The Unjust War with Iraq

"A  flawed policy wrapped in illusion," Congressman John Murtha

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Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq" by John Pilger

After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United Nations (backed strongly by the US and UK) imposed harsh sanctions on Iraq that lasted for 10 years (1991-2001); the harsh restrictions on imports of everything, including access to key medicines, resulted in over a million deaths, more than half a million of which were women and children. That's more deaths than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan and 9/11 combined.

The purpose was regime change, but it never came. The overwhelming majority of those killed were the poor, elderly, women and children.

Empirically, sanctions overwhelmingly punish the poor, the destitute. While the sanctions were in place, the richest people in control of the resources (Saddam Hussein et al.) still had everything they wanted: food, cars, mansions, access to the best medicines, etc.

 

Campaign for a New Foreign Policy

"All of us have heard this term 'preventive war' since the earliest days of Hitler. I recall that is about the first time I heard it. In this day and time...I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing."
-President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953, upon being presented with plans to wage preventive war to disarm Stalin's Soviet Union
 

"...Vieira de Mello began to see the growing insurgency as the consequence of an increasingly malignant occupation. Hemmed in by Resolution 1483, however, he concluded that the only way to improve security in Baghdad was to work even harder to get the Coalition to give up power. Coalition troops, he told a Brazilian journalist, had to “have greater sensitivity and respect for the customs of the people.” They had to focus on the dignity of Iraqis, which was being trampled daily: Iraqis had lived under a barbarous regime; the war with Iran had killed hundreds of thousands; they had suffered years of devastating sanctions; their government had been overthrown by outsiders; and now, in “one of the most humiliating periods in the history of this people,” they had almost no say on how they were being ruled.

Vieira de Mello began drafting an op-ed article [shortly before his death]. An occupation, he wrote, can be “grounded in nothing but good intentions. But morally, and practically, I doubt it can ever be legitimate: its time, if it ever had one, has passed.” He urged the Americans and the British to “aim openly and effectively at their own disappearance.”- "The Envoy," by Samantha Power, The New Yorker, 1/7/2008- discussing the role Vieira de Mello played in the Iraqi occupation up until the Canal Hotel/Iraqi UN Headquarters Bombing in Baghdad  on August 19, 2003, that took his life and the lives of at least 21 others.

 

"Our position is that whatever grievances a nation may have, however objectionable it finds the status quo, aggressive warfare is an illegal means for settling those grievances or for altering those conditions."
--Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the American prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, in his opening statement to the tribunal
From: The Case Against War, by Jonathan Schell, The Nation, 2/13/03

"So I put this [flag on my lapel] as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don't have to make it, or approve of bribing governments to join the coalition of the willing (after they first stash the cash). I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us. The flag belongs to the country, not to the government. And it reminds me that it's not un-American to think that war -- except in self-defense -- is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve, and diplomatic skill. Come to think of it, standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country. "
Bill Moyers, NOW with Bill Moyers, 2/28/03.

"The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to so to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?"  From John Brady Kiesling's Letter of Resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2/27/03.


"Why do you think the Iraq war has undermined the war on terrorism?

MR. CLARKE: Well, I think it's obvious, but there are three major reasons. Who are we fighting in the war on terrorism? We're fighting Islamic radicals and they are drawing people from the youth of the Islamic world into hating us. ... We've played right into the hands of al-Qaeda and others. We've done what Osama bin Laden said we would do.

"...And that's the second reason. The attack in Madrid showed the vulnerabilities of the rails in Spain. We have all sorts of vulnerabilities in our country, chemical plants, railroads. We've done a very good job on passenger aircraft now, but there are all these other vulnerabilities that require enormous amount of money to reduce those vulnerabilities, and we're not doing that.

"...three is that we actually diverted military resources and intelligence resources from Afghanistan and from the hunt for bin Laden to the war in Iraq." Interview comments by Richard Clarke, from the Nation column, The Daily Outrage by Matt Bivens, 3/31/04; See also: Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, by Richard Clarke, 3/2004


What Ever Happened To Peace On Earth
Willie Nelson

There's so many things going on in the world
Babies dying
Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth

We believe everything that they tell us
They're gonna’ kill us
So we gotta’ kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier’s life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

(Bridge)

And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liars word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

So I guess it’s just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let’s just kill em’ all and let God sort em’ out
Is this what God wants us to do

(Repeat Bridge)

And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liars word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

Now you probably won’t hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there’s a time, and if you’re ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

But don’t confuse caring for weakness
You can’t put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free

(Bridge)

And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liars word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth


Jimmy’s Road” (©July 24, 1968)
Willie Nelson

This is Jimmy’s road where Jimmy liked to play.
This is Jimmy’s grass where Jimmy liked to lay around.

This is Jimmy’s tree where Jimmy liked to climb,
But Jimmy went to war and something changed his mind around.

This is the battleground where Jimmy learned to kill.
Now Jimmy has a trade and Jimmy knows it well too well.

This is Jimmy’s grave where Jimmy’s body lies
When a soldier falls Jimmy’s body dies and dies.

Well this is Jimmy’s road where Jimmy likes to play.
This is Jimmy’s grass where Jimmy likes to lay around.


"It may not be fanciful to see a connection between this [ George Bush's support of capital punishment while Governor of Texas] and the belligerent militarist policies that have produced a novel and dangerous principle, that of pre-emption on the basis of intelligence reports that in one particular instance have been shown can be dangerously flawed and yet were the basis for the United States going to war, dragging a Britain that declared that intelligence reports showed Iraq to have the capacity to launch its weapons of mass destruction in a matter of minutes.

