I continued this one for Chinarocks.
"You don't have speak some rubbish MADMAC. Your arguments are actually so wrong that it is hard to counter them because you are starting from such a crazy base. The Iraq war and 9/11 were both LEGAL - incredible stuff!!!"
Slow down cowboy. I did not say 9/11 was legal. 9/11 was conducted by a non-state entitity. Only states have the legal right to engage in violence for political purposes. Technically speaking, all insurgencies and revolutions are illegal wars. But only within a state context are you going to see prosecutions of same (the Bosnia example not-withstanding).
As for Iraq, please, by all means, cite for me the specific law that was broken that the US is a party to. I'm not pulling this out of my fourth point of contact here. I was quite specific in citing why the Iraq war was not "illegal". I mean, legal is a strict definition. It's not opinion. Show me what law was broken.
As for Sir Michael, you have to remmember he is really aqrguing political and moral positions and trying to couch them in legal terms:
"To use force without Security Council authority would amount to the crime of aggression," he wrote. "
That position has no LEGAL basis. It is a reiteration of the Kofi Anan position, which I already cited. There is no where in any UN charter or treaty which specifies UN sanction is required to go to war. Nowhere. It is a position that the anti-war crowd favors and that many would like to see develop in treaty, but it is not in force today.
"I'm sure there are many more like him. I would tend to take their views a bit more seriously than yours, with respect."
Of course you do, because you like his position. Not because you've actually thought it through. There are MANY MORE observers who maintain my position. That while the Causes Belli was suspect, the war itself did not meet the narrow definition of and illegal war. And make no mistake, that definition is narrow.
"Out of interest, in your opinion is there such a thing as an illegal war?"
Yes, terror campaigns and insurgencies are by definition illegal, because only states have the legal right to wage war. But as I stated above, they are seldom prosecuted outside the state system - a few exceptions emerging in very modern times. Additionally, there are times when governance is so bad that there is certainly moral justification for disaplacing it violently. Of course, strictly speaking we are getting into a foggy area of definition when we discuss internal conflicts vice state on state conflicts which is what we had been discussing herretofore. The recent civil war in Libya, for example, was arguably legal since it had international sanction.
I think outside of the Nurberg trials, the only prosecution I can think of was Milosevic. Otherwise the prosecutions were not for waging illegal war (or war of aggression -violation of jus ad Bellum) but rather for specific war crimes (jus in bello). Again, the definition of "illegal war" is very narrow. Some arguable examples would be North Vietnams war against Laos and South Vietnam. North Koreas invasion of the south is a clear example. Argentina's attack on the Falklands might meet the mark. But basically, legally speaking, most wars by far are legal.
We were on the subject of 'winning the war against Al Qaeda' in Afghanistan on a thread somewhere so how about this article from the British Telegraph.How long and how many we going to kill before they go away Madmac?
"Slow down cowboy. I did not say 9/11 was legal."
Well actually MADMAC yes you did say it was LEGAL. Please see earlier extract below.
CR: By your logic, the Taliban "sanctioning" 9/11 was acceptable and legal because at the time they were the de facto government of Afghanistan. Ditto for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and countless other examples."
I'm not going to say any more on this topic because you are talking out your backside and are tying yourself up in knots you have made so many contradictions in your comments. And more importantly, the lovely administrators are on our back.
#4 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
You talked about the Taliban "sanctioning" - where is that illegal war? The Taliban were most certainly not privy to 9-11 before it happened. That was a tightly compartmented operation. 9-11 was illegal, as was the campaign that Al Qaeda had been waging for quite sometime and of which Al Qaeda is a part of. That's primarily because Al Qaeda is not a state and ergo does not have the legal right to wage warfare.
"I'm not going to say any more on this topic because you are talking out your backside and are tying yourself up in knots you have made so many contradictions in your comments. And more importantly, the lovely administrators are on our back."
I should have been specific about Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, however. That did meet the definition of an "aggressive war", as it was a territorial grab. HOWEVER, the treaty is also quite specific in that boundary disputes are exempt from meeting the definition of aggressive (and hence illegal) war. Iraq did have a long standing dispute in that Kuwait was regarded as a part of Iraq. Much like the Falklands war, arguements can be made on either side on those and how a court would rule I would find interesting - although in both cases it is all theoretical as neither case will go to court.
I have to heartily disagree with you. I have made my point citing very specific law and very specific precedence. You have done neither. I think you don't want to say anymore, because you are embarrassing yourself on a subject you don't have a firm grasp of.
