Saturday, 10 February 2007

The war on terror

Ever since September 11th, 2001, there's been one thing that's dominated the news - the war on terror. There's been so many sub-plots and it's near impossible to tell when it will end. Despite the fact that I find terrorism abhorrent, I disagree with the war.

It all started with an Al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center. For a while, the United States concentrated on trying to find Osama Bin Laden, but for some reason the objective suddenly changed from that to wrestling power from Saddam Hussein in Iraq. There are no proven links between the two people. There is no evidence to suggest Osama was hiding out in Iraq. There was no reason for the primary target to change.

Ok, so the focus switched to Iraq. Weapons inspectors were sent in to see if Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) existed in that country. The inspectors weren't able to complete the inspection and no proof was found - yet the war still took place. Sure, a guy responsible for the deaths of many innocent people was brought to justice, but was he brought to justice in the right way?

To figure out the answer to that, we need to sidestep for a second and look at the Charter of the United Nations. All member countries must obey the contents to stay as members of the organisation.

Article 2, point 3:
"All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered."
Article 2, point 4:
"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."
Article 24, point 1:
"In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations,its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf."
What the US did wasn't exactly peaceful, so that's the first of the above broken. The US were also using force against Iraq's territorial integrity - that's the second one broken. The third one is also broken because the United Nations Security Council never agreed to the US starting a war. It was also pre-emptive, yet we have a legal system which says innocent until proven guilty.

Anyway, enough about Iraq for now. Since Saddam was taken out of the equation the US switched to focus to Iran and the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He says that the US is "the great satan". Since that was said, people assume that he is going to launch an attack on the US. However, people have threatened others in normal life and it's just been words. There is nothing to prove (at the moment) that it's not the same thing with Ahmadinejad.

The following quote is from this article:
"The US and its Western allies suspect Iran of using its nuclear energy programme as a cover to produce atomic weapons. Tehran denies this claim."
The key word here is "suspect". There is no proof that Iran's nuclear programme has the objective of making weapons. It could just be something to power homes - like Britain's nuclear programme. Also, it's a bit hypocritical for the US and UK to say that a country should be prevented from creating nuclear weapons when they have a stockpile of their own already!

My next point is about all the soldiers that have been to the Middle East. They have done their job to the best of their ability - many sacrificing their lives in the process. For that, I have a massive amount of respect for them. It wasn't their fault that they were sent there.

To conclude, I would say that the United States broke the rules of the UN Charter and initiated a pre-emptive war against Iraq without any proof they had WMDs. They may have removed Saddam Hussein - which is a good thing - but they went about it in the wrong way. Too many soldiers have lost their lives and now the focus has been put on Iran, when there's no proof that they are producing WMDs either. On top of that, the original objective of finding Osama Bin Laden has not been achieved. Hopefully, you can see why I disagree with the war on terror.

So, what do you think?

Technorati tags: War, Terrorism, Politics, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan


David said...

I can agree with all the points you've made and well done on a great post :)

I can't help thinking that there are political agendas that will never come to light as to why an attack on Iraq was so important that the US broke UN regulations.