"An immoral war was thus waged and the world is a great deal less safe place than before. There are many more who resent the powerful who can throw their weight about so callously and with so much impunity."-
Archbishop Desmond Tutu , Independent/UK, 2/16/04


The First Casualty of War is Truth

The End of an Innocence that never was..

Familiar, Haunting Words, 3/20/2003

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity--A Diplomat's Memoir

Bush's War For Reelection: Iraq, the White House, and the People by James Moore

Intelligence Matters,  by Senator Bill Graham, 9/2004, Random House, Inc.
"In this explosive, controversial, and profoundly alarming insider's report, U.S. Senator Bob Graham reveals faults in America's national security network severe enough to raise fundamental questions about the competence and honesty of public officials in the CIA, the FBI, and the White House.
For ten years, Senator Graham served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he had access to some of the nation's most closely guarded secrets. Following 9/11, Graham co-chaired a historic joint House-Senate inquiry into the intelligence community's failures. From that investigation and his own personal fact-finding, Graham discovered disturbing evidence of terrorist activity and a web of complicity.
As a result of his Senate work, Graham has become convinced that the attacks of September 11th could have been avoided, and that the Bush administration's war on terrorism has failed to address the immediate danger posed by Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. " - From the Publisher


Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, by Richard Clarke, 3/2004
"The [Bush] administration has squandered the opportunity to eliminate al Qaeda....A new al Qaeda has emerged and is growing stronger, in part because of our own actions and inactions. It is in many ways a tougher opponent than the original threat we faced before September 11, and we are not doing what is necessary to make America safe from that threat."
No one has more authority to make that claim than Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The one person who knows more about Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda than anyone else in this country, he has devoted two decades of his professional life to combating terrorism."

"Deserter: Bush's War on the Military and His Past, by Ian Williams," 8/04
"Deserter looks objectively at the military record of George W. Bush, his role in the armed forces, and his treatment of them. Drawing upon military and former-military sources, Ian Williams convincingly argues that the president is guilty of breathtaking hypocrisy, cynical doublethink, and egregious neglect of the actual defense of the United States." -from the Publisher, Thunder's Mouth Press

"Secrets and Lies: Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Collapse of American Power in the Middle East", by Dilio Hiro, 12/2003
"...Secrets and Lies ...reveals the scope of the "dirty tricks" used by the Anglo-American alliance to sell the war through the phony intelligence reports and the exaggeration of Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction. It examines the media campaign to win hearts and minds-including the stage management and spin surrounding the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch." - from the Publisher,  Thunder's Mouth Press, 12/2003.

More than one million Iraqis dead since 2003 invasion: study, 1/2008

See Hillary Run (from Her Husband's Past on Iraq)

Iraq Invasion Radicalized Saudi Fighters, 9/18/2005

UN Rights Expert Charges US Using Food Access as Military Tactic , 3/31/2005

Remembering All Those Arguments Made 1,500 Deaths Ago, 3/11/2005

War Helps Recruit Terrorists, Hill Told: Intelligence Officials Talk Of Growing Insurgency, Dana Priest and Josh White, 2/17/05

Senator Kennedy discusses America's Future in Iraq at the John's Hopkins School of International Studies, 1/27/05

Iraqi Insurgency Growing Larger, More Effective, 1/22/05

Coble suggests pullout in Iraq, 1/9/2005

The Butcher's Bill: 5,000 U.S. soldiers dead, 25,000 wounded, 4,000 bereaved children. A look at the future of the war in Iraq, 12/23/2004

US Failed to Honestly Assess Iraq Threat - Report by Carol Giacomo, 12/23/2004

Officer Alleges CIA Retaliation: Lawsuit Says Agency Urged False Reporting on Iraqi Arms, 12/9/2004

2 C.I.A. Reports Offer Warnings on Iraq's Path, 12/7/2004

The Final Judgment: Bush and Blair's Case for War is Demolished, 10/07/2004

Bremer criticizes troop levels in Iraq: Ex-administrator says planning failure created 'atmosphere of lawlessness," 10/04'

Iraq War was Illegal and Breached UN Charter, Says Annan, 9/04

Group Offers Bush Bleak Iraq Assessment, 9/04

A Secure America in a Secure World, 9/2004

Three Years On, War on Terrorism Looks Like a Loser, 9/11/2004

White House Blocked Probe of Sept. 11-Saudi Link: Top US Senator

Iraqi Teens Abused at Abu Ghraib, Report Finds, 8/24/2004

Washington Accused of Ignoring Nuclear Terror Threat, 8/22/04

The Post on WMDs: An Inside Story- Prewar Articles Questioning Threat Often Didn't Make Front Page

Pre-9-11 Intelligence Underpinning US Terror Alert, 8/03/04

Advocates of War Now Profit From Iraq's Reconstruction, 7/04

9/11 Commission Sticks By Its Iraq, Al Qaida Findings, 7/04

Rumsfeld Gave Go-Ahead for Abu Ghraib Tactics, says General In Charge- 7/04

Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror, 8/04

Imperial Overstretch: George W. Bush and the Hubris of Empire, 7/04

Republican Senator Rips Bush on Iraq Strategy: Hagel says war hurt U.S. in terror battle, 6/04

Iraq Regime Change a Sham, Say Mideast Experts, 6/04 Advocates of War Now Profit From Iraq's Reconstruction

9/11 Panel Disputes Iraq Link to Attacks, 6/16/04

Retired officials say Bush has made U.S. isolated, distrusted, 6/16/04

Interrogation abuses were 'approved at highest levels, 6/13/04'

Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative's Name, 6/3/04

New Prison Images Emerge: Graphic Photos May Be More Evidence of Abuse, 5/6/04

A Wretched New Picture Of America: Photos From Iraq Prison Show We Are Our Own Worst Enemy, Washington Post, 5/4/04, Philip Kennicott

Claim vs. Fact: Rice's Q&A Testimony Before the 9/11 Commission, 4/8/2004

Blix: Iraq Worse Off Now Than With Saddam, 4/6/04

Carter Savages Blair and Bush: 'Their War was Based on Lies,' by Andrew Buncombe in Atlanta, Independent UK, 3/22/04

Blix: Iraq War Was Illegal: Blair's defense is bogus,
says the former UN weapons inspector, 3/5/04; Also: "Disarming Iraq," by Hans Blix


Bush Lies Uncovered, 2/23/04

The Ultimate Betrayal- Howard Zinn, 4/2004

Tutu Tells Blair: Apologize for 'Immoral' War , 2/16/2004

US Officials Knew in May Iraq Possessed No WMD, 2/1/04

US Plans Spring Offensive in Pakistan

'It's Just Wrong What We're Doing'
In an exclusive interview, repentant Vietnam War architect Robert McNamara breaks his silence on Iraq: The United States, he says, is making the same mistakes all over again, 1/25/04

Ex-Arms Hunter Kay Says No WMD Stockpiles in Iraq, 1/23/04

CIA Officers Warn of Iraq Civil War, Contradicting Bush's Optimism, 1/22/04

Dude, Where's My Country? - Soldier's Letters

Bush's Iraq Visit a Pre-Election PR Stunt, 11/28/03

"The President Ought to be Ashamed," 11/21/03"

US-led occupation brings frontline against al-Qaeda to Iraq: analyst, 9/6/03

Ex-Envoy Criticizes Bush's Postwar Policy

Number of Wounded in Action on Rise by Vernon Loeb, Washington Post, 9/2/03

Pentagon: U.S. Facing 'Guerrilla-Type' War, 7/16/2003

Bush Faced Dwindling Data on Iraq Nuclear Bid by Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer, 7/16/2003

Lies, Damned Lies And Military Intelligence By William S. Lind, June 11, 2003

US Forces' Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons is 'Illegal' by Neil Mackay, 3/30/03

PNAC's Present Dangers  As a Blueprint for Bush Doctrine

Shock & Awe

"Confronting Iraq: Might Doesn't Make Right," by Desmond Tutu and Ian Urbina

Carter decries unilateral war on Iraq: Former president says invasion to topple Saddam unjust

New York Times Op-Ed: Saying No To War

Some [Key] Evidence on Iraq Called Fake: U.N. Nuclear Inspector Says Documents on Purchases Were Forged

2/26/03, letter by Coleen Rowley, Special Agent, Minneapolis to  FBI Director Robert Mueller.

IPS Releases Report on U.S. Arm-twisting Over Iraq War

U.S. Diplomat Resigns, Protesting 'Our Fervent Pursuit of War' by Felicity Barringer, New York Times, 2/27/03

U.S. on Diplomatic Warpath: The word is out: Rebuff on Iraq could reduce aid by Dafna Linzer, Associated Press, 2/24/03

Inspectors Call U.S. Tips 'Garbage', 2/20/03

World Diplomats Berate America for Rush to Attack, 2/19/03

CIA 'sabotaged inspections and hid weapons details'

Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences, by US Senator Robert Byrd: Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act

U.S. Guilty of 'Shocking Double Standards' on Iraq - Former head U.N. arms inspector Richard Butler, 1/28/2003

Is Iraq in substantial and material breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1441?

Bush Administration Foreign Policy in Korea: AWOL

U.S. Claim on Iraqi Nuclear Program Is Called Into Question," Joby Warrick, Washington Post, 1/24/03.

"Thousands Oppose a Rush to War: Chill Doesn't Cool Fury Over U.S. Stand on Iraq," Manny Fernandez and Justin Blum, Washington Post, 1/18/03

Joe Wilson, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq during the George H. Bush Administration, opposes Iraq policy of regime change & invasion- News Conference, 12/12/02

Iraq: What is the Debate Truly About?

Byrd Pleads to American People

U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- The Congressional Draft Resolution on Iraq

The Troubling New Face of America

U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- Commentary

The Middle East : U.S. Foreign Policy at its Worst

The Bush Administration: Lowering the Nuclear Threshold




The First Casualty of War is Truth

"War's cost is exacting. It destroys families. It leaves behind a wasteland, irreconcilable grief. It is a disease, and in the night air I smell its contagion. Justice is not at issue here: war consumes the good along with the wicked. There will be no stopping it. Pity will be banished. Fear will rule. It is the old lie again, told to children desperate for glory: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country)."- "A Gaza Diary- Scenes from the Palestinian Uprising," by Chris Hedges. See also, "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," by Chris Hedges.

"We’re in the midst of a somewhat muted arms race, not with the Soviet Union but with the rest of the world. We’re busily trying to fabricate enemies. We shift from the North Koreans, and then we’re engaging with Iraq and Iran again, and then we take a shot at Libya. We wait for any of these people to raise their heads up and we’re ready to go against them. This means nuclear weapons. We had 600 warheads in the Gulf during the Iraq War, and if American troops would have died there in considerable numbers, we would’ve used those warheads. That’s why they were there."  1996 Interview with Phillip Berrigan by Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive.

