"Something must be done"? About what?

Revolutionary Worker #1175, November 17, 2002, posted at http://rwor.org

The first half of the recent UN resolution authorizing weapons inspections in Iraq is a list of complaints and grievances against Iraq's Saddam Hussein government. It gives the impression that "something must be done about Saddam Hussein and his weapons"--that the biggest danger in the world is this third world government and its now-shrunken military.

Some forces even taunt the antiwar movement saying: If you oppose war, how do you propose to deal with the problem of Saddam Hussein?

This constant harping on Saddam Hussein and his "threat" to the world is, without a doubt, one of the real mindfucks of this current U.S. "war on terrorism."

If you look over this beautiful blue planet and you watch the movement of arms and armies, it quickly becomes clear that it is not really the Iraq military that threatens the world.

Does Iraq have an oppressive government? Sure. Does it have a few weapons programs to create and store "weapons of mass destruction"? Perhaps.

But Iraq's government does not have bases all over the world, in dozens of countries. It has not threatened its neighbors in a decade, since its hard defeat in the first Gulf War. It is not Iraq that is sending commandos and assassins into dozens of countries. It is not Iraq propping up unpopular military dictators with nuclear weapons like Pakistan's Mushariff or imposing shameless yes-men like Afganistan's Karzai (who was recruited for "public service" from Unocal oil company).

It is not Iraq that has nuclear-tipped war fleets circling the globe like wolfpacks, moving in and out of the Persian Gulf and the oil lanes of the world. Iraq did not just use an unmanned CIA drone to assassinate a carload of people in Yemen--without trial, or charges, or permission of the local government.


Iraq is charged with using poison gas -- against the Iranian troops and against Kurdish villages in Iraq itself. And this happened--in a war backed by the U.S. government 20 years ago. But who in history has used weapons of mass destruction as ruthlessly and brutally as the U.S.? It is the U.S. who first developed nuclear weapons--and then (eagerly and quickly) used them (twice!) to destroy civilian cities. Who seized the skies of Vietnam to burn the land with napalm and poison it with Agent Orange and pound it with massive bombs? Who turned a residential area of Panama City into a smoking "Little Hiroshima"? Who has torn up nuclear arms control treaties and is building a "missile defense"--so they can threaten others with nukes without risking retaliation? And who has declared the right to strike first with nuclear weapons anywhere on the planet where their predatory interests are threatened?

Iraq is accused of lying about its weapons programs. But how shocking or unusual is that really? Hasn't Israel denied having a nuclear arsenal for years? Didn't the U.S. government deny having an anthrax war program--until some of its weapons showed up late last year in mailboxes up and down the East Coast? Does the U.S. not have secret programs for developing "weapons of mass destruction"? Is the Pentagon ready to submit to sudden inspections and have their scientists taken to foreign countries for interrogations?

The U.S. says that if Iraq gets more powerful weapons, that it may then have the means of "deterrence." Do smaller countries have no right to defend themselves? Why do the U.S. and Britain have the right to bomb Iraq at will, day after day for ten years, and carve up that sovereign country into "no fly zones"--yet Iraq is called criminal for seeking weapons that can "level the playing field"? Isn't this just the gangster logic of "We're Number 1 and we like it that way"?

Isn't it profound hypocrisy for the U.S. (and Israel and Britain) to threaten Iraq with nukes (which they have!)--because they claim Iraq is trying to build nukes (which it clearly doesn't have)?

Why exactly should people believe that Iraq's government is a "unique problem" for the world, while the U.S. superpower running amok is somehow "the solution" to the world's dangers and insecurities?

Isn't this really a case of a world-class oppressor bullying a two-bit oppressor--in order to cement a whole new unjust world order?

And isn't it the responsibility of the people to oppose the injustice done by this government--in our name?

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