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IRAQ and other Middle East countries
Rob Gaudet listed the misdeeds of Iraq. John Heelan asks: "Why do not we apply Rob's tests to other nations as well?
Test 1. Harbouring old terrorists Saudi Arabia has been the host of Idi Amin, whose exploits resemble those of Saddam Hussein. Israel is still governed by Sharon, who was publicly condemned by his own countrymen for his part in the Sabra/Chatila massacres in Lebanon. Can we expect the US to demand regime changes in Saudi Arabia and Israel?
Test 2 Existence of terrorist training camps. The US created such camps (and may still have them) to train Cuban exiles and others to inflict damage in Cuba. The US' "School of the Americas" is renowned for training in "interrogation techniques", some of which are alleged to be physical. CIA and US Special Forces have been employed for decades as "training advisors" seconded to "freedom fighting/terrorist" groups in countries (Russian controlled Afghanistan, various Latin American countries). Can we expect the US to desist from such activities in the future?
Test 3 Existence of "terrorist" weapons (e.g. suicide vests). There is an argument that the "suicide vests" were to be used by the purported squads of "martyrs" attacking the US/UK forces by exploding themselves in their midst. If so, they are a weapon of war and more legal when used against the military than the cluster bombs and depleted uranium tipped shells used by US/UK forces in areas where Iraqi civilians were at risk.
Test 4 Saddam Hussein was a terrorist and funded Palestinian terrorism. As already pointed out, in its ranks the Israeli government has many with a "freedom fighter/terrorist" heritage. (Some WAISers might recall the past of Yitzhak Shamir, a previous Prime Minister, the exploits of the Haganah that eventually became the Israeli Army, the Steyne Gang etc). The US has a long history of establishing and funding "freedom figher/terrorist groups" in other countries, at times making friends of those it later castigates as "undesirables" (e.g. Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega). The US funded and helped organise the overthrow of Allende and establishment of the murderous Pinochet regime (whose main perpetrator has escaped punishment through age). From a UK perspective, the US allowed NORAID to fund IRA activities in Northern Ireland, some of which contributed to the 3000 deaths in the Province and the UK mainland over some 30 years. The current main negotiator, Martin McGuinness, confessed his terrorist past, and is now a respected politician who has played a major part in the slow progress to peace in that region.
Test 5. The search for Iraqi WMD. Will the US devote such attention to Israel's WMD? Given the current spat with Hans Blix, does the Bush Administration really not believe that the rest of the world will consider a subsequent "discovery" of Iraqi WMD by American "inspectors" is anything but planted evidence? Sadly, the credibility is of the Administration is at an all time low, despite what Fox News and the, machinations of Bush-friendly media. It is a consequence of the fiasco of faked evidence of nuclear imports, the refusal to allow independent inspectors to continue their work, the appointment of pro-Israeli military governance of Iraq and the awarding of lucrative commercial contracts to companies with links to the Administration and the post-facto duplicitous rhetoric by Bush/Blair about the reasons that legitimised the Iraq war.
Rob is right "the fat lady hasn't even started warming up" on this matter, especially if the US blatantly ignores world opinion and continues its arrogant threats against North Korea, Iran and Syria. Some might consider the US growing to be as great a threat to world peace as the regimes it is seeking to topple. That makes the world a far less safer place than it was·".
Ronald Hilton - 4/23/03