American Friends Service Committee
Americans for Peace Now
AntiWar Video Fund
Arab American Institute
Black Radical Congress
Bring Them Home Now
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The Center of Concern
Code Pink
Essential Information
Federation of American Scientists
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Greenpeace
Institute for Policy Studies
International Action Center
International A.N.S.W.E.R.
International Peace Bureau
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
Iraq Peace Pledge
Military Families Speak Out
The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
Moveon.org
NAACP
National Council of Churches
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
National Organization of Women
National Youth and Student Peace Coalition
Not in Our Name
Nuclear Policy Research Institute
Oxfam America
Pax Christi USA
Peace Action
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Priorities!
The Progressive National Convention
Racial Justice 9-11
Rainbow/PUSH
Sierra Club
Sojourners
Stop the War Coalition
Student Environmental Action Coalition
United for Peace & Justice

Veterans Against the Iraq War
Veterans for Common Sense
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
Win Without War
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom
Women's Action for New Directions
ZNet


The Iraq War- An Unjust War

According to Keith Pavlischek in his paper, "Just and Unjust War in the Terrorist Age,"  Jus ad bellum requires that before war there must be legitimate authority, just cause and right intention. Other criteria include: Is there a reasonable chance for success? Will the overall good exceed the harm done (proportionality)? Have other means to redress been attempted (last resort)? Can peace among combatants be achieved? (the end of peace)?

With regards to an Iraqi War, is there legitimate authority- right authority related to the political good of order? Since the Iraq War will contravene the United Nations Security Council- one of the bodies entrusted with the maintenance of international law the answer is NO. Further, almost every nation in the world, except The U.S. and Great Britain, opposes the war. Even in Great Britain, the opposition to the war is so deep and widespread, it may topple the government of Tony Blair.

Is there a just cause? It is true that the Iraqi regime is evil. It has expelled and murdered its own citizens. However, is this sufficient cause to wage war and risk the lives of hundred of thousands of men, woman and children? Are there other ways of controlling and limiting the regimes' brutality? Ostensibly Iraq will be attacked because it possesses WMD- not because it is ruled by an evil regime- yet UNMOVIC has indicated that there is no evidence of WMD. Therefore the answer is NO with respect to just cause.

Is there right intention? Some have questioned whether U.S. and Great Britain are more motivated by the pursuit of cheap oil rather than a free Iraq and/or are unduly influenced by the Israeli lobby. It does not help that the Bush cabinet is dominated by oil industry executives and that it has shown a clear tilt towards Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Administration harkens back to its chief motivation being to counter the terrorist/al-Qaida threat posed by Iraq- however there is no credible evidence that Iraq poses such a threat. So what is the true U.S. intention? The answer is quite clear- regime change (in contravention of International Law)- and why? Because Iraq may pose a threat in the future- not because of any present danger. Should this be considered right intention? Again, the answer is NO. Preventive War is in direct contravention of International Law.  Also, the so-called democratic domino effect touted the President, Wolfowitz, Perle and others is discounted by Bush's own state department.

Is there a reasonable chance of success? How is success is defined? If it is defined as regime change- the answer is a likely yes. This begs the question of whether the aim itself is just and based on the above the answer is NO.

Is the response of war proportional to the threat posed- Will the overall good exceed the harm done? It is probable, but by no means assured, that U.S. military casualties will be relatively low. However, it is unclear if Iraq has sleeper cells in the U.S. that could pose a threat to U.S. citizens. It is also unclear whether U.S. military action will encourage, not discourage terrorist acts against U.S. citizens. It is likely that Iraq will suffer a terrible loss of human life, both through saturation bombing, invasion and infrastructure collapse. The same may apply to our regional allies. Given that there is no present threat posed by Iraq, a U.S. military invasion of Iraq is NOT proportional- the harm done is likely to exceed the the overall good achieved.

Finally, UNMOVIC is reporting increased Iraq cooperation and compliance with the letter and intent of 1441. Nor does 1441 preclude surgical military strikes if needed. Nor does it preclude development of a more precisely defined response mechanism to Iraqi violations, including the option of graded military response. It is apparent that not all means have been exhausted to ensure that Iraq is and/or stays free of WMD. Therefore, the answer to whether all means to redress a possible harm have been attempted is NO.

Many Americans, including former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jimmy Carter, agree with the essentials of the above analysis as does most of the rest of the world, including our traditional allies- France, Germany and Russia. If, as is the case, a large number of U.S. citizens perceive this war as unjust- what does this auger for our perception overseas? To the potential of future recruits for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups? Indeed, many in the world now perceive the United States as a bigger threat to world peace and stability than Iraq. Finally to suggest that French intransigence is the root of our difficulties at the U.N. is absurd. France, Germany and Russia are reflecting, not shaping world public opinion. In fact, it has been Pentagon planning, not diplomacy that has set the U.S. agenda on Iraq.

Finally, what is probably in the mind of some U.S. foreign policy planners is the amassing 200,000 troops for war and failing to wage war- and the damage this may cause to American credibility and the weakness it implies. However, I would argue otherwise. Force is not precluded in the Fall if Iraq fails to fully comply with 1441. By then it will be clearer what the regime's true intentions are. An aggressive inspections regime is likely at a minimum to stymie any WMD program- if in fact one exists. However, entering a war to maintain the perception (and not reality) of U.S. credibility is a bad mistake, similar to the one made in Vietnam.


U.S. Diplomat Resigns, Protesting 'Our Fervent Pursuit of War' by Felicity Barringer, New York Times, 2/27/03

"...We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners."

