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(en) Freedom 6322 16th Nov 2002 - Pantomime diplomacy

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 18 Nov 2002 08:52:02 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

For all the rhetoric of the last few days, United Nations resolution 1441 is
far from being an instrument of peace. By any reasonable assessment,
the United States is already at war with Iraq. Bombing in the no-fly
zones, an ongoing low-intensity campaign that began in 1991, has seen a
recent rise of over 40%, with carrier-based jets targeting the country's air
defence system ready for an air and ground invasion. Moreover,
preparation is even now under way for the next phase.
B-2 stealth bombers are now established in the UK. Materiel has been
built up in the Gulf since the last war, and much 'pre-positioning' of
troops is taking place that could allow an invasion force to be assembled
in weeks. Thousands of marines are being deployed in East Africa and
Kuwait for training operations, and Qatar is preparing its Al-Udeid air
base to house the US Central Command headquarters. USA Today
recently reported that Israel is helping train US troops for urban warfare.
Hawks in the US administration are pressing Bush to attack at the first
sign of Iraqi non-compliance with the UN resolution, and two potential
attack dates are on the table for early January or late February. Bush has
told the UN Security Council it "must not lapse into unproductive debates
over whether specific instances of Iraqi compliance are serious". He
would have them institute a 'Ready Fire Aim' policy, and the latest
resolution is the trigger mechanism.
Under the terms of the resolution, Iraq must provide a complete
inventory of its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programmes by
December. Whether or not this inventory is complete is apparently the
decisive issue for US hawks, according to The Observer (10th
November), and not the inspections themselves. It would appear that
these hawks have little or no interest in disarmament, and in this they're
being wholly realistic.
They quite sensibly expect Saddam Hussein to fail to provide a complete
inventory. Given the CIA infiltration of UNSCOM, the old UN
inspectorate, and the Agency's involvement in an attempted coup against
him, he will have scant reason to trust UNMOVIC, which is UNSCOM's
successor. More importantly, the very act of demanding a sovereign state
disarm is a pantomime of diplomacy, for it's not in the nature of states to
do so. Iraq will no less willingly surrender its capacity to produce WMDs
than would the US or UK, and particularly not with Israel's nuclear
arsenal so near by. Far from being averted, the war rages on.
Anton Pawluk

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