March 19, 2018


Will Bush be vindicated? : A case for the Iraq War (Jeff McIntyre, 2011, National Observer)

Flouting UN sanctions and international law

Saddam diverted upwards of $500 million from illegal oil sales, obtained through the Oil-For-Food (OFF) programme (designed to alleviate the negative effects of the sanctions on the Iraqi people), to bribe mostly French, Russian and Chinese officials into gaining their approval for lifting sanctions, and also to support his and his government's extravagant expenditure.

The Iraq Survey Group report sums up the effect of the regime's systematic efforts to undermine the sanctions regime:[5]

"Over time sanctions have steadily weakened to the point where Iraq in 2000-2001 was confidently designing missiles around components that could only be obtained outside sanctions. Moreover illicit revenues grew to quite substantial levels during the same period ... the regime quickly came to see the OFF could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to undermine the sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development. By 2000-20001 Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of the sanctions and undermine their international support. Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime both in terms of oil exports and the trade embargo by the end of 1999."

Meanwhile Saddam reduced the UN Security Council's sanctions to meaningless, toothless and ineffectual words, although these sanctions had been passed after many complex and delicate negotiations between diplomats. He simply ignored and undermined them.

These were the UN Security Council Resolutions, in chronological order:

•      Resolution 660, August 2, 1990 -- Demanded that Iraq withdraw from Kuwait.

•      Resolution 661, August 6, 1990 -- Established the first sanctions regime.

•      Resolutions 678 and 679, November 29, 1990 -- Last chance to leave Kuwait before war.

•      Resolution 686, March 2, 1991 -- Cease provocative actions.

•      Resolution 687, April 3, 1991 -- Destroy all biological and chemical weapons, and make restitution.

•      Resolution 688, April 5, 1991 -- Established the No-Fly Zones.

•      Resolution 707, August 15, 1991 -- Demanded full disclosure of WMD.

•      Resolution 715, October 11, 1991 -- Established weapons-monitoring programme (UNSCOM).

•      Resolution 986, April 14, 1995 -- Established Oil-for-Food.

•      Resolution 1284, December 17, 1999 -- Re-established weapons inspections (UNMOVIC).

•      Resolution 1373, September 13, 2001 -- Tightened international laws concerning terrorism.

•      Resolution 1441, November 8, 2002 -- "False statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations " (This resolution was passed unanimously by the relevant nations, 15-0, an even bigger level of support than the UN manifested for the First Gulf War.)

Every single one of these resolutions was breached by the Iraqi regime.

George Bush's speech to the UN general assembly : This is the text of the speech delivered by the US president to the United Nations in which he urged action on Iraq (George W. Bush,  12 Sep 2002, United Nations)

Twelve years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation. And the regime's forces were poised to continue their march to seize other countries and their resources.

Had Saddam Hussein been appeased instead of stopped, he would have endangered the peace and stability of the world. Yet this aggression was stopped by the might of coalition forces and the will of the United Nations.

To suspend hostilities, to spare himself, Iraq's dictator accepted a series of commitments. The terms were clear to him and to all, and he agreed to prove he is complying with every one of those obligations.

He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge, by his deceptions and by his cruelties, Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.

In 1991, security council resolution 688 demanded that the Iraqi regime cease at once the repression of its own people, including the systematic repression of minorities, which the council said threatened international peace and security in the region. This demand goes ignored.

Last year, the UN commission on human rights found that Iraq continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights and that the regime's repression is all-pervasive.

Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation and rape.

Wives are tortured in front of their husbands; children in the presence of their parents; and all of these horrors concealed from the world by the apparatus of a totalitarian state.

In 1991, the UN security council, through resolutions 686 and 687, demanded that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke this promise.

Last year, the secretary-general's high-level coordinator for this issue reported that Kuwaiti, Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Bahraini and Omani nationals remain unaccounted for; more than 600 people. One American pilot is among them.

In 1991, the UN security council through resolution 687 demanded that Iraq renounce all involvement with terrorism and permit no terrorist organisations to operate in Iraq.

Iraq's regime agreed. It broke its promise. In violation of security council resolution 1373, Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organisations that direct violence against Iran, Israel and western governments. Iraqi dissidents abroad are targeted for murder.

In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former American president. Iraq's government openly praised the attacks of September 11. And al-Qaida terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq.

In 1991, the Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles and to prove to the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections.

Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge. From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons.

After a senior official in its weapons program defected and exposed this lie, the regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of litres of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs and aircraft spray tanks.

UN inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared and has failed to account for more than three metric tonnes of material that could be used to produce biological weapons.

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

United Nations inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.

And in 1995, after four years of deception, Iraq finally admitted it had a crash nuclear weapons program prior to the Gulf war.

We know now, were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993.

Today, Iraq continues to withhold important information about its nuclear program, weapons design, procurement logs, experiment data, and accounting of nuclear materials and documentation of foreign assistance.

Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon.

Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminium tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year.

And Iraq's state-controlled media has reported numerous meetings between Saddam Hussein and his nuclear scientists, leaving little doubt about his continued appetite for these weapons.

Iraq also possesses a force of Scud-type missiles with ranges beyond the 94 miles permitted by the UN Work at testing and production facilities shows that Iraq is building more long range missiles that can inflict mass death throughout the region.

In 1990, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the world imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. Those sanctions were maintained after the war to compel the regime's compliance with security council resolutions.

In time, Iraq was allowed to use oil revenues to buy food. Saddam Hussein has subverted this program, working around the sanctions to buy missile technology and military materials.

He blames the suffering of Iraq's people on the United Nations, even as he uses his oil wealth to build lavish palaces for himself and to buy arms for his country.

By refusing to comply with his own agreements, he bears full guilt for the hunger and misery of innocent Iraqi citizens. In 1991, Iraq promised UN inspectors immediate and unrestricted access to verify Iraq's commitment to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles.

Iraq broke this promise, spending seven years deceiving, evading and harassing UN inspectors before ceasing cooperation entirely.

Just months after the 1991 cease-fire, the security council twice renewed its demand that the Iraqi regime cooperate fully with inspectors, condemning Iraq's serious violations of its obligations.

The security council again renewed that demand in 1994, and twice more in 1996, deploring Iraq's clear violations of its obligations.

The security council renewed its demand three more times in 1997, citing flagrant violations, and three more times in 1998, calling Iraq's behaviour totally unacceptable. And in 1999, the demand was renewed yet again.

As we meet today, it's been almost four years since the last UN inspector set foot in Iraq - four years for the Iraqi regime to plan and to build and to test behind the cloak of secrecy.

We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left?

The history, the logic and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger.

Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding or will it be irrelevant?

The United States helped found the United Nations. We want the United Nations to be effective and respectful and successful.

We want the resolutions of the world's most important multilateral body to be enforced. And right now those resolutions are being unilaterally subverted by the Iraqi regime.

Our partnership of nations can meet the test before us by making clear what we now expect of the Iraqi regime.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles and all related material.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it - as all states are required to do by UN security council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmens and others - again, as required by Security council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf war personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues as required by security council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept UN administration of funds from that program to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq and it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis, a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty and internationally supervised elections.

The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. They've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause and a great strategic goal.

Posted by at March 19, 2018 4:32 AM