Kofi Annan insists attack on Iraq is illegal, US allies disagree
Reference: The Guardian, Sept. 17, 2004
However, Annan's comment has drawn the ire of US allies, who condemned Annan's utterances, insisting that the war is legal and justified.
Annan said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service that he believed there should have been a second UN resolution following Iraq's failure to comply over weapons inspections.
He also said it should have been up to the Security Council to approve or determine the consequences. In this view, therefore, the decision to take action in Iraq should have been made by the Security Council, not unilaterally.
Asked if he viewed the invasion of Iraq as illegal, he said: "Yes, if you wish. I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter--from our point of view, from the [UN] charter point of view, it was illegal."
Annan said that "painful lessons" had been learned since the war in Iraq--"Lessons for the US, the UN and other member states. I think in the end everybody concluded that it's best to work together with our allies and through the UN," he said. "I hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long time--without UN approval and much broader support from the international community."
He said it was unlikely that Iraq would be able to hold "credible elections" as planned in January 2005 "if the security conditions continue as they are now."
US President George W. Bush, in the midst of a re-election campaign dominated by a debate on the war in Iraq, did not immediately react to the UN chief's comments. He is due to speak at the UN General Assembly next week.
However, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, fighting a tight re-election battle himself, hit back at Annan, accusing him of heading a "paralyzed" body and insisting the war was legitimate.
He said that the UN was incapable of dealing with International crises.
"The legal advice we had--and I tabled it at the time--was that the action was entirely valid in International law terms," he said.
A former Bush administration aide, Randy Scheunemann, branded Annan's comments "outrageous," and accused Mr Annan of trying to influence the outcome of the forthcoming US presidential election. He said the UN's failure to act in Sudan, and in other areas around the world, was proving that multi-lateralism is ineffective.
The UK and Japanese governments also responded sharply to Annan's statements. Hiroyuki Hosoda, Japan's top government spokesperson, told a news conference that he would be seeking clarification. "We wish to verify the real meaning by making various inquiries," he said.
Annan has consistently said that the invasion of Iraq did not conform with the UN charter.
Mathilde Soyer, a student at the Institut des Sciences Politiques in Rennes, France, is an intern with this newspaper.
Copyright © 2004 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on September 22, 2004.
Local Gov’t Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
10.19 How big pharma's money – and its politicians – feed the US opioid crisis [most governments impose price controls, but US Republicans and neoliberal Democrats are bribed to pretent that's not possible]
10.19 Self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16 rose by 68% in three years, UK study finds [drug use and crime are also caused by the same factors, but the $millionaires demand another tax cut so...]
10.19 Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers [Good job, Monsanto!]
10.18 'This is a really big deal': Canada natural gas emissions far worse than feared [roughly equivalent to all the cars and trucks in Canada]
10.13 Climate Change Is Making It Harder to Grow Rice [might there be a “perennial rice” with much deeper roots to survive droughts?]
10.13 'If the land isn't worked, it decays': Tunisia's battle to keep the desert at bay [beautiful business plan for LIFE]
10.13 Trump scraps Obamacare subsidies in surprise late-night announcement [videos; his Infantilism should cause his impeachment]
News Media Matters
10.15 The Establishment Still Doesn't Recognize The Political Revolution That's Happening [the question is, CAN MAINSTREAM NEWS MEDIA – desperate for corporate advertising as revenue falls – ALLOW CHANGE TO HAPPEN?]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
10.19 Is racial bias driving Trump’s neglect of Puerto Rico? [the evidence is obvious]
10.19 Even After Equifax and Wells Fargo, GOP Sides With Big Financial Institutions [as do neoliberal Democrats like Hillary Clinton]
10.18 TA-NEHISI COATES UNPLUGGED [audio & transcript]
10.16 The Texas town where all the energy is green [Alert! Ignoring party leadership, exceptional Republicans use reason to do good!]
10.17 Trump could remake judiciary for ‘40 years’ — with controversial picks [America will become more like Malta; facilitating corporate/mafia criminality to the maximum]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
10.17 Trump Revives Notorious GOP Dog Whistle in Call for 'Welfare Reform' [less money "wasted on welfare" would allow larger tax cuts for "the more deserving rich"]
10.17 For Abandoning Climate Accord, Pope Swipes Trump on World Food Day [Trump is attuned to serve billionaire friends and himself]
International & Futurism
10.18 Robots Are Coming for These Wall Street Jobs [interactive graphics]
10.17 For Abandoning Climate Accord, Pope Swipes Trump on World Food Day [Trump is attuned to serve billionaire cronies and himself]
10.17 The Movement of #MeToo