Saturday, August 23, 2003

Afghanisan and Iraq - legal dodoA couple of interesting points: the "legal rational" for the war with Afghanistan was the Bush doctrine. This allowed us to remove the Taliban and try to eliminate Al Queda. However since we never occupied the country what rights and responsibilities to we have under the Geneva convention? I am not sure at this point if we have the right to tell the Afghans how to run their country even if we were able to.

I have heard it said that we have a certain bundle of "legal responsibilities" in Iraq under the rules of the Geneva convention since we are the occupying power (in the guise of a liberating force). However, if there were no WMD, then was the war legal in the first place and even if it was, what is our legal grounds for going after Saddam and his government if they did not have WMD. You can even ask if the killing of his sons after the end of the war was a political assassination since our grounds for being there in the first place may not exits. Now you can argue that Saddam was a murdering butcher as he undoubted was but the rules of national sovereignty allow that and that alone would not be grounds for invoking the Bush doctrine. We had better find something soon or we are gonna be in deep legal dodo.