With the United States' actions in invading Iraq, without U.N. approval, other states now have a strong precedent to go interfering with each other and ignoring the wishes of the international community. After all, the United States did it, and what's good for the U.S. should be good for all. As a result, we are starting to see simmering international conflicts beginning to boil, with only ourselves and the precedent set in 2002 to blame. Let's look at that precedent, from the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq:
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;It is breathtaking to see there, in U.S. Law, the sheer mass of false assumptions and misdirection used to justify the invasion. We now know that there was no al Quaeda in Iraq until after the U.S. invaded and there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;
Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself; - Congressional Joint Resolution, 2002
The other rationalizations for the invasion cited above are equally frightening as precedents. Attempted assassination as a justification for destruction of a regime? This means that Cuba is justified in attacking and destroying the U.S. government for trying to assassinate Fidel Castro in the 1960s. How about capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction? No one doubts that nuclear weapons are included in this category, and only one nation has ever used nuclear weapons. Again, this justifies other nations invading the U.S. and destroying our government.
The reason that this is significant today, six years after the fact, is that the world has started down the path of "justified" interference, America just hasn't noticed yet. Witness the military excursions in Latin America, justified by the potential threats from within neighboring countries.
The Colombian government said on Sunday it had been necessary for Colombian troops to enter Ecuador for a military operation during which it killed a top FARC guerrilla commander.This invasion of another nation justified by the presence of a terrorist in that neighboring nation is a logical outcome of the U.S. Iraq precedent, and it is escalating tensions in the region.
Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo said in a televised statement that it had been "indispensable" for Colombian troops to enter Ecuadorean territory during the bombing raid on Saturday to kill Raul Reyes, a leader of Marxist FARC rebels.
In response to the incursion, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa sent troops to the Colombian border and expelled Colombia's ambassador on Sunday. - Reuters, March 2, 2008
President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela said on Sunday that Colombia would be inviting war if it carried out an incursion in Venezuela similar to the one on Saturday in a remote Amazonian province of Ecuador that killed 21 guerrillas.Or perhaps you prefer another classic example from the past month.
In the mounting diplomatic crisis, Mr. Chávez has called Colombia the “Israel of Latin America” saying both countries bombed and invaded neighbors by invoking “a supposed right to defense” that he said was ordered by the United States. He has expelled Colombia’s ambassador. His agriculture minister said Tuesday that the frontier with Colombia would be closed to commerce. - The New York Times, March 5, 2008
Turkey's military said it had sent ground troops into northern Iraq Thursday night in an operation aimed at weakening Kurdish militants there, the first confirmed ground incursion since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.In all cases, the presence of terrorists - as defined by the invading nation - was used as precedent for invasion of another nation. These justifications trend towards the absurd, as it is very easy to define anyone you do not like as a terrorist, then because they're somewhere, invade. It is not a far leap from there to the opposition to an invasion making you a terrorist, and then the invasion of your territory becomes ipso faction justified because you opposed it in the first place. Yes, it sounds absurd, but any more absurd than a Vice-President who is not actually part of any branch of government?
The military said on its website that troops would "return as soon as planned goals are achieved." The reason for the operation, it said, was to "prevent the region from being a permanent and safe base for the terrorists." - The New York Times, February 22, 2008
These are the fruits of seven years of cowboy government. It is quite a mess our next President is going to have to clean up.