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[casi] UN Security Council clears way for US war on Iraq

Campaign to End Iraq Sanctions -- Ireland
125 Winter Garden, Pearse Street, Dublin 2
ph: 01 6727803; email:

Nov 11, 2002
Press Release

Contact in Baghdad: Michael Birmingham, member of the Campaign currently in
Iraq. Working with UNDP and Iraq Peace Team. Al Rashid Hotel, Room 506. ph
(9641) 7177440, 7188007, 7172883
Local Contacts: Sandeep Vaidya, 01 6727803, Suzie Flood 087 6532598

UN Security Council clears way for US war on Iraq

In an unanimous vote on Friday, the UN Security Council approved a US
drafted resolution that imposes tough and humiliating conditions on Iraq.
The resolution offers the United States the fig leaf of international
support to further it's long term goal of  replacing the current government
of Saddam Hussein with a puppet regime that is more sympathetic to US and
Western oil companies.

   The vote on Friday was a culmination of an intense debate amongst the
five veto-wielding members of the Council. The plight of the Iraqi people
suffering from over 12 years of a brutal embargo was not foremost on the
minds of the delegates as they debated the US resolution. The 5 permanent
members were more interested in preserving their stake in Iraq's vast oil
resources once a 'friendly' puppet regime was in place. The threat of war
from the United States is only distracting us from our main struggle,
namely to bring an immediate and a complete end to the criminal sanctions
regime which has killed over 1.5 million Iraqis and takes the lives of over
4000 children below the age of 5 EACH month.

A member of the UN Security Council, Ireland voted for the resolution.
Brian Cowen, minister for Foreign Affairs, said "Ireland supports this new
resolution because it offers the most likely means of achieving the three
goals we set ourselves, namely, to obtain Iraq's compliance with it's
disarmament obligations, to avoid a military conflict, and to preserve the
primary responsibility of the SC…"

The new resolution is not about finding Iraq's alleged weapons of mass
destruction. The resolution was drafted in a way that would make it
impossible for a sovereign nation like Iraq to fully comply. “The
resolution hands Iraq an ultimatum that in the past has meant either war or
surrender. It demands
weapons inspectors have the right to see anything, take anything, break
anything and talk to anybody -
anytime, anywhere and in private.

It provides that the inspectors may interview anyone inside or outside
Iraq. They may also transport anyone
and any family members outside Iraq for that purpose.

Inspectors are to be protected by UN security guards. They may impound
facilities. They may define "exclusion zones" in which all air and ground
movement is restricted. They may seize, destroy or export property.

The resolution gives Iraq no rights. It affirms UN commitment to the
"sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Iraq and its neighbors. But
that's more of a promise to Turkey that it won't see an independent
Kurdistan on its border. It's also a promise to creditors like Russia that
Iraq will be kept around to pay its bills.” (Investor’s Business Daily, Nov
11, 2002) As Iraq’s Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said, "The
objective of any draft resolution will not be to verify the situation about
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction but to provide some causes for the
United States to attack Iraq." Former US Attorney-General, Ramsey Clark
said, "On Nov. 8, after two months of threats and bullying, the UN Security
Council passed a draconian inspections resolution that will give President
Bush a pretext for war unless we stop him.  It allows inspectors to remove
any Iraqi from the country for questioning.  Immediate demand could be made
to interview Saddam Hussein and Iraq's generals at U.S. prisons in
Guantanamo, Cuba or even Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.  Imagine the
U.S. agreeing to allow its officials to be abducted by a foreign power!"

The resolution has loopholes to allow the United States to unilaterally
declare Iraq to be in non-compliance and launch a devastating war. Several
top American officials have repeatedly stated that the United States will
not wait for an authorization from the UN to attack Iraq. A massive build
up of US and British troops in the gulf is ongoing. Devastating effects of
a new war on Iraq and the Iraqi people cannot be overestimated. The Gulf
War in 1990 destroyed much of Iraq. Humanitarian organizations and UN
agencies have repeatedly documented the huge death toll which resulted
jointly from the sanctions and that war. Only the people of the world can
stop a new US war on Iraq.

A recent 'Irish Times' poll showed that Irish people are overwhelmingly
against this war. Several anti-war protests have taken place in Irish
cities attended by thousands of people. The anti-war sentiment is strong
across Europe, Asia and even in the United States. By supporting the
resolution, the Irish government has shown its complete disregard for the
anti-war sentiments of the Irish people. It is important for people in
Ireland to send a strong anti-war message to the Taoiseach, Berti Ahern and
his government ministers to ensure that their voices are not ignored .


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