i-NSIDER/No.103/February 17, 2003
War-aholic Bush administration
-- The beginning of the empire's end
The question whether Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction(WMD) is very simple: The international community is suspicious of Iraq's WMD, so the country has accepted UN weapons inspections, although Iraq claims the suspicion is groundless. The best way to reach a conclusion is to have a complete and thorough inspection. It is quite reasonable to strengthen the inspections by fielding three times as many inspectors as are on the current team, as proposed by Germany, France, Russia and China. The proposal will be welcomed at the UN Security Council and will no doubt be supported by many nations in the General Assembly. The belligerent US and UK will find few supporters. Actually they are singular, war-aholic states.
If there is a rule, it should be universal. Otherwise, nobody will comply with it. Suppose the Americans and the British could resort to war against Iraq because the Iraqis are suspected to have WMD; then the Iraqis could do the same thing against the US and UK. We know that the US possesses nuclear, biological and chemical weapons(NBC), as well as non-NBC, indiscriminate lethal weapons such as depleted uranium bombs or fuel air explosives. This state is number one in the world in its arms arsenal and arms experiments. The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Kosovo have proved it. It is strange for the US to quibble over Iraq's WMD without questioning their own WMD. If a third country requests UN inspections of US weapons, the US doesn't have a right to refuse the request.
Noam Chomsky states in his introduction to Milan Rai's book*: "if an action is right (or wrong) for others, it is right (or wrong) for us. Those who do not rise to the minimal moral level of applying to themselves the standards they apply to others plainly cannot be taken seriously when they speak of the appropriateness of response; or of right and wrong, good and evil." **
* "War Plan Iraq: Ten Reasons against War on Iraq" (340 pages,
Suppose the US were the policeman of the world. A policeman in a civil society, or an enforcement officer, does his duty in accordance with rules and laws. He may resort to force when necessary, but he will never arrest or kill someone when in doubt. The new doctrine of pre-emptive attack that Bush outlined last September is a defiance of human efforts to 'illegalize war' in the context of constitutions and international law. It is a crime against civilization. Bush is acting like a cowboy in a western film. He considers himself like the rescuer of a town that has been harassed by outlaws. He thinks of himself as assigned by the townspeople to punish those rogues and to get rid of them. He himself is an outlaw, wandering from town to town with a gun on his hip. That image is fine in a movie but barbarous in today's world.
Suppose the US could rightfully make a pre-emptive attack. But why is it against Iraq and not North Korea? Sanko Kimura, who belongs to Issuikai+, writes as follows in the preface of a book of which he was the executive editor:
"Just think about the fact that the US would not attack North Korea or topple Kim Jon Il, even though this member of the 'axis of evil' has the capability of shooting a missile that can reach mainland USA, and that it openly admits to possession of nuclear weapons. On the other hand, Iraq declares it has no WMD and has accepted UN weapons inspections to prove it. Mr. Scott Ritter, one of the former inspectors, gave the following testimony: over 90% of the arms manufacturing factories in Iraq were examined in 7 years and a half; and their production capabilities were totally destroyed. The US knows better than anyone else that Iraq has no nuclear weapons.
"Nevertheless, Bush announces that Iraq is a more imminent danger, and he continues accusing Hussein till his regime is overthrown. If the question is really about WMD, North Korea is a more imminent danger. It should be knocked down right now. President Hussein explained Bush's focus on Iraq as follows: 'North Korea does not have oil and is not Israel's enemy or a neighbor of Israel.' In other words, the true reason why Bush wants to oust Hussein is to control the world's second-largest oil fields in Iraq and to protect Israel."***
*** "Kichiku beiei, Ganbare Saddam Hussein", which means in
English, "Brutal Americans, Fiendish Britons; Cheer up, Saddam Hussein"
(Rokusaisha 175 pages, December 2002)
US hindered inspections
It was the US that hampered and killed the UN inspection program. The
Security Council passed Resolution 661 to impose economic sanctions for
the first time on Iraq in August 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait. It passed
another resolution, Resolution 687, one month after the end of the Gulf
War, imposing harsher sanctions, in paragraphs 8 and 12. The Security
Council decided, in paragraph 8, that "Iraq shall unconditionally
accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international
The UN Special Commission, or UNSCOM, was created to collect data for
(a) and (b). The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, was asked
to check and monitor (c).
The US and Britain alleged that Baghdad refused to cooperate, to work with the inspectors. Milan Rai, who is a long-time peace activist in the UK and author of "War Plan Iraq" (see note above), remarks that "it is the US, not Iraq, which is putting new conditions on the inspections in order to cook up such an objectionable resolution that Iraq will withdraw its offer to allow in inspectors."
