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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office
    #4318753 - 06/20/05 11:28 PM (13 years, 8 hours ago)

Jeez....here's some more stuff on some possible improper actions by the British and the U.S.


British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office

Michael Smith

A SHARP increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war ?to put pressure on the regime? was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice.

The advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002. Two months later RAF and USAF jets began ?spikes of activity? designed to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the allies a pretext for war.

The Foreign Office advice shows military action to pressurise the regime was ?not consistent with? UN law, despite American claims that it was.

The decision to provoke the Iraqis emerged in leaked minutes of a meeting between Tony Blair and his most senior advisers ? the so-called Downing Street memo published by The Sunday Times shortly before the general election.

Democratic congressmen claimed last week the evidence it contains is grounds for impeaching President George Bush.

Those at the meeting on July 23, 2002, included Blair, Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, and Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of MI6. The minutes quote Hoon as saying that the US had begun spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime.

Ministry of Defence figures for bombs dropped by the RAF on southern Iraq, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Commons written answers, show the RAF was as active in the bombing as the Americans and that the ?spikes? began in May 2002.

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.

This weekend the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Goodhart, vice-president of the International Commission of Jurists and a world authority on international law, said the intensified raids were illegal if they were meant to pressurise the regime.

He said UN Resolution 688, used by the allies to justify allied patrols over the no-fly zones, was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which deals with all matters authorising military force.

?Putting pressure on Iraq is not something that would be a lawful activity,? said Goodhart, who is also the Liberal Democrat shadow Lord Chancellor.

The Foreign Office advice noted that the Americans had ?on occasion? claimed that the allied aircraft were there to enforce compliance with resolutions 688 and 687, which ordered Iraq to destroy its weapons of mass destruction.

?This view is not consistent with resolution 687, which does not deal with the repression of the Iraqi civilian population, or with resolution 688, which was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and does not contain any provision for enforcement,? it said.

Elizabeth Wilmshurst, one of the Foreign Office lawyers who wrote the report, resigned in March 2003 in protest at the decision to go to war without a UN resolution specifically authorising military force.

Further intensification of the bombing, known in the Pentagon as the Blue Plan, began at the end of August, 2002, following a meeting of the US National Security Council at the White House that month.

General Tommy Franks, the allied commander, recalled in his autobiography, American Soldier, that during this meeting he rejected a call from Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, to cut the bombing patrols because he wanted to use them to make Iraq?s defences ?as weak as possible?.

The allied commander specifically used the term ?spikes of activity? in his book. The upgrade to a full air war was also illegal, said Goodhart. ?If, as Franks seems to suggest, the purpose was to soften up Iraq for a future invasion or even to intimidate Iraq, the coalition forces were acting without lawful authority,? he said.

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.

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Re: British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #4318810 - 06/20/05 11:41 PM (13 years, 7 hours ago)

Now that's a laughable article, but cleverly done. All the standard leftie MSM tricks are in evidence here.

I'll leave off fisking this piece of drek till tomorrow in the hopes others here will catch what I caught on the first quick read-through -- and I'll probably catch more if I re-read it more slowly.

Critical thinkers, here's a golden opportunity. Let's have a contest to see who can point out the most spin in this one.



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Registered: 06/15/02
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Re: British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office [Re: Phred]
    #4318841 - 06/20/05 11:50 PM (13 years, 7 hours ago)

Well...the first thing I thought of is the fact that ever since the end of Gulf War I, the British and the Americans have been bombing Iraq. It's not like it was anything new. And all of this bombing was related to Saddam violating the no-fly zones and stuff.

And where are the statistics to show that there was an increase in bombing?

Edited by RandalFlagg (06/21/05 12:03 AM)

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Registered: 06/15/02
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Re: British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office [Re: Phred]
    #4318921 - 06/21/05 12:12 AM (13 years, 7 hours ago)

You'll probably be the only one to spot it. You seem to have the UN resolutions, Saddam's moves, and the U.S. military's moves memorized better than anybody.

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Re: British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #4322099 - 06/21/05 09:04 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

They were bombing radar installations and anti-aircraft installations in 96,97,98,99. I know a guy who used to fly sorties over Iraq. He told me they did itleast 700 sorties during those time periods.

