Illegal Detentions and Aggression

Ciara Gilmartin, the Security Council Program Coordinator at the Global Policy Forum in New York, recently wrote a piece for Foreign Policy in Focus titled The ‘Surge’ of Iraqi Prisoners.

Amid all the talk about the U.S. military "surge" in Iraq, little has been said about the accompanying "surge" of Iraqi prisoners, whose numbers rose to nearly 51,000 at the end of 2007.

This is another damning statistic about the war that largely goes ignored.

How many of our victims are we holding prisoner because they dare to use their legal right to resist our aggression? That is right. Iraqis have a legal right to resist our aggression.

In Chapter 7, Article 51 of the UN Charter it clearly states that:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.

It is this very chapter and article that we, the U.S., have violated by attacking Iraq. Iraq did not attack us and the UN Security Council did not authorize us to use force, and since we are a signatory of the UN Charter this makes our violation a constitutional violation since Article 6 of our constitution states that "all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land."

This is aggression and our victims have "the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence." We have been illegally holding tens of thousands of them prisoners to deny them this right and to further our aggression against them.

We must blame our leaders for issuing unlawful orders just like we must blame our soldiers for following unlawful orders but we, the citizens of this free country, must take responsibility for allowing these unlawful orders to be carried out in our name. And beyond blame we must also do something about it.

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