The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear discussion contributors and list, Everything you said about this topic was very interesting. I respect all your views, and hope you will forgive me if my perceptions don't match the perspectives of the SC Resolutions and the disarmament game. Let's talk about WMDs not dying children, Powell once said. Well, he got his wish - thanks to the US propaganda machine. But by its own admission, what the US wants is to topple SH - not disarm Iraq. This has been the goal from day one, even before Iraq invaded Kuwait. And the sanctions, part of the warfare to bring this about, are to stay in place until SH is gone - not until Iraq is disarmed. Every US administration has confirmed this. That's why I call it the 'disarmament game'. To me disarmament is a red herring - just like SH's dictatorship. And it has become a Catch 22: Iraq must _prove_ that it has no WMDs, or else it is in 'material breach'. If no WMDs can be found, Iraq is in 'material breach' also. As an aside, 'weapons of mass destruction', and 'material breach' appeared on the 'banned' word list (2003) run by Lake Superior State University. People submitting such words object to being manipulated: language shapes our reality. And a dishonest use of language creates an Orwellian reality - passive language consumers think as they are told. And "by the year 2050, at the very latest", Winston, our brains will be on autopilot. Of course, many people prefer to rationalize along official government line because it suits them. In the case of Iraq, people have told me that 'Middle East oil in American control is good for _us_ too'. Back to Blix and the topic: In my view, Blix was acting as agent provocateur: he ordered the destruction of missiles that "could" exceed the 150 range limit "if the payload were lighter". Surely, Blix and the US know that these missiles are useless (destroyed or intact) given America's "boutique of weapons". By demanding the destruction, Washington hopes to humiliate the Iraqi Government to the point of committing a blunder, ie, a 'material breach.' What the US wants is to bomb, invade, and occupy Iraq, but with the blessing of the _international community_. (Why bother? Apart from his followers, this emperor is seen as naked - and as a user of 'naked power'.) I agree that the man Blix is probably trying to be unbiased, or at least appear so. All the same, he is following US orders, as his compatriot did. He might be able to save his skin, but not his reputation. The fairness principle in the argument: Fairness, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. (And 'fair' doesn't have an adequate equivalent in other languages - it puzzles people.) In this context, 'fair' means 'according to the rules'. Etymologically, these were the rules of the playing fields, not the law courts. But in North American usage the original connection with 'noblesse oblige' has been lost: fair is what suits 'us'. So 'valid' may be less ambiguous than 'fair'. In any case, the question is _whose rules do apply_ when it comes to SC Resolutions about Iraq? You know the answer. A mightly bully is enforcing his rules on weaker sovereign states - realpolitik. And it's no secret that the Resolutions have been forged by bribing, threatening, or cajoling members of the Security Council. - Do you remember the most expensive veto ever cast? Are rules obtained through coercion considered valid? In the US Security Council they evidently are, but not, I believe, in the law courts of any land. So the Resolutions are 'legally' valid. But are they morally valid? At this very moment, Colin Powell is in Beijing talking to the government of China about Iraq, according to CBC radio. But Powell isn't talking about the need to disarm Iraq. And he isn't talking about Iraq being a threat to America or the world at large. Nor is he talking about the need to bomb Iraq as an 'act of humanity'. No, Mr. Powell is trying to persuade China to cast a vote for war in the next 'legal' Resolution money and coercion can buy. The CBC speaker pointed out that China might be open to persuasion since Iraq is of no interest to China, but economic relations with the US are of great interest. (You scratch my back...) In a similar vein, the Canadian deputy prime minister ordered his Liberal caucus to cut out the "anti-Americanism", ie, objections to war. The Americans are our friends...and there are all these trade deals looming. When it comes to Germany, the US is trying to buy the right-wing CDU into power again. So far, an attempted motion of no confidence has failed. But Washington has invited Ms Merkel, CDU-leader, to come over for a cuddle. She has written an article for the Washington Post: "Schroeder Doesn't Speak for All Germans". http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A32835-2003Feb19?language=printer ("Merkel attacks Schroeder in an American newspaper" was the headline in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.) As to France... Washington will think of something. And so on... corruption makes the world go round. I agree that the US has the military clout to call the shots. It has the money to buy 'allies'. I am not sure about the economic clout. What would happen if the world started to back the Euro, instead of the US dollar? Still, world leaders are toeing the line. But we, the citizens of the world, don't have to toe that line, unless we want to. We don't have to play the 'disarmament game', the 'dictatorship game', or any other game the US may invent to bomb, invade, and occupy Iraq. We are free to call a spade a shovel - and a pretext a pretext. The world would be a sorry place if economic and military power could suppress all human values, such as common decency and compassion. And if we believe in these values, we must stand up and declare that the warmongers wear no clothes, not even a fig leaf. If we play along with the warmongers' game while gently protesting, we are merely straddling the fence. Better than nothing...perhaps. But expressions of empathy must sound pretty hollow to the Iraqis if, at the same time, we are rationalizing the atrocities inflicted on them. We may not be able to prevent this slaughter, but we can at least condemn western governments' injustice, hypocrisy, and deceit. In doing so, we pay a meager tribute to the humanity of the victims. Zola had the courage to speak up for Dreyfus. In return, he was prosecuted for libel by his government and became the object of hatred of the anti-Dreyfus gang. Not everyone would want to go that far. But remember also what Pastor Niemoeller said... That's how I feel, anyway. Best regards, Elga Sutter P.S. Sorry for getting carried away. But this has been simmering in me for a long time. And I was thinking of the world in general, not of CASI members. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk