Your Lying Eyes

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06 June 2006

On To Iran

David Rifkin and Lee Casey in today's WaPo, on A Legal Case Against Iran:
When a clear threat to peace arises, it is incumbent upon the Security Council to act in defense of the threatened party to head off the unilateral use of force and to advance "collective security." This imperative is particularly compelling when the very legitimacy of the threatened party and its right to independent national existence have been challenged. Such a challenge goes beyond the violation of Article 2.4 and raises the specter of the most heinous international crimes, including genocide.
In 2002, the same duo in the WSJ's OpinionJoural on how We Have the Right To Oust Saddam:
Moreover, separate from Saddam's past regional misdeeds--and even assuming that he had no involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks--his dedicated efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, combined with his open hostility towards the U.S. and its allies, would alone justify American military action against Iraq. Under the international law doctrine of "anticipatory self-defense," states may take preemptive action against an enemy before an actual attack.
Now I realize that they're lawyers, and in the court a lawyer is not obliged to refrain from reusing a previous argument even if it ended up a loser. But as pundits wouldn't even a speck of humility chasten them from goading us into attacking Iran? They don't think to themselves - or discuss among themselves - about how Iraq ended up not having any WMD, how they obviously weren't involved in 9/11 or with Al Qaeda, and how the war has ended up one big f-ing mess, and maybe they might not want to get all self-confidently hawkish on Iran? I guess not.

8 Comments:

Anonymous gcochran said...

Don't forget how those vicious Iranians destroyed a couple of our precious ground-to-air missiles with their Airbus back in 1988. I remember seeing the pictures of the kids' bodies floating in the water: we gave the commander of the Vincennes a medal.
Why the fuck did we give him a medal?

June 07, 2006 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't been paying attention to the news for quite a while, but could we not back Iran's neighbor. I think Saddam's Iraq would be happy to be the United State's muscle in the region with all the weapons and help that come with that.
And our relationship would give us a base to see that accidents befall some of the more blood thirsty members of Saddam's family i.e., Uday and Qusay. And if the humanitarian urge strikes, one day we could pull the rug out on Saddam, replacing him with a general.
I realize this strategy is somewhat interventionist, but the alternative could be worse, oh so much worse.
Steve N.

June 07, 2006 2:29 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

I assume we gave him the medal so he wouldn't feel so bad. Imagine, one minute you've killed got the blood of 300 civilians, women, and children because you choked under pressure, and the next minute you're getting a medal - must do wonders for the spirit. If it were seagulls and otters, that would be an entirely different matter.

June 07, 2006 7:50 AM  
Anonymous gcochran said...

But back to the lawyers: you know, maybe the best course is give these guys exactly what they want. If we occupy Iran in the same efficient and decisive way we've occupied Iraq, our armed forces might eventually learn valuable lessons about lawyers - particularly lawyers like these guys - and apply those lessons.
The associated costs and oppobrium may end the US as a superpower, but it just might be worth it.

June 07, 2006 11:29 AM  
Anonymous daveg said...

The translation of "wiped off the map" has been debunked.

Juancole

These guys should be taken to task for continuing to use it.

June 07, 2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

More evidence that the "wiped off the map" translation is bogus here.

June 07, 2006 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

You know the old joke, "I had lunch with my lawyer today and I have good news & bad news. The good news is that it appears I'll win my case."
"What's the bad news?"
"I had lunch with a lawyer."
Rehashing old arguments is primarily what lawyers do. They rely on previous cases and rarely take original, thought provoking positions on things. Ziel and I (and the rest of CAAC)are aware of one notable exception, of course, out on the Left Coast.
As I've said before in related columns, just the idea that we might consider military action against Iran is so absurd that a discussion of same is, in my mind, not a worthy intellectual pursuit. It would be a failure on every level. There would be no international support, the American public would never get behind it, we can afford it either from a financial or manpower perspective and we have no chance of accomplishing our goals. If Bush were to make a decision to pursue military action against Iran, spurred on by Dumbsfeld (who I doubt has much juice these days), my view of his IQ would drop below zero. Leave it to the U.N. and, ultimately, Isreal. Of course, if Isreal is attacked, we have an obligation to assist them and it would legitimize (in many people's minds) our involvement.
I think Iraq is plenty big enough for us to waste every last dollar we have, kill our kids and commit all the atrocities we need to for the next decade or so. No need to franchise our military-industrial complex further.

June 09, 2006 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

Obviously, 3rd paragraph should read "we can't afford", not "we can afford".
Sorry. And I just started on my brews.

June 09, 2006 6:51 PM  

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