While some still doubt that the US will attack Iran, everyone agrees that what we are seeing is at least a damned good imitation. The Iranians themselves have now requested that the US submit any evidence of Iranian wrongdoing. So it seems appropriate to compile the relevant documents and follow the course of events at least a couple times a week.
Buscheney, unhampered by ethics, sanity, history, the Constitution, the law, and the sense of the public, are certainly not going to abide by the United Nations charter regarding Iran, any more than they did when they went to war against Iraq. But here is a good discussion. In reading this, keep in mind that the recent US barrage of claims against Iran (and hostile acts) seem to be based on the rationale that Iran is, in various ways, providing material support for attacks on our troops.
Under the UN Charter, there are only two circumstances in which the use of force is permissible: in collective or individual self-defense against an actual or imminent armed attack [article 51]; and when the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security [article 42].
Article 51 of the UN Charter recognizes the inherent right of self-defense. It states:
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence 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. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Under Article 51, the triggering condition for the exercise of self-defense is the occurrence of an armed attack (“if an armed attack occurs“). Notwithstanding the literal meaning of that language, some, though not all, authorities interpret Article 51 to permit anticipatory self-defense in response to an imminent attack. A generally recognized guide to the conditions for anticipatory self-defense is Daniel Webster’s statement regarding the Caroline affair of 1837: Self-defense is justified only when the necessity for action is “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” (Letter from Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, to Lord Ashburton, August 6, 1842, reprinted in 2 John Bassett Moore, A Digest of International Law 409, 412 (1906)). A modern version of this approach is found in Oppenheim’s International Law: Ninth Edition, 1991, p. 412 (emphasis added):
The development of the law, particularly in the light of more recent state practice, in the 150 years since the Caroline incident suggests that action, even if it involves the use of armed force and the violation of another state’s territory, can be justified as self defence under international law where
- an armed attack is launched, or is immediately threatened, against a state’s territory or forces (and probably its nationals);
- there is an urgent necessity for defensive action against that attack;
- there is no practicable alternative to action in self-defence, and in particular another state or other authority which has the legal powers to stop or prevent the infringement does not, or cannot, use them to that effect;
- the action taken by way of self-defence is limited to what is necessary to stop or prevent the infringement, i.e. to the needs of defence…
Now, what little I can add to this discussion is mostly related to the cowboy/”close enough”/”we don’t need no steenkeeng badges” mentality of Buscheney and their monarchical justifier David Addington. Basically, they don’t care whether or not the standard of the charter is met. They just want to be able to make some gesture, something that can be seized upon by Rush Limbaugh, Bill Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Bill O’Reilly, John Gibson, Charles Krauthammer, and the rest of the 24 hour propaganda team and spit out as “we tried it their way…”, “they (the UN) don’t follow their own rules”, “it was self defense”, etc etc.
Now, this self defense line rationalization has run into a bit of reality, as Iran is demanding to see the evidence of its interference in Iraq:
Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi Qomi on Tuesday called on US to submit to the Iraqi government any available document that may prove Iran’s interference in the country’s affairs not included in Iran-Iraq agreement, rather than raising empty charges against Iranians.In an exclusive interview with IRNA reporter, he severely denied the US accusations that Iranian forces are involved in illegal activities in Iraq before noon on Sunday.
The Iranian ambassador to Iraq said that the charges raised by US officials against Iran on various pretexts mainly aim to avoid the situation in which they are currently involved in Iraq,” he added.
Kazemi Qomi called on Iraqi officials to investigate the issue more closely and seek the cause of the country’s domestic problems.
“The question is whether charging a foreign country and introducing it as culprit will solve the problems facing Iraq or should they look for the origin of the issue,” he added.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has decided that the compiled evidence is BS, so far. …a major setback for the mad bombers. And, the National Intelligence estimate seems to pooh-pooh any major Iranian role in the Iraq war, stating that “outside actors” such as Iran and Syria are “not likely to be a major driver of violence or the prospects for stability” in Iraq.
But the neocons will be back…”new intelligence…” And so will I.