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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Keeping things in perspective « Previous | |Next »
March 13, 2003

In this time of neo-conservative political correctness seeking to dominate the centres of decision making, policy advice and political criticism I just love The Onion This is the latest news bulletin from its news desk.

Bush Orders Iraq To Disarm Before Start Of War
WASHINGTON, DC—Maintaining his hardline stance against Saddam Hussein, President Bush ordered Iraq to fully dismantle its military before the U.S. begins its invasion next week. "U.S. intelligence confirms that, even as we speak, Saddam is preparing tanks and guns and other weapons of deadly force for use in our upcoming war against him," Bush said Sunday during his weekly radio address. "This madman has every intention of firing back at our troops when we attack his country." Bush warned the Iraqi dictator to "lay down [his] weapons and enter battle unarmed, or suffer the consequences."

Its good to keep things in perspective especially when we are embarked on something more than blowing up Baghdad and smashing a country to deliver democracy. It is a cultural and religious clash with Islam. How do you win that?

The national security state doesn't have a clue. It only thinks in military terms. What happens when Saddam is disposed and the victorious coalition of the willing is ruling Iraq? Its not Australia's problem says the Howard Government, which is planning to wash its hands of contribution to an occupying force, or the long-term nation building. A modest bit of humanitarin assistance is all that will be offered.

And the US? Hugh White puts the problem nicely:

"Once Saddam is gone, Bush may find it hard to persuade Americans that they need to carry this burden. Britain has hoped that the UN will come to the rescue, and take over responsibility for Iraq, as it did in East Timor. But if the invasion goes ahead without UN endorsement, the UN is unlikely to help pick up the pieces afterwards. Herein lie the seeds of a troubled future. America has the will to invade Iraq without UN support, but it may not have the will to rebuild it without UN support."

The coalition of the willing cannot expect the UN to pick up the tab or the job when they have declared the UN to be irrelevant, are pursuing a new unilateralism, scorn global governance and are only engaging with the UN to give Tony Blair a helping hand.

We can expect John Howard to roll out the standard lines for going to war: terrorist groups want to get hold of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons; the Iraq people need to be liberated from their suffering; and the need to eliminate Iraq's weapon of mass destruction. This article provides a reality check. It says that this a war about US strategic objectives. So it is not a war to protect Australia's national interests. This is a view that is common amongst defence intelligence officials who are concerned about the use of intelligence for political purposes.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:17 AM | | Comments (2)


Did you see Johnny tonight (13/3/2003) on Lateline? Kerry O'Brien sunk him with the first question: If Saddam has WMDs the terrorists want and you say they are links with Al Qaeda, why hasn't Osama used the WMD's?
Johnny totally ducked the question and parroted his usual line. Shit. Saddam has had these things for 20 years and has any terrorist group ever got them and used them? Not at all. Not even all those suicide bombers he supports in Israel.
Nothing hypothetical about that, just what has actually happened.

.. scary part is that the more Howard et al put the clamps on Iraq the more likely it is that Hussein will go completely rogue .. the mother of all self-fulfilling prophecies