Sunday, June 19, 2005

And the Evidence Piles Up...

The Times of London has published yet another memo from classified British files on the machinations in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. This time it deals with the illegality of the increased bombing raids early in 2002.

A [sharp] increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war “to put pressure on the regime” was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice. The advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002. Two months later RAF and USAF jets began “spikes of activity” designed to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the allies a pretext for war.

It is clear that the Blair government was to some extent nervous about proceeding with the bombing campaign the Bush government felt was necessary, or they wouldn't have asked an expert in international law for his opinion.

The Foreign Office advice shows military action to pressurise the regime was “not consistent with” UN law, despite American claims that it was.

Although the legality of the war has been more of an issue in Britain than in America, the revelations indicate Bush may also have acted illegally, since Congress did not authorise military action until October 11 2002.

The air war had already begun six weeks earlier and the spikes of activity had been underway for five months.

In effect, the US, with British assistance, moved to take out key Iraqi air defense systems early so that any invasion would not have to. The battle field was being prepared, and if Saddam retaliated, so much the better. It is important to note that all of this activity took place prior to the Congressional vote authorizing the President to go to war if it was deemed necessary. It is also important to note that the increased bombing was not ever mentioned in any public forum in this country.

Bush lied and quite probably violated international law. Over 1,700 members of our military have died in this war, and thousands more have been grievously wounded. If this nation doesn't do something about his malfeasance, other nations might have to.


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