In Monday’s column you reminded us that there is no justification for our occupation of Iraq. You’re right, but surely we needn’t waste ink on truths so far beyond debate. Instead, please turn your sights on our other occupation, that to which our new president has just consigned 17,000 more troops.
It’s strange that even vehement critics of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” ignore the similar illegality of “Operation Enduring Freedom” — the Bush Doctrine’s maiden sally.
Article 51 of the United Nations Charter does give member states the right to self-defense. But following Sept. 11, there was no evidence that other attacks were imminent, nor that military retaliation would prevent American casualties. Indeed, it has provoked more.
Nor was the World Trade Center attack an act of war. It was perpetrated not by the Afghan government but by a group of criminals, mostly Saudi. As with any criminal act, the perpetrators should have been extradited and prosecuted. This was the gist of UN Resolutions 1368 and 1373.
The UN Security Council did not support the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. Most Americans did, claiming Afghanistan harbored terrorists. But harboring criminals is not grounds for the overthrow of a sovereign state. Nor would the U.S. be well served by the acceptance of such a precedent into international law, for we might then be justifiably occupied by any number of countries terrorized by men harbored and trained inside our borders: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile, East Timor, Lebanon, Iran, etc.
second bachelor’s candidate