Iraq: Hype, hysteria, hypocrisy

Rumsfeld’s hysterical discourse echoed by Cheney

Richard (Dick) Cheney, the Vice President of the United States of America, has taken up the gauntlet left by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as the Bush administration schemes for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

That a man in the position of Richard Cheney can justify the notion of a unilateral military campaign against a sovereign state outside the auspices of the UNO and without a consensus of favourable opinion from the international community, based purely upon conjecture, is as shocking as it is ludicrous.

The Vice President claims that Baghdad is pursuing “an aggressive programme” to develop a nuclear weapons capacity, that His Excellency President Saddam Hussein “aims to dominate the Middle East and submit the world to nuclear blackmail” and his trump card, accompanied by the Churchillian tones of an increasingly incoherent Rumsfeld, who evokes the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s, is that “time is against us” and “It is better to act than to do nothing”.

Act, the United States has already done, with Depleted Uranium weaponry in 1991, which has been responsible for 200% increases in malignant diseases in southern Iraq, mainly in children. Act, the United States has already done, in burning crops in Iraqi agricultural fields, to deprive an already hungry civilian population of nourishment.

However, there is not one shred of evidence which links Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath regime to a global terrorism campaign and there is not a grain of truth in Cheney’s accusations. The USA is the only country in the international community which chooses to use blackmail and bullying instead of diplomacy, as it revises trading treaties with states which do not jump as high as they are told, this after any threads of economic independence have been assimilated.

Planning a military intervention based on pure conjecture and haphazard guessing is an amateurish and extremely dangerous method of conducting crisis management, amateurish to the degree exposed in the last US Presidential election. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush cannot count on the support of one single neighbour of Iraq nor on any single political heavyweight in the international community, for a unilateral military strike.

The German Defence Minister, Peter Struck, has even considered pulling out his nuclear/biological contamination detection unit from Kuwait so as not to involve German soldiers in a war against Iraq, while Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has repeatedly made it clear that he is against any attack, as has French President Jacques Chirac, who claims that only the UN Security Council has the competence to order military intervention against Baghdad. The only potential ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, wrestles with the knowledge that 52% of his own party is decidedly against a strike against Iraq.

The ridiculous stance of the USA is blatantly exposed in the field. Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait have all attacked a military solution and called on a diplomatic resolution to the tension.

The old adage “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are”, applied to the current situation, presents a telling and chilling spectacle – that of an iceberg floating alone in ever warmer waters, with a walrus, a polar bear and a penguin stranded on top, looking more and more isolated and more and more out of their element. Applied to Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush, the adage shows that there are no friends. The rules of international diplomacy have already taught the lesson that the isolated must sink. Whether or not they can swim remains to be seen.


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Author`s name Editorial Team