"...Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson."

- Brady Kiesling, the political counselor at the United States Embassy in Athens
 

CIA 'sabotaged inspections and hid weapons details'

Senior democrats have accused the CIA of sabotaging weapons inspections in Iraq by refusing to co-operate fully with the UN and withholding crucial information about Saddam Hussein's arsenal.

Led by Senator Carl Levin, the Democrats accused the CIA of making an assessment that the inspections were unlikely to be a success and then ensuring they would not be, 2/14/2002, Andrew Buncombe, The Independent.
 

Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences, by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003


To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war.

Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.

We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much substantive discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular war.

And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world.

This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to take nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible attack against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than this type of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has tied the vital economic and security interests of many nations so closely together? There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored alliances, and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust, misinformation, suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is fracturing the once solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11.

Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.

This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.

In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration's domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition, under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth. This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration has been reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.

In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.

Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on.

The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the peace in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that remote and devastated land.

Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces. This Administration has not finished the first war against terrorism and yet it is eager to embark on another conflict with perils much greater than those in Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we not learned that after winning the war one must always secure the peace?

And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in Iraq. In the absence of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize Iraq's oil fields, becoming an occupying power which controls the price and supply of that nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we propose to hand the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?

Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks on Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will the Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals, bolstered by Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than Iraq?

Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a world-wide recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even more lucrative practice for nations which need the income?

In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous consequences for years.

One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.

But to turn one's frustration and anger into the kind of extremely destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.

Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under age 15 -- this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent. On the eve of what could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.

We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings.

To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of our country". This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was to put ourselves in a corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more time.

 

Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act

"The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information.

The Center for Public Integrity has obtained a draft, dated January 9, 2003, of this previously undisclosed legislation and is making it available in full text," Center for Public Integrity,"  2/7/03. See also; Whitely Strieber's Journal, dated 2/10/03 on the so-called, "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003," & MEDIA ADVISORY: Muted Response to Ashcroft's Sneak Attack on Liberties, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, 2/1203.


U.S. Guilty of 'Shocking Double Standards' on Iraq - Former head U.N. arms inspector Richard Butler

"The spectacle of the United States, armed with its weapons of mass destruction, acting without Security Council authority to invade a country in the heartland of Arabia and, if necessary, use its weapons of mass destruction to win that battle, is something that will so deeply violate any notion of fairness in this world that I strongly suspect it could set loose forces that we would deeply live to regret," Butler said. Reuters, 1/28/03.

 

Is Iraq in substantial and material breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1441?

The basis of this determination is contained within the resolution itself. Further this determination is to be made by the Security Council, not any one member state. The criteria are:

(1) Does Iraq's WMD/weapons delivery systems declaration provided pursuant to item (3) of 1441 contain false statements or omissions? If it has omissions are they material?

(2) Has Iraq provided UNMOVIC and IAEA immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access to records, facilities, scientists, etc. ?

(3) Has Iraq taken any hostile acts against UN or IAEA personnel?

Based on news reports, Item (1) is subject to interpretation, however it appears Iraq must more fully disclose.  Again, based on news reports, Iraq has fully complied with items (2) and (3). There have been unconfirmed reports of intimidation of Iraqi scientists and their families, however I have not heard this accusation from UNMOVIC or IAEA.

The US has painted itself into a box. The administration knew it was unlikely that Iraq would proactively and enthusiastically disclose all of its weapon's systems, but hoped to garner world support for its actions through the UN. The world for its part, never expected Iraq to enthusiastically comply (even at the point of a gun), but hoped that the combination of inspections and disclosure would provide a better understanding of Iraq's WMD capabilities. Clearly it is subject to interpretation whether Iraq is in substantial material breach of 1441, as evidenced by the French, Russian and German counter positions.

The U.S. has almost 100,000 troops in the Persian Gulf. Failure to use these troops against Iraq may be perceived as weakness by potential U.S. enemies. Further, U.S. threats to Hussein's very survival make him even more dangerous both before and after the start of an attack. On the other hand, the case for an invasion of Iraq is weak and the actual invasion/attempted regime change fraught with risks and the potential for substantial military and civilian casualties. Going to war for oil is immoral. Continued economic and political dependence on oil is unsustainable and destructive to the planet.

What is needed is constructive engagement with Iraq and our allies. The key tenets of this approach include:

(1) A guarantee that if it fully complies with 1441, Iraq will not be invaded.
(2) While there is no credible evidence that Iraq actively cooperates with or aids terrorist groups, Iraq must sign an agreement that it will not do so.
(3) A more aggressive inspections regime, including greatly increased numbers of inspectors, broader deployment of inspectors, more detection equipment, etc. Intimidation of scientists, their families and others who choose to voluntarily cooperate with inspectors would be expressly prohibited.
(3) A clearly spelled out modus operandi for resolution/corrective action if prohibited weapon's systems are found. If this finding represents a serious breach of 1441, then the Security Council must meet to decide a course of action.
(4) Provided, Iraq is in full, verifiable compliance, a phased timetable for relaxing and eventually ending economic sanctions. Full ending of sanctions may require changes to the Iraq regime, including greater freedom and independence for its citizens and the end of political suppression in the country.
(5) An on-going inspections regime that will help ensure that Iraq remains in full compliance.


