The recent US led invasion of Iraq without any United Nation's mandate clearly demonstrates, and will be proved in the course of the essay, that at least so far as international law is concerned, might is synonymous to right.

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The recent US led invasion of Iraq without any United Nation's mandate clearly demonstrates, and will be proved in the course of the essay, that at least so far as international law is concerned, might is synonymous to right.

This essay shall first demonstrate as to how the US-led war against Iraq can be debated as an illegal war and how did the attacking States violate the United Nations Charter and other international treaties and institutions. The relevant features of the Charter have been used to make the foundation of a legal argument. Secondly, it will highlight the adverse impact on the 'Rule of Law'. It will then show how the 'rule of fist' is proving to be the governing factor in international law and how it sets itself as a unilateralist approach for conducting various external affairs.

The preamble of the United Nations Charter expresses a determination 'to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war', 'to practise tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours', 'to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security', and to ensure 'that armed forces shall not be used, save in the common interest'. This charter provides the guidelines to the use of force in international law.

Any state which considers using force against another State with the aim of restoring international peace and obtaining adherence to Security Council decisions requires a UN Security Council resolution. In situations where a State has failed to meet the requirements of Security Council resolutions, they cannot take any action to resolve the matter, the sole right of taking an action remains in the hands of the Security Council.

According to the Charter, there are only two situations in which one State can legally use force against another:

) In individual or collective self-defence (a right under international law, in Article 51 of the Charter).

(2) In accordance to a UN Security Council resolution, if asked to do so.

United States of America claims the Iraqi Government to have links with Al-Qaeda and as a potential threat to international security and peace. Having no proof or any substantial evidence to back its allegation, Iraq cannot be considered to be a threat as it has not attacked any country neither it is preparing for a war against any country. "The United States intends to invade Iraq, with or without a resolution," said Iraqi Culture Minister Hamed Yusef Hammadi. 1

The United States of America led war against Iraq was motivated firstly, for the destruction and declaration of weapons of mass destruction which included biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, which Iraq was alleged to be possessing. Secondly, bring about a change in the political leadership of Iraq. The justification given to the aggression by the United States was based on self-defence (referred to Article 51 of the UN Charter) and the aggression by the US was an action of defence against armed attacks by hostile forces.

"The USA cannot claim justification under this article, by way of self-defence, as the right to pre-emptive self defence is unrecognized in international law. In 1981 the UN Security Council condemned Israel unanimously for destroying the Iraqi nuclear power plants in Tuweitha. It described this action as a violation of international law, and ruled that no State had a right to pre-emptive self defence. Five years later the UN condemned the USA for bombing Tripoli as revenge for the attack on the West Berlin discotheque La Belle, describing it as a violation of international law. At that time the USA for the first time tried to justify their air strike as being 'preventive defence against terrorism'. Such so called preventive defence actions are regarded as aggressive actions in international law. A war would mean a grave violation of international law, in particular of Article 2.4 and Article 39 of the United Nations Charter."2
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In Resolution 1441, passed November 8, 2003, the Security Council will "convene consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security," if Iraq fails to comply with the guidelines of the inspection team. The resolution further reads, "The Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations." A majority of the Security Council Members believed that 'serious consequences' referred to the UN taking action, largely abiding to the rule of ...

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