by Crescent International (Occupied Arab World, Crescent International Vol. 27, No. 18, Rajab, 1419)
The dogs of war are once again barking in western capitals. US president Bill Clinton, off the hook for his sexual encounters by a promiscuous American public, feels he must now prove his virility in other ways. He has threatened Iraq with another violent assault by assembling an armada of 30 ships and more than 300 aircraft in the Persian Gulf. Should they unleash their lethal wares, it would wreak further havoc on an already impoverished Iraqi population, 1.5 million of whom have perished under UN-imposed sanctions since 1990. The vast majority were infants, the elderly, and weak. This is genocide.
The latest crisis erupted after Saddam Husain refused to allow UN inspectors free access to more weapons sites without getting some assurances about when the horrible sanctions would be lifted. UN inspections are a euphemism for carrying out Israeli orders. According to their own admission, the inspectors have uncovered and destroyed more than 90 percent of Iraq’s weapons capability that had escaped destruction in 1991. During the 42-day Gulf War, the US dropped 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraq - more explosive power than even the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima in the second world war. The pentagon claimed at the time to have destroyed 80 percent of Iraqi military capacity. If these claims are even partially correct, then Saddam is no threat to anyone, much less to the US, Israel or his Arab neighbours who have once again been bullied into towing the US line.
Even while the US is itching for further military action (it had not been unleashed at Muslimedia/Crescent International press time), US ally Turkey continued to violate Iraqi territory in the north without any reprobation from the champions of the rule of law. Israel has more than 200 nuclear weapons, the only State in the Middle East, but that does not bother the US. It was revealed last month that an El Al cargo plane which had slammed into an apartment block in Amsterdam in October 1992, was carrying a lethal chemical compound - dimethyl methylphosphonate - which is used in making the deadly poison gas, Sarin. The American company, Solkatronic Chemicals Inc, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, was the supplier of the compound destined for Israel’s Institute of Biological Research.
Israel makes weapons of mass destruction with active US help but others are blown to smithereens on mere suspicion. The El-Shifa Pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan was destroyed on August 20 with 75 tomahawk cruise missiles when the US alleged that it was making chemical weapons. The El-Shifa plant did not make chemical weapons; it provided 50 percent of Sudan’s anti-malaria and antibiotic needs. Malaria is a major cause of death in the country. The factory’s destruction has put Sudan’s population at risk. Such US crimes go unchallenged; the security council cannot act despite repeated requests by Sudan because the US blocks such moves.
This brings us to the question: whose interests does the security council serve? Certainly not the world community. Both the US and Israel routinely ignore UN resolutions. The UN is used merely as a tool of US foreign policy. It is grotesque to suggest that the US or UN are there to preserve world peace. America is the greatest purveyor of violence globally.
The US’s $275 billion annual defence budget is nearly 17 times Iraq’s gross domestic product of $16 billion. The US has more nuclear bombs, chemical and biological weapons, more aircraft, rockets and delivery systems than the rest of the world put together. The world needs protection from America and its propensity for violence. Saddam is a megalomaniac but he was created by the west. He was supported for eight years by the west when he used his weapons against Iran.
Any new US strikes against Iraq will further target vital support systems, as on previous occasions when the infrastructure - water supply, electric power, transportation, communications, food storage, processing and distribution, fertilizer and insecticide manufacture - was targeted. America’s appetite for violence must be curbed no matter what the pretext. Its ultimate target are innocent Muslims. Saddam is only an excuse for further US aggression.
Muslimedia: November 16-30, 1998