Bush Administration Foreign Policy in Korea: AWOL

Spurning South Korean President Kim Dae Jung (2000 Nobel Peace prize winner) in 3/2002 because of his sunshine policy towards the North; Failing to talk to the North Koreans for two years in a policy of dis-engagement; "Axis of Evil" threats; Discussions with South Korean leaders about invasion of the North; Oblique threats by the Secretary of Defense of a two front war with Iraq and Korea; Remilitarization of Japan; Threatening remarks by the President against Kim Jong Il tantamount to warmongering; Open splits among Administration foreign policy decision-makers regarding Korean, Middle East and Iraq policy; A complete failure to understand the psychology, cultural history and motivations of North Korean leaders; The possibility of a dramatic proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region....An almost endless stream of dangerous and inept policy actions by the Bush Administration contributing to a foreign policy debacle and a pathetic display of brinkmanship by both sides.

All this when dealing with a country steeped in weapons of mass destruction, possessing strong missile delivery technology as well as the means (and now even more the motive) to export that technology to terrorists and unfriendly nations. Further a nation possessing a massive army capable of inflicting heavy casualties on South Korea, Japan and others. A foreign policy based on the personal morality and predilections of the President (no matter how sincere) is dangerous to the United States of America. What is needed is engagement and constructive solutions that increase the chances of regional stability and peace, whether it is North Korea, Iraq or the Middle East- not misguided, self righteous instinct and selective dis-engagement.


Joe Wilson, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq during the George H. Bush Administration, opposes Iraq policy of regime change & invasion- News Conference, 12/12/02

Joe Wilson makes a strong case for what he terms "muscular [disarmament] enforcement," as opposed to invasion and "decapitation" of the Iraqi regime. Ambassador Wilson dispels much of the Administration rhetoric, including the notion that the Iraqi people will welcome American "liberators;" that a post Saddam Iraq will be easy to govern; that arms inspections will be ineffective unless Iraq "rolls over" to inspectors/provides full disclosure; and that Saddam is irrational and therefore impossible to contain. Ambassador Wilson also believes that an Iraq war will increase, not decrease regional and global terrorism.

Notwithstanding the above, reports are streaming in around the World that the United States may decide to invade Iraq in late January or early February- regardless of opposition from the U.N. security council or UNMOVIC. Whether under these circumstances, the U.S. will have the support of Great Britain, Australia, etc. is unclear.

The U.S. Congress is now completely out of the loop due to their capitulation prior to the 2002 mid-term elections. See: Byrd Pleads to the American people. Also tragically, the American people as a whole seem opposed to war, especially without strong allied support. Even more tragically, the majority of Americans appear uninformed as to the possible consequences of war to U.S. troops, regional allies and the people of Iraq.

My fervent hope is that the above conclusions are incorrect and that reasonable Iraqi compliance with UNMOVIC and U.N. Security Council resolution 1441, will head off war. In this case, the U.S. military buildup in the Gulf will play a positive role in inducing Saddam Hussein to comply with inspectors and further disclose WMD. Finally, the definition of reasonable needs to be left to the body that promulgated 1441- the U.N. Security Council, of which the United States in one of 15 members. See also: Drift Toward War Revives Nightmare of Vietnam: Policymakers preferred their wishful thinking to sound analysis, by Ray McGovern,, Charlotte Observer, 1/03/2002.


Iraq: What is the Debate Truly About?

The Iraq debate has been clouded with glittering generalities, confusion of fact and opinion, suspect analogies to past events, poor issue definition, conflicting and shifting positions, political infighting, etc.

The President's position is that if Iraq possesses WMD, especially nuclear weapons, it will find a way to use them to further break containment, destabilize the Middle East and pose a threat to the security of the United States directly or through terrorist proxies. The Administration believes that the Iraqi government is capable of great miscalculation and irrational behavior as demonstrated by its invasion of Iran and Kuwait, attempted assassination of the elder Bush, etc. The Iraqi regime's abysmal human rights record is used to further evidence the danger it poses to all peoples. See: "Saddam Hussein: Crimes & Human Rights Abuses," by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London. The sum total of the above invites comparisons with Hitler's and Stalin's governments- both of whom were threats to world peace and directly responsible for millions of needless deaths and untold human tragedies. Further, it appears unlikely Saddam's regime can be overthrown from within.

Given the above, the Administration considers a conflict with Iraq inevitable and wants to engage now, while Saddam's WMD capabilities and military are relatively weak. However, the Administration admits that while a successful U.S. invasion of Iraq may be swift there is a risk of significant military and civilian casualties.

Opposition to the Administration is two-fold. Some agree with the above analysis, but disagree as to strategy and tactics. Others assert that Iraq's possession of WMD does not guarantee its use. The former group is encouraging the Administration to use the UN for (1) building a military coalition in the event Iraq fails to disarm and (2) constructing a post Saddam Iraqi regime in the aftermath of war. Those who hold the later view will not back UN resolutions with military action, unless Iraq engages in or threatens overt military action. This group questions whether there are legitimate reasons why Iraq is being singled out and whether it poses an immediate threat. They emphasize the potential for large civilian casualties, refugees, displacement and a major humanitarian crisis. For example, since 1991 as a result of UN economic sanctions, over 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a result of epidemics and famine. See also: Medact report: "Collateral Damage, the health and environmental costs of war on Iraq."  & Voices in the Wilderness: a campaign to end the economic sanctions against the people of Iraq."

The later group also questions the motives and timing of the Bush Administration, especially in light of Administration statements concerning American supremacy and military preemption. Regarding human rights, they ask why the United States remained largely silent when thousands of unarmed Kurds were killed in Halabja in 1988.

