News Release

* Is Annexation of Crimea Legal? * Contrast with Iraq War

JOHN QUIGLEY, Quigley.2 at osu.edu
Professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley dealt with the Crimea issue following the breakup of the USSR, at the request of the U.S. Department of State, which was working through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on the issue. He recently wrote the piece “Finding a Way Forward for Crimea,” for the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law. He said today: “Crimea’s affiliation with Russia is legitimate. There were issues with the referendum, but the referendum is a fair representation of the will of the people living in Crimea, who have sought since the mid-1990s to sever their connection with Ukraine. The International Court of Justice said a few years ago in regard to the declaration of independence of Kosovo from Serbia that international law does not prohibit a declaration of independence by a segment of a state’s territory. In exercise of the right of self-determination, the people of Crimea can decide on their political status.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press: 1999). He said today: “U.S. officials are condemning Russia for annexing Crimea after a referendum. I personally thought Russia should not annex Crimea, but it’s ludicrous for U.S. officials to be attacking Russia’s actions. Consider their record in backing bombings in Libya, assassination by drones in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere and, perhaps most notably, aggressive war in Iraq — which began 11 years ago this week.”

Background:

JOHN McCAIN: Voted for the Iraq war. “I believe that we can win an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time.” (Sept 29, 2002, CNN); “The American people … were led to believe that this would be some kind of a day at the beach which many of us, fully understood from the very beginning would be a very, very difficult undertaking.” (Aug. 22, 2006, CNN).

JOHN KERRY: Voted for the 2002 authorization for the Iraq war. Stated at the time: “Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don’t even try? … According to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons … Iraq is developing unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents…” (Oct. 9, 2002)

JOSEPH BIDEN: Voted in 2002 to authorize the invasion of Iraq. In his floor speech at the time he claimed: “[Saddam Hussein] possesses chemical and biological weapons and is seeking nuclear weapons.” As then-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he oversaw hearings which excluded former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and other individuals who where highly critical of claims regarding Iraq’s alleged possessions of weapons of mass destruction.

HILLARY CLINTON: Voted for the 2002 authorization for the Iraq war. In her 2002 floor speech, she stated that “intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.” (Oct. 10, 2002)

SUSAN RICE: Before the invasion of Iraq, Rice claimed: “I think he [then Secretary of State Colin Powell] has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.” (Feb. 6, 2003, NPR)