A Model of Anti-war Stupidity - - This article
in The Toronto Star
by Haroon Siddiqui simply has to be read to be believed. But don’t bother with the link; let’s dissect the juicy parts bit-by-bit.
When punch-drunk with power, you get blinded to reality and become deaf to even friendly advice. One suspects that's what's happening to America.
What about the friendly advice America is getting from Britain? Spain? Italy? Forget it, isn’t there 18 nations in Europe who are telling us, with friendly advice, that America is right. It would seem that the only friendly advice that counts is from Germany, or France who are, surprise, against the war.
What else explains its determination to invade Iraq in the face of the biggest anti-war protests of modern times? Against the near-unanimous advice of key allies, including Jean Chrétien? In defiance of the report of the United Nations inspectors that Saddam Hussein has no weapons of mass destruction, that he has not resumed his nuclear program and that it may be possible to peacefully force him to comply with all his international obligations?
I particularly find the idea of “key allies” a preposterous way to describe any advice that the Canadian Prime Minister might add to the debate. And don’t get me started-that the Canadian government has cynically agreed to send our troops in a peace keeping mission making it rather absurd that we could be for, or against, participating in a war. Secondly the idea that the weapons inspectors have concluded that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction is crazy at best. They are trying to verify the absence of such weapons against an Iraqi declaration that it has none. I think any sane person would conclude that it is hard to tell.
Thirdly, the idea that there is hope to “peacefully force” Saddam to comply ignores 12 years of failed U.N. resolutions and endless lies. Nothing has been able to make him comply thus far, what will do so? Letting him off the hook once again. I would imagine that he’d probably kill some Iraqi women for sport if the UN doesn’t forcibly disarm him.
When Colin Powell responded to Hans Blix and Mohammed elBaradei at the crucial Security Council session Friday, it was as though he had not heard what they, along with the French foreign minister, had said in challenging some key aspects of Washington's relentless propaganda.
If I were Colin Powell I would probably look the same way. Again, how can anyone, with a straight face, take what Blix said seriously? Or for that matter the choir he was preaching to from France? Blix wouldn’t be inspecting anything if it were not for the United States-they forced resolution 1441 and now Blix takes shady politically charged jabs at Powell’s presentation of last week. What does that have to do with inspecting? As for France and friends, why did they sign 1441 at all?
America has been twisting facts, leaping to questionable, at times illogical, conclusions and resorting to scare tactics.
Just last week, in the middle of a terror alert, and on a day when Osama bin Laden reinserted himself into the headlines, the FBI announced that hundreds of Al Qaeda operatives are already in the United States awaiting orders to carry out terrorist attacks. If so, why doesn't the FBI just scoop them up?
Just one thought here. I imagine Mr. Siddiqui’s article when the FBI drags in a couple hundred suspects. Not pretty.
America insists that Saddam Hussein is linked to Al Qaeda through Ansar al-Islam, a murderous guerrilla force of about 500 operating a poison factory in a remote corner of northeast Iraq. If so, why not blast it and them, rather than cite them to justify blasting innocent Iraqis?
This is interesting. Let’s suppose that America did chose to simply bomb Ansar al-Islam’s toxic factory. What happens to the chemical and biological weapons that Saddam has not accounted for? Would he then feel more emboldened to use them? Would he give them to terrorists as a consolation prize?
As for the innocent Iraqis I think the actions in Afghanistan demonstrated that the liability towards innocents has been greatly exaggerated. This is not to say that it is meaningless, or the case cookie cutter to Iraq, but that factory is hardly the sole justification. See: Saddam Hussein, cross reference weapons of mass destruction, friend of terrorists.
America says Saddam's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles can fly more than 800 kilometres and possibly attack Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and parts of the Central Asian republics. Why is it, then, that these potential victims do not feel threatened and almost all are opposing the war?
Ha! Let’s start with the softball. Yes Israel is not threatened by Iraq’s unmanned vehicles. Hey wasn’t it Israel who took out Saddam’s nukes the first time? Were they not bombed by Iraq in 1991? Iran? Yes they love Saddam? (And it would seem al Qaeda too) Jordan and Turkey? Turkey is looking for NATO help; Jordan is cozying up to the US.
The world is also wary of American intelligence, which is what Washington has been citing almost every day to justify attacking Iraq.
The folks who failed to foresee Sept. 11 also had no inkling of the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iraq's invasion of Iran the same year and of Kuwait in 1990, or the 1998 nuclear tests in India.
Well to think that intelligence is infallible is asking too much of the intelligence agencies. I wonder if Mr. Siddiqui would approve, if the intelligence was available, to prevent any of these things. A preemptive attack on Iraq in 1990? A preemptive attack on India in 1998? I doubt that. Intelligence is one thing; action is quite another. Judging by what Powell is saying I would think that there is credible intelligence, and that is why the administration wants the UN to act on it.
There is no knowing, yet, what to make of the latest CIA assertions about other such terror links. But we do know that Blix and elBaradei have shot down the CIA declarations about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
So if intelligence is so important, and the CIA (according to Siddiqui) is so incompetent in predicting things, why are Blix and elBardadei to be so readily believed? What intelligence do they have? I don’t get this.
It is simply not credible for America to now claim that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction "may turn up in our cities" — especially not after the revelation that, unlike Iraq, North Korea has missiles capable of reaching North America.
The American case for war — dubious to start with because of its inconsistencies and double standards, and because of the politics of oil — is getting eroded by Washington's absurd and increasingly dishonest arguments.
These last two paragraphs are telling. Fine, the point that North Korea has a missile capable of hitting the US, is worrisome. Fine, lets go after them? I’m sure that the anti-war protestors will just love that too, right? The answer is no. We would turn our sights to North Korea, and the anti-war crowd would find a way to oppose it, capitulate, or be blackmailed.
I especially like how at the end of the article, for fun or perhaps bonus points, he casually slips in everyone’s favorite “politics of oil” argument. And if it is disingenuousness
that you want you have to think about France, Germany, and to a lesser degree Russia.
argues that the politics of oil has little to do with the US and everything to do with France. “If we were hellbent on Iraqi oil, we would lift the sanctions tomorrow in exchange for fat oil contracts -- something Hussein has suggested in the past. Or we could have just taken Iraq's oil a decade ago when we briefly occupied the region. America has no interest in fighting a war for oil. But France desperately wants ‘peace for oil,’” writes Goldberg.
But the main point here is that America is being dishonest and absurd. I find it amusing that after three months of dealing with inspectors; it is the US, whom Siddiqui thinks is lying-surely it has to be Iraq? Even the NY Times
is growing impatient
: “There is ample evidence that Iraq has produced highly toxic VX nerve gas and anthrax and has the capacity to produce a lot more. It has concealed these materials, lied about them, and more recently failed to account for them to the current inspectors. The Security Council doesn't need to sit through more months of inconclusive reports. It needs full and immediate Iraqi disarmament. It needs to say so, backed by the threat of military force.”
I would gladly wager that pretty much everyone would accept what Colin Powell has been saying in 2003. Months ago, when Powell was playing the administrations game of seeking UN approval, the same protestors were all about him being the voice of reason against Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush. Now that he has seen the silly inaction by the UN, the Sec. Of State has decided that if the UN won’t uphold Saddam to disarm, the US will.
As with most of the current arguments against war, it has less to do with Saddam Hussein or his arsenal, and everything to do with the United States. The forces of opposition simply don’t like the power of America being able to eliminate problems that threaten world peace and stability. The question to ask them is why?