Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dutch finds the Iraq War to be illegal

The invasion of Iraq had no sound mandate under international law, according to the Dutch inquiry into the war released this morning.
In a devastating rejection of the position of the British and Dutch governments, the inquiry, led by the former head of the Netherlands' Supreme Court, decided that the United Nations resolutions did not provide a legal basis for the use of force.
Dutch ministers were further criticised in the report of the Davids Commission, which sat for ten months, for using intelligence from Britain and the US that showed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), rather than the "more nuanced" assessment of its own secret services.

The above is from David Charter's "Iraq invasion 'had no legal mandate', Dutch inquiry finds" (Times of London) and we'll drop back to yesterday's snapshot for this:

On the Dutch issue, Radio Netherlands states the country's prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende's future "could [be] deterime[d]" by the findings: "Unless the commission resolves all doubts about the level of Dutch support, the lower house will in all likelihood demand a full parliamentary enquiry. One of the main questions that many people hope the Davids Commission will answer is whether the cabinet fully informed the lower house about the Netherlands' involvement in Iraq. Rumours about the involvement of Dutch special forces and intelligence operatives have been circulating since the invasion and if they prove to be true, it could lead to the prime minister's resignation."

Today BBC News offers this analysis: "The report demolishes the Dutch ase for supporting the invasion, says the BBC's Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond. It could also be taken to reinforce the international case against the Iraq war, he says." The Times of India explains, "The commission's report said the wording of UN resolution 1441 'cannot reasonably be interpreted (as the Dutch government did) as authorising individual member states to use military force to compel Iraq to comply with the Security Council's resolutions.' The resolution, passed in 2002, had offered Iraq 'a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations'." This is major news and you need to notice who is and who isn't covering it. You should probably pay attention to just how little the Amy Goodmans care about the Iraq War. They haven't cover the Iraq Inquiry that is ongoing in London and they're not covering this story. They're not interested. They're not about news. They're about a number of things, but they're not about news. And their appalling lack of concern for the lives of Iraqis is as telling as previous efforts to LIE for their cult of personality figures.

The Iraq War has not ended. In Hingham, they're very aware of that. Molly A.K. Connors (Boston Globe) reports, "Hundreds of townspeople lined Central Street today before dawn to wave American flags and bid farewell 75 local soldiers deploying to Iraq. Two buses carrying the soldiers from the 1058th Transportation Company rumbled out of the Hingham Armory at 6:30 a.m. as the flashing lights of fire trucks and police cruisers lit the otherwise dark sky." The Patriot Ledger offers a photo essay (see left side of linked page). Steven Dodrill (WATD -- link has text, photos and audio) adds, "Many members of the 1058th Transportation Company before they embarked on their mission said they were excited and anxious to get to work, while some expressed their nervousness." In a second story for the Boston Globe, Molly A.K. Connors reports on the goodbyes and the efforts to deal with them quoting Staff Sgt Kate Cross, whose husband Staff Sgt Paul Cross is among those deploying to Iraq, on advice she and her husband give soldiers deploying for the first time, "It's OK to be heartbroken when you're not going to be with your family." Meanwhile WCIV reports on members of South Carolina's 77th Fighter Squadron and 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base who are preparing to deploy to Iraq.

NPR is reporting (in their top of the hour news summary) that Baghdad is under extreme crackdown as Nouri has various raids and searches going on allegedly due to a bombing threat.

The following community sites updated last night:

Zach notes this from Chris Hedges' "Wall Street Will Be Back For More" (Information Clearing House):

Corporations, which control the levers of power in government and finance, promote and empower the psychologically maimed. Those who lack the capacity for empathy and who embrace the goals of the corporation-personal power and wealth-as the highest good succeed. Those who possess moral autonomy and individuality do not. And these corporate heads, isolated from the mass of Americans by insular corporate structures and vast personal fortunes, are no more attuned to the misery, rage and pain they cause than were the courtiers and perfumed fops who populated Versailles on the eve of the French Revolution. They play their games of high finance as if the rest of us do not exist. And it is a game that will kill us.
These companies exist in a pathological world where identity and personal worth are determined solely by the perverted code of the corporation. The corporation decides who has value and who does not, who advances and who is left behind. It rewards the most compliant, craven and manipulative, and discards the losers who can't play the game, those who do not accumulate wealth or status fast enough, or who fail to fully subsume their individuality into the corporate collective. It dominates the internal and external lives of its employees, leaving them without time for family or solitude-without time for self-reflection-and drives them into a state of perpetual nervous exhaustion. It breaks them down, especially in their early years in the firm, a period in which they are humiliated and pressured to work such long hours that many will sleep under their desks. This hazing process, one that is common at corporate newspapers where I worked, including The New York Times, eliminates from the system most of those with backbone, fortitude and dignity.
No one thinks in groups. And this is the point. The employees who advance are vacant and supine. They are skilled drones, often possessed of a peculiar kind of analytical intelligence and drive, but morally, emotionally and creatively crippled. Their intellect is narrow and inhibited. They rely on the corporation, as they once relied on their high-priced elite universities and their SAT scores, for validation. They demand that they not be treated as individuals but as members of the great collective of Goldman Sachs or AIG or Citibank. They talk together. They exchange information. They make deals. They compromise. They debate. But they do not think. They do not create. All capacity for intuition, for unstructured thought, for questions of meaning deemed impractical or frivolous by the firm, the qualities that always precede discovery and creation, are banished, as William H. Whyte observed in his book "The Organization Man." The iron goals of greater and greater profit, order and corporate conformity dominate their squalid belief systems. And by the time these corporate automatons are managing partners or government bureaucrats they cannot distinguish between right and wrong. They are deaf, dumb and blind to the common good.

We noted some legal issues yesterday and this morning we'll note this from Matthew Rothschild's "A Horrendous Decision on Habeas Corpus" (The Progressive):

The rule of law just took a beating the D.C. Circuit Court on Jan. 5, when three conservative judges limited the ability of Guantanamo detainees to challenge their detention.
The court, in the Al-Bihani case, said that detainees have a much flimsier set of rights than normal criminal defendants in our court system.
This decision represents a rare frontal attack on the prevailing Supreme Court doctrine, rendered in the Boumediene decision of 2008. In that decision, a majority
of the court, led by Justice Kennedy, said: "We do consider it uncontroversial, however, that the privilege of habeas corpus entitles the prisoner to a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate that he is being held pursuant to 'the erroneous application or interpretation of relevant law.'"

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends