Illegal Wars

The one-sided relentlessness of major U.S. news media must be countered by librarians working to develop all sides of issues relating to the war in Iraq. Two items that belong in libraries to balance the war drums are Michael Mandel's book and the Johns Hopkins study on Iraqi dead.

Michael Mandel,
How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity. London and Ann Arbor, Pluto Press, 2004. Through a thorough exploration of the recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, and the attempts of the US to legitimise them, Michael Mandel casts a critical eye on the claims the US makes for its wars – "humanitarian intervention" and "self-defence" – and unpacks the complex moral and legal issues underpinning recent US military action. Michael Mandel shows how international law is a malleable entity which the US can bend in its favour, but even then there are many times when it goes against the law and fights wars illegally. (Amazon )

When George Bush was planning to visit Canada in November 2004 Michael Mandel wrote to Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, alleging Bush had committed the Nuremberg Tribunal's "Supreme International Crime" by waging an aggressive war against Iraq in defiance of international law and the United Nations Charter.

Over 100,000 Iraqis have died in this war according to a study,
"Mortality Before and After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq," carried out by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in collaboration with the College of Medicine at Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. Results were reported in the October 29, 2004 online edition of The Lancet.