Bradbury museum’s website, you can find a link through LANL, in a short search on LANL’s website. LANL—Los Alamos National Labs.”

HWOODCJ: (Reply forthcoming):


Source:  http://forums.washingtonpost.com/wpforums/ messages?msg=505.1 (Forum: ‘Discussion: War In Iraq 4.11.2003’, Apr-11 5:07 am–Apr-14 5:00 am, 1651 messages) (The Washington Post Company, Washington DC).


Occupation costs:

ICRC flag Laws-of-war: http://www. icrc.org/ eng/ihl

Hague-4: Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land {copy} (The Hague, Oct. 18 1907, Jan. 26 1910), U.S. ratified, Nov. 27 1909, 36 Stat. 2277, status (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, depositary, 1907 Hague Peace Conventions):

* * *

Art 3.  A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said Regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.

* * *
Annex to the Convention
Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land
* * *
Section II
Chapter I
Means of injuring the enemy, sieges, and bombardments
* * *

Art 22.  The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.

Art 23.  In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden

(a)  To employ poison or poisoned weapons;

* * *

(c)  To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

(d)  To declare that no quarter will be given;

(e)  To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;

* * *
Section III
Military Authority over the Territory of the Hostile State
* * *

Art 42.  Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

Art 43.  The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.

* * *

Art 46.  Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.

Art 47.  Pillage is formally forbidden.

Art 48.  If, in the territory occupied, the occupant collects the taxes, dues, and tolls imposed for the benefit of the State, he shall do so, as far as is possible, in accordance with the rules of assessment and incidence in force, and shall in consequence be bound to defray the expenses of the administration of the occupied territory to the same extent as the legitimate Government was so bound.

Art 49If, in addition to the taxes mentioned in the above article, the occupant levies other money contributions in the occupied territory, this shall only be for the needs of the army or of the administration of the territory in question.

* * *

Art 52.  Requisitions in kind and services shall not be demanded from municipalities or inhabitants except for the needs of the army of occupation. They shall be in proportion to the resources of the country, and of such a nature as not to involve the inhabitants in the obligation of taking part in military operations against their own country.

Such requisitions and services shall only be demanded on the authority of the commander in the locality occupied.

Contributions in kind shall as far is possible be paid for in cash; if not, a receipt shall be given and the payment of the amount due shall be made as soon as possible.

Art 53.  An army of occupation can only take possession of cash, funds, and realizable securities which are strictly the property of the State, depots of arms, means of transport, stores and supplies, and, generally, all movable property belonging to the State which may be used for military operations.

All appliances, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, adapted for the transmission of news, or for the transport of persons or things, exclusive of cases governed by naval law, depots of arms, and, generally, all kinds of munitions of war, may be seized, even if they belong to private individuals, but must be restored and compensation fixed when peace is made.

* * *

Art 55.  The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.”

Source: http://www.icrc.org/eng/ihl (International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, full-text database of international humanitarian law), added: text {in braces}, highlighting. Also at (University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, Minneapolis Minnesota), and (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford Massachusetts).



US Army, Field Manual 27-10

The Law of Land Warfare {10.3mb.pdf/txt, source} (U.S. Army Field Manual, FM 27-10, July 18 1956, and amendment dated July 15 1976) {SuDoc: D 101.20:27-10, ditto, LCCN: 56062174, OCLC: 39027139, GPOCat, WorldCat} (omits the 1977 Geneva targeting Protocol-1, and other post 1954 laws):

Chapter 6: Occupation

* * *

355. Occupation as Question of Fact.  Military occupation is a question of fact. It presupposes a hostile invasion, resisted or unresisted, as a result of which the invader has rendered the invaded government incapable of publicly exercising its authority, and that the invader has successfully substituted its own authority for that of the legitimate government in the territory invaded.

* * *

364. Occupation Costs.  The economy of an occupied country can only be required to bear the expenses of the occupation, and these should not be greater than the economy of the country can reasonably be expected to bear.

* * *

366. Local Governments Under Duress and Puppet Governments.  The restrictions placed upon the authority of a belligerent government cannot be avoided by a system of using a puppet government, central or local, to carry out acts which would be unlawful if performed directly by the occupant. Acts induced or compelled by the occupant are nonetheless its acts.

367. Functions of Government.

a. Paramount Authority of Occupant.  The functions of the hostile government—whether of a general, provincial, or local character—continue only to the extent they are sanctioned by the occupant.

b. Functions of Local Government.  The occupant may, while retaining its paramount authority, permit the government of the country to perform some or all of its normal functions. It may, for example, call upon the local authorities to administer designated rear areas, subject to the guidance and direction of the occupying power. Such action is consistent with the status of occupation, so long as there exists the firm possession and the purpose to maintain paramount authority.

368. Nature of Government.  It is immaterial whether the government over an enemy’s territory consists in a military or civil or mixed administration. Its character is the same and the source of its authority the same. It is a government imposed by force, and the legality of its acts is determined by the law of war.

* * *

375. Freedom of Movement.  The occupant may withdraw from individuals the right to change their residence, restrict freedom of internal movement, forbid visits to certain districts, prohibit emigration and immigration (but see GC, art. 48; par. 381 herein), and require that all individuals carry identification documents.

376. Commercial Restrictions.  The occupant has the right to regulate commercial intercourse in the occupied territory. It may subject such intercourse to such prohibitions and restrictions as are essential to the purposes of the occupation. The commander of the occupying forces will usually find it advisable to forbid intercourse between the occupied territory and the territory still in the possession of the enemy.

377. Censorship.  The belligerent occupant may establish censorship of the press, radio, theater, motion pictures, and television, of correspondence, and of all other means of communication. It may prohibit entirely the publication of newspapers or prescribe regulations for their publication and circulation. The occupant is not required to furnish facilities for postal service, but may take charge of them itself, especially if the officials of the occupied district fail to act or to obey its orders.

378. Means of Transportation.  The belligerent occupant exercises authority over all means of transportation, both public and private, within the occupied district, and may seize them and regulate their operation.

* * *

396. Title to Captured or Seized Enemy Property.  Public property captured or seized from the enemy, as well as private property validly captured on the battlefield and abandoned property, is property of the United States (see U.S. Const., Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 11), and failure to turn over such property to the proper authorities or disposal thereof for personal profit is a violation of Article 103 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

* * *

425. Taxes.

a. Treaty Provision.  If, in the territory occupied, the occupant collects the taxes, dues, and tolls imposed for the benefit of the State, he shall do so, as far as is possible, in accordance with the rules of assessment and incidence in force, and shall in consequence be bound to defray the expenses of the administration of the occupied territory to the same extent as the legitimate Government was so bound. (HR, art.48.)

b. Surplus.  The first charge upon such taxes is for the cost of the administration of the occupied territory. The balance may be used for the purposes of the occupant.”

Source: http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS49255 (U.S. Army), added: links, text {in braces}, highlighting.


Iraq attack: How to supplement the US budget (pre-war)

Ultimatum: The Bush/Blair lie: France’s veto (March 12-20 2003)

WarTalk-1 (March 20 – April 13 2003: Combat)

WarTalk-2 (April 15-18 2003: Occupation)

The pretexts for war: WMD + France’s veto

National Intelligence Estimate (Oct. 1 2002) (excerpts released July 18 2003) (this page)

Henry Waxman’s letter to Condoleezza Rice (July 29 2003)

David Kay transcript: Annotated, linked, and challenged (Jan. 28 2004, Senate Armed Services Committee)

“Hutton Report: Exemplifying Zealotry”


© 2003 Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

This document may be freely copied.


Posted March 28 2003. Updated April 5 2008.


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