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Re: British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #4322844 - 06/22/05 12:50 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

the whole fucking article has no FACTS!

this article is why people do not trust the MSM.

here is some facts...


The Media Has Lost The Public's Trust

June has been a bad news month for the news media. A recent report indicates that the general public's trust in newspapers and television news are at all-time lows. In addition, another report shows that newspaper subscriptions are facing an accelerated decline. These reports, combined with the major networks news programs and CNN's continued slide in ratings, means the public is fed up with news coverage that is not fair and balanced.

Trust of the media has now reached an all-time low according to the Gallup annual survey of the public's confidence in major news gathering institutions. Gallup, which has been doing this survey since 1972, found that the public's confidence in newspapers and television has declined from 54 percent in 1989 to only 28 percent this month.

The mainstream media has no one to blame but themselves. In the last year alone the public has seen how biased the mainstream media has become. The most prominent example involved Dan Rather and CBS News pushing a bogus report about President Bush's service in the Air National Guard. CBS News apologized for the erroneous report and launched an investigation to find a scapegoat to fire.

More recently, Newsweek's bogus report that American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prisoner camp flushed a Koran down a toilet not only further alienated the American public, but also resulted in an outbreak of rioting in the Arab countries that left at least 17 people dead. Rather than apologize, Newsweek issued a statement saying they "?regret that we got any part of our story wrong."

What they really regret is having their liberal bias exposed. More evidence of this can be found in what some of the major media do not report or how they do report on issues that hurt their side.

Take for instance, some rather extreme statements made recently by Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party. Chairman Dean has said publicly that, Republicans are evil and he hates them, which apparently gives him a list of enemies longer than Richard Nixon's. He also said that?Republicans don't make an honest living, that Tom DeLay should be in jail (despite the fact that DeLay has not been charged with a crime), and that the Republican Party is "?pretty much a white, Christian party."

The New York Times, the flagship paper of the Left, has not reported any of Dean's statements. Moreover, the conservative Media Research Center reports that before Dean's tirade last week, none of the broadcast networks had reported on his controversial comments in their evening newscasts.

Most people realize that if any high profile conservative had said anything similar about the Democrats, the New York Times and major TV news networks would have been all over such outrageous behavior. But then the New York Times and the majority of the mainstream media are not unbiased, they are not fair, and they are certainly not balanced.

Here in Alabama we are also witnessing the erosion of public confidence in the news media. In particular, during the referendum on Amendment 1 in 2003, many Alabamians were offended by some in the newspaper media that they believe crossed the line between expressing an editorial opinion justifying support for the $1.2 billion tax increase to outright campaigning for its passage. And many Alabamians were offended by the unjustified and sometimes erroneous attacks against those that opposed it.

Editors have a right to express their opinion on issues. After all, an editorial is the opinion of the editors. The same holds true for opinion columns such as this one. These are opinions, not news stories. But in every case the opinions expressed by either side should be based on accurate information, respectful of the perspectives of others, and written in a manner that contributes to the public debate instead of attacking the credibility of those that disagree. Unfortunately, at times those of us that write have all failed to live up to this standard.

A current example of this can be seen in the one-sided attacks against John Giles and the Christian Coalition, and the complete failure by the Alabama media to look into the money trail that leads to the state legislators leading the attack. The calls for a criminal investigation into the Christian Coalition are bogus and I assume that most in the Alabama media know this to be true and have chosen to remain silent because of their personal disdain for the Christian Coalition. The objective of the media should be to push for legislative action to require full disclosure of the original source of all political contributions. Instead, at least up to this point, the media coverage of this issue has become a misdirected assault against one side.

Whether it is at the national or state level, across the board, the mainstream news media no longer even pretends to be objective. It has become the almost exclusive domain of liberal demagogues. As a result, people are increasingly tuning them out, turning them off, tossing their newspapers and magazines subscription notices in the trash, and turning to other venues for their news. If the mainstream media wants to be included, they can become more objective and more balanced or they can choose to become even more irrelevant to the majority of the people.

Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama

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