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Richard Butler talks sense « Previous | |Next »
January 29, 2003

The former UN chief weapons inspector, Richard Butler, spoke to the Sydney Institute last night. He comments are interesting because we do not hear this perspective on the US from our politicians who prefer to work within very narrow horizons in public debate.

Mr Butler said that the US claim that the purpose of the Iraqi conflict was to get rid of weapons of mass destruction lacked credibility.

"If they were so deeply concerned about weapons of mass destruction, what are they doing about the situations around the world that are no less dangerous and involve weapons of mass destruction?" Why are they permitting the existence of such a shocking double standard?"

Richard Butler went onto say that it was hypocritical that Israel's weapons of mass destruction were off limits to US concern, and that it is acceptable that India and Pakistan have weapons of mass destruction and threaten to use nuclear weapons.

What we have are goods guys and bad guys with weapons of mass destruction. Iraq and North Korea are the bad guys--the forces of evil-- whilst Israel, India and Pakistan are the good guys--on the side of the forces of good.

There is a touch of unreality in all of this. I heard a war strategist from a big Washington think tank on Radio National yesterday morning. He is the one credited with a war plan that is being taken seiously by the Pentagon---well, thats how he was introduced by the presenter of the Breakfast programme on Radio National. His war plan centred on hitting Iraq very, very hard so as to awe them with US military prowess and so break their will to resist a US-led invasion. Short, swift and sharp.

Whilst talking it up with enthusiasm he said that Australia ought to be careful because Iraq could take out Brisbane. It was a blatant attempt to whip up fear and anxiety.

There was nothing about the US helping to build a democratic regime after the massive destruction. There was nothing about the consequences in the Middle East of the US going it alone with Britain and Australia with the United Nations.

In the light of that sort of talk Richard Butler talks sense.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:44 AM | | Comments (0)