Invasion of Iraq was legal but of Quesionable Legitimacy
Saddam Hussein's Iraq had been a thorn in the eye of the United States since the days of Bill Clinton. The U.S. Administration advocated regime change prior to George W. Bush's arrival on the scene. The question was how to go about it.
Under George W. Bush this regime change became reality with the invasion of Iraq and subsequent removal, trial and execution of Saddam Hussein.
An inquiry by the British Parliament is now investigating the legality of this war, particularly Britain's involvement.
The former British Ambassador to to the United Nations, Jeremy Greenstock, stated that the "Iraq war was legal but of questionable legitimacy". He said that the UN had not voted to support it.
According to Greenstock, the UN favoured to wait until October 2003 before resorting to force. France had proposed a three to four months ultimatum and and Saudi Arabia and other Arab states were interested in working to get Saddam Hussein to go into exile.
He said the military wanted to get on with it and the U.S. did not want to start and operation in the summer months.
When asked if the military tail was wagging the diplomatic dog, Greenstock said "Yes of course"
The March 2003 military invasion of Iraq was "legal but of questionable legitimacy" because the U.N. Security Council had not voted to support it, a former top British diplomat said last week at a parliamentary inquiry examining Britain's role in the war.
Jeremy Greenstock, the British ambassador to the United Nations from 1998 to 2003, told the inquiry that he had favored waiting until October 2003 before resorting to force. He said the French in March were proposing a three- to four-month ultimatum to Baghdad, and the Saudis and other Arab governments were interested in working to get Saddam Hussein to go into exile.
But, he said, "the soldiers probably wanted to get on with it," and the United States "did not want to start a military operation in the summer months."
Asked whether he thought "the military tail was wagging the diplomatic dog," Greenstock answered, "Yes, of course."