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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Connecting the Dots...

Benja Fallenstein wrote:
> 5. Question: How should the USA respond to the threat of Saddam Hussein 
> selling B or C weapons to al-Qaeda, and al-Qaeda using them against the US?
> 5.4. Idea: Archieve regime change by going to war.
> 5.4.1. Pro-Argument [Eric's]: Doable.
> 5.4.2. Pro-Argument [Eric's]: Likely to stabilize the middle east.
> 5.4.3. Con-Argument [John Sechrest's]: The US is not the policeman of 
> the world. They do not have the right to attack Iraq.    (01)

6. Question: Under which conditions can the US be said to have the right 
to invade Iraq?    (02)

6.1. Idea: If Iraq attacks territory of the US or one of its allies.    (03)

6.1.1. Pro-Argument: Article 51 of the UN charter says that this is 
lawful: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right 
of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs 
against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has 
taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. 
[...]"    (04)

6.2. Idea: As part of a UN military force directed by the Security Council.    (05)

6.2.1. Pro-Argument: Article 42 of the UN charter: "Should the Security 
Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 [peaceful 
measures, -b] would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it 
may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to 
maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may 
include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or 
land forces of Members of the United Nations."    (06)

6.3. Idea: If the Security Council passes a resolution allowing it to.    (07)

6.3.1. Pro-Argument: IIRC, it is established practice that the Council 
passes a resolution allowing a state to take 'all necessary measures' to 
restore peace, which is interpreted to include military measures.    (08)

6.3.2. Con-Argument: I think there is some dispute over whether this 
conforms to the Charter. (Does anybody have a pointer?)    (09)

6.4. Idea: If the US is certain that war is inevitable anyway (the 
doctrine of 'preventive war').    (010)

6.4.1. Pro-Argument: If war is inevitable anyway, why wait until it has 
started? By doing the first strike, the US can fight on its own terms.    (011)

6.4.2. Con-Argument [Benja's]: It is unlawful. Article 2, paragraph 4: 
"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the 
threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political 
independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the 
Purposes of the United Nations." (The US are free to bring the matter 
under consideration in the Security Council.)    (012)

6.4.3. Con-Argument [Benja's]: It is immoral to punish for a crime that 
has not been committed, only is speculated to be committed in the future.    (013)

6.5. Idea: If the US believe that the Iraqi regime presents an imminent 
danger to them (for example, because it may sell B or C weapons to 
al-Qaeda).    (014)

6.5.1. Pro-Argument [is this Eric's?]: The US needs to protect its 
citizens. If it perceives a danger to its citizens, it must counteract 
it, international law and relations nonwithstanding.    (015)

6.5.2. Con-Argument [Benja's]: It is unlawful; see 6.4.2.    (016)

6.5.3. Con-Argument [Benja's]: This makes it sound as if military action 
on the US were self-defense. However, counteracting a perceived threat 
is not self-defense; counteracting a committed attack is.    (017)

6.5.4. Con-Argument [Benja's]: The US perceiving a danger does not mean 
there is a danger. If a state is allowed to determine for itself when it 
perceives something as a danger, there is nothing to prohibit any state 
from starting a war against another state. It can simply perceive a 
danger from the other state (that's cheap). -- It should be the role of 
the international community to decide whether there is such a danger.    (018)

6.5.5. Con-Argument [Benja's]: If there is such a danger, it should be 
the role of the international community to decide whether peaceful 
measures aren't enough to remedy it.    (019)

6.6. Idea: If the US judge that Iraq has broken international law.    (020)

6.6.1. Pro-Argument [Eric's]: Someone needs to ascertain that 
international law is adhered to, and since the US has the biggest 
military in the world, it is the only state that can do so.    (021)

6.6.2. Pro-Argument [Eric's]: The United States have the moral authority 
to judge adherance to international law, since they are the only country 
that can claim to have won major conflicts (including WWII and 
afterwards) and then giving the territories back to the original 
occupants, rather than taking it over.    (022)

6.6.3. Con-Argument [Benja's]: It is not the US's place to judge this, 
it is the international community's.    (023)

6.6.4. Con-Argument [Benja's]: The international community, with the 
participation of the US (and without, too), wields a much larger 
military power than Iraq. It is fully able to ascertain int'l law is 
adhered to.    (024)

6.6.5. Con-Argument [Benja's]: If the US does this without the consent 
of the Security Council, they are violating international law. How can a 
state violating international law be the one to judge about 
international law?    (025)

7. Question (challenges 6.2.2): What moral rights can the United States 
be assessed based on their past behavior?    (026)

7.1. Idea: The moral authority to be 'the world's policeman,' i.e. 
judging and punishing violations against international law.    (027)

7.1.1. Pro-Argument [Eric's]: They are the only country that has won 
major conflicts and then given the territories back to the original 
occupants.  If that doesn't give them some kind of moral authority, then 
nothing on earth ever will.    (028)

7.1.2. Con-Argument [Benja's]: France, Britain and Russia have won WWII 
together with the US and given the territories back to the original 
occupants together with the US, too.    (029)

7.1.3. Con-Argument [Benja's]: In the past, the US have sponsored many 
terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda and the Nicaraguan contras. A 
country seeing it fit to sponsor terrorists to archieve their goals does 
not have a moral right to make itself the world's judge about 
international law.    (030)

7.1.4. Con-Argument [Benja's]: The United States have a track record of 
violating human rights. Such a state does not have a moral right to make 
itself the world's judge about international law.    (031)

Regarding 7.1.4., here's the abstract of Amnesty International's annual 
report for 2001, section about the USA:    (032)

The death penalty continued to be used extensively. There were reports 
of police brutality and unjustified police shootings and of 
ill-treatment in prisons and jails. Human rights groups and others 
voiced concern at the lack of public information given about the 
circumstances under which more than 1,200 people, mainly foreign 
nationals, were detained during investigations into the 11 September 
attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Some detainees were held 
incommunicado in the initial stages of arrest. Congress passed 
wide-ranging ''anti-terrorist'' legislation, aspects of which were of 
concern to AI and other human rights groups. In November President Bush 
passed an order establishing special military commissions to try non-US 
citizens suspected of involvement in ''international terrorism'' which 
would bypass international fair trial norms. AI called for inquiries 
into several incidents involving the killing of civilians by US and 
allied forces during military action in Afghanistan and into the killing 
of hundreds of prisoners in Qala-i-Jhangi fort following an uprising.
"""    (033)

Find the full report at:    (034)

     http://web.amnesty.org/web/ar2002.nsf/amr/usa!Open    (035)

and the links to past reports at:    (036)

     http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/aireport/index.html    (037)

- Benja    (038)