"We were on the subject of 'winning the war against Al Qaeda' in Afghanistan on a thread somewhere so how about this article from the British Telegraph.How long and how many we going to kill before they go away Madmac?"
To answer your question concisely - Many. The thing about small wars is there are no big victories in them. You win with patience and diligence. You make the cost high for the enemy and as low for yourself as possible. That's why economy of force operations are the preffered method to fight them. Unfortunately for democratic systems of governance, long drawn out wars are something they are not very good at. So totalitarian systems have an advantage there. The Vietnam war is a classic exmaple. NVA casualties were enormous, and they had to be for the NVA to maintain adequate pressure on the US. But the Dong controlled the North with an iron fist. There was no chance of a revolt, in spite of the huge cost. A popular tattoo among NVA soldiers during the war was "Born in the North to die in the south." No democratic regime could have done what the North Vietnam and the Dong did. It would have sued for peace long before.
As for our fight with Al Qaeda - we simply have no choice. We can cede them Afghanistan and allow them a safe haven if we choose. We have rousted them out of Somalia and most assuredly should do the same in Mali. But they aren't going to just go away. This is a long term, global insurgency that we will have to deal with for decades to come. And there is nothing we can do to change that. We can stop fighting, but they are not going to. They'll be perfectly happy to blow up trains in Europe again if given the chance.
Richard Perle also said it was illegal, the list goes on and on.
#6 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
"Richard Perle also said it was illegal, the list goes on and on."
China, you can name names, and I can name laws. What you can't do is name laws. WHAT LAW WAS BROKEN? To be illegal means, by definition, a law must be broken.
'The Vietnam war is a classic exmaple. NVA casualties were enormous, and they had to be for the NVA to maintain adequate pressure on the US.'
Could their willingness to die also have something to do with the fact they were fighting for their country against an invader.There was no North or South Vietnam just Vietnam.However justified the U.S. felt it makes a difference when you are fighting for your homeland.How many men did the Russians lose taking Berlin? Wasn't it something like 80,000!
"You can name names, and I can name laws. What you can't do is name laws."
Because I am not qualified in law I cannot name laws. However, instead I can quote many influential and qualified lawyers and diplomats who are naming laws. People whose word and opinion I would hold more highly than some internet forum dweller.
#9 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
No question that element was part of it Sayadian. But again, no democractic society could have sustained that. They would have been compelled to sue for peace. Think about Britain in WW II. It was virtually fighting for it's survival, yet a peace deal was in the offing in July / August of 1940 and there was a great deal of internal political pressure on Churchill to take the deal. At the end of the war Britain lost some 380,000 soldiers. On the other hand somewhere over a million Vietnamese soldiers (Government of Vietnam says 1,100,000 which is in line with our estimates of the period - some 850,000 NVA and the rest VC) were killed. And this was not to expel an invader per se. You have to remmember that the South was not all that restive - that the VC would not have been a potent movement if it did not have MASSIVE external support. So yes, there was certainly an element of nationalist sentiment - a strong element. But as I said, were North Vietnam a democracy, it would never have been able to sustain that war. A party advocating a peaceful resolution would have won the day at some point during those 20 years it took them to force a military conclusion.
So China, my arguement goes like this:
Neither Articles 1, 2, 33 or 39 were violated in the decision to invade Iraq. Nor was the Rio Pact violated. The Rome Statute of the ICC doesn't apply since the US is not a signatory. Therefore, while some might argue the Causes Belli was suspect and the justification for war insufficient, no law was actually broken.
Your arguement goes like this:
Because Richard Perle and Sir Michael Whathisname said so.
Now, I stated specifics quite clearly, and you then said I was inconsistent. I asked where, you didn't answer.
From my point of view, supporting your position based solely on "Because someone said so" doesn't work for me. Maybe it does for someone else here. On politically charged matters such as this, you have to do your own homework, because pundits and politicians have agendas, and likely won't be completely forthright. If you refuse to do your own homework, I don't see how you can castigate my position when I've done mine.
With respect, I have a job and a life which means I don't have time to read the Rio Pact or other such documents. That is not to say I don't read lots of books on matters such as this. My understanding was always that this was an illegal war, and INDEPENDENT senior lawyers (who have read such documents) would back up such a belief.
#12 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
My understanding was always that this was a legal war, and INDEPENDENT senior lawyers (who have read such documents) would back up such a belief.
So there we have it. I can cite persons of substance and education who say it was legal, you cite those who say it wasn't. I site specific law that was not violated, you cite no law at all.
