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.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] FW: Favorite contradictions and absurdities concerning war in Iraq

Favorite contradictions and absurdities concerning war
in Iraq

Courtesy: Marjorie Gibson
By: John Chuckman

The title could be the name of a television quiz show,
although I doubt the subject matter would attract a
large audience, especially in that key market of the
United States.

Even on progressive and liberal Internet sites in the
United States, one finds ritualized deference to "our
brave boys." Well, this just makes me wonder whose
boys aren't brave? Like most human qualities, I
imagine bravery is pretty evenly distributed across
the human population. In other words, the expression
can only be propaganda or uttered out of fear.

Further, I have to say that professional American
soldiers, exceedingly well paid and rewarded by world
standards, are in fact doing their jobs.

Lastly, I fail to see even a normal display of bravery
in the vast, richly-equipped armed forces of the
world's wealthiest country attacking the smaller, far
more poorly-equipped forces of a nation with less than
a tenth the population and maybe a hundredth the
wealth. If this is bravery, then Italians dive-bombing
Abyssinia or Germans using tanks on Polish cavalry
were brave.

The dreariest, most uninformed words used over and
over are those comparing Hussein to Hitler and
diplomacy to appeasement. There is no comparison,
except in the minds of those who know little history
but insist on repeating phrases like "history repeats
itself," having very little idea as to what they are

Germany, despite severe defeat and reparations from
the First World War and a terrible depression, in the
1930s remained a major industrial, intellectual, and
military power, potentially a great world power. It
was re-arming at a furious pace soon after Hitler's
rise to Chancellor. There was no guess work in knowing
this; everybody in Europe understood it. There was
even a considerable degree of sympathy with the idea
that Germany should recover her place in Europe,
although few wanted the re-asserted militarism that
Hitler brought.

Germany was surrounded, and thereby posed a threat to
the stability of, several other major powers,
including France and Italy. Moreover, going clear back
to the mid-1920s, Hitler had laid out, for anyone to
read, his intention of invading the Slavic states east
of Germany. This, too, was no secret, and there was
even some sympathy with the idea since few Western
statesmen liked the Soviet Union.

Hitler made it clear from about 1919 that he detested
Jews, Slavs, and Communists, and that, given the
means, he would treat them ruthlessly.

Iraq is a small country, with a population less than
Canada's. While it is fairly advanced by the standards
of Arab states, it cannot meaningfully be called an
advanced country. Apart from the state of its economy
and the general level of its development, Iraq is not
even in a geographical position to threaten a major
power. Iraq has had two wars, both of them with the
connivance or at least encouragement, of the United

Hussein is a nasty dictator, but he is no different
from dozens of others the U.S. has put into place or
formed friendly relations with when it suited them.
There is no evidence that he has ever had the same
visceral hatreds of whole groups and races that Hitler
had. He doesn't like Israel, but then neither do many
other people in the Middle East. He has suppressed the
Kurds because they seek independence, not because they
are Kurds, and in doing so, he is in the company of
countries like Turkey and the United States. He is
brutal, just as Mr. Sharon is brutal, but unless you
want to use the distorted language carelessly flung
around in the United States, he has not committed, nor
does he have any interest in committing, genocide.

A fundamental point cannot be made too strongly. Iraq
is not, nor has it ever been, any threat to the United
States. It posses neither the will nor the ability to
attack the United States. Iraq did once have a
nuclear-weapons program. That program was not aimed at
the United States, but at two rival or enemy states,
Israel which already has a nuclear arsenal and Iran
which shows significant signs of developing one, Iran
being of course a country with whom Iraq fought a
vicious war during the 1980s. Every genuine expert,
from previous and current weapons inspectors to
refugee Iraqi scientists, agrees that Iraq's nuclear
program no longer exists.

