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WHAT WILL OBAMA DO?

Vigilante Man: Crime Without End, Amen

by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
The Iraq War? Illegal. Who says so? The former top law lord of America's main ally in the invasion and occupation. What does it mean? And from this, what follows? Nothing. No prosecutions. No justice for the victims, no punishment for the murder bosses.
The Iraq War? Illegal. Who says so? The former top law lord of America's main ally in the invasion and occupation. What does it mean?  It means that the whole mass-murdering operation was, has been, and remains a damnable crime against humanity by any and all legal standards, even those of the invading countries themselves.  (To say nothing of the moral abomination involved).

And from this, what follows? Nothing. No prosecutions. No justice for the victims, no punishment for the murder bosses -- some of whom are already slithering across the bloodsoaked corridors of the imperial courts to join the circles of power again. The rest are leisurely packing their bags for a cozy, coddled, easy retirement -- while their corporate cronies continue to feast on the blood money of the soon-to-be-augmented war machine.

But who cares about all that! Wonder what kind of puppy the Obamas are gonna get?

But who cares about all that! Wonder what kind of puppy the Obamas are gonna get? Wonder what they're gonna name it? And do ya think Obama really will get the NCAA to bring in a football playoff? Glorioski, ain't it a grand time to be alive?

From the Guardian:

One of Britain's most authoritative judicial figures last night delivered a blistering attack on the invasion of Iraq, describing it as a serious violation of international law, and accusing Britain and the US of acting like a "world vigilante".  Lord Bingham, in his first major speech since retiring as the senior law lord, rejected the then attorney general's defence of the 2003 invasion as fundamentally flawed.

Contradicting head-on Lord Goldsmith's advice that the invasion was lawful, Bingham stated: "It was not plain that Iraq had failed to comply in a manner justifying resort to force and there were no strong factual grounds or hard evidence to show that it had." Adding his weight to the body of international legal opinion opposed to the invasion, Bingham said that to argue, as the British government had done, that Britain and the US could unilaterally decide that Iraq had broken UN resolutions "passes belief".

Governments were bound by international law as much as by their domestic laws, he said. "The current ministerial code," he added "binding on British ministers, requires them as an overarching duty to 'comply with the law, including international law and treaty obligations'."

...Addressing the British Institute of International and Comparative Law last night, Bingham said: "If I am right that the invasion of Iraq by the US, the UK, and some other states was unauthorised by the security council there was, of course, a serious violation of international law and the rule of law.

"For the effect of acting unilaterally was to undermine the foundation on which the post-1945 consensus had been constructed: the prohibition of force (save in self-defence, or perhaps, to avert an impending humanitarian catastrophe) unless formally authorised by the nations of the world empowered to make collective decisions in the security council..."

The moment a state treated the rules of international law as binding on others but not on itself, the compact on which the law rested was broken, Bingham argued. Quoting a comment made by a leading academic lawyer, he added: "It is, as has been said, 'the difference between the role of world policeman and world vigilante'."


Chris Floyd at his deskChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



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This story was published on November 18, 2008.