Now, I appreciate maybe you have neither the time nor inclination to research the facts (though were I you, I would at least expect those making the accusation to annunciate them clearly - which hasn't been done here either). But if you don't have the time or inclination, I don't see how you can charge me with being inconsistent or incorrect and then fail to specify how.
If you are going to make a flat out statement that it was an illegal war, my view at least is you have to be able to back it up. Stating is as fact and then not being able to support it when challenged and castigating the person challenging it when that person has had the time and inclination does not seem to me to be completely reasonable.
Please don't tell me that every argument you make in life you have researched the source documents pertaining to the matter at hand. We frequently rely on journalism (of the broadsheet version) and other forms of independent media to garner us with facts that we normal people don't have time to look up. Dont take such a pompous and arrogant tone that because somebody doesn't research the law and documentation on a particular matter that they can't have a valid view. The legislation you are quoting to me could be complete waffle for all I know.
#14 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
"Please don't tell me that every argument you make in life you have researched the source documents pertaining to the matter at hand. We frequently rely on journalism (of the broadsheet version) and other forms of independent media to garner us with facts that we normal people don't have time to look up."
Sure, but then I don't tell other people they are wrong when they have a contrary opinion. Especially when those other people start citing specifics. I didn't just start thinking about just war theory yesterday. I was a professional soldier for 27 years, and have given it (and the war in Iraq) a great deal thought. My opinion remains (and you certainly have done nothing to move it) that the true causes belli remains unknown, that the war as it was (and since has been) justified was not justifiable, but that the war did not meet the criteria of an illegal war. The pundits I have heard heretofore who have said they "thought" it was, have motivations that go beyond law. And every justification I have heard is that those pundits believe that at this point in history it is an accepted notion that UN sanction is required, when quite clearly it is not (not from a legal standpoint). On top of all that, your man Sir Michael was advising Jack Straw of the British government, a signatory to The Rome Statute of the ICC. The US is not a signatory to this statute and is not bound by it. However he did not cite ANY statute in his base arguement. His arguement was simply without UN mandate, any war with Iraq was illegal. Furthermore he did not say whether it was illegal in a British context or a universal one. Law is a thing of specifics, not generalities thrown around for political purpose.
"The Taliban were most certainly not privy to 9-11 before it happened."
I think it's plausible to believe Mullah Omar may have had sight of 9/11 before it occurred.
Hence, by your logic, and the laws you quote, it was "state-backed", therefore legal. A rock solid argument surely.
#16 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
"Hence, by your logic, and the laws you quote, it was "state-backed", therefore legal. A rock solid argument surely."
Two problems with that arguement - one, the Taliban were not recognized as the legimate government of Afghanistan by the UN.
But let's assume, for the sake of arguement, they were. And not only was Mullah Omar in the know, but he and his government were active participants. And let's assume their causes belli (which afterall is a factor) was, say, American political interference in internal Afghan affairs - that is, the Americans were providing some sort of support to the Northern Alliance (we weren't, but they need a motive). Then yes, for Afghanistan to declare war on the US would be LEGAL. However, prior to said attacks, there would have to be some sort of declared requirement and timeline - that is, an attack without due warning is illegal in accordance with the laws of land warfare. Of course in 9-11 nothing of the sort happened.
Would that make the 9-11 attacks legal? Well, it would make the attacks on the Pentagon legal, providing they were carried out by the Taliban and not Al Qaeda (by employing foreign mercenaries they would be supporting unlawful combatants - dangerous legal ground there). Not the attacks on the twin towers however. That was not a legitimate military target. So it would be a war crime, just not an illegal war. Those two should not be mistaken for one another however. War crimes occur in almost every conflict - if not every conflict. But war crimes do not constitute an illegal war.
Now, the supporters of the position that the war in Iraq was illegal come in two colors:
1. Those who want to see the standard as a UN requirement. If this becomes the standard and those who violate it must subsequently live in fear of prosecution, then war as a tool of foreign policy might seriously be impacted upon. That is the desired end state.
2. Those who want to see the US neutered and know that if a UN security council resolution is required, there is a very good chance that one of the members will veto it.
Obviously some people belong to both camps.
Since the US is not a party to the Rome Statute, many in camp number two want to see US officials indicted by independent European courts like Pinochet was. Unfortunately for this camp, links to violation of European law are much more tenuous, but they are trying. Kissenger has been under threat of indictment before when in France.
;}sayadian : Asa matter of interest if mainland China decide to retake Taiwan would that be awar seeing as it is already recognized as part of China and whatwould the U.S. do about it? Would it be a civil war?