An annoyingly-ignorant expression is "weapons of mass
destruction" (WMD), something first mouthed by the
Pentagon under President Clinton. It cannot be too
strongly stated that there is only one genuine weapon
of mass destruction, and that is a nuclear (or
thermonuclear) weapon. It also cannot be stressed too
strongly that only one nation has actually used such a

Recently I heard an American colonel in a brief
interview confirm what is widely understood, that if
Hussein were to use poison gas, assuming he has some,
it would have very little effect on the battlefield,

As for biological weapons, we all saw what
military-grade anthrax, without the high-tech means
for its distribution, can do just a couple of years
ago in the United States when one of the country's
many home-grown terrorists started sending samples
through the mail to prominent public figures (never
caught, by the way, just like a number of others
including the weirdo who added poison to Tylenol
bottles years ago). It was all very nasty, rather
scary, but it killed only a few people. Hardly a
strategic threat.

Of course, you have to ask yourself that if, indeed,
Hussein has some stockpile of these materials, what
will be the effect of America's horrific bombardment
on their release and spread? Is this a more
intelligent approach than inspection and proper

Despite Bush's incoherent blubbering, Iraq has never
had dealings with al Qaeda. There is no evidence for
this notion whatsoever. Of course, now that the U.S.
has invaded the country, and it is fighting for its
life, anything becomes possible. Besides, if relations
with al Qaeda were a sound cause for war, there were
far better candidates.

The best case for invasion based strictly on al Qaeda
dealings, of course, could be made against a giant,
secretive organization headquartered in Langley,
Virginia, but no threats of any kind have been made
against the CIA. Indeed, one expects the
organization's feeding trough has been filled to
overflowing with Bush's astronomical increases in
military spending. Yet we know for sure that the good
gentlemen of 9/11 entered the United States with valid
visas, and we know for sure that the CIA had been in
the business for years of arranging just such things
as part of its secret nasty work in Afghanistan and
other places.

So that leaves Iraq - a country whose ruler has
personal animosity towards bin Laden at least as great
as that displayed by Mr. Bush towards Yasser Arafat -
as the place to attack. Does that make sense to you?
No, and it doesn't to anyone else in the world,
outside Washington and those dependent on its bounty
or afraid of its wrath.

We have had an entire list of false claims and
downright lies from an administration desperate to
make a case. Bush has claimed, time and time again,
intelligence information he simply never had. If, in
fact, he ever had anything decisive, he refused to
share it with U.N. weapons inspectors. Instead, on
several occasions, U.S.-supplied information sent
inspectors on pointless expeditions. Would you call
that kind of action supporting or deliberately hurting
the U.N.?

Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. was de facto
proof that the U.S. had no case. Had there been proof,
there would not even have been such a presentation.
The case would have been made in private to the
members of the Security Council. That's how things are
normally done in world affairs.

No, what we got was a show-boat performance intended
to sway public emotions, not to supply anyone with
facts they did not already have. Powell uttered the
same assertions and guesses already heard many times.
If that, truly, was the best the CIA could do in
coming up with facts for such a seemingly-dire matter,
they are seriously wasting American taxpayers' money.

We have the much-repeated assertion that people like
Canada or France or Germany should be supporting their
friend. No sensible person can make friendship an
argument for supporting a war that most people in the
world agree is without legitimate purpose. Should I
assist my neighbor who decides to beat members of his
family or throw rocks at the windows of the house of
another neighbor he happens to hate? Anyway, Canada
has always supported legitimate international actions,
and it has always paid its dues, but the U.N. did not
authorize the violence in which America is now

The American ambassador to Canada, Mr. Cellucci, has
been going around making inappropriate public comments
about disappointment in not being supported by
friends. An ambassador making such statements,
directly interfering in the internal affairs of the
country to which he is accredited, would normally be
asked to leave. But Mr. Cellucci feels safe continuing
to act the diplomatic cretin, because he knows that if
Canada were to request his departure, it would be
viewed as a hostile act in an already-aggrieved

There has been much bellowing to the south over a
couple of foolish remarks made in Canada concerning
Mr. Bush's mental capacity and character. But such
personal comments pale compared to the words of an
ambassador, speaking with the full force of his
government's approval, interfering in the internal,
democratically-determined affairs of a country like

In a sense, the ambassador's willingness to do this
over such a sensitive issue only proves again how
right Canada's government has been in following the
policy it has. Canada always supports UN-mandated
action. It cannot support the dangerous, arbitrary
whims of an administration whose poor attitudes and
lack of civility are reflected directly in Mr.
Cellucci's remarks.


Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Tax Center - File online, calculators, forms, and more

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]