Was the Iraq War in 2003 legal?

A Jacksonian covers the bases with his usual thoroughness.

Conclusion: Yes.

Explanation: Desert Storm 1 was a war undertaken to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. After Saddam Hussein asked for a ceasefire the war was in truce, but it was not over. The truce had terms, and Saddam kept on breaking them. Yet nobody did anything about it, until finally, in 2003, the US had enough, plus there was a realization that even distant threats can have terrible effects at home. The definitions of all these terms are defined in the ancient and venerable Law of Nations, which is a extra-Constitutional legal code that preceded the Constitution and paralleled British Common Law.

He covers the entire range of questions from an originalist perspective, from treatment of captured Air Pirates and other illegal enemy combatants (not soldiers, who must by the laws of war have a uniform to distinguish them from civilians) to what it means to seize a country’s embassy and kidnap its staff (an act of War).

Read it all.


Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, Nuke Gingrich, Allie is Wired, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, A Newt One- Coverage of Vets on the hill!, The Christian Nationalist, Celebrity Smack, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Beagle Scout, Right Voices, Adeline and Hazel, The Yankee Sailor, and Chuck’s Place, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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8 responses to “Was the Iraq War in 2003 legal?

  1. Pingback: Rosemary's Thoughts

  2. Iraq did bluff having W.M.D’s as a deterant to Iranian aggression after we destroyed thier conventional military in Desert Storm (that’s thier problem). so we invaded and cleaned house. It seems to me we have allready met our objectives, after elliminating Saddam, his son’s, the Baath party, setting up free election’s and verifying the ellimination of W.M.D.’s I would say we pretty much WON. Im tired of people telling me that by bringing our troops home is somehow surrendering. Dont you normally bring soldiers home after you win a war. U.S. tax payers financing the rebuilding of Iraq was not part of the deal.

  3. My thanks for the link!

    The Law of Nations is not directly attributable to the English Common Law, although Blackstone worked with Vattel and would explain how the English Common Law sits within the framework of Law of Nations. The conceptual framework of this is that States (be they city states or later nation states) have attributes that they get as larger parts above normal society. While the concept of law of nations is that of voluntary law, by creating a state you get it even if you don’t want it. When we read history and see how, say, Sparta and Athens dealt with the Persian Empire, we see ambassadors and regularized forms of interaction. Likewise the records of Egypt circa 1200 BC record this sort of formal interaction and recognition of what a state *does* for its nation/city. Thus, Law of Nations has no single source to it, and the work cites multiple states (city and nation) throughout history to help regularize understandings of what states do and why they do it. Because of that it recognized republics and other forms of states as wholly valid within that framework, although with different associations of power and responsibilities that vary from state to state.

    Law of Nations was highly talked about by the founders and the Constitutional era and has citations after it was put down in the time prior to the Revolution. Washington, Madison, Jefferson and others cite Law of Nations, and Washington used it as the basis for understanding the President’s office and what it could do (cited directly in the Neutrality proclamation). This stuff was taught, at least at the college level, until the end of the 19th century, and it is only after the shifting of cirricula by ‘progressive’ agendas that we no longer recognize this for all of its apparent existence in the world and our nearly instinctual understanding of emassies, ambassadors, what heads of state *do*, and why internal rule is important. Just as everyone who walks does the calculus, it took a long time to make the actual mathematical underpinnings of it. Similarly just as everyone who exists in a state understands how states interact, they took awhile to write it down and beat out the details.

  4. treewrestler, thanks for stopping by. The victory conditions for Iraq can be found here. The long-term victory conditions are, “Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.” The concern with Iraq is that the US must be sure that when it withdraws Iraq does not immediately become a violent, unstable, terror sponsoring nation with an active civil war. If that happened the US would be obliged to invade again. No sane people wish to invade Iraq every 10-12 years, or to knock the board over by using nuclear weapons. Thus, while continuing the chess metaphor, it suits the US to play the match into the end-game stage instead of leaving it to the Iraqis at the beginning of the middle game.

    The other benefit is that a classically liberal, democratic Iraq as described above would also serve as an inspiration to Iranians to rid themselves of their extremist, totalitarian government and establish their own democratic state. Same with Saudi Arabia and Syria. Iraq is in a bad neighborhood. A healthy Iraq would be the best kind of object lesson possible, a Middle Eastern classically liberal democracy led by Arab Muslims, not by Jews or Europeans.

    If classically liberal democracy became “our thing” for the Muslims of the Middle East instead of “that infidel thing” it would be a great development.

  5. Ajack, would it be fair to characterize the Law of Nations as distilled from the behavior of nations behaving admirably throughout history?

  6. I just think we need to establish clearer goals the American people can realisticly get behind. Iraq really needs some serious war time border security, untill “they” can establish this eutopia new Iraq. As an American allie they would have our military support, we would have our bases on the border ie; Iranian.

  7. Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.MichaelCaineMichael Caine