While there are a number of reasons that the war was against several aspects of international, U.S., and U.K. law, I thought I should take a moment to point out the reason it was illegal according to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, because that resolution is by far the favorite defense of the war employed by the White House, Blair, and the right-wing blogosphere.
Please read on....
10. Requests all Member States to give full support to UNMOVIC and the IAEA in the discharge of their mandates....
Since Russia, France, and China threatned a veto of any resolution permitting the use of force against Iraq, the coalition never requested such authorization from the Security Council.
Please remember this the next time you have the opportunity to debate the point. The question to ask is: Why would the vague "serious consequences" threatened in Resolution 1441 take precidence over the explicit requirements to support UNMOVIC's and IAEA's access, freedom of movement, and mandate to complete their inspections?
It should also be pointed out that the U.N. inspectors were essentially sucessful in their mission, as there were no weapons of mass destruction Iraq, after all. Also, in the weeks before and up until the day they were forced out, they were in the process of destroying several dozen missles which were found to be disallowed because they had maximum ranges slightly above what Iraq was allowed. It is not as if the inspectors were ineffective in any way.
They say hindsight is always 20/20, but the illegality of the war was plain as day to Bush, Blair, and everyone who might have read Resolution 1441 well in advance of the invasion. Don't let anyone get away with saying anything to the contrary.
This has been a public service announcement.