Pinky on the Iraq War’s Legality. Or Lack Thereof. Mostly Lack Thereof.

As long as I’m annoying Janus with pinkyshow items, here’s another one that I really like.

7 Responses to “Pinky on the Iraq War’s Legality. Or Lack Thereof. Mostly Lack Thereof.”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    That was not simple enough for the rwnj’s who comment here to understand.

    Also, it was waaay beyond their attention span.

    It is sad that as Pinky says, the only people able to enforce International Law when violated by the US government are the American people – sad because most Americans are either Rethuglicans or ignorant of the principles set out in Pinky’s simple slide show.

  2. shcb Says:

    boy you got that right, I made it about a minute and a half, then realized ther was a half hour left, that was just way too annoying.

  3. shcb Says:

    Ok, I watched a little more, I didn’t figure it would take long to find a whole in the pussy (cat)’s logic, it didn’t. A few minutes into it the pussy (cat) says that the US said Sadam had weapons of mass destruction, Bush said the UN among others said he had WMD’s in the form of poison gas, he also said we needed to stop Sadam BEFORE he acquired nuclear weapons not that he HAD them, again based on intelligence of most of world’s agencies. And then the self defense thing, what is self defense, I think that includes preemptive actions, you guys obviously don’t. If you know where the rapist lives and you know he is home, do you arrest him or do you wait until you catch him in the act? I figured that was enough for me, I’m pretty sure a video with that pussy (cat) is banned under the Geneva conventions as a method of torture, I would take water boarding over watching a half hour of that.

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    That was compelling evidence shcb has the attention span of a gnat and proof positive of his complete inability to comprehend political science except in analogies so simplistic as to be utterly irrelevant.

  5. shcb Says:

    Guilty as charged.

    Not really, I think I am above average in my understanding of politics. It just proves I have a pain threshold.

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    Related, may be of interest to some:

    Hired Gun Fetish
    Published: September 28, 2007

    Sometimes it seems that the only way to make sense of the Bush administration is to imagine that it’s a vast experiment concocted by mad political scientists who want to see what happens if a nation systematically ignores everything we’ve learned over the past few centuries about how to make a modern government work.

    Thus, the administration has abandoned the principle of a professional, nonpolitical civil service, stuffing agencies from FEMA to the Justice Department with unqualified cronies. Tax farming – giving individuals the right to collect taxes, in return for a share of the take – went out with the French Revolution; now the tax farmers are back.

    And so are mercenaries, whom Machiavelli described as “useless and dangerous” more than four centuries ago.

    As far as I can tell, America has never fought a war in which mercenaries made up a large part of the armed force. But in Iraq, they are so central to the effort that, as Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution points out in a new report, “the private military industry has suffered more losses in Iraq than the rest of the coalition of allied nations combined.”

    And, yes, the so-called private security contractors are mercenaries. They’re heavily armed. They carry out military missions, but they’re private employees who don’t answer to military discipline. On the other hand, they don’t seem to be accountable to Iraqi or U.S. law, either. And they behave accordingly.

    We may never know what really happened in a crowded Baghdad square two weeks ago. Employees of Blackwater USA claim that they were attacked by gunmen. Iraqi police and witnesses say that the contractors began firing randomly at a car that didn’t get out of their way.

    What we do know is that more than 20 civilians were killed, including the couple and child in the car. And the Iraqi version of events is entirely consistent with many other documented incidents involving security contractors.

    For example, Mr. Singer reminds us that in 2005 “armed contractors from the Zapata firm were detained by U.S. forces, who claimed they saw the private soldiers indiscriminately firing not only at Iraqi civilians, but also U.S. Marines.” The contractors were not charged. In 2006, employees of Aegis, another security firm, posted a “trophy video” on the Internet that showed them shooting civilians, and employees of Triple Canopy, yet another contractor, were fired after alleging that a supervisor engaged in “joy-ride shooting” of Iraqi civilians.

    Yet even among the contractors, Blackwater has the worst reputation. On Christmas Eve 2006, a drunken Blackwater employee reportedly shot and killed a guard of the Iraqi vice president. (The employee was flown out of the country, and has not been charged.) In May 2007, Blackwater employees reportedly shot an employee of Iraq’s Interior Ministry, leading to an armed standoff between the firm and Iraqi police.

    Iraqis aren’t the only victims of this behavior. Of the nearly 4,000 American service members who have died in Iraq, scores if not hundreds would surely still be alive if it weren’t for the hatred such incidents engender.

    Which raises the question, why are Blackwater and other mercenary outfits still playing such a big role in Iraq?

    Don’t tell me that they are irreplaceable. The Iraq war has now gone on for four and a half years – longer than American participation in World War II. There has been plenty of time for the Bush administration to find a way to do without mercenaries, if it wanted to.

    And the danger out-of-control military contractors pose to American forces has been obvious at least since March 2004, when four armed Blackwater employees blundered into Fallujah in the middle of a delicate military operation, getting themselves killed and precipitating a crisis that probably ended any chance of an acceptable outcome in Iraq.

    Yet Blackwater is still there. In fact, last year the State Department gave Blackwater the lead role in diplomatic security in Iraq.

    Mr. Singer argues that reliance on private military contractors has let the administration avoid making hard political choices, such as admitting that it didn’t send enough troops in the first place. Contractors, he writes, “offered the potential backstop of additional forces, but with no one having to lose any political capital.” That’s undoubtedly part of the story.

    But it’s also worth noting that the Bush administration has tried to privatize every aspect of the U.S. government it can, using taxpayers’ money to give lucrative contracts to its friends – people like Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, who has strong Republican connections. You might think that national security would take precedence over the fetish for privatization – but remember, President Bush tried to keep airport security in private hands, even after 9/11.

    So the privatization of war – no matter how badly it works – is just part of the pattern.


  7. ethan-p Says:

    I think that includes preemptive actions, you guys obviously don’t. If you know where the rapist lives and you know he is home, do you arrest him or do you wait until you catch him in the act?

    I know that I’m late to this one — by about a month…but I really find your logic interesting here.

    I’ll preface this with the fact I’m no more with these guys as I am with you in my opinions/principles as a whole. I really think that you some of your points on lies (amongst some very emotional opposition) are quite valid. However, I am very wary of pre-emptive action — further I think that your rapist analogy illustrates exactly where our opinions diverge on this.

    If we know someone is likely to become a rapist, I agree that action is warranted — but nobody should be prosecuted for something that we think they will do. If a person has not raped anyone, and has not otherwise committed a crime (such as conspiracy to commit rape), they should not be liable for prosecution. It seems like we’re getting into the area of thought crime, which I feel is a very dangerous precedent. Perhaps my feelings on thought crimes strays from the greater issue of pre-emptive war.

    In any case, I do not think that the invasion of Iraq violated international law. I don’t agree with Pinky that UN law supersedes US law, particularly when it comes to domestic policy (which I know wasn’t the issue, but it demonstrates where I think that we definitely need to diverge from UN policy). I think that the US is a unique country with ideals which (for better or for worse) are different from the world at large, and or foreign policy needs to be our own. In short, we need to keep a lookout for our own interests, and maybe not be so quick to trust the rest of the world. I’m not sure that the UN is doing a particularly great job of keeping the peace (and no, the US isn’t helping either).

    Admittedly my grasp on international law is probably pretty weak. However, my understanding is that the Iraq war can be legally justified by the terms of the Gulf War cease-fire. The terms were specific about things like the no-fly zone (which was repeatedly violated, I believe) as well as the UN inspections. After the US used those inspections for clandestine activity, Saddam Hussein disallowed them for a period. Further, I don’t think that there was ever a feeling that Hussein participated within the spirit of the cease-fire (e.g. the inspections were not credible, as they were all announced with sufficient time for Saddam Hussein to cover any WMD research/production, had it actually existed).

    I believe that the invasion itself was technically legal — particularly since the UN resolutions clearly didn’t have sufficient teeth for Saddam Hussein to comply with the terms of the cease-fire. That being said, for ethical reasons, I never supported the US invasion of Iraq. I really felt that the Bush administration used fearmongering during a time when Americans were more likely to buy into it. The Bush administration took advantage of us all when we were weak so they could push an indirectly related agenda with dangerous ideals…that they were unable or unwilling to even try to be honest about. I’m not accusing anyone of war crimes or lying here (with a nod to your previous argument about the semantics of the word ‘lie’) — but I think that quite a few people were very dishonest about their intentions and reasons.

    With regard to the war being illegal, I just don’t see it (the invasion alone, not the legal mealy-mouthing about enemy combatants, the lack of habeus corpus, torture, violation of FISA laws, etc). I absolutely agree that the people involved with this should be held accountable from the top down…even if only by the voters. In my opinion, the Republican party will suffer for this for years to come. I expect Republican candidates to distance themselves from Bush even more than Democratic candidates did from Clinton in the upcoming elections, and I don’t know if that will be enough. I also hope that Democrats who voted to authorize Bush to use military force (like Hillary Clinton) are held accountable for their part in this.

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