The right to kill a tyrant
George Bush Junior, perhaps still standing in the shadow of
his father, cries an emphatic, "Yes"! His opinion is that we must strike the
first blow before Saddam gains any further military momentum -– or gains the
first strike at the West. Meanwhile many onlookers from the left are
asking questions like 'Who gave America the right to step into someone else's
country and set up a new political structure?' Such questions would seem to
contain a hint of hypocrisy, perhaps based in ignorance. While many 'peace
lovers' condemn the concept of US military action, a distinct 'lack of peace',
indeed mortal danger, continues to threaten the lives of freedom seekers within
Iraq, desperate for international intervention to assist to bring about an end
to the long era of tyranny -– the only possibility to establish democratic
According to reports from international sources such as CBS
programme 'Face the Nation', an invasion of Iraq is not just a possibility
-– 'It's probable'. US Senator Dick Lugar stated, "The President has to
make the case (to the US -– and world public -– ed note) that...to wait
for provocation (from Saddam) is to invite a very, very large disaster'.
Meanwhile critics of the Bush administration maintain that US
military action could actually backfire, with Saddam having 'nothing to lose'.
Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer made strong
statements after his recent high-level meetings in Washington as reported in The
Bulletin, 6 August 2002, "...the dangerous thing for the world will be to
take a position of appeasement towards Iraq ... trying to appease Iraq will only
allow Iraq to continue to build its weapons of mass destruction capability ...
only a fool would support a policy of appeasement."
The big questions surrounding 'the right to invade Iraq'
are addressed in the same article which outlines three credible reasons for
military action against Iraq.
"First, Saddam's Iraq is in violation of at least eight
binding resolutions of the United Nations Security Council... It is legal for
the decisions of the Security Council to be enforced.
Second, Saddam has an atrocious human rights record. The UN
human rights rapporteur has said his record is the worst since Hitler...
Third, Iraq is breaking key international treaties and
undertakings in the field of control of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The benefits that would flow from rectification of these
three circumstances are evident and large. They would be keenly felt in Iraq,
the Middle East and around the world. Saddam's removal could also bring an end
at least to official Iraqi aid to terrorists...
In the almost four years since Iraq has been free of UN
weapons inspections there has been a constant flow of reports from intelligence
and defector sources that indicates that Saddam has re-invigorated his WMD
development program across the board. Perhaps most alarmingly are the reports on
rapid developments in the nuclear and biological areas...'
So -– we know the reasons for the proposed offensive, the US
appears eager to 'get on with it' so why has the US not attacked yet?
'...It is becoming apparent that momentum for action, to
get the show on the road sooner rather than later, is becoming irresistible. The
main inhibitor would, in fact, seem to be the need for the US to first replenish
stocks of weapons expended in Afghanistan...'" End Quote (emphasis
So, apparently stocks of military firepower have been so
depleted, a result of the last Middle Eastern campaign, that America can't act
yet! Reports say that stocks of weaponry should be replenished by the latter
part of this year.
Internationally, many Governments (including Russia) are
opposed to the proposed US military action -– mainly in the fear that
Arab/Western world relations will break down further. The anxiety is of course
generated by fears of loss of oil supplies, and increased global terrorism
activity. The Arab attitude to the West, particularly America, is largely
negative, and Saddam in his defiance of American demands has become rather
popular amongst Easterners, even as a political tyrant.
Meanwhile, Saddam maintains his "I will never surrender"
attitude which most certainly incenses his opponents.
SO, what is the main argument against a US attack against
Saddam? Is it simply a matter of fighting for peace -– or is it an opposition
to US world domination...?
"Those who oppose war to topple Saddam Hussein refuse
to acknowledge that their stand destroys the hope for democracy in Iraq...For
all its apparent self-confidence, the Left, reinforced by a small army of
bishops, mullahs and retired generals, lacks the nerve to say that the
consequence of peace is the ruin of the hopes of Iraqi democrats" The Press,
12 August 2002.
"The evasion is on a Himalayan scale. Unsurprisingly, the
religious, with centuries of training in casuistry, are the most adept dodgers
of the uncomfortable question: how can the peoples of Iraq overthrow their
tyrant without foreign help?
Many pious men and women signed the declaration of Pax
Christi, the International Catholic Movement for Peace,...
'The people of Iraq,' Pax Christi said, 'must not be made to
suffer further because they are living under a dictator who in his early years
in power enjoyed the collusion and support of Western nations...'
But I would have thought that the dopiest theologian might
have grasped that the people of Iraq are suffering, and will suffer further,
precisely because they live under a dictator. The faithful can't say as much
because the issue would then become whether the civilian casualties of a war
would justify the removal of the oppressor...
Among Amnesty International's voluminous accounts of
executions and amputations in Iraq are descriptions of the collective punishment
of their families. The fate of al-Shaikh Nazzar Kadhim al-Bahadli was 'typical',
we are told. His wife, father and mother were tortured in front of him until he
confessed to organising protests against Saddam...
On Friday yet another bishop - Colin Bennetts, the Bishop of
Coventry, this time - wrote in the Guardian that he opposed war because 'Muslim
communities here in the UK would perceive a UK attack on Iraq as evidence of an
in-built hostility to the Islamic world'.
I bow before the Right Reverend's superior knowledge of the
views of the superstitious, but can't for the life of me understand why he
believes the rejection of appeals from Muslims for help in removing a secular
dictator is anti-Islamic...
There are honourable grounds for upholding the authority of
the United Nations and opposing American global domination. What is
dishonourable - indeed insufferable - is the pretence of everyone from Trots to
archbishops that their animating concern is the sufferings of the peoples of
Iraq." End Quote (emphasis added)
Blair labelled "BUSH'S POODLE"
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair has been dubbed "Bush's
Poodle" because of his unstinting support of Bush's hard line on the Iraqi
issue. In an article from the Dominion Post, 14 August 2002, we read, "Almost
two thirds of British voters believe an attack on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is
not justified, an opinion poll showed yesterday. And 90 per cent of those polled
for the Daily Telegraph feared that military action against Baghdad will result
in more Sept 11-style attacks on the West... 68 per cent believed Britain and
the US would find themselves isolated if they went to war with Iraq".
Meanwhile, Australia will join the fight against Iraq
only if it was in Australia's national interest, according to Prime Minister
John Howard, regardless of polls which show that over half of Australians are
against any involvement. Grain exports to Iraq worth A$820 million dollars are
also at stake in this political game.
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke has made it clear
that, "New Zealand does not favour United States-led military action against
Iraq and will not be part of it", despite NZ support in the past
US/Britain/Iraqi conflict. Otago Daily Times, 20 August 2002.
I'm sure that President Bush is reconsidering his whole war
strategy now that New Zealand's firepower is not available to him.
Retired US General Norman Schwarzkopf who commanded
allied forces during the Gulf war is warning President Bush, "Don't go it
alone... in the Gulf war we had an international force and troops from many
nations, we would be lacking if we went it alone this time. To be effective, a
US-led invasion would need launching points not only in Kuwait and Turkey, but
also in Saudi Arabia, which had so far pointedly refused."
So the situation: Iraq (ancient Babylon) remains in violation
of UN Security Council resolutions calling for it to admit weapons inspectors to
search for weapons of mass destruction...the US is building up weapons stocks
and many western countries are coy about their support of US military action...
the size and strength of the Iraqi army is impressive to say the least... and Russia
is set to sign a $US40 billion dollar economic and trade co-operation agreement
with Iraq, only complicating the issue with the US - and the game of cat and