News Release

With Bush at U.N.: Iraq War Illegal?


Heads of state, including George W. Bush, address the U.N. General Assembly today. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan recently stated the invasion of Iraq “was not in conformity with the U.N. Charter from our point of view, from the Charter point of view, it was illegal.”

Here are some relevant excerpts from the U.N. Charter:

“All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations….

“The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice….

“The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken … to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
U.N. Charter (Chapter I, Article 2; Chapter VI, Article 33; Chapter VII, Article 39)

Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois and author of the new book Destroying World Order. He said today: “The entire legal argument for the invasion of Iraq was a fraud and that was clear before the invasion took place. The U.S. government drove towards war, it did not attempt to avoid it as the Charter calls for. Kofi Annan should have clearly said that it was illegal at that time. But stating it now does pull the legal rug out from under continued U.S. military occupation of Iraq. The United Nations must ensure the immediate departure of all foreign military forces from Iraq, and the exercise of their sovereign right to self-determination by the Iraqi people freed from the current U.S.-imposed puppet government.”
[See Boyle’s quote on the IPA news release of Nov. 1, 2002, “Interviews on Iraq: U.N. Endgame,”] More Information

Professor of law at Ohio State University and author of the book The Ruses for War: American Interventionism Since World War II, Quigley said today: “Kofi Annan is correct that the war was not justified based on the resolutions the Security Council had adopted. Iraq complained at the time that this was aggression, but the U.N. did not respond. The U.N. should have been demanding that the U.S. stop its threats and would be responsible for any damage caused by an invasion. Of course it’s virtually impossible for that to happen since the U.S. is a permanent member of the Security Council; but that’s what should have happened.”
[See Quigley’s quote on the IPA news release of Feb. 10, 2003, “U.S. Credibility Problems,” just after Colin Powell presented the U.S. case for war at the U.N.]

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167