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Iraq Handover - What Next?
Publication date: 2004-06-29

Why the Iraq Handover has not Stopped the Differences over the War

Tony Blair is right in saying that the Iraq Handover has not settled the “bitter” differences over the Iraq war. But, why has not it? How can one resolve these differences?

The reason why the Iraq Handover has not settled the “bitter” differences over the war is that the legality of the Iraq War, the present situation in Iraq, and the future of Iraq are separate issues, each of which needs to be considered on its own merits.

Wars involve killing of people and destruction of property. Such acts cannot be justified by a “better future”. Otherwise one could just kill one's neighbour, take over his house and justify it all by repairing the roof.

Nor do the needs to “rebuild the country” and to “provide security” justify causing the destruction and chaos in the first place.

Yes, the rebuilding needs to be done. Yes, the security needs to be provided. But, neither of this means that the war itself was justified. And, if it was not, then those who started that war did so without a valid reason. And, if they did, then they should be “brought to justice”, just as Hitler's generals were for starting World War II. Without such impartial justice there can be no peace and security in the world.

The Iraq War needs to be justified on its own merits, and the only valid reasons for killing people are self‐defence, administration of justice and maintenance of law and order.

The attempts to justify the Iraq War on the grounds of self‐defence have failed. It is a fact that Iraq had no immediate intentions to attack any country.

The attempts to justify the war by the “need to remove Saddam Hussain”, would have fallen into the areas of “administration of justice” and “maintenance of law and order”. But, to be valid it would have needed to satisfy the following conditions:

  1. The actions of which Saddam Hussain is accused should have been crimes under supranational law.
  2. This law should have been applicable to all governments in equal measure.
  3. This law should have been enforceable by war.
  4. Saddam Hussain should have had opportunity to defend himself against the accusations in an impartial supranational court of law.
  5. The court should have found Saddam Hussain guilty of the alleged crimes.
  6. Saddam Hussain should have been given opportunity to comply with the court's decision voluntarily.
  7. Saddam Hussain should have refused to comply with the court's decision.
  8. The countries who attacked Iraq should have had legal authority to enforce that law.

These above conditions were not satisfied. And for that reason the justification of the war by the “need to remove Saddam Hussain” is not valid.

The war against Iraq was a frivolous “political” decision, which national politicians sought to justify before the public of their own countries by false arguments. This is a fact. And this fact cannot be changed by anything that has happened or will happen after the war in Iraq or anywhere else in the world.

And this raises the issue of the absence of a workable system of administration of justice and maintenance of law and order at the international level.

And it is the absence of such system of supranational law that is the reason for all the deaths of people in Iraq and around the world.

And as long as the “world leaders” prefer Lawlessness of Politics to Rule of Law, lawlessness will continue in Iraq and everywhere else in the world. And no transfers of sovereignty or similar symbolic gestures will change that.

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