Bush and Blair have already lost the war. If there is an attack, they will be seen as the aggressors, attacking a defenceless country and indirectly murdering up to 4 million civilians, according to the latest estimates by humanitarian experts. The alternative is not to attack and be seen as having lost in another stand-off with Saddam Hussein.
As Russia, France, China and Germany lead the anti-war group, the world is divided in two: those who support Washington (“you are with us”) and those who do not (“you are against us”), only the second group is far larger than the first.
First, Washington and London wanted to unilaterally attack Iraq and only refrained from doing so after Moscow and Paris talked some sense. Then there was Resolution 1441, sending the UNMOVIC teams into Iraq to find the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and dismantle the nuclear programme that the Bush administration insisted that Saddam was pursuing actively.
The result was the presentation of the UNMOVIC and IAEA reports which stated categorically that such weaponry had not been found and such a programme did not exist, although Baghdad must still account for toxic materials which it claims have already been destroyed.
Then there was the Powell speech, based upon “evidence” derided as inconclusive by a polite Hans Blix, which was no more than inaccurate speculation. In this speech, Colin Powell referred to “magnificent” foreign intelligence work. This was the secret dossier on Iraq drawn up by MI6, the British intelligence service placed under extreme pressure, like the CIA and FBI, to come up with something which would incriminate Saddam Hussein, linking him to Al-Qaeda.
This 19-page dossier had been presented by Tony Blair to the Bush administration. Ten pages were a direct copy, complete with spelling mistakes, of a doctorate thesis written in 1991, the other nine being lifted from defence magazines readily available on the Internet.
The notion that Osama Bin Laden would have any connection whatsoever with Saddam is ludicrous, essentially because he hates the man (who he considers as an infidel) and loathes his Ba’ath regime, having urged the Iraqi people to rise up and overthrow it. However, this did not stop Colin Powell from trying to piece the two together in a broad Anti-American Alliance, proof of his extreme naivety, not to say ignorance, in international diplomacy.
Now, conveniently, three large cargo ships have miraculously been found, allegedly carrying Iraq’s WMD in circles around the Indian Ocean. How surprising. With the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden the two most heavily-guarded straits in the world, as Al-Qaeda is kept under watch, the notion that three huge cargo ships, each one weighing 40,000 tonnes, with a collective capacity to carry one hundred and twenty thousand tonnes of WMD, can simply sail past the fleets of warships scrutinising these straits so closely, is risible.
Basically, there is no case for war against Iraq. The fact is that the George W. Bush administration has failed to deliver on the home front, just as the George S. Bush administration did. A war with Iraq did little to help George S. but remains as the last hope for George W. who has done a lot of talking, without producing tangible results.
The US economy remains as strapped as ever, held down by the same indicators. The three main engines of this administration, namely the energy lobby, the steel lobby and the weapons lobby, believe that a short, swift war followed by an adjudication of Iraq’s vast resources to US-based companies will work wonders for the economy and see George W. Bush re-elected in 2004, guaranteeing another four years in power for him, while Rumsfeld and Cheney make the moves to see the USA work towards its goal of global domination.
This is the truth, and a shameful comment it is on a world power which is supposed to be a responsible member of the international community.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia