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Regime Change Coalition UK meeting Orange Street Leicester Square May 24th. Below is the synopsis of a talk given at the meeting by Dr James B Thring of Legal Action Against War (LAAW). A transcript of his actual remarks will also be provided.
The Attorney General told Parliament: "Authority to use force against Iraq exists from the combined effect of UN Resolutions 678, 687 and 1441...." (17th March 2003). We question the validity of this statement. Only the Security Council can order military action via Member States. There is thus no ‘authority’ for USA/UK arrogation of power to re-start a war. The 1991 Gulf War was fought by a Coalition which no longer exists. And it was over a different issue. The majority of Security Council Members was opposed to war.
While it is not yet published in full, the Attorney General’s opinion is also based on false allegations that Iraq had not complied with UN Resolutions. In fact Iraq has complied; she withdrew from Kuwait, submitted to arms inspections, destroyed her armoury, eschewed terrorism, repatriated prisoners, compensated debtors, and was no more repressive of her people than inevitably resulted from the extreme repression of the 13-year blockade.
The Attorney General’s opinion was compromised by his earlier advice that ‘war to oust a foreign head of state would be illegal’ (FT 7 October 2002). Now that Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party have been ousted, an illegality has surely been committed?
The law itself failed when the High Court refused leave for an Injunction to prevent the illegal invasion. The International Criminal Court Act (2001) outlaws the killing of any civilians, demonstrably unavoidable in ‘shock and awe’ tactics.
International law fails by not acting when one country is besieged by total genocidal blockade, her defences destroyed and her human rights policies and links with terrorism castigated on unverified allegations. Yet her near neighbour, Israel, has escaped inspection, restraint and impeachment for over 50 years, despite being guilty of horrific human rights abuses, of illegal Occupation and of attacking other countries with the world’s fifth largest arms capability. Clearly, it can behave outside the law as it has Friends in high places.
Therefore a criminal case is being brought by the Barrister Dr Abdul-Haq Al-Ani against Blair et al. for crimes committed in the invasion of Iraq. It will begin with a Judicial Review of the Attorney General’s refusal to consent, leading to his potential indictment.
The crimes committed by the Cabinet and Capitol Hill, their lies about Iraq and their immoral barbaric raid on that innocent, starving country, mean they cannot be trusted on any matters. Regime change is indeed vital and urgent. But we must ensure that in ousting the Friends of Israel within Labour we are not saddled with their counterpart in another Party.
Copyright J Thring 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .