Sunday, December 05, 2004

Permission to go to war, SIR!

I came across a PTI news report in The Times of India dated Dec 1, which set me thinking. The report said that a high-ranking international UN panel has recommended that the approval of the United Nations Security Council is required before any country (I assume member-country) can make a "pre-emptive" or "preventive" attack on another country. The panel is of the opinion that violence against civilians cannot be justified by arguments that basically dismiss civilian deaths as "collateral damage" or "in a good cause" during a war of liberation.

All very well and good, but there are a couple of things to note... One, the panel did not debate the legality of the US coalition attack on Iraq ("it's a forward looking report", apparently). Never mind that the violence still isnt over in Iraq and the coalition forces havent yet left, so the issue cannot be dismissed with the explanation that it's history. It isnt. It's still happening. End result - once again the USA gets away with its atrocities.

Two, there's still a loophole - "humanitarian intervention", the panel says, is justified where a state is unable or unwilling to stop genocide, ethnic cleansing or violation of humanitarian laws. But isnt that what the attack on Iraq was toted to be? The US-led coalition didnt attack just because of the dubious - and tenuous - "link" between Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and 911, right? They attacked because they couldnt stand by any more while Saddam continued his "ethnic cleansing". Right? Awww, the whole war was because the USA was upholding humanitarian principles. Well, with this loophole, it can continue doing so.


hari said...

Hi Shyam,

Seems you had a very busy weekend at your blogsite but an otherwise free weekend from your family responsibilities. Four blogs in two days is quite hectic work for the brain.

Anyway fortunately or unfortunately, the USA is the spine of the United Nations, so the UN has to move whichever way the US does otherwise it would become spineless, literally. But I can understand US being the spine, but then what is UK under the great Mr. Blair, the invisible tail of the human.

None said...


*FOUR LETTER WORD* re: america.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shyam. I wonder how many of the insular and inward looking American citizens can guage the utter loss of respect from many other citizens of the free world. Thanks to the policies of its recent presidents, the US has now become a laughing stock! What a fall, oh, what a fall! :) Ravi

Harish said...
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