Liquidation of the UN weapons inspection unit for Iraq is obviously America’s desire to cover its tracks. Indeed, the Commission has failed to discover any prohibited weapons arsenals, which means that the USA had no grounds for invading Iraq. Washington highly appreciates UN structures as long as they serve the instrument for the US for establishing the unipolar world.
The UN Security Council voted for closure of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). The inspectors of the commission were involved into search and neutralization of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The Commission was founded in 1999. The inspectors left Iraq shortly before the coalition forces with the USA at head invaded the country in March 2003. The way the organization was set up reveals the situation about Iraq that existed at that time.
First, the United Nations had a special Commission for disarmament of Iraq (UNSCOM) with Richard Butler at head, but later the commission was discredited as it provided intelligence information for the USA. A scandal broke out when the fact was made public, and the commission was closed in December 1998.
Soon after that the situation grew even tenser. At the end of December, the US delivered a powerful missile and aviation attack on Iraq. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense reported that over four hundred of cruise missiles were dropped onto the territory of the country that destroyed industrial enterprises, state institutions and residential areas of Baghdad.
The unmotivated attack and provocations of Washington made the United Nations set up a special structure to conduct an objective investigation of the charges brought against the Iraqi leadership. It was stated that Saddam Hussein allegedly worked on making weapons of mass destruction.
After many consultations, the UN Security Council decided to set up a Commission for Monitoring, Verification and Inspection in Iraq. Swedish diplomat Hans Blix who had been at head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for a long period was appointed the head of the new commission. The appointment made it possible to recommence activity of inspectors in Iraq and come to understanding with the Iraqi leadership.
Hans Blix believed his main goal was to immediately shut up the disarmament dossier and make conditions for lifting the sanctions. Many observers expected that the situation about Iraq would improve thanks to Blix’s activity. The situation about the Mideast country was rather complicated after a sudden resignation of UN humanitarian coordinator in Baghdad Hans von Sponeck in February. The German diplomat explained that he resigned as he disagreed with the political line meant to isolate Iraq. He stated that many of humanitarian contracts were purposely blocked up in the UN Security Council Commission for sanctions against Iraq. And American and British representatives approved of the blockade.
What is more, Sponeck ventured more than just criticism of the embargo policy in Iraq. He even calculated the damage that the economic sanctions and bombing of the Iraqi territory that progressively gained to 16,000 sorties within the period from 1991 to 2003 had caused to Iraq. He made a special report on the issue but was not allowed to deliver it at a session of the UN Security Council.
Sponeck’s predecessor Dennis Holliday from Ireland also dared to criticize the US political line concerning Iraq and had to resign too.
All efforts of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission were in vain, and the sad fact was the reason for anxiety of the USA and Great Britain. It turned out that the coalition forces had no motive for invading Iraq, and they had no chances for getting credentials of the world community for aggression in Iraq that they expected to have thanks to UN reports about the situation in Iraq.
So, instead of the Commission report it was decided to present information provided by the intelligence that said Iraqis had a great amount of illegal weapons of mass destruction and intended to use them against the entire of the world. Was not that a serious ground for an intrusion?
Everything and even apprehensions of the head of the commission and theories that could be neither proved nor denied were put to use at that moment. At one of the UN Security Council sessions Hans Blix said that it was not clear where Iraq was keeping the 1,000 tons of chemical weapons that the country did not mention in the official list of the weapons it held. The Commission was perfectly sure that Iraq had stocks of anthrax, gas VX and long-range missiles and insisted that the weapons must be presented for disarmament. Hans Blix called up to the Iraqi officials for cooperation with UN and IAEA inspectors.
Blix emphasized that even though many of intelligence services from different countries had information about weapons of mass destruction kept in Iraq, the UN Commission must be guided with sure facts only. IAEA chief El-Baradei said that Iraq provided free access to its objects for the Commission to inspect them.
After Saddam’s regime fell down UNMOVIC inspectors never returned to Iraq. UNMOVIC functions were handed over to a new organization, a Group for investigating Iraq. UNMOVIC just watched hypothetical military objects on the Iraqi territory at a distance basically on pictures transmitted with the help of satellites.
Representatives of the USA and Great Britain suggested a resolution on closure of the commission. It is an easy way to cover their tracks as weapons of mass destruction that the coalition forces expected to declare as the casus belli in Iraq was discovered neither before the intrusion nor later. The existence of such a commission could be a serious reason to blame the USA for its unmotivated aggression against the sovereign country of Iraq. Both Washington and London would not like to be blamed for the aggression against the background of the present-day situation in Iraq. So, it is quite clear why they want to break up the commission.
Russia in its turn insists that the international monitors should logically complete their activity and finally tell the rest of the world if Iraq had been so extremely dangerous that deserved liquidation. Otherwise, the monitors just let the aggressors push them around.
Russia’s representative Vitaly Churkin said at a session of the UN Security Council that the resolution about UNMOVIC closure gave no clear answer to the question if Iraq held unconventional weapons of mass destruction. He added that the future of the Iraqi nuclear objects, storages of chemical and biological weapons, double-purpose programs monitored by the Commission was not clear either. It is not clear either what must be done with several dozens of Iraqi missiles that UN inspectors failed to liquidate by the beginning of 2003.
Russia’s stand is quite understandable and reasonable. The idea to liquidate the commission may mean that the UN Security Council will be the end of the US Department of State that needs the Security Council as an instrument to lay claims to domination over the world.
Translated by Maria Gousseva