The Administration has not convinced me that there is not a serious risk of large numbers of civilian and military casualties. What preparations are being made in the region to protect our Arab and Israeli allies and the Iraqi people against Saddam's use of chemical and biological weapons? How can Saddam's regime be overthrown without "hand to hand" combat in Baghdad and the potential for a large number of military and civilian causalities? Is our military adequately prepared for such combat? Will our allies contribute the military and economic support essential for the operation's quick success? Will they militarily and economically assist in building a post Saddam regime?

I believe the American people's support for an operation will be weak if it proves lengthy and/or costly in lives and dollars. The ramifications of an aborted operation are almost too frightening to contemplate. All of these considerations bode for caution and use of a variety of economic, diplomatic and as a last resort, military means, to achieve the objective of Iraqi disarmament.

Finally, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's analogy between the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Iraqi situation is weak, it should be pointed out that US intelligence never located the nuclear warheads for the Soviet missiles in Cuba during the crisis. Only 33 of what photography later showed was a total of 42 medium-range ballistic missiles were photographed by U.S. intelligence officials at the time. Further diplomacy, a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba and a quid pro quo in Turkey, not military action are what averted nuclear catastrophe. See National Security Archive: Havana Conference on Cuban Missile Crisis, 10/11/02. & "Projection on Fall Of Hussein Disputed," by Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post, 12/18/02
 

Byrd Pleads to American People

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. quote from Hermann Goering, Nazi wartime criminal and second man in the Third Reich, following the October 10th defeat of his Senate battle against the resolution handing President Bush unprecedented powers to declare pre-emptive war and invade Iraq.
 

U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- The Congressional Draft Resolution on Iraq

After weeks of debate, the Bush administration has failed to adequately and coherently address significant questions regarding a U.S. led military operation against Iraq, see: "U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- Commentary." The administration appears disunited, with key military leaders arguing against the administration's policy and key Bush administration civilian decision makers underestimating the military, political and economic risks/demands of an operation and subsequent nation building effort. One key unanswered question is why the administration didn't make its' case before the United Nations, six months or even a year ago, given the President's oft mentioned comment that "time is ticking" on a UN inspections/sanction resolution. Further the administration has politicized the issue, perhaps hoping that if the Democratic Senate resists the resolution, it will be their undoing- in effect putting the same type of time squeeze on the U.S. Congress that the administration has placed on the United Nations.

Therefore I have concluded that at this time it is unwise for the Congress to grant the Executive branch any authority tantamount to a declaration of war against Iraq.

The Congress should draft a resolution that strongly supports Iraqi disarmament and unconditional arms inspections under the auspices of the United Nations. It should provide a reasonable timetable for Iraqi compliance with current and/or new UN WMD resolutions. If Iraq fails to fully comply with these resolutions, then the administration should be required to report back to Congress and perhaps then make a case for additional military action/economic sanctions. Further, the administration should be strongly encouraged to garner broad regional and international support for the enforcement of any new or current UN resolutions pertaining to Iraq.

Finally, the debate over preemption has been so muddied by the administration that it has even alarmed our allies and former American Presidents and Secretaries of State. Therefore it is incumbent on the administration to clarify its position and the Senate's responsibility to understand and critique what is perceived as a major doctrinal shift in American foreign policy.
 

The Troubling New Face of America

Quoting from a September 5, 2002 Washington Post article, former President Jimmy Carter, Chairman of the Carter Center and a Nobel Prize Laureate in Peace writes:

"Fundamental changes are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates (except, at times, within the administration)."

"Formerly admired almost universally as the preeminent champion of human rights, our country has become the foremost target of respected international organizations concerned about these basic principles of democratic life."

"While the president has reserved judgment, the American people are inundated almost daily with claims from the vice president and other top officials that we face a devastating threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and with pledges to remove Saddam Hussein from office, with or without support from any allies."

We cannot ignore the development of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, but a unilateral war with Iraq is not the answer. There is an urgent need for U.N. action to force unrestricted inspections in Iraq. But perhaps deliberately so, this has become less likely as we alienate our necessary allies. Apparently disagreeing with the president and secretary of state, in fact, the vice president has now discounted this goal as a desirable option.

"We have thrown down counterproductive gauntlets to the rest of the world, disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated international accords."

"Peremptory rejections of nuclear arms agreements, the biological weapons convention, environmental protection, anti-torture proposals, and punishment of war criminals have sometimes been combined with economic threats against those who might disagree with us. These unilateral acts and assertions increasingly isolate the United States from the very nations needed to join in combating terrorism."

"Tragically, our government is abandoning any sponsorship of substantive negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Our apparent policy is to support almost every Israeli action in the occupied territories and to condemn and isolate the Palestinians as blanket targets of our war on terrorism, while Israeli settlements expand and Palestinian enclaves shrink."

"There still seems to be a struggle within the administration over defining a comprehensible Middle East policy. The president's clear commitments to honor key U.N. resolutions and to support the establishment of a Palestinian state have been substantially negated by statements of the defense secretary that in his lifetime "there will be some sort of an entity that will be established" and his reference to the "so-called occupation." This indicates a radical departure from policies of every administration since 1967, always based on the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories and a genuine peace between Israelis and their neighbors."

"Belligerent and divisive voices now seem to be dominant in Washington, but they do not yet reflect final decisions of the president, Congress or the courts. It is crucial that the historical and well-founded American commitments prevail: to peace, justice, human rights, the environment and international cooperation."

Bold and underline are my own.

