i-NSIDER/No.107/March 23, 2003

-- Isn't this a terror attack by America?

In the afternoon of March 20 Japan Time, the US bombing started. The first strike came a few days earlier than expected. It was of a smaller size and with limited targets. The US intelligence agencies had been informed, according to the American press, that President Hussein and his entourage were to gather at a private house in southern Baghdad. Mr. Bush judged this was the best chance to hit him. Iraqi officials later announced that a presidential palace and Hussein's family's residences were among the targets, but that their hosts, Hussein's wives, and his daughters were away at that moment and were safe and sound.

The way the US started the strikes tells you what kind of war it is. Their objective is to eliminate Saddam Hussein.

Both the international community and the UN previously asked Iraq to clarify and respond to the widespread fear that the Iraqis may possess weapons of mass destruction(WMD). If they possessed WMD, they should disarm themselves completely and bona fide. To achieve this goal, UN inspectors should be given enough time for their activities.
It was true that Iraqi compliance with the weapons inspections was far from satisfactory and that their leaders had something to hide. But in the past the US government secretly sent CIA staff as weapons inspectors to collect intelligence data and tried to maneuver a coup d'etat by contacting Iraqi top brass. The Iraqis were getting more and more suspicious toward the UN inspections themselves, which were discontinued in 1998.
Since last summer Iraq was put in a contradictory, no-win situation; it was asked to disarm fully, but it also received a threat of a possible attack by US-led forces. The Iraqis did not, however, reject the unanimous request for disarmament. Actually they were complying step by step, even though they were reluctant to do so.
If their achievement was partial and insufficient, we could multiply the number of inspectors or shift to a more forcible paramilitary inspection by sending thousands of UN peacekeeing forces; We did have an alternative to war.
In case Iraq refused to comply and obstructed the inspectors' activities, the UN would decide what to do, not the US or UK governments.

Suppose the UN inspection did not work for Iraq. Would war be a legitimate and effective means to disarm the country? It is not so clear. We are still wondering whether it was right to invade Afghanistan because of the 9/11 terror attack.
To claim a war against Iraq, we need
(1) to prove that Iraq does possess WMD;
(2) to be able to pinpoint the arsenals; and
(3) to have a capability to destroy them from the air
without causing heavy casualties among people and in neighboring countries.
The US government has not yet accounted for all these issues. They are afraid Hussein may give WMD to a terrorist group. Again, they need to explain what connections exist between Iraq and terrorist groups and how WMD will be handed over.

Even if the US could give a good reason to persuade the international community about Iraqi WMD, they could only wage a war whose purpose is to remove those weapons. They should not add other purposes, such as to assassinate Hussein or to "democratize" the Iraqi people. It is not justified until they have shown us enough proofs and reasons why they should topple the regime, which was established supposedly by general election.

Ignoring all these arguments, the US started the war. We can see the White House mentality in Vice-President Dick Cheney's words; "The world has changed since 9/11. People in other countries don't understand this change." Mr. Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who is the director of the International Division of the Yomiuri, quoted this in his article of March 21, commenting that "The war against Iraq is justifiable from this viewpoint... President Hussein continued to betray the UN weapons inspections, and it is America's nightmare to get another attack from terrorists who may be provided weapons by a ferocious and cunning dictator like Saddam Hussein." He showed sympathy for fearful Americans. If it is OK to kill anyone who seems threatening, then how about Takeshi Hattori's case? Hattori was a Japanese student who was shot by a fearful American when Hattori was making a Halloween visit.

Generally speaking, trying to kill a president and his family is an act of terrorism. When you try to kill a foreign leader, you are an international terrorist. America was so shocked by the terror attack of 9/11 and has become so paranoid that it now behaves like a terrorist group.

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