The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Thoughts jotted down to combat feeling baffled by the "48 Hours or Else" speech Two reasons why President Bush went to the United Nations. First, Prime Minister Tony Blair knew that her Majesty's subjects would not let him send their sons and daughters to breathe depleted uranium dust without the United Nations. Second, President Bush wanted a paper to wave at critics claiming that the slaughtering of Iraqis was mandated by the international community mandated it. He thought that he could get a blank check from the SC. It did not quite work out that way because the French have been in politics long enough to be tripped up than George W. Bush. They did give him UNSCR 1441, but they did not attach an automatic authorization to wage war. President Bush had to concede letting the inspectors back into Iraq. Now the inspectors were in a position to verify what President Bush and Prime Minister Blair knew all along from general Kamel's disclosures: that all the WMDs had been secretly destroyed, on his own order, and under his supervision. The inspectors, while admitting that Saddam Hussein hadn't altogether reformed and become a saint, said that they were being given free access to any location they wanted to inspect, unannounced. During hundreds of searches they found nothing. Finally, almost as if to stage a demonstration of cooperation for the benefit of the SC who couldn't get the sense of cooperation that the inspectors themselves were experiencing inside Iraq, they got Saddam Hussein to agree to the destruction of the few missiles he had that might actually present some danger to a neighboring country. Since then missiles have been destroyed almost daily. All this cooperation from bad boy Saddam created a lot of sweat in the White House and at Number 10. Thus the stalward defenders of the rule of law were reduced to employing criminal surveillance, parlor tricks and forgeries to retain a semblance of cause for displeasure with Iraq. Nothing worked. Everything went wrong. Powell's lies were exposed. Blair's plagiarism was discovered. Incriminating documents from Nigeria were unmasked as blunt forgeries (by a "third" or possibly "fourth" country). What to do? UNSCR 1441 did not authorize war. Alas, a new resolution had to be introduced to get consensus on the critical issue: that Saddam Hussein is in material breach and that therefore force was authorized. The one problem with this turned out to be the glaring fact that he is not clearly in breach. Neither the inspectors nor the permanent SC members outside of the Us and UK thought that he is. Some felt quite strongly about it to the point where both France and Russia repeatedly stated they would kill the new resolution with a veto should it be passed by vote. Now it boiled down to whether a majority vote could be squeezed out of the ten non-permanent SC members. The US engaged in most despicable, pathetic arm twisting, blackmailing, bribing and spying. More things went wrong. People within the US and UK intelligence services, acting from moral imperative, leaked damning documents. More dirty fingers exposed in Washington and London. After all the illicit activities, cajoling, stepping on toes and making more and more enemies out of friends, the laughable result was that nothing had changed. Only Spain and Bulgaria, both of which had for inexplicable reasons jumped onto the US/UK wagon at the start, were there. Nobody new. Off they flew to the Azores to do some more "diplomacy." But there wasn't anything left to do diplomacy with. The bribes were all gone. The threats had all been stoically absorbed by the threatened. Even the Quartet Roadmap trump card turned out to be worthless. Off to plan B. Get rid of the pesky inspectors. If it comes down to having to plant WMDs to be "discovered" later when the boys make it to Baghdad, then it would not be useful to have a complete list of sites and coordinates that the inspectors had already given a clean bill of health. Moreover, the annoying Saddam has been way too cooperative. That calls for strong measures. Tell Kofi Annan, Blix and ElBaradai that the bombing will start any minute and they better get their people out quick, for their own safety. Then, if the bombing won't start right away nobody will be unhappy about it. Nobody will say, "hey, you told us to get out so we won't be hit by your bombs. Where are the bombs?" Nobody will say that, for sure. So, that solves the problem with the inspectors. Without inspectors around Saddam can't very well cooperate, can he? But it will be really easy to accuse him of NOT cooperating. In the meantime new ideas will come. At least Blix and ElBaradai won't be there constantly saying, not so, not so, not so. Yes, let nobody claim that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair did not do everything in their power to "work with the United Nations." Now divert attention from Saddam Hussein for a little. He's been getting too much good press for being cooperative. Who can momentarily be attacked to keep a momentum? The U.N. itself, of course. They need to be reminded of the reason for their existence, at least what President Bush would consider a bona fide reason. "We believe in the mission of the United Nations. One reason the U.N. was founded after the second world war was to confront aggressive dictators, actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace." What's wrong with this picture? Every time the United Nations attempted to "confront aggressive