Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Connecting the Dots...
Nicely done, Benja. (01)
You've kept the structure, summarized the positions, and
retained the attributions. What conclusion did you reach? (02)
Benja Fallenstein wrote:
> 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.
> 6. Question: Under which conditions can the US be said to have the right
> to invade Iraq?
> 6.1. Idea: If Iraq attacks territory of the US or one of its allies.
> 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.
> 6.2. Idea: As part of a UN military force directed by the Security Council.
> 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."
> 6.3. Idea: If the Security Council passes a resolution allowing it to.
> 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.
> 6.3.2. Con-Argument: I think there is some dispute over whether this
> conforms to the Charter. (Does anybody have a pointer?)
> 6.4. Idea: If the US is certain that war is inevitable anyway (the
> doctrine of 'preventive war').
> 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.
> 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.)
> 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.
> 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
> 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.
> 6.5.2. Con-Argument [Benja's]: It is unlawful; see 6.4.2.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 6.6. Idea: If the US judge that Iraq has broken international law.
> 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.
> 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.
> 6.6.3. Con-Argument [Benja's]: It is not the US's place to judge this,
> it is the international community's.
> 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.
> 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?
> 7. Question (challenges 6.2.2): What moral rights can the United States
> be assessed based on their past behavior?
> 7.1. Idea: The moral authority to be 'the world's policeman,' i.e.
> judging and punishing violations against international law.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> Regarding 7.1.4., here's the abstract of Amnesty International's annual
> report for 2001, section about the USA:
> 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.
> Find the full report at:
> and the links to past reports at:
> - Benja (03)