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    Okay, Hitchens has officially ..., 2003-02-19 00:00:00 | Main | The boycott-France crowd that ..., 2003-02-20 00:00:00

    The "Last Option": When Bush says an invasion is the "last option" it might as well read "it is the only option we have considered". Invasion has been administration hawks' intentions since before they were elected: this month marks the one year anniversary of the first report that the administration had already decided to invade Iraq, as well as Debka reports that US special forces were already on Iraqi soil. This goes without mentioning that we've been taking illegal military action against Iraq once every three days for the past 12 years - offering Iraq a firm "incentive" to comply with UN resolutions.

    Internal, popular opposition to Saddam seems to be almost non-existent, demonstrated by failure of the 1995 attempt to instigate a rebellion, and support for popular rebellion is likewise almost non-existent inside the US establishment, as demonstrated by hanging the 1991 rebellion out to dry, demonstrated further by the administration's growing disregard for the exiled opposition - a number of groups within which, under the heading Iraqi National Forces, are dedicated to overthrowing Saddam without foreign intervention.

    Surely ambivalence to Saddam's regime has grown as a result of the unilateral pushes for invasion by the US government and the dubious and undefined future it would entail for Iraq. Circumstances suggest that there is internal dissent against Saddam within the Ba'ath party, which suggests that this plan is worth considering. This plan is not.

    But none of this has to do with "WMD" or terrorism except that these are the only arguments made that can legally justify a UN resolution authorizing force. This has to do with what Blair calls the "humanitarian case" for overthrowing Saddam, which is the only argument that has any credibility behind it. If the concern is disarmament then there is no case for war. If the concern is international terrorism the war itself may amount to as much, and as Jerry Springer so pithily said, invading Iraq "is like taking a baseball bat to a hornet's nest".

    If the goal is not actually disarmament but external assistance for democratic revolution against a dictatoral regime guilty of crimes against humanity then a legal case should be made within the UN - and it would probably require an ammendment to the UN charter that specifies the conditions for such interventions. In this case it comes over a decade after the worst atrocities have already been committed. The justification that internal disputes resulting in crimes against humanity present a security risk cannot be applied, in which case the US would also - to end a stance long filled with hypocrasy and to allow for the forceful extradition of mass murderers - need to support the International Criminal Court and subject Kissinger to its authority. Presumably it would mean that the US would not establish a post-invasion US military government inside Iraq without the consent of the Iraqi people - or at least that such a "government" would be strictly limited in its powers, with UN supervision in the interim of foreign access and control of Iraqi resources until an Iraqi democracy is established and is capable of managing trade itself. Needless to say a UN or US managed Iraq will quite likely have it's hands full preventing civil war in the south between Sunni and Shi'ah factions or Turkish incursions in the north should PUK/KDP oppose US dedication to "territorial integrity", which is a likelihood if the US or Turkey oppose Kurdish autonomy and is further complicated by recent activy of the PKK. Bothering to mention the Turkmans amid all this would surely just confuse matters. Where and while we're unrealistically mutilating the UN charter in order to justify an invasion we might as well provide for a more democratic institution by revoking the veto power of the permanent members of the UN security council.

    It also means that the administration drop its blueprint for the New American Imperialism, what has essentially been adopted, with a few soft touches and a lot of new rhetorical flares, as the US National Security Strategy from any consideration for US policy in the future, which realistically would require dropping the bulk of Bush's cabinet, not bombs.


:: posted by buermann @ 2003-02-20 00:00:00 CST | link





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