dictators, actively and early...," they were thwarted by veto, either from the US, the Soviet Union, or China, mostly the US though. The United States has put more dictators into power, replaced them with other dictators and prevented the UN from "confronting them before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace," than any other country on the planet. The fifty year turmoil in the Middle East has been kept alive by none other than the US and its baby brother Israel. The greatest threat to peace on earth has been and now is more than ever before the United States of America. Now that UNSCR 1441 has proven ineffective as a self-destruct device against Iraq's sovereignty, a hybrid will be created. A little 1441, a little 678, and a pinch of 687. Presto, a perfectly fine and effective new Resolution. I can see problems with this. First, there IS an established protocol for passing resolutions, and one of the indispensable steps in that protocol is a vote. Making up new resolutions is a novel thing, but it won't fly. I am not sure John Ashcroft would approve of this method. Next thing, someone is going to say, "well, US law says such and such, but there is an obsure French law that says something else. I'll just put the two of them together and let them breed..." Second, and this is a far bigger problem, even were we to allow procreating between UNSCRs, President Bush would still not get what he so desperately craves. True, as stated in "678 and 687 -- both still in effect -- the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will." I have to apologize here for our president. He has been known to lack precision in the comprehension and use of words. What he is missing are the operative words "in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction." Neither of the two resolutions says that the "United States and its allies are authorized to use force" in LOOKING FOR weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They only authorize the use of force in RIDDING Iraq OF weapons of mass destruction. So, the use of force is predicated upon a number of conditions: Explicitly the existence of the WMD has to be established first. Sending in tanks to look for WMDs, particularly after first reducing the place to rubble by bombing, is just not in the spirit of the resolutions. The only methods authorized by the Security Council for the discovery of weapons of mass destruction are voluntary disclosure by Iraq, and search and recovery by the UN weapons inspectors. US/UK war planes, tanks, aircraft carriers, armed forces, etc are all excluded from that part of the operation. Implicitly the use of force is then authorized only if, after the discovery of the WMD, Iraq refuses to disarm itself. In other words, if by going the authorized route, inspectors find a WMD, the earlier resolutions do not automatically say, "Green light, Mssrs. Bush and Blair. Go bang 'em up." Before this joyful moment Iraq has to be given the option of either destroying the located WMD or refusing to do so. ONLY in the latter case does the clause regarding the use of force kick in. Clearly NONE of the conditions for the force clauses of 678 and 687 have been met. Sorry Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister. There is no forced "ridding of" to be done yet. You need to await your turn. There are two non-optional steps ahead of you in line. The way I read 1441 is that Iraq has been cited for material breach but not convicted of it. It put Iraq into a somewhat awkward position because it made it necessary to create a way of proving that it is in compliance rather than in material breach. Iraq agreed to this unusual procedure and to the suggested method of using the inspectors in a cooperative, interactive way for ascertaining that Iraq is in compliance. This process has worked out quite well, despite constant sabotage and disinformation from the US and the UK. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair constantly distort the truth by saying the inspection process has gone on for 12 years and Iraq still has not disarmed. There is one huge and serious flaw in that claim. The nature of the inspectors' participation is only peripherally continuous with previous inspection work. In its most essential aspect, the work of the inspectors since 1441 is something entirely new. The purpose before they were withdrawn the last time due to US pressure was to gather evidence against Iraq whose position was comparable to that of a suspect in a criminal investigation. Since 1441 Iraq stands in a client relationship with the inspectors. The inspectors services are provided to Iraq by the United Nations specifically to help Iraq in the difficult work of establishing negative proof. In other words, the primary function of the inspectors is to see what Iraq can come up with by way of proving that it has disarmed, and then formulate this in such a way that it can be read as positive proof of compliance by the United Nations in the first instance, and by the United States and the United Kingdom in the second instance. The reason for the inspectors' unannounced inspection work in this new context is to help Iraq find the means to proove something that normally does not call for proof. Using a criminal case scenario, the analogy would be something like this: Judge to suspect: proove to me that you have not stolen something. Suspect: I am telling you, your honor. I have not stolen anything. Judge: That won't do. There are people who say you are a thief. Suspect: Your honor, I have