Stop these Warmongers, Stand by the People of Iraq!

The Bush administration had planned to ‘celebrate’ the first anniversary of September 11 by mounting yet another murderous offensive on Iraq. As the anniversary approached, the intent was declared quite openly with a combined Anglo-American air attack on Iraqi targets. For the time being, Saddam Hussein has however spoiled the celebrations by offering to cooperate unconditionally with the UN programme of weapons inspection.

This has robbed the Bush administration of its pet excuse to pound Iraq with another round of lethal bombing. The warmongers of Washington have been left fuming with blind rage.

President Bush and his men have arrogantly dismissed Iraq’s offer as just a tactical move to cheat and retreat, to delay, deceive and deny. They are worried that the inspection may yield nothing. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld therefore has already started arguing that an “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of weapons of mass destruction.” To defuse Saddam’s ‘tactical move’, the Bush brigade is now invoking its strategic vision of a unipolar world in which the US has every right to act unilaterally. In his latest Annual Report to the US Congress, President Bush has discarded all notions of a multilateral balance of power and the strategy of deterrence as outdated remnants of the Cold war period. The key word now is pre-emptive or preventive action, anticipatory strike to crush all potential threats from all quarters.

This latest Pentagon paradigm has also been elaborated in an article published in the current (September-October, 2002) issue of Foreign Affairs, the journal of the US Council on Foreign Affairs. Since terrorism has gone transnational, Washington, we are told, cannot be expected to have any respect for any notion of national sovereignty or international law in dealing with terrorism. In other orders, the new global order recognises only one power as sovereign, the imperial power of the US. Everything else is just a piece of paper that can be consigned to the wastepaper basket of this American Empire.

It was Afghanistan yesterday. Today it is again Iraq. Tomorrow, it could be any other country. The entire world is now on the hit list of the world’s biggest terrorist agency. This is the real rogue state phenomenon that confronts the world. With the number one rogue state threatening to go berserk, the number two has followed suit. Israel has stepped up its anti-Palestine military campaign. A vicious attempt is on to exterminate Yasser Arafat in his besieged West Bank headquarters. The 73-year-old leader and two hundred of his supporters are crammed in four rooms of the devastated Ramallah compound.

In Iraq, not less than a million children have already perished as a result of the prevailing sanctions which entail an embargo on even basic life-saving drugs. These sanctions have been the real weapons of mass destruction while the US continues to reduce the whole of Iraq to rubble in the name of destroying military capabilities that the US itself had bestowed on Saddam Hussein during the pre-Gulf War periods. Those were the days when the US used to treat him as the best American bet in the region against Iran and the Kurdish rebels. How long can the world turn a blind eye to this limitless hypocrisy?

Halting the Bush-Blair-Sharon war machine at all costs has become the crying need of the hour. It is reassuring to see that from the third world to the first, more and more people are now joining hands against the real source of war and terror. Chinks are once again becoming visible in the grand global coalition Washington had cobbled with such effortless ease in the wake of last year’s strikes on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon. Russia, China, France and Germany have all expressed their strong opposition to any unilateral American action. Indeed, Bush became a major agenda in the German elections and was rightly compared by some people to his only peer in history. Adolf Hitler.

As the slogan goes, “Jo Hitler ki chal chalega, woh Hiter ki maut marega.” (Whoever steps into Hitler’s shoes will meet with Hitler’s fate.)