November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website,, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

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Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal


March 20, 2003

By Joan Russow (PhD)
Global Compliance Research Institute

Under the Charter of the United Nations, the following purpose is clearly enunciated:

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and

to ensure by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

Under the Charter of the United Nations, force is only authorized if sanctioned by the UN Security Council, or under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations which affirms:

the inherent 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 (Article 51)

The United States , after failing to obtain the sufficient number of votes on the UN Security Council , is claiming that the US had received support for the use of force under the UN Security Council Resolution 1441. In an early draft, many members of the UN Security Council rejected the expression "all necessary means" which would have included the use of force. In UNSC resolution 1441, there was a provision for "serious consequences" to be in place in the event that Iraq had been in material breach of the resolution. Colin Powell has claimed that "serious consequences" is UN code for the use of force. There was a clear understanding, even formally expressed by Russia, France and China, that "serious consequences" did not authorize the automatic use of force and that before any authorization of force would be sanctioned, a further UN Security Council resolution would be necessary.

In addition, under the Convention of the Law of Treaties, terms in international instruments must be interpreted in their ordinary language meaning; in no way in ordinary language would serious consequences, even in the context of the UN Security Council resolution, be equated automatically with the use of force. One serious consequence could have been to take the issue to the International Court of Justice to enable the judges to carefully assess the legitimacy of the documentation presented. As has been reported recently, not only has there been misrepresentation of documents from US British intelligence, but also there have been forged documents on the purchase of uranium.

The US has misused used Article 51 before and redefined what constituted self defence under Article 51. Again, the interpretation of this Article and its applicability would be best assessed by the International Court of Justice.

Several specialists in International Law have requested the US to go to the International Court of Justice to seek an advisory opinion on the legality of the use of force in Iraq.

As usual, the US is willing to condemn others as rogue stated defying the rule of international law, but the US fails to seek the advice from the International Court of Justice which is a specialized organ under the United Nations, and the US has over the years failed to accept both the jurisdiction and the decisions of the International Court of Justice,

Iraq should appear before the International Court of Justice and ask for an emergency decision to prevent the imminent war on Iraq, and if the US invades Iraq, the US should be compelled to appear before the International Court of Justice for engaging in an illegal war in violation of the rule of international law, and the Charter of the United Nations.

Joan Russow (PhD)
Global Compliance Research Institute

Dr. Russow is the author of The Charter of Obligations, published the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). It looks at international sgreements dealing with issues of peace, the environment, social justice and human rights.

Thank you, Joan, for contributing this article.

Page created March 20, 2003 by Charlie Jenks