He points out three reasons why Iraq and the inspection team broke up. First, Saddam stopped helping UNSCOM because he found that the US would not lift the embargo even if Iraq followed Resolution 687 and destroyed its arms (Financial Times). The British media were in agreement with Rai's assessment at this point. Russia, France and China suggested that the Security Council should lift the export ban on oil once Iraq had met the requirements. The US, however, rejected this in a letter of October 31 of 1998. It was just before Saddam declared non-compliance.
The second reason was a procedural dispute over 'sensitive sites', which
had no direct connection with manufacturing of WMD. The inspection team
had demanded to inspect such facilities as presidential palaces, government
offices, facilities for Republican Guards and Special Republican Guards,
offices of four services for security and information, in brief, facilities
related to Iraq's safety and dignity as a sovereign country. At first,
Iraq was reluctant to cooperate, but after several negotiations, the Iraqis
agreed to detailed inspection guidelines in February 1998. For example,
only 4 weapons inspectors would enter certain designated sensitive sites,
but at larger sensitive sites -- such as the presidential palaces --more
inspectors could enter if the size of the site warranted it, as decided
on a case-by-case basis. Inspectors would be accompanied by senior diplomats
to safeguard Iraqi sovereignty.
CIA spies intruded
The third and the most crucial element was that the US covertly placed CIA personnel on inspection teams to monitor the movements of Hussein and other top Iraqi leaders. Not only did they gather information, which was unavailable from spy airplanes, by setting up equipment with electro-listening devices, video cameras and through interception, eavesdropping, etc., but also they orchestrated a coup against Hussein by contacting Iraqi military officers while conducting inspections at Special Republican Guard sites.
These facts were confirmed by Rolf Ekeus, Swedish diplomat and head of UNSCOM at that time, and Scott Ritter, a former inspector who resigned the post in protest of US interference with UNSCOM. Ritter testifies that in 1996 there were nine CIA agents in Iraq. A senior CIA official known as Moe Dobbs was an expert in special operations. In January 1996 interested parties from intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait had a meeting with the 'Iraqi National Accord', which was a front group of Iraqi military exiles. INA was based in Jordan and was funded and backed by the CIA. They designed an action program of recruiting Iraqi officers to foment a military coup. The US and Saudi Arabia each contributed $6,000,000, and Kuwait paid $3,000,000 for the program. Ritter became aware of his being used as a tool for the plan. He realized that Dobbs was playing the role of 'CIA paramilitary covert operative' on the inspection team.
The coup attempt was uncovered. Hussein arrested and executed 120 officers in the military, intelligence, and security services as rebels. The US was forced to shift their strategies from indirect activities to direct attack. The CIA team continued to collect information about the Iraqi leader. The plan was plotted in 1997 and carried out in December 1998 as operation 'Desert Fox'. It was an extensive bombing operation. According to an American military analyst, half of the targets were 'top-level sites' important for Hussein's regime but irrelevant to weaponry.
UNSCOM was killed in this way by the US. However France, Russia, and China insisted that the inspections be continued, and they proposed a new plan. In December 1999, a new resolution (Resolution 1284) was passed, and the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) was created. Hans Blix of Sweden was appointed the commission's executive chairman. The US and UK imposed even more strict conditions to paralyze the commission. It was reported that President Bush gave an official order to the CIA to 'assassinate Hussein'. The US started in September 2002 to make an actual plan for a war against Iraq.
It was a surprise, in that sense, that Hussein promised to comply with Resolution 1441 of 11/07/02, which warned of 'serious consequences' unless Iraq accept 'immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted' inspections. Iraq's compliance may not be what America expected. The US does not care about Iraqis' extensive reports or their obligation to the inspection. Preventing the development of Iraqi WMD is secondary to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Will the problem be settled once Hussein is removed? Milan Rai answers this question by quoting Ritter's essay:
"We should continue our efforts towards disarmament by inspecting and monitoring the country for an indefinite period of time. But that doesn't apply only to Iraq. If we don't have a framework for reducing arms programs in Iran and Israel or curtailing the proliferation of advanced conventional arms in the Middle East, Iraq will not agree to disarm itself."
I agree with him. As long as Baghdad perceives a threat from Teheran or Tel Aviv, the Iraqis will defend themselves with arms. It doesn't matter who the leader is. Washington does not seem to understand this.
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