Friday, September 17, 2004

Kofi Annan calls Iraq attack illegal

United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, set the cat among the pigeons this week when he said the attack on Iraq was illegal.

Standing by his decision to join the “illegal” invasion, Ozzy PM, John Howard, claimed he had “tabled” the legal advice his government received regarding the legality of the invasion of Iraq.

Howard is lying, again! He has consistently refused to make available the legal advice he received prior to the invasion.

Howard also expressed surprise that the issue of the legality of the invasion had been raised by Kofi Annan, questioning why such concerns had not been expressed earlier.

None so deaf as those who do not listen.

The UN Secretary General has previously expressed his concern about the legality of the invasion on a number of occasions. For example, one year ago, on Sept 23, 2003, in an opening speech to the UN General Assembly, Annan criticised states that assumed "the right and obligation to use force pre-emptively". Annan said "My concern is that, if it were adopted, it could set precedents that result in a proliferation of the unilateral and lawless use of force, with or without credible justification."

On March 11, 2003, nine days before the invasion, Kofi Annan warned that if the United States failed to win approval from the Security Council for an attack on Iraq, Washington's decision to act alone or outside the Council would violate the United Nations charter. ("Annan Says U.S. Will Violate Charter if It Acts Without Approval" By Patrick Tyler and Felicity Barringer, The New York Times, March 11, 2003)

"International lawyers around the world advised their governments that the US-led invasion of Iraq was in violation of fundamental international law. Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, in her Presidential address to the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law on Thursday, April 3, 2003, estimated that eight out of ten international lawyers have concluded the invasion of Iraq was unlawful". ( )

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