No matter what UN inspectors say about Iraq...
December 6, 2002 | Page 1
DAMNED IF they do, and damned if they don't. That's the situation that the Bush gang has created for Iraq.
United Nations (UN) weapons inspectors were making visits across Iraq as Socialist Worker went to press. Asked by a BBC reporter if inspectors had found anything "guilty or recriminating so far," Mohamed El-Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, bluntly stated, "No, we haven't." But that doesn't seem to matter to George W. Bush.
On Monday, Bush made a "get-tough" speech at the Pentagon making it clear that it doesn't matter what inspectors say. "Has [Saddam Hussein] decided to cooperate willingly and comply completely, or has he not?" a smirking Bush declared. "So far, the signs are not encouraging."
The Bush gang is looking forward to December 8--the deadline under the recent UN Security Council resolution for Iraq to give an accounting of its "weapons of mass destruction." If the Iraqi government admits to having weapons, it will be "in material breach" of the resolution--which is grounds for war. Yet if it doesn't admit to having weapons--and the U.S. decides that it's lying--Iraq will also be in breach. So Washington gets its war either way.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and Britain were trying to provoke Iraq by escalating their bombing campaign of "military installations" in the "no-fly zones" they unilaterally declared over the northern and southern thirds of the country. One attack on a "military target" last weekend killed four civilians and injured dozens more--because the "military target" turned out to be an office building of the Southern Oil Company, according to the government.
But Iraqi lives mean nothing in Washington. Bush military adviser Richard Perle made that crystal clear last month when he told a group of British lawmakers that the U.S. would find grounds to attack Iraq--even if Hans Blix and the UN weapons inspectors find nothing at all. "All he can know is the results of his own investigations," Perle said. "And that does not prove Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction."
Washington wants a war--no matter what the human cost. That's why it's important for the growing antiwar movement to begin organizing our response now. We need to send a message to Bush--that we won't stand by while he launches a new slaughter in Iraq.