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Thanks again to Rick Rozoff - ' Stop NATO.' http://www.dawn.com/2002/09/18/op.htm#1 Dawn (Pakistan) September 18, 2002 Memo to UN: You're either with us or you're history By Mahir Ali No, the world will never be the same again. The crucial transformation occurred not on September 11, 2001 but on September 12, 2002. That's the day George W. Bush addressed the UN General Assembly. Tony Blair dearly wishes to take credit for the supposed change of heart, although it is more likely to have been prompted by pressure from Colin Powell's State Department as well as the broader Republican establishment. It is being projected as the triumph of multilateralism over unilateralism. That is debatable. It is less inaccurate to interpret it as a last chance. Not for peace, nor for Saddam Hussein's regime, but for the United Nations. The US president could have told the UN: "Look, as you must be aware, we have a problem with this Saddam fella. He used to be our friend once, when he was dedicated mainly to killing Kurds and Iranians, but that was long ago, in Daddy's days. He may have been a bit of an s.o.b. even then, but at least he was our s.o.b. "We gave him arms and encouragement. Our boys were drawing up battle plans for the Iraqis even after Saddam's men were found to have done something very naughty: they actually went and used chemical weapons against their enemies. We were willing to put up with that. But Saddam went just too far when he invaded our good buddies the Kuwaitis. Can you imagine the kind of control that would have given him over the region's oil? Could we tolerate that? Not in a thousand years! "So we had to hit him - hit him hard. And we had to do it before the Iraqis set up a puppet regime in Kuwait and got the hell out of there (just like we had done in Panama). We had to do it before any of the diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis got anywhere. Now, as I'm sure you all know, Dad's a great guy. He was able to set up a diverse coalition that looked really good on paper. He made sure the Security Council passed just the sort of resolution that was required. And we just went in there and sorted this Saddam fella out nice and proper. "But we were generous in victory. In 1991 we didn't think Saddam's overthrow would best serve our interests. So when he lashed out against rebelling Shias and Kurds, we were willing to get out of his way. Apart from everything else, it offered proof of his cruelty."So we got the UN to impose stringent sanctions, and in cooperation with our best friend, the United Kingdom, we kept bombing Iraq bit by bit, compounding it every now and then with a bunch of missiles - such as when Saddam tried to do Daddy in. Can you imagine that! Just who does he think he is? "The weapons inspectors we - I mean the UN - deployed were able to root out most of Iraq's deadliest weapons. But now they haven't been there for five years. Who knows what Saddam has been up to since then? Actually, let me rephrase that: We all know what Saddam's been up to in the interim. Rebuilding his stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, that's what. And one day he may even succeed in getting hold of a nuke. Doesn't the very idea make you wanna puke? "How do we know this? Well, I can't compromise the sources of vital intelligence. You'll just have to believe me. If I can take Dick and Don at their word, you'll just have to extend me the same courtesy. And who will Saddam use these weapons against? Well, I'm sure he holds a grudge against me because of who I am - not just the president of the incomparably beautiful and almighty United States of America but also my father's son. He may also be riled by the fact that all my best men were seconded from Dad's army. And women too - there, Condee, I've said it now. "The only one who's turned out to be a bit of a black sheep - don't get me wrong - is the ultra-cautious Colin Powell. Actually, just between you and me, I think the problem with Colin is that he must have come under communist influence in his youth and, despite his best efforts, has never been able to overcome completely the effects of that brainwashing. Why, I've been told that he proudly admits that his favourite song is We Shall Overcome! Can you believe that? That's a red anthem. I'm sure it's top of the pops in the barracks of Baghdad... Or maybe not. Because Saddam isn't a communist, is he? Actually, who knows? He's never denied that, has he? "Oh, I do wish that Senator Joe McCarthy was still around. I don't know what he would have said about Saddam, but you can bet your life he would have kept Colin out of the State Department. The State Department needs a regime change. But, of course, there's no need to deploy the Pentagon's resources. As befits a loyal retainer, Colin has chosen the path of least resistance and agreed to step aside when the Supreme Court puts me back in the White House in 2004. Now that's what I call democracy. "Would Saddam Hussein be willing to follow suit? Not in a million years. At least I hope not, because that would only complicate our task. See, Dad was able to establish a permanent