are unambiguously defined by international, NOT national law. AC is right and you are wrong. The Nuremberg trials established that invading another country without the go-ahead from the security council is the *supreme* war crime. Issues of collateral damage and civilian casualties are precisely covered by the definition of supreme war crime. Look it up.
USA is bound by this law, which trumps national law, like it or not. Only the US politicians and mass media conspire to hide or gloss over this fact from those who swallow their propaganda unchewed. The typical defense is that such laws undermine US sovereignty, and are therefore worthless, or that the UN is ineffectual (a self-fulfilling prophecy because the USA regularly undermines its authority, and then criticises them for having no authority).
But the fact remains that the USA *is* a signatory of the international law on war crimes, and is therefore bound by it. A congressional vote is irrelevant - or rather, it somehow could make congress accessories to the supreme war crimes of invading Iraq (and Afghanistan). Ask a lawyer.
And it is the USA which has the largest stockpiles of biological weapons. They also have plenty of other WMDs. Does this mean that any other country has the right to invade them? Are you really saying it's legally and/or morally 'right' to invade a country which has WMDs simply because WMD's are dangerous? What about China, or France, or Israel? I believe AC understands the threat very well indeed, and I imagine that he/she correctly estimated the danger from Saddam's WMDs at zero. You, however, are not prepared to hold the USA and other coalition countries to the same standards you wish to impose on other countries. This is pure hypocrisy.
We now know that Saddam had no WMDs, exactly as the UN weapons inspectors told us at the time. Clearly, they know their business, but the US media exposed Hans Brix and others to ridicule and character assasination. But the weapons inspectors were *right*. They did their job properly and reported the truth in their findings repeatedly before the war began. Many of us suspected it back then, and we went on the streets to demonstrate about it. Even the CIA knew it, and were forced to provide hokey 'evidence' for Colin Powell's shameful and dishonest speech to the security council. Dozens of CIA employees have since resigned over this heinous travesty of their skilled and difficult work.
And the idea that the Americans 'fell for it' is disingenuous in the extreme:
The *American* CIA spooks and the *American* military knew Saddam had no WMDs, but Bush/Cheney insisted on evidence. The CIA were obliged to turn over whatever junk evidence they had - evidence that they *knew* to be pure fabrication. The CIA repeatedly told the Bush administration that there was nothing but junk evidence about WMDs or any connection between Saddam and Al Qaida, so Bush/Cheney stepped up the waterboarding until they got some 'operationally useful' confessions - i.e. junk evidence from the mouths of enemy combatants, rather than the fictions of CIA spooks.
It is not difficult to find the statements of ex-CIA employees or ex US-military personnel who have gone on record with their grievances about this, but I suspect you are not interested in looking for data which undermines your views, and would rather echo the mountains of propaganda which supports them.
It was junk evidence, commissioned by the Bush/Cheney administration which ordinary Americans were 'taken in' by, Bush/Cheney's own propaganda, cynically and intensively peddled by Murdoch and others.
I find it quite extraordinary that you, or anyone else, attempts to play the WMD card, as a post facto justification for the Iraq war, as it has been so thoroughly and extensively debunked, so often, that surely only the most gullible and naive still believe in it. Even Tony Blair has stopped using it as an excuse. It makes you, Mr Gumby, come across as a gullible fool which can't be entirely true. Of course there are still people that still believe the sun goes around the earth, which I also find extraordinary. I am sure they are not complete fools either.
You wrote something sarcastic about letting the facts get in the way.
I ask without sarcasm: How do *you* rationalise ignoring these facts?