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Re: [casi] Blix orders Destruction of Iraq missiles

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".

("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.

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