- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 15, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Contrary to allegations of choice, the United Nations and Congress mandated the Iraq war, which began in 1991, not 2003.

After Saddam Hussein’s forces were expelled from Kuwait, Saddam was granted a unilateral cease-fire by U.N. Resolution 687. Allegedly, war resumed based on possession of weapons of mass destruction. Actually, the cease-fire terminated because Saddam behaved in material breach of international obligations as specified in Resolution 687 and reaffirmed by Resolution 1441. Possessing stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction was nowhere mentioned in 1991, 1998 or 2002 congressional resolutions, or in U.N. Resolutions 678, 687 or 1441.

Threatening, evasive or intimidating behavior was always the key. Saddam was to unconditionally accept destruction or removal of all stocks and programs for WMDs and for all missiles with a range greater than 150 miles. He was enjoined from committing, supporting or providing safe haven for international terrorism. President George H.W. Bush, the United Nations and President Clinton ignored continuous material breaches. Inspectors resorted to surveillance and investigation to destroy material and programs until Saddam expelled them in 1998.

These resolutions were not cobbled together like a junior high school term paper. Diplomats and politicians parsed each phrase. The United Nations‘ ultimatum in Resolutions 678 and 1441 authorized invading Iraq to disarm Saddam’s regime through military operations in order “to restore international peace and security in the area.” This language mirrored U.N. and congressional precedent from North Korea’s crossing of the 38th Parallel.

The Security Council and Congress understood that further material breaches required ending the cease-fire and resuming the war authorized by Resolution 678.

NOLAN NELSON

Eugene, Ore.


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