American presence in the Persian Gulf in 1991. Kuwait was the ideal cue. But that's no longer enough. After 9/11, nothing short of direct control will do - direct control of the oilfields, that is. In the event of unrest or rebellion in Saudi Arabia, our boys are poised to stake their claim. But Iraq is equally vital. And the time to move in is NOW. "Why now? Well, why not? It has to be done sooner or later, and there's no time like the present. We've successfully achieved regime change in Afghanistan - not for the first time, mind you, and perhaps not the last - and we're on a roll. We've gotta follow it up with something bigger and better, and Saddam is... well, he's just there. We've tried our best to establish links between him and Al Qaeda and, believe me, we'll succeed one day. But even if we can't, I'm sure Saddam Hussein was grinning when the Twin Towers were attacked. And that's reason enough to hunt him down as part of our glorious, never-ending war against terror. "I've been told by some of your leaders that we've got to achieve a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians before taking action against Saddam. I categorically reject that linkage. My great friend Ariel Sharon has made it clear that he is with us and against the terrorists. No one can say the same for Yasser Arafat. The Palestinians deserve a regime change, and we could turn our attention to them once we've finished with Iraq. "They also deserve a state, but they keep turning down every decent offer. They want complete sovereignty over an undivided territory, secure borders, the right to trade with anyone they choose, the right to determine their own destiny. Well, they can dream on. "I've been told there's also a bunch of Security Council resolutions that Israel has ignored for much longer than Saddam's been around. Well, I really don't understand how they got on to the books. Didn't America have the power of veto at the time? Or did we have a Democratic administration? Maybe it was a communist conspiracy. Or Al Qaeda may have had something to do with it. Someone must have slipped them in while we weren't looking. The point is, they shouldn't be there, and we support Israel's God-given right to ignore them. "Anyway, we can't be expected to suspend our crusade until Yasser and all the little Arafats decide to get real and accept that they can't have their cake and eat it too. Israel reserves the right to cut it up, remove the icing, and offer them one slice at a time as a reward for good behaviour. Take it or leave it, whichever comes first. But I have no intention of sitting back and popping pretzels in anticipation. "We could unleash our forces against Iraq tomorrow if we wanted to. But the United States of America is nothing if not generous. We want all of you - at least the richer ones among you - to be a part of this noble enterprise. That's why I am here today. Here's the deal: You give us the all-clear, and we'll send a posse after Saddam Hussein. That will be a multilateral sanction for a bilateral action, because my best chump - sorry, I mean chum - Tony will stand by me come what may. Actually, trilateral at a stretch because, for whatever it's worth, that eager-to-please little fella from Australia has promised to chip in. "If you refuse, well, we'll aim for Baghdad anyway. And don't forget, after Iraq we'll be looking for another target, and you could be next. "I rest my case. Thank you, and God bless America." Dubya made his case for a UN imprimatur rather less bluntly than that, of course. His speechwriters had clearly put a great deal of effort into the text. But the occasional eloquence of the words (one cannot say the same about the delivery, because oratory does not come naturally to Bush) could hardly detract from the selectivity of the cited facts and opinions. Nor could there be much doubt about the upshot of the speech: The UN risks irrelevance if it fails to legitimize action against Iraq. For all that, the gesture represents a small step away from the warpath, creating an opening that Baghdad can exploit. And it would be extremely foolhardy of the Saddam regime not to do so. Although Bush has not removed his finger from the trigger, he will find it difficult to pull it if Iraq does indeed open its doors to UN weapons inspectors. (And Iraq has now agreed to do so.) And it ought to do so without waiting for a fresh resolution, given that the Anglo-American combine will be striving hard to couch it in words that any self-respecting nation would find hard to swallow. The stationing of the US Central Command in Qatar is an ominous move. The Security Council will be littered with carrots and sticks this week, and it would be folly to count on China or Russia vetoing the use of massive force. Of course, unfettered inspections offer no guarantee that the US won't find an excuse for blundering in anyway. But any gesture that could potentially save tens of thousands of lives is certainly worth a try. firstname.lastname@example.org __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes http://finance.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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