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November 10, 2010
Defending President Bush in three easy steps
With the release of President Bush' memoirs, a lot of discussion is taking place about his most controversial endeavor: the invasion of Iraq. Here's a short list of facts to use to combat the "Bush lied, kids died" non-argument, using UN Security Council resolutions which not only take the blame from President Bush, but also firmly show that the rest of the world had already legitimized the second invasion of Iraq. With that in mind, remember these three steps.
1) Invasion! UN Security Council Resolution 678 (1990)
In 1990, the world had its eyes on Iraq. After Iraq's invasion of Kuwait (as condemned in UN Security Council resolution 660), a global consensus demanded that Iraq return to their own borders. When Iraq failed to comply, coalition forces were granted the right by the UN to invade Iraq the first time.
2) Ceasefire! UN Security Council Resolution 687 (1991)
After Iraq had been soundly defeated, the terms for a conditional, temporary ceasefire were drafted. If Iraq failed to comply with the terms, the coalition could end the ceasefire and invade Iraq the second time. Among those terms for ceasefire were:
1) the declaration and destruction of all chemical and biological weaponry which Iraq had threatened to use. This declaration and destruction was to be completed under specified UN supervision (section C)
2) the abandonment of missile capabilities by Iraq, after Iraq's unprovoked use of ballistic missiles (section C)
3) the abandonment of attempts to secure nuclear weapons and any related programs (section C)
4) that Iraq no longer support/employ international terrorism, as defined by international law (section H)
5) that Iraq either account for or release Kuwaiti, Iraqi, and non-Iraqi hostages captured by (what is defined by the UN as) acts of terrorism (section G)
3) Violation! UN Security Council Resolution 1441 (2002)
It's interesting to note the in 2000, before Bush was president and before 9/11, the Republican party's platform specifically mentioned Iraq's violations of international law, and sought to directly address the issue. By 2002, in light of Saddam's mounting violations and American anger over terrorist attacks, the UN drafted resolution 1441, highlighting Saddam's violations of the UN's ceasefire terms. Among the acknowledged violations were:
1) Iraq's non-compliance with weapons inspections
2) Iraq's failure to provide complete and accurate reports on their biological/chemical/nuclear weaponry, and all programs which are related to these weapons, but claimed to be owned for peaceful purposes (see: Saddam's 500 tons of uranium)
3) that Iraq's possession of missile weaponry prohibited by Resolution 687 constitutes material breach of the ceasefire
4) Iraq's refusal to account for or return Kuwaitis and other national hostages captured through terrorist acts during the first Iraq War
5) Iraq's continued support of international terrorism
While many would blame the second Iraq War on President Bush and his declaration of WMD possession, international law and resolutions had already legitimized and necessitated the second invasion regardless of his statements. What we need to ask President Bush's critics today is not whether the US was correct in invading Iraq, but rather how many dangerous and flagrant violations of international law the left is willing to accept.
So while true conservatives certainly understand that the UN is an extremely leftist organization and is not to be taken seriously, we should expect -- at the very least -- that the people who overwhelmingly support the UN should at least acknowledge President Bush's support of international law. If there was any failure on his part, perhaps it was that he took the UN's law too seriously.
Jeremy Egerer is a recent convert to Christian conservatism from radical liberalism, and is the editor of the Seattle website www.americanclarity.com