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

the pressure builds « Previous | |Next »
June 8, 2003

The 'where are the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?' issue continues to build as a political issue. For the UK see here, and here and here.

In the US the New York Times says:

"The urgent need to disarm Saddam Hussein was the primary reason invoked for going to war in March rather than waiting to see if weapons inspectors could bring Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs under control.It would still be premature to conclude that Iraq abandoned its efforts to manufacture and stockpile unconventional arms after the first Persian Gulf war in 1991. But after weeks of futile searching by American teams, it seems clear that Iraq was not bristling with horrific arms and that chemical and biological weapons were not readily available to frontline Iraqi forces."

True, this is a liberal newspaper and so it is hostile to the Bush administration. But US creditability is at stake. The NY Times again:

"The issue goes to the heart of American leadership. Mr. Bush's belief that the United States has the right to use force against nations that it believes may threaten American security is based on the assumption that Washington can make accurate judgments about how serious such a danger is. If the intelligence is wrong, or the government distorts it, the United States will squander its credibility. Even worse, it will lose the ability to rally the world, and the American people, to the defense of the country when real threats materialize."

That the creditibility of the US is at stake is denied here by Gary Schmitt, the executive director of the Project for the New American Century.

Cooking the intelligence is not an issue here in Australia. But it is in the region, given the way that Australia has identified itself as a part of the USA. John Howard gloses over the gap when he says:

"Australia must inevitably find its destiny with a series of partners and friends rather than one single relationship. And close though our relationship with the United States is, important though it is, based on the common values that it is, it is not the only relationship that Australia needs or will have for her economic future."

The Iraq problem is not a creditibility issue in domestic sense----in the sense of a hollowing out of trust between the governed and govenors----in Australia. But it may well be regionally. The scenario of Australia's common values with the US means that Australia has uncommon values with our near Asian neighbours. Uncommon means hostile in the sense of a clash of civilizations.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:29 PM | | Comments (3)


I saw Bill Kristol on TV this morning (PNAC head-honcho) and even he was expressing some trepidation. He played it down, but admitted that at the very least, the presence of absence refuted those, like him, who said the war had to happen without delay. This is quite an admission IMHO, considering the source.

I hope it convinces some of the media corporations to consider and reflect upon their responsibilities to liberal democracy.

They cannot evoke the freedom of the press as the fourth estate under constitutional liberalism without taking their responsibilities seriously.

Many of the corporate media seem to want the right without the obligations.

'I saw Bill Kristol on TV this morning (PNAC head-honcho) and even he was expressing some trepidation'

Crocodile tears. The smirk would have returned to high beam once the cameras disappeared.