been a thief in the past, but I am not now. Judge: Then prove it to me. Suspect: Could you tell me what item I am supposed to have stolen? Judge: That is not possible. You will have to tell me that yourself. Suspect: Is it something big? Judge: Perhaps. But I'm afraid you are not being very cooperative. Suspect: Could you give me somebody to help me figure this out? Judge to police: Go with suspect here and help him come up with proof that he has not stolen anything. The analogy, of course, does not match in all respects, but it does give a sense of the different function of the inspectors this time around. My guess is that the arrangement turned out to be too successful for the US and the UK. That is why they had to discredit the inspectors all along, and now have succeeded in getting them out of the picture altogether. Neither can any nation possibly claim that Iraq has not disarmed. That is the whole problem with this Catch 22 situation created by the United States for no other purpose than to plough the ground of the Middle East so that it can firmly plant its world hegemony there, in the original Garden of Eden. What can be said though is that the "evidence" is more in favor that Iraq has disarmed than that it has not. First, there is general Kamel's testimony. Then there is the testimony of Chief Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter. Finally, there is the documentary and anectotal evidence submitted by Iraq, as well as the phsysical evidence of Iraq'a destroying of missiles that are valuable to Iraq, and that could have been argued as not falling within the parameters of proscription. Saddam disarming. Not "will not," can not! This is the giveaway. What President Bush is saying is that the only "proof" of disarmament that the US will accept is regime change. That is what it is about. The WMD that Bush wants Iraq to disarm itself of is Saddam Hussein himself. Saddam is the weapon of mass destruction that President Bush wants to rid Iraq of. And why? Because Saddam Hussein has stood his ground against the most vicious assault, manipulation, demonization and undermining that has been leveled against any head of state by a country like the United States for that length of time. President Bush is well aware that US hegemony cannot take root in the Middle East as long as Saddam Hussein is there. Forget WMDs. It is Saddam that this is all about. Dissimulation, Bush style. The claim that "some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq," is an out and out lie. First, neither France nor Russia have said that they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. What they did say was that they will veto any resolution that would render ineffective resolution 1441 the mandate of which is already in the process of being carried out. What France and Russia are saying, on behalf of themselves and the entire world with the sole exception of the US, UK, Spain, and Bulgaria, is: "We have passed UNSC 1441 and are observing its workings. Despite your interference and sabotage, we are satisfied that the inspectors are doing exactly the job for which we gave them to Iraq as councelors and assistants to establish proof of compliance. We will veto any resolution that undermines 1441. We are satisfied that 1441 is being carried out according to our wishes, and we respectfully request that you cease and desist further interference." These governments manifestly do not share President Bush' and Prime Minister Blair's assessment of the danger. They are assessing the danger differently. It is they who are consistent in sticking to the spirit of UNSCR 1441. It is Bush and Blair who act erratically, irrationally and obsessively. The world, not just France and Russia, is telling Bush and Blair: "Let the inspectors work. We know what we want the inspectors to do. They are doing it!!! It is you, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, who do not want to understand what the nature of the inspectors' work is at this stage. You are only frustrated because your parade is being rained on. Go take your parade somewhere else. Don't come to the Security Council with underhanded motives. We, the world, are not your lackeys. We cannot prevent you from unleashing a tragedy upon an innocent people and upon the whole world. You have too many weapons of mass destruction to be resisted in this way. But we will not do your bidding willingly. Yankee go home to Texas and learn some manners." There is no broad coalition. There are only a handful accomplices and a few more browbeaten, misguided lackeys who will be thrown away by the US in the same callous way that other lackeys have been thrown away once they served their purpose. The United Nations, much to the contrary of President Bush' vituperative, HAS lived up to its responsibilities, perhaps for the very first time since its inception. It is the US who attempted to subvert the true purpose of the UN Security Council, which is to protect the people of this world against the brute, unthinking might of an insatiable monster of a sole super power. It may be the sole super power, but it is a dwarf when it is being measured against the combined power of the nations of this earth when truly united. France has risen to a hight of leadership that was thought to have been lost. It is because of the courageous stand France has taken that the rest of the world is beginning to believe that perhaps not all is lost yet. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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