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|Bush & Policy on Iraq|
|09/26/02 at 09:28:05|
Bush & Policy on Iraq
If you want to know how George W Bush will go about getting international
support for war, look at how his father did it 12 years ago.
The making of a United Nations fig leaf, designed to cover an
Anglo-American attack on Iraq, has a revealing past. In 1990, a version of
George W Bush's mafia diplomacy was conducted by his father, then
president. The aim was to "contain" America's former regional favourite,
Saddam Hussein, whose invasion of Kuwait ended his usefulness to
Forgotten facts tell us how George Bush Sr's war plans gained the
"legitimacy" of a United Nations resolution, as well as a "coalition" of
Arab governments. Like his son's undisguised threats to the General
Assembly, Bush challenged the United Nations to "live up to its
responsibilities" and condone an all-out assault on Iraq. On 29 October
1990, James Baker, the secretary of state, declared: "After a long period
of stagnation, the United Nations is becoming a more effective
Just as Colin Powell, the present secretary of state, is busily doing
today, Baker met the foreign minister of each of the 14 member countries of
the UN Security Council and persuaded the majority to vote for an "attack
resolution" - 678 - which had no basis in the UN Charter.
It was one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the United
Nations, and is about to be repeated. For the first time, the full UN
Security Council capitulated to an American-led war party and abandoned its
legal responsibility to advance peaceful and diplomatic solutions. On 29
November, the United States got its war resolution. This was made possible
by a campaign of bribery, blackmail and threats, of which a repetition is
currently under way, especially in countries such as Egypt and Saudi
Arabia. In 1990, Egypt was the most indebted country in Africa. Baker
bribed President Mubarak with $14bn in "debt forgiveness" and all
opposition to the attack on Iraq faded away. Syria's bribe was different;
Washington gave President Hafez al-Assad the green light to wipe out all
opposition to Syria's rule in Lebanon. To help him achieve this, a billion
dollars' worth of arms was made available through a variety of back doors,
mostly Gulf states.
Iran was bribed with an American promise to drop its opposition to a series
of World Bank loans. The bank approved the first loan of $250m on the day
before the ground attack on Iraq. Bribing the Soviet Union was especially
urgent, as Moscow was close to pulling off a deal that would allow Saddam
to extricate himself from Kuwait peacefully. However, with its wrecked
economy, the Soviet Union was easy prey for a bribe. President Bush sent
the Saudi foreign minister to Moscow to offer a billion-dollar bribe before
the Russian winter set in. He succeeded. Once Gorbachev had agreed to the
war resolution, another $3bn materialised from other Gulf states.
The votes of the non-permanent members of the Security Council were
crucial. Zaire was offered undisclosed "debt forgiveness" and military
equipment in return for silencing the Security Council when the attack was
under way. Occupying the rotating presidency of the council, Zaire refused
requests from Cuba, Yemen and India to convene an emergency meeting of the
council, even though it had no authority to refuse them under the UN
Only Cuba and Yemen held out. Minutes after Yemen voted against the
resolution to attack Iraq, a senior American diplomat told the Yemeni
ambassador: "That was the most expensive 'no' vote you ever cast." Within
three days, a US aid programme of $70m to one of the world's poorest
countries was stopped. Yemen suddenly had problems with the World Bank and
the IMF; and 800,000 Yemeni workers were expelled from Saudi Arabia. The
ferocity of the American-led attack far exceeded the mandate of Security
Council Resolution 678, which did not allow for the destruction of Iraq's
infrastructure and economy. When the United States sought another
resolution to blockade Iraq, two new members of the Security Council were
duly coerced. Ecuador was warned by the US ambassador in Quito about the
"devastating economic consequences" of a No vote. Zimbabwe was threatened
with new IMF conditions for its debt.
The punishment of impoverished countries that opposed the attack was
severe. Sudan, in the grip of a famine, was denied a shipment of food aid.
None of this was reported at the time. By now, news organisations had one
objective: to secure a place close to the US command in Saudi Arabia. At
the same time, Amnesty International published a searing account of
torture, detention and arbitrary arrest by the Saudi regime. Twenty
thousand Yemenis were being deported every day and as many as 800 had been
tortured and ill-treated.
Neither the BBC nor ITN reported a word about this. "It is common knowledge
in television," wrote Peter Lennon in the Guardian, "that fear of not being
granted visas was the only consideration in withholding coverage of that
embarrassing story." When the attack was over, the full cost was summarised
in a report published by the Medical Education Trust in London. More than
200,000 people were killed or had died during and in the months after the
attack. This also was not news. Neither was a report that child mortality
in Iraq had multiplied as the effects of the economic embargo intensified.
Extrapolating from all the statistics of Iraq's suffering, the American
researchers John Mueller and Karl Mueller have since concluded that the
subsequent economic punishment of the Iraqis has "probably taken the lives
of more people in Iraq than have been killed by all weapons of mass
destruction in history".
Today, the media's war drums are beating to the rhythm of Bush's totally
manufactured crisis, which, if allowed to proceed, will kill untold numbers
of innocent people.
Little has changed, and humanity deserves better.
(First appeared in the New Statesman. Courtesy, Znet)
|09/26/02 at 09:28:59|
|Re: Bush & Policy on Iraq|
|09/26/02 at 10:09:21|
|Asalaamu Alaikum ;-)|
Whatever your opinions on the Taliban, they did not allow themselves to get into debt and hence tactics such as the above were fruitless against them.
[color=Blue] 'A'isha, the wife of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) reported:
The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to supplicate in prayer thus:
" O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the grave, and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of the Masih al-Dajjal (Antichrist) and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of life and death. O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from sin and debt."
She ('A'isha) reported: Someone said to him - (the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah! why is it that you so often seek refuge from debt?
He said: When a (person) incurs debt, (he is obliged) to tell lies and break promise[Muslim][/color]
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