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Bush non sequiturs { September 13 2002 }

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>September 13, 2002
>Who is the Madman Here?
>Bush's UN Non-Sequiturs
>by Tom Gorman
>President Bush spoke to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, September 12
>about the supposedly urgent need to attack Iraq. The following is a list
>of statements made by him that are either illogical, half-truths, or
>outright falsehoods, with responses to each.
>1. "Twelve years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation."
>Kuwait had been slant-drilling the Iraqi oil field of Rumallah as well as
>driving down the price of oil at a time when Iraq was in desperate need of
>funds to rebuild its infrastructure after the Iran-Iraq War (in which Iraq
>was the favored state of the US). While it is arguable whether this was
>justification for an invasion, this provocation is significantly less
>specious than that cited for, say, the American invasion of Panama seven
>months earlier.
>2. "And the regime's forces were poised to continue their march to seize
>other countries and their resources."
>Satellite imagery showed no Iraqi military buildup in the border regions
>with Saudi Arabia in either Iraq or occupied Kuwait in September 1990, as
>revealed in a series of articles in the (FL) Times in
>January 1991. Yet the elder President Bush fabricated this "aggression" to
>justify Operation Desert Shield.
>3. "Had Saddam Hussein been appeased instead of stopped, he would have
>endangered the peace and stability of the world. Yet this aggression was
>stopped by the might of coalition forces and the will of the United Nations."
>Hussein was appeased by coalition forces. After the cease-fire of March
>1991, Hussein asked for permission to fly air strikes against rebels in
>both the northern and southern no-fly zones of Iraq. The elder Bush
>granted Hussein's wish, even though the American President had publicly
>encouraged the Kurdish population of Iraq to rise up. Hussein brutally
>suppressed the rebellion.
>4. "In 1991, Security Council Resolution 688 demanded that the Iraqi
>regime cease at once the repression of its own people, including the
>systematic repression of minorities, which the council said threatened
>international peace and security in the region. This demand goes ignored."
>Of course it goes ignored, considering Bush's father gave Hussein the
>green light to continue his brutal suppression of Iraq's minorities.
>5. "Last year, the UN Commission on Human Rights found that Iraq continues
>to commit extremely grave violations of human rights and that the regime's
>repression is all-pervasive."
>Yes, and UN organizations have also repeatedly stated the devastating
>effects of US-led sanctions on the people of Iraq. Should Iraq then call
>on the international community to attack the US?
>6. "Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have
>been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution and
>torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation and
>Unfortunately, this is quite the norm in many places in the Middle East,
>including close American allies Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Pakistan.
>7. "In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former
>American president."
>In retaliation for this attempted assassination, evidence of which was
>dubious at best, the Clinton Administration launched 24 cruise missiles
>against Baghdad, killing six civilians, including artist Laila al-Attar.
>By this standard, Iraq could launch cruise missiles at Washington, as
>their leader has been the object of several assassination attempts by the
>US. (They would, of course, have to get in line behind Cuba, whose leader
>has been the target of American assassination attempts for much longer.)
>8. "United Nations' inspections also reviewed that Iraq likely maintains
>stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime
>is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons."
>The technology for such chemical and biological weapons was, of course,
>first given to Hussein by the US. The "Butcher of Baghdad" joyfully used
>this capacity against Iran (the intended targets of the American
>"largesse") as well as against Iraq's Kurdish minority (a nice ancillary
>benefit). The details of this American support for Hussein's chemical
>weapons program were detailed in an August 18, 2002 front-page article in
>The New York Times.
>9. "We know now, were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely
>have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993."
>Making it only the second nation in the region to be so armed (third if we
>count Pakistan). Israel, of course, sought to maintain its neighborhood
>nuclear monopoly by bombing an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, an action
>condemned by the US so as to show support for its new ally, Saddam Hussein.
>10. "Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced or cast
>aside without consequence?"
> From Israel's 35-year-old refusal to abide by Security Council Resolution
> 242, which calls for an immediate end to the US client's occupation of
> the West Bank and Gaza and citing "the inadmissibility of the acquisition
> of territory by war" (the same rationale which compelled the Security
> Council to condemn the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait), "cast aside without
> consequence" seems to reflect the position of the American government.
>11. "We want the resolutions of the world's most important multilateral
>body to be enforced."
>Read the above as, "We want those resolutions--and only those
>resolutions--aimed at America's official enemies to be enforced."
>12. "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support
>for terrorism and act to suppress it--as all states are required to do by
>UN Security Council resolutions."
>Strange words from the leader of the only nation to be condemned by the
>World Court for terrorism, namely the United States terrorist war against
>13. "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its
>civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkemens and
>others--again, as required by Security Council resolutions."
>And again, standards to which US allies are not only not held but are
>actively supported in violating (Indonesia murdering the Timorese,
>Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, Turkey brutally oppressing its
>Kurdish minority). Never mind that, as stated above, Hussein's suppression
>of his domestic population was encouraged and supported by the US--both
>before and after the Gulf War.
>14. "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all
>Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown."
>Assuming they were even so inclined, it is unlikely that the Iraqi
>infrastructure--destroyed by over a decade of sanctions and bombing--is
>capable of making any accounting for missing coalition military personnel.
>Accounting for the more than 200,000 civilians killed by those coalition
>forces is itself an impossible task.
>15. "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit
>trade outside the Oil-for-Food program. It will accept U.N. administration
>of funds from that program to ensure that the money is used fairly and
>promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people."
>Demanding that Iraq "accept U.N. administration of funds from"
>Oil-for-Food makes as much sense as demanding that a prisoner serving a
>life-sentence "accept" that he is incarcerated. All money from the
>Oil-for-Food program is kept in a UN-administered account at the Bank of
>Paris in New York. Roughly thirty percent of that goes to pay the UN
>administration costs and reparations to Kuwait. The remainder is not spent
>on palaces, weapons, or anything else Hussein might desire, for he never
>sees or controls the money.
>16. "The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. They've
>suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a
>great moral cause and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it."
>Indeed, but liberty from whom? From the former American client, Saddam
>Hussein, who falls in and out of grace of the US, or Anglo-American-led
>sanctions that intentionally seek to deprive the Iraqi people of the most
>basic necessities of life? What is it exactly that the people of Iraqi
>deserve? Apparently, not even the means to repair their water filtration
>systems to prevent children from dying by the hundreds from diarrhea.
>17. "Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest. And
>open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder."
>Except, of course, the United States, which threatened the entire world
>with destruction for forty years, thinking billions of people better dead
>than Red.
>Bush's thesis seems to be simple: Iraq cannot have nuclear weapons. This
>seems reasonable only for the two seconds that it takes to realize that
>Bush is the leader of the only country ever to use nuclear weapons in
>anger. Hussein is not allowed even to contemplate a horrible act for which
>the United States remains not only unapologetic, but even proud.
>Who is the madman here?
>Tom Gorman lives in Pasadena, CA. He welcomes comments at

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