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Disarmament of Iraq

The United States in 2002 restated its resolve to force Iraq to rid itself of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In January 2003, 8 of America's European allies, called by the Bush administration as the "coalition of the willing," issued a strong statement supporting this resolve: Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Portugal.

Iraq has repeatedly asserted that it no longer has WMD, and president Saddam Hussein has opined that America merely wants Iraq's oil so it can gain control over the Middle East.

The United Nation[?]'s arms control inspectors, headed by Hans Blix, have rejected Iraq's claim and agreed with the US claim, that "many proscribed weapons and items are not accounted for." Additionally, Blix expressed skepticism over Iraq's claims to have destroyed its stockpiles of anthrax and VX nerve agent in Time magazine. Blix said he found it "a bit odd" that Iraq, with "one of the best-organized regimes in the Arab world," would claim to have no records of the destruction of these illegal substances. "I don't see that they have acquired any credibility," Blix said. "There has to be solid evidence of everything, and if there is not evidence, or you can't find it, I simply say, 'Sorry, I don't find any evidence,' and I cannot guarantee or recommend any confidence."

There were several sorts of opposition to the US plan to disarm Iraq by force. Many individual countries, and the majority of members of the UN Security Council, opposed the US plan to invade Iraq, saying that the US invasion would be illegal, since it would not be done with international approval as required by international law. Some claim though that this action could be taken under the Charter of the United Nations with Security Council approval. However, it has long been an established principle of international law that it is illegal for one country to make an unprovoked attack on another: that is, an attack that is not in self-defence, and a country claiming self-defence must do so in response to an actual invasion, or, in the opinion of most commentators, in response to an imminent attack. To most, Iraq was not planning any imminent attack against the U.S. or a third country that the U.S. might help by collective self-defence (The United States has never claimed it was).

Some churches have also opposed the US plan, notably the Unification Church of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, as well as the Vatican and Pope John Paul II.

See also

U.S. plan to invade Iraq, Support and opposition for the U.S. plan to invade Iraq

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