Saturday, June 18, 2005

"British Bombing Raids Were Illegal, Says Foreign Office" (Michael Smith, Sunday Times of London)

However, the leaked Foreign Office legal advice, which was also appended to the Cabinet Office briefing paper for the July meeting, made it clear allied aircraft were legally entitled to patrol the no-fly zones over the north and south of Iraq only to deter attacks by Saddam’s forces on the Kurdish and Shia populations.
The allies had no power to use military force to put pressure of any kind on the regime.
The increased attacks on Iraqi installations, which senior US officers admitted were designed to "degrade" Iraqi air defences, began six months before the UN passed resolution 1441, which the allies claim authorised military action. The war finally started in March 2003.

[. . .]
Although the legality of the war has been more of an issue in Britain than in America, the revelations indicate Bush may also have acted illegally, since Congress did not authorise military action until October 11 2002.
The air war had already begun six weeks earlier and the spikes of activity had been underway for five months.

The above is from Michael Smith's "British Bombing Raids Were Illegal, Says Foreign Office" from the Sunday Times of London.

Read the article. Hopefully the domestic (US) press will pick up on it but let's not put our blind faith in that. I'm on a break from assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review. I'm guessing this will be the editorial this week so I'll save my comments for when we work on that shortly. We did a very long roundtable. So look for that and other things tomorrow morning.

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