Chapter

Iraq and the Serious Consequences of Word Games<sup>†</sup>

Craig M. Scott

in Comparative Law as Transnational Law

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199795208
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919307 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795208.003.0038
Iraq and the Serious Consequences of Word Games†

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This chapter seeks to lay bare what is stake with respect to Security Council Resolution textual semantics, in light of the interplay over the past decade between resolutions that involved a hybrid warning-threat discourse of “serious consequences” and aerial bombardments by the U.S. (along with the UK, and, on at least one occasion, France itself) of Iraq in 1993, 1997, and 1998. After showing what the serious consequences of serious consequences could be, it argues that, since Security Council texts are not all-governing, but instead are located in a web of associated interpretive signals, it is crucial for key states to delegitimize U.S. claims that the UN has endorsed the American war agenda by going on record with their interpretations of what the resolution does not permit.

Keywords: United States; United Nations Security Council; textual semantics; Iraq; serious consequences

Chapter.  6907 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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