Sure would feel like a war along the Straight of Formosa. Seriously though, it IS a civil war currently going on. Taiwanstill claims that the capital of China is Nanjing, and Taipei is only atemporary capital of the Republic of China - the Beijing government has novalidity as the People's Republic of China. Similar for the CCP& PRC, they claim the One China Policy where Taiwan is still a part ofChina.
The USA recognizes Taiwan as a part of China - but this is adouble-edged sword that technically supports both sides who wish for aneventual integration of China-Taiwan, which includes many Taiwanese and themost powerful Taiwanese political party. Those Taiwanese wanting totalindependence are a minority. However, the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979makes it so Taiwan is not recognized as a sovereign nation, but thatthe USA is required to provide defense and support a peaceful resolution to theproblem - seeing any forceful attempt to re-integrate Taiwan as of seriousconcern for the USA . . . deliberately ambiguous if we would goto war (though it lost UN status in 1971 as a means to try and stop PRC supportfor North Vietnam and the VC).
So - long story not so short, is a civil war, we have no ideawhat USA would do, especially with the current state of anti-China sentiment inthe USA mixed with overall war weariness. However, it would probablybe an immediate presidential action that would absolutely require acongressional approval of war as it would be the start of WWIII if we actuallygot involved. Though, I doubt any president would do anything withoutcongressional approval first - which probably would not come - so Taiwan wouldprobably be left out to deal with the invasion itself, though it would shatterrelations between China and the rest of SE Asia and the Pacific region andwould create a Tibet and Xinjiang style situation in Taiwan ratherthan a Hong Kong style situation so I doubt China would ever do anything UNLESSTaiwan made an actual legal move to independence.
I am reasonably sure the US would assist Taiwan. I am also reasonably sure China is not willing to use force to attempt to reinegrate Taiwan. Emotions and self-serving political considerations aside (recognizing those would never be set aside) Taiwan should be an independent state and recognized as such by all concerned.
'Taiwan should be an independent state and recognized as such by all concerned.'
Probably never happen.I doubt U.S. will instigate it with all the investment potential in China and the dollar holdings China possesses.
As far as your other argument goes, in my eyes the UN has about as much authority as your local Rotary club.So to state that war must be sanctioned by that bunch of tyrants and failed states is a joke.
Your only involvement which I would strongly disagree with is Vietnam.Although I have total respect for the men who fought I would paraphrase a WW1 saying:
'Lions led by donkeys.'
You lost but the world didn't go up in flames and communism didn't spread throughout S.E.Asia, so basically a waste of young lives (conscripts)
Also it rankles me when Americans say we saved your ass in the WW2 conflict.No,the mistake Hitler made by invading the Soviet Union saved us, so in a sense you could say the Russians saved us.The fuel destined for Rommel in North Africa was diverted to the Eastern front and if it hadn't, make no mistake, it was touch and go whether we could have held him; though we did have the advantage of the Tobruk? escarpment which made it difficult to advance his tanks without a wide detour.We'll never know though.
"As far as your other argument goes, in my eyes the UN has about as much authority as your local Rotary club.So to state that war must be sanctioned by that bunch of tyrants and failed states is a joke."
That is correct. Law only has meaning if it can be enforced. The UN derives it's authority, when it has it, from the security council.
"Your only involvement which I would strongly disagree with is Vietnam.Although I have total respect for the men who fought I would paraphrase a WW1 saying:
'Lions led by donkeys.'
I can't say I agree. The leadership was reaonably competent. If you look at McNamara's notes (and Johnson's) from the period, it was clear to them in 65 that escalation might not work. But you have to remmember these guys were making decisions on the heals of the Korean intervention, which did work. From the position they were sitting in, allowing the Dong uncontested annexation of South Vietnam would be to encourage continued violent communist aggression.
"You lost but the world didn't go up in flames and communism didn't spread throughout S.E.Asia, so basically a waste of young lives (conscripts)"
Not so fast. The communist movement in Thailand was crushed, arguably as a direct result of the interventions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. During that same time frame Indonesia was under threat. The dominoe theory was not wrong per se. Had communist aggression always gone unchallenged and unchecked, it most certainly would not have stopped. And Thailand would not have won it's insurgency either, were it not for US support. A good friend of mine who I went to military school with himself told me that (He's a General now in the Thai Army).
As for WW II - well, we provided ENORMOUS assistance to the Russians in WW II. Lend lease provided the Russians with much of the means to sustain resistance against the Wehrmacht from 41-45. Most significant was the supply of food and vehicles (some 100,000 trucks). It's hard to fight without food.
