Posted on 11/03/03 in Peace & Conflicts
The US has brought no evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Eleven weeks of inspections by the United Nations have still not brought any evidence, either. At the same time the unholy warmonger trinity, the US, UK and Australia, keep insisting that Iraq destroy its weapons of mass destruction. But when did rationality become a casualty in all this nonsense? How can one destroy something that one does not have? The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz expressed similar incredulity in Rome last week.
Unfortunately this whole debate has taken a black or white spin. No room is left for any greys. As Bush put it, in his usual ineloquent manner, it is a fight of Good against Evil. As time passes it is becoming ever more evident who lies on the Evil side. Many of us have been taught that war is evil. Many in Europe still recall their efforts in stopping another dictator who came to power on his people’s undisputed popular support. Although Bush cannot make such claims (after all the majority of the US electorate rejected Bush in the 2000 elections and anywhere else this would be deemed an undemocratic government), he however does seem to have the support of the majority of American people for the war – 60% in a recent poll. Not so for Blair and Howard who have 75% and 90% of their citizens respectively, opposing the war. At least Blair has recognised this opposition and is insisting in adhering to United Nations procedures. But Howard seems to be totally oblivious!
One reason President Bush recently gave the world for an attack on Iraq was, believe it or not, that he was getting impatient. Yes, President Bush is getting impatient, so we should brace ourselves for war!
Of course Bush is getting impatient. The support of the Americans for this war is declining as more cases of the administration’s fabrications come to light, and as people become aware of the underlying agenda.
Ralph Nader, the Greens’ US Presidential candidate in 2000, and currently the US Greens’leader, did not pull any punches when he accused the Bush administration of wanting to wage a war for its oil interests. In a recent statement he said: “The connections between the Bush administration and the oil industry are clear and pervasive. A remarkable 41 members of the administration have ties to the industry, and both the President and the Vice President are both former oil executives. National Security Adviser Condaleeza Rice is a former director of Chevron. President Bush took more than $1.8 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries in the 2000 election. The Bush people and the oil moguls do agree with one another in part because they are one another.”
Nader goes on to blame the US administration’s energy policy as it casts a growing dependency on oil as an inevitability, recommending “that the President make energy security a priority of our trade and foreign policy.”
He adds: “The energy situation we have now is precarious. The United States currently consumes 19.5 million barrels a day, or 26% of daily global oil consumption. With just 2% of the world’s proven reserves, the U.S. imports 9.8 million barrels a day, or more than half the oil we consume. Instead of remedying this dangerous dependence with increased fuel efficiency standards and other efficiency measures, the Vice President’s national energy strategy propels the country down an even more perilous road that it says will require 17 million barrels of imports a day by 2020, lining the pockets of multinational oil companies while polluting the environment and committing the United States military to continued international hostilities.”
Even the little evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or its links with Al Qaeda, that the US has said it has, have turned out to be fabrications. The meeting between an Iraqi intelligence agent and Al Qaeda operative Muhammad Atta, ringleader of the 9/11 terror attacks, which allegedly occurred in Prague in April 2001, was a fabrication. The story that the aluminium tubes Iraq attempted to import were headed for its nuclear program was also a fabrication. Even American scientists and officials have admitted that the tubes were more suited to conventional weapons production.
This of course is in line with previous patterns of deceit by the US Republican administrations. The story of the babies in Kuwaiti hospitals being pulled out of incubators on Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was also a fabrication in preparation for Bush senior’s 1991 war on Iraq. The woman that gave evidence on these alleged events was not a hospital staff in any Kuwaiti hospital, as was claimed, but was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in the US. She was trained by a US marketing firm to give a convincing performance!
How can anyone believe anything that the US brings as evidence, anymore ?
France, Russia, China, Germany, and Belgium are among the countries that actively opposing the war on Iraq. France, Russia, and China’s opposition is particularly important since all three hold veto power within the Security Council. If any one of them, let alone all three, votes against UN sanctioned military action on Iraq, the US will have only one road open to it if it wants to persist in this madness – unilateral attack on Iraq without UN sanction, possibly aided by the UK and Australia.
France, Germany and Belgium’s resistance is also significant in terms of their membership in NATO. They have been resisting the deployment of military equipment to Turkey, in case it is attacked by Iraq. NATO was formed with the principle that an attack on one is an attack on all. However this was understood to be for defensive purposes. Since Turkey is allowing the US the use of bases on Turkish soil to launch its attack on Iraq, Turkey automatically becomes an accomplice in the aggression. Therefore an attack on Turkey by Iraq defending itself does not qualify for the automatic activation of the NATO treaty.
I must be clear, at this juncture, that the global anti-war movement is not anti-American people but anti-American policy, specifically the policy of the Bush administration. I must also point out that the opposition is not only to the war in Iraq, but also towards the US refusal to ratify important UN conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change, the ban on the use of land mines – anything, it seems, that is progressive and that contributes to world peace!
It seems that the Republicans in government are totally uncomfortable in a peaceful world. They have to invent a war. Early on in his administration, Bush had his sights on China, and the world was bracing itself for a US/China showdown. Then 9/11 came along and, like a Presidential character in a Hollywood movie, and seemingly overwhelmed by his own importance, Bush declared his war on terrorism. The Democrats lost the plot and the Senate gave him overwhelming powers. Afghanistan was attacked, thousands of people killed and hundreds of prisoners taken and held in violation of their rights. This from the country that poses as the human rights policeman! Then his sights turned to his father’s unfinished business in Iraq. Now there’s talk of dealing with Iran. And of course there’s North Korea, which has blatantly withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (and therefore there are much stronger grounds for military intervention there). One wonders who is next? When will the US warmongers be satisfied?
In the meantime Israel, which has repeatedly, blatantly and consistently defied UN resolutions, is never dealt with. Of course the Muslim communities are getting frustrated! Why does the UN so readily deal with US’s foes but not its friends? Why are those innocent victims killed in the twin towers in New York accorded the recognition they truly deserve, but the thousands killed in the Palestinian struggle still await justice.
The global community is too aware and educated now, to allow the perpetuation of these double standards. Far too often the US has been allowed to apply two weights and two measures in its foreign relations, whether this is in matters of trade liberalisation, military affairs or human rights issues. The world seems to be saying: “No more”. And not a moment too soon!
I now recall Francoise Ducros, the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s communications director who came to fame for calling Bush “a moron”. She was sacked for that comment, but how right she was! Unfortunately Bush cannot be sacked and he still remains the world’s most powerful leader.