Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Dutch Inquiry: Iraq war had no legal mandate
The BBC reports:
An inquiry into the Netherlands' support for the invasion of Iraq says it was not justified by UN resolutions.
The Dutch Committee of Inquiry on Iraq said UN Security Council resolutions did not "constitute a mandate for... intervention in 2003".
The inquiry was launched after foreign ministry memos were leaked that cast doubt on the legal basis for the war.
The Netherlands gave political support to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but had no military role.
The report demolishes the Dutch case for supporting the invasion, says the BBC's Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond.
It could also be taken to reinforce the international case against the Iraq war, he says.
In the First Post, Robert Fox writes:
While he (Alistair Campbell), was protesting that Tony Blair, honourable as Brutus, acted with the deepest sincerity and the best of intentions, a high-powered inquiry headed by a former Dutch supreme court judge, Willlibrord Davids, reported that the Netherlands and its allies had no excuse under any interpretation of international law for going to war in Iraq in March 2003.
This is the third inquest into the Netherlands' participation in the Iraq war in 2003; though the Dutch didn't join the invasion, they sent troops in support and to help with the occupation. This is the harshest judgment of the Iraq war so far, and comes from a legal system and tradition of men like Hugo Grotius, a founding father of the modern concept
Of course, the Dutch inquiry only confirms what those of us who opposed the war have maintained all along: that the war had no legal basis. But it strengthens even further the case for bringing those responsible for the crime of the century to justice.
What on earth are we waiting for?