Security Council resolution on inspections is designed to fail
November 22, 2002 | Page 5
NICOLE COLSON reports on the UN resolution requiring new weapons inspections in Iraq.
A RUBBER stamp for war. That's what the new United Nations (UN) resolution against Iraq amounts to.
Warning Iraq that it has one "last opportunity" before facing a military response, the UN Security Council voted 15-0 on November 8 to adopt the resolution requiring new weapons inspections--after the U.S. cut backroom deals with Russia and France for a piece of the post-Saddam pie.
Bush couldn't wipe the smirk off his face. "The outcome of the current crisis is already determined," he declared. "The full disarmament of weapons of mass destruction will occur. The only question for the Iraqi regime is to decide how."
No one should believe any more that UN action is an alternative to a U.S. war. The resolution is designed to fail--and to give the Bush gang an excuse for an assault.
The resolution gives weapons inspectors the authority to demand "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access" to any and every site in Iraq--including eight presidential compounds. That's the equivalent of the UN asking to rifle through every filing cabinet and computer in the White House.
Iraq must provide a "currently accurate, full and complete declaration" of the status of its biological, chemical and nuclear programs. If Iraq admits to having such weapons, that would be a "material breach" of the resolution--and grounds for war. But the declaration also says that "false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq" are a material breach--and therefore also grounds for war. It's a rigged game--with the Iraqi people bound to lose every time.
The establishment media spent the last weeks speculating about what weapons inspectors would find in Iraq. All the hype is paving the way for a war frenzy if the inspectors find something--or if they manufacture the "evidence." But no one ever talks about the utter hypocrisy of the U.S. government accusing Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction in the first place.
The U.S. has infiltrated, invaded, bombed and destroyed more countries than any other nation on earth. And of all the countries on the planet, the U.S. has used chemical weapons in huge quantities--as well as experimenting with them inside U.S. borders. In 1994, for example, a congressional report admitted, "Approximately 60,000 military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940s to test two chemical agents Most of these subjects were not informed of the nature of the experiments and never received medical follow-up after their participation in the research."
During the 1960s and '70s, Vietnam became the testing ground for the newest generation of U.S. chemical weapons. Between 1962 and 1970, the U.S. dropped 100 million pounds of Agent Orange and other herbicides on 4 million acres of land in Vietnam. And that's not to mention the tons of napalm used to incinerate not just jungle foliage, but people, villages and anything else in its path.
On top of the millions that the U.S. killed, 2 million Vietnamese were exposed to poisons. Rates of birth defects and miscarriages skyrocketed after the war. And returning U.S. soldiers were themselves crippled by cancer or other diseases--or passed on birth defects to their children.
Washington's 1991 Gulf War was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be "clean, modern" war, with the U.S. using a new generation of "smart" weapons that were much more accurate. But the "smart" bombs turned out to be not so smart.
And the U.S. used massive quantities of a horrifying new chemical weapon--munitions tipped with highly toxic depleted uranium (DU). The result has been a new nightmare epidemic in an Iraq already devastated by the destruction of war and sanctions.
By 2000, in areas where the use of DU munitions was concentrated, leukemia cases had jumped by 300 percent and malignancies by 384 percent. Down's syndrome in newborns has climbed by more than 500 percent.
And because of the sanctions spearheaded by the U.S., there are virtually no medicines available to treat these diseases--even to ease the suffering of the thousands of Iraqi children slowly dying of cancer each year.
U.S. veterans of the war are also paying the price. Exposure to DU weapons is thought to be a major cause of Gulf War Syndrome, the name given to a host of debilitating illnesses and conditions suffered by returning vets. "Once in a while, you'd hear some guy say, 'Hey, I heard those things were radioactive,'" combat engineer Dwayne Mowrer told the Nation magazine. "Of course, everybody else says, 'Yeah, right!' We really thought we were in the new enlightened Army. We thought all that Agent Orange stuff and human radiation experiments were a thing of the past."
The U.S. remains the only country in the world ever to use the ultimate weapon of mass destruction--the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.
What gall it takes for the Bush administration to talk about Iraq's arsenal of weapons! We have to expose Washington's lies--and stand up against Bush's drive to war.
The "no-fly" fraud
THE 1991 Gulf War against Iraq never really ended. In addition to economic sanctions that have killed more than 1 million people in the last decade, Washington--along with its lapdog ally Britain--has bombed Iraq every week on average since 1991.
By the end of 1999 alone, U.S. and British forces had flown more than 6,000 missions, dropped more than 1,800 bombs and hit more than 450 targets. According to the Los Angeles Times, that marked "the longest sustained U.S. air operation since the Vietnam War."
The ongoing air war has been carried out under the cover of enforcing "no-fly zones" over the northern third and southern third of Iraq--to protect Shi'a Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north.
No U.S. politician thinks twice about claiming that the no-fly zones were imposed under a UN resolution. But that's a lie. The U.S. and Britain imposed the zones unilaterally. They have never been sanctioned in any UN resolution.
Nevertheless, the Bush administration claims that the November 8 UN resolution makes any Iraqi defense of its territory in these zones--whether firing on a U.S. plane or just using a radar system to lock onto one--a justification for all-out war.
Did Iraq expel UN inspectors?
WERE UN weapons inspectors expelled from Iraq in 1998, or were they withdrawn? As the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting showed, it depends not so much on who you talk to--as when:
"Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov criticized Butler for evacuating inspectors from Iraq Wednesday morning without seeking permission from the Security Council."
"Saddam expelled UN weapons inspectors in 1998, accusing some of being U.S. spies."
"Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, in anticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night."
"Since 1998, when UN inspectors were expelled, Iraq has almost certainly been working to build more chemical and biological weapons."
"The chief UN weapons inspector ordered his monitors to leave Baghdad today after saying that Iraq had once again reneged on its promise to cooperate."
"Information on Iraq's programs has been spotty since Saddam expelled UN weapons inspectors in 1998."