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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 October 26 - November 1  > Were the wars to overturn Iraqi and Libyan gov’ts legitimate?
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2011 October 26 - November 1 [WORLD]

Were the wars to overturn Iraqi and Libyan gov’ts legitimate?

October 31, 2011
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

U.S. President Barack Obama declared that he will remove U.S. troops from Iraq within this year and that NATO has virtually ended its military operations in Libya.

Both Hussein and Qaddafi maintained undemocratic regimes in Iraq and Libya, respectively, suppressing citizens with an iron fist.

Nevertheless, to overturn these governments with foreign military forces is against the U.N. Charter as it obliges nations to work for a peaceful solution to disputes and prohibits the use of force, except in self-defense.

The United States, however, launched the Iraqi War eight and half years ago without U.N. Security Council approval, and invaded Iraq to topple the Hussein regime over the international community’s strong opposition.

Regarding the NATO War in Libya, the UNSC in March adopted a resolution approving “every measure” to “protect” the Libyan citizens who were suffering under the oppressive rule of Qaddafi. Five member states in the UNSC, namely China, Russia, Brazil, Germany, and India, abstained from voting on the resolution.

The U.N. Charter disallows its member states from interfering in the domestic affairs of other nations unless the situation involves aggression or poses a threat to international peace.

Therefore, the UNSC resolution on Libya cannot be seen as an endorsement of the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime.

The experience in Iraq and Libya has reminded the international community of the importance of the U.N. Charter requiring all members to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and refrain from the threat or the use of force.

Even though the world cannot prevent disputes, it can prevent the disputes from developing into wars. To this end, we must make use of all the wisdom contained in the U.N. Charter and act accordingly!
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