The Unjustified War on Iraq

Essay by Laska_plCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2005

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Saddam Hussein is a tyrant. His actions have caused fear and hate among the Iraqi citizens he ruled and people around the world. He ruled by oppression, committing atrocious acts such as testing chemical and biological weapons on the innocent civilians of his own country. During his time in power, he blatantly violated nearly all the United Nations laws that pertained to his country, and mocked those who attempted to control his violent actions. But in attacking Iraq, the United States has behaved little better than the powerful villain Saddam Hussein. Not only were civilian casualties massive, but countless soldiers died fighting and in the aftermath of the battle. Even worse, this entire war was built of false premises and misleading evidence. Going to war with Iraq was unjust, unnecessary and illegal.

Was the attack on Iraq justified under the United Nations (UN) Charter? The Bush administration certainly felt that its interpretation of the articles pertaining to self defense in the UN gave ample justification for the war.

According to many United States officials, attacking Iraq was legal under the UN Charter, Article 51, which states: nations have the "right of, individual or collective self defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security." Richard Perle, a member of the Bush administration, used Article 51 as a basis for the legality of an attack on Iraq, saying, "I don't believe it does violate international law. We certainly have a right, not conferred, but acknowledged, in the United Nations Charter, Article 51, to defend ourselves" (Guntzel). This interpretation of Article 51 was not shared by many other countries within the UN. These differences in opinion led to endless debates as to whether...