Whatever the merits of former President Carter's views (and I believe they have merit (see: "U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq Commentary," "September 11th and its Aftermath/Civil Liberties at Stake," "The Middle East: U.S. Foreign Policy at its' Worst," "The Bush Administration: Lowering the Nuclear Threshold," "Global Warming" and "Bush Whitehouse Weakens Clean Air Act"), what can the U.S. expect from world opinion if a former American President has such strong foreign policy, ethical and moral concerns? Can U.S. foreign policy be effective without support, at the very minimum, from our traditional allies in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia? See: Pew Research Center report:  What the World Thinks in 2002: How Global Publics View: Their Lives, Their Countries, The World, America


U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq- Commentary

The foreign policy debate over Iraq brings into sharp focus the need for more discussion at home and abroad that centers on addressing key questions including:

What is the true nature and extent of Iraq's WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) programs? Does Iraq even have, or is it seeking to re-acquire WMD?

What are the political, legal, military, economic and social regional/international repercussions of actions to remove Saddam Hussein from power? Is US active support for a regime change in contravention of international law? What is the level of support in Iraq for a regime change? What groups or parties are likely to replace the Bath? Will the replacement regime be better for Iraq and the region and have the support of the Iraqi people? Will the end result be a fragmenting of the country or a the emergence of a new state built on a federalist model? How embittered are the Iraqi people from over a decade of economic sanctions and how would this effect the stability of a post Saddam regime?
How effective will Iraq's response to US/Israeli military action be? Does it now possess WMD, including nuclear weapons, that can be effectively deployed in the region or even internationally in response to a military threat?  See: "Saddam Hussein's Development of Weapons of Mass Destruction;"  The Iraq Dossier from 10 Downing Street and Presentation by Dr. Khidir Hamza, Author of "Saddam's Bombmaker," with Jeff Stein. What are the implications of military action against Iraq on the Arab-Israeli conflict/peace process and the possibility of a regional conflagration?  What are the world economic repercussions of an invasion of Iraq?

How will the peoples and governments of the world and the region perceive and react (short and long term) to US unilateral (versus international multilateral) preemptive military action against Iraq? What effects will military action against Iraq have on the "war on terrorism," particularly the level of intelligence cooperation from regional and international partners and/or allies that may be opposed to unilateral US action? Is Iraq in fact a terrorist threat? See: the section from the Whitehouse report, A Decade of Deception and Defiance entitled "Saddam Hussein's Support for International Terrorism," versus the perspective from Scott Ritter's speech to the Iraqi Parliament, "Ex-UN weapons inspector addresses Iraqi parliament, urges inspectors' return."

What are the foreign policy implications of an invasion of Iraq? Is it the aim of US foreign policy to invade and topple any government that opposes its policies, is geopolitically significant, militarily vulnerable, represses its own people and may possess and/or is in the process of developing WMD? Does the United States have the legal justification, let alone the military/economic means and political will to affect such a policy? President Bush has defined Iraq, Iran and North Korea as part of the "Axis of Evil," drawing an analogy with the Axis powers during WWII. Are Iran and North Korea next in the US plans? Are the threats to be addressed concurrently?  Does lumping them together in this way suggest that the method of dealing with these nations will be similar? Besides these three nations, what other nations and groups pose significant threats, now and in the near to mid-term? What, for example, would be the US response if Musharraf's government in Pakistan was overthrown by an extremist group? See Newsweek 8/19 article by Roy Gutman and John Berry, "Beyond Baghdad: Expanding Target List- Washington looks at overhauling the Islamic and Arab world."

Given the current heat of US foreign policy discussion is it realistic to assume that Iraq will allow renewed and effective weapons inspections and destruction of existing stockpiles? Is this even a current aim of US foreign policy?  What assurance would Iraq receive that unconditional inspections will not be used as a cover for intelligence gathering and military action by the US and its allies, as was alleged in 1998? Could an honest broker, "an
independent objective outside observer who monitors the work of the weapons inspectors and Iraq in fulfillment of the Security Council's disarmament mandate without interfering in the conduct of such work,"  perhaps outside of the UN, achieve the desired goal- verifying whether Iraq has and/or is re-acquiring WMD? Realistically, what additional Iraqi government actions, short of a regime change, are required to lift economic sanctions?

None of the above issues have been effectively addressed by the Bush administration. Statements such as that the "absence of knowledge of a threat does not mean that there is no threat," are nothing more than sophistry. Characterizing the Iraq "issue" as part of the larger context of how to construct foreign policy in an "Age of WMD," is disingenuous. Sporadic leaks to the press of information (sometimes inaccurate) that would suggest that Iraq possess WMD do little to build a consistent and clear case for military action (see 9/7/02 MSNBC article, "White House: Bush misstated report on Iraq.") Axis of Evil speeches are derided by many allies and are perceived as saber rattling by our "enemies." Name calling with words such as "appeaser," do nothing more than to confuse words with reality and obscure a true examination of the threat.

Notwithstanding the above, Iraqi (outside of the no-fly zone) is ruled by a hideous regime and leader. Its actions can only be ignored at the world's peril. The Iraqi regime, must fully, unconditionally and without delay comply with UN resolutions that prohibit it from possessing and developing WMD. I know of no individual or nation that disagrees with this. The question is how best to bring it about.


The Middle East : U.S. Foreign Policy at its Worst

"The Bush Administration's Mid-East policy has consisted of stop and go/contradictory measures that have contributed to regional instability... The Administration's infighting and public ineptness, emboldens extremists on both sides of the conflict."  


The Bush Administration: Lowering the Nuclear Threshold

 

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