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'How can you exert pressure on someone by saying to them: Even if you accede to our demands, we will destroy you?...That made things difficult for others.'
September 5, 2002 8:02 AM   Subscribe

'How can you exert pressure on someone by saying to them: Even if you accede to our demands, we will destroy you?...That made things difficult for others.' As the attack on Iraq seems to grow more imminent, world opposition mounts to America's free-for-all "we'll do what we please attitude".
posted by Espoo2 (13 comments total)

 
Not only is world opposition mounting, but American, too. I'm going to make a (potentially naive) prediction: The U.S. will not launch war against Iraq with the current poll numbers. Unless support for such a war somehow increases (which I think would require concrete proof that Iraq has/almost has nuclear weapons and plans to use them), I don't think it'll happen. Like I said, maybe I'm naive. I hope not.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:27 AM on September 5, 2002


Consultation is important, he said, "but consultation cannot mean that I get a phone call two hours in advance only to be told, `We're going in.' "

Ohh yeah, well guess what?
Gerhard Schröder: now in the axis of evil
Germany: axis of evil

Espoo2: You guessed it, axis of evil too.
posted by Dr_Octavius at 8:32 AM on September 5, 2002


To "excuse" the present American govt and their No Matter What You Say attiltude: they may be putting pressure on Iraq to scare them into allowing full inspections. I would like to think this is the case but it seems a bit too rational.

It needs to be pointed out that Bush is in a Lose/lose situation: should we invade, we have half (roughly) of America against him; the EU, the UN, and many members of Congress. On the other hand, if he does not invade, he is perceived as a bluffer, a wimp by half of Americam, many members of Congress, and supporters on the Right.
The only way at this point he can get into a winning situation: Saddam buckels and allows full inspections.
posted by Postroad at 8:33 AM on September 5, 2002


sorry.naive. The last tip for me was that EVERYONE wants those weapons inspectors in. ah, this is academic, once the the first wave hits, some guard will chamber a round and give saddamm a kiss.

How can you exert pressure on someone by saying to them: Even if you accede to our demands, we will destroy you
Hamas has the same policy. The Germans. HA.
posted by clavdivs at 8:37 AM on September 5, 2002


clavdivs....elbaorate? That was clear as....mud.
posted by ghastlyfop at 8:48 AM on September 5, 2002


what? inspectors or hamas policy.

Shit, the best pretext for invasion is a U.N. mandated inspection team, this time they go in with airbourne divisions and a 3 brigades of tanks instead the blue helmets (UN). see the beauty in that logic.
a friend explained to me back in 99', Hamas wants nothing to do with us except kill us where we stand. no talk. no deal just for jews and westerners to die. thats all, just to die, no matter the cost or situation.


1. the pressure of war and invasion, coupled with a few bombs in baghdad or where saddam MIGHT be will...

2. force someone close to saadamn to kill him to prevent his people from suffering.

come on Colin even wants the inspectors in, almost everyone agees...except perhaps dick cheney...that tells one that his "inspectors dont matter" is the fall back position for the administartion to attack anyway. (in the event inspectors are not allowed)

and stay tuned folks, in about a week, you'll see want you did not want to see....that remains for you to de-muddify.
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 AM on September 5, 2002


Let's hope you are referring to the 9/11 hype at zenith..

I for one welcome our a-few-weeks-from-now post-hype era.
Emotions are running high--can't wait to see them ebb.
posted by y2karl at 9:22 AM on September 5, 2002


I can't help but think we would have more justification for demanding inspections if we had not (1) previously insisted that we did not seed the inspection group with spies, which it turned out we did, and (2) made efforts to bribe Iraqi officials in negotiations.
posted by troybob at 9:32 AM on September 5, 2002


I, for one, was very pleased with the heckling that Mr. Powell got at the world summit. Obviously, American's aren't allowed to voice their concerns. I'm happy to see other's in the world voice their opinions and disgust at the present state of hypocrisy in our system. . . hopefully, enough opposition will help put an end to the blind actions we've been taking.

For a country that claims to want to help and support our allies, we sure seem to turn a blind eye to their opinions quickly when they don't agree with us.
posted by Espoo2 at 9:46 AM on September 5, 2002


oooh! Dr_Octavius! can i be in the axis of evil too??
posted by tolkhan at 10:12 AM on September 5, 2002


Here's a good one circulating...

Open Letter To United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to Representatives of the Member States, on the Declared Intention of the United States to Commit Aggression Against Iraq





Dear Sirs and Madams:

Although the U.S. government openly plans a war against Iraq, U.N. officials and representatives have neither spoken out in opposition nor taken any actions that might prevent the United States from embarking on this violent course. The United Nations was created explicitly to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" (Preamble, U.N. Charter) and "to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace..." (Article 1, 1). The U.N. Charter condemns unilateral attacks across borders when not justified by self-defense, referring to the need to fend off an ongoing or clearly imminent attack. Otherwise, it is obligatory to obtain Security Council sanction for any such military action. When a country simply takes it upon itself to displace a regime of which it disapproves by force of arms, this is aggression, described by the U.S. representative at the Nuremberg trials, Robert Jackson, as "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." The recent U.S. assertion of a right to engage in "pre-emptive" attacks on states, including Iraq, does not obviate these considerations--it is another expression of an intent to violate international law.

Claims regarding Iraq's pursuit or actual possession of "weapons of mass destruction" (WMD) cannot justify a U.S attack, any more than an Iraqi attack on the United States could be similarly justified based on the U.S. possession of such weapons (and much greater threat of their use). Existing resolutions that address this issue, such as U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, do not give the United States the right to launch a strike without specific authorization from the Security Council. The idea that the United States is threatened by Iraq's alleged possession of WMD is untenable. There is no evidence that Iraq possesses any long-range delivery systems, or that its leadership is so irrational as to be planning actions that would unleash the full force of U.S. military power on their country.

The United States also lacks clean hands on this issue, as it and Britain facilitated Iraq's acquisition and use of WMD in the 1980s--including the U.S. provision of high quality germ seed for anthrax and other deadly diseases--when Iraq was fighting a war against Iran and served U.S. interests. The United States also compromised the work of the U.N. Special Commission for weapons inspections (Unscom), using it for espionage and withdrawing it in advance of the U.S. bombing of Iraq in December 1998. More recently, as it seeks to preserve its rationale for going to war, the United States has rebuffed offers from Iraq to negotiate on re-admitting inspectors.

Under strong U.S. and British pressure the U.N. imposed and has maintained sanctions on Iraq for the past dozen years in the alleged interest of preventing Iraq's acquisition of WMD. But the price of those sanctions has been paid by millions of innocent civilians, not the regime or its leaders.

The embargo has made it difficult for Iraq to recover from the 1991 Gulf War, undermining its ability to rebuild sanitation and water treatment systems targeted and destroyed by U.S. bombing. That deliberate bombing violated Article 54 of the 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention.

Although then-President George Bush stated in 1991 that "we do not seek...to punish the Iraqi people for the decisions and policies of their leaders...[and] we are doing everything possible and with great success to minimize collateral damage" (New York Times, Feb. 6, 1991), the necessarily devastating effects of such bombing on civilians were understood at the time and in fact intended by U.S. planners. The Washington Post reported shortly after the war that "Planners now say their intent was to destroy or damage valuable facilities that Baghdad could not repair without foreign assistance" (June 23, 1991). It is now known that these included water treatment facilities, whose absence was understood to "lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease" (Defense Intelligence Agency, "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities," Jan. 21, 1991, quoted in Thomas Nagy, "The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply," The Progressive, Sept. 2001). Wrecking these facilities and preventing their repair or replacement would give greater bargaining leverage by intensifying the adverse effects of sanctions on civilian welfare.

As is pointed out in the report recently issued by over a dozen church and human rights groups, "Iraq Sanctions: Humanitarian Implications and Options for the Future" (Aug. 6, 2002), "The 1977 Protocols to the Geneva Conventions on the laws of war include a prohibition of economic sieges against civilians as a method of warfare." In their actions involving Iraq, the United States, Britain, and the United Nations have violated these laws of war in a historically unprecedented manner. In an article in Foreign Affairs ("Sanctions of Mass Destruction," 78: 3 [May/June 1999]), John and Karl Mueller contend that "economic sanctions may well have been a necessary cause of the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction throughout history." The United Nations Children's Fund has documented an increase in the under-five child mortality rate in Iraq from 56 to 131 per thousand in the sanction years 1990-1998, with an estimated child death toll of several hundred thousand.

Having contributed to these mass deaths through economic warfare, the United Nations now remains silent in the face of an openly planned war of aggression against Iraq. The war will be bloody and will have much wider, potentially disastrous, repercussions. If the Secretary-General and members of the United Nations do not speak out, oppose, and attempt to stop what would be flagrant aggression, will it not be clear that the United Nations is not an institution serving to prevent war but rather a political instrument of the United States and selected allies?

We urge the UN Secretary-General and U.N. members to act now or stand condemned as accomplices of aggression, in defiance of both the clear language of the U.N. Charter and the desires of the vast majority of the world's people.
posted by Espoo2 at 12:09 PM on September 5, 2002


tolkhan: Axis of rather bad.
not satisfied...fine. BANG.

tolkhan: upgraded to Axis of Evil!
posted by Dr_Octavius at 1:28 PM on September 5, 2002


Although the U.S. government openly plans a war against Iraq, U.N. officials and representatives have neither spoken out in opposition nor taken any actions that might prevent the United States from embarking on this violent course. The United Nations was created explicitly to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" (Preamble, U.N. Charter) and "to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace..." (Article 1, 1).

Sentence 2 is the reason for sentence 1. Any questions?

There is no evidence that Iraq['s]... leadership is so irrational as to be planning actions that would unleash the full force of U.S. military power on their country.

We're talking about Saddam Hussein, right? See Invasion and Occupation of Kuwait, 1990-1991.

The United States also lacks clean hands on this issue, as it and Britain facilitated Iraq's acquisition and use of WMD in the 1980s--including the U.S. provision of high quality germ seed for anthrax and other deadly diseases--when Iraq was fighting a war against Iran and served U.S. interests.

What's your point? If I sell you a gun to protect yourself, and you choose to use that gun to go on a shooting spree, am I responsible for your murderous actions?

Under strong U.S. and British pressure the U.N. imposed and has maintained sanctions on Iraq for the past dozen years in the alleged interest of preventing Iraq's acquisition of WMD. But the price of those sanctions has been paid by millions of innocent civilians, not the regime or its leaders. The embargo has made it difficult for Iraq to recover from the 1991 Gulf War, undermining its ability to rebuild sanitation and water treatment systems targeted and destroyed by U.S. bombing.

"Sanctions are not intended to harm the people of Iraq. That is why the sanctions regime has always specifically exempted food and medicine. The Iraqi regime has always been free to import as much of these goods as possible. It refuses to do so."

Meanwhile, "Saddam celebrated his birthday this year by building a resort complex for regime loyalists. Since the Gulf War, Saddam has spent over $2 billion on presidential palaces. Some of these palaces boast gold-plated faucets and man-made lakes and waterfalls, which use pumping equipment that could have been used to address civilian water and sanitation needs.

In April 1999, Iraqi officials inaugurated Saddamiat al Tharthar. Located 85 miles west of Baghdad, this sprawling lakeside vacation resort contains stadiums, an amusement park, hospitals, parks, and 625 homes to be used by government officials. This project cost hundreds of millions of dollars. There is no clearer example of the government's lack of concern for the needs of its people than Saddamiat al Tharthar."

"While its repression of the Iraqi people continues, the Iraqi regime still is far from complying with its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions. It has not fully complied with a single resolution. It has not fully declared and destroyed its WMD programs. It has not ceased concealment of its WMD. It has not responded fully to questions from UNSCOM and the IAEA."

Your finger is pointing in the wrong direction, friend.
posted by David Dark at 2:09 AM on September 6, 2002


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