This week the US Administration argued that 'diplomacy has run out' as they began the War in Iraq. There are several things that bother me about the current Administration's use of the word 'diplomacy', and their claim that they followed every avenue to work out a peaceful solution. Every step of the way the US Government has taken steps to mislead the American people and cloud factual information to the United Nations. Their 'last chance' at diplomacy was a meeting of three powers who support military action on a remote island in the Atlantic. This can best be characterized not as diplomacy that has run its course, but clearly a failure in US diplomacy.
- Our 'diplomatic efforts' have included allegedly bugging the United Nations offices in New York as well as European Headquarters in Brussells. Is it a wonder that other countries question our motives?
- After Hans Blix released his report on March 7th to the UN, arguing that Iraq was complying (albeit hesitantly) with inspections, Colin Powell and the US criticized the report for hiding a 'remotely piloted aircraft' which could release chemical weapons into the US. Days later it was revealed that this 'smoking gun' was in fact made of balsa wood and duct tape:
- Colin Powell's speech to the UN on February 5, which received much press here in the US, was full of circumstantial evidence, most of which not backed up by supporting evidence. Hans Blix questioned most of the US 'evidence', and Powell's claims have not stood up to independent scrutiny:
- Great Britain's 'Iraq Dossier' which received much press here and was quoted in Powell's speech, plagiarized a grad student's paper. It used, without credit, excerpts from a 12-year-old paper on the buildup to the 1991 Persian Gulf War written by California graduate student Ibrahim Marashi and published in the Middle East Review of International Affairs. The dossier even repeated the paper's typographical errors. Several words were changed or added to the paper, including inserting words like 'spying.'
- Perhaps most significantly, the US has yet to find any credible evidence that Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The UN inspectors have called US intelligence information 'garbage'.
Are Iraqis that good at outsmarting us, or are we that bad at intelligence? Most people agree that Iraq has some sort of weapons program. But the United States has yet to prove those weapons pose any threat, either in the immediate future or long term. Although the chances are highly likely that US Forces will indeed find 'Iraq weapons of mass destruction', I will be extremely skeptical of these reports based on the above examples of US misinformation. It will be interesting to see how those leads pan out to independent review:
- We used 'arm-twisting' tactics to bribe and coerce, and we still failed to get support at the United Nations. This 'coalition of the willing' is more aptly named a 'coalition of the coerced':
- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that a US-UK attack without Security Council approval would not conform with the United Nations charter:
- 'Coalition of the Willing': Donald Rumsfeld is making the claim that there are more nations involved in this current war than the original coalition during the first Gulf War. U.N. approval notwithstanding, he fails to mention that only 3 countries have committed troops, where over 32 did in the first war, including Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Several countries that are listed in the 'coalition' have presidents or prime ministers who openly oppose the war. Ari Fleischer is intentionally skewing numbers to confuse the public. Unlike the first Gulf War, we do not have Arab support:
- Biological Weapons: The Administration continually argues that 'Saddam has gased his own people' as a reason for regime change. Not only was did Donald Rumsfeld help normalize relations with Iraq when he knew they were using poison gas, Rumsfeld is currently considering the use of chemical weapons by the American military!: