(In-)security policy - Who protects the rest of the world from violent American arrogance?
By Michael Schneider
[This article originally published in: Freitag, January 8, 1999 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, www.freitag.de/1999/02/001.htm.]
According to the latest military doctrine of the Pentagon, all those countries firstly capable of producing weapons of mass destruction, secondly countries displaying a "hostile conduct in international relations" and thirdly countries representing a regional threat are defined as "rogue states". Iraq, Iran, Libya, Cuba and North Korea are at the top of the US list of "rogue states" that can be punished at any time by economic sanctions and targeted military strikes. That the US itself flagrantly violates the rules of international law with the most recent "Desert Fox" operation and thus can be counted among the "rogue states" according to its own criteria does not occur to the men of the Pentagon and the White House. Instead President Clinton announced raising the military budget $100 billion in the next six years.
Iraq was obligated by the UN resolution to destroy all weapons of mass destruction under supervision of international weapons inspectors (UNSCOM) according to the 1991 arms agreement. All published UNSCOM reports confirm that the seven year work under the leadership of Rolf Ekeus was very successful (respected even by the Iraq side). The inspectors only had a residual doubt as to the Iraqi potential for manufacturing bacterial and chemical weapons. They could merely speculate about their existence and secret hiding-places.
UNSCOM according to present international law only owed an accounting to the UN Security Council, not to the US. Measures against Iraq for not fulfilling the UN resolution can only be decided by the Security Council. The US and Great Britain struck Bagdad immediately without waiting for the decision of the Security Council. They trample on international law and degrade the UN into a caricature. Neither the Charter of the United Nations nor the resolutions of the Security Council authorize these attacks. The US and Great Britain violate the American constitution according to which there is no legitimation for a war without a congressional declaration.
An American president fearing with good reason loss of his office can still cause terror and destruction a thousand miles from Washington. What kind of foreign policy holds captive our nation in a moral and political imperialism that knows no limits?... Our relation to Iraq like our relation to Cuba is beyond all political categories. This relation has become an obsession.
That this national obsession (and demonological projection) is carried out on the backs of the Iraqi people worries most Americans just as little as the majority of their European allies. According to UN statistics, the continuing economic sanctions against Iraq have cost a million lives including more than a half million children. There is only one appropriate description for this brute fact - UN resolutions or no UN resolutions: it is a silent genocide that the Christian West has watched for more than seven years. Demanding the Iraqi leadership fulfil the UN resolutions exactly without even the slightest promise of a speedy end of the sanctions is an unparalleled political cynicism.
That the state terrorist act of the American world police immediately found the unrestricted approval of the German chancellor and that Green foreign minister Fischer appeared before the television cameras with a contorted expression and declared he regretted the military escalation but the consequences had to be ascribed to Saddam Hussein were two of the pre-Christmas "surprises". Some who didn't expect so much hurried obedience and old-style German vassal-loyalty toward the "western protector" from the red-green government novices rubbed his or her eyes in amazement.
Since the end of the second superpower the Soviet Union, Washington's readiness to strike unilaterally without UN mandate has dramatically increased. The United Nations not even asked any more when Washington bombs in its name is a helpless paper tiger too weak to insist on observing its charter. The single-handed military efforts of Americans and Brits threaten the system of global security. China froths; Russia will no longer sign the START II-treaty and now proposes a new generation of nuclear missiles. In the Arab world, Anglo-American acts of violence have sown hatred for generations to come. Islamic extremists and terrorist groups ensure analogous acts of revenge.
If the international community of nations does not soon succeed in bringing the UN into play again in its vested rights, outfitting it with more authority and power and radically reorganizing its structure (including the abolition of the veto since 80 percent of UN peace-keeping measures were defeated with the veto of the US and Great Britain), its charter will soon only be nice-sounding words and the preservation of peace a pure phantom. Then the interjection of national pride God bless America may soon be accompanied by the deep sigh of the other UN member states: God save us from America and its arrogant, presumptuous and overbearing monopoly of force!