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[casi] Israel's WMDs and the West's Double Standard

October 9, 2003

Inspecting the Obvious
Israel's WMDs and the West's Double Standard

A highly distinguished and carefully selected team of
American scientists just concluded a thorough and
consequential mission in Iraq. The declared objective
was finding Iraq's arsenals of weapons of mass
destruction. But hidden within such a declaration, was
the hope of unearthing a pretext for a calamitous war
on Iraq that cost billions of dollars and the
irreplaceable lives of thousands.

Shortly after David Kay, who headed the scientific
crusade to Baghdad, briefed the US Senate and House of
Representatives of his findings, or lack thereof, a
declassified version of his report was released. Not
only were no weapons found in Iraq, but the disposed
Iraqi government, according to Kay, had no capacity to
produce chemical warfare agents before the war. So
much for the British government scare campaign
alleging Iraq's readiness to launch a global attack
using its supposed weapons within 45 minutes upon

But as if the war party's lack of sense was not
enough, the response to Kay's report has displayed a
greater lack of shame. Australia's Prime Minister,
John Howard, responded by saying he had no regrets.
"You make judgments on the basis of the information
available at the time you are required to make those
judgments, and the judgment was valid," he said,
arrogantly and in startling defiance of the facts, and
with no remorse for thousands of Iraqis who perished
by the war allies' weapons, which, ironically were the
closest in nature to the alleged weapons of mass
destruction that Iraq did not even possess.

British Foreign Minister, Jack Straw's statement
appeared as if the man was referring to a completely
different report than that of Kay, saying that the
American group's report "confirms how dangerous and
deceitful the (Iraqi) regime was, and how the military
action was indeed both justified and essential to
remove the danger."

US President George Bush, who was struck by the
nightmarish, although imperative findings that most
Americans - 53 percent according to a new CBS News-New
York Times poll - are now doubtful of his Iraq war,
too, continued to defy common sense. "This
administration will deal with gathering dangers where
we find them." Although the ambiguity, albeit
arrogance of Bush's words compels no comment, they
certainly raise an important subject. If what
genuinely concerns Bush is "gathering dangers" then
why not go after the big guns, who, in fact do possess
such weapons, for example, Israel. Of course, most
readers, whether opponents or proponents of US foreign
policy in the Middle East understand the irony,
needless to say, the impossibility of such a demand.
And that is because deep within, most of us are
convinced that the US foreign policy doesn't follow a
moral code, rather an immoral, imperial and
self-sustaining ideology only aimed at rewarding its
followers and crudely punishing its antagonists.

Those living outside this immoral dogma understand
that well. One is Nelson Mandela. In an interview with
the American Newsweek magazine back in September,
Mandela raised a seemingly simple concern. He
introduced that concern by stating that Bush's
objectives behind the war were motivated by the
President's desire to "please the arms and oil
industries in the United States of America." Then, he
added, "but what we know is that Israel has weapons of
mass destruction. Nobody mentions that."

At the time of Mandela's statement, some were still
functioning based on the premise that Iraq did indeed
have such weapons. Kay just told us in his report that
no weapons were found. But Kay's report, or any other
for that matter, leaves intact the solid and palpable
fact that Israel has weapons of mass destruction.

Israel's possession of such weapons is so well known a
fact, it's dubbed: "the world's most well-known
secret." In a BBC report that was aired twice, first
in March and then again on June, 2003, the show host
begins his communiqué by asking fear-provoking
questions: "Which country in the Middle East has
undeclared Nuclear weaponry? .. Which country in the
Middle East has no outside inspections? .. Which
country jailed its nuclear whistleblower for 18 years?
.." The dramatic introduction was followed by an
enlarged title page: "ISRAEL'S SECRET WEAPON."

Israel's refusal to approve the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, in addition to strong
speculations that Israel owns up to 300 nuclear
warheads and the Arab League's most recent assertion
to the International Atomic Energy Agency that Israel
now has the capability of producing a hydrogen bomb,
are all not enough to convince the United States and
its war 'coalition' that Iran and Iraq aren't the real
'imminent' danger.

The present hierarchy of power in the West, the
neo-imperialism, of which Israel is an essential part,
seems little concerned with logic and rationale when
one of its members is the wrongdoer. Aside from that,
it makes perfect since for Bush, Blair and Howard to
chase after the phantoms of Iraq's alleged weapons,
not leaving an orchard near Baghdad thoroughly
excavated, while Israel amasses a wealth of banned
weapons, unscathed.

While the rational response to Israel's heedlessness
is as stern a demand to allow unhindered access to
weapons inspectors and unconditional signing of the
NPT, the exact opposite is taking place. The IAEA is
ambushing Iran, who is a potential war target for the
US, demanding "full disclosure" of its nuclear
program. The agency has set October 31 as the
"decisive" and "non-negotiable" deadline.

In the United States, in a mid-September press
conference, White House spokesman Scott McClellan
sounded the drums of war once more when he threatened
to hold Syria "accountable" if it doesn't cease
harboring terrorists (or simply giving a safe haven
for anti-Israeli Palestinian factions, who merely
operate politically in Damascus). McClellan's threat
'coincided' with a more blatant threat by John Bolton,
the US under-secretary of State for Arms and Control
and International Security, when he briefed a Congress
Committee regarding Syria, saying, "In short, if the
language of persuasion fails, these states (starting
with Syria) must see and feel the logic of adverse
consequences." Of course, Israel is not one of "these

Israel, whose level of comfort in the United States
and its war allies' unconditional patronage is at an
all time high, too, had its own, time-honored method
of responding to nit-picking media reports, like that
of the occasionally, yet not always honest, BBC.
Israel officially declared boycotting the British
Broadcasting Company.

The production or use of weapons of mass destruction
should be vehemently rejected, regardless of any
rationalization, no matter how merited they might
appear. When a nuclear bomb is dropped, or when nerve
gas is discharge, neither the identity of the attacker
nor the victim should be of essence. Equally, we
should lend no sympathy to whether the pilot dropping
the bomb is a citizen of a democratically elected
government or assigned by a religious cleric. Not one
should be allowed to produce or attain such massive
killing agents, not Iran, not India and certainly not

One can strongly make the case that if one or more
Middle Eastern countries are indeed pondering the
probabilities of attaining weapons of mass
destruction, it is, in part, because of the fear that
its lack of such weapons can place it on the list of
most vulnerable countries. It is not easy to scold or
kick around a country with a fully functioning nuclear
weapons system. The Pakistani response to India's
weaponry, and the North Korean admission to the
possession of such weapons are all cases in point. By
granting Israel the right to produce weapons that can
be used for one purpose only, mass killing, then
demanding Iran to cease the mere desire to produce
them is the ultimate hypocrisy.

In the past, much of Israel's actions were justified
on the basis of the racist premise of Israel's
progressiveness and the Arab's backwardness. The right
to mass killing should not be equally justified
according to the same premise, not by any stretch of
the imagination, no matter how racist such an
imagination may be.

Ramzy Baroud is a Palestinian-American journalist and
editor-in-chief of The Palestine Chronicle online
newspaper. He is the editor of the anthology:
"Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli

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