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G.W. Bush's War in Iraq is Not only Illegal Under International Law - It is Inherently Criminal

This week, G.W. Bush scoffed at UN Secretary Kofi Annan's declaration that the war against Iraq, founded on false evidence and prosecuted without provocation, was illegal. But Kofi Annan was not stating his own opinion - he was merely reasserting the prevailing opinion that has been the guiding rule of global law pertaining to war since World War II. In fact, it was an American chief justice who perhaps framed it the most eloquently and powerfully.

In 1945 the the top US. prosecutor representing the United States at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals, Chief Justice Robert H. Jackson made a declaration that left little doubt where he would have stood on G.W. Bush's war were he alive today.

"Any resort to war--to any kind of war--is a resort to means that are inherently criminal. War inevitably is a course of killings, assaults, deprivations of liberty, and destruction of property. An honestly defensive war is, of course, legal, and saves those conducting it from criminality. But inherently criminal acts cannot be defended by showing that those who committed them were engaged in a war, when war itself is illegal."

For Bush to continue to defend his decisions not only places the US apart from our oldest, most valued allies, it aligns us with the very regimes - Hitler's included - that the civilized world reviles.