So I am not saying the US deserves full credit, but without the US, Britain and Russia would have been beaten. So a little credit coming the US way is fair. Also the US did almost all of the heavy lifting against the Japanese. Burma was a side show in the war, and when it counted (in the Malay peninsula and Singapore) British resistance was an abortion.
'So a little credit coming the US way is fair'
Never was withheld.
Certainly later on the U.S. took it's fair share of the burden but there is a certain type of U.S. citizen that likes to crow.(I'm sure you aren't of that thinking) and don't forget British convoys were supplying the Russians too.
'Most significant was the supply of food and vehicles (some 100,000 trucks). It's hard to fight without food.'
I thought Stalin moved his armament factories east of the Urals and out of bomber rang?
Where was this food disembarked? First I've heard of it.
Yes, like I said, for a year the Brits stood alone against a fearsome enemy. As you saw I strongly disagreed with Longbeaches assertion concerning British fighting performance in WW II. Yes, Singapore was a poor performance of British leadership at all levels - can't blame the troops though. They fought fine. They had a few mass surrenders (Singapore, Dunkirk, Greece) but that was again a leadership failure, and all the armies, even the Japanese, suffered those fates at times.
And yes, chest thumping guys who talk about how "America won the war" have no perspective and don't understand the war. I agree with that. But I take umbrage with the inverse - the anti-American crowd who take every opportunity to diss every American achievement, every American government: Who in general are disrespectful of anything and everything American. I don't think it's fair to disrespect any group like that, and particularly not one with as much greatness in history of the 20th century as America demonstrated. Of course there are fair critics. The treatment of the native populations. The institution of slavery (such a terrible stain on the American experiment).But in the anti-American crowd there is no sense of balance. They go with a simple forumla: America bad.
'They had a few mass surrenders (Singapore, Dunkirk, Greece)'
Are you kidding.It was one of the greatest strategic retreats ever made.Just about every boat on the south coast sailed to France to rescue the besieged army. If that army hadn't been rescued we would not have had the core of the army to train others and fight in North Africa.
Sayadian that is true. But some 40,000 troops were captured, mostly French of course, but also many who couldn't make it to debarkation at the coast itself. The SS executed some of these which became a post conflict war trial issue, which is how I heard about it.
Leonard, is 2012 different from 1012? Or different from 1512? I mean, humans are humans. The year doesn't meant anything. Warfare is part of the human condition. Cormac McCarthy said it best: "It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way."
But even Churchill admitted 'jaw-jaw was better than war-war.
Singapore was a disgraceful day for the British Army: there is no doubt it could have been held as the Brits had overwhelming superiority in numbers and weapons.
'But some 40,000 troops were captured, mostly French of course,'
Still a sore point with the French to this day but you get your own out first.
"1012 humans knew little about the world and were barbaric. No cars, electricity, planes, poor education and understanding of history etc.
2012 people should have evolved beyond violence."
Why? Is violence intrinsically bad? Violence is a normal condition in the natural world. Why should humans be different? Because they mastered the combution engine or the use of electricity. There is no reason to believe that technological develolpment leads to less warfare. No natural reasn and no historic reason. Violence is normal in many species. Particularly primates.
Well, but few species have removed themselves so much from their 'nature' as humans did. Just look at all the different ways people all over the globe developed different cultures that all deal with the 'nature' of the human creature in a different way, often to even out disadvantages etc. So why shouldn't it be conceivable, that one day, our insight (or maybe call it education) has grown to a point where everybody recognises violence is, in most situations, the worst solution?
I can't accept essentialist statements a la "This and that have always been there and will always be there" or "Such and such belongs to whatever nature".
There's no reason to assume what once was normal will always be. There just isn't. It lies in our hands and we're able to change the world, if we want to. All we need is the insight of how living together might work better.
But this is a long and tiring argument, just couldn't stop myself from giving my 2 cents here.
Your basic premise is "So why shouldn't it be conceivable, that one day, our insight (or maybe call it education) has grown to a point where everybody recognises violence is, in most situations, the worst solution?"
But there is actually nothing to support that. It's an assumption. Humans are violent. No question. There is no example of any human society where violence has been absent. And all prohibitions on violence originate in religious teachings.
"It lies in our hands and we're able to change the world, if we want to. All we need is the insight of how living together might work better."
And I would think it's pretty obvious we don't really want to at this point - although the world is changing slowly. State on state warfare is increasingly infrequent, but internecine conflicit continues to proliferate.
I don't like political talks . We are human and just need love each other. Respect each other. It's all about humanty ..
#39 amylee has been a member since 30/7/2015. Posts: 5