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Did The War Against Iraq Fulfil The Criteria For A Legitimate Use Of Force Under The 'humanitarian Intervention' Doctrine

1073 words - 4 pages

I believe that the coalitions invasion of Iraq, was not justified on the basis that it did not fulfil the circumstances which justify the doctrine of humanitarian intervention.The use of force against one state by another under article 2(4) of the UN Charter is expressly prohibited, however, it is argued that humanitarian intervention is a justifiable exception to this article (p190, r4.10). The argument that humanitarian intervention constitutes a justifiable exception to the UN charter rests the fulfilment of the following legitimate criteria:1) The circumstances which necessitate intervention should be limited to protecting the most fundamental human right; the right to life.2) The necessity to intervene arises only where all other peaceful measures are exhausted (p190, r4.10).3) The intervention is welcomed by the population of the state whose rights are being violated (p192, r4.11).4) The intervention and the level of force used must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted on the citizens of the state being invaded (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/DeakinLRev/2003/7.html). Thus the cure must not be worse than the disease.5) A state using force and occupying another state must not profit from such intervention (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/DeakinLRev/2003/7.html).Given these conditional principles, one must ultimately ask what was the primary reason for the invasion of Iraq? The coalition that the overarching reason for their invasion of Iraq was the prevention of Saddam Hussein from using weapons of mass destruction. However this reason appears superficial in light of a failure to locate any such weapons. Also given the fact that foreign states invaded Iraq, it is difficult to conceive of another hypothetical situation, which would justify the use weapons of mass destruction against invading states (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/DeakinLRev/2003/7.html), of which did not occur.Although other reasons were implied for the need to invade Iraq (one of which was to liberate the Iraqi people from an oppressive regime), the express justification given by the coalition does not fulfil the threshold condition of protection of human life.However disregarding the satisfaction of the threshold condition, the coalition also did not attempt any real exhaustion of other peaceful resolutions although the coalition did attempt to receive the approval of the UN.In regards to abiding by international law, President Bush argued, "we really don't need anybody's permission" to invade Iraq (The Center for Economic and Social Rights Emergency Campaign on Iraq, 'Tearing up the Rules: The illegality of Invading Iraq', March 2003, New York). This conviction clearly illustrates the state of mind of the coalition and a belief that the sticking of the umbrella label of humanitarian intervention (which may only imply a motive for invasion on humanitarian grounds) justifies a use of force.As to whether the intervention was welcomed by the Iraqi...

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